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ST 2786

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2786

A full review by gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment *****

This puzzle was published on Sunday, 8th March 2015

Morning All!. I am in 5 star territory for some of the misdirection and surface readings here. This was one of the most fun crosswords to have been completed by me in the last 2 years. The re-solve and review brought some subtleties out that I missed previously. Thanks Brian!


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           Instructional text used in preparation of course (6)
RECIPE – A fine cryptic definition. Nothing to do with institutional texts or coursework but a course of food.

4a           Off-putting statement from me as pagan (8)
IDOLATER – If one arranges this as I DO LATER it means putting off a course (q.v.) of action.

10a         Is included in list man arranged — as a rule, it was awful (9)
STALINISM – Place IS from the clue into an anagram (arranged) of LIST MAN.

11a         Runs into singer and part of orchestra (5)
BRASS – R for run in the BASS singer. I love the way that Mr Greer gets a riff on a series of clues and then puts them out later on. I think that this is one of them.

12a         Cosmetic mother applied over a mark on skin (7)
MASCARA – MA for mother placed around (applied OVER) A SCAR or A mark on the skin.

13a         Article penned by humorous author for kid, say (7)
LEATHER – The softest of leather. THE inside (penned by) Edward LEAR (a humorous author).

14a         Appliance for cooking fruit missing front ring (5)
RANGE – Took a while for me but just remove the O from (o)RANGE – missing the front O-Ring!.

15a         Make a contribution with good setting up (8)
PITCHING – I didn’t have my solution when reviewing this and made the same mistake of trying to get a ST (Saint) in. Don’t do that! Start with PITCH IN (make a contribution) and then simply add G for Good.

18a         Person supervising old English writing, perhaps, including poetry (8)
OVERSEER – Place (include) VERSE or poetry inside O for Old, E for English and finally R for wRiting – remembering the three Rs of Reading, wRiting and aRithematic. It all looks a bit like O (VERSE) E R

20a         Alternative to reveille in Territorial Army (5)
ALARM – Lovely Clue!. Hidden inside TerritoriAL ARMy is the alternative to the normal reveille. Looks like an &Lit but isn’t but is such a great spot!

23a         I belong with new organisation in base (7)
IGNOBLE – Rearrange the letters of I BELONG and (with) N for New. The anagram indicator is ‘organisation’ – (I BELONG N)* Organisation.

25a         Being portrayed as smart about use of computers (7)
SITTING – Another clue that I missed in the re-solve!. Simply STING (smart) around or about IT for use of computers (or all things computer in Crosswordland!).

26a         Form of gold or silver used in helping others (5)
INGOT – A great hidden word (defined by USED IN) helpING OThers. Simply the best!

27a         Weed found in land, one I’d destroyed (9)
DANDELION – An anagram (destroyed) of LAND ONE ID.

28a         After partner’s heart, play this (8)
SERENADE – I love this clue because it reads like so many cryptic instructions to e.g. add a word after T, the heart of parTner, but in fact it is the song to play if you are after your partener’s heart so a top cryptic definition.

29a         Didn’t go steady, being fickle (6)
STAYED – A fickle anagram of STEADY and excellent surface reading. Should I go with my ‘Steady’ or not? Should I stay or should I go now? Relative options on a postcard please!


1d           Rocky situation faced, so to speak, by four presidents? (8)
RUSHMORE – A nice cryptic definition but not too hard. The faces of some of the more elderly and popular US Presidents. No room for Dubya!

2d           Make more crude, disturbing a censor (7)
COARSEN – An anagram (disturbing) of A CENSOR.

3d           King on one vessel captured by noble warship (9)
PRIVATEER – A bit complicated this!. Place R for Rex (king) and I VAT for One vessel inside of a PEER or noble – P (R) (I VAT) EER

5d           Removing forces from a revolt after limited changes (14)
DEMILITARISING – Place A RISING (a revolt) after an anagram (changes) of LIMITED. Ace!.

6d           Old money from Europe, including British pound (5)
LIBRA – The LIBRA is a standard unit of a pound in Latin. Place B for British inside of the old LIRA currency in Italy (old money from Europe).

7d           Form of instruction can, when a head is included (5-2)
TEACH-IN – Place EACH (a head/per capita) inside TIN for can.

8d           One can count on it as a devotional aid (6)
ROSARY – A lovely cryptic definition for a lapsed Catholic – smile of the day and thank you Mr Greer!

9d           Objected about perhaps changing drug taken the wrong way (14)
MISAPPREHENDED – Tricky to spot again but a lovely clue: MINDED (objected to perhaps) around an anagram (taken the wrong way) of an anagram (changing) of PERHAPS and the drug E(cstacy). I love the way that there are so many ways to misinterpret the clues here! – MI (PERHAPS)* (E) NDED

16d         Male with cunning thought sincere (9)
HEARTFELT – A charade of HE (male), ART (cunning/guile) and FELT (thought).

17d         Visualised a drink in dime novel (8)
IMAGINED – A GIN (a drink) in a novel anagram of DIME. You only have to remember Philip Marlowe to realise how good this clue is!.

19d         Sour stuff very shortly happening, with anger rising (7)
VINEGAR – V for Very (shortly) and IN (happening, hot) and finally adding EGAR, the reversal (rising) of RAGE.

21d         Leaders leaving bar aid city that’s showing effect of drought (7)
ARIDITY – Remove the leading letters in (b)AR (a)ID (c)ITY.

22d         Flower-girl turned up with American star (6)
SIRIUS – IRIS is the name of both a girl and a flower. Reverse her (turned up) and add US for American. What a dog!.

24d         Staff don’t make declaration (5)
BATON – Split as (3,2) then BAT ON means ‘do not declare and draw stumps in Cricket’. Sorry ladies!.

I will see you next Sunday for another belter.

3 comments on “ST 2786

  1. Another cracker from the Sunday supremo – thanks to him and Gnomethang. Difficult to pick a favourite but I think I’ll go with the super-smooth 20a.
    In 23a you don’t need the extra N in the fodder. The anagram indicator is ‘with new organisation’.

  2. Dug my paper copy out to find that I had written Bliss in the margin which showed how much I had enjoyed it. Proud of sorting 5d and loved 25a for some now forgotten reason.

  3. I also thought 23ac was an anagram of I BELONG and N(ew), but that’s one N too many, so just I BELONG with new as a redundant part of the anagram indicator, I think.

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