ST 2739

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2739

A full review by gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

This puzzle was published on  Sunday, 13th April 2014

Morning All! A delightful puzzle in my book. Most of the ‘in’ that you see links the definition to the wordplay (or vice-versa). Most of the wordplay is astounding too!

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           Revised opinion, albeit ahead of time, penned by assistants (6,8)
SECOND THOUGHTS – A lovely clue to start with. Place THOUGH (albeit) and T for Time inside SECONDS (or assistants in a Boxing Match or Duella) – SECOND (THOUGH) (T) S

9a           Warning about British area, region of North America (7)
ALBERTA – I can confidently say that Alberta is in Canada! Place ALERT (warning) around B for British then add A – AL (B) ERT +A

10a         Conclusions derivable from proof, in a lesson (7)
FINALES – A lovely hidden word (indicated by ‘derivable from) the last three words.

11a         Deficiency in chess player losing first piece (bishop) (4)
LACK – You need to apply a bit of BODMAS here (for your Maths fellows!). The chess player is BLACK (as opposed to White). Remove the first bit B of Bishop (the Chess notation in abbreviated form). The brackets tell you somethang about how cryptic crosswords work (i.e. ignore the punctuation!)

12a         It may be superfluous on tradesman’s sign and idiotic too, perhaps (10)
APOSTROPHE – Apple’s? – Male an anagram (idiotic) of both TOO and PERHAPS. Laughing all the way to the Barrowboyand Banker’s!!

14a         Reported in ineffective fashion in this publication (6)
WEEKLY – A homophone (reported) of WEAKLY or ineffective. Women’s Weekly for example.

15a         Part of Victoria’s political policy (8)
PLATFORM – Can’t stop smiling at the fact that Virgilius always uses Victoria Train Station. The Political Policy (platform) is the definition and the part of the train station is the Cryptic Definition

17a         Believer, of a sort, at hospital, in severe pain (8)
CATHOLIC – Place AT from the clue and H for Hospital inside COLIC or severe pain.

18a         More than one chap with temperature seen by doctor for little while (6)
MOMENT – The Crosswordland abbreviation (abb.) of MO for Medical Officer (doctor) followed by MEN (some blokes – more than one chap) finally followed by T – the abb. For Temperature.

21a         Having tossed fag out, I’m in process of cleaning up (10)
FUMIGATION – A tossed anagram of FAG OUT IM IN.

22a         Move fast, initially getting in step (4)
RUNG – RUN The for move fast then the initial letter of G(etting). Great clue as it is simple but effective with a fine surface reading.

24a         Illustrations showing pair right inside rescue craft (7)
ARTWORK – TWO (pair) and R for Right inside the ARK –Rescue craft of Biblical proportions – NOAH!!

25a         Agile performer in a cricket club gathering century, then run out (7)
ACROBAT – Start with A BAT (a cricket club wielded) then include (gathering) C (the cricketing abb. for century) and RO (the cricketing abb. for Run Out). Sorry Ladies!

26a         Vigorously spoken, a heroine’s needed to remain calm (4,4,4,2)
KEEP ONE’S HAIR ON – An anagram (vigorously) of SPOKEN, A HEROINE. Need is a link word that works for me.


1d           Superficial spectacle excluding nobody? (7)
SHALLOW – A SHOW (spectacle) being on the outside of ALL (cryptically meaning if nobody is excluded the ALL are included or inside!)

2d           Small volume that, in short, is morocco bound? (5,10)
CUBIC CENTIMETRE – A typical Brian Greer clue. CC s the abb. for Cubic Centimetre (a small volume) and is found inside (or bound by) moro(CC)o

3d           Among learner drivers, one that’s overly cerebral (4)
NERD – A hidden word (among) inside the second and third words of the clue.

4d           iHomeless people parking in vehicles (6)
TRAMPS – P for the abb. of Parking inside TRAMS (vehicles). Simples!

5d           Holy, as if converted in crass way (8)
OAFISHLY – A converted anagram of HOLY AS IF.

6d           Information on English helping peer group (10)
GENERATION – A charade of GEN (information) then E for English and finally RATION (a helping of food)

7d           Very large figure that may be kept in cell (9,6)
TELEPHONE NUMBER – A good cryptic definition. The cell phone is a mobile phone in the US. Typically in the UK the numbers are 11 digits or more – quite a big number!

8d           Satisfies European turning up, in this respect (6)
ESTEEM – Reverse (turning up) MEETS or satisfies then E for European.

13d         Type of red stuff left in pub, good or bad (5,5)
BLOOD GROUP – My clue of the day and why would you want to waste it!? L for Left placed inside an anagram (bad) of PUB GOOD OR.

16d         Taking post in government dept could be misguided (8)
MISTAKEN – Place a STAKE (post) inside MIN, the abb. for Ministry or Government Dept.

17d         Long garment in prison covering Jack’s behind (6)
CAFTAN – AFT (the sailor or Jack’s rear in the ship) inside (being covered by) CAN or the US slang for prison. Damn Hippies!

19d         Powerful person’s pronouncement put an end to slacking (7)
TIGHTEN – A homophone (pronouncement) of a TITAN or powerful person.

20d         Confusion resulting as some soldiers enter service (6)
MORASS – The OR (abb. of Other Ranks or some soldiers) entering a MASS or service.

23d         Musical performance that’s partial, missing bits left, right, and centre (4)
ARIA – Another typical Brian Greer clue!. Remove (missing) the left, right and centre letters in (p)AR(t)IA(L).

I’ll see you all tomorrow for last Saturday’s prize puzzle. Many thanks to the setter!



  1. Catnap
    Posted April 24, 2014 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Brilliant review of a super Sunday crossword! Too many excellent clues to have a fave.

    Thanks and appreciation both to Virgilius for the lovely Sunday treat and to Gnomethang for the invaluable explanations.

  2. pommers
    Posted April 24, 2014 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Hi gnomey

    To be honest I’d forgotten about this puzzle but reading your review brought it all back. What a splendid thing it is, with fantastic surfaces and some very clever wordplay. Mr Greer is now my favourite of the Telegraph setters.

    Many thanks to him and to you for the reminder.

  3. BigBoab
    Posted April 24, 2014 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    Great crossword, great review, many thanks to Virgilius and Gnomethang.