ST 2562

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2562

A full analysis by Peter Biddlecombe

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

A puzzle that I found very easy , finishing in the kind of time I can’t quite seem to manage for the Times puzzles any more. I enjoyed 3D in particular, as a lover of the rich orchestral music of “first-class second-rate composer” Richard Strauss. I also enjoyed the reference to slightly more recent music at 23A.

Apologies for this being late – there’s lots going on at the Times xwd website at the moment, including leaderboards done rather better than at the Telegraph.

Across
7 Very hot in steaming April – and October, briefly (8)
TROPICAL – anag. of (April, Oct.) a fairly easy one which I’m pretty sure I solved on sight
9 Solo recording of old-fashioned type (6)
SINGLE – 2 definitions, and if you’re happy with the whole clue as a third def., a double def all-in-one/&lit
10 Have a hearty meal and get ready to sleep (4,2)
TUCK IN – another double definition – with “get ready to sleep” needing to be transitive rather than intransitive, as in “Mother came upstairs and tucked me in”.
11 Labour’s excesses I’m showing up after public enquiry’s opening (8)
OVERTIME = “Labour’s excesses” – OVERT = public, I’M, E from Enquiry
12 She, say, sticks in authoritative statements (14)
PRONOUNCEMENTS – PRONOUN = “she, say”, CEMENTS = sticks – a chestnutty wordplay structure but I can’t be sure that I’ve seen exactly this implementation before
15 Learner in academic stream still (4)
CALM = still – L in CAM = “academic stream”
17 Finished in audition for cast (5)
THREW = cast (verb, past tense) – sounding like “through” = finished. Did I mention my old telephone joke? Briton abroad long ago gets American phone operator to arrange an international call for him. After a couple of minutes the operator cuts in and asks “Are you through?”. Brit: “Yes, thank you” – at which point the operator cuts off the call, leaving the Brit thinking “What the …” until he realises the different meanings of “through”
19 Group opposed to US finally shut border (4)
THEM = group opposed to us – T from shuT, HEM = border.
20 Primarily Essex kind of guy learns this? (7,7)
ESTUARY ENGLISH – E from Essex, anag. of (guy learns this) – a definite all-in-one
23 Finishes off replacement for Best, Pete, in leading role (8)
STARRING = “in leading role” – “Star(r), Ring(o)” being the trimmed replacement for Best, Pete.
25 It’s small and intimate, without adornment (6)
SIMPLY = without adornment – S = small, IMPLY = intimate (verb.)
27 Relaxed individual who’s playfully irritating when break’s later (2,4)
AT EASE = relaxed – it’s one-letter shift time again, with “A TEASE” as “individual who’s playfully irritating” (when that doesn’t mean “crossword setter”), and the shift explicitly stated but nicely woven into the surface meaning
28 Second missile making a lot of unpleasant noise (8)
STRIDENT = making a lot of unpleasant noise – S = second, TRIDENT = missile
Down
1 Foreigner’s wife endlessly cheating (4)
FRAU = foreigner’s wife – FRAU(d) is the endless cheating
2 Piece of wheel put on new, it’s said (6)
SPOKEN = said – SPOKE, N = new
3 Part of instrumental solo that begins work by Strauss (4)
ALSO – hidden in “instrumental solo”. Why do I like this so much? Because as well as “also” being the first word in Also sprach Zarathustra (Thus spoke Zarathustra), the surface refers to the horn solo at the beginning of the tone poem Till Eulenspiegel. If you’re saying “Also Sprach Zarathustra? Never heard of it!”, you know the music if not the name. Stanley Kubrick or one of his colleagues made the right choice when using it, as sunrise is exactly what it’s intended to represent. (Shame about the remaining 95% of it that most people never get to hear. Never mind the “which Strauss?” confusion possibly created by this famous sequence later.) That’s enough Strauss! Ed.
4 Encounters English going the wrong way, in some respect (6)
ESTEEM = some respect – (MEETS = encounters, E = English) revsersed
5 Natural tendency isn’t wrong in court (8)
INSTINCT = natural tendency – INST = “isn’t wrong”, IN = in, CT. = court – one for aspiring setters to stick on the wall as an example of “easy, but concise and classy”.
6 Producers of classic pictures mistreated model stars (3,7)
OLD MASTERS = the picture producers – anag. of “model stars”
8 Seek advice of embassy official ahead of time (7)
CONSULT = seek advice – CONSUL = emb. official, T = time
13 American’s property, as opposed to Spanish castles? (4,6)
REAL ESTATE = “American’s property”. The Spanish for “Royal” is “real”, and I think that’s the idea behind the “Spanish castles” part. Wrong, almost certainly – see comment from Ivan Beal.
14 Transport, or two forms of transport (5)
CARRY = transport (vb.) – CAR and (RY. = railway) are two forms of the noun
16 Like important evidence from scholar, key in case (8)
MATERIAL = like impt. evidence – M.A. = scholar, then E = key, in TRIAL = case
18 Berkshire town house (7)
WINDSOR – easy double definition as the royal house is named after the Berkshire town, or possibly its castle
21 Assistants caging black bears (6)
ABIDES = bears – B = blacks in AIDES = assistants
22 Letter from Greek priest holding theological degree (6)
LAMBDA = Letter from Greek (alphabet) – BD = theological degree (Bachelor of Divinity), in LAMA = priest
24 What’s the point in serving Americans tea, say? (4)
GIST – G.I.’S = “serving Americans” with “serving” as an adjective, T = “tea”. GIST is the answer to the question “What’s the point?”
26 Finish line put in first, in advance (4)
LEND = advance – L = line, END = finish – a nice surface reading for the last clue.
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5 Comments

  1. Claire
    Posted November 19, 2010 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Peter – this was not an easy one for me and I have been waiting to see how we get to many of the answers.

  2. BigBoab
    Posted November 20, 2010 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Great review Peter, I enjoyed this crossword very much.

  3. ivan Beal
    Posted November 23, 2010 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    castles in the air is an expression meaning a dreamland existence it is a very old expression depicting a non existent estate for further clarification refer to brewers dictionary of phrase and fable, castles in spain is exactly the same thing so the clue refers to a non existent estate as opposed to a world of make believe it has nothing whatsoever to do with “royal” in spanish, i hope this helps kind regards ivan beal, muswell hill bookshop

    • Posted November 23, 2010 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

      Welcome to the blog Ivan

      I did explain this in the Hints post:

      http://bigdave44.com/2010/11/14/st-2562-hints/

    • Peter Biddlecombe
      Posted November 24, 2010 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      Proof that I don’t look at the Hints post when writing these reports! I suspect I thought of “castles in Spain” somewhere along my route to the answer, but I failed to turn it into clear wordplay.