ST 2517 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2517

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2517

A full analysis by Peter Biddlecombe

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

A pretty straightforward puzzle this one – with one setter’s slip that’s already been acknowledged. Now that Sunday solvers are used to a different style of puzzle, I wonder whether the difficulty level might be increased just a bit?

1 Study about carbon dioxide that’s broken down protective cover (6)
COCOON – COO = “Carbon dioxide that’s been broken down”, in CON = study – a classic example of your Sunday setter’s scrupulous fairness, as the gas is usually CO2
4 Local manager making change in a club going wrong (8)
PUBLICAN – P = penny = “change”, then anagram of “in a club”
10 English course for one Gaelic speaker, perhaps (5)
ASCOT = English (race)course, and “a Scot” = “one Gaelic speaker, perhaps”
11 Worked out cut in operation without hesitation (9)
EXERCISED – ER = “hesitation”, in EXCISED = “cut in operation” – “worked out” is as at the gym
12 Court action that is faulted by judge if too long, say (7)
SERVICE – cryptic def based on tennis
13 Divided about design for clothing (7)
RAIMENT – AIM = design, in RENT = divided
14 Some boxers abused as fighters we hate (14)
FEATHERWEIGHTS = anag. of “fighters we hate”
17 Driving out of tight spot, scrambled iron, then putter needed (5,5,4)
THREE POINT TURN = “driving out of tight spot”, and anag. of “iron then putter” – nice golfing deception after the tennis and boxing
21 Striking with whip – it shows on the surface (7)
OUT = (industrial) striking, CROP = whip
23 Aussie friend putting inexperienced driver in gear (7)
CLOBBER = gear – L = “inexperienced driver” in COBBER = “Aussie friend” – the clue leaves it to you to determine whether it’s Aussie friend = L in synonym of gear, or the right way round.
24 Impressive contract secured by the Irish last year (5,4)
GRAND SLAM = “impressive contract” in bridge or similar, and the Irish Rugby team’s long-awaited 2009 feat – a nice piece of evidence that BG knows precisely when his puzzles will appear.
25 Gift in container carried back by kings (5)
KNACK – reversal of CAN = container, between two instances of K = king
26 Secure service for North America, say (8)
LANDMASS = “North America, say” – LAND = secure, MASS = service
27 Plagiarised something from German cookbook, we hear (6)
STOLEN = plagiarised = “stollen” – a German cake seen in the shops for Christmas. The homophone doesn’t really work but BG apologised for this on Sunday.
1 Sort that’s stylish provided inside (8)
CLASSIFY – IF = provided, in CLASSY = stylish
2 Bird, fish, or insect (9)
COCKROACH = insect – COCK = bird, ROACH = fish – doubtless an old favourite but one of those inevitable clues that are hard to resist
3 Bird that’s extremely amusing, with no head to be seen (7)
OSTRICH = (m)OST RICH = “extremely amusing”
5 Labour never secures such funds (8,6)
UNEARNED INCOME – cryptic def that you can read in two ways – one about which parties folk with UI might belong to
6 Affection surrounding clubs in defeat (7)
LICKING – C = clubs in LIKING = affection
7 Class actors collectively in audition (5)
CASTE = “cast” = “actors collectively”
8 Awfully untidy feature of some colonies (6)
NUDITY = anag. of untidy – the colonies are nudist ones of course
9 Publication on some Europeans – they support lines of communication (9,5)
TELEGRAPH POLES – the “publication” that produces this xwd, and the Europeans probably most dear to xwd setters’ hearts
15 Kind of sketch that shouldn’t come under the hammer (9)
THUMBNAIL – def and “thumb nail” alternative def
16 Never beaten, so still wild (8)
UNBROKEN – still wild, of a horse, and ‘never beaten’, as of a record like Marita Koch’s 47.6 for 400m (a hell of a runner whatever she might have been taking)
18 Derby’s starter had one old mare put out (7)
EARLDOM – anag. of “old mare” and reference to the rank of the founder of the race
19 Worker’s equipment left – removed it outside (7)
TOOLKIT – L = left in TOOK IT = removed it
20 A huge number go surfing – but not in ocean, we hear (6)
GOOGOL – a daft name for a huge number, which sounds like the search engine Google – not surprisingly if you read the origin story on the linked page. This in turn has become a verb, hence “surf” (in the web sense)
22 A humorous writer or two (5)
TWAIN = humorous writer (Mark T), and an old word for two – again, easy meat if you know the origin story for his pen name.