ST 2505

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2505

A full analysis by Peter Biddlecombe

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

Quite a tough puzzle this week – a change from the usual gentle Sunday stroll. No harm in this when it’s a prize puzzle, and an easy few months or so may have been deliberate while solvers adapted to a style very different to the old Sunday Telegraph puzzles.

Across
1 Hoards, in a way, trophy for excelling in some tests (7)
STASHES – ST.=street=way, ASHES = “trophy for excelling in some tests”. As the puzzle appeared on the day of the Times Crossword Championship, I wonder whether the surface meaning is a reference to its “trophy for excelling in some tests”, as the Sunday Setter once edited the Times puzzle and had the task of selecting the puzzles to be solved. Also wondered whether he was racking up the difficulty for the occasion – although it was at least my 7th cryptic of the day when I tackled it, so a slow time may not mean too much, I thought it would have been good “tough but fair” championship material.
5 Caught a programme about Conservative’s source of profit (4,3)
CASH COW = “source of profit” – C=caught, then C=Conservative in “A SHOW”
9 No fur seal should be mistreated (7)
REFUSAL = anag. of “fur seal”
10 Change one’s tone to pass on complaint about left (7)
INFLECT – L=left in INFECT – inflection can be a change in tone/pitch, as well as a change of word ending
11 Enunciate Biblical piece about island (9)
VERBALISE – BALI=island, in VERSE=”Biblical piece” – a classic case of “simpler than it looks”
12 Temperature above normal in part of body (5)
THIGH – T=temperature, HIGH=above normal – this one should have helped to get you started
13 Action by those who won’t stand for something? (3-2)
SIT-IN – cryptic definition – the lack of an obvious “protest” word made this a bit less obvious than usual – OK as “3-2” is a big help.
15 Person getting, in Rome, 2% off (9)
RECIPIENT – outrageous anagram of “II PERCENT” = “in Rome, 2%”.
17 Declare, for example, this clue devoid of content (9)
PRONOUNCE – PRONOUN = “for example, this” (‘this’ being a pronoun), CE = CluE devoid of content
19 Skill put into speech? Not at all (5)
NOHOW – sounds like “know-how”
22 Be brilliant, briefly, and ostentatious (5)
FLASH – 2 defs, seperated by the “and” – one verb, one adjective.
23 Clear, subject to legal constraint (5,4)
BOUND OVER – 2 defs, the first as in “Arkle cleared the last fence”
25 E.g., Hillary Clinton, initially flexible (7)
CLIMBER – C= “Clinton initially”,LIMBER=flexible – lovely surname/forename swap between Hillary Clinton and the late Sir Edmund Hillary.
26 Something sweet returned, for example? Surely not! (7)
REVENGE – reverse of “e.g.,never”, when revenge isn’t “best served cold”, it’s just sweet – so watch out for “Something sweet, best served cold”
27 Execute decoration, e.g. painting two-wheeled vehicle (7)
DOGCART – DO=execute,G.C.=George Cross=decoration,ART=”e.g. painting”
28 What’s done about cancelled service? It’s taken out (7)
DELETED – DEED = “what’s done”, about (= outside) LET=”cancelled service”
Down
1 Battles resistance in South-West town (7)
STRIVES – R=resistance (physics) in St. Ives, Cornwall
2 If held up in start, disorientated initially (2,5)
AT FIRST – reverse of IF (“held up”), in anag. of START. If you learn nothing else from this puzzle, remember “up = backwards in Downs” – it’s used at least 3 times, though in a different phrasing each time.
3 Like Wordsworth’s daffodils, a showy plant (5)
HOSTA = “showy plant”, HOST = “Like Wordsworth’s daffodils”, A=”a”. Refers to the poem – “I wandered lonely as a Cloud / That floats on high o’er vales and Hills, / When all at once I saw a crowd, / A host, of golden Daffodils;”. The apparently adjectival “host” is a tiny slip from the verbal precision we now expect on Sunday, just to show that I’m awake.
4 Persevere as child protecting grandparent, for one? Right (7,2)
SOLDIER ON – (OLDIE = “grandparent for one”, R = right), all inside SON = child
5 Either cold or hot stuff, we hear, in this country (5)
CHILE = “chilly” and “chilli”
6 One can’t see the point of this device being used (6,3)
SAFETY PIN – whose sharp end is concealed, allowing the “can’t see the point” gag, similar to the medical one about the “bleeding point”
7 Lab worker cut end off white garment (7)
CHEMISE – CHEMIS(t) = “Lab worker cut”, E = “end off white”
8 Warning in advice about must-see film (5,2)
WATCH IT – two defs
14 Nothing can inspire such fear for very long (9)
NEOPHOBIA – fear of new things, so no thing = nothing can create it for long
16 Something that may bounce, like ball in test, up and down (9)
CHEQUERED – CHEQUE=something that may bounce,RED=like ball in test – test = cricket match
17 Took steps about love with female – it’s looking serious (2-5)
PO-FACED – PACED outside (O=love=zero,F=female)
18 Giving go-ahead for vote accepted by old ruler (7)
OKAYING – AY=vote, as in “the ayes have it”, with a slightly sneaky spelling variation, inside O=old,KING=ruler
20 Shelter to put up for poor person (4-3)
HAVE-NOT – HAVEN=shelter,OT = “to put up”, upwards being in reverse in a down answer
21 What explodes we had placed around a rocket’s front? (7)
WARHEAD – (A, R = rocket’s front) in anag. of WE HAD – so today’s all-in-one
23 Volley from ring-leader trapped by police raid (5)
BURST – R = ring-leader, BUST = police raid
24 One liable to quote scripture was shown up (5)
DEVIL – written in just from was=LIVED, shown up = reversed. The rest must refer to the saying “the devil can quote scripture for his own purpose”, which I just found under “devil” in my new copy of the excellent Oxford Dictionary of English. Chambers doesn’t have it.
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4 Comments

  1. Edi
    Posted October 16, 2009 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Thankyou Mr Biddlecombe for clearing up a few snags. I’ve been waiting 5 days to finish that grid. Hopefully wont take me as long this sunday.

  2. Tilly
    Posted October 16, 2009 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Surprised you had time to do this last Sunday! Well done in the competition.

  3. Posted October 16, 2009 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    This one would not have been out of place as a Toughie – the setter was responsible for several Toughies under the name of Jed, but has not been seen since taking over the Sunday slot.

  4. Emandan
    Posted October 16, 2009 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    I still found this one easier than yesterdays DT and today’s for that matter