DT 29802 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View comments 

DT 29802

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29802

A full review by Rahmat Ali

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

This puzzle was published on 9th Oct 2021

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Greetings from Kolkata. A very straightforward Saturday puzzle from Chalicea that I enjoyed solving and thereafter writing a review of the same for your kind perusal and valuable feedback.

I was inquisitive to learn more about the pot-au-feu, the answer to the clue of 12a and so a visit to the net became inevitable. Pot-au-feu, literally standing for ‘pot on the fire’ (the word pot in French has the same meaning as it does in English), is one of France’s most celebrated dishes prepared during the winter season in the households of both the haves and the have-nots. A typical pot-au-feu contains cuts of beef that require cooking for long periods, some kind of cartilaginous meat, such as oxtail or marrowbone, vegetables like carrots, turnips, parsnips, celery and onions and sometimes also white cabbage and leeks and seasonings including salt, black pepper, cloves and bouquet garni (of thyme, bay leaf and parsley) that is removed prior to consumption. Adding cartilaginous meat in the stew results in the dissolution of gelatin into the broth. Then cooling the stew helps in the floating and solidification of excess fat on the surface which can be easily removed. The broth is traditionally served first with a bit of nutmeg and the marrow spread on toasted bread. Then the meat and the vegetables are served with coarse salt and mustard condiment, horseradish sauce and pickled cucumbers. Broth may also be consumed as a soup, as a base for sauces or for cooking vegetables or pasta. Many countries have similar dishes with local ingredients. Even within France, ingredients may differ from one region to another and with the season. We in our household prepare and enjoy consuming an almost similar dish with rice or unleavened bread during winter and we just call it ‘stew’. The Vietnamese dish Pho, based on a phonetic spelling (pot) of the dish, was inspired by French cuisine in former Indochine Française.

From the net, I also got to learn more about beri-beri, the answer to the clue of 24a. Beri-beri has its root in a Sinhalese phrase ‘beriber’ meaning ‘I cannot, I cannot’. The term ‘beri-beri’ was first described over 4,500 years ago, in the Chinese medical book ‘Neichang’. A Dutch physician named Jacobus Bontius encountered the disease while working in Java in 1630. He discovered that a certain very troublesome affliction, which attacked men, was called by the inhabitants ‘beri-beri’ which meant sheep. He believed those, whom this same disease attacked, with their knees shaking and the legs raised up, walked like sheep. It was a kind of paralysis, penetrating the motion and sensation of the hands and feet and sometimes of the whole body. In 1883, Takaki Kanehiro, a British-trained Japanese medical doctor of the Japanese Navy, learned of a very high incidence of beri-beri among cadets on a training mission from Japan to Hawaii, via New Zealand and South America. He was convinced through his experiments that beri-beri was endemic among low-ranking crew who often were provided nothing but rice. In 1897, Dr. Christiaan Eijkman, a Dutch physician and pathologist, discovered that feeding unpolished rice to chickens helped to prevent beri-beri. In 1898, Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins, an English biochemist, postulated the need for accessory factors in addition to proteins, carbohydrates, fats and salt for healthy function of the human body. In 1929, Dr. Eijkman and Sir Hopkins were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for their respective discoveries of antineuritic vitamin and growth-stimulating vitamins.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.

Across

4a Most heated feeling of dread about boundless grief (8)
ANGRIEST: ANGST (feeling of dread) as a general feeling of anxiety produced by awareness of the uncertainties and paradoxes inherent in the state of being human is placed around (about) the innermost letters (boundless) of [G]RIE[F], taking to the definition of a superlative adjective meaning most exasperated or infuriated

8a Leave vet interminably holding a pet (6)
VACATE: VE[T] without the last letter or endlessly (interminably) having inside (holding) A from the clue and CAT (pet) as a domesticated carnivorous animal with soft fur, a short snout and retractable claws, leading to the definition of a verb meaning to get out of or leave a place that one is occupying

9a Engineers likely to be trustworthy (8)
RELIABLE: A charade of RE (engineers) as the abbreviation for Royal Engineers and LIABLE (likely) or likely to do or be something or responsible by law takes to the definition of an adjective meaning suitable or fit to be relied on or trusted

10a Pleased with oil I cooked up for plants (8)
GLADIOLI: GLAD (pleased) as feeling pleasure or happiness and (with) an anagram (cooked up) of OIL I, arriving at the definition of plants of a genus Gladiolus of the iris family, with sword-shaped leaves and long spikes of brightly coloured flowers, popular in gardens and as cut flowers

11a Somewhat gruffly in general quitting hurriedly (6)
FLYING: Part of or hidden inside (somewhat) grufFLY IN General, leading to the definition of a verb in the present continuous tense meaning leaving hastily

12a Doubtfully ate up mostly foul stew (3-2-3)
POT-AU-FEU: An anagram (doubtfully) of a combo of ATE UP and most of the letters (mostly) of FOU[L] takes to the definition of a traditional French stew of boiled beef and vegetables

13a Auditor finally hears half of text on board ship (8)
LISTENER: The last or final letter (finally) of [HEAR]S followed by 50% (half) of TE[XT] together having around (on board) LINER (ship) or a large luxurious passenger-carrying vessel of a particular company, arriving at the definition of a person who hears something, such as a court case, in the capacity of a judge or who listens as a member of an audience

16a Some get hanky out as response to present situation (5,3)
THANK YOU: Part of or hidden inside (some) geT HANKY OUt takes to the definition of a polite expression of gratitude used when acknowledging a gift, service or compliment, or when accepting or refusing an offer

19a Grass protecting ring broke with established customs (8)
REBELLED: REED (grass) as a tall stiff hard-culmed marsh or water grass taking inside (protecting) BELL (ring) as the device that rings to mark the start or end of a round in boxing and other sports, leading to the definition of a verb in the past tense meaning resisted authority, control or convention

21a Picture of old cold farm worker returning (6)
FRESCO: A charade of a combo of the abbreviation O (old), the abbreviation C (cold) and SERF (farm worker) as an agricultural labourer bound by the feudal system tied to working on his lord’s estate is written backwards or reversed (returning), arriving at the definition of a painting done rapidly in watercolour on wet plaster on a wall or ceiling, so that the colours penetrate the plaster and become fixed as its dries

23a Rarely it could be associated with writing (8)
LITERARY: An anagram (could be) of RARELY IT takes to the definition of an adjective meaning associated with literary works or other formal writing

24a Disease in fruit recurring we hear (4-4)
BERI-BERI: BERRY (fruit) as a small roundish juicy fruit without a stone uttered twice (recurring) as a homophone heard by the audience (we hear), leading to the definition of an Eastern disease caused by deficiency of vitamin B1

25a Hang around and fake illness when mum goes (6)
LINGER: Feign sickness in order to avoid duty or work or [MA]LINGER (fake illness) at the time (when) MA (mum) or mother as a childish contraction for mamma leaves (goes), arriving at the definition of a verb meaning to stay in a place longer than necessary

26a Move fast! Don’t do this with something unpleasant! (4,2,2)
STEP ON IT: An informal expression meaning to go faster, typically in a motor vehicle could also be putting one’s foot on something unpleasant (a “deposit” left by a dog, perhaps), which is best avoided

Down

1d Swell dance circle working (7)
BALLOON: A charade of BALL (dance) as a large, usually lavish, formal function featuring social dancing, O (circle) as representing the shape of a circle and ON (working) as functioning or operating leads to the definition of a verb meaning to inflate in a spherical shape

2d Reportedly prohibited joker having as topic fashionable movement (9)
BANDWAGON: A homophone (reportedly) of BANNED (prohibited) as heard by the audience is followed by WAG (joker) as a person who is given to droll or mischievous humour and ON (having as topic) as about or having the thing mentioned as a topic, arriving at the definition of an activity or cause that is currently enjoying popularity and success and attracting increasing support

3d Start short date with posh fellow (3,3)
SET OFF: To make a usually romantic social arrangement to meet someone or SE[E] (date) with its last letter removed or relatively small in extent (short) followed by (with) TOFF (posh fellow) as a slang term for a person of the rich or upper-classes, taking to the definition of verb meaning to begin a journey

4d Farmer, a good country-dweller, welcomes international school (15)
AGRICULTURALIST: A from the clue is followed by G (good) and RURALIST (country-dweller) as one who resides in a rural area takes in (welcomes) a combo of the abbreviation I (international) and CULT (school) as a system or school of religious beliefs and rituals, leading to the definition of a person who is concerned with the art and practice of cultivating the soil

5d Swimmer ultimately recognising mature following is hot! (8)
GOLDFISH: The final or ultimate letter (ultimately) of [RECOGNISIN]G is followed by elderly or OLD (mature), the abbreviation F (following), IS from the clue and the abbreviation H (hot); taking to the description of a small reddish-golden Eurasian carp, popular in ponds and aquaria

6d Country‘s supporter half-heartedly supporting computer technology (5)
ITALY: A person or organisation that cooperates with or helps another in a particular activity or AL[L]Y (supporter) foregoing one of the two inner letters (half-heartedly) is preceded by or following (supporting) IT (computer technology) as Information Technology using computers and software to manage information, taking to the definition of a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps and several islands surrounding it in Southern Europe

7d Refusal to speak of riotous license (7)
SILENCE: An anagram (riotous) of LICENSE leads to the definition of the fact or state of abstaining from speech

14d Inquiring into pound invested in public showing by clique (9)
EXPLORING: The abbreviation L (pound) for pound sterling put (invested) in EXPO (public showing) as a large international exhibition having beside (by) RING (clique) as a combination, especially one organised to control the market or for other self-seeking purpose, leading to the definition of a verb in the present continuous tense meaning gathering information or trying to discover the facts about something

15d Novice with inclination for dialect of German (8)
TYROLEAN: A charade of TYRO (novice) as a beginner and (with) LEAN (inclination) as slant or as a deviation from the perpendicular leads to the definition of a dialect of the German language spoken in the Austrian province of Tyrol

17d Season’s yield — unusual haste to gather in right volume (7)
HARVEST: An anagram (unusual) of HASTE to collect or take inside (gather in) a combo of the abbreviation R (right) and the abbreviation V (volume) used in chemistry, arriving at the definition of the time of gathering in crops

18d King, troublesome fellow, acquired knowledge (7)
LEARNED: A charade of LEAR (king) as the Shakespearean dramatic king and NED (troublesome fellow) as a slang Scottish term for a young hooligan or a disruptive adolescent, leading to the definition of an adjective meaning having gained much knowledge through study

20d British at last go teetotal before the Parisian drinking bout (6)
BOTTLE: The abbreviation B (British) followed by the last letter (at last) of [G]O and the abbreviation TT (teetotal) that is placed in front of (before) LE (the) as the French definite article in the masculine singular used by the inhabitants of Paris (Parisian), taking to the definition of a long period of drinking, especially one involving intensive consumption of alcohol

22d Work hastily and superficially read page (5)
SKIMP: SKIM (superficially read) or read something quickly, skipping parts, so as to note only the important points followed by the abbreviation P (page), leading to the definition of a verb meaning to work carelessly or hastily

The clues that I liked in this Saturday puzzle were 12a, 13a, 19a, 24a, 25a, 2d, 4d, 5d, 14d, 15d, 17d and 20d, but 16a was my favourite. Tonnes of thanks to Chalicea for the lovely entertainment and to BD for the encouragement. Looking forward to being here again. Have a pleasant day.

4 comments on “DT 29802
Leave your own comment 

  1. Rahmat Ali, your reviews are appreciated though setters and solvers don’t seem to respond. that is possibly because they have to appear almost a week after the competition crossword appears. Many thanks to you for that detailed review. I had no idea beri-beri looked like that, though pot-au-feu is a local dish for us (here in France).

    1. Thank you so much, chalicea, for your kind words of appreciation that will certainly boost my confidence level. I prefer to make my reviews comprehensive because I think that detailed annotations of the clues in them will facilitate the beginners, who may not be in a situation to comment, to understand more clearly and thoroughly. But, needless to say, I liked your clues a lot and look forward to solving more puzzles composed by you and thereafter writing such reviews in the times ahead.

  2. 2*/4*…
    Liked 25A “Hang around and fake illness when mum goes”
    Interesting review by RA, especially re pot au feu, beri beri and ned.

Join the Conversation, Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 32 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.