ST 2736 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2736

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2736

A full review by crypticsue

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

This puzzle was published on  Sunday, 23rd March 2014

There are many reasons why  I like to draft the review of a weekend puzzle on the same day that I solve it,  firstly so that my impressions of the solving experience remain fresh in my mind, and also so there are no last minute hiccups.  It also means that when reviewing a Virgilius puzzle as good as this one, I can have double the fun on the day, marvelling at the fine wordplay and surface readings –  I was so reluctant to put this particular crossword down, that this review was drafted before even a potato was peeled for Sunday lunch!

One expects clever cluing and sneakiness from Virgilius,  but parts of this were extra sneaky – the wordplay for 10a being a fine example.

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           Discover about new kind of altered state (6)
TRANCE –  Insert N (new) into TRACE (discover).

4a           One trained to shoot birds, right? (6)
SNIPER –  SNIPE (birds) plus R (right).

8a           Famished, lose one’s sanity and common sense (8)
RAVENOUS –  RAVE (to talk if mad, lose one’s sanity) plus NOUS (common sense)

10a         Most of the cereal, as it can be found in little titbits (6)
THRICE –   TH (most of THe) and RICE (cereal).   But why?   Obvious when you look carefully – instead of hiding the solution, this time Virgilius has hidden the explanation as  IT can be found thrice in lITtle tITbITs.

11a         Quickly moved right pieces in chess up the board (4)
SPED –   The ‘right pieces’ or ends of chesS uP thE boarD.

12a         Wealth son and I separately put into land and buildings (10)
PROSPERITY –   Insert S (son) and I (from the clue) in separate places in PROPERTY (land and buildings).

13a         Insured flyer, in bad shape, prepared for straightforward operation (4-8)
USER-FRIENDLY –   An anagram (in bad shape) of INSURED FLYER.

16a         Bill’s initial appearance, walking past trees (5,7)
FIRST READING –   This bill being one discussed in Parliament.   Walking past trees is what  tells you that the FIRS (trees) go before the TREADING (walking).

20a         Manager and I confused Paris with Rome (10)
IMPRESARIO –   I (from the clue) followed by a confused anagram of PARIS and ROME.

21a         Centre of Kalahari Desert is this (4)
ARID –   Literally and cryptically – hidden in the centre of KalahARI Desert.

22a         Island is one that turned around another one (6)
TAHITI –   A reversal (turned around) of I (one) and THAT with I (another one) inserted.

23a         In virtuous way, revised version of Holy Writ (8)
WORTHILY –   An anagram (revised version) of HOLY WRIT.

24a         Allow to move freely? Quite the reverse — or partly so (6)
TETHER –  When you see partly so in a Virgilius clue, you know to look for a hidden word – this one is found in quiTE THE Reverse.

25a         Started to write in dictionary, initially (6)
OPENED –  Put PEN (write) into the abbreviation for the Oxford English Dictionary.


1d           Man who silently obeys order (8)
TRAPPIST –   A cryptic definition of a member of the order of  Cistercian monks noted for its rule of silence.

2d           What’s down the road for each individual (5)
AHEAD –   Split 1,4 this means ‘for each individual’.

3d           Ring-leader put inside by policeman is failure (7)
CROPPER –  the leader of Ring is inserted into a COPPER (policeman).

5d           Block writer might have — and poet, possibly (7)
NOTEPAD –   An anagram (possibly) of AND POET.

6d           Described as predatory, in odd way (9)
PORTRAYED –  Another anagram (in odd way) of PREDATORY.

7d           Put in new position, we hear, and deliver lines that have been recalled (6)
RECITE –   A homophone of RESITE (put in a new position).

9d           Rock group informally joining cast? Not so far (6,5)
STONES THROW –   STONES (the informal way of referring to the Rolling Stones) and THROW (cast).

14d         Wanting to change class I had in middle of holiday (9)
REFORMIST –   FORM (class) and  I (from the clue) inserted into the middle of REST (holiday).

15d         Non-specific way to label painting that’s common? (8)
UNTITLED –   A painting without a name or someone who isn’t a member of the nobility so wouldn’t have a title like Lord, Lady, Earl etc.

17d         Unsettled balance I have put together (7)
RESTIVE –   REST (balance, amount left over) and IVE (I have) put together as instructed by the wordplay.

18d         In Rome, I set off for morale-boosting experience (3-4)
EGO-TRIP   –  EGO (the Latin for I) and TRIP (set off, release).

19d         Current agreement covering mass strike (6)
IMPACT –  I (the symbol in physics for electrical current)   M (mass) and PACT (agreement).

21d         Visibly shocked, for example when abandoned by wife (5)
ASHEN –   Very pale of face from shock –   AS (for example) and HEN (When with the W (wife) removed).

Once again, many thanks to Virgilius for making me start Sunday with a smile and a feeling of satisfaction.   I even get to do the Sunday puzzle review  again next week – can’t wait!

4 comments on “ST 2736

  1. As usual the Sunday crossword from eleven days ago has disappeared without trace – that happens a lot to all kinds of things in this house.
    From what I remember the two that caused problems for me were 10 and 22a – I had both the answers but couldn’t see why.
    The other thing that I remember about it is that I really enjoyed doing it and have enjoyed reading CS’s review today.
    With thanks to Virgilius and CS.

  2. Excellent crossword as always from Virgilius and a brilliant review from Crypticsue, many thanks to both.

  3. Superb puzzle from Virgilius. 10a is brilliant!

    To have complete reviews of the Sunday puzzles is invaluable. I have learned so much from Virgilius’ crosswords, and the process is always ongoing. The enjoyment of doing them just grows and grows.

    Big thanks to Virgilius for a splendid crossword and to Crypticsue for a brilliant review.

  4. Thank you Cryticsue for your clear and excellent review. As a newcomer to the Sunday puzzle which I somehow always judged far too difficult, I am learning so much from your reviews. Can’t wait for next Sunday offering from Virgilius!

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