ST2920 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2920

A full review by crypticsue

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This puzzle was published on 8th October 2017

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

I found this particular Sunday puzzle less straightforward than usual, but typing the review, I’m not really sure why. Some very nice surface readings but it is too hard to select just one favourite, so I won’t.

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    Remove tax or duty (6)
EXCISE – Double or triple definition – that’s the question. The first one is definitely to cut off or out (remove). The BRB talks about a tax on certain home commodities and then it talks about a verb meaning to subject to excise duty, but I’ve decided ‘double’ is the answer to my question and so that’s how I’ve put the underlining.

4a    Belonging to school, perhaps, that’s cold and unfriendly (6)
OFFISH – OF FISH (belonging to a school [of fish] perhaps

8a    One way to punish son — with witticism, overly subtle (8)
FINESPUN – FINE (one way to punish) S (son) PUN (witticism)

10a    News item about what’s left of aircraft (6)
REPORT – RE (about) PORT (the left side of an aircraft)

11a    Set of type that’s needed for ceremony with sponsors (4)
FONT – A set of type or something needed for a baptism ceremony

12a    I’m in English Channel — it’s rough (10)
ESTIMATION – IM (from the clue) put in E (English) STATION (channel)

13a    Timid people, covering second part of speech, don’t sound right (12)
MISPRONOUNCE – Don’t sound (pronounce) right – MICE (timid people) covering S (second) PRONOUN (part of speech)

16a    Allergic reaction a short distance into economic problem (12)
INFLAMMATION – A MM (a short distance) inserted into INFLATION (economic problem)

20a    Managing to survive article, and sporting about it (10)
WEATHERING – WEARING (sporting) goes about THE (article)

21a    Where spades may be kept or discarded (4)
SHED – A nice misleading surface reading – leading one to wonder about card games – but we need somewhere garden spades are stored or a verb meaning discarded

22a    Add a couple of pages before conclusion (6)
APPEND – A (from the clue) PP (a couple of, abbreviated, pages) END (conclusion)

23a    Lesson is sorted out, in case (8)
TUTORIAL – An anagram (sorted) of OUT in TRIAL (case)

24a    Denounce over small notice (6)
DESCRY – DECRY (denounce) goes over S (small)

25a    Piece of work, not typically difficult (6)
KNOTTY – Lurking in worK NOT TYpically


1d    Copies I’d reproduced in instalments (8)
EPISODIC – An anagram (reproduced) of COPIES ID

2d    Front of trunk or large box (5)
CHEST – The trunk in the first of these definitions being part of the body

3d    Overall boss investing power in certain doctor (7)
SUPREMO – P (power) invested in SURE (certain), MO (medical officer, doctor) being added at the end

5d    Sack worker, one often told to go to blazes (7)
FIREMAN – FIRE (sack) MAN (worker)

6d    Mean tip — it could make one poor as waiter (9)
IMPATIENT – An anagram (could make) of MEAN TIP IT

7d    Means to sort out clods in school (6)
HARROW – An implement used on a farm or a public school

9d    Revolutionary ain’t registered as patriot (11)
NATIONALIST – An anagram (revolutionary) of AINT plus ON A LIST (registered)

14d    Futile instruction to reduce one form of rudeness (9)
POINTLESS POINT LESS and you won’t be seen as being quite so rude

15d    Financial result of putting artistic Frenchman over a railway (8)
MONETARY – MONET (artistic Frenchman) over A (from the clue) RY (railway)

17d    Cover point, for example, following one senior figure (7)
FIELDER – F (following) I (one) ELDER (senior figure)

18d    Huge weight, as opposed to a stone, raised (7)
MEGATON – A reversal (raised in a Down clue) of NOT A GEM (as opposed to a stone)

19d    Gathered primate is being shielded by cardinal, say (6)
REAPED – APE (primate) is being shielded by or covered by RED (the meaning of cardinal here being a deep scarlet colour)

21d    Member providing support when trust is shattered (5)
STRUT – An anagram (is shattered) of TRUST


2 comments on “ST2920

  1. As usual I can’t find the crossword to see what I thought but I can remember being completely fooled by 11a for a ridiculous length of time.
    I can also remember particularly liking 4 and 13a and 7d.
    Thanks to CS for the review.

  2. When I did the hints for this puzzle, I remember tossing a metaphorical coin over double or triple definition for 1a, and double ‘won.’

    However, one commenter had a very different view on it. Definition was duty, and was achieved by taxing (deleting) OR from EXORCISE – remove in a religious sense.

    I am going to stick with the double definition!

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