ST 2690 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2690

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2690

A full review by gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

Morning All! – This was an excellent puzzle in my opinion –there were a few clue that I really had to think hard about to solve and even harder to unravel the wordplay.

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           Leaves container, as told, for assistant on course (6)
CADDIE –A homophone (as told)  of CADDY – The container of Tea Leaves.

4a           Friendly interviewer, initially, in morning TV, sort of (8)
AMICABLE – The initial letter of I(nterviewer) inside the A(nte) M(eridien) CABLE (a sort of Television distribution medium). ‘Sort of’ indicates that there are other media available.

10a         Turns one performs in either direction (5)
SOLOS – In either direction indicates a palindrome so this performances spell the same both ways.

11a         Shotgun badly needed around US city in attack (9)
ONSLAUGHT – An anagram (badly) of SHOTGUN that is around the outside of LA (Los Angeles, the US city).

12a         Start off rabble-rousing in form of literary work (7)
EDITION – Remove the start off (from s(EDITION)

13a         A bunch of lies, possibly, in dispute (2,5)
AT ISSUE – Split this as (1,6) and you get A TISSUE of lies.

14a         Second point about composer’s problem with movement? (6,8)
TRAVEL SICKNESS – A lovely clue and my last one in nearly. Place TICK (second) around RAVEL’S (the famous bolero composer with an apostrophe ‘s) and add NESS for point/headland/cape – a synonym well worth remembering!. Nothing to do with music!

17a         Receiver of distant signals from eclipse too dear, unfortunately (5,9)
RADIO TELESCOPE – An unfortunate anagram of ECLIPSE TOO DEAR.

21a         Person who charges an addict carrying small volume (7)
ACCUSER – I spent ages trying to fit a V for small Volume in. We need a Cubic Centimetre (CC) inside A USER (drug addict)

23a         Writer requiring lots to be revised in play (7)
TOLSTOY – The famous Italian* author. An anagram of LOTS (being revised) inside TOY (play with)

24a         Women disturbed about English team caught in this state (3,6)
NEW MEXICO – Tricky to work out – An anagram of WOMEN around the outside of E for English, XI (eleven in Roman Numerals, a team in Association Football) and the abbreviation C for Caught. – NEW M (E XI C) O. Little bit unfair for the newcomers!

25a         Final word from tyrant, cruel fellow (5)
BRUTE – The last word from the tyrant Julius Caesar was reportedly (by Shakespeare) BRUTE (as in Et tu, Brute). So a cryptic definition and def.

26a         Pieces of eight are redistributed in legacy (8)
HERITAGE – Another clue that tripped me up for ages!. An anagram (redistributed) of the pieces of EIGHT ARE,

27a         Copper, for example, retaining name in head (6)
MENTAL – Copper is an example of a METAL. Insert N for Name. Beautiful surface reading.


1d           Recorder mishandled test case (8)
CASSETTE – An anagram (mishandled) of TEST CASE for yer old TDK C90!

2d           From a country in Africa, a boy upset religious leader (5,4)
DALAI LAMA – A reversal (upset) of A MALI (a country in Africal) and A LAD (a boy).

3d           Positioned to overlook church fire (7)
INSPIRE – Fire as in fire the imagination. If you were positioned to overlook the church you might be IN the SPIRE.

5d           Error I spotted in all accounts I’m getting redone (14)
MISCALCULATION – Place I inside an anagram (getting redone) of ALL ACCOUNTS IM.

6d           Like call for action, seeing liar involved in scam (7)
CLARION – An anagram (involved) of LIAR in(side) a CON or scam.

7d           Fraudulent coach holding game up (5)
BOGUS – A reversal (up) of the pld board game GO inside a BUS (coach).

8d           Book duplicated in libraries — there’s the reason (6)
ESTHER – This book of the bible appears twice in the phrase librariES THErES THE Reason.

9d           Our money heavily impacts place in Scotland, we hear (6,8)
POUNDS STERLING – A charade of POUNDS (heavily impacts) and STERLING, a homophone (we hear) of Stirling , a place in Scotland.

15d         Brief on legal action that includes a couple of clubs, say (5,4)
SHORT SUIT – A hand in bridge that only includes two trump cards. Also a charade of SHORT (brief) and SUIT (legal action).

16d         Kind of light setter and solver will okay! (4,4)
VERY WELL – A VERY light (a distress flare used at sea) and WE’LL (i.e. the setter and solver collectively will).

18d         Fly, perhaps, over centre of airport for survey (7)
INSPECT – Place INSECT (of which a fly is an example) around P, the central letter in airPort.

19d         Like clue, only including what’s within it, note (7)
SOLUBLE – Another tricky one to work out. SOLE for only then the letters LU, the ones inside cLUe followed by B for a musical note placed inside. SO (LU B) LE.

20d         Corporation placing article in old magazine (6)
PAUNCH – The old satirical magazine is PUNCH. Place the indefinite article A inside.

22d         Recoil from someone who’s intimidating? (5)
COWER – The cryptic definition to someone who cows (intimidates) another  (who might then cower in fear!).

Thanks to Virgilius for the entertainment – I will see you all next week.



3 comments on “ST 2690

  1. Superb puzzle from Virgilius as always – thanks to him and Gnomey for the excellent review (nice little joke at 23a!).
    In 9d the Scottish city is Stirling not Sterling, so it’s a homophone (we hear).

  2. Great crossword from Virgilius once again and a great review from Gnomethang, many thanks to both. By the way, just outside Stirling is a large outlet village and a massive furniture emporium called Sterling Mills.

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