ST Cryptic No 2474 – Review

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2474 – Review

A full analysis by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty **** Enjoyment ****

As regular followers of my reviews are aware by now, I have not been a great fan of the Sunday crosswords.  Well, thing are looking up a bit and, for the second week running,  I actually enjoyed this one.  A few weak clues, too many double definitions, and a grid which isolated the top right and bottom left corners means that there is still room for improvement, but a definite step in the right direction.

Across

1a This time the game is not in the bag! (5,6)
CLOSE SEASON – a cryptic definition The time of year when pheasant shooting is not allowed

9a Single – and a catch (4)
SOLE – a double definition – single, alone; a fish (catch)

10a Be a good looker but no beauty competition winner (4,7)
MISS NOTHING – a double cryptic definition – for me, the second definition is a bit limp

11a The male will, you say, stay close by (4)
HEEL – a command to tell your dog to stay close by which sounds like “he will” (the male will, you say)

14a Turned out the one inside is new (7)
UNTRIED – an anagram (out) of TURNED around I (the one) giving a synonym for new

16a Stops and arrests (5,2)
PULLS IN – back with the double definitions

18a Making the foreigners pronounce “condescends” (5)
DANES – these foreigners sound like (pronounce) deigns (condescends)

19a Holding a pen as a prop (4)
STAY – not a bad clue for a short word – STY (pen) around (holding) A giving a stay – you get accustomed  to the Sunday setter using constructs where the order of the words is different from usual

20a Dad, at half past, starts packing (4)
PAPA – PA (half PAst) then PA (starts Packing) to give another name for Dad – it takes a little while to realise that “Dad” is the answer rather than part of the construct

21a Resentful to start off with, scoff at (5)
SNEER – an anagram (off) of RESEN(tful) (to start … with) giving a word meaning to scoff at – different order of words again

23a Photos showing dancing at a tiptop night club (3,4)
HOT SPOT – an anagram (showing dancing) of PHOTOS then T (tip / first letter of Top) giving a night club

24a Prominent Arab delegated to go round (7)
SALIENT – SENT (delegated to go) around ALI (Arab) giving a synonym for prominent – I don’t like these typecast names like Rene or Jean being the only names for Frenchman, Ian and Mac for Scotsmen and, as here, Ali for Arabs

25a Having the sense to take a hot tip (4)
WITH – WIT (the sense) then (to take) H (a Hot tip) gives a word meaning having

30a Rewards with only useless land (4,7)
JUST DESERTS – JUST (only) DESERTS (useless land – unless, of course, there is oil underneath!) giving a synonym for rewards – my favourite in this puzzle

31a Pelt I smuggled out (4)
RAIN – RAN (smuggled) around (out) I giving pelt, as in pelt with rain

32a ‘Awaiting delivery’ is not necessary (8,3)
UNCALLED FOR – another double definition rounds up the across clues

Down

2d Put the left hand on (4)
LAID – L(eft) AID(hand) giving a synonym for put

3d Shut up when taken into the band (4)
SASH – SH (shut up) with AS (when) inside (taken into) giving a band

4d Told on pop. Misbehaving in the outhouse (7)
SHOPPED – an anagram (misbehaving) of POP inside SHED (outhouse) giving a word meaning told on

5d The crack about height hurt (4)
ACHE – ACE (the crack / highest quality) around (about) H(eight) giving a hurt

6d Book by which the reader gets carried away? (7)
OMNIBUS – a double definition – a type of book; a form of transport usually shortened to bus

7d Blood shot again (4)
GORE – GO (shot) RE (again) for blood and gore

8d It’s misery when the devil makes his home among us (4,2,5)
HELL ON EARTH – a double definition, one of them cryptic

12d Tell nobody the answer to ‘Palindromic relation’ (4,3,4)
MUM’S THE WORD – what’s this, not another double definition? – MUM being a palindrome, this one’s not bad

13d There’s a passage about Art Nouveau. It’s unintelligible (6)
STRAIT – an anagram (unintelligible) of IT’S around (about) an anagram (nouveau) of ART –word order again, “about” refers to the placement of the anagram of “it’s”  but at first appears to request the reversal of “art”

15d “Mother’s gone mad and her sister” does frighten (5)
DAUNT – this is a clever one – (ma)D (mother’s / ma’s gone from mad) and then AUNT (mother’s sister) giving a synonym for frighten

16d They’re very high, for the hearing of dogs (5)
PEKES – these dogs sound like (for the hearing) peaks (they’re very high)

17d A race that has its supporters (6)
STAKES – back to the double definitions – a horse race for money that has been contributed; posts / supporters

21d Stopover is about a day in France, child (7)
SOJOURN – SON (child) around JOUR (day, French / a day in France) giving a stopover – word order again

22d Cheating in the greenwood (3,4)
RAW DEAL – RAW (green / inexperienced) DEAL (wood) gives a synonym for an act of cheating – not hard to get, but it reads well

26d Ornamentation is in order (4)
TRIM – the final double definition – decorative additions / ornamentation; neat and tidy / in order

27d Mountain climbing for a bet (4)
ETNA – ANTE (a bet) reversed (climbing) to give a mountain – that you need the crossing letters to work out which is the answer and which the wordplay makes this a weak clue

28d Reputed to have put out to grass (4)
REED – take put away from re(put)ed  and you are left with grass – I did like this one and I’m sure a few people missed the wordplay

29d Too much duck oil (4)
OTTO – OTT (Over The Top / too much) with O (duck) giving a very fragrant essential oil made from the damask rose, more usually called attar

What did you think?  Do you agree or disagree with my assessment?  Did you see something in a clue that I missed (it does happen and quite often!)?  All constructive comments are welcome.