ST 2719 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2719

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2719

A full review by gnomethang

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

Morning all!. This was yet another ace Virgilius puzzle. There were a few clues that really took some teasing out (as there should be in a Prize Puzzle) but the rewards upon completion were considerable.


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1a           Glasses you need to stop and put on, we hear (8)
STEMWARE – One of my last two in. Crypticsue used to be a barmaid and noticed the word on the boxes of glasses – I kept a cellar for 3 years and didn’t – go figure!.
A charade of STEM (to stop) and WARE, a homophone (we hear) of WEAR or put on (clothes).

9a           Confirm name of girl I go out  with (8)
VALIDATE – A nice charade of VAL (name of girl) I DATE (I go out with). I’m sure I’ve seen this somewhere!.

10a         Murderer one put in prison (4)
CAIN – A  lovely clue. Place I for one inside the CAN (an American slang for a prison).

11a         Boxer knocking down couple in bus? (6-6)
DOUBLE DECKER – If a pugilist (boxer) were to DECK (knock down ) a brace then he might be described as a DOUBLE DECKER.

13a         Philosophical Greek packing nothing in small boxes (8)
SOCRATES – Place O for nothing/zero inside the abbreviation of S for Small and CRATES (boxes). If you  are Bill or Ted you may pronounce it as SO CRATES. Excellent!

15a         Extract from judge’s conclusion in line with law (6)
ELICIT – This was very easy to read the wrong way (as I did!). The concluding letter of judgE and then LICIT (legal or within the law). Superb surface reading.

16a         One of two men never taken on board, not totally similar (4)
AKIN – Start with A KIN(g) – the chess piece that is never taken (as the take signifies checkmate) but remove the last letter (i.e. not totally).

17a         Wife’s tucked into healthy stuff to eat, producing muscle (5)
BRAWN – This is the abbreviation for Wife (W) inside of the delicious BRAN (ugh!) – BRA (W) N

18a         Fare in force on odd dates, initially (4)
FOOD – Fare is an old word for food or nutriment. Take the initial letters of Force On Odd Dates.

20a         Result of brain operation that’s incomplete, however (6)
THOUGH- A brain operation is a THOUGHT. Remove the last letter (as it is incomplete!)

21a         Scruffy and shabby party clothes editor put on (3-5)
DOG-EARED – A lovely clue. A charade of a DO (A shabby party) GEAR (clothes) and ED (the abbreviation for Editor) put on at the end. Please note that the definition might have been ‘Scruffy and shabby’ as a DO (party) might not be shabby in itself. (it probably was though!)

23a         Congratulatory football players running round and round (4-8)
BACK-SLAPPING – Split this as BACKS (Defensive football players) LAPPING (running round and round a track or pitch)

26a         Container in store we’re hiding, either way (4)
EWER – One of your Crosswordland jugs/receptacles or containers can be found reading either way (forwards or backwards) inside stoRE WER. Hiding is the hidden word indicator.

27a         Finish off stand of trees, possibly? (8)
DEFOREST – A lovely &Lit or all-in-one clue where the definition is the whole clue (The verb meaning to clear a section of trees). Look closely, though, and take the last letter OFF (i.e.the finish off) stanD and then make an anagram (possibly) of  OF TREES.
stan D (OFTREES)*. Great stuff!.

28a         Something dividing church in two or ten parts, unfortunately (8)
TRANSEPT – An unfortunate anagram of TEN PARTS and also the bit that runs usually East to West in a Cathedral or Church.


2d           Secret of much sporting success one can never produce (8)
TEAMWORK –A good cryptic definition. If you were on your own then you wouldn’t have a team.

3d           Bird that can be cooked with orange and honey (8,4)
MANDARIN DUCK – MANDARIN (A type of orange) followed by DUCK (a term of affection similar to honey or darling from e.g.  the Midlands in the UK – “Eh Up, Me DUCK!”)

4d           Make some changes to commercial fair (6)
ADJUST – Niced!. The abbreviation AD for advertisement followed by JUST for fair.

5d           Be shown up as wicked (4)
EVIL – To LIVE (Be) when reversed (shown as upward in a down clue) gives the synonym for wicked.

6d           Club athlete from Cambridge perhaps welcoming BBC VIP to cricket side (8)
BLUDGEON – A delightfully hard cue that is satisfying to solve. Start with a Cambridge BLUE (an athelete from Cambridge) then insert the DG – an abbreviation of the Director General or BBC bigwig/VIP. Finally add ON – one of the cricket sides that is not OFF!

7d           Note that’s no longer legal currency in Europe (4)
MARK – The German MARK is no longer a currency in Europe as it has been replaced by the Euro

8d           Saw description, arrested drunk (8)
SERRATED – An anagram (indicated by drunk) of ARRESTED. In this case the saw is not a proverb!

12d         Silly mistakes about providing female with husband in gripping yarns (12)
CLIFFHANGERS – Place CLANGERS (silly mistakes/howlers) around IF (providing), F for Female (as an abbreviation) and H for Husband (another abbreviaiotn).

14d         Having consumed tea, say, pronounced sober (5)
STAID – SAID (pronounced) containing (having consumed) T – the homophone  (say) of TEA

16d         Stupidly obtain extremely dodgy protection against disease (8)
ANTIBODY – A stupid anagram of OBTAIN followed by the outside letters (extremely) of D(odg)Y

17d         Have seniority around hospital as person who can see what’s going on (8)
BEHOLDER – BE OLDER (have seniority) around the abbreviation H for Hospital.

19d         Reveal changes in work becoming clear by spring? (8)
OVERLEAP – Make an anagram of REVEAL (it changes) inside OP, the musical abbreviation for OPUS or work in Latin. It is worth pointing out that to clear means to jump/hurdle something and a spring is a jump. The clue to this is that spring could not be capitalized to make it a season.

22d         State of so-called pig that’s experimentally tested? (6)
GUINEA – That will be a cryptic definition of the rodent (not a real pig) that is literally and metaphorically, for experimental testing.

24d         Combination of keys that users might scoff at (4)
CAFÉ – All you need to do is go through your musical keys of A B C D E F G and find a combination that can lead to a place where you can eat!

25d         Deposit on time that’s not needed if you chip in (4)
PUTT – Wish I could!. PUT (deporit) on top of the abbreviation T for Time. If, whilst playing golf, you chip the ball in from the side of the green then you will not need to PUTT.

Thanks to Virgilius for another really fun puzzle. This one kept me on the hook for a bit longer than usual!. See you all tomorrow!


4 comments on “ST 2719

  1. Got to agree with gnomethang that this was another Sunday morning belter. INMHO Virgilius seems to be getting a tad more difficult as each week goes by – not that I’m complaining.

    Thanks to V & to G.

  2. I agree that this was another great crossword and enjoyed it very much. I remember finding it quite difficult while I was doing it and then, when I’d finished it , wondering why. I’d never heard of stemware.
    I liked 20a and 2 and 4d. 3d was my favourite.
    With thanks to Virgilius and gnomey.

  3. I thought this was splendid and enjoyed it very much. My favourite was 21a, but I also liked 3d, 12d and 22d (amongst many others). I really appreciate your excellent review, Gnomethang. For once, all my parsing was correct and I don’t appear to have missed any meanings!
    Big thanks to both Virgillius and Gnomnethang.

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