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ST 3107

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3107

A full review by Rahmat Ali

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This puzzle was published on 9th May 2021

BD Rating – ******

Greetings from Kolkata. Once again, I have the pleasure of writing the full review of a Sunday puzzle for your kind perusal. Dada has given us a fairly easy and straightforward puzzle with some outstanding clues.

While going through the finer details of 6d, I came to know that Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, is only a nominal capital, whereas the administrative capital or seat of the government is The Hague (Den Haag in Dutch). This reminded me of our own Jammu and Kashmir, a State of India since independence and Union Territory since 31st October 2019, having two capitals, albeit from a different angle: Srinagar as the summer capital from May to October and Jammu as the winter capital from November to April.

The fast hours for the Muslims during the lunar month of Ramadan (the answer to 8d) in places around the world are never the same and depend on where in the world one lives since the number of daylight hours varies from place to place. The pre-sunrise to sunset fast of the Ramadan of 2021 (Hijri 1442) that just went by lasted anywhere from around 10 hours in Ushuaia, Argentina to 15 hours in New Delhi, India to 21 hours in Longyearbyen, Norway. For those living in the Northern Hemisphere, the number of fasting hours will continue to decrease until 2032, in which year Ramadan will fall during the winter solstice with the shortest period of daylight. After that, fast hours will increase until the summer solstice with the longest period of daylight. The opposite will happen to those living south of the equator.

Most experts attribute the use of the Spanish word ‘nada’ (as part of the clue of 8d) meaning ‘nothing’, in English literature, to Ernest Hemingway, the American novelist.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Saw show, rhythm and blues initially? (7)
PROVERB: PROVE (show) followed by R (rhythm) and B (blues), both being the first letters (initially), in a charade

5a    Fish in crocodile, perhaps? (7)
SNAPPER: Double definition; the first one, a marine fish that is typically reddish and valued as food, is cryptically connected to the second one, a reptile that can snap or make a sudden audible bite



9a    Very detailed, certain it’s complicated (9)
INTRICATE: An anagram (complicated) of CERTAIN IT leading to the definition meaning very complicated

10a    Leave small stuff (5)
SCRAM: A charade of the abbreviation S (small) and CRAM (stuff)

11a    Productions bringing passion into heart of actress (7)
THEATRE: Moving (bringing) HEAT (passion) inside (into) the three letters in the middle (heart) of acTREss

12a    Delighted first of prisoners let out (7)
PLEASED: A charade of the first letter (first of) P (prisoners) and LEASED (let out)

13a    List covering revolutionary character in romantic novel (9)
ROCHESTER: ROSTER (list) containing (covering) the nickname CHE (revolutionary) of the famous Argentine revolutionary, Ernesto Guevara, leading to the name of the male character in Jane Eyre of Charlotte Brontë

16a    See fit European in the audience? (5)
DEIGN: The native of Denmark, DANE (European) as homophone (in the audience) of the definition

17a    A pretence backfiring for old storyteller (5)
AESOP: A from the clue and POSE (pretence) in the reverse (backfiring) lead to the famous old storyteller of ancient Greece whose fables served as ethical guides and from the Renaissance onwards were particularly used for the education of children

18a    Worm finally caught by a parting, wandering bird (9)
PTARMIGAN: M (worm) being the final letter (finally) taken inside (caught by) an anagram (wandering) of A PARTING and leading to the definition of a large Arctic and subarctic grouse with feathered feet and usually white winter plumage

21a    Cutting wood, a popular apprentice (7)
TRAINEE: Partitioning (cutting) TREE (wood) are the combo of A from the clue and IN (popular)

22a    Something for locks on your bike, a member gaining access (7)
SHAMPOO: Go away or SHOO (on your bike) used as an expression to frighten or drive a person or animal away, having both A from the clue and the parliamentarian or MP (member) going inside (gaining access), leading to the definition of a liquid preparation that is needed for locks or hair

25a    Originally attacking less, it’s better in defence (5)
ALIBI: The first letters (originally) from the words Attacking Less It’s Better In, leading to the definition meaning an excuse or plea

26a    Put in again, checks unlikely (9)
REINSTALL: A charade of REINS (checks) and TALL (unlikely)

27a    Energy saved by the animal because of that (7)
THEREAT: The abbreviation E (energy) is secured inside (saved) by the combo of THE from the clue and RAT (animal), leading to the definition meaning on account of that

28a    Dark except when sierra is to the west (7)
SUNLESS: UNLESS (except when) is preceded by or lying to its west (is to the west) the letter S of Sierra (sierra) as represented in the Nato phonetic alphabet


1d    Canine tip (7)
POINTER: Double definition; the first referring to a breed of dogs that point on discovering game and the second to a hint or small piece of advice

2d    Strange, off and on (5)
OUTRÉ: A charade of OUT (off) and having a thing mentioned as a topic, concerning or regarding abbreviated as RE (on)

3d    Almost all the ladies, say, turning up for author (5)
ELIOT: Most of the letters of (almost all) the informal term for a female TOILEt (ladies) as a reversal in the down clue (turning up)

4d    Most daring underwear for both sexes (7)
BRAVEST: BRA and VEST (underwear) for female and male respectively (for both sexes)

5d    Tool for tidying up back (7)
SWEEPER: Double definition; the first being a device used for cleaning a floor or road and the second referring to a soccer player behind the forwards or other defenders, free to defend at any point across the field and sometimes initiating and supporting attacks

6d    Capital that’s untidy made smart (9)
AMSTERDAM: An anagram (untidy) of MADE SMART leads to the name of the capital of the Netherlands

7d    Darn freezing! (9)
PERISHING: An interjection like darn! and another way of telling “It’s pretty damn cold!”, leading to the definition meaning freezing cold, vaguely used as a pejorative, as also distressing by cold or hunger

8d    Fast time, nothing hurt running uphill (7)
RAMADAN: A charade of a combo of NADA (nothing) and MAR (hurt) in reverse order in the down clue (running uphill), leading to the definition of the ninth lunar month of the Muslim calendar, during which strict fasting is observed from dawn to sunset

14d    Secret police probing rookie officer, virtually dismissed (4,5)
CAST ASIDE: Secret police (STASI) of the erstwhile German Democratic Republic going into (probing) most of the letters or almost or nearly (virtually) of CADEt (rookie officer)

15d    Dear old lover deep in thought (9)
EXPENSIVE: A charade of EX (old lover) and PENSIVE (deep in thought)

17d    Draw in a pamphlet, ringing middle of picture (7)
ATTRACT: A from the clue and TRACT (pamphlet) surrounding (ringing) the middle letter (middle) of picTure

18d    Old clown, I blunder into drugs? (7)
PIERROT: I from the clue and ERR (blunder) together going inside (into) POT (drugs) leading to the definition of one of the most likeable stock characters of pantomime and Commedia dell’Arte of the second half 16th century

19d    Issue touring in South Africa elevated for cricket team? (7)
AUSSIES: An anagram (touring) of ISSUE inside (in) SA (South Africa) in a reverse order or going up in the down clue (elevated)

20d    Food ending on bun, hundreds and thousands (7)
NOODLES: A charade of the last letter of (ending on) buN, followed by an amount that is more than enough or OODLES (hundreds and thousands)

23d    Crime in casinos ramped up (5)
ARSON: Part of or hidden inside casiNOS RAmped but in a reverse order in the down clue (up)

24d    Quiet man heard? (5)
PEACE: A chess PIECE (man) as a homophone (heard) of the definition

There were so many clues that I liked – 5a, 11a, 13a, 18a, 22a, 3d, 4d and 14d; with 3d being my favourite. Thanks to Dada for the entertainment and to BD for the encouragement. Would love to be here again. Have a nice day.


5 comments on “ST 3107

  1. Thanks Rahmat Ali for your review.

    Among your educational comments you could have included that shampoo, the ‘process’ and the product, originated in India and that the term is derived from a HIndi word meaning to press, knead, or soothe.

    1. Wow! You knew it. Yes, indeed. The term is derived from ‘chāmpo’, a Hindi word meaning to press, knead or soothe. In the Indian subcontinent, a variety of herbs and their extracts have been used as shampoos since ancient times. It was during my twenties when I had already developed a lot of interest in quizzes that I first learnt that Tipu Sultan (1750-1799), the ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore in South India, was actually the one who made this term even more popular. While being massaged, Tipu Sultan would never be satisfied and would more than frequently use the term ‘chāmpo’ to keep his masseur persist in his activity. The term became a head message oil for the Nawabs of Bengal around 1762. It evolved into shampoo over the years.

      I now read that Sake Dean Mahomed, who claimed to be related to the Nawabs of Bengal, is credited with introducing the practice of ‘shampooing’ to Britain. In 1814, he, with his Irish wife Jane Daly, opened the first commercial ‘shampooing’ vapour masseur bath in Brighton. He described the treatment in a local paper thus: The Indian Medicated Vapour Bath (type of Turkish Bath), a cure to many diseases and giving full relief when everything fails; particularly rheumatic and paralytic, gout, stiff joints, old sprains, lame legs, aches and pains in the joints.

      Thanks, Senf, for your words of encouragement on the review.

      1. Thanks again – now I have to come clean (sic) on how I found out. Mr Mosley was explaining it in an episode of Downton Abbey! So, Julian Fellowes must do some good research.

  2. Rahmat Ali, many thanks for such an informative review.

    Looking forward to your next one!

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