ST 2869 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2869

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2869

A full review by crypticsue

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This puzzle was published on Sunday 9nd October

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


I found this Sunday puzzle slightly trickier than previous weeks.   Lots to enjoy – I marked three clues for special merit.


1a           Hunt runs in frantic chase (6)
SEARCH – R (runs in cricket scoring) in an anagram (frantic) of CHASE

4a           Conservative legislation covering leader of union in plant (6)
CACTUS – C (Conservative) ACTS (legislation), the latter ‘covering’ the ‘leader’ of Union

8a           No problem for top minion, as arranged (8)
INSOMNIA – An anagram (arranged) of MINION AS gives us something that wouldn’t be a problem for someone who sleeps ‘like a top’.   I was intrigued as to how the saying originated and apparently when a top is spinning well the precessional effect causes its axis to remain stationary and it can appear to be still, that is, ‘sleeping’. 

10a         Person easily manipulated, that might be on hand (6)
PUPPET – A glove puppet might well be on a hand

11a         Fool that was improperly taught, initially (4)
TWIT – The initial letters of That Was Improperly Taught

12a         Not having any money – what’s heart-warming about that? (10)
ABSTINENCE – A clever clue that requires careful consideration to work out the definition and wordplay.    ABSENCE makes the heart grow fonder (or warmer) and should be put about TIN (money)

13a         Script producer and entire crew’s revised, finally right (6,6)
SCREEN WRITER – An anagram (revised) of ENTIRE CREWS with R (right) at the end (finally)

16a         Improvement to house – addition of bar? (12)
REDECORATION –  When you are given a medal you are said to be decorated, so if you added a further award of a bar to that medal, you’d definitely have been the subject of some redecoration

20a         Gift divided by male, one in total control (10)
DOMINATION – DONATION (gift) divided by M (male) and I (one)

21a         Signals left out of things like this (4)
CUES – Simply remove the L (left) out of CLUES (things like this)

22a         Impact fellow with iron, in turn (6)
AFFECT – F (fellow) and FE (chemical symbol for iron) go in ACT (turn)

23a         Put up at home, having no friend around (8)
NOMINATE – NO MATE (no friend) goes around IN (at home)

24a         Split I discerned in British cult (6)
BISECT – I (from the clue) discerned or found in between B (British) and SECT (cult)

25a         Undernourished family in Southern US city (6)
SKINNY – KIN (family) goes inside S (southern) NY (New York, US city)


1d           Kind of course that provides something to eat between rounds (8)
SANDWICH – The golf course not far from me has the same name as something to eat put between rounds of bread.

2d           Dealing with an attack of disease? (5)
ABOUT – A  BOUT (an attack of disease)

3d           Restrict murderer oddly not put inside (7)
CONTAIN – An anagram (oddly) of NOT put inside CAIN (the first Old Testament murderer)

5d           Install as a head, holding power (7)
APPOINT – A POINT (a head) holding P (power)

6d           Street cop given new order that’s hush-hush (3-6)
TOP-SECRET – An anagram (given new order) of STREET COP

7d           Start work on canvas in small sailing boat (6)
SKETCH – S (small) KETCH (sailing boat)

9d           Removing disorderly brats before court case (11)
ABSTRACTION – An anagram (disorderly) of BRATS before ACTION (court case)

14d         Basis of health, wealth and wisdom one’s seen in noble head (9)
EARLINESS – Because as everyone knows ‘early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.   I (one) is seen between EARL (noble) and NESS (headland)

15d         Altered on the sly, believe me! (8)
HONESTLY – An anagram (altered) of ON THE SLY

17d         Medic acts badly about onset of illness that’s severe (7)
DRASTIC – DR (doctor, medic) and an anagram (badly) of ACTS goes about I (the ‘onset’ of Illness)

18d         A doctor, in row, went berserk (3,4)
RAN AMOK – Just to keep you up to speed on your medical abbreviations, another doctor, A MO (A doctor, Medical Officer) is inserted into RANK (row)

19d         Have discussion about working capital (6)
CONFAB – C (about) ON (working) FAB (capital in the sense of splendid or marvellous)

21d         Sound made by large gun, as a rule (5)
CANON – Sounds like a homophone of CANNON, large gun.


Virgilius does like his insertion type clues, half of the Acrosses and just under half of the Down clues require you to put something inside something else, which you probably wouldn’t particularly notice if you weren’t the blogger typing the review