ST 2735

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2735

A full review by gnomethang

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

This puzzle was published on  Sunday, 16th March 2014

Morning All! This was a typical Virgilius puzzle that was pretty tricky in places with some very concise and misleading surface reading in the clues.  I just about stayed in 3-star territory on the last 5 clues in.

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.


7a           Primarily Muslim place within its continent (8)
MALAYSIA – An all-in-one or &Lit clue to start. Begin with the primary letter of M(uslim) and then put LAY (place) inside ASIA (The continent of Malaysia). Then read the clue as a whole to give you the definition.

9a           Extract, for example, stone from  prey (6)
QUARRY – Two definitions – To quarry stone and a synonym of prey.

10a         Some treatment allowed, like brain operation (6)
MENTAL – A hidden answer (some), found in the second and third words.

11a         Anti-government articles are, we hear, fashionable (8)
ANARCHIC – Two articles, AN and A followed by R, ahomophone (we hear) of ‘are’, and finally CHIC for fashionable.

12a         Producers of yarns, successful stories for Spooner? (8,6)
SPINNING WHEELS –T he Reverend Spooner always got the first consonants mixed up (e.g. Steak and Kidney for Kate and Sidney). Start with WINNING SPIELS (successful stories) and then make a homophone of the mix-up.

15a         Driving mechanism, in short, for front of plane (4)
PROP – An abbreviation (in short) of PROPELLER is also a charade of PRO (for/in favour of) and the front letter in P(lane).

17a         Follows, as opposed to heads (5)
TAILS – The cryptic definition is simply the opposite side of a coin to ‘heads;

19a         City of Paris, in which politician has change of heart (4)
TROY – Remember your Greek legends. Start with TORY (a right-wing politician) and reverse the middle two letters (i.e. a change of heart of the word).

20a         What many capitalists enjoy, smashing red union menace (8,6)
UNEARNED INCOME – An anagram (smashing/breaking) of RED UNION MENACE. A very goos surface reading.

23a         Flag monarch’s taken into ship (8)
STREAMER – Insert R – for Rex or Regina (king or queen/monarch) into a STEAMER ship.

25a         Animal show’s presenter cuts exactly in two (6)
TOMCAT – This one was my last one in and took ages. The abbreviation MC for the Master of Ceremonies (a show’s presenter) inside the middle of (or bisecting/cutting in half) TO A T or exactly.

27a         Company brought in by one churchman or another (6)
DEACON – Place the abbreviation (abb.) of CO(mpany) inside a DEAN (one churchman).

28a         Altered words of seconder improperly (8)
CENSORED – An anagram (improperly) of SECONDER.


1d           Hunted animals for sport (4)
GAME – A simple double definition.

2d           Needs one more footballer perhaps in hurry (6)
HASTEN – If you need one more association footballer then you only ‘HAS TEN’!

3d           Results of research a little bit upsetting (4)
DATA – Reverse (upsetting)  A TAD (a little bit).

4d           Legally annul after second court action (6)
SQUASH – A 1d played in a court (court action). Place QUASH (annul a conviction) after S for the SI unit of time (second).

5d           Cunning seen in Nato allies ready for fighting? (3,5)
WAR CHEST – As Big Dave alluded to on the day ‘ready’ is also money and is definitely a Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing . Place ARCH (cunning) inside the WEST or Nato Allies (typically).

6d           Seek collective inspiration, note, before severe weather event (10)
BRAINSTORM – B is a note in music (A to G are used). Start with this then add RAINSTORM (severe weather).

8d           One who performs thus is included in great deal (7)
SOLOIST – SO for thus then IS inside LOTS (a great deal).

13d         For these, use tiptoe, spinning? That’s about right (10)
PIROUETTES – Another lovely &Lit. The whole clue defines the action and also tells us to make an anagram (spinning) of USE TIPTOE and put it around (about ) R for Right.

14d         Escort French author around university (5)
GUIDE – Place Andre Gide, the French author around U for University.

16d         About time, put in a little money for show (8)
PRETENCE – RE (about/Reference) and T for Time are placed inside PENCE (a little bit of money).

18d         Flier about cheese (7)
STILTON – I remembered that a STILT was a long-legged wading bird then added ON for ‘about’ – tricky clue!

21d         Traveller runs over lots of people (6)
ROMANY – The abbreviations from cricket for R(un) and O(ver) followed by MANY.

22d         Turned up rings and pieces of jewelry (6)
CAMEOS – A charade of CAME (turned up.arrived) and then O’S (or rings/zeros in the plural)

24d         Blue fish caught inside (4)
RACY – I spent too long looking a cod for the fish when in fact it was the RAY. Place C for Cold inside. The definition Blue means saucy or semi pornographic.

26d         A part of a garment that’s said to attract attention (4)
Ahem – Split as A HEM and you get the bottom of e.g. a dress or skirt.

Thanks to Mr Greer – I will see you all tomorrow for a review of last Saturday’s Prize Puzzle.




  1. gazza
    Posted March 27, 2014 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Another masterclass in how to write inventive and smooth clues. Thanks to V & G.

  2. BigBoab
    Posted March 27, 2014 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Virgilius is the best compiler in the Telegraph in my opinion, I enjoy Sunday crosswords more than any others these days, Many thanks to him and to Gnomethang for a cracking review.

  3. Catnap
    Posted March 27, 2014 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    This was a super puzzle. Fave clue was 25a, followed by 7a, 11a, 19a, and 4d. I also liked 5d, but it took me a while to register what word to use for the ‘Nato allies’! I didn’t need any hints. It is most enjoyable to be able to go through this crossword now and appreciate it for a second time.

    Many thanks to Virgilius and to Gnomey.