ST 2551 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2551

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2551

A full analysis by Peter Biddlecombe

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

A fairly swift report today, as I’ve just realised I need to blog today’s Times elsewhere. Big Dave and I can both make Brian’s requested gathering on 3rd October, and we’re on the case for pub selection. I found this relatively tricky overall, mainly because 5D kept me busy for a shocking 4 minutes at the end.

1 Time for new-age celebrations that can make customers smile (6,8)
SUMMER SOLSTICE – anag. of “customers smile” – new age folk visible here
9 Our weather feature heading East for European country (7)
UKRAINE – “U.K. RAIN”=our weather”,E for East
10 Visibly distressed after end of test, getting reprimand (7)
TEARFUL = visibly distressed – T from tesT,EARFUL=reprimand
11 Song with piano accompaniment for duo (4)
PAIR – P=piano,AIR=song
12 E.g. Chinese food at back of vessel (3,7)
FAR EASTERN = “e.g. Chinese” – FARE=food,ASTERN=at back of vessel
14 Poignancy seen among group at hospital (6)
PATHOS – hidden in “group at hospital”
15 Nitpicking editor shut in small room (8)
PEDANTRY – ED. in PANTRY=small room
17 Collecting left-overs is good tendency (8)
GLEANING = collecting left-overs – G=good,LEANING=tendency
18 A bishop dividing family – one can sink no lower than that (6)
SEABED = “one can sink no lower than that” – (A,B = “a bishop”), in SEED=offspring=family, as in “Mr. and Mrs. Smith and family” when you can’t remember all the kids’ names
21 One or two people starting a union (10)
22 Something little boy uses to inspire passion, it’s said, in sweetheart (4)
BEAU=sweetheart, which sounds like the “bow” in the hands of a cupid or putto
24 Was left holding pole (7)
EXISTED = “was” – S=south=”pole”, in EXITED=left
25 Repeat both sides of festive music, amusing Oxford don (7)
CARROLL – both sides (R and L) in CAROL = “festive music” are repeated to get this man
26 Honest alien holding flag put under severe restraint (14)
STRAIGHTJACKET – JACK=flag, in STRAIGHT E.T. = honest alien
1 Speaker’s position on raised pay (5,2
STUMP UP = pay – a stump is a place for a (human) speaker to stand,UP=raise
2 Red number held up in place of trade, and another in catalogue (7-8)
MARXIST-LENINIST = red – SIX reversed in MART, then NINE reversed in LIST=catalogue – an admirable solution to what looks like a clue-writing nightmare
3 What’s liable to cause shock when it’s shown up? (4)
EVIL – reversal of LIVE=”liable to cause shock” and an all-in-one
4 Fluctuate as witness – and did so in the past (6)
SEESAW = fluctuate – SEE = witness (vb.), SAW = “did so in the past”, i.e. past tense of “see”
5 Group of youngsters with limited education created mess (8)
LITTERED – LITTER=group of youngsters,ED. = “limited education”
6 One expelled from school and criticized moved elsewhere (10)
TRANSLATED = “moved elsewhere” – an old meaning now forgotten in favour of the main one. TRA(i)N = “one expelled from school (vb.)”, SLATED=criticized
7 Work on furniture put on display (6,5,4)
COFFEE TABLE BOOK – cryptic def. for a title like Big Dave’s Photo Collection of Glamorous Setters and Solvers
8 Through a lucky chance acquiring new servant (6)
FLUNKY = servant – N = new in FLUKY – in both flunkey and flukey, the E is optional
13 Something inserted in a pot I ordered – it’s a shrub (10)
POINSETTIA – INSET = something inserted, in anag. of ‘a pot I’ – I think this counts as a semi-&lit
16 During endless fight, snide comment is demeaning (5,3)
INFRA DIG = demeaning – IN=during,FRA(y)=endless fight,DIG=snide comment. I wasted time here thinking of UNDER as in “under way”, and might then have gone on to try making WA(r) the “endless fight”, though that part isn’t pencilled by the clue
17 Parts of house beginning to buckle in strong winds (6)
19 Middle piece of cotton garment worn long ago (7)
DOUBLET = “garment worn long ago”, and “double T” which is the middle of coTTon
20 Auntie engaged in hugging old feline (6)
BOBCAT = feline – O= old, in (BBC = Auntie,AT=engaged in – as in “What are you at?”)
23 Part in opera Callas initially rejected (4)
ARIA from (M)aria Callas – not my favourite singer, for reasons apparent at about 3:00 in this clip. Enough operatic bitching already …

5 comments on “ST 2551

  1. I am shocked at 5d!!.
    Not really, it was my second last in (followed by Infra Dig which I ALWAYS miss in crosswords!).
    I might be able to join you on the 3rd – would be nice to say hi to you both (and BD of course!)

  2. Thank you Peter, another new word, putto, from 22a.

    The article you reference for Carroll doesn’t mention the word ‘don’. As explained to me by a member of the university, Carroll would have been referred to as an ‘Oxford don’ because he was a student at, and therefore a fellow of, Christ Church. Strictly speaking, the term ‘don’ can only be applied to fellows of Oxford and Cambridge colleges.

    1. “don” in the dictionary (Oxford Dict. of English) is “a university teacher, especially a senior member of a college at Oxford or Cambridge”. As the article does say though not as clearly as it might, Dodgson was employed as a teacher at Christ Church pretty much from gettting his original degree until his death. That certainly makes him an “Oxford don” as most people would understand it, though I can imagine Oxford University folk applying a stricter definition that might exclude him.

      I’m sure it’s not true that all students at a particular college are regarded as fellows, at Oxford or anywhere else.

      1. It’s to do with semantics no doubt, but as per, I think, a reliable glossary, Fellows are ‘In colleges, the senior members of college who, together with the college head, constitute the governing body of the college. Colleges may also have other categories of fellow, such as honorary or emeritus fellows, who are not members of the governing body. There are also research fellowships of various kinds in the University.’

        But, as I understand it, and this applies to Christ Church only, students are known as Fellows, so whether he taught there is less relevant than that he was a student at that college. And, because a Fellow, therefore a Don.

        1. I think you’re getting confused by some rather perverse terminology in use at Christ Church – Wikipedia says that:

          The governing body of Christ Church consists of the dean and chapter of the cathedral, together with the “Students of Christ Church”, who are not students, but rather the equivalent of the fellows of the other colleges. Until the 19th century, the students differed from fellows by the fact that they had no governing powers in their own college.

          So Carroll was a “student” in both the sense that 99.something% of us understand by this word, which doesn’t equate with “don”, and in the local sense used at Christ Church, which does.

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