ST 2531

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2531

A full analysis by Peter Biddlecombe

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

The usual set of good clues – I’m doing this late, for which I apologise, so let’s get straight on. Imagine a 5-minute pause while I paste in the clue text.

Across
1 Men captured in error if pawns so arranged (9,2,3)
PRISONERS OF WAR – anagram of “error if pawns so”
9 Crush page inside old papers (7)
OPPRESS – P=page, in (O=old,PRESS)
10 Hamlet revealing evil without delay (7)
VILLAGE – LAG in VILE – synonym of evil (adj.) – an anagram of it too, though that’s not important for this clue
11 One old-fashioned hero (4)
IDOL – 1=one,DOL = anagram of ‘old’
12 Crude quality of lessons reported to head (10)
COARSENESS = homophone of ‘course’,NESS=head as in Orford Ness
14 Short screw secures it for instrument (6)
GUITAR – IT in GUAR(d) – ‘screw’ being slang for a prison guard
15 David’s son taken in by fortune-teller (8 )
PSALMIST – S=son in PALMIST. (The Psalms are traditionally attributed to King David)
17 Even when rebuffed accepting a role in social gathering (3,5)
TEA PARTY – (A PART) in reversal of YET=even
18 Advantage it bestowed on chairperson? (6)
PROFIT – PROF = “chairperson”,IT
21 Poet’s order to horse that’s unenforceable (10)
DRINKWATER – John Drinkwater was a poet and playwright of the early 20th century. Cryptic def based on “You can take a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink”.
22 Spring this year’s a little longer (4)
LEAP – 2 def’s – leap=jump=spring, and the extended year
24 Way to resume play with part of actor’s speech removed (4-3)
LINE OUT – restart of play in Rugby Union. LINE=part of actor’s speech,OUT=removed, as in having a tooth out
25 Unspecified person also interrupting moderate (2-3-2)
SO-AND-SO – AND=also, in SO-SO=moderate
26 Disruption of trade meant less for veteran politician (5,9)
ELDER STATESMAN – anag. of “trade meant less”
Down
1 Examining bird admitted by doctor turning up (7)
PROBING – ROBIN in reversal of GP = doctor
2 I am tentative about a theatrical opening that’s unrehearsed (15)
IMPROVISATIONAL – (A,T) in I’M PROVISIONAL = I am tentative
3 Married with ring that’s outstanding (4)
OWED – O = “ring”, WED
4 Avoid legal action when held up in station (6)
EUSTON = station – reversal of ‘not sue’ = ‘avoid legal action’
5 Second highest mountain is extremely hard (8 )
SEVEREST – S=second,EVEREST – I thought about K2, but only briefly.
6 It could produce a small fear mistakenly (5,5)
FALSE ALARM = anag. of ‘a small fear’ and an all-in-one clue
7 Deem a democracy incomplete if this liberty is destroyed (8,7)
ACADEMIC FREEDOM – anag. of ‘Deem a democrac(y), if’ and another all-in=one
8 Semi-precious stone mounted for group of high-fliers (3,3)
JET SET – JET from Whitby, SET = mounted, as of jewels
13 Fragrant flower mother grew after request (6,4)
DAMASK ROSE – DAM=mother,ASK=request,ROSE=grew – we have to read the wordplay as ‘mother, (grew after request)’ as opposed to ‘(mother, grew) after request’
16 Not, after disappearance of old, island seen in maps (8 )
ATLANTIS – (N(o)T,I) in ATLAS. I think we have to read this as another all-in-one, as the wordplay uses up all the clue. On close inspection, I don’t think the definition reading is quite up to BG’s usual standard, but it was clear enough when solving.
17 Small, and a bit tight (6)
TIDDLY – two def’s, with ‘tight’ being ‘drunk’ in the second one
19 Highly controlled spinner joining county (3-4)
TOP DOWN = ‘highly controlled’ – TOP=Sipnner, DOWN=(Northern Irish) county, the crossword setter’s favourite one.
20 Recalled country I ran without a break since 1935 (6)
PERSIA = ‘recalled country’ because its modern name is Iran = “I ran” without a break
23 Club that’s used to deter attackers (4)
MACE – 2 defintions again – the parliamentary Mace is essentially a club, and mace is an anti-attack spray
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