ST 2823

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2823

A full review by gnomethang

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

This puzzle was published on Sunday, 22nd November 2015

Morning All!. I think that everyone liked the superb hidden clue (lurker) at 5d but my favourite by a country mile was the &Lit at 8d. Equally there were some very good, succinct clues that posed some difficulties due to the good surface readings. Excellent!

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


1a           Servant attending gentleman before a dance (6)
VALETA – A Valet (servant to a gentleman) in front of (before) A from the clue.

4a           Song for church service (3,5)
AIR FORCE – An AIR (song) then FOR from the clue and then CE – the abb. of Church of England.

10a         Member of unofficial force leaving it after order’s changed (9)
VIGILANTE – Make an anagram (after order’s changed) of LEAVING IT.

11a         Something you might pick by European or English philosopher (5)
LOCKE – The LOCK that a thief (obviously not you, dear reader) might pick followed by E for European.

12a         Resting-place beside lake for exclusive group (7)
COTERIE – A COT or resting place for an infant followed by Lake Erie.

13a         Advancing conclusion after conclusion in trial (7)
LENDING – Place an ENDING or conclusion after the last letter (conclusion) of (tria)L

14a         Act to capture one of the Romans elsewhere in Italy (5)
TURIN – Place the Roman Numeral for One – I – inside (it is captured by) a TURN or act on the stage.

15a         Old boy was in the army, it’s said (8)
OBSERVED – A charade of the abb. OB for Old Boy from school followed by SERVED/was in the army.

18a         Party activity for people who’ve gone downhill fast (5-3)
APRE-SKI – A nice cryptic definition of the leisure time spent after skiing (going downhill fast – sometimes on your arse). I prefer ‘Apres-golf’.

20a         Children matter (5)
ISSUE – A standard double definition but nice and succinct – the issue of one’s loins and the issue at hand.

23a         Result of overindulgence less good for royal house (7)
HANOVER – Start with a HAN(g)OVER or result of a night on the pop and remove (less) the G for Good.

25a         Like sailor, we hear, in storm (7)
ASSAULT – A homophone (we her) of AS SALT – To storm the ramparts, for example.

26a         A high-ranking officer turned left — not general (5)
LOCAL – Reverse (it is turned) A COL(onel) – an abbreviation) then add L for Left.

27a         Singer getting a buck, perhaps, after dance (9)
BALLADEER – Place A DEER (a buck stag is an example) after BALL or dance.

28a         Generate reforms in youth (8)
TEENAGER – A reformed anagram of GENERATE and one of those clues that you will see regularly in a similar guise.

29a         Province historically included in consul’s territory (6)
ULSTER – A hidden word (included in) the last two words of the clue.


1d           Animation in shout from some Manchester supporters? (8)
VIVACITY – If the light blue one fans were cheering on their team in Spain they might shout ‘ – VIVA CITY’. The Question Mark indicates a fair deal of obliqueness required to get to the answer.

2d           Alternative to match that’s comparatively easy to shift (7)
LIGHTER – Two definitions – one as an alternative to a match to light a pipe, for example, and the second something that weighs less comparatively.

3d           Open-mindedness from an elector, unusually (9)

5d           In visionary way, decide a list I call, yet not entirely (14)
IDEALISTICALLY – A wonderful hidden word (not entirely) hidden in decIDE A LIST I CALL Yet.

6d           Half-heartedly attacked person with convictions (5)
FELON – To have attacked might be FELL ON (as a raptor might have done to a flock). Make it half-hearted by removing one of the two Ls from the middle.

7d           Lie about Conservative policy (7)
RECLINE – A charade of RE (about, reference as an abb.), C for Conservative and a LINE or policy.

8d           What could be green before end of century? (6)
ENERGY – A lovely all-in-one or &Lit clue where the definition is the entire clue and also forms the instruction to make an anagram (what could be) of GREEN before adding the end letter in (centur)Y – clue of the month for me!.

9d           Finally attributed blame to sinner wrongly — it’s not provable (14)
INDEMONSTRABLE – An anagram (wrongly) of the final letter of (attribute)D + BLAME TO SINNER.

16d         Put back in control, play for time (9)
REINSTALL – A charade of REIN (control) and STALL (play for time). Another succinct clue that was hard to get a grip on.

17d         Repairman set out in error, confused (8)
RESTORER – Make an anagram (out) of SET and place IN (from the clue) a confused ANAGRAM of ERROR – R (EST) ORER.

19d         Dashing manner of pirate’s enemy enduring pain (7)
PANACHE – Peter PAN, the enemy of Captain HOOK on (enduring) ACHE for pain.

21d         Pupil‘s education briefly held up by daring feat (7)
STUDENT – ED, the brief abb. for Education reversed inside (held up by) a STUNT or daring feat.

22d         Bloke almost rented holiday accommodation (6)
CHALET – Almost all of CHA(p) or bloke followed by LET or rented.

24d         Superior middle-class house in very bad area (5)
VILLA – A charade of V(ery), ILL for bad and A for Area.

A lovely puzzle that was a joy to solve and then review.


  1. Gazza
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    I never cease to be in awe of the Sunday setter’s ability to fill his puzzles with ultra-smooth yet simple surfaces. Thanks to him and to Gnomey with whose ratings I concur. As well as the excellent 8d and 9d I really liked 10a and 11a.

  2. Kath
    Posted December 3, 2015 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    I can’t remember whether or not I found this tricky but I do remember not finding 5d for a rather long time.
    I liked 4 and 27a and, eventually, 5d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and to Gnomey.

  3. Hilary
    Posted December 4, 2015 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Thanks to Virgilius and Gnomey I totally agree with both Gazza and Kath – I look forward to Sunday masterpieces and am rarely disappointed