Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2828
A full review by crypticsue
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ****
This puzzle was published on Sunday, 27th December 2015
Was it too much ‘Christmas’ that made me slow to get started on this one? Lots to enjoy within, some of the clues I really liked (for various reasons not all crossword related) were 20a, 8d and 26d.
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7a Transfer deal’s beginning in European city (8)
HANDOVER – D (the beginning of deal) inserted into HANOVER (European city)
9a Test dunces in front of school’s head (6)
ASSESS – ASSES (dunces) in front of S (School’s ‘head’)
10a Provide inspiration for puzzle (6)
BEMUSE – BE MUSE (provide inspiration for)
11a Border force on bank guarding river (8)
FRONTIER – R (river) inserted into (guarding) F (force) ON (from the clue) TIER (bank).
12a Grasping it, smart sailor receives easy marks (7,7)
SITTING TARGETS – ‘Grasping’ indicates that IT (from the clue) should be inserted into STING (smart) TAR (sailor) GETS (receives)
15a Computer user should ignore this inferior option in menu (4)
SPAM – I don’t think I’ve seen this meat product on a menu for many a long year.
17a Note unaltered when sent back (5)
MINIM – This musical note is a palindrome so reads the same when ‘sent back’
19a Lacking determination as yet, in low temperature (4)
MOOT – MOO (low) T (temperature).
20a Open location from time to time for form of education (8,6)
SANDWICH COURSE – This East Kent golf venue sometimes hosts the Open Golf Championship. In educational terms, the course consists of alternative periods of study and paid employment.
23a Blunder as letter writer — is taken in by male charm (8)
MISSPELL – IS (from the clue) taken in by M (male) SPELL (charm).
25a In dramatic scene, how players get sent off (6)
EXEUNT – A stage direction instructing all the players to leave the stage.
27a Minister‘s circle thrown into disarray (6)
CLERIC – An anagram (thrown into disarray) of CIRCLE.
28a One in position on board to help mate, perhaps (8)
CHESSMAN – A cryptic definition of a chess piece.
1d Container, for instance (4)
CASE – A container or a subject of question (instance)
2d Tune from band that’s oddly deficient? Exactly (6)
ADJUST – Here tune is a verb. The even letters (oddly deficient)of bAnD and JUST (exactly).
3d Fellow with chair for female (4)
PROF – A professorship was originally called a chair after the seat from which a professor delivered his or her lectures. PRO (for) F (female)
4d Prefer a violin, initially, in quartet (6)
FAVOUR – A (from the clue) V (violin initially) inserted into FOUR (quartet).
5d Line on map is not the same motorway (8)
ISOTHERM – IS (from the clue) OTHER (not the same) M (motorway).
6d Like people around one, making negative comments (10)
ASPERSIONS – AS PERSONS (like people) ‘around’ I (one).
8d Lively enthusiasm about volcano in Eastern state (7)
VIETNAM – VIM (lively enthusiasm) about ETNA (volcano).
13d Revision of simple bios that’s out of the question (10)
IMPOSSIBLE – An anagram (revision of) SIMPLE BIOS.
14d Part of uniform altered in cut (5)
TUNIC – And another anagram (altered) of IN CUT.
16d Cars put to the test in government department (8)
MINISTRY – MINIS (cars) TRY (put to the test).
18d China concealing revolutionary weapon (7)
MACHETE – It’s been a while since Crosswordland’s favourite revolutionary turned up but here he is again. MATE (China being Cockney Rhyming Slang for a friend) ‘conceals’ CHE (revolutionary).
21d Pain of separation, with end of affair accepted by girl (6)
WRENCH – R (the end of affair) ‘accepted by’ WENCH (girl).
22d Like lying for crowned head, hard? (6)
UNEASY – As Shakespeare wrote in Henry IV Part 2 Act 3 Scene 1 “Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown”
24d Rugby player that may be picked after key loss (4)
LOCK – I wouldn’t know where the rugby player plays on the pitch but I do know the LOCK when he appears in crosswords. If you’d lost your door key, you may well have had to pick the lock.
26d Close section of exhibition early, or phone artist (4)
NEAR – It wouldn’t be Sunday if we didn’t have the treat of a “double lurker” – hidden in a section of exhibitioN EARly and/or phoNE ARtist.