ST 2675 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

ST 2675

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2675

A full review by gnomethang

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Morning All! Late again!. Another fine puzzle from Virgilius this week – not too taxing but the usual 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           Proceeded cautiously, giving advice to editor (7)
TIPTOED – A greatly misleading (for me!) charade of TIP (advice) being given to TO (in the clue) and ED (the abbreviation of Editor)

5a           Basil, for instance, or alternative person in lead (3,4)
POT HERB – OTHER (an alternative person) inside PB – the chemical symbol for Lead (from the Latin plumbum, wither plumb lines, plumbers and ‘Un soleil de plombe’ in French)

9a           Unusual phrase over page, maybe (7)
PERHAPS – An anagram (unusual ) of PHRASE surrounding (over) P for Page as an abbreviation.

10a         Doing something about inequality late in the day (7)
EVENING – I’m going for two definitions here although one might argue a cryptic definition plus definition – The first is EVENING (the odds) the second is twilight.

11a         Doctor on watch in ethnic quarter (9)
CHINATOWN – A superb surface reading and anagram (doctor as a transitive verb) of ON WATCH IN.

12a         Join a fight, roughly (5)
ABOUT – This is another great clue. Whilst the clue could have read ‘A fight, roughly’ and given us the answer the surface reading would be a lot worse. The word JOIN helps in the surface reading and adds further instruction to put together (join) A from the clue and BOUT for a boxing fight.

13a         Start fire that travels at top speed (5)
LIGHT – A definition and cryptic definition. The first is to LIGHT a fire and the second:

“The universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding
In all of the directions it can whizz
As fast as it can go, at the speed of light, you know,
Twelve million miles a minute, and that’s the fastest speed there is.”

15a         Lines very differently composed, in contrary fashion (9)
INVERSELY – An anagram (differently composed) of LINES VERY.

17a         People working in studio arrived before artist cut list of options (9)
CAMERAMEN – A charade of CAME (arrived) in front ot RA (our usual abbreviation for a Royal Academician of the School of Arts) and fnally a shortened version of MEN(u) or a list of options to eat.

19a         NCO securing hill in assault (5)
STORM – Wordplay IN definition here – The abbreviation for Sergeant Major (NCO) including or securing a TOR (hill)

22a         Orator including new piece of poetry (5)
CANTO – N for New inside of CATO – the Roman essayist and orator Dionysius CATO. A CANTO is one of the principal divisions of a long poem

23a         Check writing as academic, pocketing zero cash, mostly (9)
PROOFREAD – I’m going for a  Semi&Lit here but there is a bit of a blur. The wordplay is PROF (academic) including O for zero followed by most of READ(y) – cash. The definition may well be just ‘Check writing’. Lovely surface reading!

25a         Thespian is typecast in part as one kind of player (7)
PIANIST – Part of the first three words gives a player of keyboards.

26a         Half a dozen tricks creating problems for PC type (7)
VIRUSES – VI (six in Roman Numerals) and RUSES (tricks) gives a problem for a PC computer rather than a Mac.

27a         Essay about old theatrical production (7)
TRAGEDY –The Scottish play for example. TRY (essay/shot) around AGED (old)

28a         Disperse warily over area that has lots of tracks (7)
RAILWAY – An anagram (disperse) of WARILY around A, the abbreviation of Area.


1d           City plan mostly awful, as usual (7)
TYPICAL – An anagram of all but the last letter (mostly awful) of CITY PLA(n).

2d           What’s normal to monarch — lots of Americans may be for it (7)
PARKING – The PAR for the course for golfers is normal. Add KING for Monarch to get what an American may call PARKING places (LOTS).

3d           Piece of tomahawk found in Midwestern city (5)
OMAHA – Hidden inside (a piece of) tOMAHAwk .

4d           Unreligious belief accepting place for tyranny (9)
DESPOTISM – DEISM – The belief in GODS in general but not in the institutions, containing (accepting) SPOT for place/location.

5d           Song of praise from pagan having change of heart (5)
PAEAN  – Change the G to an E in PAGAN, i.e. give it a change of heart.

6d           The end of many a prehistoric animal in reference book (9)
THESAURUS – THE from the clue and SAURUS which is how a lot of dinosaur names end. DINOSAUR literally means ‘Terrible Lizard’. Roget would be proud!.

7d           Page I found in European volume that is, for example, perfect (7)
EPITOME – P for Page and I from the clue inside E(uropean) and TOME, a large volume of literary work.

8d           Major effort to contain old prejudice (7)
BIGOTRY – Place O for Old inside BIG TRY – a major effort.

14d         What may come from that error is expected to create panic (9)
TERRORISE – A hidden word in thaT ERROR IS Expected.

16d         Insurance for vehicle seen around university city on Pacific (9)
VANCOUVER – What might be described as VAN COVER (insurance for vehicle) around the outside of U(niversty).

17d         Battle scene — prepare to shoot mine (7)
COCKPIT – The scene of a battle for a fighter pilot anyway!. A charade of COCK (a gun – prepare to fire) and PIT – a mine.

18d         Buddhist symbol seen in Burmese port when docked (7)
MANDALA – A pictorial representation of the Universe in Buddhism. Remove the last letter (docked) of MANDALAY. An unfamiliar word but a very straightforward clue.

20d         Supervised section of interview as revolutionary turned up (7)
OVERSAW – A reversed hidden word (a section turned up) of intervieW AS REVOlutionary.

21d         Poems that, initially, will be masked by the writer’s self-effacement (7)
MODESTY – ODES (poetry) and the initial letter of That found inside MY (the writer’s).

23d         Sulk, extremely testy and small-minded (5)
PETTY – A PET for a sulk and the outside (extremes) of TestY.

24d         For this modern language, is a service set up? (5)
FARSI – A reversal of IS and the RAF (a military service).


I’ll see you all tomorrow for a review of last Saturday’s Prize Puzzle.


7 comments on “ST 2675

  1. Not much feedback on these because it’s ages since we all did ’em. Nevertheless can I say how much I enjoy Virgilius’s work. He’s a master of the smooth surface and the misleading definition. Occasionally a bit verbose [eg 2d] but always witty – especially his cryptic and double defs [10ac, 13ac]. Plus he regularly provides completely off the wall clues like 6d.

    Please – could he be persuaded to set the occasional toughie?

    Many thanks to Gnomie for an informative review and to the master himself for the puzzle.

  2. Hi halcyon , you are right on the comments!.
    Brian Greer did, however, start on the Toughie Team when it was first started. He set as Jed.
    I think he was replaced some time when he took on the Sunday Slot.
    If you have a DT subscription online you can revisit them and this wonderful blog may wellprovide the reviews as well!

  3. As halycon says the delay between the puzzle appearing and the full review does mean that many people have done 10-12 different puzzles in the meantime (25-30 in Crypticsue’s case :D ) and I’m sure that’s the reason why there are so few comments.
    However I do feel it’s important to extend our thanks to Gnomey and CS for their sterling efforts week after week in writing the reviews for the weekend puzzles.
    (And I do think that Virgilius is consistently the most enjoyable back-page setter and I’d love to see him return to the Toughie fold).

    1. I just worked out that I do a lot more than 30 puzzles a week (especially if you include testers) – I really must get out more!!

      The Canadian National Post puzzles (which Falcon blogs) have been syndicating the DT Saturday prize puzzles instead of the Monday Rufus puzzle which means that Gnomey and I may attract some new Canadian fans!!

  4. Just stumbled across the hints and explanations for this one. I can’t help feeling that it must be a bit disheartening to get so few comments when so much effort has gone into providing them.
    It is a long time since I did this crossword and I can’t really remember it too well and neither can I find it. In pre-blog days Sunday puzzles were a no-go area for me. They ‘felt’ completely different to the back page puzzles on the other days of the week – I don’t know why – I STILL think that they are different although I would find it hard to say why – they just are. I have since learnt so much from the blog that I can now usually do them and I also know that when/if I get stuck there are always really helpful, clever and knowledgable people who come to the rescue.
    A belated thanks to Virgilius and to Gnomey.

Comments are closed.