ST 2561 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 2561

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2561

A full analysis by Peter Biddlecombe

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

Nothing written next to this one on the day – let’s see what emerges as I write up the explanations. As ever: lots of classy clues, including three special hidden words. And a possible indication that BG has changed his mind about a minor cruciverbal controversy.

A quick plug for a bit of my own work: my second Church Times puzzle, edited by Don Manley, is available here. 14 of the 28 clues are my own, the rest are changed, anything from slightly to completely.

1 Repeatedly sail, say, for English port (8)
PLYMOUTH – PLY = repeatedly sail, MOUTH = say
9 Frenchman’s so long in air over centre of Rouen, disorientated (2,6)
AU REVOIR = Frenchman’s “so long” – anag. of “air over” plus U from RoUen
10 Get connected with granny, perhaps? Not from what we hear (4)
KNOT = “not” – 2 definitions or a cryptic definition, and an “under your nose but well-hidden” homophone that
11 Guests in the country who use part – i.e. some, but not all (5,7)
HOUSE PARTIES – hidden in “who use part, i.e. some” – another epic hidden word rolls off the production line
13 Novel title brother briefly used for book (8)
LIBRETTO = anag. of “title, bro”
15 Look into big contract for winter sports event (6)
SLALOM – LO = Look, as in “lo and behold”, in SLAM = big (bridge or similar) contract
16 Doctor on TV with a way to stop the trots (4)
WHOA = “way to stop the trots” – with trots being horse locomotion rather than bowel trouble. WHO = Doctor on TV, A = a
17 Non-U love match a cause of tears (5)
ONION = “O, union” (love, match) without the U
18 Fare for Indian in North America, going both ways (4)
NAAN = fare (food) for Indian – NA forwards and then backwards
20 Check with rook initially exposed expert (6)
REBUFF = check – R = rook, E from Exposed, BUFF = expert – the link is worth following if you don’t know the source of buff=fan/expert
21 Avoid shower, showing character fault (8)
MISSPELT = “showing character fauult” – MISS = avoid, PELT = shower (vb.)
23 Later idea is dafter, though tenable in part (12)
AFTERTHOUGHT – one epic hidden word is not enough for Brian
26 Labour constituent taking journalist’s last question (4)
TASK = labour constituent – T from journalisT, ask = question (vb.)
27 Makes short work of a poet (8)
ABRIDGES = makes short work – A = a, BRIDGES = poet
28 Ordered out, disrupting test in class (8)
TUTORIAL = class – anag. of “out” in TRIAL = test
2 Left with severe pain, become weak (8)
LANGUISH = become weak (link added on the assumption that your knowledge of meanings of “languish” may be as vague as mine) – L,ANGUISH
3 Grown-up concealing alternative name for female who knows best (6,6)
MOTHER NATURE = “female who knows best”. I’m not sure of the exact reference here but “mother nature knows best” seems to be a popular phrase. (OTHER = alternative, N = name) in MATURE = grown-up
4 Barely supporting global organization? That’s not right (6)
UNJUST = not right – U.N., JUST
5 Robust, hard, and stout (4)
HALE = robust – H = hard, ALE = stout. Assuming that ale = “beer in general”, “stout” is definitely a possible example of ale, so BG seems to have gone for an unindicated definition by example as now permitted by Richard Browne as Times crossword editor, but not by BG when he was in charge there.
6 Prepares to commit robbery, as banker is corrupted (6,2)
BREAKS IN = “prepares to commit robbery” (you could decide there was nothing worth pinching and just leave) – anag. of “banker is”
7 Starts off filling our crossword in? Concentrate on these points (4)
FOCI (Latin plural of focus) = first letters of “filling our crossword in”
8 Shrine I’m having changed for people on island (8)
IRISHMEN = people on island – anag. of “Shrine I’m”
12 Obsessive hobbyist giving art up, in strange protest (12)
TRAINSPOTTER = obsessive hobbyist (does he mean us?) – TRA = reversal of art, IN, SPOTTER = anag. of protest
14 Bad feeling when leader’s removed from platform (5)
ODIUM = bad feeling – platform = (p)ODIUM
16 Don’t complete Roman building job? That’s nothing special (8)
WORKADAY = nothing special, and = “don’t complete Roman building job” from “Rome wasn’t built in a day”
17 Like player out of action, switch position and coach (3-5)
OFFSTAGE = like player out of action – OFF = “switch position”, STAGE = (stage)coach
19 Confused nobody in harbour (3,2,3)
ALL AT SEA = confused, and = “nobody in harbour”
22 E.g. small pen, we hear, that’s used to authenticate document (6)
SIGNET = “that’s used to authenticate document” – sounding like “cygnet”, which could be a small pen = female swan
24 Politician wanting nothing extra in tax (4)
TORY = politician – O = nothing, in TRY = tax
25 Expel some of you students in serious trouble, also (4)
OUST – just a short hidden word this time, but to compensate for that relative dullness, hidden twice – in “yOU STudents” and “seriOUS Trouble”

2 comments on “ST 2561

  1. Actually, I was careless in 5D. I still consider that a definition by example should be indicated as such.

    I agree about the fascinating social history that culminated in “buff” meaning an enthusiast, which has long been one of my favourite examples of etymological evolution. Another example I came across more recently is that of “hearse”.

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