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ST 2888

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2888

A full review by crypticsue

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This puzzle was published on Sunday 26th February

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

Another lovely Sunday crossword – thank you Virgilius

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           Gather outside front of restaurant for meal (6)
BRUNCH – BUNCH (gather) outside R (the front of Restaurant)

4a           Composer getting constant offer of a lift (6)
CHOPIN – C (constant) HOP IN (offer of a lift)

8a           Most tragic thing missing in defeat (8)
BLACKEST – LACK (thing missing) in BEST (defeat)

10a         Engaged in change of course at sea in storm (6)
ATTACK – AT (engaged in) TACK (change of course at sea)

11a         Difficulty or complexity that’s not pronounced (4)
KNOT –  could there be a clearer homophone indicator in this clue??

12a         Imposed punishment of a kind that’s permitted (10)
SANCTIONED – Penalised or permitted

13a         Relating to hope, since religious and sensible (12)
ASPIRATIONAL – AS (since) PI (religious) RATIONAL (sensible)

16a         Peer‘s perverse, penning funny poem (12)
CONTEMPORARY – CONTRARY (perverse) ‘penning’ an anagram (funny) of POEM

20a         Weak new piece of furniture, very bad (10)
LAMENTABLE – LAME (weak) N (new) TABLE (piece of furniture)

21a         Audible expression of sadness, in a sense, cut short (4)
SIGH – SIGHt (sense) ‘cut short’

22a         Taxonomic groups in Information Age (6) (online clue)
Subgroups of families in Information Age (6) (newspaper clue)
Either way the clue is parsed as: GENERA – GEN (information) ERA (age)

23a         Providing cover for present ringleader in East End area (8)
WRAPPING – the ‘leader’ of Ring in WAPPING (East End area)

24a         Inform somebody else finally, being extremely selective (6)
NOTIFY – NOT I (someone else) and the ‘extreme’ letters of FinallY

25a         Lament, i.e. bawl, when upset (6)
BEWAIL – an anagram (when upset) of IE BAWL


1d           HQ receiving short message from Asian island (8)
BALINESE – BASE (HQ) ‘receiving’ LINE (short message)

2d           Like diamonds, initially, or a complete pack of cards (5)
UNCUT – An obvious double definition

3d           Part of our capital otherwise invested in tea (7)
CHELSEA – ELSE (otherwise) invested in CHA (tea)

5d           Catch bit of PM’s address and cheer up (7)
HEARTEN – HEAR (catch) TEN (Downing Street!)

6d           Be pro, toil frantically to produce this lucrative work (9)
POTBOILER – An anagram (frantically) of BE PRO TOIL

7d           Slightly damaged   stole (6)
NICKED – Damaged by a small cut or a slang term meaning stole

9d           Sporting injury resulting from unusually intense blow (6,5)
TENNIS ELBOW – An anagram (unusually) of INTENSE BLOW

14d         Something added in court about people being put inside (9)
INCREMENT – IN (from the clue) and CT (court) with RE (about) and MEN (people) being put inside

15d         One drink in middle of exam makes us creative (8)
ORIGINAL – I (one) and GIN (drink) in the middle of ORAL (exam)

17d         Very much like number of Down clues here (3,4)
NOT HALF – There are 14 Across clues and so half of them would be 7.  However, there are 13 Down clues so not half of the Acrosses

18d         Happen before red tape changed or tapered off (7)
PREDATE – A Virgilius special – you can choose to make an anagram (changed) of RED TAPE or (off) of TAPERED

19d         In eastern parts of desert terrain, claim watering-hole (6)
TAVERN – AVER (claim) goes inside the eastern parts of deserT and terraiN

21d         Like an old picture showing Greek character in Aegean, say (5)
SEPIA – PI (Greek character) in SEA (Aegean, say)

I’m going to sneak the fact that I have five favourites in at the end of this review and hope Kath doesn’t read this far as I can’t decide between 4a, 11a, 24a, 17d and 18d – as to which should have top spot, although if pushed, I’d probably go for 18d



7 comments on “ST 2888

  1. Thanks CS for the explanations for 8a & 24a & thanks to Virgilius.

    Also why does the site look a bit weird today?

    1. It looks weird as I have a lot of problems with getting my Word document to the site – I think it is that the review template macro Gnomey created for me back in 2010 doesn’t like our new home computer’s Word 2016. Normally I fiddle about and get it looking perfect but I didn’t have time last night. Tomorrow’s blog of last Saturday’s puzzle will be ‘weird’ too.

      Still it could look a lot worse – you can see the clue and the explanation – there’s just a gap between the two,

      1. Thanks CS but it’s not just your post tat is odd it’s also other items which I cannot view such as the side bars etc.

        1. That’s just you, I think as I can see everything – have you tried the equivalent of ‘turning it off and turning it back on again’ – one of the few pieces of technical knowledge I always go for in the first place

          1. I’ve just switched to Mozilla Fire fox & everything is there but in Google Chrome is where the problem lies. I’ll try your advice & failing that I’ll resort to using a Birmingham Screwdriver – in other words a bloody big hammer!

            1. Funny to hear a hammer referred to as a ‘Birmingham Screwdriver’, one of my dad’s favourite sayings

  2. Hmmm – well, I am reading it! Five favourites – oh dear! :negative:
    I had trouble with this crossword but it’s so long ago now that I can’t remember why and neither can I find the paper.
    Having looked at the hints I now remember that I got into a real pickle with 1d because of the relevant island being at the beginning of the clue.
    I liked 4 and 11a and 18d.
    Thanks again to Virgilius and to CS.

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