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ST 2837

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2837

A full review by crypticsue

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

This puzzle was published on Sunday 28th February 2016


From time to time, a email will wing its way from Kent to London or vice-versa with the subject line containing a setter’s name, and a message saying “Me or Him?”.   I think I am right in saying that this is the first time that I’ve ever sent such an email on a Sunday… and I was very relieved when the reply said “Him”.

… So, yes, I took a proper 4.5* Sunday  time to finish off this particular crossword. The RH side took about three times as long as the LH to sort out. Lots to enjoy but I think I’ll pick 25a as my top favourite, because of the d’oh moment.

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


1a           Wretched strikes I had backed (6)
DISMAL   –   A reversal (backed) of LAMS (strikes) ID (I had)

4a           What’s absurd about clubs having boxer, perhaps, as guard? (8)
WATCHDOG –   An anagram (absurd) of WHAT goes about C (clubs) and is then followed by DOG (boxer, perhaps).

10a         Affected by moving air, part of orchestra’s shed tears (9)
WINDSWEPT –   WIND (part of an orchestra) WEPT (shed tears)

11a         Petty officer on sub at sea (5)
BOSUN – An anagram (at sea) of ON SUB

12a         Server in force that’s not controlled by state (7)
PRIVATE – relating to a soldier or an organisation owned by an individual not the state.

13a         Scottish author runs into obstacle (7)
BARRIER –   BARRIE (the Scottish author of Peter Pan) and R (runs in cricket scoring)

14a         Old vessel laid by nitrogen or another gas (5)
ARGON   –   ARGO (old vessel) laid by or put next to N (Nitrogen)

15a         Very nice answer within one’s competence put right in (8)
ADORABLE A (answer) DO ABLE (within one’s competence) with R (right) put in

18a         Unsuitable monarch succeeding one with mass support (8)
IMPROPER –   ER (Elizabeth Regina, monarch) going after (succeeding) I (one) M (mass) PROP (support)

20a         Returning thus in performance in title role (5)
TOSCA –   Returning or reversing SO (thus) inserted into ACT (performance)

23a         Cat and part of flower shown on page (7)
PANTHER – P (page) ANTHER (part of flower)

25a         Warning football team after one’s sent off in Liverpool, for example (7)
PORTENT – Liverpool is an example of a PORT into which should be inserted TEN (the number of players left on a football pitch after one’s been sent off) – d’oh and double d’oh is all I can say to the ‘team after one’s sent off’!

26a         A permit legally voided — in a way that’s how it should be (5)
APTLY – A (from the clue) followed by the outside letters only (voided) of PermiT LegallY.

27a         Choice about time for work in theatre (9)
OPERATION –   OPTION (choice) put about ERA (time)

28a         Crazy leader of dissidents exploded grenade (8)
DERANGED –   The ‘leader’ of dissidents followed by an (exploded ) anagram of GRENADE

29a         At the same time that learner enters game (6)
WHILST – L (learner) ‘enters’ the game of WHIST.


1d           Attach less importance to drink and fun (8)
DOWNPLAY –   DOWN (drink) PLAY (fun)

2d           Doing wrong part of test, putting final piece first (7)
SINNING –   INNINGS (part of a cricket [test] match) with the final letter (piece) moved from last to first place).

3d           Person not drinking possibly eats in bar (9)
ABSTAINER –   An anagram (possibly) of EATS IN BAR

5d           Person taking responsibility for their life who doesn’t believe in ghosts? (14)
AUTOBIOGRAPHER   –   Someone writing their own life story rather than using a ghost writer.

6d           Something grasped by athletic Aberdonian? (5)
CABER –   Hidden in (grasped by) athletiC ABERdonian

7d           Remove human expertise from workplace in poor shape (7)
DESKILL –   DESK (workplace) ILL (in poor shape)

8d           Key admission for those in certain class (6)
GENTRY –   G (musical key) ENTRY (admission)

9d           High-ranking strategist with mostly moral attitude, having multiple job applications (7-7)
GENERAL-PURPOSE –   GENERAL (high-ranking strategist) PURe (most of pure, moral) POSE (attitude)

16d         Second crop ruined at the farm (9)
AFTERMATH – I knew that AFTERMATH meant the later consequences of a particular occurrence, especially if bad, but didn’t know that it could also mean the second mowing of grass in the same season.

17d         Tough sergeant, say, time after time breaking soldier (8)
MARTINET   –   A strict disciplinarian (tough sergeant, say) –   T (time) breaks or goes inside MARINE (soldier) and then another T (time) goes after the result.

19d         Awfully evil character, in common stereotype (7)
MONSTER –   Lurking in comMON STEReotype

21d         Particular places I recollected (7)
SPECIAL –   An anagram (recollected)of PLACES I

22d         Rising in revolt over conflict diamonds (6)
UPWARD – UP (in revolt) goes over (in a Down clue) WAR (conflict) D (diamonds)

24d         Composer whose pieces could come in handy (5)
HAYDN –   Because the letters (pieces) of the composer’s name are an anagram of HANDY.




1 comment on “ST 2837

  1. I can’t remember where I was when I did this one but I do remember enjoying it very much.
    I couldn’t get 5d until I had alternate letters in.
    I didn’t know this meaning of 16d but it couldn’t have been much else.
    I liked 10 and 15a and 9d.
    With thanks to Virgilius and to CS.

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