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DT 29754

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29754

A full review by Rahmat Ali

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This puzzle was published on 14th Aug 2021

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ****

Greetings from Kolkata. A very straightforward and enjoyable Saturday puzzle from the setter. Once again, I feel happy to present to you a full review of the same for your kind perusal and esteemed feedback.

Looking at the answer to 9a and reminiscing China as the place of origin of the noodles, I became inquisitive to learn more about such noodles from the eastern and south-eastern countries of Asia and hence visited the net. I found out that the earliest written record of noodles is found in a book dated to the Eastern Han period of 20-220 AD and noodles made from wheat dough were the prominent food for the people of the Han dynasty. However, in 2005, a team of archaeologists reported finding an earthenware bowl that contained 4000-year-old noodles at the Lajia archaeological site. These noodles were said to resemble ‘Iamian’, a type of soft wheat flour Chinese noodle. Wheat noodles in Japan called ‘udon’ were adapted from a Chinese recipe as early as the 9th century. Innovations continued and long and thin noodles made from flour, buckwheat and potatoes, by the name ‘naengmyeon’, were developed in the Joseon Dynasty of Korea (1392-1897). Noodles, based on dishes from Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province in southern China but named after the northern Chinese ‘lamian’, became common in Japan by 1900 as ‘ramen’ noodles. The ‘báhn cahn’ noodles of Vietnam made from a mixture of rice flour and tapioca flour are similar in appearance, though not in substance, to ‘udon’. ‘Pancit’ is a general term referring to various traditional noodle dishes of the Philippines. ‘Pad Thai’, consisting of rice noodles, tofu, dried shrimp, bean sprouts and eggs, is the national dish of Thailand. Of course, there are a wide variety of noodles in all these countries.

The answer to 5d extended my thought to the hybrid family of the big cats – liger, tigon et al. I learnt from the net that the history of lion-tiger hybrids dates back to the early 19th century in India. A liger is the offspring of a male lion and a female tiger and the portmanteau was coined by the 1930s. On the model of tigress, the female liger is referred to as ligress. White female tigers have been crossed with male lions to produce white ligers, a phenomenon not impossible but very rare. On the other hand, a tigon is the offspring of a male tiger and a female lion. Again, on the model of lioness, the female tigon is called tigoness. The second generation hybrid, though rare, gave birth to new animals and so further new names were constructed. A liliger is the offspring of a male lion and a female liger, while a litigon is the offspring of a male lion and a female tigon. Similarly, a tiliger is the offspring of a male tiger and a female liger, while a titigon is the offspring of a male tiger and a female tigon. In accordance with Haldane’s rule, male tigons and male ligers are sterile, but female ligers and female tigons can produce cubs, albeit female ligers have low fertility. I have deduced my own structure of remembering the who’s who of the big cat world:

Liger = 1st part li (the male lion) + 2nd part ger (the female tiger) and the female liger is ligress

Tigon = 1st part tig (the male tiger) + 2nd part on (the female lion) and the female tigon is tigoness

Liliger = 1st part li (the male lion) + 2nd part liger (the female liger) and the female liliger is liligress

Litigon = 1st part li (the male lion) + 2nd part tigon (the female tigon) and the female litigon is litigoness

Tiliger = 1st part ti (the male tiger) + 2nd part liger (the female liger) and the female tiliger is tiligress

Titigon = 1st part ti (the male tiger) + 2nd part tigon (the female tigon) and the female titigon is titigoness

I found it very easy to remember: The first three letters of tigon and the first two letters of tiliger and titigon point out towards the male tiger while the first two letters of liger, liliger and litigon point out towards the male lion of the first generation, while their remaining letters indicate (i) either the female of the first generation (to get the first generation hybrid cubs) or (ii) the female of the first generation hybrid (to get the second generation hybrid cubs).

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Two Europeans finish (6,6)
FRENCH POLISH: FRENCH and POLISH (two Europeans) together take to the last touches to furniture with varnish, consisting chiefly of shellac dissolved in spirit

8a    Aussie native infiltrating company, genteel English establishment? (3,4)
TEA ROOM: A shortened version of kangaroo that is indigenous to Australia ROO (Aussie native) entering (infiltrating) a set of people working together as TEAM (company), leading to the definition of a small restaurant or café where tea and other light refreshments are served

9a    Last of yen, plenty for Japanese fare (7)
NOODLES: The last letter (last) of [Y][E]N followed by OODLES (plenty) lead to the definition of a regularly-consumed Japanese food that is very thin, long strip of pasta or a similar flour paste, eaten with a sauce or in a soup

11a    Sausage in cold range reduced (7)
CHORIZO: The abbreviation C (cold) and HORIZO[N] (range) with its last letter removed (reduced) take to the definition of a dry, highly-seasoned sausage, made from pork that originated in Spain and Portugal

12a    Aristocracy always received by servant (7)
PEERAGE: A contraction of EVER or E’ER (always) taken in (received) by PAGE (servant)

13a    Carried over by workmates, nice small picture (5)
INSET: A hidden reversal (carried over) in (by) workmaTES NIce

14a    Wood entirely in foil (9)
FORESTALL: A charade involving FOREST (wood) and ALL (entirely)

16a    Two garments for baseball player (9)
SHORTSTOP: SHORTS and TOP (two garments) take to the definition of the defending player in baseball who is positioned between second and third base

19a    Island in Corsica, pricey (5)
CAPRI: Part of or hidden inside (IN) corsiCA PRIcey takes to the name of an island in the Gulf of Naples

21a    Rotten sound of cat getting back into bed (7)
CORRUPT: PURR (sound of cat) as a reversal (getting back) in placed inside (into) COT (bed)

23a    Groom pleased, slipped away (7)
ELAPSED: An anagram (groom) of PLEASED

24a    Ship’s captain, delicate flier? (7)
SKIPPER: Double definition; the first is the name given to a ship’s captain and the second is a hair-bodied butterfly of the family Hesperiidae, with wings of the same length as its body, so called because of its short jerky flight

25a    It’s not a bad stop (7)
STATION: An anagram (bad) of ITS NOT A

26a    Wine coming together for traditional event (5,7)
WHITE WEDDING: WHITE (wine) that is made from white grapes or skinned black grapes and WEDDING (coming together), leading to the definition of a traditional formal or semi-formal wedding that gets its name from the white colour of the wedding dress, which first became popular with Victorian era elites after Queen Victoria wore a white lace dress at her wedding


1d    Standards to preserve on vessels (7)
FLAGONS: FLAGS (standards) to contain (preserve) ON from the clue, leading to the definition of hollow containers, especially the ones used to hold liquid

2d    Self-seeker say starts to obsess, thinking immensely selfish thoughts (7)
EGOTIST: Exempli gratia or its abbreviation EG (say) as the Latin phrase for ‘for example’ is followed by the first letters of (starts to) Obsess Thinking Immensely Selfish Thoughts

3d    Succeed with technology? You’re joking! (4,3,2)
COME OFF IT: A two-word phrase COME OFF (succeed) and (with) Information Technology in its abbreviated form IT (technology) lead to the colloquial expression denoting something that has been said by someone is not true or that which could be subject to ridicule

4d    Gorgeous celebrity, leg raised (3-2)
PIN-UP: A charade of PIN (leg) and UP (raised) leads to the definition of a famous or attractive person who appears on posters pinned up on a wall for admiration

5d    Animal in Mali one’s seen (7)
LIONESS: Part of or hidden inside (in) maLI ONES Seen

6d    Little golden item, royal (7)
SULTANA: Double definition; the first being an edible item – a small, light brown or golden, seedless raisin used in puddings and cakes and the second referring to a royal person, especially the wife of a sultan, though his sister or daughter can also share the same title

7d    Those blending in with surroundings never leave exclusive groups (5,7)
STICK INSECTS: A charade of STICK (never leave) or cause to adhere to something and INSECTS (exclusive groups) as the most diverse groups that include more than a million described species and represent more than half of all known living organisms, leading to the definition of long, slender, slow-moving insects that resemble twigs and hence blend in with surroundings

10d    Fascinating period obligatory (12)
SPELLBINDING: A charade of SPELL (period) and BINDING (obligatory)

15d    Accessing plant, media controlled (9)
REPRESSED: Getting inside (accessing) REED (plant) or a tall, slender-leaved plant of the grass family growing in water or on marshy ground is PRESS (media)

17d    Monstrous giant’s head bagged by hero is hideous (7)
OGREISH: Giant’s head or the first letter (head) of G[I][A][N][T] caught (bagged) by an anagram (hideous) of HERO IS, leading to the adjectival definition meaning having the ugly or frightening appearance of an ogre or monster

18d    Something musical beat film (7)
TRUMPET: TRUMP (beat) and ET (film) or E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, an American science fiction film in a charade, leading to the definition of a brass musical instrument with a flared bell and a bright, penetrating tone

19d    Bread one covered with butter after tea (7)
CHAPATI: The Roman numeral I (one) covered, as in down clue, with a small lump of butter or PAT which is preceded by or comes after (after) CHA (tea), leading to the definition of a thin pancake of unleavened wholemeal bread cooked on a griddle in Indian cooking

20d    Skill of footballers succeeding (7)
PASSING: Double definition; the first being the act of transferring the ball to another player during a football match and the second referring to getting through an examination without honours

22d    Hurled from one side to the other, reportedly (5)
THREW: A homophone (reportedly) of THROUGH (from one end to the other), as heard by the audience

There were several clues that I enjoyed in this puzzle such as 1a, 8a, 14a, 16a, 21a, 24a, 25a, 1d, 2d, 3d, 6d, 10d and 19d, but 7d was my favourite. Many thanks to the setter for the lovely and highly entertaining puzzle and to BD for the encouragement. Looking forward to being here again. Have a nice day.


7 comments on “DT 29754

  1. Even without the name and the first sentence giving the location of the reviewer, the end of that paragraph clearly illustrates the sub-continental location of the writer. The leaning towards the style of gracious expression that was common in the UK from Victorian times until the ’50s (at the latest) is the big giveaway.

    Rahmat Ali, may you continue and prosper, Sir; and thank you for the oodles of information.

    1. Attila+the+Hun Sir, tonnes of thanks to you for your gracious comment that is going to inspire me to author a book in the near future and I pray to the Almighty for your prosperity, too.

    1. The 7-letter chapati has many variants with respect to its spelling – the 8-letter chapatti, chappati and chapathi and the 9-letter chappathi, depending upon the people of various regions of the Indian subcontinent as to how they pronounce. Chapati is an unleavened flatbread prepared of whole-wheat flour mixed into dough with water, oil and salt in a mixing utensil and cooked on a flat skillet. It is a staple in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, the Arabian Peninsula and the Carribean. The name has been derived from the Hindi word ‘chapat’ meaning slap or smack, referring to the traditional method of slapping the dough between the wetted palms of the hands during its preparation – after kneading the ingredients with the knuckles of the hand made into a fist for the preparation of the dough but before rolling out the pressed dough on a wooden circular board using a wooden rolling pin to convert it into a flat disc raw chapati which is finally cooked on the skillet. Some households also prefer splitting each just-cooked and swollen chapati (as shown in the photo) manually into two pieces of flat round chapatis. On the other hand, a flat, elongated loaf – an invention of the early 1980s by the Italians to reduce their dependence on French baguettes – was named an 8-letter word ‘ciabatta’ because this loaf with a sponge-like texture, made with olive oil, resembled a ‘ciabatta’, the Italian term for a slipper. The plural form of ciabatta in Italian is ciabatte, though ciabattas are also used in English.

  2. 3*/4*…
    liked 2D “Self-seeker say starts to obsess, thinking immensely selfish thoughts (7)”

    1. Thank you so much, Bluebird61, for the information. I have not come across this name so far even after searching the net, but will be happy to know in which part of India it is basically eaten.

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