Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2680
A full review by crypticsue
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
This excellent Sunday puzzle had everything you expect from Virgilius and more – all his trademark clues and a topical reference too.
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1a One can expect us, in a way, to provide record of costs (7,7)
EXPENSE ACCOUNT – An anagram (in a way) of ONE CAN EXPECT US.
9a Extend argument for name being in record (7)
PROLONG – PRO (argument for) followed by LOG (record) with N (name)inserted (being in).
10a In relation to release, interrupted by European judge (7)
REFEREE – RE (in relation to) plus FREE (release), the latter having E inserted (‘interrupted’ by European).
11a Consequently, making some progress, but in the wrong direction (4)
ERGO – Hidden and reversed (in the wrong direction) in prOGREss.
12a Benevolent type, one hopefully contributing money to water supplier? (4-6)
WELL-WISHER – lovely wordplay in the second part of this clue, a cryptic definition of someone hoping for good fortune by tossing a coin into a wishing well.
14a Cook gently, person on diet needing to lose pound (6)
SIMMER – Remove L (£, pound) from a S[L]IMMER.
15a Scientific activity that’s hard after careers ruined (8)
RESEARCH – Follow an anagram (ruined) of CAREERS with H(hard).
17a Monster Greek character encountered in youth (8)
MINOTAUR – Insert the Greek letter TAU into a MINOR (youth).
18a Major split in church is dividing ends of spectrum (6)
SCHISM – Insert CH (church)and IS between S and M (the ‘ends’ of spectrum).
21a Information about mature people holding a moderate position (6,4)
GOLDEN MEAN – The middle way between extremes. Insert OLD (mature)into GEN (information) ; then insert A (holding a) into MEN (male people).
22a Point in what finally converts adjectives to nouns (4)
NESS – Chambers explains this so nicely. A NESS is a point or headland on the coast. If you add the suffix –NESS to adjectives you form a noun such as happiness, kindness, and so on.
24a When stars will appear beside title-holder, we hear (7)
TONIGHT – This crossword appeared on the same day as the Oscars Ceremony in Hollywood, so on that Sunday we could definitely have said that TONIGHT was when stars would appear beside holders of titles as Best Actor and so on. It is a homophone (we hear) of TO (beside) and KNIGHT (title holder).
25a Top gear, in general (7)
OVERALL – A double definition.
26a Like people giving 100 per cent, where they all do badly (5-9)
WHOLE-HEARTEDLY – An anagram (badly) of WHERE THEY ALL DO.
1d Times included among English newspapers, say (7)
EXPRESS – X, the symbol used to mean multiply by (or times) is inserted between E (English) and PRESS (newspapers).
2d Simple meal for chap who takes a share to work (10,5)
PLOUGHMANS LUNCH – A share, of course, being an integral part of a plough.
3d It’s a gas, one repeated endlessly (4)
NEON – Repeat ONE ONE and then remove the outside letters (endlessly).
4d Young flier, for instance, holding a permit (6)
EAGLET – EG (for instance)with A inserted (holding a) followed by LET (permit, allow).
5d Performed festive music girl conducted (8)
CAROLLED – or a girl named CAROL LED!
6d Crime around illicit centre that sells alcohol (3-7)
OFF-LICENCE – Insert the centre or middle three letters of ilLICit into an OFFENCE or crime.
7d Leader of Nationalists and I can represent this part of island (8,7)
NORTHERN IRELAND is quite often represented by the abbreviations NI (the leader of Nationalists and I from the clue)
8d Inadequacy of paintings he had put up outside (6)
DEARTH – Insert ART (paintings) into a reversal (put up outside)of HED (he had).
13d Government leader in unusually stable new Asian state (4,6)
WEST BENGAL – Insert G (the ‘leader’ of Government into an anagram (unusually) of STABLE NEW.
16d Be better than something that’s of no use to smoker? (8)
OUTMATCH – A smoker wouldn’t be able to use a MATCH that was OUT!
17d Very strong foreign fighter has trounced you, initially (6)
MIGHTY – MIG (a Soviet aircraft – foreign fighter) followed by the initial letters of Has Trounced You.
19d Perform badly in sport and lose, pressure coming after first half (7)
MISPLAY – To make a wrong play in a game – Split MISLAY (lose) in half and insert P (pressure) between the two halves.
20d Old man covering a deity in temple (6)
PAGODA – Insert A (from the clue) and GOD (deity) into PA (old man, father).
23d Epitome of insobriety reformed over time (4)
NEWT – Apparently the poor old NEWT is used as a sign of how drunk you are because of his inability to walk straight! NEW (reformed) followed by (over) T (time).
Thank you once again to Virgilius – my top favourite clues were 12a, 3d, 16d and 23d.