ST 2556 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2556

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2556

A full analysis by Peter Biddlecombe

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

Solved on the way to the pub meeting with Brian Greer and various setters and solvers – the first of a batch of puzzles on the train journey. Very little scribble on the copy so anything I say after this is added after I write the explanations below.

It’s the usual – a couple of those all-in-ones he just can’t stop producing, and a good mixture of answers, elegantly clued. No epic hidden word so I’ll expect one at least 13 letters long next week.

1 Break arranged before close of day in food shop (6)
BAKERY – BREAK = anag. of baker,Y from daY.
4 People of republic throwing foolish ruler back in river (8)
ISRAELIS – LEAR = foolish ruler, reversed in ISIS = river (the Thames around Oxford). It seems from Wikiquote that Lear calls himself “foolish” at least twice.
10 Some of Incan descent can be found here (5)
ANDES – hidden word and all-in-one
11 Defeat husband in public argument (9)
OVERTHROW = defeat – H = husband, in (OVERT = public, ROW = argument)
12 Celebrity set backing new business (5-2)
START-UP = new business – STAR=celebrity, TUP = reversal of put = set
13 Did bear false witness, then confess rest (3-4)
LIE-DOWN = rest – LIED = did bear false witness, OWN = confess – the second of two clues where we make the wordplay structure by moving the word-break a distance of one letter
14 On-the-job training in oddly nice pit, perhaps (14)
APPRENTICESHIP = on-the-job training – anag. of “nice pit, perhaps”
17 Final practice for players hoping for success in long run (5,9)
DRESS REHEARSAL – cryptic def punning on players=actors and a “long run” like that of the Mousetrap rather than Paula Radcliffe
21 It’ll make one quite inebriated, having knocked back a litre (7)
TEQUILA – anag. of quite, indicated by “inebriated”, then LA = reverse of (A,L=litre) for a boozy all-in-one – it’s a cryptic crossword convention that words with their letters in the wrong order can be described as “drunk” or similar
23 Join two supporters, according to the rules (7)
LEGALLY = according to the rules – LEG and ALLY are the two supporters
24 After a game, Americans who fight with English say sorry (9)
APOLOGISE = say sorry – A, POLO = game, GI’S = Americans who fight, E = English
25 Italian city getting another name when burnt (5)
SIENA – home of the Palio and also part of burnt sienna in which the N=name is doubled
26 Outfit needed ahead of time for equestrian event (8)
DRESSAGE = equestrian event – DRESS=outfit (noun or verb), AGE = time
27 Move king to safety in stronghold (6)
CASTLE – 2 defs, one from chess
1 Money that is cut at first – could be general (5,3)
BRASS HAT = “could be general” – BRASS = money, (t)HAT
2 Leatherhead criminal (9)
KIDNAPPER = criminal – KID = leather, NAPPER = head
3 Prize finally for old person like me? Not quite (7)
ROSETTE = prize – R from foR, O=old, SETTE(r) = person like me? Not quite
5 His casebook was written by medical assistant, supposedly (8,6))
SHERLOCK HOLMES, whose casebook was supposedly written by Doctor Watson
6 Like Eliza Doolittle or Professor ‘iggins, so to speak (7)
ARTLESS = like Eliza Doolittle = “‘eartless” = like Henry Higgins.
7 Large golden retriever’s bark and slow movement (5)
LARGO = slow movement – L = large, ARGO = “golden retriever’s bark” as Jason and his pals sailed in the Argo when retrieving the golden fleece.
8 Spreading thus over part of football field (6)
SOWING = spreading – SO = thus, WING = part of football field
9 What could be producing mate, over time (8,6)
COMPUTER DATING – you can read the clue as a cryptic def, but there’s wordplay too – T=time, in an anag. of “producing mate”, so it’s another all-in-one
15 Rude about vessel’s bow being on the rocks (9)
INSOLVENT – V = “vessel’s bow”, in INSOLENT = rude – the wordplay structure here is a well-worn path, but allows for many different implementations. I blotted my copy-book slightly by guessing that rude meant “IMPRUDENT” and that the wordplay would be the equally well-worn (R in IMPUDENT=rude). I now see that my grid entry ended up as “IMSOLVENT”, so I actually messed up this puzzle, and IMPRUDENT was a very accurate answer in one way. Good thing it wasn’t my first puzzle on Sunday 10th October.
16 Friend not working with you to make decisive move on board (8)
PLAYMATE = friend not working with you, and PLAY MATE = make decisive move on (chess) board
18 Business executives carrying gold as prospective partners (7)
SUITORS = prospective partners – OR = gold, in SUITS = business execs
19 Venerable area in state capital (7)
AUGUSTA = state capital – AUGUST = venerable, A = area
20 Piece of rope found in seaside location (6)
STRAND = piece of rope, and = seaside location
22 Estimate such as “noble six hundred” (5)
QUOTE = estimate, and = quotation – “Noble six hundred” is the last line of Tennyson’s Charge of the Light Brigade

1 comment on “ST 2556

  1. Cheers Peter,

    Sunday’s puzzle, always produces great clues. worthy of any solvers time.

    Nice one Sunday setter!

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