Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2784
A full review by crypticsue
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BD Rating – Difficulty **– Enjoyment ****
This puzzle was published on Sunday, 22nd February 2015
A Sunday morning treat full of double delights.
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1a Clubs pursuing goal for victory (8)
CONQUEST – C (clubs) ON QUEST (pursuing goal).
9a Estrange from an elite that’s improperly taken over area (8)
ALIENATE – An anagram (that’s improperly taken) of AN ELITE and A (area).
10a Something got from parent for boy — or girl, we hear (4)
GENE – Something inherited from a parent, and a boy’s name can sound like (we hear) the girl’s name JEAN.
11a Cautious piano duo (6-6)
SOFTLY-SOFTLY – Piano is the musical instruction to play something softly s0 as we have a duo we need SOFTLY twice.
13a Cooked very badly, needing something done about it (8)
DEVILLED – V (very) and ILL (badly) inserted into DEED (something done).
15a Traveller to another country from corrupt regime (6)
ÉMIGRÉ – An anagram (corrupt) of REGIME.
16a Design tool or material for carpenter, mostly (4)
PLAN – A carpenter could use a PLANE to smooth some wood from a PLANE tree. Whichever choice you make between the tool or the material, you only need the first four letters (mostly).
17a Daring pick (5)
PLUCK – Daring or courage; pick the string of a musical instrument.
18a Ducks in absolute alcohol (4)
TEAL – So who else started by trying to find a word that two Os (ducks) might go in before they noticed that the ducks are hidden in absoluTE ALcohol.
20a Ring pulled back and forth (6)
ONWARD – O (the letter that is ring-shaped) followed by a reversal (back) of DRAWN (pulled).
21a Strengthened or moderated (8)
TEMPERED – Another double definition clue.
23a With pen, mark tiger that’s in bad shape — warden won’t let you feed it (7,5)
PARKING METER – An anagram (that’s in bad shape) of PEN MARK TIGER.
26a In no-win situation that is especially difficult, initially (4)
TIED – The initial letters of Tied Is Especially Difficult.
27a Messenger carrying extreme letter from tyrant for king’s follower (8)
COURTIER – COURIER (messenger) carrying T (the extreme or last letter of tyrant).
28a Commanding attention with small spear or missile (8)
STRIDENT – S (small) and TRIDENT (which can be either a spear or the name of a nuclear missile).
2d Exaggerate merits of love poetry, two lines (8)
OVERSELL – O (love) VERSE (poetry) L L (two abbreviations for line).
3d Expression of uncertainty using odd quotes in religious book (8,4)
QUESTION MARK – An anagram (odd) of QUOTES IN followed by the Gospel according to St MARK.
4d In style, if fellow is French designer (6)
EIFFEL is hidden in stylE IF FELlow.
5d Yarn, so to speak, for part of coat (4)
TAIL – a homophone (so to speak) of TALE (yarn, story).
6d Express oneself badly as single female covering summit (8)
MISSPEAK – MISS (single female) covers or goes over PEAK (summit).
7d Period during which fare is reduced for express (4)
FAST – Another double definition.
8d In excellent health, I agree (4,4)
VERY WELL – And another.
12d Female isn’t passionate about king that’s timid (5-7)
FAINT-HEARTED – F (female) AINT (isn’t) HEATED (passionate), the latter having R (Rex, king) inserted.
14d One will have none of it, to be sure (5)
DOUBT – If you are sure, you will have no doubt.
16d Chance of success for religious group seizing power (8)
PROSPECT – PRO (for) SECT (religious group) seizing P (power).
17d Overly fussy editor, under pressure, opposed to chapter (8)
PEDANTIC – ED (editor) ANTI (opposed to) C (chapter) go under P (pressure).
19d Rum and beer, with last of wine added — or port (8)
ABERDEEN – An anagram (rum) of AND BEER plus the last letter of winE.
22d Speak indistinctly in mass, say (6)
MUTTER – M (mass) UTTER (say).
24d Casanova finding love in Parisian way (4)
ROUE – O (love) inserted into RUE (a French street).
25d Miss no longer hugging a heavenly body (4)
MARS – MRS (miss no longer – lovely!) hugging A from the clue.
I did say on the day that with the review appearing eleven days after the puzzle was published, I would be able to get away with mentioning my numerous ‘favourites’ amongst the clues in this crossword, but Kath is apparently going to check up. I wondered whether, with a crossword with some many ‘doubles’, I could get away with two favourites, but I can’t make up my mind which two of the many candidates to choose, so I’ll keep in Kath’s good books and keep the rest of you guessing.