ST 2564

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2564

A full analysis by Peter Biddlecombe

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

Here’s a puzzle using one of those “natural” 15×15 grids with words of 5, 7, and 9 letters. These have the potential to include some very familiar content, but although there are a few old favourite answers here, there are plenty of less frequent visitors to the grid too, and enough difficulty to make it a relatively tricky Sunday Telegraph puzzle for me, even with 3 hidden word clues.

Across
1 Fare for Italians from Mediterranean island (7)
SALAMIS = a Mediterranean island, best known for a battle – or SALAMIS = fare for Italians, of fond memory for me – I discovered salami at about the age of 6 on a family holiday in a Bournemouth hotel. Their (Danish) salami was my starter of choice at every meal, until the waiter had to tell me that they’d run out of it.
5 Choose to get rid of ground-breaking device (7)
PICKAXE = “ground-breaking device” – charade of PICK = choose, and AXE = get rid of
9 Club in collection of weapons (7)
ARSENAL – another double def – club and the “collection of weapons” after which the club was named, back in Woolwich
10 Someone chasing ship’s officer around university (7)
PURSUER = someone chasing – U = university in PURSER = ship’s officer
11 Frenchman demonstrated about short measure (9)
PROVENCAL = Frenchman – PROVEN = demonstrated, CA. = about, L = short measure (litre) – a tricky end, but that matters little if you understand the rest
12 Second expression of desire is smart (5)
SWISH – S = second, WISH = expression of desire – I wonder now whether SWISS might have gone next to PROVENCAL.
13 With bright colour I had decorated anew (5)
REDID = decorated anew – RED = brigh colour, I’D = I had
15 Rebel got out of mountains urgently (9)
INSURGENT – hidden word
17 Opposition accepting rule by king, one from another country (9)
FOREIGNER – FO(REIGN)E = “opposition accepting rule), R = rex = king
19 Charming woman accompanying Conservative inside (5)
WITCH = charming woman, as in this bit of nostalgia from my salami days – C = Conservative in WITH = accompanying
22 Girl embracing golf or another sport (5)
RUGBY = “another sport” – G = Gold (radio alphabet), in RUBY = girl
23 Places where people can read overlapping signs (9)
LIBRARIES = places for reading – LIBRA and ARIES are the only pair of “overlapping signs” that mean anything as far as I know
25 Aggressive colonist confused many, taken in by cunning (4,3)
ARMY ANT = aggressive colonist – anag. of MANY, in ART = cunning (noun)
26 Friendly inquiry about my intelligence (7)
AMIABLE = friendly, which breaks up (or down) into “Am I able”?
27 A couple of servants carrying cross for islander (7)
MANXMAN = islander – X = (St Andrew’s) cross, in MAN,MAN
28 Island city in uproar about dreadful nude (7)
DUNEDIN = “island city” – anag. of ‘nude’ in DIN = uproar
Down
1 Person who shoots fish (7)
SNAPPER – 2 def’s, one by way of photography
2 Miss dictionary definition for ‘caught with rope’ (7)
LASSOED – LASS = miss, OED = dictionary – a good moment to mention that your UK library card number now gets you access to a new version, as well as the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and other references including the Dictionary of Quotations
3 Bishop, for example, with quarters in ecclesiastical residence (5)
MANSE = “ecclesiastical residence” – MAN = bishop, for example (on a chess board), then S,E = quarters (major compass points)
4 Pick Spanish or French article, in part (9)
SELECTION = pick (noun) – S(EL)ECTION or SE(LE)CTION
5 Student at university I put in place (5)
PUPIL – (UP = “at university”, I) in PL. = place
6 Graves may be opened by this gang from part of Ireland (9)
CORKSCREW – CORK’S CREW = “gang from part of Ireland”, and adapting the words of a transatlantic crossword blogger, if you see “Graves” in a clue, you should be thinking “wine”. A blog now of interest to me as I’m planning a trip next year to join the small group who have competed in both the Times championship and the non-cryptic American equivalent – a group that includes your setter.
7 A coach I have can be insulting (7)
ABUSIVE – A, BUS = coach, I’VE = I have – just about enough excuse for another bit of nostalgia
8 Area held by others, changing everything within it, we hear (7)
EARSHOT = “everything within it, we hear” – 2 fake wordplay indicators for the price of one! A = area in anag. of ‘others’
14 A great number upset about much agricultural business (5,4)
DAIRY FARM = agricultural business – reverse of myriad = many, around far = much.
16 Awful frauds rob supporter on crest of a wave (9)
SURFBOARD = “supporter on the crest of a wave” – anag. of “frauds” rob, with BRA = supporter as a possible misleading bit of potential wordplay
17 Determined to capture attention, producing weapon (7)
FIREARM = weapon – EAR = attention, in FIRM = determined
18 Course of treatment from doctor, e.g., I mentioned (7)
REGIMEN – hidden
20 Wound requiring, initially, blood transfusion – one can rest here (4,3)
TWIN BED = “one can rest here” – nicely precise as two would be a squeeze. B from ‘blood’ in TWINED = wound – past tense of wind rather than an injury
21 Someone no long popular is not totally penniless, we hear (3-4)
HAS-BEEN = someone no longer popular, sounding like “has bean”
23 Source of ego, id, etc (5)
LATIN – from which “ego” and “id” are taken. Crossword nostalgia this time: “In which three couples get together for sex” being another BG clue for this word, which raised some sniggers from long-ago Times championship contestants (“sex” being Latin for 2 times 3 = 6)
24 Like many flying from Russia via Norway (5)
AVIAN – our third hidden word
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4 Comments

  1. Qix
    Posted December 3, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    I wouldn’t have gone for four stars for difficulty, more like two-and-a-half, IMO. However, I found this one very enjoyable.

    Thanks to setter and reviewer (the latter, in particular, for the “nostalgia” comment on 23D!)

  2. BigBoab
    Posted December 3, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the review Peter, I enjoyed this crossword very much on Sunday, I liked 25a and 1d best.

  3. Posted December 3, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Peter. I’m with Qix in that I didnt find this so tricky but I regularly find myself on the other side of the see-saw!. Loved the alternative LATIN clue!

  4. crypticsue
    Posted December 3, 2010 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    I am with the not too tricky camp as well.