ST 2709 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2709

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2709

A full review by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ****

Another splendid start to Sunday morning.   My top favourites were 6a and 5d but there were lots of runners-up.


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1a           Relatively generous contribution for fatherless child (6,4)
WIDOWS MITE –   A small insignificant offering which represents self-sacrifice on the part of the giver – a reference to  the parable in Mark xii, v 42.   The expression might also be used to describe the small child of someone whose husband has died.

6a           He didn’t have a single passenger on his vessel (4)
NOAH –  Because they all went in two-by-two, even the humans!

9a           Novice in better shape, capturing rook or queen (7)
LEARNER –  Insert an R (either the chess abbreviation for a rook or the Latin abbreviation for queen) into  LEANER (in better shape)

10a         Single out, accommodating first of guests making petty complaints (7)
NIGGLES –   An anagram (out) of SINGLE into which is inserted the first letter of guests.

12a         Declaration from key people in court following part of speech (13)
PRONOUNCEMENT –  PRONOUN (part of speech) followed by the abbreviation for CourT into which is inserted the musical key of E and MEN (people).

14a         To no longer be seen in leading position is hard (6)
VANISH –   VAN (towards the front) followed by IS (from the clue) and H (hard).

15a         Short publication about river or small stream (8)
BROOKLET –   insert R for river into a BOOKLET  (short publication).

17a         Race that’s cross-country? (8)
NATIONAL –   The Grand NATIONAL is the race; cross-country? refers to national meaning relating, belonging or peculiar to one particular country.

19a         European article on cause of ill-feeling (6)
GERMAN –   Follow GERM (a cause of feeling ill) with the indefinite article AN.

22a         Lacking power to hold naughty child, a head is blameless (13)
UNIMPEACHABLE –    UNABLE (lacking power) ‘holds’ or has inserted IMP (naughty child) and EACH (a head).

24a         Subsequently a learner shows creative kind of thinking (7)
LATERAL –   The sort of thinking we are supposed to need to be able to solve cryptic crosswords.   LATER (subsequently) A (from the clue) and L (learner).

25a         Course official who controls race, initially? (7)
STARTER – A cryptic definition of someone who starts a race.

26a         Reversed cart a few feet (4)
YARD –   A reversal of DRAY (cart).

27a         Had match with county represented as unimportant (6,4)
PLAYED DOWN –   PLAYED (had a match) and DOWN (one of the six counties of Northern Ireland).


1d           Pack animal run over (4)
WOLF –   A reversal (over) of  FLOW (run)

2d           Study about a daughter and father showing no emotion (7)
DEADPAN –   Insert D (daughter) and PA (father) into a DEN or study.

3d           Outsider who can see what’s in store (6-7)
WINDOW-SHOPPER –   A cryptic definition of someone who does what Chambers describes as the activity of looking at goods in shop windows as the next-best thing to buying them!

4d           Religious type found in ashram or monastery (6)
MORMON –  A member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is hidden in ashraM OR MONastery.

5d           They could be upset, extremely, over any rent revision (8)
TENANTRY –   The final (extreme) letter of upseT over or followed by an anagram (revision) of ANY RENT.

7d           Source of crude advice for dealing with squeaky wheel (3,4)
OIL WELL –   The source of crude oil could also be advice given to someone who has something that squeaks, such as a wheel.

8d           Male with saying about one liable to lose (10)
HESITATING –   HE (male) and STATING (saying) with I (one) inserted.    The saying referred to here is, of course, “he who hesitates is lost”.

11d         Gets carried away and has mishap at sea (4,9)
GOES OVERBOARD –  Goes to  extremes of enthusiasm about something, or literally falls over the side of a ship (a mishap at sea).

13d         In the end, level with union supporter (10)
EVENTUALLY –   EVEN (level) TU (trade union) ALLY (supporter).

16d         Never meeting standard a European set in 50s (8)
PARALLEL –   PAR (standard score in golf ) A (from the clue)  and E (European placed inside three Ls (L being the Roman numeral for 50).

18d         Crook that could do a lot of damage in Midwest (7)
TWISTER –   Someone who behaves dishonestly or a North American informal term for a tornado.

20d         Distinguished player as changed teams run out (7)
MAESTRO  –   An anagram (as changed) of TEAMS followed by RO (the abbreviation for run out in cricket).

21d         Spirit of the Scots — or Irish, but not English (6)
WHISKY –   The Irish spell it WHISKEY, the Scots leave out the E for English!

23d         Architect that constructs home in tree (4)
WREN –   Mr CS and I  don’t have anything designed by the architect Sir Christopher Wren,  but we do have a number of these delightful little birds living in a very large old rosemary bush.



3 comments on “ST 2709

  1. He never lets us down does he? Perfect for a quiet Sunday.

    As for wrens we only have the occasional visitor but what a nosy little beggar he or she is! Makes the starlings & crows sound like amateurs.

    Thanks to V & to CS

    1. No, he never does let us down. Superb puzzles week after week. All thanks to this wonderful blog! There was a time when I couldn’t do them — what a lot of pleasure has been missed!
      As for wrens, tiny they may be, but they’re in our garden as well trying to out-sing the blackbirds.
      Many thanks to Virgillius & Cryptic Sue.

  2. Another lovely crossword for a Sunday morning.
    The main thing that I remember about actually doing this one is that I had trouble untangling 12a. The reason for that was my own stupidity – I saw the ‘noun’ for the part of speech but completely failed to spot the ‘pronoun’! I was also slow to get 1a, having never heard of it, and 1d.
    Far too many good clues to pick one favourite.
    With thanks to Virgilius and CS.

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