ST 2501 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2501

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2501

After the Lord Mayor’s show?

A full analysis by Peter Biddlecombe

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ***

(This is written without looking at the Sunday hints message to see what’s been said so far.) We couldn’t really expect this puzzle to match the anniversary one last week, and we’re back to everyday fare here. There are some fairly easy clues, especially for old hands, but there’s lots of crossword-setting craft – in particular, consistently solid surface meanings. 3D is a particular favourite of mine, being a former distance runner, conjuring up images of someone like Emil Zatopek, whose laboured style can be seen in this film about his rivalry with Alan Mimoun. Meanwhile, back to the clues ….

1 Without taking offence, actor would like to be this (2,4,4)
IN GOOD PART – 2 definitions
6 Friendly nature (4)
KIND – 2 definitions
9 Irrelevant, I observe, backing member of the old school (7)
ETONIAN – (N/A = not applicable = irrelevant,I NOTE) all reversed.
10 Laconic type showing skill in bridge (7)
SPARTAN – ART=skill in SPAN=bridge
12 National protest after officer is hit (7,6)
GENERAL STRIKE – charade of the officer and the hit (verb)
14 Flirted with, yet pure, from what we hear (6)
CHASED = “chaste” = pure
15 Tool wasn’t holding one back (5,3)
TENON SAW – ONE in WASN’T, all reversed – gem of a clue which I don’t think I’ve seen before
17 Some drinks I spilled turning round … (8 )
ELLIPSIS – the proper name for what most of us call “dot dot dot” – hidden backwards in “drinks I spilled”
19 Hidden by Bush, the decider (6)
WINNER – W=George “Dubya” Bush,INNER = hidden – my last answer as I was slow to understand the wordplay.
22 At the cutting edge, say, and frequently left of centre (5-2-3-3)
STATE OF THE ART – charade of STATE=say,OFT=frequently,centre=HEART. “Left of” is an instruction about where OFT goes in relation to CENTRE, but also misleads you into thinking of something political, and makes the surface meaning work.
24 Person suffering superficial damage? Tough (7)
BRUISER – 2 defs, one a bit whimsical as indicated by the “?”
25 Chaps foolishly swallowing hot vegetable (7)
SPINACH – IN=hot=fashionable in anag. of CHAPS.
26 Like pie, or piece of cake (4)
EASY – our setter has noticed the resemblance of “easy as pie” and “piece of cake”
27 On an individual basis for each boyfriend (10)
PERSONALLY – charade of PER=for each,SON=boy,ALLY=friend. I’m not sure that BG in his earlier role as Times xwd ed. would have allowed this use of boyfriend for “boy, friend” but it’s a pretty minor misdemeanour.
1 One thing, or a couple (4)
ITEM – double def., using item as on “so are Fred and Elsie an item now?”
2 What the US and former USSR had in common (7)
GEORGIA – a geography special but an interesting one
3 Frantic exertion in front of crowd for long-distance runner on track (6,7)
ORIENT EXPRESS – anag. of “exertion”, PRESS = crowd – and the track is a railway track.
4 Criticise tax that’s in store (6)
PANTRY – another charade – PAN=criticise,TRY=tax (verb)
5 Full of determination, did crossword again? (8 )
RESOLVED = re-solved
7 Instinctively understands Northern people over time (7)
INTUITS – T=time in INUITS = Northern people. If you want to be really pedantic, Inuit is already plural, the singular being Inuk – but Collins, at least, allows Inuits and Inuit as the plural, following the traditional English approach in which stolen words are adjusted to fit. Better this than plurals like “octopi” which is both ludicrously fussy and a dud because “octopus” is Greek not Latin – the original plural was “octopodes”. Must stop now before going on to virii, one criteria, etc.
8 Laborious part of job as Democrat’s taken on changing New York, OK? (6,4)
DONKEY WORK – D=Democrat, anag. of “New York OK”. You need to ignore the D,ON = “Democrat’s taken on” which happens to be at the beginning of the answer but is a wordplay red herring (unintentional, I’d guess)
11 Dictatorial writer restricting girl and boy (13)
AUTHORITARIAN – girl=RITA in AUTHOR, then IAN=boy. Boy and girl are a bit vague but the rest seems easy enough for this not to matter
13 Be composed with classic English that’s easily understood (10)
ACCESSIBLE – anag. of (be, classic), then E=English – or you can count the last E as part of the anagram fodder if you prefer
16 Music for church service (3,5)
AIR FORCE = AIR=music,FOR,C.E. = church (of England)
18 Alliances having a long way to go (7)
LEAGUES – 2 defs, with the defs carefully chosen to make something convincing and misleading
20 A couple of requirements for tennis or another sport (7)
NETBALL = NET,BALL – an old chestnut but one that bears repeating
21 Argument the girl in family cut short (6)
23 Hail, at sea, a boat (4)
AHOY – A=A,HOY=boat – a coastal sailing vessel, apparently – either new to me or last seen in some barred-grid puzzle

2 comments on “ST 2501

  1. I thought 8d was a clever clue because the pictorial symbol of the US Democratic Party is a Donkey and it is seen as the party of the workers (Donkey Work). Good clue.

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