ST 2857 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2857

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2857

A full review by crypticsue
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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****


The usual great Sunday solving experience although, probably for the first time ever, there wasn’t a single star by any of the clues marking them as a ‘favourite’.

Please leave 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           Is, within very short time, providing make-up for face (6)
VISAGE – IS (from the clue) inserted within V (the ‘short’ abbreviation for very) and AGE (time)

4a           Delivering article after wife returned (8)
BIRTHING –  THING (article) goes after a reversal (returned) of RIB (Biblical wife, see Genesis 2.21 – 23)

10a         Heartless girl, passionate and beautiful (9)
GLAMOROUS –  GL (the outside letters (heartless) of girl) and AMOROUS (passionate)

11a         Two pieces of tapas exchanged for Italian food (5)
PASTA – Two letters of TAPAS are exchanged or moved to the end of the word.

12a         Put out text initially rejected in court (7)
EXTINCT –  ‘Reject’ the initial letter of TEXT, add IN (from the clue) and finish with CT, the abbreviation for court.

13a         Moved to CID, in manner of speaking (7)
DICTION –  An anagram (moved) of TO CID IN

14a         Isn’t mistaken about capital of Uganda, or other African capital (5)
TUNIS –  An anagram (mistaken) of ISNT put ‘about’ U, the capital of Uganda.

15a         Cut link between eastern parts of Russia and Poland (8)
ABRIDGED –  BRIDGE (link) goes between the eastern parts, or last letters of, RussiA and PolanD

18a         Electoral analyst inserting lines in notice (8)
POLLSTER –  LL (two abbreviations for Line) go in POSTER (notice)

20a         Competitor on track runs after people (5)
RACER – R (runs in cricket score) go after RACE (people)

23a         Male with sign who takes part in moving protest? (7)
MARCHER – M (male) and ARCHER (another way of referring to the Sign of the Zodiac, Sagittarius)

25a         Operating aquatic sport around river (7)
DRIVING –  DIVING (aquatic sport) goes ‘around’ R (river)

26a         Prepared to be belligerent in popular media (5)
ARMED – Lurking in populAR MEDia

27a         Run down gradient in disarray, heading east (9)
DENIGRATE –  An anagram (in disarray) of GRADIENT heading, or preceding, E (east)

28a         Offered caretaker abbreviated education (8)
TENDERED –   TENDER (caretaker) goes before ED (abbreviated education).

29a         Pour so badly, unable to retain liquid (6)
POROUS – An anagram (badly) of POUR SO


1d           Brief evocative piece in novel given title, oddly (8)
VIGNETTE – An anagram novel) of GIVEN followed by the odd letters of TiTlE

2d           Small furry mammal seen in spruce (7)
SMARTEN – S (small) MARTEN –  (furry mammal) which can indeed be found in spruce trees, although, of course, spruce here is an adjective rather than a noun.

3d           Weed land encircling house on European lake (9)
GROUNDSEL – GROUNDS (land encircling house) E (European) L (lake)

5d           Illicit dealing that’s never seen in open-air market? (7,7)
INSIDER TRADING – which relates to illegal dealings at the Stock Exchange rather than at an outdoor market.

6d           Subject to minimal change in charge (5)
TOPIC – TO (from the clue) P (penny, minimal change) IC (In Charge)

7d           Occupying position overlooking church, fire (7)
INSPIRE – IN (occupying) SPIRE (position overlooking church)

8d           Good and wet? It’s not clear (6)
GRAINY – G (good) RAINY (wet)

9d           Get position of captain for game (8,6)
CONTRACT BRIDGE –  CONTRACT (get) BRIDGE (position of captain on a ship)

16d         Heroic actions going wrong in unconventional rising (7-2)
DERRING-DO – ERRING (going wrong) inserted into a reversal (rising) of ODD (unconventional)

17d         Advance publicity covering monstrous female (8)
PROGRESS – PR (publicity) ‘covering’ OGRESS (monstrous female)

19d         Agitated as Roman chap having a row (7)
OARSMAN – An anagram (agitated) of AS ROMAN

21d         Smart move, going around a city in US (7)
CHICAGO – CHIC (smart) and GO (move) going around A (from the clue)

22d         Partly declaim, partly communicate (6)
IMPART –  Lurking partly in declaIM PARTly

24d         Reduce risk of loss in hospital — proceed with caution (5)
HEDGE – H (hospital) EDGE (proceed with caution)