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ST 2552

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2552

A full analysis by Peter Biddlecombe

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

No &lits/all-in-ones today, but a few clues of particular kinds that we expect from this setter.

1 Old card-game’s popular still (8)
SNAPSHOT=still=photograph – SNAP’S=old card game’s,HOT=popular – “old card game” had me looking for something like loo or ombre – I don’t know how old snap is, but it could easily be as old as these
9 An inclination to carry concealed weapon is liable to cause panic (8)
ALARMIST – A, then ARM=weapon, in LIST=inclination
10 Gordon Brown, for one, abandoned old tax (4)
SCOT – 2 defs – not the apparent removal of O=old from one word to make another
11 Single-mindedness that allows one to see the light, finally? (6,6)
TUNNEL VISION – cryptic definition referencing phrases like “seeing the light at the end of the tunnel”
13 Listener getting broadcast in Irish quarter (8)
LEINSTER = anag. of “Listener” – Leinster is one of the four historic Irish provinces
15 Good partner – one may have a hand in his work (6)
GLOVER – G=good,LOVER=partner
16 Officer briefly seen in ship (4)
BRIG=boat, and Brig. = Brigadier
17 Make return journey in vehicle? Not true (5)
BOGUS – OG = “go back” = “make return journey”, in BUS=vehicle – fiendish wordplay, but if you have B?G?S from checkers, the only other options seem to be (Ronnie) Biggs and the fairly obscure baghs=gardens or orchards in India
18 Ring-leader caught in bribe, put in grave situation (4)
BURY – R = “ring-leader” in BUY = bribe
20 Food for early consumption delivered in instalments, we hear (6)
CEREAL – which sounds like “serial” (adj.)
21 Provided in planes, flying for the time being? (8)
LIFESPAN – IF=provided (as in “provided I can solve the puzzle, I’ll write a report about it”), in anag. of “planes”
23 Blunt physicist dismissing first one scientist whose experiment went wrong (12)
FRANKENSTEIN – FRANK=blunt, E(1)NSTEIN – the precise indication of removing just one “one” from EINSTEIN is provided at the expense of a more deceptive clue – “… dismissing one scientist …” is a much smoother and therefore more convincing version
26 Player’s leaving football team in opening part of extra time (4)
EXIT – E(xtra),XI,T
27 Call again about your setter providing treatment (8)
REMEDIAL – ME=”your setter”, in REDIAL=call again
28 ‘Twist and Shout’ – a great number (8)
THOUSAND = anagram of “and shout”. Very nice clue for those who remember the number, not to be confused with the similar title from Lulu
2 Narrow lead in race on river – it could be a tie (8)
NECKWEAR – NECK = narrow lead in race, WEAR = river – the one you were looking at if you watched the ascent of Durham Cathedral in the first of BBC2’s Climbing Great Buildings series
3 Placing environmentalist in location for final shots, mostly (7,5)
PUTTING GREEN = “location for final shots, mostly” – which recognises the possibility of “chipping in”. PUTTING = placing, GREEN = environmentalist
4 Finally catch or trap insect (6)
HORNET – H from catcH, OR, NET = trap (noun or verb)
5 Uninspiring team-mate’s first or second half substitution (4)
TAME = anagram of either half of “team-mate” – the kind of exotic wordplay that’s a Brian Greer speciality
6 Rescues at sea fifty caught by barbarians (8)
SALVAGES – L = fifty, in SAVAGES = barbarians
7 Fruit this bird’s unlikely to get in tree (4)
KIWI – 2 defs, one referring to the inability of kiwis to fly. Minor panic for me when the once-trendy UGLI fruit couldn’t be persuaded to match any wordplay
8 Outside right area, loth to share fish (8)
STINGRAY – (R=right,A=area) in STINGY = loth to share = reluctant – this seems a bit of a stretch, but even more than at 17A, if you have the checkers, the answer is forced Thanks to gazza for some common sense!
12 Notes how bus, in essence, includes this entertainment to make money (4,8)
SHOW BUSINESS – this week’s other Brian Greer speciality, the long hidden word
14 Endlessly provide with feast fit for a king (5)
REGAL – “Endlessly provide with feast” is “REGAL(e)”
16 Fail to turn out as expected to support with enthusiasm (8)
BACKFIRE – BACK=support,FIRE=enthusiasm
17 Journalist’s mark introducing item in newsletter (8)
BULLETIN – BULLET = “Journalist’s mark introducing item”,IN – only the worst possible kind of pedant would insist that as people other than journalists used bullet points, we need a “perhaps” in there somewhere
19 Concerning start of play, cricket side’s response (8)
REACTION = response – RE,ACT I,ON
22 Forces change in method of painting (6)
FRESCO = anag. of “forces”
24 Middle part of military manual confused soldiers (4)
ARMY – anag. of (milit)ARY M(anual) – an unusual combination of an anagram with a container or hidden word, but it makes perfect sense – another BG trademark
25 To preserve food, it’s put in cellar (4)
SALT – 2 defs. I wondered whether this was an &lit/all-in-one, but decided against it, as salt would be taken out of a “cellar” or similar container in order to preserve food

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