ST 2547 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2547

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2547

A full analysis by Peter Biddlecombe

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

A bit trickier than some Sundays. As I start to write this I’ve forgotten the puzzle experience and didn’t write anything about it on my copy – just the wordplay structures. More after I’ve written these up below (so to speak).

First thought: good solid grid – he says after only having to set up 14 numbers each for acrosses and downs. Those 14-letter answers in the middle hold it all together very well. Not much more to say after writing up the clues – “just” another easy but very classy Sunday puzzle.

1 Primate giving bishop a blessing (6)
BABOON – B=bishop,A,BOON=blessing – Primates can of course be monkeys or important man of the cloth
4 Castles, say, expropriated from duchess mendaciously (8)
CHESSMEN – hidden word – and chessmen/castles is a nice follow-up to the bishop in 1A – now I’m looking for a theme! But in vain, it turns out.
10 Promoted one internally in firm (5)
SOLID – 1 in SOLD=promoted
11 They are put on canvas in topsail at sea (3,6)
OILPAINTS – anag. of “in topsail”
12 A cause of current stoppage? Worker, perhaps, being inflexible (7)
ADAMANT – A,DAM=cause of current stoppage,ANT=worker, perhaps
13 Cut off one part of rising scale (7)
ISOLATE – 1=one,(SO,LA,TE) = part of rising scale – from Guido d’Arezzo or Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music
14 Make enlargement of early photograph that’s not unappreciated, for instance (6,8 )
DOUBLE NEGATIVE – DOUBLE = “make enlargement of”,NEGATIVE = “early photograph”, for those who still remember photos being stored on film rather than memory cards
17 An old artist I upset about it, being not avant-garde (14)
TRADITIONALIST – IT in an anagram of “An old artist I”
21 Fault sorted out outside court, in short — that’s discreet (7)
TACTFUL – CT.=court, in anag. of ‘fault’
23 Replace bottle containing such ineffective medicine (7)
PLACEBO = ineffective medicine (in theory, at least) – hidden in “Replace bottle”
24 One switch made in train carrying old theatrical type (9)
TRAGEDIAN – AGED = old, in TRIAN = “train with one switch” – “one switch” can be read as a single swap of adjacent letters, or a switch in the position of I=one – it matters not.
25 Flier party produced before end of election (5)
RAVEN – RAVE=party,N from electioN
26 Legacy male removed from Russian museum (8 )
HERITAGE – m=male is removed from Hermitage = Russian museum
27 Obsequious NCO standing in front of troops (6)
SMARMY=obsequious – S.M.=Sergeant Major=NCO, in front of ARMY = troops. Fairly easy as “obsequious” is about the last word you’d use to describe the SM of popular imagination.
1 Status of issue raised by those in unholy alliance? (8 )
BASTARDY – this is the same “issue raised” trick as in the usual clue for “Foster parents” – “They continue to raise different issues” or similar.
2 In last part of winter months, class beset with difficulties (9)
BELEAGUER – LEAGUE=class (not alliance, as we’ve just mentioned one of those), in BER = “last part of winter months ” (September to December), depending on exactly what you call winter months. I seem to remember that in printed diaries, winter was supposed to start on 21/12, which would give us only one -BER winter month, but I always thought that division was pretty daft.
3 Eccentric in Democratic party set up formal gathering (7)
ODDBALL – reversal of (D=Deocratic,DO=party), then BALL=formal gathering
5 Financial business maintaining body of soldiers (7,7)
HOLDING COMPANY – HOLDING = maintaining (as of an argument), COMPANY=body of soldiers
6 Soundly understand wine, such as Bordeaux (7)
SEAPORT = “see port”, Bordeaux being both a wine and a seaport
7 Married woman producing heavenly food (5)
MANNA = heavenly food – M=married,ANNA=woman
8 Built home as a hobby, or for a lark, perhaps (6)
NESTED – CD trying to disguise the fact that hobbies and larks are both birds.
9 Revealing lots, since strain significant (7-7)
FORTUNE-TELLING – FOR=since=because,TUNE=strain,TELLING=significant
15 Background sound from concealed speaker (5-4)
VOICE-OVER – cryptic def – a concealed human speaker rather than a woofer or tweeter
16 Source of legal help on treaty that’s broken (8 )
ATTORNEY – anag. of “on treaty”
18 Failing to get round learner driver, change course (7)
DEFLECT = change course – L = learner driver, in DEFECT = failing. L=learner driver is ultra-fair – “learner” is fine, and you’ll never catch BG peddling the student=L” nonsense used by some setters
19 A couple of animals shot for host, for example (7)
ANAGRAM – which is A,then a NAG and a RAM – this part of the clue is fairly chestnutty, but the “shot for host” part is much more interesting – a sample pair of anagrams
20 Running problem streaker completely avoids (6)
STITCH = that inexplicable pain you sometimes get when running, and of course streakers don’t have a stitch on
22 With key, locks a piece of furniture (5)
CHAIR – C=key,HAIR=locks