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ST 2970

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2970

A full review by crypticsue

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This puzzle was published on 23rd September 2018

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

A perfect crossword to cheer up a very wet and windy morning. Wonderful surface readings and clever clues – the half a point deduction from enjoyment was because I found quite a lot of anagrams and insertions when typing the review. I have marked lots of clues I really liked, but I’ll just mention 15a, 19a, 27a, 8d and, especially, 24d

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Solemn excerpt from clip of ace director (2-5)
PO-FACED – An excerpt from cliP OF ACE Director

5a    Flier‘s circuit with part of RAF (7)
LAPWING – LAP (circuit) WING (part of RAF)

9a    Concerned team, in a practical sense (7)
ANXIOUS – XI (team of eleven) in A (from the clue) NOUS (practical sense)

10a    Employee of mine runs after dog (7)
COLLIER – R (runs in cricket score) goes after COLLIE dog

11a    Fire hazard, thus ward off danger (5-4)
TOUCH-WOOD – According to the BRB, the decayed wood that can be used as tinder, thus making it a fire hazard, is a nine-letter unhyphenated word

12a    Frenchman’s expression when making presentation (5)
VOILA – A clue that made me think of Jean-Luc

13a    Final acts on board for some in crew (5)
MATES – Final actions in a chess game or some members of a ship’s crew

15a    In accordance with reality, with or without leading female (9)
FACTUALLY – FACTUALLY with the ‘leading’ F for Female, or ACTUALLY without

17a    Change over years, say, in flying instrument (9)
ALTIMETER – ALTER (change) goes over TIME (years say)

19a    It’s repeatedly said to be comforting at that point (5)
THERE – Another clue I really liked

22a    Group of soldiers having bad time in retreat (5)
TROOP – A reversal (in retreat) of POOR (bad) T (time)

23a    Unattractive, cold, and innocuous (9)
CHARMLESS – C (cold) HARMLESS (innocuous)

25a    Ugly sight very well concealed in electronic product of mine (7)
EYESORE – YES (very well) concealed in E (electronic) ORE (product of mine)

26a    Train as frantically as one of the top Russians once (7)
TSARINA – An anagram (frantically) of TRAIN AS

27a    Characters in front of VW cause depression in learner (7)
STUDENT – S T U (the characters in front of V and W in the alphabet) DENT (cause depression)

28a    Like John, Paul or George, isn’t taken in by cunning (7)
SAINTLY – AINT (isn’t) taking in by SLY (cunning)


1d    Spirit shown by an MP, tho’ with constituents in disarray (7)
PHANTOM – An anagram (with constituents in disarray) of AN MP THO

2d    Kiss husband in spring — a country pursuit? (3,4)
FOX HUNT – X (kiss) and H (husband) inserted into FOUNT (spring)

3d    Stuff in chapter about destiny (5)
CLOTH – CH (chapter) goes about LOT (destiny)

4d    Rattle male in party with sudden attack (9)
DISCOMFIT – M (male) inserted between DISCO (party) and FIT (sudden attack)

5d    Most of fortune I had easily grasped (5)
LUCID – Most of LUCk (fortune) ID (I had)

6d    European place to keep wine event with flexible support (4,5)
POLE VAULT – POLE (European) VAULT (place to keep wine)

7d    First subscribe minimally (7)
INITIAL – First or subscribe minimally by just initialling a document for example

8d    Start overlapping with lots in country (7)
GERMANY – GERM (start) overlapping with (sharing the same M) MANY (lots)

14d    Hear poems, in a way, as means of communication (9)
SEMAPHORE – An anagram (in a way) of HEAR POEMS

16d    A TV screen distorted writer (9)
CERVANTES – An anagram (distorted) of A TV SCREEN

17d    Simple description of Higgins, as Eliza would say (7)
ARTLESS – Eliza Doolittle might have described Henry Higgins as HEARTLESS but she wouldn’t have pronounced the H

18d    US writer, author switching parts without energy (7)
THOREAU – Switch the two halves of AU THOR and put them round (without) E (energy)

20d    Poet‘s line, for example, is in French also (7)
ELEGIST – L (line) EG (for example) IS (from the clue) in ET (the French word for and, also)

21d    Religious experience in weird sect, say (7)
ECSTASY – An anagram (weird) of SECT SAY

23d    Conservative and the opposition divided (5)
CLEFT – C (Conservative) and LEFT (opposition to Conservative)

24d    City in which I am upset — is that so? (5)
MIAMI – The clue I saw when waiting for the printer to do its magic – and what a lovely clue it is too – A reversal (upset in a Down clue) of I AM followed by AM I (is that so?)

3 comments on “ST 2970

    1. Welcome

      Interestingly the BRB doesn’t have hyphens for either the fire danger or the way of ensuring luck

  1. 4*/4*…had all the answers correct but needed explanations for several-for instance 24D (answer “Miami”), for which Thanks.
    Lots of v good clues-no particular favourites.

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