ST 2694 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2694

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2694

A full review by gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Another sterling puzzle from Virgilius with the surface readings in many clues deceiving so well.


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1a           In front of head, people beating impudent youngster (14)
WHIPPERSNAPPER – To start with place WHIPPERS (people who beat other people) in front of NAPPER – a colloquial word for one’s head or bonce.

9a           Article about a winter’s first sign of getting warmer (7)
THAWING – A THING (article) around the outside of A and the first letter of W(inter). TH A W ING

10a         Philosopher representing the precious metal, including its colour (7)
THOREAU – THE form the clue and AU – the chemical symbol for gold around the outside of OR – the colour of gold in heraldry.

11a         Part of US, old habitat Indians occupied, originally (4)
OHIO – The original (staring) letters in Old Habitat Indians Occupied

12a         Like worshipping a TV idol one spoiled (10)
DEVOTIONAL – An anagram (indicated by spoiled) of A TV IDOL ONE.

14a         Person taken in by letter written antagonistically, to some extent (6)
TENANT – A latter of a house of course. The answer is hidden (to some extent) inside writTEN ANTagonistically

15a         Closes off gap — men play no predetermined strategy (4,4)
GAME PLAN – Remove the closing letters from GAP — MEN PLAY NO

17a         Airport rebuilt outside key African city (8)
PRETORIA – South Africa (I am reliably informed). An anagram (rebuilt) of PRETORIA around the outside of the noble musical key of E.

18a         Small-minded and afraid (6)
SCARED – Simply S for small and CARED (minded/tended).

21a         Rival clubs promote changes covering it (10)
COMPETITOR – Start with C for Clubs (in Bridge terminology) then an anagram of PROMOTE (having changed) covering IT from the clue –(C) OMPET (IT) OR

22a         Humble tool in hand, finish off construction (4)
PAWN – PAW for hand or fist then the finishing letter off (from) constructioN.

24a         Hard to locate European, as it happens, going around America (7)
ELUSIVE – E for European then LIVE (as it happens) around the outside of US (America) – E L (US) IVE.

25a         Tile one laid outside hospital (7)
SHINGLE – SINGLE (one) outside of H for Hospital.

26a         It grows light in the East (7,7)
CHINESE LANTERN – Two definitions, both a plant with cherry-like fruit and also a celebratory parachute light in China.


1d           Omitting humour you formerly included (7)
WITHOUT – THOU, the archaic term (formerly) for you included inside WIT (humour).

2d           As part of alcoholic mixture, it expanded (7,8)
ITALIAN VERMOUTH – This is the IT in a ‘Gin and IT’ when expanded to its full name.

3d           Minimal money help is given as wages (4)
PAID – P (a Penny or minimal UK coinage) and then AID for help.

4d           Pronounced hardship for man working on vessel (6)
RIGGER – A slightly dubious for some homophone of RIGOUR (hardship).

5d           Speculative citizen having made a trade for nothing (8)
NOTIONAL – NATIONAL (citizen of a country) with the first A being swapped (traded) for O (nothing).

6d           Fate I had accepted in France, partly (10)
PROVIDENCE – The abbreviation I’D for I had inside PROVENCE, an area of the South of France.

7d           Trio finding harmony difficult are lent unusually simple instrument (7,8)
ETERNAL TRIANGLE – An anagram (unusually) of ARE LENT followed by a simple percussion instrument – the TRIANGLE.

8d           Love pal that’s raised capital (6)
DUBLIN – Reverse (raise in a Down clue)BUD (an American friend/pal) and  NIL (love/nothing)

13d         Asian holding units for another Asian (10)
INDONESIAN – An INDIAN (one Asian) containing ONES (units) – IND (ONES) IAN

16d         Measuring devices, possibly rulers? (8)
DIVIDERS – One must remember the axiom of to ‘Divide and Rule’ i.e. encourage dissent amongst rivals.  Hence the DIVIDERS become the rulers!.

17d         Container ship (6)
PACKET – Two definitions – A parcel and an older steamship.

19d         Having done wrong to hold gun, reformed in prison (7)
A wrong anagram of DONE including (holding) an anagram (reformed) of GUN. Yhe IN here denotes (WORDPLAY) IN (DEFINITION)

20d         Crossword fan famously good with clues left a little food (6)
MORSEL – BD’s hint on the day says it all: The fictional crossword fan and detective(famously good with clues) created by Colin Dexter followed by L(eft)

23d         Sign new work of art put up (4)
LION – The sign of the Zodiac that is Leo. N for New and OIL (a work of art) all reversed (put up)

Thanks to Virgilius for an excellent puzzle. Those of you who complained vociferously about his next puzzle (that I am reviewing next week)would do well to study the creative process in this puzzle, then look at this – before reviewing next week’s puzzle. You have a lot to learn and a lot to enjoy once learnt.


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