ST 2914 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2914

Sunday Cryptic No 2914

A full review by crypticsue

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

On the day this was published, I said that it was one of those puzzles where I really wished it was my turn to do the review, but that I’d probably get into trouble with the favourites police person as I had so many clues vying for the gold medal spot. Well, young Gnomey’s enjoying a well-earned rest/golfing holiday, so my wish has come true. Let’s see how I get on with listing the clues I really liked 😉

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    It may be used to escape hazard from food that’s fried at high temperature (4,4)
CHIP SHOT – A clue that would suit the golfing holidaymaker down to the ground. CHIPS (food that’s fried) HOT (at high temperature)

9a    Journalists king admitted to a current party activity (5-3)
APRES-SKI – PRESS (journalists) K (king) admitted to A (from the clue) I (the symbol for electrical current)

10a    Ships, having lost little time, make run for it (4)
FLEE – FLEET (ships) without the T at the end (having lost) the ‘little’ abbreviation for Time

11a    Worldly-wise type making epic that is so disorganised (12)
SOPHISTICATE – An anagram (disorganised) of EPIC THAT IS SO

13a    Don’t object so much, stupid (8)
MINDLESS – To understand the first part of the clue, split your solution 4,4

15a    For instance, I’m so absurdly following principle of self-interest (6)
EGOISM – EG (for instance) followed by an anagram (absurdly) of IM SO

16a    Person losing heart as lowly farm worker (4)
PEON – Lose the ‘heart’ or middle two letters of PErsON to get a lowly farm worker, originally from Spanish-speaking America

17a    Opportunity to learn about girl (5)
CLASS – C (circa, about) LASS (girl)

18a    Darned partners embracing opponents (4)
SEWN – S (South) and N (North), partners in a game of bridge ’embracing’ their opponents: E (East) and W (West)

20a    Short time in work on land brings excitement (6)
THRILL – HR (hour ‘short’ or abbreviated) in TILL (work on land)

21a    Temperature inside dreadful lairs (8)
HIDEOUTS – T (temperature) ‘inside’ HIDEOUS (dreadful)

23a    Novel in Welsh containing good sign for most British ladies (12)
ENGLISHWOMEN – An anagram (novel) of IN WELSH containing G (good), the result finished off with OMEN (sign)

26a    Piece of vital knowledge that’s said to be cheap (4)
TALK is cheap, whether or not it is found inside a piece of viTAL Knowledge

27a    Organiser of services in one of them (8)
CHAPLAIN – Someone who organises religious services for members of our armed forces (services)

28a    Lord who memorialised men in charge in 1854 (8)
TENNYSON – The poet who wrote about the Charge of the Light Brigade


2d    Measure of persistent radioactivity in lithium or iron? (4-4)
HALF-LIFE – The period of time in which activity of a radioactive substance falls to half its original value. So half of the second part of the solution is LI (the chemical symbol for lithium) and the other half is FE (the symbol for iron)

3d    Like some leaders in power, not suitable for offices (12)
PRESIDENTIAL – P (power) RESIDENTIAL (not suitable for offices)

4d    Bird circles in two places in anticipation (6)
HOOPOE – O’s (circles) inserted in two separate places in HOPE (anticipation)

5d    Make heavy demands on island transport for hire (4)
TAXI – TAX (make heavy demands on) I (island)

6d    For example, Marx family members as comrades (8)
BROTHERS – Members of the famous Marx family, or comrades such as members of a trades union

7d    Starts from airport somewhere in Africa, lands in East (4)
ASIA – The ‘starts’ of Airport Somewhere In Africa

8d    Person making judgment in court leading to outcry, so to speak? (8)
LINESMAN – Someone making a judgement on a tennis court which may lead them to utter a cry of out!

12d    Like some races in angry state (5-7)

14d    What’s changed as result of cut in field (5)
SWATH – An anagram (changed) of WHATS

16d    Work by G&S that one plays (8)
PATIENCE – The title of a Gilbert & Sullivan operetta, or a game of cards for one person

17d    Something old king passed, making salad (8)
COLESLAW – COLES LAW (something passed by Old King Cole)

19d    Decisive defeat, later reviewed in court (8)
WATERLOO – An anagram (reviewed) of LATER inserted into WOO (court)

22d    The writer is rising in academic field (6)
DOMAIN – A reversal (rising in a Down clue) of I AM (I [the writer] AM) inserted into DON (academic)

24d    Provoke attempt on a record, finally (4)
GOAD – GO (attempt) A (from the clue) D (the final letter of recorD)

25d    Succinct refusal as customary behaviour (4)
WONT – With an apostrophe, you’d get the succinct refusal much used by toddlers with the Terrible Two’s

There are too many splendid clues to pick just one, or even one from the Acrosses and one from the Downs, so I’m just going to do a Brucie and say they are all my favourites.



3 comments on “ST 2914

    1. So yesterday afternoon I’m in the middle of setting up this review ready to appear this morning and the BT engineer comes to work out why our landline no longer works – a lot of crackling instead of a dialling tone, and a continuous horrible ringing if you call it from your mobile) – he discovered that the person who’d set up our BT Infinity earlier in the day had used faulty connections. So he turned a lot of stuff on and off, and left us with broadband only. I went back to finish off my scheduling of the post and couldn’t get onto the blog site at all. Some hours (literally) later, and a lot of history/cookie cleaning and I was back in.

      I would say something rash like its a miracle that’s the only thing wrong – but that would be tempting the fine-toothed comb of Anglesey to turn up and prove me wrong, and we don’t want that!

  1. Fine-toothed comb isn’t in evidence today, CS, but I was curious to see which clues you’d nominated for the podium. Seems as though, like me, you couldn’t even compile a shortlist!

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