Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2558
A full review by Crypticsue
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BD Rating – Difficulty ***/**** – Enjoyment ***
Although I have been solving the daily cryptics for many years, I am a late convert to the Sunday Prize Puzzle, enjoy them greatly and can’t think why I didn’t do them before. As Peter Biddlecombe is on holiday, I have the pleasure of reviewing this week’s offering from Virgilius. I have given this crossword 3.5* for difficulty because of the struggle I had with a few of the clues and the fact that my total solving time was two-thirds longer than usual, which I don’t think was entirely due to blogger’s nerves or my attempts to overcomplicate the clues and thus be unable to see the solution! Thanks to Virgilius for the Sunday brain stretching. Peter will be back on duty next week and I can return to my usual routine – solving the Sunday puzzle while cooking the lunch!
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1a Maiden is suitable to pinch (14)
MISAPPROPRIATE – A nice charade to begin with – M (abbreviation for maiden over in cricket) IS and APPROPRIATE (suitable) – the whole being a synonym for to pinch or take dishonestly for oneself.
9a Fifty I count out for print, kind of (7)
LINOCUT – The Roman numeral for 50 – L with an anagram of I COUNT (out) – a type of print made from a design cut in relief in linoleum.
10a Strain is back in part of joint (7)
TENSION – Reverse IS (back) and insert it into the name of the projecting piece of wood inserted into a mortise to form a joint.
11a One abandoning ship turned to sailor (3)
TAR – Rats are, of course, famous for abandoning a sinking ship. Reverse one of them (turned) to get one of the compiler’s many useful alternatives to sailor.
12a Pray send up a novel as original source for this (6,5)
SUNDAY PAPER – A very nice anagram (novel) PRAY SEND UP A produces the type of periodical which contains this crossword, my preferred medium for solving DT & ST cryptic crosswords.
14a Part of Venice included in ministerial tour (6)
RIALTO – Hidden in ministeRIAL
TOur is the name of the famous bridge over the Grand Canal in Venice.
15a Note club that was useful for press (8)
FLATIRON – An old-fashioned iron heated on a stove is a charade of FLAT (a note below the right pitch in music and a type of golf club.
17a Restricted movement for alien in debt (8)
TETHERED – If you were in debt, your bank statement used to show the figures in red ink, so you were said to be in THE RED. Inert Spielberg’s favourite alien, ET, and you get the past participle of a verb meaning to confine an animal within certain limits by means of a rope or chain.
19a Person from one part of Africa thus leading another (6)
SOMALI – Someone from Somalia in Africa is obtained by SO (thus) and MALI (a country in West Africa).
22a After US resort, revised parts of voyage – they’re not long in Bermuda (7,4)
TROUSER LEGS – Bermudans are famous for wearing shorts so obviously their trouser legs would not be long. The clue indicates that an anagram of US RESORT should be followed by LEGS (parts or stages of a journey). There is a very rare error by the setter here (who sends his apologies for any confusion caused) in that you end up with a spare S. I have to admit that if I hadn’t been analysing the clue for the review, I probably wouldn’t have noticed the spare S either as I just thought anagram of US RESORT and LEGS without looking too closely at the available letters.
23a Beginning from two, ends in one or low digit (3)
TOE – Take the first letter (beginning from) of Two and follow it with the ends of ONE to get a digit found on the foot.
24a Keep an eye on love poetry by European (7)
OVERSEE – O + VERSE + E(European) – keep an eye on in the sense of superintend.
26a Person who wants the best people in personnel, it is true (7)
ELITIST – another hidden word – someone favouring the creation of a government by a select group is hidden in personnEL IT IS True
27a Flexible in one’s mind in relation to addition (14)
SUPPLEMENTALLY – This took me ages to get and, once ‘got’, I really couldn’t see why I didn’t see it straight away. A charade of SUPPLE (flexible) and MENTALLY (in one’s mind) produces an adverb meaning additionally – not a word with which I was very familiar.
1d Show of force – organized army to toil at it (8,6)
MILITARY TATTOO – A military entertainment show with marching held at night is an anagram (organised) of ARMY TO TOIL AT IT.
2d Mixed drink and crooned tune when upset (7)
SANGRIA – the Spanish wine punch made with soda or lemonade (ie mixed) is produced by SANG (crooned: sang in a sentimental manner or apparently in an undertone) and a synonym for a melody or tune AIR reversed (upset in a down clue)
3d They take the lead, initially, with due respect to people like me (4-7)
PACE-SETTERS – Pace-setters take the lead in a race in order to increase the lap rate to allow other runners to eventually go on to break a record for the distance. PACE is a preposition meaning ‘with due respect to’ and of course people like Virgilius, Cephas et al are SETTERS of marvellous cryptic crosswords.
4d Deserving member of crew (6)
RATING – A fixing of classifications according to grade (BD has these every day for difficulty and entertainment) is also the classification of a sailor in a crew.
5d Pathetic theatrical part I fit (8)
PITIABLE – a synonym for pathetic is a charade of the part of the theatre occupied by the orchestra – PIT plus I and ABLE (having the strength or power to do something).
6d Local European river (3)
INN – I wonder how many people know that Innsbruck in Austria is named because of the bridge over the River Inn. Our village local is the Gate Inn.
7d Person nearly falling for a tourist (7)
TRIPPER – someone who nearly falls over or someone who goes on trips as a tourist.
8d Batting quietly under strain perhaps, in stubborn fashion (14)
INTRANSIGENTLY – The second 14 letter struggle of the day. A charade of IN (batting) TRANSI (an anagram – perhaps – of STRAIN) followed by GENTLY (synonym for quietly) produces an adverb meaning stubbornly or obstinately.
13d David, for example, paints no art badly (6,5)
PATRON SAINT – St David is the patron saint of Wales – an anagram (badly) of PAINTS NO ART.
16d Old magistrate imprisoning Prince I let off (8)
REPRIEVE – To let off or give a respite to – a historical high official or magistrate – a REEVE with PR (abbreviation for PRINCE) and I inserted.
18d Anarchistic author penning essays, primarily (7)
THOREAU – a splendid &Lit – An anagram (anarchistic) of AUTHOR with E (the first letter of essays) produces the name of a famous writer of essays who is sometimes described as an individualist anarchist!
20d High-rise accommodation for soldiers and others (7)
ANTHILL – Another one I couldn’t get immediately for no apparent reason – soldier ants and their relations live in an anthill – some of which can apparently be up to 10 feet high, hence the accommodation being high-rise.
21d Separate letter that may have French accent, acute or grave (6)
SEVERE – SEVER, in the sense of separate or divide, plus E (a letter that in French can have either an acute or grave accent). The English pronunciation of grave also means serious or severe. (The assistance here of Gnomethang in resolving my mental block is gratefully acknowledged)
25d Slowly take liquid hydrogen out of vessel (3)
SIP – One of my favourite clues today – not least because of its simplicity. The vessel here is the SHIP – remove the H (hydrogen) and you get a word meaning to drink liquid slowly.
My favourite clues today were 12a, 23a, 3d, 18d, 21d and 25d. Comments on the blog were very sparse well into the afternoon although site stats show that nearly 400 people looked at the hints – I don’t know whether this was because everyone was doing something else or whether like me they struggled more than usual but didn’t like to admit it in a comment!