ST Cryptic No 2480 – Review

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2480 – Review

A full analysis by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

This was the most enjoyable Sunday puzzle in a long time.  It’s hard to explain how one relatively easy puzzle is more satisfying than another – it has a lot to do with the “smile factor” :D that you get when you have solved a particular clue.

Across

1a Describing how France is divided, become absent-minded? (14)
DEPARTMENTALLY – This very clever clue describes how France is divided into districts by using a charade of DEPART (become absent) and MENTALLY (minded) :D

9a English poet bashful about French woman (7)
SHELLEY – (Percy Bysshe) SHELLEY comes from SHY (bashful) around ELLE (French woman)

10a Bachelor very happy – not before time (7)
BELATED – B(achelor) and ELATED (very happy) give a word meaning not before time

11a Try in big rugby match (4)
TEST – a double definition :(

12a Classic location for people taking lessons (10)
RACECOURSE – this location for Classic horse races is a charade of RACE (people) and COURSE (lessons)

14a Shoot pictures, initially, developed into these? (6)
PHOTOS – an appropriate anagram (developed) of SHOOT P(ictures, initially) :D

15a Glove to fetch relative left inside (8)
GAUNTLET – a glove that comes from GET (fetch) with AUNT (relative) and L(eft) inside

17a Was appropriate for fellow I took a gamble about (8)
BEFITTED – a synonym for was appropriate that comes from F(ellow) and I inside BETTED (took a gamble)

18a Somehow do the maths, initially – how? (6)
METHOD – an anagram (somehow) of DO THE M(aths, initially)

21a How to get somewhere, using unusual discretion (10)
DIRECTIONS – a synonym for how to get somewhere is an anagram (unusual) of DISCRETION

22a Comfortable in someone’s arms? Just the opposite (4)
SNUG – a word meaning comfortable is GUNS (arms) reversed (just the opposite) – I liked this one because of its misdirection – clues that include phrases like “just the opposite” usually instruct you to reverse the wordplay, but here you are instructed to reverse a word :)

24a Officer, by no means exceptional (7)
GENERAL – a double definition that should need no explanation

25a Sentence composer before court (7)
VERDICT – this sentence is a clever charade of VERDI (composer) and CT (court) – this is one of a number of abbreviations that have their origins in street maps: others include PL(ace), CL(ose), RD (road) and ST(reet)

26a CD, say, with person providing backing who notes what’s good and bad? (9,5)
RECORDING ANGEL – Here the charade comes first – RECORDING (CD, say) and ANGEL (person providing backing for a production at the theatre) combine to give a divine attendant supposed to keep a book in which every misdeed is recorded against the doer

Down

1d Section of newspaper best for this kind of publishing (7)
DESKTOP – We start where we left off in the across clues with a clever charade – DESK (this section of newspaper where people work would usually be preceded by news or sports) and TOP (best) give the kind of publishing that you can do on your own PC

2d One way to get pear juice for media event (5,10)
PRESS CONFERENCE – a really nice cryptic definition of how you need to squeeze a type of pear! :)

3d Sounds like part played in revolutionary movement (4)
ROLL – this revolutionary movement sounds like role (part played)

4d Call for help when workers celebrate (6)
MAYDAY – a double definition

5d Wealthy person with old lover, not a common type (8)
NOBLEMAN – This game of charades continues with NOB (an informal word for a wealthy person) and LEMAN (a very old word for a lover) to give a person of high social rank (not a common type)

6d Versatile player joins everyone encircling monarch (3-7)
ALL-ROUNDER – this versatile player turns out to be another charade – ALL (everyone) ROUND (encircling) ER (Elizabeth Regina / monarch) – as you probably realise by now I have a great admiration for deliberate misdirection and encircling, which usually directs you to put something round something else, is simply replaced by the word round :)

7d It could be central to having creative ideas, however (7,8)
LATERAL THINKING – you need this skill to solve cryptic clues like this one!

8d Commercial opening for a kind of calendar (6)
ADVENT – time for another charade – AD(vertisement / commercial) and VENT (opening) give a kind of calendar common in the days leading up to Christmas

13d Where many wheels spin at end of rally (5,5)
MONTE CARLO – this double cryptic definition concerns casinos and car races :D

16d Cooked, in a way, as guided by Nick (8)
DEVILLED – cooked in a way that could be guided by Old Nick

17d Old, old boy turning up in wine-shop (6)
BODEGA – AGED (old) and OB (old boy) all reversed (turning up – yet another down-clue only construct) to give a Spanish wine-shop

19d In relation to fingers, not using hands (7)
DIGITAL – another double definition that should not need an explanation

20d Bumpy – like 2009, for example? (6)
UNEVEN – this cryptic definition is a lot easier than it seems at first glance

23d Region in Far East (4)
AREA – a synonym for region is hidden in FAR EAst :(

Your opinions on the new style are welcome.  Each week seems different.  Which do you particularly like (or for that matter dislike)?

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One Comment

  1. Posted April 24, 2009 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Not much more to say than in the comments on the hints, where the assembled company were 3 or 4 to 1 in favour of the new style.

    I know I take my xwds far more seriously than most Telegraph (or other solvers), but this is such a big change of style that I’m just amazed by the silence.