ST 2522 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2522

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2522

A full analysis by Peter Biddlecombe

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

A puzzle of about average difficulty for me. I think part of the difficulty is created by longish definitions – there are only 5 single-word ones in this puzzle, compared 11 in the considerably easier Saturday puzzle.

1 British going into pub I preserve in centre of London (8 )
BARBICAN – BAR(B=British),I,CAN=preserve
9 Burst in at once for dramatic performance (8 )
10 Produced excellent service for 80% of the leading characters (4)
ACED – which uses 4 of the first 5 letters in the alphabet
11 Bird hit by chicken (12)
13 Article is inconsistent about current accommodation for fliers (8 )
(electric) current} is from Physics
15 Very European city on Mediterranean, or one on Adriatic (6)
V=very,E=European,NICE=city on Mediterranean
16 Form of narrative, extremely banal and ongoing? (4)
BLOG – outside letters of banal, outgoing. No comment!
17 Composer whose pieces come in handy (5)
HAYDN = anag. of handy
18 Homer’s goal, in portrayal of Troy (4)
LOFT – hidden word. I’m guessing that Homer Simpson hankers after a loft. Nice try with the Greek stuff, but my solving brain now thinks of Simpson first when it hears “Homer” What drivel – homer=pigeon as stated in the comments.
20 Joint problem for king or queen in monarchy (6)
SPRAIN – SP(R)AIN – R = Rex or Regina, i.e. “king or queen”
21 Those relieved when change occurs? Yes and no (3,5)
OLD GUARD – nicely done double def where one of the defs is an opposite. We’re talking about changing the guard, and “old guard” = consrervatives
23 Game with an excellent goal (7,5)
BENEFIT MATCH – cryptic def., referring to benefit matches held for charity, rather than a retiring player’s pension find
26 Try in game between Australia and New Zealand, say (4)
TEST – double def., with one referring to an antipodean match in cricket or rugby
27 What a sucker might drink? Answer’s in French paper (8 )
LEMONADE – LE MON(A)DE, often drunk with a straw
28 Skill in figuring out what’s spicy on peculiar menu (8 )
NUMERACY – anag. of menu, RACY=spicy
2 Toughest opponent losing second rook, as recorded (8 )
ARCHIVAL – archrival without the second R = rook
3 A gulag beyond reforming – no words can express it (4,8 )
BODY LANGUAGE – anag. of “a gulag beyond”
4 Cool down one kind of hot food (6)
CHILLI – CHILL = cool down, I = one C = cool, HILL = down (North or South Downs), I = one. But I can’t find C=cool in Concise Oxford, Collins or Chambers. Unless I’m missing something, this is a rare slip-up from this setter, and my best guess about what happened is that C started off as “cold” and was then changed to a synonym giving a better surface. I have to admit that when solving, HILL+I was plenty. Apologies for more drivel
5 Emperor’s love, having had head turned (4)
NERO – love = zero, with a 90-degree rotation to turn the Z into an N.
6 Thanks to vote, own new duty-free area? (3,5)
TA=thanks, X=vote, HAVE=own, N=new
7 Mostly permeate with pessimism, ultimately, in 2012, say (4)
FIL(l),M – 2012 is a disaster movie released
in 2009.
8 Worry about dreadful ire that makes one extremely bad-tempered (8 )
ANGRIEST – anag. of ire, in angst = worry
12 Fellow’s reaction to joke that could slay people (12)
MAN’S=fellow’s,LAUGHTER=reaction to joke, slay=kill (as well as amuse)
14 Authority thus supporting state (3-2)
16 Game in diamonds (8 )
BASEBALL – cryptic def trying to push you into thoughts of bridge. Incidentally, you can have a very similar clue for SOLITAIRE – good thing one is (8 ) and the other (9).
17 Add weight in launch, and I capsize (8 )
HANDICAP – hidden word. Def. based on handicapping in horse racing, done with weights in the saddle.
19 Supporting 50% of scientists involved in one kind of lab (8 )
FOR=supporting,ENSIC = anag. of scien(tists)
22 Net assets are what make this business possible (3-3)
DOT COM – cryptic def., “net” being the internet
24 English bishop, perhaps, turned up to perform christening (4)
NAME = reverse of E=English, (chess) MAN = “bishop, perhaps”
25 Manner in which people entertain India on radio (4)
M(I)EN – “on radio” here is not a sounds-like indicator, but a reference to the radio alphabet – nice to see the implication that the setter dislikes calling this alphabet “phonetic” as much as I do.

5 comments on “ST 2522

  1. I did 19 on this one, quite pleasing, but one was wrong, less pleasing! I didn’t fully understand 13a and came up with ‘aviation’, which I then changed to ‘aviaters’ to fit with 14d.

    Don’t really understand 20a; where does SPAIN come from? (Is my general knowledge lacking here?) And I always have a problem with the word ‘can’, as 1a; don’t we use ‘tin, tinned, tinning’ whereas the Americans use ‘can, canned, canning’?

    1. 20A: just the fact that having said Adios to the Caudillo, Spain is now a (constitutional) monarchy again.

      1A “can” is defined as “preserve in a can” by the Concise Oxford with no “N Amer” or similar label. Another meaning “dismiss from a job or reject as inadequate” is so labelled. I suspect “tin” is still typically British and “can” typically American, but I’m sure both words are recognised in both countries.
      Having looked at “tin” and “can” in both COED and Webster’s Collegiate, the rough US equivalent (as seen at, the only one of the four with a label is “tin” in COED.

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