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ST 2958

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2958

A full review by crypticsue

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This puzzle was published on 1st July 2018

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

The usual Sunday service – great fun, wonderful surface readings and the usual smattering of insertion clues

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Dishearten with exam in end (10)
DEMORALISE – ORAL (examine) in DEMISE (end)

6a    Missing open goal, say, in scoreless draw between British sides (4)
BOOB – O O (scoreless draw) between B and B (letter at the side of British, sides indicating that you need two of them)

9a    Where one digests awfully bad sign (7)
ABDOMEN – An anagram (awfully) of BAD followed by OMEN (sign)

10a    Noted core of problem in entrance (7)
EMINENT – Lurking in the middle (core) of problEM IN ENTrance

12a    Bizarre overreactions where players train (13)

14a    Enlist everyone in competition (4,2)
CALL UP – ALL (everyone) in CUP (competition)

15a    Without interruption, like speech that’s fluent? (8)
UNBROKEN – Double definition

17a    He represents the first one in table (5,3)
NOBLE GAS – He (Helium) is the first noble gas in the periodic table. I read this clue, saw the enumeration and wrote in the solution. I then read all the comments about how the first word could be something different and so the checking letters would be required to solve it, and about chemistry degrees and the age a solver might have to be to get this one. I checked with my resident science expert who had a little think and then said ‘inert gas’. If you look up inert gas in the BRB it explains that they are a group of elements whose outer electron orbits are complete thus rendering them inert to the usual chemical reactions. If you look up noble gas, it just says that it is an inert gas. So now we know

19a    New production of dramas in old Indian city (6)
MADRAS – An anagram (new production) of DRAMAS produces the city now known as Chennai

22a    Soldier does, perhaps, arriving outside and taking over (13)
COMMANDEERING – MAN (soldier) DEER (does, perhaps) with COMING (arriving) ‘outside’

24a    Something to offer person moved to tears in dispute (2,5)
AT ISSUE – Someone moved to tears might need A TISSUE

25a    Incarcerate prisoner, adding another form of punishment (7)
CONFINE – CON (prisoner) FINE (another form of punishment)

26a    Left-winger‘s moderate pace (4)
TROT – Another double definition

27a    Kind of forecaster posting record in a resort, possibly (10)
ASTROLOGER – LOG (record) posted in an anagram (possibly) of A RESORT


1d    Old digital communication aid set up (4)
DIAL – A reversal (up in a Down clue) of LAID (set)

2d    Dealing with complaints falsely claimed (7)
MEDICAL – An anagram (falsely) of CLAIMED

3d    I and others on early watch, for example (5,8)
ROMAN NUMERALS – I and other letters representing numbers on, for example, an early timepiece

4d    Person who advances as aim finish of strife between sides (6)
LENDER – END (aim) and E (the finish of strifE) between L and R (sides)

5d    Like soldiers protecting West, suddenly changing course (8)
SWERVING – SERVING (like soldiers) ‘protecting’ W (west)

7d    Column is penned by odd bloke (7)
OBELISK – IS (from the clue) inserted into (penned by) an anagram (odd) of BLOKE

8d    Acrimony in flier — conclusion often reached by females (10)
BITTERNESS – BITTERN (bird, flier) and ESS (a conclusion of many words relating to females)

11d    Big game put behind bars a short time, a lion getting agitated (13)
INTERNATIONAL – INTERN (put behind bars) A (from the clue) T (short, abbreviated, time) and an anagram (getting agitated) of A LION

13d    I do nothing about ultimate wrecker of traditions (10)
ICONCLAST – I (from the clue) CON (do) O (nothing) C (circa, about) LAST (ultimate)

16d    Tough quality shown by Duke in exploit (8)
HARDNESS – D (Duke) in HARNESS (exploit)

18d    Animated young animal? On the contrary, child (7)
BAMBINO – BAMBI (animated young animal) NO (on the contrary)

20d    Furious about gang leader’s teasing (7)
RAGGING – RAGING (furious) goes about the G that is the ‘leader’ of gang

21d    Fighter with weapon who sets up a barrier? (6)
FENCER – A double definition

23a    King Edward, the humorist (4)
LEAR – And another double definition to finish the crossword – this one caught my eye on the screen while I was waiting for the printer to produce a printout and it wrote itself in as soon as the piece of paper popped out

8 comments on “ST 2958

  1. Another Sunday treat, thoroughly enjoyed.
    Thanks for the review CS
    (12a needs a V)

    1. I like to leave Mr Mainwaring moments for Jane to spot but other people seem to be beating her to it these days ;)

  2. Many thanks for your words of wisdom especially your noble ones . I got that clue ok as I cottoned on to the HE bit straight away and was surprised at the comment that followed .
    Please note the typo in 12A .
    My favourite , of many goodies , was 3D and last in was 1D as could not bring myself to believe DIAL fitted .

  3. Thanks to CS for the review, especially the comprehensive clarification of 17a.

    I’m still puzzled by the surface reading of 4d – not at all like Virgilius – thought it might have been a typo. But no-one else complained.

  4. Thanks for the review, Sue. In your expert opinion, is 17a flawed because it requires checkers to identify the answer?

    1. Not sure I’m an expert but as I say in my explanation, I didn’t have any checking letters and wrote in the correct solution from the clue/enumeration. I think any possible problem would only be for those with a chemistry background who’d have heard of the alternative

      1. It might surprise you, but in Telegraph/Guardian/Indy cryptics INERT GAS appears more often than NOBLE GAS as the answer to definitions like he, helium, argon, neon. When Brendan did “He is the lightest one (5,3)” in the Guardian nobody grumbled that they had written in noble gas instead of his desired answer of inert gas. That said, I also wrote in noble gas in this puzzle, but I wouldn’t have been surprised to find that I needed to change it.

  5. Thanks for the explanation for 17a. I had it right because I had the checkers in first. I suppose the order we solve does make a difference and chemists of the required age may have had a different answer. To the best of my recollection they were always Noble rather than inert but it is at least 30 years since I did chemistry O level. The only reason I can recall bits of the periodic table is because of the excellent Tom Lehrer version. And maybe a bit of “Pointless” too.

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