ST 2827 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2827

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2827

A full review by gnomethang

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

This puzzle was published on Sunday, 20th December 2015

Morning All and a Happy New Year!. Apologies for the two late reviews – I was involved in a couple of impromptu parties which diverted my attention somewhat!. We have a festive puzzle from Brian Greer themed around the ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ song. I have highlighted the themed clues in BLUE.

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


1a           Start of herbaceous border that runs around garden (5)
HEDGE – The starting letter of Herbaceous followed by EDGE for border.

4a           Poet as deliverer of annual Christmas message (4)
POPE – Two definitions – Alexander POPE the poet and the POPE, leader of the Catholic church who gives an annual Christmas address.

6a           Finishes off list — whatever you receive is genuine (4)
TRUE – The finishing letters of (lis)T (whateve)R (yo)U (receiv)E.

9a           Bands, five of which are featured in Christmas song (5)
RINGS – The first of our themed answers – Five Gold RINGS (or bands)

10a         Transported as gifts are, we hear (4)
RAPT – A homophone (we hear) of ‘wrapped’ presents.

11a         Cause of world revolution? It’s partly reversed (4)
LOVE – A reversal of part of the word rEVOLution and a nice semi-all-in-one.

13a         Show anger about women’s swan, one of seven (7)
SWIMMER – Place SIMMER (show anger) around W for w(omen’s) as in WI for Women’s Institute. That’ll be Seven Swans-a-Swimming.

14a         We’re wrong to include rubbish put down, in other words (7)
REWROTE – An anagram (wrong) of WERE to include ROT for rubbish – REW (ROT) E

15a         Number of those working in dairyor having a row? (5)
EIGHT – The number of Maids-A-Milking and the number of a crew in a large rowing boat.

17a         Protest by left is hard to refute completely (8)
DEMOLISH – A DEMO(onstration) or protest followed by L for Left then IS from the clue and H for Hard.

20a         Players having their day, though not in first eleven (8)
DRUMMERS – Twelve DRUMMERS drumming who appear on the Twelfth day of Christmas so not in the first eleven – the surface reading cunningly making us think of a football or cricket eleven

22a         Strange sense in which most citizens are German (5)
ESSEN – A strange anagram of SENSE – most people in the German city being German, of course.

25a         Veteran that’s discarded in reshuffle (3,4)
OLD HAND – When reshuffling, one discards the OLD HAND.

27a         Like ten nobles below, going into spring (7)
LEAPING – Ten Lords-a-LEAPING, also a synonym for ‘going into (a) spring or jump. Note that LORDS is seen below in the puzzle as an answer at 34a.

29a         and 32: Silly repartee in home of 4 Down (4,4)
PEAR TREE – An anagram, indicated by silly, of REPARTEE and the home of the bird at four down (on the first day of Christmas).

30a         Some Christmas entertainment was elating (4)
SENT – To be enchanted or even RAPT. The word is hidden in (some of) ChristmaS ENTertainment.

31a         Half a dozen layers among seasonal gifts (5)
GEESE – Six GEESE-A-Laying from one of the Twelve gifts.

32a         See 29
33a         Major work that’s sung after my 6 11 30 (4)
TOME – A major literary work can be seen after the answers to 6, 11 and 30 i.e. my TRUE LOVE SENT (TO ME).

34a         House that’s HQ for sport in London (5)
LORDS – Two definitions, the upper house in Parliament and the home of the MCC


1d           Under pressure, ran over nincompoop (8)
HARASSED – Place HARED (ran) around (over) an ASS or nincompoop.

2d           Having a ball, like ladies, one over the eight (7)
DANCING – ‘One over the eight’ indicates nine – the number of Ladies DANCING in the themed song.

3d           Composed poems in place of classics course? (5)
EPSOM – An anagram (composed) of POEMS.

4d           Flier received initially at Christmas (9)
PARTRIDGE – The bird (flier, not an unwanted leaflet) that was sent by my true love on the first (initial) day of Christmas.

5d           Piano put in middle of jetty for musician (5)
PIPER – P for Piano in the middle of PIER or jetty.

7d           Unruly carnival location, from our perspective (7)
RIOTOUS – A charade of RIO (carnival location) and TO US or ‘from our perspective’

8d           5 and his fellow players counted in cricket side (6)
ELEVEN – PIPER, the answer to 5d and his fellow players give us the number of PIPERS PIPING and also the number of players in a cricket side.

12d         Number of days in present period (6)
TWELVE – The Twelve days of Christmas , the present period indicating the number of days that my true love sent gifts.

16d         Queen’s consort? (6)
TOMCAT – This took me ages to get. The Queen here is a female cat.

18d         Part of Christmas decoration that depends on host (9)
MISTLETOE – To depend upon can also mean hang over –the position of the MISTLETOE decoration at a party.

19d         With arms raised, cape gives comfortable feeling (8)
SNUGNESS – Reverse (raised) GUNS or (fire)ARMS and then add a NESS or cape/headland.

21d         Predate unusually excessive formality (3,4)
RED TAPE – An anagram (unusually) of PREDATE.

23d         Taking a risk, we poorly selected gear for travelling on snow (3,4)
SKI WEAR – Another anagram, this time of A RISK WE and indicated by ‘poorly’.

24d         Pages penned by writer in verse for sweetheart (6)
POPPET – Place PP or two instances of P for Page inside a POET or writer in verse.

26d         As result of song for couple, love follows (3,2)
DUE TO – A charade of a DUET (song for couple) and O for Love.

28d         Christmas visitor appearing in strange light (5)
ANGEL – A hidden word to finish, indicated by ‘appearing in’ and found in strANGE Light.

Thanks to Virgilius for an entertaining festive puzzle. I will get the review of last Saturday’s prize puzzle up this evening.