Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2570
A full review by Crypticsue
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BD Rating – Difficulty **/*** – Enjoyment ***
It’s been an interesting process reviewing this crossword some 5 days after solving it – not least because Mr CS had recycled the paper! A bit of a rummage through a heap of papers led me to rediscover that this didn’t take me long to solve; what took the time was working out the wordplay – what Prolixic referred to as a ‘thinking’ crossword – hence the 2.5* for difficulty. Thanks to Virgilius – I did enjoy both the solving and the revisiting for the review writing.
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1a Bent over by fish that one plays – the biggest of its type (6,4)
DOUBLE BASS – the largest bowed stringed instrument (that one plays) is a charade of DOUBLE (bent over) and a fish that can be either freshwater or marine – the BASS.
6a Second record is a big hit (4)
SLOG – a verb meaning to hit hard – S (second) and LOG (a record of a ship’s performances or work done over a certain time by a mainframe computer)
9a Boldness of Charlie’s predecessor retaining advantage (7)
BRAVADO – When joining the Armed Forces, the Police Force or becoming a crossword setter/solver, it is necessary to learn the NATO Phonetic Alphabet. Before C for Charlie (its predecessor) is B for BRAVO; insert into this the abbreviation AD (which Chambers tells me is the N American term for advantage in a game of tennis) to produce a term for a display of bravery.
10a Lunatic is running for president (7)
MADISON – An adjective meaning mentally disordered – MAD plus IS ON (is running) produces the surname of the fourth President of the United States.
12a English author swallowing mixture of gin and tasteless liquid (8,5)
DRINKING WATER – John DRINKWATER was an English author and poet. Insert an anagram (mixture) of GIN in the middle – BD described this liquid as tasteless, they obviously don’t put as much chlorine in the water in Hanley Swan as they do here in East Kent.
14a During end of cold spell I turn blue (6)
INDIGO – A shade of blue – a charade of a synonym for during – IN, the final (end) letter in the spelling of colD, I and then GO, a turn in, eg, a board game.
15a They were often hung or framed by eccentric artist (8)
TRAITORS – A lot of discussion on this one on Sunday – grammatical questions ‘hung or hanged’ etc – it’s a fairly obvious anagram (eccentric) of ARTIST with OR inserted (framed) – people are no longer hung/hanged for treason but traitors met their fate this way in the past.
17a Person willing to get runs to finish off match at Oval (8)
TESTATOR – Someone who makes a will is a TESTATOR – TEST (an international cricket match played at the Oval) plus AT, O (oval) and R (runs).
19a Horrified, in a way, by frightful hag (6)
AGHAST – Chambers defines this adjective splendidly as ‘stupefied with horror’. An anagram of HAG (frightful) inserted into A and ST (abbreviation for street or way).
22a Publications in university town are important (7,6)
READING MATTER – Printed material such as books and magazines could be on a list of important (ie they MATTER) study requirements at the University of READING.
24a Employ in a staff that’s wide awake (7)
AROUSED – Another word for a staff in the sense of a stick is A ROD. Insert a synonym for employ (USE) to produce a word meaning woken up or stimulated.
25a Achieve victory, pushing back border around state (7)
PREVAIL – A verb meaning to be victorious over is achieved by placing AVER (state) inside another word for border (LIP) and reversing (pushing back) the result – LIAVERP = PREVAIL.
26a Some beef, for example, that’s left if it’s not right (4)
SIDE – Sides can, of course, be either left or right, although you would have to pay a small fortune for a side of beef these days.
27a Observer is in English, yet news is somehow different (10)
EYEWITNESS – an anagram (somehow different) of YET NEWS IS plus E (English). These observers are very useful when a crime has been committed.
1d Setting up base on time is an obligation (4)
DEBT – a financial obligation – another word for a base in the sense of a place on which anything rests – BED – reversed (setting up) on T (time).
2d Run raid he’d put together without leaders and without support (7)
UNAIDED – Another way of saying without any help – the letters of (r)UN (r)AID (h)E’D joined (put) together but with their initial letters removed (without leaders).
3d Star players Girl Guides grow up to become? (7,6)
LEADING LADIES – Principal actresses in a play or film – Girls grow up to be LADIES and guides show or LEAD people, hence grown up Girl Guides become LEADING LADIES.
4d Poet’s right out of place in competition for novelists (6)
BROOKE – Rupert Brooke is the poet here – the Booker Prize is presented to a novelist – do as the clue says and move the R from the end of the word to the inside (out of place).
5d House not, as some say, the place to teach ministers lessons (8)
SEMINARY – A house joined to another is semi-detached, informally referred to as a SEMI. Add to this NARY – a dialect word meaning never or not to produce a theological college for the instruction of ministers, priests and rabbis.
7d Wayward shot piercing lion in part of Africa (7)
LESOTHO – LEO (the constellation/sign of the zodiac represented by a lion) with an anagram (wayward) of SHOT inserted produces the landlocked enclave in south Africa.
8d Behaviour of the kind that’s wasted energy, so restricting it (10)
GENEROSITY – People who are kind behave in a generous manner – an anagram (wasted) of ENERGY SO with IT (restricting) inserted.
11d Revise tenet’s wording for political address (7,6)
DOWNING STREET – the home of the Prime Minister is an anagram (revised) of TENETS WORDING.
13d People like Gladstone and those around Melbourne (10)
VICTORIANS – My clue of the day – Gladstone was Prime Minister during the reign of Queen Victoria; Melbourne is the capital of the Australian State of Victoria, its residents, like Mr Gladstone, are known as Victorians.
16d Pursued the ends of liberty with determination (8)
DOGGEDLY – Behaving in a determined dog-like manner – DOGGED (pursued / tailed) with the first and last letters (ends) of LibertY.
18d Main courses? (7)
SEAFOOD – Food caught on the high seas – or fish served as part of a meal.
20d A pen enclosing about this amount of land (7)
ACREAGE – A CAGE (pen) with RE (about) inserted – an amount of land measured in acres.
21d Hands or feet used to get fruit (6)
PAWPAW – another word for a hand or foot (particularly in an animal) is a PAW. Two of them given you a name of a tropical fruit of the custard apple family.
23d Positive starts from politicians leading us somewhere (4)
PLUS – another word for positive is formed from the initial letters (starts) of Politicians Leading Us and Somewhere.
As we expect on a Sunday, this was a very enjoyable brain stretcher. Thanks to Gazza, Prolixic and others whose hints last Sunday have been plagiarised in some parts of this review.