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ST 2954

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2954

A full review by crypticsue

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This puzzle was published on 3rd June 2018

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ****

Superb as per usual – if it wasn’t for the splendid 25a and 14d, I might raise my usual quibble about the number of clues in a row requiring something to be inserted into something else, but I’ll just content myself with awarding 4* for enjoyment rather than 5.


1a    Superlative ending in quintet is joyous (7)
FESTIVE – A superlative word always ends in -EST – this should be inserted into FIVE (quintet)

5a    Counsellor is taken in by part of speech, almost (7)
ADVISER – IS (from the clue) taken in by almost all of an ADVERb (part of speech)

9a    Object wrapped in torn old clothes (7)
RAIMENT – AIM (object) ‘wrapped in’ RENT (torn)

10a    Changes into suits (7)
BECOMES – Double definition time – both parts of verbs

11a    Weapons poorly positioned in vessel carrying vital supply (9)
ARTILLERY – ILL (poorly) ‘positioned in’ ARTERY (vessel carrying vital supply)

12a    Country house I will set in very limited area (5)
VILLA – I’LL (I will) set in between V (abbreviated or limited very) and A (area)

13a    Painter, male and French (5)
MANET – MAN (male) ET (The French word for and)

15a    Replacing fellow artist, finally, as singer? (9)
INFORMANT – IN FOR (replacing) MAN (fellow) T (the final letter of artist)

17a    Rich high-flier? Stone me! (3-6)
JET-SETTER – JET (stone) SETTER (me being Virgilius himself)

19a    Present, a tie, sent back (5)
AWARD – A (from the clue) and a reversal (sent back) of DRAW (tie)

22a    Religious singing in church, then a part of Bible (5)
CHANT – CH (church) A (from the clue) NT (New Testament, part of Bible)

23a    Indicate some Europeans as upholders of standards (9)
FLAGPOLES – FLAG (indicate) POLES (some Europeans)

25a    Union leader shot in dramatic circumstances (7)
LINCOLN – Brilliant and then some. Because, of course, Abraham LINCOLN was shot in dramatic circumstances, both literally and metaphorically, as he was assassinated while in a theatre

26a    Regalia adapted for country on Med (7)
ALGERIA – An anagram (adapted) of REGALIA

27a    E.g. diamond put on table first, source of bright colour (3,4)
RED LEAD – a RED card (diamond for example) LEAD (put on table first)

28a    Doctor, new, observed to be rich (7)


1d    Body part receiving attention in class (7)
FOREARM – EAR (attention) in FORM (class)

2d    Struck with small glove (7)
SMITTEN – S (small) MITTEN (glove)

3d    Perfect statement from one giving everyone a hand (5)
IDEAL – Someone giving everyone a hand of cards might well say “I DEAL”

4d    Fanatic‘s taken out of context re mistake (9)
EXTREMIST – Taken out of contEXT RE MISTake

5d    Bishops, in old-fashioned agreement, upset church (5)
ABBEY – BB (bishops) in a reversal (upset in a Down clue) of YEA (old-fashioned agreement)

6d    Note always put in travel document? Just the opposite (4,5)
VICE VERSA – C (musical note) EVER (always) inserted into VISA (travel document)

7d    Thus article is about one African country or another (7)
SOMALIA – SO (thus) A (article) about MALI (one African country)

8d    Begin afresh with skill after break (7)
RESTART – ART (skill) goes after REST (break)

14d    Score I put together in game (6-3)
TWENTY-ONE – TWENTY (score) and I (one) put together to get another name for the card game pontoon

16d    It signals danger with shooter crossing a line (4,5)
FIRE ALARM – FIREARM ‘crossing’ A (from the clue) L (line)

17d    Good-humoured jest initially related to sightseers? (7)
JOCULAR – J (jest initially) OCULAR (relating to sightseers?)

18d    Exercised short time, then showered (7)
TRAINED – T (short, abbreviated, time) then RAINED (showered)

20d    Person’s bad reaction largely misplaced (7)
ALLERGY – An anagram (misplaced) of LARGELY

21d    Celebrity framed by parent as scoundrel (7)
DASTARD – STAR (celebrity) ‘framed by’ DAD (parent)

23d    Discover with concealed drug, hence punished, in a way (5)
FINED – FIND (discover) with ‘concealed’ E (Ecstasy, drug)

24d    Having no faith in search for metals, including silver (5)
PAGAN – PAN (search for metals) ‘including’ AG (the chemical symbol for silver)

2 comments on “ST 2954

  1. Thanks for the review, CS – it was, as you say, a superb puzzle. Much as I agree with you over the cleverness of 25a, I’m still sticking with the rich high-flier as my favourite.
    21d put me in mind of Dick Dastardly in Wacky Races – Muttley always made me laugh.

    If you have chance – there’s a line of type gone awol in 28a.

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