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ST 3031

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3031

A full review by crypticsue

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This puzzle was published on 24th November 2019

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

A bit more to smile at this time with a nice mix of clues, even though I did note that once again quite a few of them are ‘container and contents’ clues

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Dictator free from blemish? (6)
DESPOT – DE SPOT or free from blemish

4a    Red priest (8)
CARDINAL – Double definition

9a    Exam the night before has broken everyone (1,5)
A LEVEL – EVE (the night before) has ‘broken’ ALL (everyone)

10a    Dreadful fools recoiling before sovereign (8)
STINKING – A reversal (recoiling) of NITS (fools) goes before KING (sovereign)

12a    First of all, Bangkok always has this currency (4)
BAHT – The first letters of Bangkok Always Has This give the name of the Thai currency (as used in Bangkok)

13a    Enthusiastic about penning start of refrain — the first notes (5)
INTRO – INTO (enthusiastic about) ‘penning’ the start or first letter of Refrain

14a    Port ran out (4)
LEFT – the LEFT side of a ship is the PORT side; the second definition is part of a verb

17a    Decent message about drones, I gathered (12)
CONSIDERABLE – CABLE (message) goes about an anagram (gathered) of DRONES I

20a    Search in gospel to protect love — what’s that ? (8,4)
QUESTION MARK – QUEST (search) IN MARK (gospel) into which is inserted (to protect) O (love)

23a    Castle where villain guillotined (4)
ROOK – One of those clues where as you solve it you can hear the muttering (and apparently sighing) in the rabbit hutch – the chess piece known as a rook may have crenellations round the top but this doesn’t make it a ‘castle’! Guillotine or take the head off a cROOK (villain)

24a    Silly item oddly impressing granny (5)
INANE – The odd letters of ItEm ‘impressing’ or taking in NAN (granny)

25a    Celebrity like a couch potato, they say? (4)
IDOL – Sounds like (they say) IDLE (like a couch potato)

28a    More than one saw book? (8)
PROVERBS – Saw being another name for a proverb

29a    Modern painting perhaps showing stretch of Italian river? (3,3)
POP ART – PO (Italian river) PART (stretch of)

30a    Chairs are located in middle of campsite (8)
PRESIDES – RESIDES (are located) inserted into the middle letters of camPSite

31a    Run, taking overnight bags (6)
GOVERN – A particularly well hidden lurker, as indicated by the word ‘bags’ – a synonym for run is found in takinG OVERNight


1d    Failing ward, it’s suggested? (8)
DRAWBACK – It is suggested that you reverse (BACK) the word WARD

2d    Witness affair, furious (8)
SEETHING – SEE (witness) THING (affair)

3d    By the sound of it, poem due (4)
OWED – Another homophone (by the sound of it) of an ODE (poem)

5d    Rowdy reacts a lot in noisy squabbles (12)
ALTERCATIONS – An anagram (rowdy) of REACTS A LOT IN

6d    Hollow cave on end of street (4)
DENT – DEN (cave) on the end of streeT

7d    Caught — as toe may be? (6)
NAILED – Surely toes should be this?

8d    Member demolished old Roman governor (6)
LEGATE – LEG (member) ATE (demolished)

11d    Irrational — suggesting expensive? (12)
UNREASONABLE – If something isn’t reasonably priced, it could be expensive

15d    Negative quantity in heavenly body one mile up (5)
MINUS – A reversal (up in a Down clue) of SUN (heavenly body) I (one) M (mile)

16d    Aircraft, fifth blueprint? (5)
PLANE – A fifth blueprint could be PLAN E

18d    Scoundrel about right, willing cheat, say? (4,4)
CARD GAME – CAD (scoundrel) goes ‘about’ R (right) and is then followed by GAME (willing) to produce a card game I haven’t played for many a long year

19d    As ‘Lark Rise’ showing ends, reveal basic framework (8)
SKELETON – The ‘ends’ of aS larK risE followed by LET ON (reveal)

21d    Support for young setter, say? (4,2)
PROP UP – PRO (for) PUP (young setter say)

22d    Down second wine (6)
MOROSE – MO (second) ROSE (wine)

26d    Shop in which I showed up (4)
DELI – A reversal (up) of I (from the clue) LED (showed up)

27d    Engine off the rails (4)
LOCO – Double definition


4 comments on “ST 3031

  1. Good morning, Sue, and thank you for your review. I actually remembered to look to see what comment you had made about 23a.
    :yes: :good:

  2. 16d – wondered why… now I wish I hadn’t looked.

    Thanks CS for the review – and drizzle cake next Sunday perchance

  3. 4*/4*…
    A short clue that took me rather a long time to solve…
    14A ” port ran out (4) “

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