ST 2706

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2706

A full review by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

I solve a considerable number of cryptic crosswords every week and I have to say that the highlight of the week remains the ability to both solve and review a Virgilius Sunday puzzle.

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           Calm producing uncertainty in fleet (6)
PACIFY –  Inert IF (uncertainty) into PACY (fleet in the sense of fast)

4a           Kind of player that’s put back guarding goal (8)
DEFENDER –   END (goal) is inserted into (or guarded by)   DEFER (put back).

10a         Sounds from pens being taken out of two inkstands (5)
OINKS –   Noises made by pigs in pens are hidden in (taken out of) twO INKStands.

11a         Close to home occupied by soldier with good reason (9)
LOGICALLY –   GI (American soldier) inserted into LOCALLLY (close to home).

12a         Demonstrate about one old coin in short supply (7)
PROVIDE –   Insert I (one)  D (the abbreviation for one old penny) into PROVE (demonstrate).

13a         Refuse to dress ahead of time (7)
GARBAGE –    Follow GARB (a verb meaning to dress or clothe) with AGE (time).

14a         Error of judgment that’s highly inaccurate (14)
OVERESTIMATION –  A cryptic definition of a noun meaning to judge too highly.

17a         Experience life with unusually free emotions, having progressive ideas (6,4,4)
BEFORE ONES TIME –   BE (experience life) followed with an anagram (unusually) of FREE EMOTIONS.

21a         Plant for flavouring duck and orange, possibly (7)
OREGANO –   O (not scoring anything in cricket is known as a duck) plus an anagram (possibly)of  ORANGE.

23a         Alcoholic treat sailor knocked back after dance (3,4)
RUM BABA –   RUMBA (dance) and an reversal (knocked back) of AB (the abbreviation for Able Seaman, sailor).

24a         Stop working with old master who offers consumer advice? (9)
DIETITIAN –   DIE (stop working) and TITIAN (the 16th Century Old Master).

25a         Loud child, oddly easy to understand (5)
LUCID –   The odd letters of LoUd ChIlD.

26a         Get in a twist with damaged net and fish (8)
ENTANGLE –   An anagram (damaged) of NET plus ANGLE (fish).

27a         Convert ready after priest initially performed religious act (6)
PRAYED –   Follow P (the initial letter of priest) with an anagram (convert) of READY.


1d           Repeatedly ring up and scornfully dismiss (4-4)
POOH-POOH  –    Reverse (up in a Down clue) a HOOP (ring)  and then do it again (repeatedly).

2d           Preserve intonational variations with East Asian language (9)
CANTONESE –   CAN (preserve) TONES (intonational variations) and E (east).

3d           Jolly fine adaptation for TV, I see (7)
FESTIVE –   F (fine) followed by an anagram (adaptation) of TV I SEE.

5d           Fight with cartel as indication of commitment to union (10,4)
ENGAGEMENT RING – ENGAGEMENT (a fight or battle) plus RING (cartel).

6d           Bit of work Rex secured in bar (7)
EXCERPT –   Insert R (Rex) into  EXCEPT (bar in the sense of exclude the possibility of).

7d           Greek character‘s large deposit for banks located here (5)
DELTA –   The fourth letter of the Greek alphabet or the alluvial deposit at the mouth of a stream or river.

8d           Heard but not seen, Frost’s poetry (6)
RHYMES –   A homophone (heard …) of RIMES (frosts).

9d           London monument honouring German, close to Victoria (6,8)
ALBERT MEMORIAL –    I loved this clue but some people queried whether it was cryptic or GK.   I can do no better than repeat our setter’s comment on the blog  “…the intended crypticity of 9d was to have people think of Victoria the location, rather than Victoria the Queen, who was very close to her consort, Albert, for whom the Memorial was constructed.”

15d         Not many people can control this, as a rule (9)
OLIGARCHY – a cryptic definition of government by a small exclusive class.

16d         Insisted on having minutes, also, in legal document (8)
DEMANDED –   Insert M (minutes)  and AND (also) into a DEED (legal document).

18d         Leader of organisation helping to make speech (7)
ORATION –   The ‘leader’ of Organisation plus RATION (helping).

19d         Smile ingratiatingly about learner being less intelligent (7)
SIMPLER – Insert L for learner into SIMPER, a verb meaning to smile ingratiatingly.

20d         Pet daughter found in Dorset resort (6)
POODLE –   Insert  D (daughter) into the Dorset resort of POOLE.   I can’t decide whether the ‘pet’ is a pet dog or a lackey –both definitions work.

22d         Uniform put on entrant, finally, for competition (5)
EVENT –   EVEN followed by the final letter of entranT.

Those of you who keep track of such things (although why you would, goodness only knows) would realise that the Gnome was supposed to have had the pleasure of typing this.   However, he is stuck on a roof in 30o heat doing incomprehensible things (to me anyway) with building management systems, which means that I get all the fun!   Hopefully, he will come back down to earth long before he has  to provide the next Sunday blog next Thursday morning.



  1. spindrift
    Posted September 5, 2013 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Sublime as usual and, for me at least, a tad more difficult than usual. thanks to V & to CS for taking the time to complete her review. Anybody seen Gnomey?

    • gnomethang
      Posted September 5, 2013 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

      I’m sort of back in the room, spindrift.
      I got off the roof at about 20:15 last night as we have been upgrading a chiller system whilst not being able to turn it off.!. Slightly better day today but hopefully finishing tomorrow.

  2. Catnap
    Posted September 5, 2013 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    I greatly look forward to Virgillius’ puzzles. The more I learn the more I appreciate their elegance and subtleties.Mega thanks to Virgillius, and also to Crypticsue for her enlightenment. I am very chuffed today because I find I did actually reach my answers correctly!

  3. gnomethang
    Posted September 5, 2013 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    A massive thanks must go to crypticsue for covering this blog – all one way traffic at the moment (no breweries for sale).
    Thanks to Virgilius for a great puzzle as well. 4a was simply sublime as a semi &Lit.