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ST 2679

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2679

A full review by gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Morning All!. A typical Virgilius puzzle from Sunday 17th February with some lovely surface readings and all the usual trademarks.

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1a           Tripe and fish added to small buffet (10)
CODSWALLOP – COD (fish) is added to WALLOP – a small(ish) bang or buffet. I might have preferred large buffet as I consider a wallop to be quite a thump!

6a           Standard document’s short question about gender? (4)
FORM – The short question on gender might look like F OR M (Male OR Female?)

9a           Liable to be angry about providing witness (7)
TESTIFY – Place TESTY (liable to be angry) around the outside (about) IF for providing.

10a         Less distinctive variety of fine art (7)
FAINTER – An anagram (variety of) FINE ART.

12a         On a roll, take steps to produce excessive amount (4-9)
OVER-ABUNDANCE – A charade of OVER (On or above/on top of) then A BUN (a roll) and finally taking some DANCE steps.

14a         Something that can sting or irritate (6)
NETTLE – Two definitions, the plant and a verb meaning to irritate.

15a         Main area separating contenders for Triple Crown (5,3)
IRISH SEA – A clue that should not date as the main contenders as this year for the Triple Crown in Rugby are Ireland and England who are separated by the Irish Sea. The Triple Crown also includes Wales and Scotland.

17a         Gambling operator that is in mostly corrupt set (8)
CROUPIER – The operator of the card or roulette table. Place I.E. (Id Est, Latin for ‘That is’) inside an anagram (set) of all but the last letter (mostly) of CORRUP(t).

19a         John, for example, shortened period on journey (6)
GOSPEL – A shortened SPEL(l) or period after GO for Journey. The Gospel according to St John is but one of the main four Gospels of the New Testament (Matthew, Mark and Luke being the others)

22a         Wise men entering place of learning with local pedestrian (13)
UNIMAGINATIVE – The MAGI (wise men) should be inserted between UNI (a place of learning) and a NATIVE (local bod).

24a         Air TV broadcast about band, after a pilot (7)
AVIATOR – An anagram of AIR TV (broadcast) around the outside of O for a band or circle (due to its shape) all after the A from the clue – A VIAT(O)R

25a         Race on island in which run, in part, is hard (7)
BRITISH – The cricketing abbreviation R for Run inside BIT (part) and then followed by IS and H for Hard (from the pencil selection).

26a         Spiritual exercise many do, avoiding karma ultimately? (4)
YOGA – The last (ultimate) letters in ‘manY dO, avoidinG karmA’

27a         Military leader and PM in Commonwealth capital (10)
WELLINGTON – The Military Leader and Prime Minister was Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington. Wellington is also the capital city of the commonwealth country New Zealand since 1865.



1d           Show in which exotic cast also acts strangely (4)
CATS – Two cryptic clues here and both are anagrams. The first is of CAST (being exotic) and the second ACTS (strangely). A global hit musical so shouldn’t be too unfarmiliar to most solvers.

2d           Issue shares making leaders of directorate yell (4,3)
DISH OUT – The first two leaders of DI(rectors) and then a synonym for yell, SHOUT.

3d           Help a teen with ridiculously useless article (5,8)
WHITE ELEPHANT – An anagram, indicated by ridiculously, of HELP A TEEN WITH. Nice surface reading.

4d           Amateur display manager has taken to heart (6)
LAYMAN – Hidden in the centre (taken to heart) of ‘dispLAY MANager’.

5d           Not taking a drug, foolishly, so lacking alertness (3,5)
OFF GUARD – Start with OFF (not taking, e.g. off the booze) and then add an anagram (foolishly) of A DRUG.

7d           Right from start, specifying course South for trips (7)
OUTINGS – (r)OUTING, a synonym for ‘specifying course’ woth the Right (removed) from the start, then the S for the abbreviation of South.

8d           Like hot cakes, creating stain on English piece of furniture (10)
MARKETABLE – A charade of MARK (stain) on top of  (On in a down clue) E for English and TABLE (piece of furniture).

11d         Interrogates new doctor, initially — is medicine holding up one’s illness? (13)
INDISPOSITION – A tricky one to unravel on the day and also to explain now!: The initial letters of I(nterrogates) N(ew) and D(octor), then IS from the clue and finally POTION (medicine) holding the reversal of another IS from one’s. Hence I.N.D IS PO(SI)TION.

13d         Occupying a key position in church is error (10)
INACCURACY – Another charade, this time of IN (occupying a house or a job position), then A C (key in music) and finally CURACY (a position in the church).

16d         Absurd pride, e.g. over European ancestry (8)
PEDIGREE – An absurd anagram of PRIDE E.G. on top of (over in a down clue) E for European.

18d         Providing view from top in in-group (7)
OPINING – The double IN made this hidden word easy to spot. It is inside (from) tOP IN IN-Group.

20d         Divine kind of wine consumed by ancient Briton (7)
PREDICT – Nice an easy – a RED wine inside a PICT (ancient Scot). What is nice is the fact that the definition acts as an adjective in the sentence and not a verb.

21d         Fish taking something on hook on end of the line (6)
BARBEL – At first I thought that EL here was meant as the abbreviation for Elevated Railway but it in fact comes from the end letter of (th)E and L for a Line. Add BARB to the front (something on a fishing hook) to get your freshwater fish. A superbly consistent surface reading.

23d         At what point does it stop alcohol delivery? (4)
WHEN – An amusing definition plus cryptic definition to finish. The topers among us will remember that they need to “Say when” to tell the host to stop filling the wine glass. I tend to wait a bit longer than some!.


Thanks to Virgilius for a very pleasant Sunday puzzle. I’ll be back tomorrow with a review of last Saturday’s prize puzzle.


1 comment on “ST 2679

  1. Thanks to Virgilius for the usual mastery and to Gnomethang for the entertaining review.
    The buffet in 1a has to be small rather than large because the S(mall) is needed by the wordplay.

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