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ST 2971

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2971

A full review by crypticsue

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This puzzle was published on 30th September 2018

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ****

The perfect straightforward crossword for an exceedingly busy Sunday.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    For each boy a large kind of computer (8)
PERSONAL -PER (for each) SON (boy) A (from the clue) L (large)

9a    My off-putting statement for someone not in good faith? (8)
IDOLATER – I DO LATER (a way of putting something off)

10a    Short measure for Juliet’s follower (4)
KILO – This short measure is used in the NATO Phonetic Alphabet to indicate the letter K, which of course follows J for Juliet

11a    Financial problem for people in land to beat somehow (8,4)
NATIONAL DEBT – An anagram (somehow) of IN LAND TO BEAT

13a    As herald of spring, wintry weather event? (8)
SNOWDROP – The flower that heralds the arrival of spring – SNOW (wintry weather) DROP (event?)

15a    Party opposing one call for peace is not this (6)
DOVISH – DO (party) V (versus, opposing) I (one) SH (call for peace) – ‘doves’ want peace, ‘hawks’ are more inclined to war

16a    Daily fare from Tallahassee, Florida fell, finally (4)
MEAL – The final letters of froM TallahasseE, FloridA, felL

17a    Evaluate a second opinion (5)
ASSAY – A (from the clue) S (second) SAY (opinion)

18a    Break balance (4)
REST – Double definition

20a    Piece in game removed from board, ominously (6)
DOMINO – Can be removed from boarD OMINOusly

21a    Biddable? Constrained by old inclination, pass (8)
OBEDIENT – DIE (pass) ‘constrained by’ O (old) BENT (inclination)

23a    Flock mistakenly got grain once (12)
CONGREGATION – An anagram (mistakenly) of GOT GRAIN ONCE

26a    Landed, advanced, and fired (4)
ALIT – This one raises the question yet again as to whether A can be an abbreviation for Advanced when it isn’t, for example, accompanied by the word ‘Level’

27a    Food for Mexicans I will put in wrong area (8)
TORTILLA- ILL (I will) put between TORT (wrong) and A (area)

28a    Preparing last piece of poetry in literary event (8)
READYING – Insert the Y that is the last ‘piece’ of poetry into READING (literary event)


2d    Exhibits, for example, as central idea in show (8)
EVIDENCE – The central letters of iDEa inserted into EVINCE (show)

3d    Blocking or playing for time — nothing novel in that (12)
STONEWALLING – O (nothing) NEW (novel) inserted into STALLING (playing for time)

4d    Heavenly drink producing trance when drunk (6)
NECTAR – An anagram (when drunk) of this heavenly drink will produce the word TRANCE – lovely surface reading, clever clue

5d    Vehicle‘s fuel used up covering motorway (4)
LIMO – A reversal (up in a Down clue) of OIL (fuel) ‘covering’ M (motorway)

6d    Yellow arch spanning part of hospital on left (8)
COWARDLY – COY (arch) ‘spanning’ WARD (part of hospital) L (left)

7d    What’s at centre of nasty eye? (4)
STYE – Lurking at the centre of naSTY Eye

8d    Do some needlework over time, note (8)
CROTCHET – CROCHET (do some needlework) over T (time)

12d    Account in personal record that’s distracting (12)
DIVERSIONARY – VERSION (account) inserted into DIARY (personal record)

14d    Irritating person ending with love — that’s saucy (5)
PESTO- Obviously sauce of the week at Telegraph Towers as it appeared in the previous day’s Saturday Prize Puzzle. PEST (irritating person) with O (love)

16d    Intervene to contain cold, administer dose (8)
MEDICATE – MEDIATE (intervene) to ‘contain’ C (cold)

17d    More than anything else, duck meat in lab going bad (5,3)
ABOVE ALL – O (duck, nil score in cricket) VEAL (meat) inserted into an anagram (going bad) of LAB

19d    Allow to go ahead or punitively try to stop (8)
SANCTION – Contrary definitions – this word can mean to allow to go ahead or to punitively stop

22d    Mystery in game, possibly, e.g. man I exchanged (6)
ENIGMA – A typical Virgilius clue – an anagram (possibly) of IN GAME or another (exchanged) of EG MAN I

24d    Standard choice between central characters for us (4)
NORM – N OR M (choice)

25d    A container that’s not closed (4)
AJAR – A (from the clue) JAR (container)

3 comments on “ST 2971

  1. Another fine puzzle from our Sunday Maestro. Only 15a held me up for a while, and I don’t understand the ‘for us’ in 24d.

    For 13a I took the weather event as one item, as in snowfall, rather than event=drop.

    Thanks to Virgillius and to CS for the review.

    1. I think ‘for us’ means for English speakers because only the English alphabet has M and N as its central characters.

  2. 2*/3*…liked the faithless procrastinator in 9A;
    thanks for confirming “for us” in 24D, and for the review.

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