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ST 3081

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3081

A full review by gnomethang

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This puzzle was published on 8th November 2020

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

Morning All! Pretty standard Sunday puzzle with a small growl at 31a.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a           Building work I check inside arena (8)
RIVETING – Place “I VET”/I check inside a RING or arena.

5a           Cold — quite rotten? (6)
OFFISH – Quite rotten might be OFF-ISH.

9a           Boater at once is fashionable (8)
CANOEIST – An anagram (fashionable) of AT ONCE IS.

10a        Cooler marketing is working (6)
PRISON – PR (Public Relations) for Marketing then ID from the clue and then ON for working.

12a        One having been blown away, realise winds close again (6)
RESEAL – Make an anagram (it winds) of REAL(i)SE having had I for one removed (blown away).

13a        Crystal: good in possession of pirate? (3,5)
CUT GLASS – Place G for Good in a CUTLASS – or something hat might be in possession of a Pirate. Aaaaarrrrgh!

15a        Layer of eggs on cheese for a moment (7)
BRIEFLY – A FLY or layer of eggs (don’t even bother with hen!) after (or ON in an across clue) the French cheese of BRIE.

16a        Deep hole, better (4)
WELL – Two definitions – A deep watering hole and an adjective for recovered in health.

20a        A cat bit (4)
ATOM – A from the clue followed by the TOM cat.

21a        Photograph place for event (4,3)
SHOT PUT – An athletics event.  A SHOT of a camera and to PUT or place/set.

25a        Absent-minded drunk armed with gin (8)
DREAMING – A drunk anagram of ARMED and/with GIN.

26a        Conclusion: finished twice! (6)
UPSHOT – Two synonyms for finished – your time is UP and you are SHOT/done/out of here.

28a        Being gone for ages, call father back (6)
APEMAN – A reversal (back) of NAME/call and PA/father.

29a        Greek god, model with sculpture of Odin (8)
POSEIDON – To POSE or model with an anagram (sculpture of) ODIN.

30a        Passionate character in book is serenaded (6)
KISSER – A hidden word IN boo K IS SER enaded.

31a        Wisest of the wise perhaps receiving first of awards, in act of generosity (8)
BESTOWAL – A bit cheeky this. OWLS are proverbially wise. This means that the wisest of these might be the BEST OWL. It receives or includes the first letter in A(wards) – BEST OW (A) L.


1d           Log on string (6)
RECORD – RE: for On/about and then a CORD or string.

2d           Go like a commercial vehicle? (6)
VANISH – As in the 5a clue. ‘like a’ or ‘quite’ (or even fairly/pretty) can all be sort of replaced by “-ISH”. Hence like a VAN/commercial vehicle might be said to be VAN-ISH.

3d           References in Thai sure to require translation (8)
THESAURI – An anagram (it requires translation) of THAI SURE.

4d           Bouquet held by soprano serenely (4)
NOSE – A hidden word is held by sopra NO SE renely.

6d           Scrap pinched by adversary, look around for food (6)
FORAGE – A RAG or scrap inside/pinched by a FOE or adversary.

7d           Broke, as I spend a lot (2,6)
IN SPADES – A broken anagram of AS I SPEND.

8d           Perfect life initially occupying dirty home — really? (8)
HONESTLY – HONE for perfect and then the initial letter of L(ife) inside a STY or dirty home.

11d        Standard ablaze in dock (7)
QUALITY – ALIT of ablaze inside a QUAY/dock.

14d        Name the cooking gas (7)
METHANE – An anagram (cooking) of NAME THE.

17d        Difficult second book (8)
HARDBACK – A charade of HARD/difficult and BACK/second.

18d        Limbs eels and frog misplaced (8)
FORELEGS – An anagram, indicated by misplaced, of both EELS and FROG.

19d        Bankrupt corralling politician — that is most rough (8)
BUMPIEST – Place an MP/politician and I.E. for Id Est./that is inside BUST for bankrupt.

22d        Run through with stake, I look anaemic! (6)
IMPALE – Another way of saying “I look anaemic” might be “I’M PALE”.

23d        Dark image when commercial breaks appear (6)
SHADOW – An AD(vertisement) or commercial is inside/breaking SHOW for appear.

24d        A huge amount, almost all discordant (6)
ATONAL – A TON (a huge amount) and almost AL(l).

27d        Nothing, like a lot (4)
LOVE – Two definitions – LOVE for nothing n Tennis and to adore/like a lot.


2 comments on “ST 3081

  1. I like clues with OWLS in the solution – this one was good but my favourite is the SUPERB OWL

    1. Me too! The clue that really got me into cryptic crosswords was ‘Hostel would hold back little hooter (5)’ — it was in a Christmas Radio Times, one of the few clues we had left in a mostly-completed jumbo puzzle, and I was so excited when I finally worked it out.

      Thanks Gnomethang, and Dada.

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