ST 2778

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2778

A full review by gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

This puzzle was published on Sunday, 11th January 2015

I had a couple of sticky-outy clues which pushed this into *** territory but there were a couple of crackers here!

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.

Across 1a           Warning pet’s going across street (6) CAVEAT – Your pet CAT surrounding (going across) AVE – an abb. for Avenue/street.

4a           Like cruel joke uncovered about bishop (6) BARBED – BARED (uncovered/denuded) around (or about) b FOR Bishop from the Chess notation.

8a           Crazy duel with Iago in part of play one can’t perform (8) DIALOGUE – Difficult in certain fonts but the crazy anagram is of DUEL and IAGO (not LAGO). It takes two to Tango, argue and also have a dialogue.

10a         Who, for example, returned fish to river? (6) DOCTOR – The old chestnut (by now) of the DOCTOR Who being capitalised and hidden at the start of the clue. Reverse (return) COD (fish) and then add TO from the clue and then R – the abb. for River.

11a         Thought I had earnings cut by 75 per cent (4) IDEA – Start with I’D – the abb. for ‘I had’ and then add the first 2 letters of 8 (75%) of EA(rnings)

12a         Hamper social event that’s contested in court (10) BASKETBALL – A charade of BASKET (e.g. a picnic hamper) and a BALL or social (dance) event.

13a         Foolishly eats in improperly licensed food store (12) DELICATESSEN – One anagram is included in another. A foolish anagram of EATS is placed inside an improper anagram of LICENSED – DELIC (ATES) SEN. Superb surface reading in the clue made this a favourite for me.

16a         In odd part of ship, left in total control (12) STRANGLEHOLD – A charade of STRANGE (odd) and the HOLD of the ship.

20a         Nothing within American country house is really bad (10) VILLAINOUS – One of my last few in. An American country house might be cryptically described as a VILLA IN US. Insert O for nothing into that – VILLAIN (O) US.

21a         Don’t allow boxer’s doctor beside ring (4) VETO – The boxer here is a dog so his doctor is a VET. Add O for ring (from the shape).

22a         Watching sporting event, say, in court (6) ATTEST – If you are watching a cricket match you would be AT TEST. The definition is ‘say, in court’. Nice!!

23a         Construction in garden that’s excessively large dropped (4,4) TOOL SHED – A charade of TOO (excessively) L for Large and then SHED (dropped like the leaves on a tree).

24a         Key on computer providing answer (6) RETURN – I kicked myself!. The first is the (carriage) RETURN and the second is a synonym of riposte or retort.

25a         Like carrier, off course (6) AS TRAY – Lovely clue – AS for like and TRAY for carrier (of drinks).


1d           Issue brought up as rich lend haphazardly (8) CHILDREN – An anagram (haphazardly) of RICH LEND.

2d           Very popular Slavic name for Russian river (5) VOLGA – V for Very and then OLGA (A popular Slavic/Russian name).

3d           Subject born in African country? Not I (7) ALGEBRA – This is a school subject in Mathematics. Place B for Born inside ALGER(i)A – without the I.

5d           Speak to daughter clothed in female attire (7) ADDRESS – Place D for Daughter inside A DRESS (female attire)

6d           Like undistinguished MP, returned to seat (4-5) BACK BENCH – A simple charade of BACK (returned to) and BENCH (seat)

7d           Casually draw largest part of crow (6) DOODLE – It took me a hint to justify this. To crow/boast is to “COCK-A-DOODLE-DO”. The biggest bit has 6 letters.

9d           Eton masters misrepresented as on the extreme right, conventionally (11) EASTERNMOST – The right on a map is usually the East. Make an anagram (misrepresented) of ETON MASTERS.

14d         Do what you need to do in pub with tequila, initially, on the rocks (9) INSOLVENT – What we need to do in a crossword is SOLVE. Place that inside of INN (a pub) and the initial letter of T(equila) – IN (SOLVE) N +T.

15d         British flower-girl wrapping article in careless way (8) BLITHELY – B fo British then LILY (a girl named after a flower) into which is inserted THE – the definite article – B LI(THE)LY

17d         With right on top, disorderly Tories noisily celebrate (7) ROISTER – As this is a down clue the R for Right goes on top of an anagram (disorderly) of TORIES.

18d         Young women embracing old means to catch mavericks (7) LASSOES – The mavericks are young cattle of course!. Place O for Old (being embraced by) LASSES or young women.

19d         West put in grave situation in period of freeze? (6) WINTER – A charade of W for West and then INTER for bury/put in a grave situation under the ground.

21d         Means of saving face used by advisors (5) VISOR – The hidden word (that we have come to expect) is hidden in (used by) adVISORs.

Thanksto Brian Greer for a fine puzzle (and a couple of Times one recently I think!) – I’ll see you all next Sunday,


  1. gazza
    Posted January 22, 2015 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    A fine puzzle indeed – thanks to Virgilius and Gnomey. My favourite clue has to be 7d for the d’oh moment it produced.

    • spindrift
      Posted January 22, 2015 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      Totally agree with all of Gazza’s comments. I had to wait for Gnomethang’s review to understand why 7d is what it is.