ST 2674 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2674

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2674

A full review by gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Morning All!. We had another excellent puzzle from Virgilius this week with the usual high standard of cluing and misleading surface readings.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.  You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a           Attack from air in fast RAF exercise — could be faster (6)
STRAFE – Two cryptic clues – the first is hidden in faST RAF Exercise, the second is an anagram (could be) of FASTER

4a           A salt dropped into sea in chains (8)
MANACLED – A lovely penny drop moment. The chemical symbol for Sodium Chloride, common salt, is NaCl. Place A and NACL inside MED (short for the Mediterranean Sea).

10a         Unrecorded run before game for football team (9)
LIVERPOOL – A charade of LIVE (an unrecorded transmission), R for Run from the cricketing abbreviation and then the game of POOL or 8-ball.

11a         Land in Africa, getting down finally in crucial area (5)
KENYA – The final letter of dowN inside KEY for crucial and A for Area.

12a         Ends concealed by minister repeatedly (7)
TERMINI – Another lovely clue. Repeat minisTER MINIster and check the hidden word in the middle.

13a         Present after present impossible to locate? (7)
NOWHERE – Take two synonyms for present, NOW (in time) and HERE (in space).

14a         Frenchman who sculpted river god (5)
RODIN – A charade of R for River and ODIN – the Norse God.

15a         Artists backed by a musical group for dance (8)
SARABAND – Reverse the RAS (short for Royal Academicians or artists) and then add A from the clue and finally BAND or group (of e.g. musicians).

18a         Creatures without a right sense of direction (8)
BEARINGS – BEINGS (any creatures) placed around (without can mean on the outside of as well as being a removal indicator) A and R(ight).

20a         Fair Conservative, for instance, rejected cold-blooded creature (5)
GECKO – A reversal (rejected) of OK (fair), the abbreviation C for Conservative and then E.G. for say (for example).

23a         Rabbit extracted from magic hat? Terrific! (7)
CHATTER – A lovely misleading surface! The yattering sort of Rabbit is hidden inside (extracted from) magiC HAT TERriffic.

25a         Foolishly valiant, like a young lady of Riga (7)
LATVIAN – An anagram (indicated by foolishly) of VALIANT

26a         Teacher starts off term under the old regime (5)
TUTOR – Take the start of every word  in the phrase ‘Term Under The Old Regime’

27a         Source of oil that’s seen in Van Gogh’s paintings (9)
SUNFLOWER – A nice easy starter clue, the sunflower being both a source of cooking oil and also the subject in a number of Van Gogh’s paintings.

28a         Allergy that could make you feel exhausted, initially, in hot state (3,5)
HAY FEVER – It took me a while to spot the wordplay. We need the initial letters from Y(ou) F(eel) E(xhausted) placed inside H for Hot and AVER for state.

29a         Hospital proceeded with caution, sat on fence (6)
HEDGED – H for Hospital followed by EDGED (proceeded cautiously).


1d           Only punishment partners in crime don’t share (8)
SOLITARY – …because you are on your own in there!. A nice cryptic definition to add to the one word definition.

2d           American hero Democrat greatly admired (7)
REVERED – The perennial favourite American hero Paul REVERE followed by D for Democrat.

3d           In favour of accepting rule — English, German or Italian, for instance (9)
FOREIGNER – FOR (in favour of) including (accepting) REIGN for Rule and E for English.

5d           We’ll instal ring specially arranged for this sport (3-2,9)
ALL-IN WRESTLING – An anagram (specially arranged) of WELL INSTAL RING

6d           Inappropriately inclined to seek directions (5)
ASKEW – ASK (to seek, look for) followed by two directions, East and West.

7d           Doctor learnt about, or with, new source of illumination (7)
LANTERN – Make a doctored anagram of LEARNT and then either include N for New (put the anagram about it) or place the N at the end. The result is the same.

8d           Merchant, one who’ll give you a hand (6)
DEALER – A trader or a dealer of hands of cards.

9d           Flier’s on wrong course — he got marooned (8,6)
ROBINSON CRUSOE – Start with ROBIN’S ON (a flier being a bird) and then make an anagram of COURSE (wrong).

16d         Game that may be played by musicians (9)
BAGATELLE – Two definitions here – A board game including balls and holes and also a light tune.

17d         Trapped like rooks at first, unable to move (8)
CORNERED – The Rooks on a chess board start in the corners and the second is a straight definition.

19d         Force to pay levy, heartlessly? Just so! (7)
EXACTLY – To EXACT is to force a payment from someone. Then add the outside letters (heartlessly) of L(ev)Y

21d         Watching broadcast, with no time to chat (7)
CHINWAG – Make an anagram (broadcast) of WA(t)CHING having first removed the T (with no time).

22d         Put end to place for rest of children in school (6)
SCOTCH – A child’s sleeping COT placed inside the abbreviation for School – SCH.

24d         Number in crowd you once found surrounding Queen (5)
THREE – Simply THEE around R for Regina, Queen. Don’t forget that Two’s company, Three’s a crowd.


I will see you all next week for another Sunday review. Crypticsue is in tomorrow for the review of last Saturday’s prize puzzle.