ST 2521

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2521

A full analysis by Peter Biddlecombe

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

I found this puzzle rather harder than some recent Sunday ones, and it took me about twice as long. I’m pretty sure that 23D was one of my last answers, and 25A took quite a while too. I also put in a dud answer at 18A. So if we had multiple pictures, I’d be using the dunce’s cap one which makes too-frequent appearances at Times for the Times.

Across
1 Steps some Londoners take to produce fruit (6,3,5)
APPLES AND PEARS = “stairs” in Cockney rhyming slang, and of course fruit
9 Zero, less than zero, about zero? That’s awful as forecast (7)
OMINOUS – O=zero, then the same inside MINUS
10 Plant available, one found in South Africa (7)
FREESIA – FREE=available, then I=one in S.A.
11 Statement of dismissal on other grounds (4)
AWAY – 2 defs, splitting at “dismissal / on”
12 King and I separately welcomed by child needing more protection from blows (10)
DRAUGHTIER – R and I seperately inserted into DAUGHTER
14 Mineral almost exhausted in this state (6)
OREGON – ORE = mineral, GON(e)
15 Sign name fraudulently for imports (8 )
MEANINGS = anag. of “sign name”
17 Search Internet site frantically, leading to excesses (8 )
SURFEITS – SURF = search internet, EITS = anag. of site
18 Produce the first shot and so cause anger (3,3)
TEE OFF – two meanings. I vainly hoped to find them for SET OFF
21 Repeat cure when poorly to get better (10)
RECUPERATE = anag. of “repeat cure”
22 Message about line in plant for textile production (4)
FLAX – L=line in FAX=message – a technology that should be dead by now, but lingers on.
24 Aspiration about strike that’s not absolutely pure and innocent? (7)
WHITISH – HIT=strike, in WISH=aspiration
25 European city where many Irish people live (7)
MUNSTER – a town in NE France, famous for its cheese Germany’s North Rhine-Westphalia region, and a province of Ireland.
26 Personal stake of setter’s evident when upset (6,8)
VESTED INTEREST – anag. of “setters evident”
 
Down
1 Fruit in a case briefly leading to difficulty (7)
AVOCADO – A,VOC. = vocative = (grammatical) case,ADO = difficulty
2 Kind of professional work that makes soldier perfect? (7,8)
PRIVATE PRACTICE – def (“kind of professional work”) and a litle word game – if practice makes perfect, then private practice could make “soldier perfect” – especially as Private is the lowest army rank.
3 Latin and French one got in school (4)
ETON – ET = “Latin and”, ON = French for “one” – the “you or me” sort of “one” rather than the number
4 Take in with sailor’s eye (6)
ABSORB – A.B.’S = sailor’s, ORB = eye
5 Spread out from Land’s End whenever ready to set off (8 )
DIFFUSED – D = “LanD’s end”,IF FUSED = “whenever ready to set off” – the presence of “set off” here should have been a sign that it was very unlikely as an answer at 18A
6 Still passed – just (4-6)
EVEN-HANDED – EVEN = still, HANDED = passed
7 Final game for unlucky spinner (7,8)
RUSSIAN ROULETTE – grim cryptic def
8 Strange dramas in Indian city recalled (6)
MADRAS – anag. of dramas – “recalled” because it’s now Chennai
13 One can provide juice that a presenter may require (5,5)
POWER POINT – 2 defs – a source of electricity = “juice”, and a Microsoft Office application
16 Added stiffness to the cards as ordered (8)
STARCHED – anag. of “the cards”. Younger readers may be unaware that starch was once used to stiffen shirts and the like when ironing.
17 Hurriedly write second slow movement (6)
SCRAWL – S = second, CRAWL = slow movement – of traffic or toddlers rather than swimmers
19 Steps taken to baffle left-winger (7)
FOXTROT – FOX = baffle, TROT = left-winger – not “red” for once
20 Part of flower found in either part of Bible (6)
STAMEN – hidden in the Old or New TeSTAMENt
23 The moment that’s not repeated (4)
ONCE – 2 defs, one as in “The moment you’ve finished the puzzle, you can start writing up your report.”

2 Comments

  1. tonyp17
    Posted February 6, 2010 at 11:34 am | Permalink | Reply

    Peter – re 25A having searched Wikipedia I think the European city reference is more likely to be Münster in the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany.

    I have to say that cryptic geography lessons do not appeal as crossword clues – a point already made this week.

    • Posted February 6, 2010 at 11:48 am | Permalink | Reply

      Sorry, as a confirmed tyrophile I falsely assumed that the cheese-producing Munster must be the best-known one.

      I don’t like obscure villages with dull defs that amount to “somewhere in Yorkshire” or similar, but I don’t mind geography being used in an interesting clue. For me, “European city where many Irish people live” qualifies, on the same grounds as the old chestnut about the Capital city in Czechoslovakia (4).

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