ST 2916 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2916

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2916

A full review by crypticsue

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This puzzle was published on 10th September 2017

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

Another lovely Sunday crossword – full of the things we expect from Virgilius – a lurker or two, some splendid cryptic definitions, and for the blogger nice easy-to-explain surface readings. My Across favourite is 16d and my Down favourite is 17d, although I admit to having quite a long short list before making my decision.

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1a    Pressure surrounding midsummer trade (8)
COMMERCE – COERCE (pressure) surrounding MM (the letters in the ‘mid’ of summer)

9a    After king hugged by favourite, row becomes less ugly (8)
PRETTIER – TIER (row) goes after R (Rex, king) ‘hugged by’ PET (favourite)

10a    Fish that gets played? Doesn’t sound like it (4)
BASS – This fish spells its name the same way as a musical instrument (that gets played) but they are pronounced differently

11a    RAF, for example, regrouped above Britain (12)
ABBREVIATION – An anagram (regrouped) of ABOVE BRITAIN

13a    Creative skill is put into middle section of smarter essay (8)
ARTISTRY – IS (from the clue) put into the middle section of smARTer and followed by TRY (essay)

15a    Fresh information sent back about editor in part of Europe (6)
SWEDEN – NEWS (fresh information) reversed (sent back) and then put round (about) ED (editor)

16a    E.g. Keats, Milton, or Pope, often (4)
JOHN – The Christian names of the poets Keats and Milton, and the name adopted by, apparently, twenty-three Popes

17a    Leaders deserting the navy — that’s hard to bear (5)
HEAVY – The leaders of tHE and nAVY deserting the rest of the words

18a    Returned conflict diamonds in no-win situation (4)
DRAW – A reversal (returned) of WAR (conflict) D (Diamonds in a pack of cards)

20a    Affected person regrets surgery going the wrong way (6)
POSEUR – Another reversal, indicated by ‘going the wrong’ way, of RUES (regrets) OP (surgery)

21a    Capital husband invested in modern food store (3,5)
NEW DELHI – H (husband) ‘invested in’ NEW (modern) DELI (food store)

23a    No short-term changes about name highest in charts? (12)
NORTHERNMOST – These charts being maps rather than the hit parade. An anagram (changes) of NO SHORT TERM ‘about’ N (name)

26a    Bird nesting in hibiscus (4)
IBIS – I’ve never seen one in our hibiscus plants but there’s one lurking (nesting) in hIBIScus

27a    Runner is more complacent going across line (8)
SMUGGLER – SMUGGER (more complacent) ‘going across’ L (line)

28a    Chap becoming more mature and coping (8)
MANAGING – MAN (chap) AGING (become more mature)


2d    Otherwise a small group of players includes old musical work (8)
ORATORIO – OR (otherwise) A (from the clue) TRIO (small group of players) ‘includes’ O (old)

3d    Medium is frantically lamenting bad omen in stars? (12)
MISALIGNMENT – M (medium) IS (from the clue) and an anagram (frantically) of LAMENTING

4d    Religious teacher with little time for chat (6)
RABBIT – RABBI (religious teacher) with T (the little abbreviation for time)

5d    For sporting event, one’s tip is modified, to be blunt (4)
EPEE – The tip of an epee used in a fencing contest is modified to be blunter than one you’d use in a sword fight where you intended to win a battle to the death of your opponent

6d    Bank covering up failure in negligent way (8)
REMISSLY – RELY (bank) covering up MISS (failure)

7d    Not top gear for female in car (4)
MINI – A marque of car has the same name as a skirt worn by a female – (not top gear)

8d    Mint and nutmeg, initially, put in tea, say (5-3)
BRAND-NEW – AND (from the clue) and N (nutmeg initially) put in BREW (tea, say)

12d    Innovative attempt mostly transformed tent design (12)
TRENDSETTING – Most of TRy (attempt) plus an anagram (transformed) of TENT DESIGN

14d    Long story about what Romeo and Juliet have in common (5)
YEARN – YARN (story) goes about an E – the letter that the names Romeo and Juliet have in common

16d    Jokes about an East Asian language (8)
JAPANESE – JAPES (jokes) go about AN (from the clue) and E (East)

17d    What’s tormented flesh or rear of pony? (8)
HORSEFLY – They torment Mr CS too – if there’s a horsefly in the garden, it will make a beeline (fly line??) for him and leave the rest of us alone. An anagram (tormented) of FLESH OR and Y (the ‘rear’ of pony)

19d    Some heathen I antagonised, European citizen (8)
ATHENIAN – The Down lurker – found in some heATHEN I ANtagonised

22d    Like many cases in court, end in disarray (6)
WOODEN – WOO (court) and an anagram (in disarray) of END

24d    Defeat as result of having resistance extinguished (4)
ROUT – R (resistance) OUT (extinguished)

25d    Name of Parisian embracing right standard (4)
NORM – NOM (the French, as used in Paris, word for name) ’embracing’ R (right)