ST 2974 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2974

Sunday Telegraph No 2974

A full review by crypticsue

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This puzzle was published on 21st October 2018

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

This was a tricky crossword and no mistake. As is usual with a Sunday puzzle, explaining the clues once you have solved them is a much easier process

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Left inside after first of rustics makes witty remark (10)
PLEASANTRY – L (left) goes inside, after the first letter of PEASANTRY (rustics)

6a    Two kinds of diamonds? Cool! (4)
ICED – ICE (slang term for diamonds) D (the abbreviation for Diamonds in a deck of cards)

9a    Revealed room for improvement that’s apparent (7)
OUTWARD – OUT (revealed) WARD (room for improvement – in health!)

10a    Foreign character not favouring Italian wine (7)
CHIANTI – CHI (Greek, foreign, character) ANTI (not favouring)

12a    Ease of understanding bicycle, as it is spelt out (13)
ACCESSIBILITY – An anagram (spelt out) of BICYCLE AS IT IS

14a    North American city has some power returning in old area (6)
OTTAWA – A reversal (returning) of WATT (some power) inserted between O (old) and A (area)

15a    Mathematician, for example, having come back and cracked theorem (not hard) (8)
GEOMETER – Not only a mathematician, but apparently also a moth – a reversal (come back) of EG (for example) followed by an anagram (cracked) of ThEOREM (not the h for hard)

17a    Large part of one’s inheritance — get excited when it’s cut (8)
GENEROUS – GENE (part of one’s inheritance) and ROUS (ROUSE, get excited, truncated – when it’s cut)

19a    Ideal state without opiates, in part (6)
UTOPIA – Lurking in part of withoUT OPIAtes

22a    Have no place for speaker I endlessly label lazy (13)
LACKADAISICAL – LACK A DAIS (have no place for speaker) and CALl (label, endlessly)

24a    Letters improperly providing one-sided support for board? (7)
TRESTLE – An anagram (improperly) of LETTERS

25a    Leaves family, almost before I mature (7)
FOLIAGE – Almost all of FOLk (family) before I (from the clue) AGE (mature)

26a    Something to eat in food I shared is here, sooner or later (4)
DISH – I do like a Virgilius double lurker – the food is found in fooD I SHareD IS Here

27a    Typo led men astray in preparation for battle (10)
DEPLOYMENT – An anagram (astray) of TYPO LED MEN


1d    Man captured, moving rook in advanced position on board (4)
PROW – POW (Prisoner of War, man captured) with R (rook in a game of chess) inserted (moving in)

2d    Withdraw demand over time, right? (7)
EXTRACT – EXACT (demand) goes over T (time) R (right)

3d    Somehow hears about cold war tirade that allows the force to go in (6,7)
SEARCH WARRANT – An anagram (somehow) of HEARS into which is inserted C (cold) and the result followed with WAR (from the clue) and RANT (tirade)

4d    There are colonies where this practice is barely appropriate (6)
NUDISM – A cryptic definition

5d    Place for relaxation or enjoyable activity, in short, on ship (8)
RECLINER – REC (an abbreviation (in short) for recreation (enjoyable activity) on LINER (ship)

7d    Be composed about relative informally appearing in court (7)
CONSIST – ON (about) and SIS (relative informally) appearing in CT (court)

8d    What we need to survive — paper money? (5,5)
DAILY BREAD – DAILY (paper) BREAD (money)

11d    In stupid way, securing degree, as expressed in particular language (13)
IDIOMATICALLY – IDIOTICALLY (in stupid way) ‘securing’ MA (Master of Arts, degree)

13d    In odd order, catalogued set (10)
COAGULATED – An anagram (in odd order) of CATALOGUED

16d    Act legally when sheltering certain Europeans or Africans (8)
SUDANESE – SUE (act legally) sheltering DANES (certain Europeans)

18d    Core family member having upset top couple and me, royally (7)
NUCLEUS – ‘upset’ the top couple of letters of UNCLE (family member) and then add US (how a member of the royal family might refer to themselves)

20d    Piece of wood put on fire fell (7)
POLEAXE- POLE (piece of wood) put on AXE (fire in the sense of sack)

21d    Convenient American energy extracted from coal, say, and sent North (6)
USEFUL – US (American) followed by FUEL (coal, say) once you have ‘sent north’ the E for Energy

23d    Worst as verb, not as adjective (4)
BEST – Worst as a verb means to get the better of; as an adjective, it means something entirely different

4 comments on “ST 2974

  1. 4*/3*……

    23D “worst as verb not as adjective”….I have the answer as “beat”, not “best” as in the full review (for which Thanks ! )…seems to me that both are correct, but perhaps “best” is better….?

    Liked the “paper money” in 8D.

    1. Although I solve on paper, I always enter the solutions I have into the online Telegraph Puzzles system and BEST was the correct answer

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