ST 2926 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2926

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2926

A full review by crypticsue

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This puzzle was published on 19th November 2017

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

I really enjoyed this Sunday puzzle – lots of Virgilius ‘specials and some lovely surface readings too.

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1a    Fundamentals, thus, grasped by degrees (6)
BASICS – SIC (thus) ‘grasped by’ BAS (Bachelors of Art, degrees)

4a    Merciful judge, one who regularly trains? (8)
COMMUTER – A merciful judge who changes a death sentence for a less severe punishment’ someone who travels to work by train

10a    Oddly elect to retain right to hold property for customers (9)
CLIENTELE – An anagram (oddly) of ELECT ‘retains’ LIEN (right to hold property)

11a    Healthy, from what we hear (5)
SOUND – A double definition

12a    It comes between flights, one way or another (7)
LANDING – Flights of aircraft or flights of stairs, thus one way or another

13a    Deservedly get to hold article of baked clay (7)
EARTHEN – EARN (deservedly get) to ‘hold’ THE (definite article)

14a    Wait on answer (5)
SERVE – And another double definition

15a    Comprehensively added everything carried outside (8)
TOTALLED – TOTED (carried) goes outside ALL (everything)

18a    Against current university student group holding power (8)
UPSTREAM – U (University) STREAM (student group) ‘holding’ P (power)

20a    Kept in school and given all the extra duties, initially (5)
GATED – The initial letters of Given All The Extra Duties

23a    Male surrounded by fools and duds (7)
CLOTHES – Sometimes informal terms are so helpful for a setter in need of a nice surface reading. Here duds is the plural of a very old word of unknown origin, once applied to coarse cloaks, but now used for clothes of any kind. HE (male) ‘surrounded by’ CLOTS (fools)

25a    Titian excited about very successful picture (7)
TITANIC – An anagram (excited) of TITIAN followed by C (circa, about)

26a    Unlimited poverty, clear for all to see (5)
OVERT – Remove the outside limits of pOVERTy

27a    Lead, for instance, around work — running for union? (9)
ELOPEMENT – Lead is an example of an ELEMENT, which should be put round OP (work)

28a    Bright learner in exam that’s extremely short (8)
LITTLEST – LIT (bright) L (learner) in TEST (exam)

29a    Collect, for example, from settler across river (6)
PRAYER – PAYER (settler) ‘across’ R (river)


1d    Support painful punishment that produces strong reaction (8)
BACKLASH – BACK (support) LASH (painful punishment)

2d    Web designer creating something angler can use online? (7)
SPINNER – A description of something that ‘designs’ or builds a web is a piece of fishing tackle used on the end of the line

3d    Satisfied about occupying part of the world (9)
CONTINENT – CONTENT (satisfied) about IN (occupying)

5d    Superior to European, I’m in position? That’s highly inaccurate (14)
OVERESTIMATION – OVER (superior to) E (European) and then IM (from the clue) inserted into STATION (position)

6d    Economiser? Not half (5)
MISER – You only need the second half of econoMISER

7d    Almost closed with disgusted expression — that is no easy puzzle (7)
TOUGHIE – TO (almost closed) UGH (disgusted expression) IE (that is)

8d    Small mammal‘s lair surrounded by rubbish (6)
RODENT – DEN (lair) surrounded by ROT (rubbish)

9d    Light scattered in various directions, something astronaut may experience (14)
WEIGHTLESSNESS – An anagram (scattered) of LIGHT in various directions or abbreviated compass points

16d    Starts off flight, my dear — it’s extremely far (5-4)
LIGHT-YEAR – Take the ‘starts’ off fLIGHT mY dEAR

17d    Doctor courted a mistress, say (8)
EDUCATOR – An anagram (doctor) of COURTED A

19d    Demonstration from expert prior to big game (7)
PROTEST – PRO (exert) TEST (big game)

21d    E.g. perfect lady’s limits in edgy fashion (7)
TENSELY – TENSE (eg perfect) and the limits of LadY

22d    Train group of swimmers (6)
SCHOOL – Another double definition: the first a verb, the other a collective noun

24d    Place to stay that’s cool, paradoxically, on English lake (5)
HOTEL – HOT (cool paradoxically) E (English) L (lake)