ST 2686 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2686

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2686

A full review by gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Once again a great start to a Sunday with some trademark clues from Virgilius.

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1a           Unwanted things on car standard family acquires over short time (7,7)
PARKING TICKETS  – A charade of PAR (standard) KIN (family) and then GETS (acquires) around the outside of a TICK (short time)

9a           Choose how to make one’s entrance, we hear, as fighter in ring (7)
PICADOR – A homophone (we hear) of a way to choose the entrance to a room (Pick a door).

10a         Puzzle — carefully study what makes mine go off (7)
CONFUSE – Puzzle as a transitive verb. A charade of CON (study/cram) and FUSE (what makes (a) mine detonate. Nicely misleading.

11a         Settled one of several pieces of political instability militarily (3)
LIT – The word appears in each of the last three words (one of several pieces of)

12a         Blend of spices ideal for a particular purpose (11)
SPECIALISED – An anagram (a blend of) SPICES IDEAL.

14a         As people in charge, they take certain measures (6)
RULERS – Kings and queens or your e.g. metre rule. Either a double definition or a cryptic definition/definition.

15a         Checked part in theatre in Edinburgh (6,2)
REINED IN – A hidden word in (part of) theatRE IN EDINburgh.

17a         Experienced quite a lot of remorse, as one does (8)
SEASONED – Experienced as in an old hand. Another hidden word (quite a lot of) remorSE AS ONE Does.

19a         Line very bad? Not bad enough to cause offence (6)
LAWFUL – L for Line and AWFUL for very bad.

22a         Schools expelling one older member of family, it’s clear (11)
TRANSPARENT – TRA(i)NS for ‘schools’ removing I for one. The add PARENT (older member of the family).

23a         Almost die as young animal (3)
CUB – Remove the last letter (almost) from CUB(e) as in one die, two dice.

24a         It’s silly to crave ham (7)
OVERACT – Ham can be both a verb or a noun. Make an anagram (its silly) of TO CRAVE.

26a         Mixed up marl I needed for plant (7)
PRIMULA – Another anagram (mixed) of UP I MARL.

27a         Supporting and helping colleague, in a manner that’s relatively consistent (14)
PROPORTIONALLY – A lovely charade of PRO (supporting/for), PORTION (helping/ration) and finally ALLY (colleague).


1d           University in part of London is getting into a misguided attempt to widen appeal (14)
POPULARISATION – A lovely build up this one!. Place U for University into POPLAR (a place in South East London/Docklands), then add IS from the clue and follow with a misguided anagram of INTO A.  POP (U) LAR IS (ATION)*

2d           Composition for clarinet, not new, in musical event (7)
RECITAL – Another super surface reading. Make an anagram (composition) of CLARI(n)ET having first removed the N for New.

3d           Hard-working American men in a tub, say, falling in river (11)
INDUSTRIOUS –  The river is the INDUS. Placed inside (falling into ) this is US (American), TRIO (a threesome as in Jerome.K.Jerome’s ‘Three men in a boat’) – IND (US) (TRIO) US.

4d           Not the common choice between unexceptional alternatives for growth area (6)
GARDEN – For the cryptic indication here one must remember that e.g. birds are known as “The Common (or Garden) Sparrow” when dealing with the standard species.. This means that the uncommon choice would be the GARDEN.

5d           Listed popular bit of song record includes (8)
INCLINED – As well as an LP or EP (Long or Extended Players) a record can now be a CD (Compact Disc). Start with IN (popular) and then place a LINE (bit from a song) inside the CD

6d           Understanding chap (3)
KEN – KEN is the realm or range of knowledge or understanding (e.g. its beyond my ken)as well as being a chap’s first name.

7d           One way to secure money soundly tied up (7)
TRUSSED – A homophone (soundly) of TRUST – one way to secure your money.

8d           From which things are bound to be borrowed, presumably with interest (7,7)
LENDING LIBRARIES – Well you wouldn’t choose to borrow a book (the pages of which are bound together) unless you were interested in the subject matter!. A very fine cryptic definition.

13d         Person attached to house with red roses (11)
LANCASTRIAN – Another fine cryptic def. The red roses were the House of Lancaster and the White were for Yorkshire.

16d         Left veteran at sea in strong easterly wind (8)
LEVANTER – Chambers gives the lovely definition “A boisterous easterly wind in the Levant”. Make an anagram (at sea) of VETERAN after L for Left.

18d         A strange team sport upset one kind of player (7)
AMATEUR – A from the clue then a strange anagram of TEAM followed by a reversal (upset) of the game of R(ugby) U(nion).

20d         Part of spoof actually is for real (7)
FACTUAL – Another nicely hidden word in spooF ACTUALly.

21d         Parking provided in Asian city for ancient games site (6)
DELPHI – Place P for Parking inside DELHI.

25d         Snake‘s adversary — Saint Patrick, originally (3)
ASP – The original or first letters of Adversary Saint Patrick.

I’ll see you all in a week’s time as I am golfing in Spain. Have fun Y’all