ST 2986 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2986

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2986

A full review by crypticsue

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

Definitely more like Sundays used to be, not least for the number of times something had to be inserted into something else, not to mention the return to a distinct dearth of comments on the reviews

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Bed delivery discussed? (5)
BERTH – A homophone (discussed) of BIRTH (delivery)

4a    Smart wrapping paper going in large quantities (9)
STREAMING – STING (smart) ‘wrapping’ REAM (quantity of paper)

9a    Sculpture of mere balsa, light (5,4)
LASER BEAM – An anagram (sculpture) of MERE BALSA

10a    Wood pigeon’s head cradled by bloke (5)
MAPLE – P (the ‘head’ of pigeon) ‘cradled’ by MALE (bloke)

11a    Amenity to be repaired — date not fixed (7)
ANYTIME – An anagram (to be repaired) of AMENITY

12a    Support true reforms after move quickly backfiring (7)
NURTURE – An anagram (reforms) of TRUE goes after a reversal (backfiring) of RUN (move quickly)

13a    Where nurses may be found, ahead (6)
ONWARD – A very old friend of the crossword solver – split your solution 2, 4 to see where nurses may be found

15a    Those looking to clothe king in his birthday suit? (8)
STARKERS – STARERS (those looking) to ‘clothe’ K (King) – anyone else solve this and hope that Senf wouldn’t select this clue to hint and, more importantly, illustrate?

18a    Driver perhaps hit reversing, then hit again (4,4)
GOLF CLUB – A reversal of FLOG (hit) followed by another (again) synonym for hit – CLUB

20a    Feeder scoffing last of dessert, perfect! (4,2)
SPOT ON – SPOON (feeder) ‘scoffing’ the T that is the last (letter) of desserT

23a    Whitewash clothes (7)
CLOBBER – Defeat overwhelmingly or a slang term for clothes

24a    Two rights thrown in unexpectedly equal fight (7)
QUARREL – RR (two rights) ‘thrown’ in an anagram (unexpectedly) of EQUAL

26a    Case left behind large rooms, unopened (5)
TRIAL – L (left) goes behind aTRIA, unopened telling you that you don’t need the first letter

27a    Hoarding money abroad, cadaverous elderly relative (5-4)
GRAND AUNT – GAUNT (cadaverous) ‘hoarding’ RAND (money ‘abroad’)

28a    Percentage turned around, saving dosh initially in hospitals (9)
HUNDREDTH – An anagram (around) of TURNED ‘saving’ D (dosh initially) inserted between two abbreviations for Hospital

29a    Related item hotel at Bangkok perhaps reported? (3-2)
TIE-IN – A homophone (reported) of THAI INN (hotel at Bangkok)


1d    Invoice Gabon produced for flooded channel in Oz (9)
BILLABONG – BILL (invoice) and an anagram (produced) of GABON

2d    Dangerous rig unfinished, limit to achievement? (5)
RISKY – RI (rig ‘unfinished) and SKY (the sky’s the limit)

3d    Dog that flies! (7)
HARRIER – Is it a hunting dog? Is it a type of bird (that flies)?

4d    Vegetable garden’s ending in the country (6)
SWEDEN – SWEDE (vegetable) and N (the ending of garden)

5d    Seriously consider space in rowing team, after audition? (8)
RUMINATE – A homophone (after audition) of ROOM IN EIGHT (space in rowing team)

6d    Butcher married lover (7)
ADMIRER – An anagram (butcher) of MARRIED

7d    Audacious banking rules originally, not wise (9)
IMPRUDENT – IMPUDENT (audacious) ‘banking’ R (rules originally)

8d    Flier in garden, bee regularly seen (5)
GREBE – This bird (flier) is seen in the regular letters of GaRdEn BeE

14d    Son-in-law and I suspect one supported old US president (9)
WILSONIAN – An anagram (suspect) of SON IN LAW and I

16d    Chant revealed spinster or bachelor? (9)
SINGLETON – SING (chant) LET ON (revealed)

17d    Wrong grade needing correction, shocked (8)
OUTRAGED – OUT (wrong) plus an anagram (needing correction) of GRADE

19d    Learner dropping in 23, one working at last (7)
COBBLER – The L (learner) in your solution to 23a dropping down the word a bit

21d    Praise suggestion to carry double in lift (7)
PLAUDIT – A reversal (in life) of DUAL (double) inserted into (to carry) TIP (suggestion)

22d    Extract juice from fruit (6)
SQUASH – A verb or a fruit many people would think of as a vegetable

23d    Somewhat ecstatic at changes in contract (5)
CATCH – Lurking in some of ecstatiC AT Changes – here the definition of contract relates to catching an infectious disease, for example

25a    Path where first of twigs collected by rake (5)
ROUTE – T (the ‘first’ of Twigs) collected by ROUE (rake)

3 comments on “ST 2986

  1. I thought this was a up a notch in the enjoyment factor too. 5d &15a raised a smile in particular.

    Thanks for the review CS

  2. Fabulous. This was like Sundays of old, made last Sunday’s all the more disappointing by Dada reverting to type.

  3. 3*/4*…
    liked 23A (whitewash clothes) and 19D (learner dropping in 23, one working at last).

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