ST Cryptic No 2481 – Review

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2481 – Review

A full analysis by Big Dave

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Sundays may never be the same again!  Another very enjoyable puzzle which, although not difficult, leaves you feeling satisfied – unless of course you liked the strange clues and odd construction that used to be the norm!

It seems that the change in style is linked to a whole new approach to the Sunday puzzles in general – although printing one prize puzzle on the back of another is something that the Puzzles Editor should perhaps rethink!  I have asked for guidance on the admissibility of copies of prize puzzles, and will let you all know when I get it.

Across

1a Unintended stress to a learner I’d kept in (10)
ACCIDENTAL – a synonym for unintended that comes from ACCENT (stress) and A L(a learner) around (kept in) I’D

6a Heated fighting before start of match (4)
WARM – this synonym for heated comes from WAR (fighting) then M (start of Match)

9a The value of one part of speech for poet (10)
WORDSWORTH – word’s worth (value of one part of speech) leads you to the poet

10a Trip with ancient city as destination (4)
TOUR – this trip is a visit TO UR – an ancient city that is used a lot in crosswords

12a Regret American getting caught in fast time (6)
LAMENT – regret that is AM(erican) inside (getting caught in) LENT (fast time / time of fasting)

13a Rowing at the stern – or fine in part of bow (8)
STROKING – the stroke is the rower at the back (stern) that sets the pace for the other rowers – his action is derived from OK (fine) inside STRING (part of bow) – misdirection from bow not being the front of the boat

15a Author, ergo, revised repeatedly and skilfully (6,6)
GEORGE ORWELL – this author of Nineteen Eighty-Four and Animal Farm is an anagram (revised) of ERGO and ERGO (repeatedly) and WELL (skilfully)

18a When local access starts, preparing to read inside stories (7,5)
OPENING TIMES – a pair of cryptic definitions – on the one hand we have the times that the local pub is open and on the other what you are doing when you look inside your copy of The Times

21a What torments flesh or tail of pony? (8)
HORSEFLY – an all-in-one that some call an &lit clue – this pest torments horses and ponies and is an anagram (torments) of FLESH OR together with Y (tail of ponY)

22a Strike outside a corporation (6)
PAUNCH – whenever you see corporation in a puzzle, think first of stomach, belly, tum or, in this case, paunch – easily derived when you know what you are looking for from PUNCH (strike) around (outside) A

24a Part of America under control of Columbus (4)
OHIO – the state that has Columbus as capital – you are meant to be misdirected into thinking about Christopher Columbus, but in that case where do you go?

25a To run off with one partner is within the law (10)
LEGITIMATE – a clever charade of LEG IT (run off) I (one) and MATE (partner) gives a word meaning within the law

26a Person entertaining large crowd (4)
HOST – a reasonably straightforward double definition

27a Having bars, like well-known watering-holes (10)
HYPHENATED – the last two words are hyphenated, hence the clue – superb surface reading, but relatively easy once you get the “Y” from 14 down checking the second letter

Down

1d Attending Shakespeare’s As You Like It (2,4)
AT WILL – AT (attending) and WILL(iam Shakespeare) give a phrase meaning as you like it – good surface reading for this fun clue

2d Element, in place of Pope, supporting church (6)
CHROME – this element, that puts the stainless into steel, is simply ROME (place of Pope) after (supporting – another of those down-clue only constructs) CH(urch)

3d Cut off inside, dither disastrously (12)
DISINHERITED – cut off from an inheritance comes from an anagram (disastrously) of  INSIDE DITHER

4d Refusal to authorize safe and secluded place (4)
NOOK – the refusal is NO and to authorize is to OK; together they give a safe and secluded place

5d A new tax on relative, in short? Just the opposite (10)
ANTITHESIS – A N(ew) TITHE (an old tax) and SISter (relative, in short) give a word meaning “just the opposite” – just as we are getting used to phrases like this meaning to reverse the actions requested in the wordplay, along comes a clue where it is the definition of the answer

7d Diagnose wrongly, hence suffered pain (8)
AGONISED – an anagram (wrongly) of DIAGNOSE that means suffered pain – an anagram of a single word to give another is always very satisfying

8d Daisy’s family member, silly girl mad about love (8)
MARIGOLD – this member of the daisy family is an anagram (silly) of GIRL MAD around O (love)

11d Inferior example of its type, or real change in medicine? (4,8)
POOR RELATION – an inferior example of its type is OR and an anagram (change) of REAL inside POTION (medicine)

14d Where pictures show irritation in blood vessel (3,7)
ART GALLERY – this place where pictures are shown is GALL (irritation) inside ARTERY (blood vessel)

16d Ridicule Teddy repeatedly (4-4)
POOH-POOH – a synonym for ridicule comes from repeating the name of this bear – usually I like clues like this, but the double jump from Teddy to Winnie to Pooh seems to be one jump too far

17d To approach young lady, get a close shave (4,4)
NEAR MISS – a simple charade combines NEAR (to approach) and MISS (young lady) to get a close shave

19d Home supporter has little time for young one (6)
INFANT – another charade takes IN (home) FAN (supporter) and T (little Time) to give a young one

20d Astute and aggressive woman getting diamonds (6)
SHREWD – this word meaning astute comes from taking SHREW (aggressive woman) and D (Diamonds, as in the card suit) – it’s been a while since we had one of these derogatory terms for a woman

23d Like one’s local, serving up hard drink (4)
NIGH – to get nearly there (like one’s local) take H(ard) and GIN (drink) and reverse them (serving up) – the surface reading just about justifies the awkwardness of the definition

Are you a convert to the new-style Sunday puzzles?  Please add your own comment.


One Comment

  1. Posted May 1, 2009 at 12:06 am | Permalink | Reply

    23D: Nigh = “near” too, which is more clearly like your local. 16D: I don’t think it’s a “double jump”, as Pooh is common enough for “Winnie the Pooh”, just like Teddy for “Teddy bear”.

    Definitely a convert, though I thought 7D let the side down a bit – the lurch in tense spoils the surface. Not sure how it could be fixed.

    Best offer for “where do you go” in 24A: CUBA – he seems to have been there and it’s “part of America” (the continent).

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