ST 2708 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2708

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2708

A full review by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

“Entertaining”, “fun”, “well-crafted” –  just what we have come to expect from a Sunday morning crossword.   My particular favourites were 22a, 6d, 8d and 13d.


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           No other people can provide it, as a rule (4-10)
SELF-GOVERNMENT –   A cryptic definition of  government by one person without outside interference.

9a           Vehicle driver exhausted in fighting (7)
WAGONER –  Took a moment’s pause here as I always spell this with two Ns.   Insert GONE (exhausted) into WAR (fighting).

10a         Like male with pride, one numbered among mediaeval popes (7)
LEONINE –   Lionlike –  the Pope was LEO IX (Leo Nine)

11a         Frequently ring — daily, in short (3)
OFT –  A poetic way of saying frequently, often –   O (a ring) and FT (the abbreviation for the daily paper the Financial Times).

12a         Problem seeing in a mist swirling repeatedly around bow of gondola (11)
ASTIGMATISM –    Swirling repeatedly is the indication that we need to rearrange two lots of A MIST plus G (the bow or front of Gondola).

14a         Give up with little time left, absentmindedly (6)
FORGOT –     More alternative spellings as I usually put an E after the R in FORGO (give up, relinquish) plus T (a little abbreviation of time).

15a         Troublemaker, youth who ultimately reformed in gaol (8)
HOOLIGAN –   The ‘ultimate’ letters of youtH and whO followed by an anagram (reformed) of IN GAOL.

17a         Crashed pilot has place to recover from injuries (8)
HOSPITAL –   An anagram (crashed) of PILOT HAS.

19a         Formality seen in most archbishops (6)
STARCH can be seen hidden in moST ARCHbishops.

22a         One in front of stage who’s at the mercy of masked man with knife? (11)
THEATREGOER –   Someone watching a play could also be someone on his way to a surgical operation performed by a masked man with a knife.

23a         Part of mouth, cheek, or neck (3)
LIP –   A triple definition – part of one’s mouth; cheek in the sense of impudent talk or insolence; the neck or rim of a vessel or orifice.

24a         For example, device for opening can wrongly let us in (7)
UTENSIL –   An anagram (wrongly) of LET US IN.

26a         Survive being dismissed, as it happens (7)
OUTLIVE –   OUT (being dismissed, eg in cricket) and LIVE (as it happens – current)

27a         Altered dress an aunt did — not uniform (14)
UNSTANDARDISED –   An anagram (altered) of DRESS AN AUNT DID.


1d           With part of barrel missing, one may be discharged for robbery (4-3,7)
SAWN-OFF SHOTGUN –   A cryptic definition of a gun often used in robberies.  There has been an outbreak of  this solution in cryptics lately – are our setters planning a heist?

2d           Kind of craft that matchless person may use (7)
LIGHTER –  A large open boat used for loading and unloading ships; an alternative meaning for this is,  of course, something used by those who haven’t any matches to light their cigarettes.

3d           Who’s got lineages sorted out? (11)
GENEALOGIST –   An anagram (sorted out) of  GOT LINEAGES.

4d           Whatever I type contains such truth (6)
VERITY –  Contained in  whateVER I TYpe.

5d           Faith in inexperienced driver one follows, in part (8)
RELIGION –   Insert into REGION (part)  L (learner driver) and I (one).

6d           Author of little read book, so to speak (3)
MAO –   The author of the Little Red Book  (lovely homophone – ‘little read’!) , which is how people refer to the  red-covered,  pocket-sized version of his quotations.

7d           Catching contagion, finally, then being ill (7)
NAILING –  N (the final letter of contagion) and AILING (being ill).

8d           Foreign farmworker that’s delighted by effect of red setter or another dog (6,8)
GERMAN SHEPHERD  –   GERMAN (foreign) and SHEPHERD (a farmworker who is proverbially said to be delighted when he sees a red sky at night).

13d         Produced ‘Love’s Labours Lost’, say, fully performed many times (11)
ALLITERATED –    Produced a series of words starting with the same letter –  ALL (fully) and ITERATED (performed many times).

16d         Chap introducing legal reform he explored at great length (8)
MAGELLAN –   The widely-travelled Portuguese explorer Ferdinand MAGELLAN –   Insert an anagram (reform) of LEGAL into a MAN (chap).

18d         Spotted welcoming male, British, in Irish pub (7)
SHEBEEN –   Insert HE (male) and B (British) into SEEN (spotted).

20d         Mobilises resistance with wartime coalition (7)
RALLIES –   R (resistance) and ALLIES (wartime coalition).

21d         Caught in grip of South American snake in city there (6)
BOGOTA –   Insert GOT (caught) into BOA (South American snake).

25d         Scene of shooting   established as part of court activity (3)
SET –  Another triple definition –  where a film is shot; established;  part of a game such as tennis which is played on a court.

Thanks to Virgilius once again – Sunday’s wouldn’t be the same without you.

2 comments on “ST 2708

  1. Agree with you completely, Crypticsue. Sundays certainly wouldn’t be the same without a wonderful Virgillius puzzle. :grin:

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