ST 2832

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2832

A full review by crypticsue

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

This puzzle was published on Sunday, 24th January 2016

Another splendid Sunday puzzle – how does Virgilius keep up such a high standard? As she hasn’t made any comments since flying from New Zealand to Australia, I’m going to assume that Kath won’t be able to see this review, and so I’d like to have at least seven favourites please.

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


1a           Dropped litterreacted with alarm (3,7)
HAD KITTENS – This expression apparently goes back to the days when people believed in witches and women were really worried that, instead of giving birth to a child, they would bring forth kittens.

6a           A score of forty, say, in part of match (4)
HALF –  Because a score (20) is HALF of forty.

9a           Instrument Mary found abandoned at sea (7)
CELESTE – A keyboard instrument producing bell-like sounds.   This is a particularly sneaky clue as ‘abandoned at sea’ makes you think you might need an anagram of Mary  but what we are supposed to remember is that the abandoned ship we wrongly call the Marie Celeste is actually the Mary Celeste.

10a         Leading team, a cut above the rest? (7)
TOPSIDE –   TOP (leading) SIDE (team)

12a         A meat serving I arranged out of order for this? (13)
VEGETARIANISM –   An anagram (arranged out of order) of A MEAT SERVING I.

14a         Scared fellow caught in a sudden attack (6)
AFRAID –   F (fellow) caught in A RAID (a sudden attack)

15a         Cupid, for example, said to govern love (8)
REINDEER –   A homophone (said to) of REIGN (govern) and DEAR (love).

17a         Attitude I had about main ruler of Greeks (8)
POSEIDON – The Greek God of the Sea (main ruler) POSE (attitude) ID (I’d, I had) ON (about).

19a         Consort with drunkard around front of pub (6)
SPOUSE –   SOUSE (an American drunkard) put around the ‘front’ of Pub.

22a         Sympathetic travel guide they oddly found going round island (13)
COMPASSIONATE –   COMPASS (travel guide) and the odd letters of ThEy put round the island of IONA.

24a         Demanded and got specific limited edition (7)
EXACTED –   EXACT (specific) ED (abbreviated or ‘limited’ edition).

25a         Isn’t taken in by cunning? Very good (7)
SAINTLY –   AINT (isn’t) taken in by SLY (cunning)

26a         Problem with lid European put on pen (4)
STYE –   E (European) goes on or after STY (pen).

27a         Means to shape opinion and support a country short of capital (10)
PROPAGANDA –   PROP (support) A (from the clue) [U]GANDA (country short of ‘capital’).


1d           In a way, get ready for wine (4)
HOCK –   The name of this wine can also be another word for pawn (get money [ready] for).

2d           Scornfully criticised rising that makes us free (7)
DELIVER –   A reversal (rising in a Down clue) of REVILED (scornfully criticized).

3d           Section removed from main sign if I can, though it’s not important (13)
INSIGNIFICANT –   Hidden in a section of maIN SIGN IF I CAN Though

4d           Agreement oddly located, in turn? Exactly (6)
TREATY –   The odd letters of TuRn ExAcTlY.

5d           They do work that’s legal, like about 92% of the population (8)
NOTARIES –   Because 92% of the population were apparently born at different times of the year and not between 20 March and 19 April, so they are NOT ARIES.

7d           Inane, is awfully stupid (7)
ASININE –   An anagram (awfully) of INANE IS

8d           Quick to secure a book where stuff may go cheaply (4,6)
FLEA MARKET –   FLEET (quick) ‘secures’ the New Testament Book of MARK.

11d         After flat area, reaching highest point, being bluff (5,8)
PLAIN SPEAKING –   PLAINS (flat area) PEAKING (reaching highest point).

13d         They include money for workers to put tar on boats (3-7)
PAY-PACKETS –   PAY (a nautical term meaning to smear a [wooden] boat with tar as waterproofing) PACKETS (a ship or vessel employed in carrying packets of letters, as well as passengers)

16d         Weigh argument against party on right (8)
CONSIDER –   CON (argument against) SIDE (party) R (right)

18d         Short account or description of season heard (7)
SUMMARY –   A homophone (heard) of SUMMERY (description of season)

20d         You reportedly tidy up what’s left on table? (7)
UNEATEN –   A homophone (reportedly) of YOU followed by  NEATEN (tidy up)

21d         Bit of change in the air? It could go either way (4-2)
TOSS-UP – An even chance or risk which might be decided by throwing a coin (bit of change) into the air.

23d         Imitating flier many reproduced (4)
MYNA – An anagram (reproduced) of MANY.   I originally read the first word of this clue as ‘irritating’ which probably works just as well as far as this ‘flier’ is concerned.


  1. Brian
    Posted February 4, 2016 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Quite agree, it was an excellent offering. Like all Sunday’s it was tough but also fun.
    Thx to Virgilus.

  2. dutch
    Posted February 4, 2016 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the review CS – agree this was a quality puzzle