ST 2806

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2806

A full review by gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

This puzzle was published on Sunday, 26th July 2015

Morning All!. This was a very quick solve (as remarked by others on the day) but some of the clues (even the easier ones) had some lovely consistent surface readings – 3d being a great example.

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

Across

1a           A couple of hacks with expedition (4-4)
CHOP-CHOP – A pair of CHOPs or Hacks with an axe.

9a           Snake found in Canada? No, that’s wrong (8)
ANACONDA – An anagram (that’s wrong) of CANADA NO – Not too many there I suppose!.

10a         Benefit from Asian drink? Doesn’t sound like it (4)
SAKE – Unusual to see SAKE as a synonym of benefit but it is there (for the sake of). This is an anti-homophone – It is spelt the same as the SAK-I Japanese rice wine but is pronounced differently. I like spotting these!

11a         Without doctor, don’t arrest poorly protester (12)
DEMONSTRATOR – Place an anagram (poorly) of DON’T ARREST around the outside of (without meaning both lacking and outside – a knocking without the door is some kind of Zen!) an MO or Medical Operative, doctor.

13a         Where to serve meal and pill before surgery (5,3)
TABLE TOP – A charade of TABLET (pill) in front of OP (Operation/surgery) split as (5,3).

15a         Revolt about a negative parliamentary procedure (6)
REPEAL – Place REPEL (revolt/repulse) around or about A from the clue.

16a         European, by choice, cut short a long story (4)
EPIC – E for European and then all but the last letter (cut short) of PIC(k) or choice.

17a         British forces around the bend (5)
BARMY – B for British and then ARMY for military forces.

18a         Ultimately alive and kicking, very irritable (4)
EDGY – Take the final letters in alivE anD kickinG verY.

20a         Indulged as child, getting upset about nothing (6)
SPOILT – Place O for nothing (Nil) inside SPILT or upset (as in milk).

21a         Came about a page by author being restricted by hard editor (8)
HAPPENED – A from the clue and then P for Page and PEN for author enclosed in (restricted by) H for Hard and ED(itor) – H (A P PEN) ED.

23a         Area in Netherlands converted for old people (12)
An anagram of NETHERLANDS including A for Area (A is IN(side)).

26a         One piece of news, or a couple (4)
ITEM – Two definitions – simple but effective.

27a         Place rook, say, in corner, maybe (3,5)
SET PIECE – A corner in football for example. A charade of SET (place) and a rook or PIECE on a chess board.

28a         Awful eyestrain, dispelling a feeling of calmness (8)
SERENITY – An awful anagram of EYESTR(a)IN omitting (dispelling) the A from the clue.

Down

2d           Held a map out that shows way forward for driver (8)
HEADLAMP – An anagram (indicated by out) of HELD A MAP.

3d           Liking horoscope about Leo, omitting nothing (12)
PREDILECTION – Place a PREDICTION or horoscope around (about) LE(o) with the O for nothing removed. A good succinct clue with a consistent surface reading.

4d           Solitary religious person in that female university in US (6)
HERMIT – A charade of HER (that female) and M.I.T – the abb. of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology or University in the US.

5d           Produce pictures mainly showing suffering (4)
PAIN – All but the last letter (mainly) of PAIN(t)/produce pictures.

6d           Wind that’s extremely lively after festival (8)
EASTERLY – I liked this. The festival is EASTER and the extreme letters of L(ivel)Y go after.

7d           Measure of speed, in the main? Not from what we hear (4)
KNOW – Sounds like (we hear) NOT from the clue. An easy starter clue.

8d           Justice in drama critic’s moderate review (4,4)
FAIR PLAY – The second cryptic definition would be a critic calling a PLAY FAIR but not poor or excellent (i.e. moderate).

12d         Fear, perhaps, in one that’s disturbed (12)
APPREHENSION – A good spot of an anagram (disturbed) of PERHAPS IN ONE.

14d         Place to sit and fish (5)
PERCH – Two definitions and a bit of a chestnut.

16d         Quality of piece of cake or pie found in some areas, in essence (8)
EASINESS – ‘A piece of cake’ is easy and remember ;as easy as pie. The quality (noun) of EASINESS is found in some of the last three words of the clue.

17d         Like toast, typically, bachelor pronounced (8)
BUTTERED – B for Bachelor and then UTTERED for pronounced. I know which way MY toast is….

19d         Least experienced author, and one that’s very good (8)
GREENEST – Graham GREENE the author followed by ST – the abb. for SAINT or one person that is very good/holy.

22d         Caller of tune having inserted line for musician (6)
PLAYER – A PAYER (one who pays the piper calls the tune) with L for Line inserted.

24d         Member of choir in cathedral town (4)
ALTO – The singer found IN cathedrAL Town.

25d         Oddly deficient strikers in no-win situations (4)
TIES – Remove (being deficient) the odd letters in sTrIkErS.

Thanks to Virgilius for the puzzle. I also need to thank crypticsue for coveringn next week whilst I am relaxing in the Greek heat on Xanthe.

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3 Comments

  1. gazza
    Posted August 6, 2015 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Vigilius for the usual polished production and to Gnomey for the write-up. I liked 23a and 8d a lot but on the top step of the podium for me was 16d.

  2. Kath
    Posted August 6, 2015 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    I keep meaning to comment on the reviews of the Saturday and Sunday crosswords – one day I’ll get my act together enough to be able to find the puzzle – think it might be something to do with how untidy our house is – I can find the one from the previous week!
    Anyway, I do remember enjoying it very much and being completely mystified by 16d which was very silly.
    I liked 1 and 13a and 8 and 14d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and Gnomey.

  3. molly
    Posted August 10, 2015 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the review, I always check to confirm I’d got it right, though this was very straightforward. And as ever, thanks to the best setter on the block!