ST 2820 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2820

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2820

A full review by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

This puzzle was published on Sunday, 1st November 2015

Given the amount of time that elapses between Sunday puzzle publication and closing date,  I always try to draft the review on solving day  so that I don’t forget what I thought of the crossword.   For some reason, I didn’t add a prologue this time and can’t remember (a) why not and (b) exactly what I thought.   Judging by my star ratings scribbled on my solved grid,  I would say that it didn’t take me long (so 1*) and was typical for a Sunday puzzle (hence the 3*)

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


7a           House upset with MP, new and unsophisticated (8)
HOMESPUN – An anagram (upset) of HOUSE MP N(ew)

9a           Declared a verse outstanding (6)
AVOWED – A (from the clue) V (abbreviation for verse) OWED (outstanding).

10a         Problem around university affected fellow (6)
POSEUR –   POSER (problem) put around the abbreviation for University.

11a         Choke or other part of engine (8)
THROTTLE –   A verb meaning to choke or a valve regulating the supply of steam or of gas and air in an engine, also referred to as a choke.

12a         Sight on coast castaway genius in distress (6,8)
GIANTS CAUSEWAY – An anagram (in distress) of CASTAWAY GENIUS

15a         Give orders to leaders in band of savages, say (4)
BOSS – The ‘leaders’ of Band Of Savages Say

17a         Section of novel — it hopefully is in print (5)
LITHO –   Hidden in a section of noveL IT HOpefully

19a         Play stopped early for wee drink (4)
DRAM –   The first four letters (stopped early) of DRAMa (play).

20a         Child actor as exiled prince (5,9)
YOUNG PRETENDER –   A cryptic definition of a child who acts; or the name popularly  given to  a claimant to the English throne.

23a         Supporting English players, made prediction (8)
FORECAST –   FOR (supporting) E (English) CAST (players).

25a         Engaged in change of course in storm (6)
ATTACK –   AT (engaged in) TACK (change of course)

27a         Western half of very pleasant World Heritage Site (6)
VENICE –   The Western half or first two letters of VEry and NICE (pleasant).

28a         Lacking room to grow, best put back before spring (3-5)
POT-BOUND –   A reversal (put back in an Across clue) of TOP (best) goes before BOUND (spring).


1d           Part of our capital accordingly goes on house (4)
SOHO –   SO (accordingly) HO (house).

2d           Number crossing river, one that rises in Wales (6)
SEVERN –   SEVEN (number) ‘crosses’ or goes round R (river).

3d           Group of soldiers out of ammunition (4)
UNIT –   Hidden in (out of) ammUNITion

4d           Crazy artists in Indian city now recalled (6)
MADRAS –   MAD (crazy) RAS (Royal Academicians, artists) gives us the city  now called Chennai.

5d           Upheld agreement to marry, after wife’s demonstrated subservience (8)
KOWTOWED –   A reversal (upheld in a Down clue) of OK (agreement) W (wife) TO (from the clue) WED (marry).

6d           Son belatedly changed deadline for retailer (4-2,4)
SELL-BY DATE –   An anagram (changed) of S (son) BELATEDLY.

8d           Reading‘s certainly held up by friend (7)
PERUSAL –   SURE (certainly) reversed and inserted into (held up by) PAL (friend).

13d         One or two, very unusually, found in academics’ dwelling (5,5)
IVORY TOWER – I (one) and an anagram (unusually) of OR TWO VERY.

14d         Announced place in church for convert (5)
ALTER –   A homophone (announced) of ALTAR (place in church).

16d         Reminder of place over in US that’s been transformed (8)
SOUVENIR –   An anagram (that’s been transformed) of OVER IN US.

18d         Like final man to leave, survive (7)
OUTLAST –   Split 3,4 this solution could describe the status of  the final man to leave.

21d         Good parties providing wine from Bordeaux (6)
GRAVES – G (good) RAVES (parties)

22d         Switch position after somebody else produces idea (6)
NOTION –   ON (one of the positions of a switch) goes after NOT I (so … somebody else).

24d         Out of pity, person’s kind (4)
TYPE –   Hidden in piTY PErson.

26d         In speech, philosopher is unable     to use specialised language (4)
CANT –  In speech (ie out loud), I’d  say the philosopher KANT and the specialised language CANT as CAN (eg of beans) T.   If I was saying I was unable to do something, I’d say I CAN’T and I’d pronounced the CAN bit as I would say CAR.     Hence I remain, eleven  days later, still confused by this wordplay, but I’d be willing to wager a small sum of money that, within ten minutes of review publication, I’ll be getting an email from ‘a friend’ explaining what my poor old brain just can’t see!



4 comments on “ST 2820

  1. Totally agree with your comment about 26d, I struggled to justify the answer even though it was the only possible one. Thanks as always for your efforts to shine the light on the lights.

  2. Even though I’ve managed to find the crossword I 26d remember what I thought at the time.
    I know that I’ll have enjoyed it because I always do enjoy Sunday crosswords.
    My answer to 26d is only in very lightly so I must have been a bit doubtful but I confess that I’ve never even heard of the philosopher – I agree about the pronunciation of being unable to do something – any email from ‘friend’ yet?
    I do remember missing the anagram bit of 7a so that took a while.
    I particularly liked 28a and 5d.
    With thanks to Virgilius for the crossword and to CS for the review.

  3. Lovely jubbly as always from Mr Greer with beautifully smooth surfaces. Thanks to him and to CS for the write-up. For me the medals are awarded to 9a, 5d and 18d.
    I thought that the homophone bit of 26d applied just to the philosopher with the other two definitions being ‘straight’ (ignoring the apostrophe in ‘is unable to’).

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