ST 2595

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2595

A full review by Gnomethang

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

Afternoon All!. We have another eccellent puzzle from Virgilius this week. I couldn’t see any theme in particular here but let me know if you have spotted anything. No real problems here apart from almost everyone writing TRACTOR in at 6d.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.  You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.

Across

1a           Line inserted in prophetic book ahead of time, virtually (6)
ALMOST – A word meaning virtually or very nearly. Insert L (for Line) inside AMOS –  one of the biblical prophets – all in front (ahead) of T(ime)

4a           European clubs still on top of the world? (8)
ECSTATIC – What is essentially quite a straightforward clue gave me loads of trouble on the day (along with the rest of the NE corner!) due to the fact that the surface reading is extremely smooth. A charade of E(uropean), C(lubs) and STATIC (still) leads to an adjective meaning ‘on top of the world’ or ‘deliriously happy’.

10a         Male voice, in a general sense (5)
TENOR – The adult male voice between 26a and alto. Also a noun meaning  the general purport or drift, as in ‘the tenor of the question was impertinent’.

11a         Herb for flavouring steamed rice and duck, right? (9)
CORIANDER – This herb is a well disguised anagram (steamed) of RICE AND O R. O is for Duck and R is for Right – it is acceptable in most papers to accept common single letter abbreviations in anagram fodder without being accused of the dreaded ‘Indirect Anagram’, whereby a word must be substituted for a synonym which is then involved in the anagram.

12a         Asian bread bloke located in Indian capital (7)
CHAPATI – An unleadened Indian bread is a charade of CHAP (bloke) AT (located in) I (Indian captial/first letter).

13a         A bit of work, as goalkeeper finally put in save (7)
EXCERPT – Another clue that gave me trouble although the word was scratching around the back of my head, possibly because I add an ‘Excerpt’ – a bit of a literary work or prose – when creating these ‘blogs. We need the final letter of goalkeepeR inside EXCEPT (save in the sense of all bar one/save one).

14a         See it in an arms limit I arranged? (4-10)
ANTI-MILITARISM – A semi all-in-one since someone trying to limit arms sales may be described thus. An anagram (arranged) of IT IN AN ARMS LIMIT I.

17a         Tube option for Londoners, say? Underground trains travel below it (7,7)
ENGLISH CHANNEL – I think that many people got this clue by the checking letters but there were a few questions on the wordplay. As I see it (and please correct me if you see it differently) is a cryptic definition and definition. Tube option, with tube meaning television, for a Londoner would be an ENGLISH (TV) CHANNEL. The straight (but slightly loose) definition is due to the fact that Eurostar trains now travel under ‘La Manche’ to Paris, Brussels and beyond.

21a         Part of journey on European river that contributes to correspondent’s expenses (7)
POSTAGE – Ok, Ok! – I now know that the PO river is in Italy NOT China!. Add STAGE (part of journey) to the end of PO ( A on B in a puzzle means A AFTER B) to get a cost associated with sending a letter (correspondent’s expenses).

23a         Essay about one Conservative? Major, for example (7)
OFFICER – An OFFER (essay or try, as in ‘essayed an answer’ around I and C (Conservative Big-C!) gives a commissioned rank in the forces of which Major is an example. Nice misdirection on the lines of John Major, the Blue (or grey for Spitting Image) Ex PM.

24a         With a number of deliveries, left port carrying excess cargo (9)
OVERLADEN – A charade of OVER (6 balls or deliveries in Cricket), L(arge) and the ADEN, the Yemeni port. The definition is ‘carrying excess cargo’. More excellent surface reading.

25a         Summit with new or former political leader (5)
BROWN – An ex Labour PM to even up the ‘Major’ reference. BROW ( the top of a hill) plus N(ew).

26a         Piece of music with one note composed for singer (8)
BARITONE – We seem to be in ‘charade city’ today!. BAR (piece of music, a measure) + I (for One) + TONE (an anagram, composed, of NOTE). Them surface readings just keep coming don’t they!

27a         Protection for head male learner had encounter with (6)
HELMET – This protection for the head is another charade of HE (male) L(earner) and MET (had encounter with).

Down

1d           Despotic sovereign getting mad at a court (8)
AUTOCRAT – A ruthless single ruler is an anagram (mad) of AT A COURT.

2d           Servant that mixed an American cocktail (9)
MANHATTAN – Start with MAN(servant) then add an anagram (mixed) of THAT and follow with AN (from the clue). The result is a cocktail of Whisky, sweet vermouth and bitters. Sounds horrible!

3d           Mockery that’s awfully crass about alpha male (7)
SARCASM – Traditionally the lowest form of wit (but it has its place occasionally!). An ‘awful’ anagram of CRASS around A (alpha) and M (Male).

5d           Whence money’s readily available for electricity bill? (7,7)
CURRENT ACCOUNT – A nice cryptic definition of the day to day bank account that covers Utility Bills. The cryptic part is ‘current’ as a measure of electricity flow.

6d           Crash into broken cart or another vehicle (7)
TRAMCAR – Curses, Curses, Curses!. I could not see may way past TRACTOR for the answer but knew it was wrong!. We need the word RAM (crash) inside an anagram of CART, indicated by broken. I will leave you with the abiding thought on this clue from the day, as summarised by Dickiedot:
Tractor had me ploughing to a halt as well, however after lots of furrowed brow I got back on the rails.”

7d           House style (5)
TUDOR – Both a style of architecture and also a Royal household from 1483 to 1603.

8d           Scoffed after scoundrel becomes junior minister (6)
CURATE – A relatively junior minister in the church, looking after a parish as opposed to a diocese or see, is a charade of ATE (scoffed food) after CUR (scoundrel or rogue)

9d           Tissue in calf hurts badly inside — take care of leg (8,6)
I will give you Big Dave’s hint on the day:
This tissue, the attachment of the soleus and gastrocnemius muscles of the calf of the leg to the heel-bone, is constructed from a verb meaning hurts with one meaning badly inserted both followed by a verb meaning to take care of and another name for the leg side in cricket”
That is ACH(ILL)ES + TEND + ON.

15d         Loud noise from above, as boy with long-range weapon bags brace of ducks (5,4)
SONIC BOOM – The noise made by an aircraft that exceeds the speed of sound in air. The boy is the SON, the long range weapon is the abbreviation of Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile, into which two instances of O (0 is a duck in cricket) are inserted.

16d         Reorganised recital including new instrument (8)
CLARINET – include N(ew) in an anagram (reorganized) of RECITAL to find the orchestral instrument that might be found in said recital.

18d         Something found on plane, say — permit for flier (7)
LEAFLET – Plane here is a variety of tree so one might expect to find a LEAF on it. Follow this with LET (permit or allow) to get a flier as in promotional material shoved through one’s letterbox. Once again, the surface reading alludes wonderfully to the aviation industry with plane and flier both being extremely misleading.

19d         Good-natured female in a myth (7)
AFFABLE – A straightforward inclusion of F(emale) in A FABLE (A myth) gives a synonym for good-natured or friendly.

20d         Behold doctor under a little pressure showing poise (6)
APLOMB – Poise is also style, élan or panache. Place LO (and behold!) with MB (for Bachelor of Medicine, doctor) underneath A and P – the little abbreviation for Pressure.

22d         So-called fleecing operation that’s easily seen through (5)
SHEER – A homophone to finish with. The verb meaning to clip a sheep’s fleece (SHEAR) sounds like SHEER – see-through or gauzy.

Thanks again to Virgilius – I will be back with more of the same treats next week.

One Comment

  1. BigBoab
    Posted July 8, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Many thanks to Virgilis for a wee cracker and many thanks to Gnomethang for a great review.Personal favourite was 17a.