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ST 2549

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2549

A full analysis by Peter Biddlecombe

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BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

A very easy one for me, partly because I saw through 1A quickly.

1 Walk like our rulers (14)
CONSTITUTIONAL – 2 defs – using “constitutional” to define WALK is an old trick of Times setters, so going the other way was fairly easy. The other def. is much more straightforward, as long as you’re happy to accept that constitutional monarchs are “rulers”!
9 Relative cut snake to release grip (7)
UNCLASP – UNCLE(e) = “relative cut”, ASP=snake – the surface meaning seems relatively weak for this one, and this makes it a bit easier to solve
10 Better covering first of bets for crook at racecourse (7)
NOBBLER = “crook at racecourse” (to nobble is to ” tamper with (a racehorse or greyhound) to prevent it from winning a race, especially by giving it a drug”) – B from ‘bets’, in NOBLER = better
11 House odds for red or black, say (3)
HUE = red or black, say – odd letters in HoUsE – the roulette-related surface reading gives us our second clue about gambling in a row
12 Order that includes monarchs could be applied to ER (11)
LEPIDOPTERA = (zoological) order that could include monarchs, “monarchs” being migratory orange and black butterflies from North America – anagram of “applied to ER”. The surface reading gives us another government/monarcy clue to go with 1A
14 Slight addition to injury that makes situation worse (6)
INSULT – 2 defs – “slight”, and a reference to the expression about adding insult to injury
15 Shrub that can make animal go berserk (8)
MAGNOLIA = shrub – anag. of “animal go”, indicated by “berserk”
17 Global division in which everyone’s hours are the same (4,4)
TIME ZONE – cryptic definition trying to make us think of staffing arrangements in some multinational company
19 Part of whale bow of dinghy hit by accident (6)
FLUKED = hit by accident – FLUKE=part of whale,D from dinghy
22 Before end of May, English cornfield unusually green (3-8)
ECOFRIENDLY = green – anag. of (Y from May, E = English, cornfield)
23 Top-class pronouncement for whoever’s reading this (3)
YOU = “whoever’s reading this”, by the cryptic clue convention that the setter is “me” and the solver is “you” – sounds like “U” = “top class” as in “U and non-U”
24 Against coating lips a shade of red (7)
CRIMSON – RIMS = lips, in CON = against
26 Stone for each ring I had inserted ahead of time (7)
PERIDOT – PER = for each, I’D = I had, O = ring, T = time
27 Wife and nipper, perhaps, awfully brash youngster (14)
WHIPPERSNAPPER = brash youngster – anag. of (wife, nipper perhaps) – possble confusion here from the use of a possible anagram indicator as anagram fodder
1 Discovered doing something wrong, as acrobat might be (6,2,3,3)
CAUGHT IN THE ACT – 2 defs, one a whimsical one about acrobats flying from trapezes into the arms of other acrobats on other trapezes
2 Weapons inspectors turned up slightly odd clues in atomic centre (7)
NUCLEUS – U.N. = weapons inspectors, reversed, CLEUS = “slightly odd clues” as this anagram only requires two adjacent letters to change places
3 Advertise jacket for trendsetter (11)
TRAILBLAZER – TRAIL=advertise (hence movie “trailers”),BLAZER = jacket
4 Restorative amounts to young boxers, for instance (3-3)
TOP-UPS – TO, PUPS = young boxers, for instance
5 Not up to combination of notes? (4-4)
TONE-DEAF – TON = ‘not’ reversed, EDEAF = “combination of notes” – an all-in-one
6 Poetically eye heavenly body (3)
ORB – 2 defs, including “eye” in literary use
7 Medicinal plant from stall he always picked (7)
ALLHEAL = medicinal plant, hidden in “stall he always”, with “from … picked” as the indication for the hidden word
8 Main source of income indicated in guest house, say (5,3,6)
BREAD AND BUTTER = main source of income – (READ = indicated, in B AND B = guest house), UTTER = say – it’s quite easy to think the clue just says that the answer is another “B and B” phrase, but that would be too vague for this setter
13 E.g. fine region within which a trip could be risky (7,4)
PENALTY AREA – PENALTY = e.g. fine, AREA = region – the “trip” being the kind used by a desperate defender
16 Prisoner held in winter, needlessly (8)
INTERNEE = prisoner – hidden in “winter, needlessly”
18 To connect with bank is hard from part of Africa (7)
MOORISH=from part of Africa (which nicely dodges the problem of exactly what part is meant) – MOOR = to connect (a boat) with (a river) bank, IS, H=hard
20 Nervous king watched on horse (5,2)
KEYED UP – K=king,EYED=watched,UP = (riding) on horse
21 Skilled people, as found around part of govt. (6)
ADEPTS – DEPT. = part of government, in AS
25 Propitiatory offering as usual way of doing things, initially (3)
SOP – 2 defs, one an abbreviation for “standard operational procedure” – one of those documents that confirm to external inspectors that at least someone in your office or laboratory knows how to do things right

4 comments on “ST 2549

  1. Yes, didn’t see 8d either. Also, didn’t really understand 10a and didn’t see the TON = not up in 5d. It’s always good to find out. Peter, very slight typo in 16d.

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