Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2506
A full analysis by Peter Biddlecombe
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BD Rating – Difficulty ** – Enjoyment ****
Much easier than last week for me, but there’s plenty to see. First, a bit of symmetry – half-turn rotational symmetry still applies when you’ve drawn in little bars to mark word breaks in multi-word answers.
Legend: (act)* indicates an anagram of act
|1||Live quartet heard previously (6)|
|BEFORE = BE=live,FORE=”four”|
|4||Scion not on hunting expedition (8)|
|OFFSHOOT – OFF=not on,SHOOT=hunting expedition. A scion is a twig or offshoot, esp. one used for planting or grafting. It’s also a fairly obvious component of a family tree.|
|10||What footballers try to avoid in clubs, for example (5)|
|CARDS – 2 defs, from football and card-playing|
|11||China correspondent? (9)|
|PENFRIEND – cryptic def punning on china=mate=friend and a possible location for a penfriend. 2 words or 1? 1 in Concise Oxford, 2 in Collins. There’s probably no right answer, and the lesson for xwd solving is not to rely too much on the enumeration matching your expectation.|
|12||Author collecting royalty as person producing books (7)|
|PRINTER – R in PINTER – R=royalty by way of rex and regina, not as a direct abbreviation|
|13||Kind of power, one French back completely (7)|
|NUCLEAR – rev. of un,clear=completely|
|14||Reassembled trio can inspect keyboard musician (7,7)|
|CONCERT PIANIST = (trio can inspect)*|
|17||It requires good performance in test, hitting initial shots with freedom (7,7)|
|DRIVING = hitting initial shots (golf),LICENCE = freedom. If you really want to be picky, you might point out that a learner has a driving licence, though a provisional one. A similar point was made on the Times blog a while ago when something like “one without a licence” was used for ‘learner’.|
|21||Slight change in RAF, not including first of flights (7)|
|AFFRONT – F in (RAF, not)* – “Slight change” is a classic bit of disguise, “slight” being the definition rather than a description of the change|
|23||Insert minute design in it (7)|
|IMPLANT – (M = minute, PLAN = design) in IT|
|24||Open to investigation likely to include drug (9)|
|PROBEABLE – E = drug, in PROBABLE = likely|
|25||Escort family from falling house (5)|
|USHER – 2 defs, one referring to Edgar Allan Poe’s Fall of the House of Usher|
|26||Swaggered along with supporting members (8)|
|STRUTTED – 2 defs, one based on the “equipped with” meaning of the -ed suffix|
|27||Fuel, we hear, for this flier over ocean (6)|
|PETREL = “petrol”|
|1||Luggage – altogether, nine of fifteen (8)|
|BACKPACK – referring to a BACK being one Rugby player, and the pack=scrum eight of them|
|2||Person from elsewhere putting gold in counterfeit sovereign (9)|
|FOREIGNER – OR = gold in FEIGN = counterfeit (vb.), then E.R. = sovereign|
|3||Old dog moving right to top gets award in show (7)|
|ROSETTE – move the R = right to the top when writing “O(=old),SETTER(=dog)”|
|5||Source of economic advice, not a white paper (9,5)|
|FINANCIAL TIMES, which is of course a “pink paper”. I’m sure you all know the cheesy joke about the FT crossword already.|
|6||Arab people surrounded by endless sand (7)|
|SARACEN = Arab – RACE = people in SAN(d)|
|7||Honours bestowed on European with big corporation (5)|
|OBESE – O.B.E.’S = honours, E = European|
|8||People from house demolished in Stroud (6)|
|TUDORS = Stroud* – members of a royal house=dynasty|
|9||Patient supporter when cuts are needed in theatre (9,5)|
|OPERATING TABLE – CD with “Arts funding” surface using three puns – “Patient supporter”, “cuts” and “theatre”|
|15||Possibly burns absorbing heat disastrously as this? (9)|
|SUNBATHER – heat* in burns*|
|16||Frantically clear top of chest (8)|
|PECTORAL = “of chest” – (clear top)*|
|18||Wild flower, without name (7)|
|VIOLENT – n = name in VIOLET. A sharp-eyed solver has grumbled about this use of “without” on the Times blog, pointing out that the crucial meaning of “without” is “outside of” rather than “surrounding”. He has a point, I think.|
|19||Take on board what’s fitting in solution (7)|
|CAPTURE – APT = fitting in CURE = solution|
|20||Author seizing power in university position (6)|
|CAMPUS – P = power in (Albert) Camus = author|
|22||Knock down part of building (5)|
|FLOOR – 2 defs|
7 comments on “ST 2506”
I take the point that “without” means “outside of” rather than “surrounding, (18dn), but I don’t think that alters its validity in a cryptic clue. Wouldn’t “flower outside of name” just as acceptably allude to the answer as “flower surrounding name”?
Welcome to the blog Radler
I’m very inclined to agree with you. I would be much more concerned with constructs like A B in C meaning to put B in A to get C which is just not English.
If anyone’s still interested …
I explained this badly – the point is that “without” in (e.g.) “there is a green hill far away, without a city wall”, does NOT mean surrounding – the hill is not a circular ridge! As far as I can tell, “outside” can mean “surrounding”, but this meaning of “without” cannot.
I understand the distinction and agree with you. However, I don’t think “without” precludes the case where the object outside is also “surrounding” – e.g. it would be correct to state that “the moat was without the castle”.
Another thought… The meaning of a word is of course determined by usage. Could its long-standing, frequent (and possibly originally erroneous) use in crossword clues mean that it now really does mean “surrounding”?
The moat could be described as”without the castle”, but this would equally describe a moat outside but not surrounding it. This is true for “outside” too, but I think there’s a case for more precision when using old-fashioned meanings. I can’t support the “used in crossword clues” argument for meanings of words unless the dictionaries start going down that route, but thinking of a particular pet hate, I hope never to see a dictionary definition like “ion: a charge (from cryptic crossword clues)”.
We all have our particular likes and dislikes.
Does this mean that “outside” cannot be used either? And what about “outwith”?
I am happier with “without” meaning surrounding (Chambers – outside the limits of) than I am with “in” joining the wordplay to the definition, as in ST 2509.
I have no problem with “outside”, as this is in modern vocabulary and “surrounding” is a possible meaning as well as “exterior to”. My problem with the archaic meaning of “without” for “surrounding” is that I cannot think of an example with this meaning that would be as recognisable as “An Agony in eight fits” (see today’s stuff on 2509).
It’s not a requirement recognised explicitly by any set of cryptic crossword “rules” I’ve ever seen, but I’m always happier if I can illustrate a meaning with a convincing snippet of English – and for archaic stuff, convincing usually ends up meaning “something I can quote and at least some people will recognise”.
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