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ST 2980

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2980

A full review by gnomethang

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This puzzle was published on 2nd November 2018

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Morning All! I’m not sure what happened to my review this morning but here it is. I quite enjoyed this upon reviewing nd thing that I just need to get in touch with Mr Halpern’s style

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           African, like that country (6)
SOMALI – SO for ‘like that’ and MALI for the other African country

4a           Very much loved, I like an ice cream? (6)
ICONIC – I from the clue and the CONIC – or shaped like an ice cream cone.

8a           Buzzing sound can fool us (8)
TINNITUS – A charade of TIN (can), NIT (fool) and US from the clue.

10a         Moderate class, we hear? (6)
LESSEN – A homophone, we ear, of a class or school LESSON.

11a         Heads on smallish ha’penny and tail on largish Persian sovereign (4)
SHAH – The head or leading letters on S(mallish) H(a’penny) A(nd) followed by the tail (last) letter of (largis)H.

12a         Those taking a lot of interest in fishy deals? (4,6)
LOAN SHARKS – A cryptic definition of a usurer with cartilaginous overtones.

13a         Sausage shortfall pathetic at first, promising sandwiches (5,7)
BLACK PUDDING – Place a LACK or shortfall and the leading (at first) letter of P(athetic) inside (it sandwiches or goes around the outside of) BUDDING for promising.

16a         Fearful: bad on rocks — too steep (12)
UNAFFORDABLE -An anagram (it Rocks!) of FEARFUL BAD ON.A nice misdirecton on other potential anagram indicators.

20a         Switching train and cab, an inhabitant of Spain (10)
CANTABRIAN – An anagram, indicated by ‘switching’, of TRAIN and CAB AN.
Much kerfuffle ensued on the day from the fact that the printed version substituted Italy not Spain. Now I’m not saying that Mr Halpern DOESN’T know his Geography in the same way as I don’t but…..

21a         What may be in wine? Port (4)
CORK – Two definitions although strictly the CORK is in the bottle not the wine. The second is the nautical harbour in Erin with the same name.

22a         Vouch for watching part of series? (6)
ATTEST – The second cryptic definition suggests that someone watching part of an international cricket series might be AT (the) TEST.

23a         Mexican perhaps — what made him get agitated? (8)
HISPANIC – I liked this. He might have been agitated by HIS PANIC which would be an accurate description of a number of South Americans.

24a         Holiday houses or beach destination? (6)
RESORT – REST for  holiday includes (or houses) OR from the clue.

25a         Try to follow happy result (6)
UPSHOT – A SHOT/try/go/essay follows UP for happy.


1d           Easy to enter knowing a little bit (8)
SLIGHTLY – LIGHT for easy (in terms of music or reading for example) entering SLY for knowing (and indeed arch).

2d           Claiming decision finally, great champ (5)
MUNCH – I am not sure on the confusion caused on the day. MUCH for great includes the final letter in (decision)N.

3d           Permit carried by cricketer without thinking, say (3,4)
LET SLIP – LET (permit) on top of (or carried by in a DOWN clue) SLIP for a cricketer defined by his close in catching position.

5d           Cost in currency reduced, great figures? (7)
COLOSSI – Place LOSS for cost/deficit inside COI(N) or currency that has been reduced by one letter.

6d           Longing to sing, a lass not half excited (9)
NOSTALGIA – An excited anagram of TO SING A LA(ss) – the instruction of ‘not half’ refers to removing the last two letters in lass.

7d           Is one’s bottom so forward? (6)
CHEEKY – A cryptic definition – descriptive of two cheeks on the bottom followed by the straight synonym.

9d           Aloof, bear and Piscean? (5-6)
STAND-OFFISH – Nice to see a treatment of an old canard that doesn’t involve a trader at Billingsgate market! To bear is to STAND and Piscean as an adjective might mean ‘OF FISH’ from the zodiac although ‘piscine’ is more common (hence the question mark at the end)

14d         Clues not written about, story initially untold (9)
COUNTLESS – An anagram (written) around/about the initial letter in S(tory). Think untold riches etc…

15d         Weapon in a catalogue causing needless worry (8)
ALARMIST – Place an ARM or weapon inside A LIST (a catalogue)

17d         Judge shown filling of hard tooth? (7)
ARBITER – The middle or filling letters in h AR d and then BITE for tooth

18d         Contacts pursuing careers having left university (5,2)
RINGS UP – An anagram (careers) of P(u)RSUING without the U for University (it has been left!).

19d         Server, one getting wet it’s suggested? (6)
WAITER – Another clue that I liked. One getting left might cryptically mean I for one is in the WATER hence WA I TER.

21d         Train carriage (5)
COACH – Two definitions that always collide in crosswords!

Thanks to Mr Halpern – I enjoyed this one more upon reviewing – I think I just need t get my head around the style.


3 comments on “ST 2980

  1. Doesn’t seem as hard when you read the review. I think I agree with the comment from someone who I have forgotten that maybe Dada was thrown in at the deep end and dragged a few toughies into play before he found his own style with The Sunday puzzle. I think it is going to take a little while longer to get on as well as I was with Vigilius but definite progress has been made.
    Thanks to Dada Senf and Gnomethang.

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