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ST 3020

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3020

A full review by crypticsue

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This puzzle was published on 8th September 2019

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

A trickier offering from Dada this time – lots of doing something with a letter too – my Across favourite was 28a and my Down favourite was 9d

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Grate pickle (6)
SCRAPE – A double definition that made me smile ruefully because I’ve been making a lot of pickle and chutney, and did indeed scrape one of my knuckles quite badly when grating ginger

4a    Broad smile initially, then visibly upset? (8)
SWEEPING – S (the initial letter of smile) WEEPING (visibly upset)

10a    Mark joins club with scowl (9)
DISCOLOUR – DISCO (club) with LOUR (scowl)

11a    Inviting contempt in the end, a dirty abode (5)
TASTY – T (contempt in the ‘end’) A (from the clue) STY (dirty abode)

12a    Uninspired outside right? No! (7)
TEDIOUS – Right? No! so a ‘wrong’ anagram of OUTSIDE is required

13a    Justify first of ideas in ditched strategy? (7)
EXPLAIN – The first letter of Ideas inserted into an EX PLAN (ditched strategy)

14a    Composition being shown in cinema (5)
ODEON – ODE (composition) ON (being shown)

15a    Change around odd bits of loin, sent back for butcher (8)
MUTILATE – MUTATE (change) ‘around’ the odd letters of LoIn

18a    Exciting story embraced by Queen, accommodating type? (8)
HOTELIER – HOT (exciting) LIE (story) ’embraced’ by ER (the regnal cipher of our current Queen)

20a    Relative idiot scratching head having bagged first in Latin (5)
UNCLE – Remove ‘scratching’ the ‘head’ of dUNCE (idiot) and insert (having bagged) the first letter of Latin

23a    Close, don’t open without locks (7)
AIRLESS – Don’t open, or remove the first letter of hAIRLESS (without locks)

25a    Horrible secret locations: time to escape! (7)
HIDEOUTS – HIDEOUtS (secret locations) without the T (Time to escape)

26a    Energy member invested in expression of surprise (5)
OOMPH – MP (Member of Parliament) inserted (invested) in OOH (expression of surprise)

27a    European anger now, I suspect (9)
NORWEGIAN – An anagram (suspect) of ANGER NOW I

28a    So, perhaps rain wets various things? (8)
SUNDRIES – If rain wets, then SUN DRIES

29a    A mushroom with the other ingredients? (2,4)
AS WELL – A (from the clue) SWELL (mushroom)


1d    Wrong dose ain’t calming someone down (8)
SEDATION – An anagram (wrong) of DOSE AINT

2d    What’s left in reserve, I expected (7)
RESIDUE – RES (reserve) I (from the clue) DUE (expected)

3d    Maybe he’s topping cake with no filling, say (9)
PRONOUNCE – PRONOUN (maybe he) on top of (in a Down clue) the outside letters (with no filling) of CakE

5d    County doctors were choristers (14)

6d    Polish off attack having dispensed with leader (3,2)
EAT UP – Dispense with the first letter (leader) of bEAT UP (attack)

7d    Tick in street, tiny creature (7)
INSTANT – IN (from the clue) ST (street) ANT (tiny creature)

8d    An article supporting fellow somewhere in South America (6)
GUYANA – AN (from the clue) A (indefinite article) ‘supporting’ in a Down clue GUY (fellow)

9d    One floored by cleaner? That’s painful (10,4)
HOUSEMAID’S KNEE – Putting this part of her body on the floor may be the thing that caused the housemaid to suffer from this nasty painful complaint

16d    A strip under bottom of small washer (9)
LAUNDRESS – A (from the clue) UNDRESS (strip) go under the bottom letter of smalL

17d    Private parking north of New Orleans (8)
PERSONAL – P (parking) goes north (in a Down clue) of an anagram (new) of ORLEANS

19d    Boaters in Ransome novel (7)
OARSMEN – An anagram (novel) of RANSOME

21d    Dessert that’s superior, cold inside (4,3)
CHOC ICE – CHOICE (superior) with C (cold) ‘inside’

22d    Powerful businessmen working in pubs (6)
BARONS – ON (working) in BARS (pubs)

24d    Located in file, the registration number (5)
ETHER – Lurking in filE THE Registration


6 comments on “ST 3020

  1. Barely remember this, but it was my birthday so I have an excuse
    17d ‘new orleans’ is fine, 19d ‘ransome novel’ not so good
    Thanks CS

    1. But, wasn’t the misdirection in 19d just about the best we have ever seen as, without checkers, AMAZONS (of Swallows and Amazons) fits the enumeration and the definition of Boaters?
      Thanks to CS for the full review.

      1. Agreed the misdirection is great, but ‘fodder novel’ is not, whereas ‘novel fodder’ is fine – isn’t it asking the solver to ‘novel’ the fodder?
        Novel meaning new or original translates to ‘fodder new’ which would need to be ‘fodder newly’ or ‘fodder originally’
        Am I just losing my marbles and drowning in the swamps of crosswordland? :smile:

        1. Once I had got past the misdirection, yes, without checkers, I did write Amazons into my grid, I solved the anagram. I took the material followed by indicator to be part of Dada’s quirkiness that we probably have to start getting used to. Is he trying to rewrite the ‘rules’? That probably needs a comment from the likes of Prolixic or Silvanus.

          1. Indeed. You may remember Prolixic had this to say about anagrams constructed in this way:

            [Down clue] Sign above a pub: ‘Ragout Special!’ (9) {autograph}
            I don’t think that ‘special’ works as an anagram indicator after the letters to be rearranged. Before the letters it would work as an adjective

            If rules are there to be rewritten, we could come up with any old tosh to clue a word

      2. I didn’t have a problem with this clue/solution/wordplay probably because I don’t think of the characters in Ransome’s novels as 19 Downs – yes they do quite a bit of rowing but first and foremost they are sailors – and my late sister, who was the world’s greatest Arthur Ransome fan, would definitely agree.

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