ST 2777

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2777

A full review by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

This puzzle was published on Sunday, 4th January 2015


I like Sundays for lots of reasons –  an important one being that you know you are going to get a wonderful puzzle to solve, full of inventiveness and d’oh moments, and this one was no exception.

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           Part of destructive plague in particular place and time (6)
LOCUST –   LOCUS (particular place) plus T (time).

4a           In which one can relax over some pints? (5,3)
WATER BED –   A splendid d’oh moment when I realized what the cryptic definition was on about!

10a         Accordingly, like legal practice, or one who works in it (9)
SOLICITOR –   SO (accordingly) LICIT (like legal practice) and OR (from the clue).

11a         Court official as hard-hearted employer (5)
USHER –   USER (employer)  with H (hard) inserted into its ‘heart’.

12a         Recollected recipes with accuracy (7)
PRECISE –   An anagram (recollected) of RECIPES.

13a         It could be Arles? No, another French city (7)
ORLEANS –   An anagram (it could be) of ARLES NO.

14a         Demonstrated, somehow, smooth fabric (5)
SATIN –   Split 3, 2, you get another way of saying demonstrated.

15a         Dine out with minimal cash in Paris? That’s not appropriate (8)
INDECENT –   An anagram (out) of DINE and a CENT (the smallest part of a Euro [so minimal cash], used in France as currency).

18a         What’s illuminating, naturally, in paper, and easy to pick up (8)
SUNLIGHT –   SUN (daily newspaper) and LIGHT (easy to pick up).

20a         Soldiers with guns following leaders in African capital city, as it is (5)
ACCRA –   The capital of the African country of Ghana –   The RA (Royal Artillery, soldiers with guns) follow the ‘leaders’ of African Capital City.

23a         Wife in top hat, replacing husband, that runs along bank (7)
TOWPATH –   Insert W (wife) into TOPHAT and then move the H – replacing Husband – once, that is, you see that the ‘instruction’ actually means ‘re placing’ or putting somewhere else.

25a         New form of propane, in theory (2,5)
ON PAPER –   An anagram (new form of) PROPANE.

26a         Manner of playing piano, say,  that’s off pitch (5)
TOUCH –   A musical term meaning to play an instrument, eg a piano; a description of a rugby ball that has touched the ground behind the try-line (which is then off the rugby pitch).

27a         Gardener’s wife right in front of area for putting kind of shrub (9)
EVERGREEN – EVE (the first gardener’s wife – brilliant!) R (right) and GREEN (area of a golf course used for putting).

28a         What’s embraced by the don is mindless pursuit of pleasure (8)
HEDONISM – The first of today’s hidden words is ‘embraced’ by tHE DON IS Mindless.

29a         Garment for upper body — or lower (6)
JERSEY –   A jumper or a type of cow (lower).


1d           Endure letters giving indication it’s time to retire (4,4)
LAST POST –   LAST (endure) and POST (letters).

2d           Raise instrument, held up in court (7)
COLLECT –   Raise in the sense of collect money. A reversal (held up in a down clue) of CELLO (instrument) inserted into CT, the abbreviation for court.

3d           Relating to parts left after Act One is rewritten (9)
SECTIONAL –   An anagram (rewritten) of ACT ONE IS followed by L (left ‘after’).

5d           Broadcast if editor kept cool, in a way (3-11)
AIR-CONDITIONED –   AIR (broadcast) CONDITION (if being a conjunction meaning on condition that) and ED (editor).

6d           Peer among those qualifying (5)
EQUAL –   Hidden among thosE QUALifying.

7d           Intelligence about a hot kingdom in Middle East (7)
BAHRAIN –   BRAIN (intelligence) with A (from the clue) and H (hot) inserted.

8d           Excessive pressure, you said, in outfit (6)
DURESS –   Put U (you said out loud) into DRESS (outfit).

9d           As aids for driving, English tees were endlessly modified (8-6)
STEERING-WHEELS –   An anagram (modified) of ENGLISH TEES WERe (endlessly tells you to remove the E from were).

16d         Malingerer might report this, as heard in region of France (9)
CHAMPAGNE might sound like SHAM PAIN (which a malingerer might report).

17d         Cautious about impassioned words providing assurance (8)
WARRANTY –   Insert RANT (impassioned words) into WARY (cautious).

19d         After heading off gun injury, relaxed (7)
UNWOUND –   Remove the G (heading off) from gUN and follow with WOUND (injury).

21d         As example of 27, it must be removed from city newspapers (7)
CYPRESS –   Remove the IT from CITY and follow what’s left  with PRESS (newspapers).

22d         Perform final act in theatre? It’s painful (6)
STITCH –   The last thing done at the end of a surgical operation.

24d         Very pale, like one that sits and broods (5)
ASHEN –   Split 2, 3 – AS (like) and HEN (one that sits and broods) – what a brilliant definition of a hen!







  1. gazza
    Posted January 15, 2015 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Another superb puzzle from Virgilius – thanks to him and CS.
    In 26a ‘touch’ in rugby doesn’t mean behind the try line but outside the two side lines (which are called touchlines) – the guys running up and down these touchlines waving their little flags are called ‘touch judges’.
    Ref. 12a I was always taught that accuracy and precision are different. If I said “Crypticsue has published 374 posts on this site” I would be being precise but I would not be accurate. However, I see that Mrs Bradford equates the two so I’m probably being pedantic.

    • crypticsue
      Posted January 15, 2015 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      What I know about rugby could be inscribed on the head of a pin with room left over. I sort of paraphrased the definition in the BRB.

      As to accuracy, by the end of the weekend, if the NTSPP is the one I think it will be, I’ll be up to 373 posts !!

  2. Catnap
    Posted January 15, 2015 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    I posted a comment just now… It has vanished! Which key did I accidentally brush?

    Just to say this is a super review of a super puzzle. I never did get 4a and had a big chuckle on seeing the answer. Excellent. Big thanks to Virgilius and to Crypticsue.