ST 2988 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2988

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2988

A full review by gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Morning All! I enjoyed this one from Dada even though the solving time was relatively quick

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


9a    Horn, I gathered — on this animal? (5)
RHINO – An anagram (gathered) of HORN I.

10a    Uncivilised lot, parents, a strangely unknown quantity (9)
PEASANTRY – Make an anagram (strangely) of PARENTS A and follow with Y – a letter used in algebra (along with x, z and n) to denote an unknown quantity.

11a    Top deck on public transport? (7)
BUSTIER – A charade of a TIER (deck) after (on in an across clue) BUS for public transport.

12a    Terrible current cost to bear when China defeated and fiasco ends (7)
We need to look at the end letters (ends) of (cos)T (t)O (bea)R (whe)N(Chin)A (defeate)D and also (fiasc)O

13a    Common political activist (5)
GREEN – A commonland of grass and also a member of the GREEN party.

14a    Sailor with one day left (9)
ABANDONED – AB for sailor (Able Bodied) then AND/with, ONE from the clue and D for Day.

16a    Location of what divides us, not going any further (7,3,3,2)
BETWEEN YOU AND ME – A cryptic definition of anything that gets in the space between us and the second bit is the straight def.

19a    Vertical hole he-man ruptured with fist (9)
MINESHAFT – An anagram (ruptured of HE-MAN along with FIST.

21a    Head of bank with responsibility for extra money (5)
BONUS – The head letter of B(ank) and then ONUS for responsibility.

23a    Rush to trap rat in container (7)
CASCADE – Place a CAD or rat inside  case/container.

25a    In lexicographical reference, ‘hand’ forgotten (7)
OMITTED – Place a MITT or hand inside the OED – Oxford English Dictionary or ‘lexicographical reference’.

27a    Break last of massive optical devices covering half of vent (9)
ELEVENSES – The last letter of (massiv)E and LENSES/optical devices outside or covering half of the word VE(nt).

28a    Stringed instrument? No thanks: old Latin American instrument (5)
GUIRO – Start with a GUI(ta)R and remove the TA (no thanks) and finally add O for Old.


1d    Whitewash edges of door, lid off container (4)
DRUB – The outside letters (edges) of D(oo)R followed by a (t)UB or container with the top letter (lid) removed.

2d    Finally, convict put out in cell block? (6)
TISSUE – The final letter in (conflict)T and then ISSUE for put out.

3d    Still without a proposal? (10)
MOTIONLESS – The first is the straight definition and the second cryptically refers to a debate or vote without a proposal/motion.

4d    Rival of Athens, region in South Africa (6)
SPARTA – A PART or region inside SA for South Africa.

5d    South opposed to past capital (8)
SANTIAGO – A charade of S(outh), ANTI/opposed to and AGO for past.

6d    Light entertainment provided here (4)
FAIR – Two definitions – a FAIR hair colour and also a travelling entertainment venue.

7d    Awkward son taught (8)
STRAINED – S for Son and Trained for taught.

8d    Gracious, angelic quality of yours truly? (2,8)
MY GOODNESS – the cryptic part is the GOODNESS or angelic quality of me (yours truly).

13d    Amazed lip bleeding after this, perhaps? (10)
GOBSMACKED – Amazed is the straight definition and the remainder suggests what you might have having been SMACKED in the GOB.

15d    Up-and-down opener in no-win situation, some fiddle (10)
DRAWBRIDGE – An no-win situation is a DRAW. Ad BRIDGE for part of a fiddle/violin.
17d    Element in cask gets mixed with nitrogen (8)
TUNGSTEN – Start with a TUN/cask and then mix up the letters of GETS and finally add N(itrogen).
18d    Western Asian states formerly in decline are as tempting (4,4)
NEAR EAST – These states are hidden IN decli NE ARE AS T empting.

20d    Chinese thinking Maoist converted (6)

TAOISM – An anagram (converted) of MAOIST.

22d    One idiot or another from Belfast? (6)
NITWIT – An idiot form Belfast might cryptically be referred to as an N.I. TWIT.

24d    Top copy that’s wrong (4)
APEX – To APE is to copy, add an X for a wrong mark indicator.

26d    A bit lower (4)
DROP – Two definitions to finish – A tad or small amount and to DROP something down gently.


4 comments on “ST 2988

  1. Looking at my notes, I found this slightly trickier than you did, but would agree about the enjoyment

    Interesting that, however tricky the clues are to solve, they are nice and easy to explain when blogging

    Thanks for the review

  2. Not a criticism, just a suggestion … couldn’t the original comments be appended to the final review?

    This puzzle was published on 27th January 2019 … I cannot remember what I had for lunch 3 hours ago.

    1. Stan, I tend to open the comments on the day alongside my blog to refresh my memory.
      Appendng the rest of the comments from a previously published blog would be very difficult and only capture comments before the review publish data.

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