ST 2728 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2728

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2728

A full review by crypticsue

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

A Virgilius crossword with four fourteen letter clues always appears  to take longer to sort out than most, but actually  it didn’t take that long to solve at all.


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1a           A lot of swimmers I put under pressure, including male or female teacher (14)
SCHOOLMISTRESS  –   SCHOOL (a collective noun for fish – a lot of swimmers) followed by I  (from the clue) and M (male) inserted or included in STRESS (put under pressure).

9a           Left-winger putting boundary back inside trading area (7)
MARXIST –   Insert a reversal of SIX (the score in cricket when you hit a ball over the boundary) into a MART (trading area).

10a         Dress musical performers ahead of time (7)
BANDAGE –   Dress here being a verb meaning to treat a wound –  BAND (musical performers) and AGE (time).

11a         Athlete’s first breaking record in 400 metres, typically (3)
LAP –   The first letter of Athlete is inserted into LP (a long-playing record).

12a         Unremarkable version of second print (11)
NONDESCRIPT –   An anagram (version) of SECOND PRINT.

14a         Western character? Maybe, maybe not (6)
INDIAN –  could be  a character in a Western film or someone from India – hence the “maybe, maybe not”.

15a         Time-saver for writer that we got from Romans (2,6)
ET CETERA –   A Latin phrase (we got from the Romans) used by a writer to save time when he wants to say ‘and the rest’ ‘and so on’, usually abbreviated to ‘etc’.

17a         With diplomacy, I mostly reduce tension, according to plan (8)
TACTICAL –   TACT (diplomacy) I (from the clue) and CAL (most of CALM, reduce tension).

19a         Capital from bank Arab’s withdrawn (6)
ANKARA Is hidden in (or can be withdrawn from) bANK ARAbs.

22a         Attacks with sword thrusts and blows (4,7)
RUNS THROUGH –   Attacks with a sword or squanders (blows) money.

23a         He wrote short stories — and effortless poetry? (3)
POE –   Simply remove the TRY (effort .. less) from POEtry.

24a         Requesting place for bishop and his neighbour on board (7)
SEEKING –   A place for a bishop is his diocese or SEE.  His neighbour on the chess board is a KING.

26a         In vain, I’d revised chapter for artist, scientist, and engineer (2,5)
DA VINCI  –   An anagram (revised) of VAIN ID with C (chapter) inserted.

27a         Brainy group with dreadfully elitist leaning (14)
INTELLIGENTSIA –   An anagram (dreadfully) of ELITIST LEARNING.


1d           Dire perils test me in return from advance (6,8)
SIMPLE INTEREST –   An anagram (dire) of PERILS TEST ME IN.

2d           Severe writer’s block, a problem for setter, say (4,3)
HARD PAD –   HARD (severe) and PAD (a block of paper for writing on) produces a problem for all dogs, not just setters, used as an example (say) here.

3d           Expert on faraway part of world transformed relations with it (11)
ORIENTALIST –   An anagram (transformed) of RELATIONS and IT.

4d           Greek character leading insignificant rebellion (6)
MUTINY –  The Greek letter MU  leading or followed by  TINY (insignificant).

5d           Monarchs have these      things to discuss (8)
SUBJECTS –   A double definition clue that I don’t think needs any further explanations from me.

6d           Service, including ace, travelled fast (3)
RAN –   The abbreviation for the Royal Navy (Service)  RN with A (ace) inserted.

7d           Second confidential remark about English resort area (7)
SEASIDE –    Insert E (English) between S (second) and ASIDE (confidential remark).

8d           False alarm over woman after change in US or region to South (7,7)
CENTRAL AMERICA –   CENT (American small change), an anagram (false)of ALARM, and ERICA (woman).

13d         Keels over in cold shelter with face uncovered (5-6)
CLEAN-SHAVEN  –  C (cold)  LEANS (keels over) and HAVEN (shelter).

16d         Old song with crazy line about port (8)
MADRIGAL –   Insert the Latvian port  RIGA between MAD (crazy) and L (line).

18d         Cause of anxiety for business (7)
CONCERN –   Another self-explanatory double definition clue.

20d         Plants in mountains, almost all evergreens (7)
ALPINES –   AL (almost all of ALL) and PINES (evergreens).

21d         Open with same key before and after? That could be a pointer (3,3)
GUNDOG –   Two instances of the musical key of G with UNDO (open) inserted between them – a pointer being an example of a breed of gundog.

25d         Namely, holding clubs or diamonds (3)
ICE –  A slang term for diamonds –   Insert C (the abbreviation for the card suit Clubs) between I and E (ie being the Latin abbreviation for id est, namely.

Thanks to Virgilius for the usual fine start to a Sunday morning –  I’m on Sunday review duty again next week so I’ll be back  next Thursday morning.

7 comments on “ST 2728

  1. Many thanks for this, Crypticsue. Much appreciated. I had a couple of small things which needed clarifying. Perhaps one day I shall be able to do an entire Virgillius puzzle correctly??? His puzzles are so good.

    1. P.S. Sorry CS — forgot to mention there seems to be a final ‘a’ missing from ‘ERIC’ in 8d.

      1. Thanks Catnap – I do like to leave something wrong just to see if anyone actually reads a weekend puzzle review – well that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!


    (And I don’t seem to to be able to type my own email address correctly For which, apologies)

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