ST 2960 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2960

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2960

A full review by gnomethang

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This puzzle was published on 15th July 2018

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Morning All! As usual a thoroughly enjoyable puzzle with some stand out clues (my favourite being the &Lit).

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


7a           Way to achieve entrance as backward children, English learners (8)
DOORBELL – Reverse (it is backward) BROOD for children then add E(nglish) and two L(earner) drivers.

9a           Having dropped off former PM’s article, returned (6)
ASLEEP – Another reversal, this time of A (an article) and Sir Robert PEEL’S (former Prime Minister’s including the apostrophe-s.

10a         Area following shameful action in 19th-century war zone (6)
CRIMEA – A for Area following a CRIME or shameful action.

11a         Keep a man in it, needing to be reformed (8)
MAINTAIN – An anagram (needing to be reformed) of A MAN IN IT.

12a         Previously referred to supervisors in a note I’d composed (14)
AFOREMENTIONED – Place FOREMEN or supervisors inside an anagram (composed) of A NOTE I’D.

15a         Cold cut of meat, or game (4)
CRIB – C for Cold and then a RIB cut of meat.

17a         Female is clothed in this, possibly (5)
SHIFT – A lovely clue. Place F for Female inside an anagram (possibly) of THIS. The entire clue is both the definition and the wordplay making this an All-in-one or &Lit clue.

19a         As part of black comedy, turned to ridicule (4)
MOCK – A hidden (part of) and reversed (turned ) answer that can be found backwards inside blac K COM edy.

20a         With regret, a poet logically has log moved (14)
APOLOGETICALLY – A great spot!. Shift the LOG in A POET LOGICALLY two spaces forward to get the answer.

23a         Odd man is absurdly appearing in suit (8)
DIAMONDS – An anagram (absurdly) of ODD MAN IS.

25a         Ambiguous prophecy, or a non-U thing like this? (6)
ORACLE – Start with OR A CLUE (or a ..thing like this) and then follow the NON-U direction to remove the U.

27a         Eliot the writer? Not he (6)
GEORGE – A choice between T.S. or George Eliot until you remember that George Eliot was a male pseudonym for Mary Anne Evans (and she is not a he!).

28a         Man on board protecting a wild ox, going by boat (8)
KAYAKING – Place A YAK (a wild ok) inside KING (a man or piece on a chess board).


1d           Odd characters in photos are said to be pitiable (4)
POOR – The odd letters (characters) in PhOtOs and then R – a homophone (said) of ‘are’.

2d           Coat initially put on demure monarch (6)
PRIMER – A charade of PRIM (demure) and E.R. or Elizabeth Regina, our current monarch.

3d           Severely criticise second strike (4)
SLAM – S for Second then LAM for a strike or hit.

4d           Rising that’s trapping one on island, South Seas paradise (6)
TAHITI – Reverse THAT (it is rising in a down clue) and insert I for one then follow all of that with I for Island.

5d           What’s excellent about a metal or another (8)
PLATINUM – PLUM for excellent around the outside of (about) A TIN (a metal).

6d           Police raid disrupted magazine (10)
PERIODICAL – A disrupted anagram of POLICE RAID.

8d           Mathematical tasks are set up for Dutch scholar (7)
ERASMUS – A reversal of SUMS (mathematical tasks) and ARE (from the clue).

13d         Given legal status supporting African country’s education (10)
FORMALISED – A charade of FOR (supporting) MALI’S (an African country’s) and then ED for Education (an abb. from e.g. a Bachelor of Education).

14d         Is one crazy? That’s what we hear (5)
NOISE – A crazy anagram of IS ONE.

16d         It helps to know one’s place when one returns to work (8)
BOOKMARK – A cryptic definition of how to keep one’s place in a WORK of fiction.

18d         Essay about current record of events in book group (7)
TRILOGY – A TRY or essay/shot) around/about I for current (from the S.I. Unit) and LOG or record.

21d         Sounded like pigs in old used pen (6)
OINKED – O for Old and then INKED (used a fountain pen). Don’t pencil me in – INK me in!.

22d         State that’s normal as Kansas at heart (6)
ALASKA – A hidden word in the middle of (at heart) norm AL AS KA nsas.

24d         Benefit from something made from rice (4)
SAKE – A double definition – Benefit and SAKE are synonyms and the other the Japanese brew that sounds like SAK-E

26d         Makers of chains, we hear, for wild cat (4)
LYNX – A Homophone (we hear) to finish of LINKS or the components that make chains.