ST 2788 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2788

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2788

A full review by crypticsue

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

This puzzle was published on Sunday, 22nd March 2015

My turn to be the lucky blogger to review this splendid Sunday puzzle – hard to choose a favourite from so many great clues so I’ll just give a big thank you to Virgilius for my double treat.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.  You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five best!


1a           An area over which you can see ice contract? Wrong! (9,5)
ANTARCTIC OCEAN –   AN (from the clue) followed by an anagram (wrong) of ICE CONTRACT and A (area).

9a           Metal products contributing in fact in war effort (7)
TINWARE is hidden in (contributing in) facT IN WAR Effort.

10a         Following male doctor but had treatment in spa (7)
MUDBATH   – M (male) goes before an anagram (doctor) of BUT HAD.

11a         Job, for example, not finished, so express disapproval (3)
BOO –   Job is an example of a BOOK of the Bible.   Leave off the last letter (not finished) and you can express disapproval.

12a         Trunk left on board by ship’s officer, containing new gold (11)
PORTMANTEAU –   PORT (left on board a ship) and MATE (ship’s office) into which is inserted N (new) and the result finished off with AU (the chemical symbol for gold).

14a         Suffering losses up front, sold what is no longer fresh (3,3)
OLD HAT –   Suffering losses up front is a delightful way to tell you to remove the first letter from sOLD and wHAT.

15a         Old soldier’s back cutting tree, one of small group at top (8)
OLIGARCH – O (old) followed by a reversal of a GI (soldier) which ‘cuts’ a LARCH (tree).

17a         Judges holding great power left negative decisions (8)
REFUSALS –   REFS (judges) holding USA (great power) and L (left).

19a         Come forward with this neat clue, ultimately, by young setter (4,2)
STEP UP –   The ‘ultimate’ letters of thiS neaT cluE plus PUP (young dog, setter being an example of a breed of dog).

22a         It’s adjacent to goal in which a player gets entangled with a net (7,4)
PENALTY AREA –   An anagram (gets entangled) of A PLAYER A NET.

23a         Pope, Cleopatra and Napoleon have it in common (3)
LEO – The name of thirteen Popes can be found hidden in both (have it in common) Cleopatra and Napoleon.

24a         Copy — trim it at end? Trim at both ends (7)
IMITATE – Remove both ends of trIM IT AT End and you are left with a word meaning copy.

26a         National emblem that blows down when it’s windy (7)
THISTLE – The seeds or down of the emblem for Scotland are spread by the wind.

27a         The posy this son arranged, showing what plants can do (14)
PHOTOSYNTHESIS – An anagram (arranged) of THE POSY THIS SON.


1d           Like a self-sufficient life? (14)
AUTOBIOGRAPHIC –   A cryptic definition of a life story written by the subject.

2d           Took steps of which one’s said to be incapable (7)
TANGOED –   Because as everyone knows ‘ it takes two to tango’ (one’s said to be incapable).

3d           Modified opinion about artist is received in shock (11)
REAPPRAISAL –   RE (about) and APPAL (shock) into which is inserted RA (artist).

4d           The chap taken in by politician’s proposition (6)
THEORY –   HE (the chap) taken in by or inserted into TORY (politician).

5d           Medicinal plant — measure after cold a medic’s provided (8)
CAMOMILE –   MILE (measure) goes after   C (cold) A (from the clue) and MO (medical officer)

6d           It’s clued oddly, as result of some rumination (3)
CUD – The old letters of ClUeD

7d           A colleague said you are not professional (7)
AMATEUR –   The second appearance of MATE, this time as a colleague.   A (from the clue) MATE (colleague) and U R (you and are said out loud).

8d           Nevertheless, odd sects will include expert source for idea (7,7)
THOUGHT PROCESS –   THOUGH (nevertheless) and an anagram (odd) of SECTS into which is inserted PRO (expert).

13d         Weird thing I spotted in swamp, very frightening (11)
NIGHTMARISH –   An anagram (weird) of THING followed by a MARSH (swamp) into which is inserted I (from the clue).

16d         Enclosures for children from song writer, in addition to letter (8)
PLAYPENS – Insert into PS (postscript, addition to letter) LAY (song) and PEN (writer).

18d         Proclaimed end of Northern race (7)
FINNISH –   An homophone (proclaimed) of FINISH (end).

20d         Illustrations covering one form of exercise (7)
PILATES – Illustrations in a book covering I (one).

21d         Sound of composer for his fellow citizen (6)
BRITON –   Sounds like the composer Benjamin BRITTEN.

25d         A short distance behind at sea (3)
AFT –   A (from the clue) FT (‘short’ or abbreviated foot, distance).

4 comments on “ST 2788

  1. A delightful puzzle, as always on a Sunday. My favourites were 14a and 2d. Thanks to Virgilius and CS.

  2. I always enjoy your review on the weekend crosswords CS. Can you shed some light on who the setter(s) are?

    1. It is a Frequently Asked Question so there is information on the setters under that tab at the top! Basically it is Virgilius (Brian Greer) every Sunday. Weekends alternate between Cephas (Peter Chamberlain) and one (and occasionally another Mysteron). I used to be able to spot Cephas puzzles but have been wrong a couple of times so I now don’t say who I think it is.

  3. Thank you crypicsue and we agree with gazza that this puzzle was full of delight and we couldn’t send it off to try and win a pen because the other half of Paso Doble had used the entry form to work out the anagrams as usual. Looking forward to this weekend’s puzzles.

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