ST 2992 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2992

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2992

A full review by gnomethang

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BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

This puzzle was published on Sunday 24th February 2019

Morning All! This was a rather short solve for me so the enjoyment rating went down a bit.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           Lids removed when tipped over? Exactly (4,2)
SPOT ON – A reversal (when tipped over) of NO TOPS or ‘lids removed’.

5a           Pair allowed item of jewellery (8)
BRACELET – A charade of BRACE (pair) and LET (allowed).

9a           At risk, bottom sore! (10)
ENDANGERED – END for bottom and ANGERED for sore.

10a        Dip one’s toe in Hampshire river (4)
TEST – To TEST the water (e.g. with one’s toe) and the river in Hampshire starting near Ashe and terminating at the estuary in Southampton.

11a        Tailor out to mask thin piece of cloth, I appreciate that (5,3)
THANK YOU – TOU, an anagram (tailor) of OUT to include/mask a HANKY or ‘thin piece of cloth’.

12a        Double bell? (6)
RINGER – Two definitions – a looky-likey or (dead) RINGER and a campanologist’s instrument.

13a        Sling your hook, overwhelmed by another’s hook (4)
SHOO – A hidden word inside (overwhelmed by) another S HOO k.

15a        Dangerous king enters in dynastic style? (8)
ALARMING – Place R for Rex/king inside A LA MING e.g. in the style of a Japanese dynasty.

18a        Extremely clever journalist to whom one is in debt (8)
CREDITOR – The extreme letters in C(leve)R followed by an EDITOR or journalist.

19a        Kind of light, really (4)
VERY – The first definition is a flare or signal fired from a Very Pistol.

21a        You’ve been caught cold in superhero’s neighbourhood, no end (6)
GOTCHA – Place C for Cold inside GOTHA(m) or Batman’s manor with the end removed.

23a        Especially omnipotent? (5,3)
ABOVE ALL – Two definitions, the second slightly cryptic.

25a        Mole good on queen (4)
PIER – PI for good and ER for our queen.

26a        One space to the left, country marking numbers on documents (10)
PAGINATION – reverse (to the left) I GAP or one space and then add NATION for country.

27a        Pet dog’s heading off, and is able to first (8)
CANOODLE – Remove the head letter from the (p)OODLE dog and add CAN (is able to) first.

28a        Christmas dinner a miserable failure (6)
TURKEY – Two definitions and a bit of a chestnut (stuffing).


2d           Horse box (5)
PUNCH – Two definitions, the first referring to the Suffolk PUNCH horse breed and the second of pugilism.

3d           Transfer to rail, and — all carried by it? (9)
TRAINLOAD – An anagram (transfer) of TO RAIL AND.

4d           Article written up on artist in Japanese city (6)
NAGOYA – Revere (written up) AN (an indefinite article) and add GOYA the artist.

5d           Area of mystery in novel tangible with a murder (7,8)
BERMUDA TRIANGLE – A novel anagram of TANGIBLE with/and A MURDER.

6d           Resident of microstate with gold, scarpered! (8)
ANDORRAN A charade of AND/with, OR for gold and RAN for scarpered.

7d           Reportedly, school taken down (5)
EATEN – A homophone, reportedly, of the ETON school.

8d           Resident of Connecticut, perhaps, always keeping at the back (9)
EASTERNER – Place ASTERN (at the back of a ship) inside E’ER – a poetic form of ever or always.

14d        Chairman Mao ultimately converted, blow it! (9)
HARMONICA – Make an anagram (it is converted) of CHAIRMAN and the ultimate letter in (ma)O.

16d        Big player in battle in Balkan city (5,4)
MOVIE STAR – Place VIE or battle inside the Balkan city of MOSTAR.

17d        Bound to be short of cash? (8)
STRAPPED – Two definitions.

20d        Hat figure put on head, lifted up (6)
BONNET – Place TEN (a numerical figure) on NOB (head) and then reverse the lot (lifted up).

22d        Baggage in vehicle, drive away! (5)
CARGO – CAR for a vehicle and GO! For drive away.

24d        Free, small rooms empty initially (5)
LOOSE – LOOS are typically known as ‘the smallest rooms’. Add the initial letter of E(mpty).



7 comments on “ST 2992

  1. My notes on this one say ‘fun while it lasted’ – I’d agree with the difficulty rating

    I also noted the inclusion at 27a of Crosswordland’s Dog of the Month – there have been oodles of poodles all over the place :D

  2. You can’t help but feel sorry for John Halpern. If he sets an easy puzzle then it is too easy, if he sets one using his “Paul” hat, then it is too hard. I know there is a balance but, as any setter will tell you, it is difficult to find

    1. Very true – there’s also the fact that when they fall at the easy end of the Sunday spectrum, no-one turns up to comment on the reviews.

    2. I’m all for a slightly stiffer challenge, whatever the setter. I think Mr Halpern has settled in OK to the Sunday Slot and it is just a change in style from the previous setter.

    3. Couldn’t agree more. I am beginning to see a slight difference in style between Paul and Dada, mainly that the surfaces are getting smoother on a Sunday. In the Graun they are sometimes outrageous.

  3. Not too tricky, but one or two nice tea tray moments. 4d & 16d didn’t come to me immediately.

    Many thanks to JH and to Gnomey for the review.

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