ST 2714 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2714

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2714

A full review by gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Morning All!. This was quite pedestrian for Virgilius based on some recent offerings which means that it was merely extremely good!.

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           Keep tight grip on mechanism controlling engine (6)
CLUTCH – Two definitions for me but some might suggest a definition plus cryptic definition.

4a           Elevated and honoured after university (8)
UPRAISED – Praised for honoured after the abbreviation U for University.

10a         It encourages popular change for Americans, I have to conclude (9)
INCENTIVE – A charade of IN (popular/with it), CENT (small coinage/change in the US) and I’VE  (I have) to finish or conclude with.

11a         It’s not good to drive into these carriages (5)
TRAPS – In golfing parlance a bunker is a sand trap or hazard and any other manufactured  Hazard is also a TRAP. An old horse (or pony) drawn carriage is also a trap

12a         Not prosaic — the opposite (7)
INVERSE – I have seen this before but others may not have. If not written in prose your literary art might be IN VERSE.

13a         Offer a lot, as you said, in legal case (7)
AUCTION – You need to read the definition as a transient verbal phrase. Also place U (the homophone for you, said) inside an ACTION or legal case.

14a         Girl’s good time in Paris, going by air (5)
APRIL – One needs to remember the old Vernon Duke number for the 1932 Broadway musical “Walk a Little Faster”!. Actually this is an old standard that has been covered by many Jazz artists In any case the tune is “April in Paris” and the cryptic element is referring to an air as a song.

15a         Islander from Haiti curiously showing effect of sun outside (8)
TAHITIAN – A curious anagram of HAITI inside a TAN (the effect of the sun being outside).

18a         Love fine part of feast, naturally (2,6)
OF COURSE – A charade of O for Love, F for Fine (as an abbreviation) then COURSE or part of a meal.

20a         Accomplished over mile in leisurely walk (5)
AMBLE – ABLE (accomplished/adept) around (or over) M for Mile.

23a         What makes men poorly in India etc is no problem for elephants (7)
AMNESIA – A poorly anagram of MEN inside ASIA or ‘India etc’.

25a         Altogether about fourteen pounds put into office (7)
INSTALL – IN AL (altogether) around (or about) ST – the abbreviation for a Stone in weight (or fourteen pounds).

26a         Daft way in which judge, referee, or umpire reaches conclusion (5)
INANE – A nice observational clue. We all got the answer from the checking letters but it is satisfying to note that the words judge, referee, and umpire all end ‘IN AN E’. Good stuff.

27a         Wrong choice crucial in this sport (3,6)
ICE HOCKEY – An anagram (wrong) of CHOICE followed by KEY or crucial.

28a         Problem of mine stimulated a politician (8)
FIREDAMP – The old flammable gas. FIRED (stimulated) then A MP (A Member of Parliament or politician).

29a         In New York or Washington, say, Democrat is announced (6)
STATED – Both New York and Washington are STATEs in the US. Add D, the abbreviation for Democrat.


1d           Lawless section of Pacific Rim, in Alaska (8)
CRIMINAL – Our first hidden word. A section of ‘pacifiC RIM IN Alaska’.

2d           Expose bloke that has run crazily around (7)
UNCOVER – An old bloke is also a COVE. Put a crazy anagram of RUN around the outside.

3d           New composition for cantor left to female singer (9)
CONTRALTO – An anagram (or new composition) of CANTOR (also a singer) then add L for Left and TO from the clue. My favourite this week.

5d           RA, perhaps, excited about best people in art school (3-11)
PRE RAPHAELITES – A lovely clue. An anagram (excited) of RA PERHAPS around the ELITE or best people.

6d           Like area of Greece once that’s reached by final flight (5)
ATTIC –  – Descriptive of ATTICE, an area of Greece. Also what you find at the top of the highest flight of stairs in a house.

7d           Endurance of maiden protected by a saint when converted (7)
STAMINA – An anagram (converted) of A SAINT) with the cricketing abbreviation M for Maiden over (6 balls with no score for the batsman) inserted.

8d           Acting to contain onset of sickness? (6)
DOSING – A lovely all in one clue where the definition is the whole sentence and the whole wordplay is also. Place the start letter (onset) of S(ickness) inside DOING (or acting).

9d           Laissez-faire doctrine is embraced by awfully irritable man (14)
LIBERTARIANISM – Place IS from the clue (it is embraced by) an anagram (awfully) of IRRITABLE MAN. Great surface reading again.

16d         Coaches, for example, after short time controlled game (9)
TRANSPORT – Start with T – the short abbreviation of Time then add RAN SPORT (a charade of controlled game).

17d         Strategically positioned, with cunning plan put into action (8)
DEPLOYED – A PLOY (cunning plan) in a DEED or action – the latter being a common crossword ruse that should be remembered.

19d         Opening of facility, not just a place for entertainment (7)
FUNFAIR – The opening letter in F(acility) followed by UNFAIR (not just).

21d         What projects to support British striker in court? (7)
BRACKET – A similar construction to 19d, B for British then RACKET (that which strikes the ball on/in a tennis court.

22d         List of charges provided after scoundrel upset female (6)
TARIFF – Reverse a RAT then add IF (provided) and F for Female.

24d         Top player without piano to perform quick movement (5)
SPEED – A SEED in a Tennis Tournament for example is among the top players. Place that outside (without) P for Piano/Softly in musical notation.

More thanks to Virgilius. I’ll be back next week to review his stonker of a puzzle from last weekend.