ST 2723 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2723

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2723

A full review by gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Morning All!. We have a fun festive puzzle from Virgilius from the 22nd December (as close as he gets to Christmas Day). There appears to be one uncharacteristic error at 18 Down but given the amount of time it took most people (myself included) to spot it didn’t really spoil the enjoyment. Festive clues are highlighted in BLUE

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1 Skiing, and so on, in snow trip rest organized (6,6)
WINTER SPORTS – An anagram (organized) of SNOW TRIP REST.

9 One centigrade? That’s right – or even more freezing (5)
ICIER – A charade of I for One then C(entigrade), I.E. The abbreviation for Id Est (That Is in Latin) and finally R for Right.

10 See 11

11, 10 & 19 Across Spirit associated with seasonal offering that disturbed 4 (3,5,2,9,7)
THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PRESENT – 4 Down being Scrooge. The spirit in question is a ghost. A straightforward cryptic definition.

12 Good antique that’s given to person coming in first (4)
GOLD – A charade of G for Good and OLD for antique. A gold medal being the definition.

13 Are you and I, speaking common sense, causing harm? (7)
RUINOUS – Start with the R U and I, the letters that sound like (speaking) are, you and I, then add NOUS for common sense.

15 Lists of competitors making appearances on stage (7)
ENTRIES – Two definitions, the field of sports competitors and what actors make coming onto stage.

17 Most affectionate female doesn’t, however upset (7)
FONDEST – F for Female and then an anagram (however upset) of DOESNT.

19 See 11

21 Feature of festive celebrations where you’ll find the whole family (4)
TREE – Two definitions, the second one cryptically referring to a Family TREE.

22 Totally, I am within lawful maximum when driving (5,5)
LEGAL LIMIT – Place ALL and I’M (totally and I am) inside LEGAL for lawful.

25 Eager to see what happens, after English arrange next pact (9)
EXPECTANT – Make an anagram (arrange) NEXT PACT after E for English.

26 Maiden and prince returned without a fragrant substance (5)
MYRRH – M for maiden followed by the reversal of (Prince) H(a)RRY without the A.

27 Source of pleasant scent making fellow get angry after row (12)
FRANKINCENSE – Start with F for Fellow then place INCENSE (get angry) after RANK (row/tier).


1 Like 10 in mellow hit, evergreen (5)
WHITE – A lovely semi &Lit clue where having solved CHRISTMAS in 10a you can find reference to the Bing Crosby song (a mellow hit that is evergreen) and also find WHITE inside (IN) the last 3 words in the clue.

2 Old PM on European base used by 17 Down 10 (5,4)
NORTH POLE – An old Prime Minister Lord Frederick NORTH (1770-82) and then POLE (a European from Poland) gives the location of the base of FATHER (17d) and CHRISTMAS (10a).

3 Covers 75% of main points about legal action (7)
ENCASES – Take E(ast), N(orth) and S(outh) but now West, i.e. three quarters of the main compass points) and place them around (about) CASE for legal action.

4 One who was, but didn’t remain, mean ogre, ’cos transformed (7)
SCROOGE – An anagram (transformed) of OGRE COS. Ebeneezer SROOGE from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

5 Remove from one part or another in famous theatre you started (4)
OUST – This hidden word appears twice in either part of famOUS Theatre or yOU STarted.

6 Gathered up treasure, including ring, in stall (9)
TEMPORISE – Reverse MET (gathered up) then place O (the shape of a ring) inside PRISE (treasure).

7 Temperature inside hooked fish, very cold (6)
BITTER – Place T for Temperature inside a BITER, or a fish that has been hooked.

8 Assistants concealing small communications not intended for everyone (6)
ASIDES – Simply S for Small inside AIDES (assistants). Pantomime season is upon us!.

14 Manager who made extra provision for visitors, using popular new defender (9)
INNKEEPER – A charade of IN (popular), N for New and KEEPER (defender in a football team). Whilst he had no room at the inn, the innkeeper made provision in the stables.

16 Father or husband as Hemingway’s main character? (3,3,3)
THE OLD MAN – The second (cryptic) definition referring to Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea.

17 So-called priest producing articles in French (6)
FATHER – Place A and THE, two articles in English, inside FR one abbreviation of French.

18 Picture hard time going North for star’s followers (3,4)
THE MAGI – I think that the intention of the clue was as follows: – A reversal of IMAGE (picture) then H for Hard (from grades of pencil) and T for Time. Unfortunately this would lead to TH E GAMI and we can’t seem to find any instruction to swap the G and M. Possibly a mistake from the setter.

19 Like some cards from shop, last I chose (7)
PLASTIC – The definition refers to Credit Cards (‘PLASTIC’ in the vernacular). It is hidden (from) the last four words in the clue.

20 Very little gift finally causing irritation (6)
TITCHY – The final letter of (gif)T followed by ITCHY (causing irritation).

23 Poetically speaking, not a centre spread
MARGE – If something is not the centre then it might be the margin, a poetic word for which is MARGE – The first definition is something that might be spread on toast (margarine).

24 Swindler’s confession that may be seen on computer (4)
ICON – Slightly chestnutty – Split as (1,3) to get a confession from a swindler.

I hope you all had a pleasant New Year, I’ll see you all tomorrow for a review of last Saturday’s Prize Puzzle – it looks like the blogging dates are now returning to normal.


3 comments on “ST 2723

  1. 18 down. Absolutely a mistake from the setter, and I simply apologize.

    6 down, it’s PRIZE not PRISE. One all?

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