ST 2535 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2535

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2535

A full analysis by Peter Biddlecombe

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

No great difficulty with this one – just the smooth surfaces and fair clues that we expect. The grid consisting entirely of 5, 7, and 9 letter words probably helps to make it easy – these are the bread and butter of 15×15 grid-fill.

1 Make intelligible point, after censure (7)
DECRYPT=”make intelligible” – DECRY = censure (verb), pt. = point – one of your tasks here is to split “make intelligible point” into the right set of parts
5 Error that’s dangerous on flight (7)
MISSTEP – cryptic def selling you the kind of flight that can be grounded by volcanic ash, rather than the kind where you can trip up on the stair carpet
9 Person protesting getting royalty after a month (7)
MARCHER – MARCH = a month,E.R.= “royalty”
10 The German players moulded, in a way (3-4)
DIE-CAST – DIE=”the German”,CAST (noun) = players. “The German” could of course be DER or DAS, but in a charade for an English word, DIE is the hot favourite
11 Monies distributed, including record coinage (9)
NEOLOGISM – LOG=record in anagram of ‘monies’
12 In operation nine to five, say (5)
RATIO = “nine to five say” when these are plain numbers, and hidden in opeRATIOn
13 Constant requests for quantities of alcohol (5)
CASKS – C=constant (maths),ASKS = requests (verb not noun)
15 Needless to say, imprisoning fellow that’s gone astray (3,6)
OFF COURSE = “that’s gone astray” – F=fellow in OF COURSE = needless to say
17 Composed by old poet, characteristic of what comes from the heart (5,4)
BLOOD TYPE = anag. of ‘by old poet’
19 Cause current stoppage without union, in fact (5)
DATUM – TU = (trade) union, in DAM=”Cause current stoppage”. As pedants will be delighted to tell you, “data” was originally the plural of this word for a single fact. I’m not troubled by the modern English usage which treats “data” as an uncountable noun like “oxygen”
22 The thing that contains energy – cereal (5)
WHEAT – E=energy in WHAT=the thing that – as in “a Brian Greer puzzle is what we like to solve on a Sunday afternoon”
23 Conservative has to keep secret before spring (9)
HIDEBOUND=conservative – HIDE=to keep secret, BOUND=spring (verb)
25 Put in position at home to play for time (7)
INSTALL – IN=at home,STALL=to play for time
26 Introduce article to make from clay (7)
EARTHEN = clay (adj.) – THE = article, in EARN=to make
27 In treating her kindly, one may end up in a pickle (7)
GHERKIN – hidden word, with a rather epic wordplay/def link by BG standards – “one may end up in”
28 In a suit, oddly, in African country (7)
TUNISIA – anag. of “in a suit”
1 Diabolical arrest shortly after protest (7)
DEMONIC – DEMO=protest, NIC(k) = arrest
2 Scoundrel, with promises of redemption – that’s unusual (7)
CURIOUS – CUR=scoundrel, I.O.U.’S = promises of redemption = repayment
3 Cry of joy from unruly type (5)
YAHOO – 2 defs – the unruly type was invented by Jonathan Swift in Gulliver’s Travels, and the yahoos were ruled by the houyhnhnms, a coinage that didn’t catch on, for at least two reasons – unpronounceability and rarity (they were horses with human wisdom).
4 Great fear after it enters unknown area (9)
TERRITORY = area – IT in TERROR, then Y=unknown – you have to mentally punctuate this as “(Great fear after it enters), unknown = area”
5 So-called lady married the first man to appear (5)
MADAM – M=married,ADAM from Genesis
6 E.g. bloody weapon hidden in clothes? Just the opposite (5-4)
SWEARWORD = “e.g. bloody” – WEAR = clothes, in SWORD = weapon, so “clothes hidden in weapon” rather than “weapon hidden in clothes”
7 One vehicle or another heading North on peak (7)
TRACTOR = “one vehicle” – rev. of cart = another (vehicle), TOR = peak
8 Drug healthy, we hear, for depression, in a way (7)
POTHOLE = “depression in a way” – way=road – a dull term compared to the French “nid de poule” = “chicken’s nest”. Back at the wordplay, POT=drug,HOLE sounds like “whole” = healthy
14 Two parts of old LP are diverting (9)
SIDETRACK – SIDE and TRACK being the parts of “old LP”
16 Doctor settled if check needed in operating area (5,4)
FIELD TEST = anagram of “settled if” – “doctor” as anagram indicator is a well-worn trick but creates a good surface here
17 Moving quickly and taking over (7)
BOWLING = moving quickly – “move rapidly and smoothly” says the Concise Oxford, though rather surprisingly it doesn’t give “bowling along” as a common form. “taking over” is another def based on (it had to be in here somewhere) cricket
18 Be in supervisory role, as bishop is (7)
OVERSEE = “over see” – it’s the old see=diocese trick again
20 Moves with pained expressions after short time (7)
TOUCHES = moves = has an emotional effect on – T-time,OUCHES = pained expressions
21 Famous singer to perform in unexpected benefit (7)
MADONNA – DO=perform, in MANNA as in “manna from heaven”
23 Female entertaining the French – her beauty captivated Paris (5)
HELEN – LE = “the French”, in HEN=female. Paris is the son of Priam rather than the French capital
24 Stop working for nobleman (5)
BARON =- BAR = stop, ON=working

3 comments on “ST 2535

  1. Thanks Peter.
    Sunday is becoming a real favourite!
    I was floundering 2/3 way through this when my friend looked over my shoulder and said ‘Madonna’!
    The rest, as they say, was history

    1. Yes, with minor exceptions:

      * Mention of the reigning monarch
      * Small groups of people – I think we’ve had at least one of Abba and Oasis as answers in the last few years.

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