ST 2853

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2853

A full review by crypticsue

This puzzle was published on 19th June 2016

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


I found this slightly trickier than some recent Sunday puzzles but as enjoyable as ever.

Please a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a           Not working, fusses about a lower level position (10)
DOWNSTAIRS –  DOWN (not working) and STIRS (fusses) put about A (from the clue)

6a           Prepares to fight — that’s a promise, ignoring the odds (4)
ARMS –   A from the clue and the even letters (ignoring the odds) of pRoMiSe

9a           With endless amusement, directed part of Scottish outfit (7)
SPORRAN –   ‘endless’ SPORt (amusement) and RAN (directed)

10a         One making definite choice to be less slim (7)
PLUMPER –   Someone making a definite choice or an adjective meaning less slim.

12a         In hardship, it’s a restructuring that’s often opposed by unions (13)
PRIVATISATION –   An anagram (restructuring) of IT’S A inserted into PRIVATION (hardship)

14a         Musician has to quickly run around piano, right? (6)
HARPER –   I’d always called these people ‘harpists’ but the HARPER definition is the first one in the list in the BRB.   HARE (quickly run) goes round P (piano) and the result is then finished by R (right)

15a         As religious leader, Edward talked at length (8)
RABBITED –   RABBI (religious leader) TED (Edward)

17a         What can become ruined without male guard (8)
WATCHMAN –   An anagram (become ruined) of WHAT CAN goes outside (without – I can hear BD’s teeth grinding from here) M (male).

19a         Flier for magician (6)
MERLIN – A bird of prey or King Arthur’s magician

22a         Preparing to substitute for player, not learning enough (13)
UNDERSTUDYING –   Split 5, 8 to understand the second part of the clue.

 24a         Something body needs for energy put in container (7)
PROTEIN – PRO (for) E (energy) put in TIN (container)

25a         In part of Africa once, you are reportedly not affected (7)
NATURAL –   U R (you are ‘reportedly’ or said out loud) inserted into NATAL (a former province of South Africa)

26a         Visible indication of ill feeling that’s overhasty (4)
RASH –   Another of several double definition clues in this particular crossword.

27a         Pressure leading to post in hospital in top office (10)
PRESIDENCY –   P (pressure) goes before (leading to) RESIDENCY (post in hospital) 


1d           Ready to perform call for peace (4)
DOSH –   DOSH and ready are both informal terms for money.  DO (perform) SH (call for peace)

2d           Wide container for something very big (7)
WHOPPER – W (wide) HOPPER (container)

3d           Extra cost to pay as Army, say, goes on attack (7,6)
SERVICE CHARGE –  SERVICE (Army, say, one of the armed services) CHARGE (attack)

4d           Needing to be replanted — like dates, with one exception (6)
ANNUAL –   Plants you have to replant every year or dates in the calendar apart from a leap year when February has an extra day.

5d           Counter-attack putting queen in peril as ordered (8)
REPRISAL –   R (queen) put in an anagram (as ordered) of PERIL AS

7d Ribbed fabric is not commonly put on new coat (7)
REPAINT –   REP (ribbed fabric mainly found in crosswords) and AINT (is not ‘commonly’)

8d           Playing to win hand (10)
SERENADING –   This nice cryptic definition earned a * from me.

11d         Not quietening down, including one part of speech turned up full (13)
UNABBREVIATED –   UNABATED (not quietening down) includes a reversal (turned up in a Down clue) of I VERB (one part of speech)

13d         Display garment for horse or rider (10)
SHOWJUMPER – SHOW (display) JUMPER (garment)

16d         It secures safe rent as arranged (8)
FASTENER –   An anagram (as arranged) of SAFE RENT.

18d         What we did, ultimately, with record of loans generating little interest (7)
TEDIOUS –   The ultimate letters of whaT wE diD plus IOUS (records of loans)

20d         Roman soldiers holding king in chain (3-4)
LEG-IRON –   LEGION (Roman soldiers) holding R (Rex, king)

21d         I’d a son, awfully handsome boy (6)
ADONIS –   An anagram (awfully) of ID A SON

23d         Severely criticise loud song for beat with excessive force (4)
FLAY –   Two definitions put round the wordplay – F (loud) LAY (song)


  1. Hathersage John
    Posted June 30, 2016 at 9:31 am | Permalink | Reply

    Yes I agree with the review, for which thanks. A long, hard grind to the finish, with too many clues of the ‘partial anagram and insert a letter’ variety. Not as enjoyable, for me, as some Sunday puzzles, which prompts a 3*/2*rating. I am a generous marker usually but I was suffering from man flu at the time and perhaps not in the best of moods, so a bit mean.
    Incidentally I discovered that on completion of the online version, before submitting my solution, if I come out of the puzzle briefly and then return it tells me if my solution is correct or not. I can then go back and check for errors/ silly spelling mistakes which have been my undoing in the past. You all probably knew that, but I didn’t!

  2. maarvarq
    Posted July 27, 2016 at 1:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I was slow to start on this but once I had the SW corner done, the rest went fairly smoothly. BTW, in 5d it’s just R in PERIL AS, not in IN PERIL AS.

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