ST 2504

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2504

A full analysis by Peter Biddlecombe

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

A pretty straightforward one this, with quite a few unsurprising breakdowns of words. But then I knew the funny word at 27 from years of Times solving, and as mentioned below, this setter is feeding other little bits of Times xwd culture into his Telegraph puzzles, which is fine with me – I’m all for shring the tricks around rather than having parochial specials. As ever from this setter, this easy puzzle has lots of good clue-writing in it and there are good surface readings achieved without resorting to dodgy practices like perverse word ordering.

Across
1 Measure covering opening of studio for Picasso, say (6)
CUBIST – S in CUBIT
4 Admitted by hospital and treated with veneration (8 )
HALLOWED – H=hospital,ALLOWED=admitted
10 Conservative majority, like 8 and 17 here (9)
RIGHTMOST – Conservative=RIGHT,majority=MOST – defined by positions of other answers in the grid
11 Herb planted in tub, as I like (5)
BASIL – easy but pleasing hidden word
12 King Edward, so erudite (7)
LEARNED – King=LEAR,Edward=NED
13 Extremely gentle male that is over 50 (7)
MILDEST – M,(L=50 in “id est” which i.e. stands for)
14 Authority makes no pronouncement? (3-2)
SAY-SO = SAYS O=nothing
15 Malodorous fish is irritating (8 )
RANKLING – malodorous=RANK,fish=LING
18 Vehicle and a PC moving around area, right? (5,3)
PANDA CAR – anag. of “and a PC”, then area=A,right=R
20 Weird, crazy, and more extreme (5)
WIDER = anag. of weird
23 What’s strange in unspecified person embracing daughters and sons? (7)
ODDNESS – (D,D=daughters in ONE=unspecified person),S,S=sons – not difficult, but very neat
25 King putting in rook and duck in place of other birds (7)
HERONRY – (R=rook,O=duck=zero) in Henry=King. King/rook and rook/duck nicely blur the chess/ornithology boundary
26 Taking part in vote, MP to try to lead others astray (5)
TEMPT – hidden word – another “easy but …”
27 Transient, changing immediately (9)
INSTANTER = anag. of transient and legal term for “without delay”. A word you may see again – nothing else fits I?S?A?T?R and having any four of these five checking letters reduces you to 5 choices or fewer in Chambers
28 Spaniards perform it loudly and with an energy (8 )
FANDANGO – loudly=F, and=AND, an=AN, energy=GO
29 Two countries reduced to make one, formerly (6)
PERSIA – PER(u),SIA(m) – potentially difficult given the wide range of possible countries, but the S?A ending should come fairly easily from the checking letters if you need it.
Down
1 Sloppy stroke round leg — last out (8 )
CARELESS – LE(g) in CARESS – for once leg doesn’t need changing to “on”
2 Poor woman happy to be carried by horse (3,4)
BAG LADY – GLAD in BAY=(type of) horse
3 Demonstrated Sir Henry is cabinet material (9)
SATINWOOD – SAT IN = demonstrated (in the style of students 30-40 years ago),WOOD=Sir Henry (who you should remember from a week or two ago)
5 Republican, for example, having corrupt transaction with him (14)
ANTIMONARCHIST = anag. of (transaction, him)
6 Record information left on first person killed (5)
LABEL – L,ABEL=”first person killed” (by Cain). For younger readers, those big black things called LPs had labels stuck to their centres.
7 Couple playing together, back in movie (7)
WESTERN – W,E from bridge,STERN=back (of a ship)
8 Thin note on one instrument (6)
DILUTE – note=D,one=I,LUTE
9 Swop recordings wrongly, using computer application (4,10)
WORD PROCESSING = anag. of (swop recordings) – a 1980s term for the task performed with predecessors of Microsoft Word. It died out from common use in parallel with the idea that using such programs was a specialised skill. An old hobby horse of mine – you don’t need special people, but the ordinary people do need some training, or you get horribly bodged documents accepted as good work because the boss wrote them and/or laser printing makes them look deceptively good.
16 Scale down action the army is in, but not RAF (5,4)
LOWER CASE – scale down = LOWER, action = CASE – defined by military examples. And the whole surface is about something completely different. Probably the clue of the day.
17 Sign of head’s maturity where issues are unclear (4,4)
GREY AREA – 2 defs, one cryptic
19 Awfully bad sign for corporation’s site (7)
ABDOMEN – anag. of bad,OMEN=sign – corporation=paunch is another old Times favourite
21 Working to take fruit round as presents (7)
DONATES – working=ON, in fruit=DATES
22 Snake’s head twisted to and fro, in a way (4,2)
SORT OF – S,anag. of (to, fro) – “twisted to and fro” is more good stuff in the surface
24 Player taking little part gets no ball, perhaps (5)
EXTRA – 2 defs