Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2684
A full review by crypticsue
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ****
Virgilius with his slightly trickier hat on – but oh what fun! As I work my way through a puzzle, I put dots by the clues I like, and the down clues in particular looked like they were suffering from an outbreak of measles!
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1a Ferociously attack a guy initially in bar (6)
SAVAGE – Insert A (from the clue) and G (guy initially) into SAVE (bar and save in this case both meaning except, not including).
4a Finishes off operation for pains (8)
STITCHES – Using SSTITCHES to close the site of an operation or the sharp pricking pains in the side brought on by running etc.
10a Person in last quarter of life could be this (9)
PENSIONER – An anagram (could be) of PERSON IN and E (the fourth and final ‘quarter’ of the four letter word lifE.
11a Crazy British lawyer’s brief (5)
BATTY – B (British) followed by ATTY (the abbreviation for an attorney, American lawyer).
12a Without energy, again experience ease (7)
RELIEVE – Put ‘without’ or around E (energy) RELIVE (again experience).
13a Start off part of ‘Hamlet’ with new speech (7)
ORATION – Remove the initial letter from [H]ORATIO (one of the parts in Hamlet) and finish with N (new).
14a Small instrument like a scalpel (5)
SHARP – S (small) plus HARP (instrument).
15a Made unclear statement about former pupil’s recovery (8)
OBSCURED – or as the official medical statement might say the OB[‘]S CURED!!
18a Driver, in turn, gripped by epic scorer (8)
WAGGONER – Insert GO (turn) into the surname of that ‘scorer’ of epic pieces of music, WAGNER.
20a Head of state moving to centre, in a sense (5)
TASTE – Move the S from the ‘head’ of state to the middle of the word.
23a Divine female‘s cunning is holding me back (7)
ARTEMIS – ART cunning) followed by EM (me reversed or back) and IS (from the clue). Artemis being another name for the goddess Diana.
25a Second flier showing business plan about island (2-5)
CO-PILOT – CO (business) and PLOT (plan) with I (abbreviation for Island) inserted.
26a Some Indians take legal action in hearing (5)
SIOUX – The handy homophone indictor – in hearing) tell us that these Native Americans sound like to SUE (take legal action).
27a Getting through, carry a head inside (9)
BREACHING – The wordplay that took more thought than some of the other clues, though goodness knows why! BRING (carry) with EACH (a head) inserted.
28a Untidiness is cause of ill feeling (8)
DISORDER – Another double definition – Untidiness or lack of order; a medical ailment or illness.
29a Gold put in cast, mostly, for old coin (6)
FLORIN – The old two-bob bit – Put OR (the heraldic term for gold) into almost all of a verb meaning to cast or throw away – FLIN[G}.
1d Squash and second form of exercise switched (8)
SUPPRESS – Squash – the drink?, the pumpkin relation? No it’s a verb meaning to SUPPRESS, snub or crush. S (second) followed by that horrible form of exercise the PRESS UP, the two parts of which have been ‘switched’.
2d Ordinary article hidden under ceiling in house (7)
VANILLA – Originally computer slang, VANILLA is now used generally to mean ordinary, usual or plain. Insert AN (article) under the first letter (ceiling!) of VILLA (house).
3d Piece of gold and lump of iron someone experimented on (6,3)
GUINEA PIG – an old gold coin (piece) was a GUINEA and a lump of iron is called a PIG when it is the intermediate product of smelting iron ore.
5d Fearful inaccuracies are misleading in part of political address (6-8)
TERROR-STRICKEN – Insert into TEN (part of the ‘political’ address, 10 Downing Street) ERRORS and TRICK (inaccuracies [are] misleading).
6d Somewhat upset about one component of skeleton (5)
TIBIA – One of the leg bones is a reversal of A BIT (somewhat) with I (one) inserted.
7d In violent row, victim may need to call on it (3,4)
HOT LINE – HOT (violent) and LINE (row).
8d Saw a year in prison cut by precisely 50 per cent (6)
SAYING – Saw in the sense of a proverb – half (cut by precisely 50%) of the prison SING SING with A (from the clue) and Y (year) inserted
9d In disguise, perhaps, confusing genial bouncers (14)
UNRECOGNISABLE – An anagram (confusing) of GENIAL BOUNCERS.
16d Cut in play? Possibly — certainly not in character (9)
ATYPICAL – An anagram (possibly) of CUT IN PLAY.
17d Military HQ in which sides’ meetings are invariably obtuse (8)
PENTAGON – The American Military HQ has a building shaped like a geometrical figure where the sides meet at obtuse angles.
19d Relatively loud speakers — they can be heard in court (7)
ACTIONS – Because as we all know ACTIONS ‘speak louder’ than words.
21d Persuaded to accept current monarch, in private (7)
SOLDIER – SOLD (persuaded to accept) I (an abbreviation for electrical current) and ER (the cipher of our current monarch). Private, of course, being the lowest rank of the army.
22d Did not bid spades after shuffle (6)
PASSED – An anagram (after shuffle)of SPADES.
24d Troublemaker that affects concentration when drinking (5)
MIXER – Someone who causes trouble or stirs things up can also mean a soft drink added to an alcoholic drink, the amount added affecting the concentration of the alcohol.
I have only marked some of the clues I liked in blue – my top favourite being 19d.