ST 2688

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2688

A full review by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ****

The usual entertaining start to Sunday morning  – Virgilius puzzles are definitely the highlight of my solving week.   My top favourites this time were 10a, 27a, and 16d.

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           Put roofs on some buildings, not this church (6)
THATCH –  Not this church but THAT CH(urch).

4a           Letters inside thin cover that could be extra weight (8)
HANDICAP –  the letters inside tHIn are H AND I which should be followed by CAP (cover).

10a         Half-hearted copper isn’t potentially this? (9)
INSPECTOR –   Remove one of the Ps from  COP[p]ER (half hearted) and make an anagram of the remaining letters and ISNT.

11a         US city in which the writer is turned back — is that so? (5)
MIAMI –  Reverse I[‘]M (the writer is) and follow with AM I [?] (is that so?)

12a         Key member of group appearing in shocking pink (7)
KINGPIN –   The most important member of a group is hidden (appearing in)  shocKING PINk.

13a         Discipline    citizen (7)
SUBJECT –  Double definition – a matter of thought or study;  or someone who allows allegiance to a sovereign or state.

14a         It’s not put in speech one delivered in first part of the performance (5)
TACIT –   Follow the first letter of The with ACT (part of the performance) into which is inserted I (one).

15a         Create interest in   plot (8)
INTRIGUE –   Another double definition – to puzzle or fascinate;  to engage in underhand scheming.

18a         Novice driver taken in by unusual throttle or choke (8)
STRANGLE –  Insert L (learner, novice, driver) into STRANGE (unusual).

20a         Legal support group sheriff initially put in position (5)
POSSE  –   Insert the initial letter of Sheriff into POSE (position).

23a         Aircraft made of metal gaining height after start (7)
CHOPPER –   Insert H for height between the first and letters (after start) of COPPER (metal).

25a         To a liner out East — at sea, or in dock (2,5)
ON TRIAL –   Remove E (out East) from TO A LIN[e]R and then use the remaining letters  to make an anagram (at sea).

26a         Bulb repeatedly lit, absorbing current (5)
ONION –   ON and ON (repeatedly lit)with I (the abbreviation for electrical current inserted).

27a         Treehouse put in ahead of time, with serious intent (9)
EARNESTLY  –   A nest (treehouse!) inserted into EARLY (ahead of time).

28a         Finalise contents of out-tray? It provides guidance, by the way (8)
SIGNPOST –   Split a roadside direction sign 4, 4 and it would then explain what someone would do  to clear their out-tray.

29a         Didn’t go steady, switched around (apart from first couple) (6)
STAYED –    An anagram (switched around) of STEADY  (apart from the first couple indicates that only the EADY  should be rearranged).


1d           Knitters recycled ornaments of little value (8)
TRINKETS  –   A recycled anagram of KNITTERS.

2d           Some medicines rashly taken the wrong way that could poison people (7)
ARSENIC –   Hidden and reversed (taken the wrong way) in mediCINES RAshly.

3d           Each year, in odd role, act tragic part (9)
CLEOPATRA –   Insert PA (per annum, each year) into an anagram (odd) of ROLE ACT.

5d           Article annoyed executives collectively and uniformly (6,3,5)
ACROSS THE BOARD –  A (indefinite article) CROSS (annoyed) THE BOARD (executives collectively).

6d           After protest, bishop put out of service (5)
DEMOB – An informal shortening of a verb meaning to take out of action, disband.   DEMO (protest) and B (bishop in a game of chess).

7d           Informal talk over French drink in fine house there (7)
CHATEAU –   A fine French house (there) – CHAT (informal talk) and EAU (the French word for water(drink))

8d           Colours are not used in added text (6)
PAINTS  –   Insert AINT (are not) into PS (post script, added text).

9d           Routine transactions strangers did no differently (8,6)
STANDING ORDERS – An anagram (differently) of STRANGERS DID NO.

16d         Job description he might have given, being restless (9)
IMPATIENT – The Biblical character Job is the personification of poverty and, more importantly for this clue, patience.   He may well have described himself by saying I’M PATIENT.

17d         Minimal change in broadcast shown again (8)
REPLAYED –   Insert a P (penny, the smallest amount of change) into RELAYED (broadcast).

19d         American’s carrying nothing within London area (7)
TOOTING –   If Americans were carrying something, they might say they were TOTING it.   Insert O (carrying nothing) to get an area of London.

21d         Satirical writer left on journey, finally, with expedition (7)
SWIFTLY –   SWIFT (the satirical writer, Jonathan, followed by L (left) and Y (journey finally).

22d         Transform cast, or its make-up (6)
ACTORS –  An anagram (transform) of CAST OR and you get the ACTORS that make up a cast.

24d         Young boxer, say, framing popular photograph of actress (3-2)
PIN-UPS –   Insert IN (popular) into PUPS (boxers here being dogs).

Lucky me – I get to return next week with a review the next Virgilius puzzle.




  1. BigBoab
    Posted May 2, 2013 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    I think your assessment is about right Sue, definitely one of the easier Virgilius crossword but every bit as entertaining, my thanks to him and of course to your good self for yet another excellent review.

  2. spindrift
    Posted May 2, 2013 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Wouldn’t it be great if, over the bank holiday weekend, we could have a “Jumbo Virgilius” or “Giant Rufus” or even a “Slightly Inflated Ray T” instead of all those fatuous “codewoprds” & flippin’ sudoku puzzles?

    OK – I admit it I can’t do Sudoku puzzles for all of the tea in Cuba while Mrs S whistles through them like a good ‘un.

    Thanks V & CS