ST 2880 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2880

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2880

A full review by crypticsue

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This puzzle was published on Sunday 1 January

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Another super Sunday puzzle – I’ve given up making 12a’s about spotting Ninas in crosswords – I missed this one too – the word BREXIT was clearly visible in row 2, if you’d remembered to look, that is!


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1a           Current measure coming from a legislator before (6)
AMPERE – A (from the clue) MP (Member of Parliament, legislator) ERE (before)

4a           Instruments showing parts of organism, hiding nothing (6)
CELLOS – CELLS (parts of organism) hiding O (nothing)

8a           Helped as daughter, nursing another relative endlessly (8)
ASSISTED – AS (from the clue) and D (daughter) between which is inserted (nursing) SISTEr (another relative ‘endlessly’)

10a         Noise made by bee and other insect in rubbish (6)
HUMBUG – HUM (noise made by bee) and BUG (other insect)

11a         On first of January, the writer has to dance (4)
JIVE – J (the ‘first’ of January) and IVE (I, the writer, has to)

12a         Timely statement of intent about what you’re working on (10)
RESOLUTION – RE (about) SOLUTION (what you are working on to finish the clue/crossword)

13a         Subordinate role to play in fraud after short time (6,6)
SECOND FIDDLE – FIDDLE (fraud) goes after SECOND (short time)

16a         Shop for food using strange dialect where some Germans live (12)
DELICATESSEN –  An anagram (strange) of DIALECT followed by ESSEN (a city where some Germans live)

20a         Stupid pupils are absorbing nothing — make easier to understand (10)
POPULARISE – An anagram (stupid) of PUPILS ARE absorbing O (nothing) – this crossword’s second insertion of O meaning nothing)

21a         Austerity measure covering end of year, in short (4)
CURT – CUT (austerity measure) covering R (the ‘end’ of year)

22a         Do some paving, in a way — work at last (6)
COBBLE – Lay some cobblestones or work as a cobbler does at his last

23a         In middle of explanation, altered subject? (8)
NATIONAL – Lurking in the middle of explaNATION ALtered

24a         A breather after run that’s most unusual (6)
RAREST – A (from the clue) and REST (breather) go after R (Run in cricket scoring)

25a         Pound in new year in disarray, pretty much (6)
NEARLY – L (£, pound sterling) goes in an anagram (in disarray) of N (new) YEAR


1d           Sailor did his thing, we hear — descended using rope (8)
ABSEILED – AB (Able-Bodied Seaman, sailor) followed by a homophone (we hear) of SAILED (the thing a sailor does)

2d           Prepare to set off in 2017, for example (5)
PRIME – To charge or fill a gun, firearm, bomb etc, with powder or other means of igniting the charge.   2017 is indeed an example of a prime number.  I found a wonderful thing on the web which told me that “1 x 2017 is odd, prime, unhappy, not weird and not triangular” so now you know

3d           Stopped working, exhausted again? (7)
RETIRED – Split your solution 2,5 and you’d be tired or exhausted all over again.

5d           Gave off — held axe in wrong way (7)
EXHALED – An anagram (in wrong way) of HELD AXE

6d           Without restrictions, I’m in dark to a greater extent (9)
LIMITLESS – IM (from the clue) in LIT LESS (dark to a greater extent)

7d           Defeats rising, retaining power in stunned state (6)
STUPOR – A reversal (rising in a Down clue) of ROUTS (defeats) retaining P (power)

9d           Difference isn’t changing, in manner of speaking (11)
DISTINCTION – An anagram (changing) of ISNT inserted into DICTION (manner of speaking)

14d         Peculiar piece of music for 2017, say (3,6)
ODD NUMBER – ODD (peculiar) NUMBER (piece of music)

15d         Somehow bear fury that’ll be shorter this year than last (8)
FEBRUARY – An anagram (somehow) of BEAR FURY gives us the month that’ll be shorter than it was in 2016, as this year isn’t a Leap Year

17d         Those exiting, having left European states (7)
LEAVERS – L (left) E (European) AVERS (states)

18d         Plays in that position, hugging a touchline initially (7)
THEATRE – THERE (in that position) hugging A (from the clue) and T (Touchline initially)

19d         New Year award, perhaps happening in part of day (6)
HONOUR – ON (happening) in HOUR (part of day)

21d         Church with gold covering one section of it (5)
CHOIR – CH (church) OR (heraldic gold), the latter covering I (one)