ST 2759 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2759

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2759

A full review by gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ****

This puzzle was published on Sunday, 31st August 2014

This was a seriously fast solve for me and was consistent with most other comments on the day. Reviewing it, however, was a complete joy as there are so many simple but effective clues.

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           Wrongly interprets unusual smartness in dud (14)
MISUNDERSTANDS – An anagram indicated by uususal, of SMARTNESS IN DUD

9a           Misses following grand spectacles (7)
GLASSES – G for a Grand (in money. US) and then lasses for misses/ladies following.

10a         Pieces together minor role (3,4)
BIT PART – Two pieces, one a BIT and one a PART but together.

11a         Assistant’s back-to-front idea? (4)
AIDE – Start with IDEA from the clue then but the A from the back to the front. Simple yet effective.

12a         Supporting mostly the political group that’s outspoken (10)
FORTHRIGHT – For (supporting) followed by most (but not the last ) of TH€ form the clue and finally RIGHT for a political group or part of the political spectrum.

14a         Excitement is missing in this stream (6)
THRILL – Lovely clue!. Remove IS form TH(is) and add a RILL for a stream or burn.

15a         Disturbed area sealed off by barriers protecting it (8)
AGITATED – Place IT inside (being protected by) A for Area and then GATED (sealed off by barriers) – A G(IT)ATED.

17a         After power’s achieved, gave speech as minister (8)
PREACHED – Place REACHED (achieved) after P for Power. A minister of the church, of course.

18a         Detective maiden’s needed in difficult situations (6)
HOLMES – Simple the abb. M for Maiden inside HOLES for difficult situations or spots.

21a         Supporter I reprimanded settled a bill (10)
LEGISLATED – A good charade of LEG (supporter of the torso) and then I SLATED (I reprimanded).

22a         Back in the side, ultimately, for part of one leg (4)
KNEE – The ultimate letters of the first four words in the clue – it took a small while to spot!

24a         Met nine or ten men I represented as famous (7)
EMINENT – I love these clues from Mr Greer!. It is an anagram (represented) of either MET NINE or TEN MEN I. The surface reading makes the difficulty.

25a         Person who breaks dish (7)
SMASHER – A cryptic definition plus definition (albeit a bit dated – I suppose that they could be smashing dishes!)

26a         Bold lad, one who beats aggressive dog? (14)
WHIPPERSNAPPER – A charade of WHIPPER (one who beats) and SNAPPER (an aggressive dog). Pesky young kids with their archaic names!.


1d           Male, I admit, who travels to work (7)
MIGRANT – A perfect charade of M(ale) I and GRANT (admit)

2d           Darned slang, this? Wrong (8,7)
STANDARD ENGLISH – An & Lit or all in one clue where the whole clue provides the definition. Make an anagram (wrong) of DARNED SLANG THIS. What a wonderful spot.

3d           Move cautiously North-West? On the contrary (4)
NOSE – The contrary to North-West might be NO! South-East! Or simple NO SE.

4d           Station our wartime allies in old school (6)
EUSTON – Our wartime allies were (are?) the US. Place them inside ETON (an old school).

5d           A base got wrecked in deliberate act of destruction (8)
SABOTAGE – An anagram (wrecked) od A BASE GOT. Who else knew that the word comes from workers in the Netherlands and Belgium throwing their clogs (sabots) into new-fangled industrial machinery in order to hasten their destruction and preserve their jobs?

6d           Learner kept in consumed share, for a change (10)
ALTERATION – Place L for Learner (the abb. from UK driving plates) inside ATE (consumed) and then add RATION (share/helping)

7d           Artistic skill seen in piece on board vessel (15)
DRAUGHTSMANSHIP – A piece on an e.g. US chequers board is a DRAUGHTSMAN. Follow that with SHIP for vessel.

8d           Satisfied about court’s conclusion, it’s said (6)
STATED – SATED is a synonym for SATED. Place this around the outside of the concluding letter of (cour)T.

13d         Boycotts Dickensian villain as disgrace to family (5,5)
BLACK-SHEEP – Spilt this as (6,5) for BLACKS (boycotts) and Uriah HEEP – a Dickensian villain who was “ever so ‘umble”

16d         Witty interchanges about some Eastern European (8)
REPARTEE – Another lovely charade. RE (about, reference) then PART (some) and finally two abbreviations for E – Eastern and European.

17d         Commit small robbery that’s left female in dock (6)
PILFER – Place L for Left and F for Female inside a PIER or dock – PI (L)(F) ER

19d         Second person in audience who removes woollen coat? (7)
SHEARER – S for Second (from the SI unit of time) and then HEARER (person in the audience).

20d         Opposed to what’s central for believers, usually (6)
VERSUS – The central letters of the last two words hide the answer.

23d         Festivity a person with convictions set up (4)
GALA – A convict (someone with criminal convictions) is A LAG. Reverse that (set it up)


I’ll see you all tomorrow for a review of last Saturday’s Prize Puzzle. Just off to solve las Saturday’s Prize Puzzle!


1 comment on “ST 2759

  1. Agree with you, Gnomethang, that it was easier than usual and there are many beautiful clues. Much enjoyed your excellent full review. For once, I had no problems. Thank you very much. And, of course, many thanks again to Virgilius for all the pleasure his crosswords give.

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