ST 2711 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2711

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2711

A full review by gnomethang

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

Morning All!. This, in my opinion, was an absolute tour-de-force. The surface reading in almost every single clue was magically consistent and amusing.

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           Cut around page prominently displayed (8)
SPLASHED – SLASHED (cut) around P for Page (abbreviation). Think GOTCHA! as in a splash on the front page of the Sun newspaper. Great surface reading.

9a           What might interrupt play in a final, badly received by both sides (8)
RAINFALL – An anagram (badly) of IN A FINAL between (being received by) both R for Right and L for Left – both sides. Superb surface reading!.

10a         Plant that makes money for everyone (4)
MINT – My last one in – a very nice definition and cryptic definition. In fact if you read the whole clue and realise that ‘plant’ is a factory or piece of machinery then this is an &Lit or All-in-one clue. Bravo!

11a         Intense kind of selling as result of prolonged inflation? (4-8)
HIGH-PRESSURE – Another excellent surface reading, a clue for these financially straitened times. The balloon is about to burst!.

13a         Quickly responded with first of replies I sent off (8)
RIPOSTED – Did I say surface reading?. Take the first letter of R(eplies) and then add I from the clue and POSTED (sent off).

15a         Lavishly entertain like King George, ultimately (6)
REGALE – As would a great raconteur. REGAL (as a King might be described) and the ultimate letter in Georg(E). Another clue that makes complete sense as a sentence.

16a         Capture on film taking out back, so send off (4)
SHOO – Remove the last letter (taking out the back) of SHOO(t) or ‘capture on film’. Very well described.

17a         It may upset friendly relationship (5)
AMITY – An anagram (upset) of IT MAY. Beautifully simple and consistent in the surface reading.

18a         Careless exchange of letters contributing to petty polemic (4)
TYPO – Hidden in (contributing to) petTY POlemic. Majorly good surface reading!.

20a         Spicy mixture paper published (6)
RAGOUT – A charade of RAG (a paper from the gutter press) and OUT (published, on the newsstands). Surface!

21a         Author and architect clad in ornamental fabric (8)
LAWRENCE – D.H. Lawrence the author and poet. Place Sir Christopher WREN (the architect) inside (clad in) LACE (ornamental fabric).

23a         Piano, e.g., I’d finally adjusted for pitch (7,5)
PLAYING FIELD – A fine anagram (adjusted) of P (the abbreviation of Piano/soft in musical notation) and EG ID FINALLY.

26a         Flag of a European island unfinished (4)
IRIS – The flag. IRIS, ensign or Jack. Leave the IRIS(h) European island unfinished. Surface!

27a         Financially viable English periodical holding on (8)
ECONOMIC – E for English and COMIC (a periodical publication) containing (holding) ON from the clue. Another excellent surface reading for our straitened times…..

28a         Where people face charges, in a way (8)
TOLLGATE – An A1 lovely cryptic definition!.


2d           Sanctimonious and greedy, swallowing last of eclair (8)
PRIGGISH – PIGGISH (greedy) containing the last letter in (eclai)R.

3d           Social science research, initially work included in collection of writings (12)
ANTHROPOLOGY – Top surface reading!. Place the initial letter of R(esearch) and OP (the abbreviation for Opus or musical work) inside an ANTHOLOGY or collection of writings,.

4d           Leader of helicopter crew measured distance from base (6)
HEIGHT – The leading letter of H(elicopter) and then EIGHT or crew (in competitive rowing). Surface!

5d           Leave out of team for lapse in the field (4)
DROP – A great double definition and so apt for our poor performing footballers!

6d           Following straight path, learner arrived ahead of time (8)
LINEARLY – A charade of L (Learner as in car plates) and then IN EARLY (arrived ahead of time). Nice consistent surface reading.

7d           Put up club, socially acceptable? On the contrary (4)
TABU – Reverse (Put up) BAT or club then add U for socially acceptable (as opposed to non-u). On the contrary tells you that the definition is the reverse of ‘socially acceptable’.

8d           Singer embracing monarch, for example, as bosom pal (5,3)
ALTER-EGO –  Start with the ALTO singer and include (embrace) ER or Elizabeth Regina, the UK and Commonwealth monarch, and E.G. the Latin abbreviation of ‘for example’.

12d         Performing without preparation, I’d turned up in odd gatherings (5-7)
SIGHT-READING – Reverse I’D and include in an anagram (odd) of GATHERINGS – SIGHT REA (DI) ING. Surface!

14d         Needing doctor after doctor for routine procedure (5)
DRILL – ILL (needing doctor) after the abbreviation of Doctor – DR. Just read the clue again!

16d         Son unable to get away without sufficient funds (8)
STRAPPED – Another fine clue for our straitened times!. S for Son followed by TRAPPED (unable to get away).

17d         Roman general writing on and off, for instance (8)
ANTONYMS – Mark ANTONY (who wrote, on and off, to Cleopatra!) and then MS – the abbreviation for ManuScript. On and off are examples (for instance) of the answer.

19d         Not a warmonger, provided one’s bound by treaty (8)
PACIFIST – IF for ‘provided’ and I’S (one’s) included in , or bound by, PACT for TREATY. SURFACE!

22d         Weed oddly pernicious — it can damage crop (6)
WEEVIL – The odd letters in W(e)E(d) and then EVIL for pernicious. Great surface reading!.

24d         Tiny piece using only half of alphabet (4)
ATOM – Finally an old chestnut. Half of the alphabet is A to M (as opposed to N to Z),

25d         Actual event starts in Finland and ends in Baltic port (4)
FACT – The starting letters (starts) in F(inland) A(nd) followed by the final letters (ends) in balti(C) por(T).  Get a map out and then see why the surface reading is so good.

A belter of a puzzle. Just go back now and read the clues. A great many setters will write clues without regard to making a sensible sentence in its own right – here we have sentences that display topicality and self-consistency in abundance. Thanks Virgilius!.


8 comments on “ST 2711

    1. Thanks Heno!. I still did not realise my mistake even when CS reminded me. YOu can never snag your own work!.
      Are we seing you on the 19th?

      1. Where’s the venue? I doubt if I can get there though, as I’ve got tickets for Arsenal vs Norwich.

  1. Thank you V & G. Sunday is definitely my favourite puzzle of the week and would quite willingly purchase a compendium of crosswords if they included a mixture of Virgilius, Rufus & Ray T.

    Food for thought?

  2. As said at the time, I think Virgillius’ puzzles are creme de la creme. A wonderful crossword and a most excellent review. Big thanks to Virgillius and Gnomethang. :grin:

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