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ST 2775

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2775

A full review by gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

This puzzle was published on Sunday, 21st December 2014


A festive puzzle form Virgilius with many Yuletide favourites.

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           Partners, in period after miraculous birth, filled with wonder (4)
AWED – Place W(est) and E(ast), partners in bridge, inside AD – Anno Domini which denotes the years after the birth of Jesus according to the Bible.

4a           They help person to walk after fall in wintry weather (9)
SNOWSHOES – A cryptic definition – the fall is the snow fall (that is wintry).

10a         Place full at Christmas seen so differently? Not in any way (2,2,5)
IN NO SENSE – Start with the INN in which there was no room at the first Christmas then add an anagram (differently) of SEEN SO.

11a         Indefinite number fitting into neighbourhood stadium (5)
ARENA – N for an indefinite number (used in mathematics) inside an AREA or neighbourhood.

12a         Fare at Christmas from foreign land (6)
TURKEY – A simple double definition.

13a         One thing we hear about temperature? Surprise! (7)
ASTOUND – A SOUND (something that we hear) around (about) T for Temperature.

16a         Deep crisp snow seen on Boxing Day also this? That’s not odd (4)
EVEN – The first cryptic definition is partially descriptive of the deep crisp snow from Good King Wenceslas.

17a         Enlighten with star sign around East, position covering Saviour’s origin (10)
LIBERALISE – Place LIBRA (a star sign of the Zodiac) round E for East, then place LIE (position) around the original letter of S(aviour).

20a         Quite likely place for 6 19 (2,3,5)
ON THE CARDS – The second cryptic definition is where one might find seasonal messages (the answers to 6 and 19 down).

21a         Some exploit Christmas — that’s irritating (4)
ITCH – Hidden (some of) exploIT CHristmas.

23a         Queen may be taking part in this, so watch broadcast (3,4)
CAT SHOW – A queen here being a female adult cat and the lack of capitalisation is hidden by placing it at the start of the clue. It is also an anagram (broadcast) of SO WATCH.

25a         Two couples extracted from snow freeze — reason for blessing (6)
SNEEZE – Bless You!. Remove two pairs of letters from SN ow fr EEZE

28a         Showing effect of cold snap that finishes off 29 (5)
ICING – The answer to 29 is ANGEL CAKE and it is finished off with ICING – The first is the straight definition.

29a         Treat for Christmas visitor that often comes round (5,4)
ANGEL CAKE – The usual shape of an ANGEL CAKE is round so this is just a cryptic definition.

30a         Christmas scene? Sons wrapping present, piece of clothing (9)
SNOWSCAPE – Place two S(ons) around NOW (present) and then add a CAPE (piece of clothing.

31a         Compose or correct, so to speak, something like mass (4)
RITE – A homophone (so to speak) of WRITE (compose) and RIGHT (correct).


2d           Succeed with efforts over gift, finally — most like the present (9)
WINTRIEST – The present season that is. Place WIN (succeed) and TRIES (efforts) on top of (‘over’ in a down clue) the final letter of gifT.

3d           Fast runner, member of team in action at Christmas (6)
DASHER – A gentle double definition of e.g. a sprinter and also one of Santa’s reindeer.

4d           Carol, for example, providing good support for boy (4)
SONG – G for good is underneath (supporting in a down clue) SON or boy.

5d           Proves mistaken on goals — splurges on gifts, perhaps (10)
OVERSPENDS – Start with an anagram (mistaken) of PROVES and then place it on ENDS or goals.

6d           Secure a child inside, specifically for Christmas period, say (8)
SEASONAL – Place A SON (a child) inside SEAL or secure.

7d           Function set up one arranged in cinema (5)
ODEON – reverse (set up) a DO or function/party then arrange an anagram of ONE.

8d           Celebrity’s sign at Christmas, appropriately placed (4)
STAR – A definition and cryptic definition. ‘Appropriately placed’ refers to the fact that the STAR is placed directly above BETHLEHEM in the grid. Nice work!.

9d           Parasitic plant that’s disastrous to elm site (9)
MISTLETOE – The seasonal snogging plant (and a parasite) is an anagram (disastrous) of TO ELM SITE which makes this an &Lit or all-in-one clue.

14d         Drink in a company, with boy restrained by father (4,6)
PINA COLADA – Place IN A CO(ompany) and LAD for boy inside (restrained by) PA or father.

15d         Be left inside the border in Middle East town (9)
BETHLEHEM – BE form the clue then L for Left inside THE HEM or the border.

18d         At home a saint embraces you once — where 8 was seen (2,3,4)
IN THE EAST – The STAR (8d) was seen IN THE EAST . You can also get the answer from IN (at home) then A ST (A Saint) containing (embracing) THEE – a former word for ‘you’.

19d         Mostly engage with wise men in teachings (8)
MESSAGES – Most of the word MES(h)/engage gears followed by SAGES – wise men (or Magi!).

22d         Somehow learnt part of Rudolph (6)
ANTLER – An anagram (somehow) of LEARNT.

24d         Friend from abroad disturbed magi over nothing (5)
AMIGO – A distributed anagram of MAGI followed by O for nothing.

26d         Amorous behaviour that’s sanctioned at Christmas here (4)
KISS – This clue is directly under the MISTLETOE in the grid, meaning that its OK to kiss someone. Nicely done again!.

27d         Consequently turned up as character in ‘Puss in Boots’ (4)
OGRE – Reverse (turn up) ERGO/consequently/therefore.


Thanks to Virgilius for the festive fun. I’ll be back later in the week.

1 comment on “ST 2775

  1. Another Sunday treat – I particularly enjoyed the two outside columns. Thanks to Virgilius and Gnomey.

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