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ST 3085

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3085

A full review by gnomethang

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This puzzle was published on 6th December 2020

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Morning All! Whilst reviewing this I thought that there were a large number of (single letter) insertion clues but there were also some great surface readings and the nicely beguiling 5 Down.


Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


7a           Ring off hand, lose it (2,7)
GO BANANAS – TO GO or ring off/leave a phone conversation and then a hand of BANANAS.

8a           Frighteningas are bears and wolves (5)
HAIRY – The second cryptic definition refers to bears and wolves being scary/HAIRY as well as Hirsute/HAIRY.

10a        When narcissus originally comes into shoot? (6)
SPRING – Place the opening/original letter of N(arcissus) into a SPRIG or shoot. A good All-in-one clue.

11a        Wood where a pig fed to masses (8)
MAHOGANY – A HOG/a pig is included in/fed to MANY or ‘the masses’.

12a        Second old wine secured in port (6)
MOORED – A charade of a MO(ment) or second, O9ld) and a RED wine.

14a        Elected party shut up (6)
INSIDE – The first is the cryptic definition. An elected political party are the SIDE that are IN or the IN-SIDE.

16a        Part of such a different country (4)
CHAD – A hidden word in (part of) ‘su CH A Different’.

17a        Vehicle hit, front knocked off (5)
TRUCK – Remove the first letter (the front is knocked off) from (s)TRUCK or hit.

18a        Crossword writer hiding in deep hole (4)
MINE – The crossword write is ME (he wrote it!). IN is hiding inside.

19a        Truncated lever attached to can (6)
PRISON – Truncate the word PRIS(e) or lever then add ON for ‘attached to’.

21a        Watering hole in torrid Australian city (6)
Place a BAR or watering hole inside HOT for torrid.

24a        Wave, seeing learner parting around teatime? (8)
FLOURISH – L for learner inside (parting) FOUR_ISH or the approximate time for tea.

26a        Singers otherwise found in numbers (6)
TENORS – OR/otherwise is found in TENS/numbers.

27a        Son dressed in fur in East European capital (5)
MINSK – S for son in a MINK fur.

28a        Rotten conclusion: guilty (9)
OFFENDING – OFF for rotten and then an ENDING or conclusion.


1d           Manage to bag posh car (5)
COUPE – To COPE or manage including/bagging U for posh. A good surface reading in a short clue.

2d           Flower girl mad on short daffy (8)
MARIGOLD – An anagram (daffy) of GIRL MAD O(n) which has been shortened.

3d           Firework in old crate (6)
BANGER – Two definitions – A small loud firework and an old car/crate.

4d           Friendly group of workers needing no introduction (4)
WARM – A group of worker bees is a SWRM. Remove the first letter (needing no introduction).

5d           Scottish dish crony hasn’t finished? (6)
HAGGIS – I like this one. Crony meaning crone-like might cryptically be HAGGISH. Remove the last letter (hasn’t finished). The whimsy requires the question mark at the end.

6d           Red liquid and green ink initially confused (9)
GRENADINE – A confused anagram of AND GREEN with the initial letter in I(nk) – confused*(ANDGREENI).

9d           Rod pens opening of hilarious comedy routine? (6)
SHTICK – A STICK or rod holds/pens the opening letter in H(ilarious).

13d        Breadthat’s the stuff for it! (5)
DOUGH – A nice cryptic reference to Bread = Money and also DOUGH = the stuff to make it = money.

15d        Beef tea sailor brewed (9)
CHAROLAIS – CHA for tea and then an anagram (brewed) of SAILOR. One I had to look up to confirm as I had not heard of it.

17d        Wrong score put up in game (6)
TENNIS – A reversal (put up in a Down clue) of SIN/wrong and NET/score. Another very good surface reading in a short clue.

18d        Seasoned mixture stirred up in a dream (8)
MARINADE – An anagram, indicated by ‘stirred up’, of IN A DREAM.

20d        Trample on fruit (6)
SQUASH – Two definitions – to oppress or trample on and also a large fruit (not a vegetable!).

22d        Feeling resentment, drink (6)
BITTER – A straightforward double def.

23d        Good little swine — noise from it? (5)
GRUNT – G for Good and then the RUNT of the litter (the littlest swine).

25d        First of all, husband unhealthy: female fighting fit (4)
HUFF – The initial letters (the first of all from) Husband Unhealthy Female Fighting.


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