ST 2808 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2808

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2808

A full review by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

This puzzle was published on Sunday, 9th August 2015

This particular Sunday crossword differed from the norm, being trickier and not as much fun as usual to solve and a bit of a trial to review (not least because I had to keep checking the hints and tips page to make sure I’d got all the ‘newspaper’ clues added).   I think I must have tempted fate as, before solving the puzzle, I’d explained to my visiting sister how Virgilius puzzles are always pleasure to both solve and review.

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


1a           Piece of hair cut and tucked in place (6) Newspaper version – Determine position of pass, turning towards east (6)
LOCATE – online clue – LOCk (piece of hair ‘cut’) and ATE (tucked in) Newspaper version – A reversal (turning) of COL (pass) followed by AT (towards) and E (east).

4a           Keep back from wife, one informed about husband repeatedly (8) Newspaper version – Retain water after short time in desert (8)
WITHHOLD – W (wife) followed by two lots of H (husband repeatedly)inserted into   I TOLD (one informed) or T –  the abbreviation for time and the chemical symbol for water expressed as three letters (H H O – H2O) inserted into WILD (desert).

10a         Tailor cut a skirt as garment for athlete (5,4)
TRACK SUIT –   An anagram (tailor) of CUT A SKIRT AS.

11a         Disprove conclusions in either case, nevertheless (5)
REBUT –   The ‘conclusions’ of eitheR and casE followed by BUT (nevertheless).

12a         Tirade about a person occupying seat without restraint (7)
RAMPANT –   RANT (tirade) goes round A (from the clue) and  MP (person occupying seat).

13a         Unfinished clue ain’t revised? That’s crazy (7)
LUNATIC –   An anagram (revised) of the first three (unfinished) letters of CLUe and AINT.

14a         I see you are pronounced out of order by a court in Rome (5)
CURIA –   I C U R (I see you are said out loud) rearranged (out of order) and followed by A (from the clue)

15a         Oddly target a certain loved one (8)
TREASURE –   The odd letters of TaRgEt A (from the clue) and SURE (certain).

18a         Indication that men should turn in final job (4,4)
LAST POST –   The men here being soldiers –   LAST (final)POST (job)

20a         Tree planted in front of street, originally (5)
FIRST –   FIR tree planted in front of ST (street).

23a         Attention-grabbing company is source of reports (7)
FIREARM –   EAR (attention) is grabbed by FIRM (company).

25a         End of summer, start of autumn, in Georgian city (7)
AUGUSTA – AUGUST (the end of summer) followed by A (the ‘start’ of Autumn).

26a         Sudden movement in temperature on Earth, for example (5)
START –   T (temperature) goes on or after STAR (Earth for example, according to the clue, not necessarily correctly)

27a         Undoing or extending rental agreement? (9) Newspaper version – Breaking or extending rental agreement? (9)
RELEASING –   The wordplay is the same whichever version you used to solve the clue.   This verb meaning undoing could also if split2-7 sound like one was extending a rental agreement.

28a         Speculate he’s invading to create rebellion (8)
THEORISE –   HE invades TO RISE (to create rebellion).

29a         Daughter in a break-up is powerless, in the main (6)
ADRIFT –   D (daughter) inserted into A RIFT (a break-up)


1d           Revised article and said why it’s required for readers (8)
LITERACY –   An anagram (revised) of ARTICLE and Y (why said out loud).

2d           With different head, it could be perceived as grammar school (7)
CRAMMER –   Change the G at the head of grammar to a C.

3d           Destructively criticise work in theatre? (4,5)
TAKE APART –   Split 4 1 4 one might have a role in a theatre production.

5d           Anagrammatised, it’ll neatly clue ‘how geniuses excel’ (14)
INTELLECTUALLY –   An anagram (well one couldn’t really miss the indicator!) of IT LL NEATLY CLUE.

6d           Bird‘s name leading literary figure put in first (5)
HERON – HERO (leading literary figure) goes before N (name).

7d           Not the craft for landing old river fish one can catch (7)
ORBITER – O (old) R (river) BITER (fish one can catch when it takes the bait).

8d           Remove leader of coup in far from popular uprising (6)
DETACH – C, the ‘leader’ of Coup inserted into a reversal (uprising) of HATED (far from popular).

9d           They include speech from economic theorist, heard after estimate (9,5)
QUOTATION MARKS –   QUOTATION(estimate) goes before a homophone (heard) of MARX (economic theorist).

16d         Protective measure, as argued, originally shielding female (9)
SAFEGUARD –   An anagram (originally) of AS ARGUED ‘shielding’ F (female).

17d         Raised skill, in a sense, in finishing part of course (8)
STRAIGHT –   ART (skill) is reversed (raised) and inserted into SIGHT (sense).

19d         Extent of field expert covers right, over time (7)
ACREAGE –   R (right) is inserted into ACE (expert) and followed by (over) AGE (time).

21d         Composer‘s somewhat cross, initially (7)
ROSSINI –   Hidden in part of (somewhat) cROSS INItially.

22d         Compensate for being removed from scene of shooting (6)  The clue that wasn’t in the paper, although the checking letters did help solvers as there wasn’t much else the solution could be.
OFFSET –   Split 3,3 one would be removed from the scene of a film shoot.

24d         Actively moving white queen (5)
ASTIR –   ASTI (white wine) R (Regina, queen)

The closing date (and thus the review date) of this puzzle being eleven days after publication means that I can delightedly report that ‘normal’ Virgilius service was resumed the following Sunday, my review being already drafted ready to appear here this time next week.


9 comments on “ST 2808

  1. This was a bit of a shambles but I suppose it is the silly season in whatever is the current equivalent of Fleet Street. If you ignore the mucked up bits there are still some fine examples of very smooth clues in the Virgilius tradition. Thanks to him and to CS for the review. I’ll pick out 3d and 8d as my favourites.

    1. That’s the beauty of the weekend reviews, you can have as many favourites as you like as Kath never notices

          1. Well – since you mentioned it I was going to anyway! I’ve just spent the last twenty minutes playing “hunt the crossword” – failed dismally.
            I do remember there being quite a few clues with two different versions but had forgotten that it was the day with the missing clue.
            I liked 1 and 9d.
            Thanks to Virgilius and to CS.

  2. 5d – Just popped in to see whether “Anagrammatised” was clued differently in the on-line version as opposed to the newspaper version?

    Apparently not! Hmm?

    Thanks to CS for always posting the Sunday reviews … ashamedly I very rarely read them … memory of a goldfish ..I’m afraid.

    But I remembered 5d – I thought there was bound to be something more complicated in the wordplay.

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