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ST 3133

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3133

A full review by Rahmat Ali

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This puzzle was published on 7th Nov 2021

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Greetings from Kolkata. Solving this brilliant Sunday puzzle of Dada seemed to be very enjoyable to me. I now present to you a review of the same for your kind perusal and would be happy to receive your precious comment and feedback.

For a while, I fancied the wordplay of 11a also as ‘One of South America’s braless predators’ and annotated as ‘One of South America is braless’ to get BRA.

The clue 7a as a whole reminded me of two things – I have neither played any card game with anybody nor had any alcoholic drink ever in my life.

One of the clues of the Saturday puzzle had ‘onion’ as the answer and the Sunday puzzle is now having ‘garlic’ as the answer to the clue 4d. Now there is something about the two that I would love to share. In our country, vegetarian food is considered appropriate for everyone for all occasions as people from some communities strictly do not consume any food that is non-vegetarian. So, sometimes, I used to take some home-made food and snacks prepared out of vegetables for my office colleagues, mostly Hindus, who would relish them and often ask for another treat. But there were also some who had never had in their life any onion or garlic added to their vegetarian food due to religious, cultural, traditional or societal prohibition and so I always made it sure that whatever food members of my family cooked for them, not only that that food should be vegetarian, but also be without any onion or garlic. Besides, we even had a separate and full set of cooking and serving utensils for such occasions. Off and on, I would ask my colleagues as to why they did not consume food which had onion or garlic in it. Their responses would vary. While for some of them, it was either the tradition handed over to them by their ancestors or it was simply the religion that forbade them for consuming those bulbs; for the rest, the onion and garlic were all in all non-vegetarian items! The last one would surprise me a lot, but they would still argue their point based on the unpleasant strong smell that the two herbs carried. However, the internet has brought enlightenment. They agree that although the onion and garlic are not non-vegetarian items, they are the two major ingredients used in the preparation of non-vegetarian dishes and hence considered impure and not preferred by some people because things that are impure cannot be offered to the deities whom they worship. In Manusmriti, believed to be the first religious text and constitution of Hinduism, it is stated, “Garlic, leeks and onions, mushrooms and all that proceeds from impure things are unfit to be eaten by twice-born men.” Although it is also true that not all the Hindus refrain from the consumption of onion and garlic, but certainly all the Jains do!

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


7a    One drink like another? Two can play at that game! (3,5)
GIN RUMMY: A charade of GIN (one drink) or an alcoholic beverage distilled from grain or malt and flavoured with juniper berries or anise and caraway seeds and RUMMY (like another) or having the characteristic of rum, another alcoholic beverage that is distilled from fermented sugar-cane juice or from molasses takes to the definition of a rummy game for two players in which a player whose unmatched cards count ten or less may stop the game

9a    On the beach remains source of metal (6)
ASHORE: ASH (remains) as the dust or remains of anything burnt and ORE (source of metal) as a metal-bearing mineral or rock in a charade, leading to the definition of an adverb meaning on, or on to, the shore or land from the direction of the sea

10a    Breed anxiety (6)
STRAIN: Double definition; the first being a particular breed, stock or variety of an animal or plant and the second referring to a state of tension or exhaustion resulting from severe demands on one’s strength or resources

11a    Braless predators of South America? Huge number! (8)
ZILLIONS: LIONS (predators) as animals that prey on others for food following or preceded by a South American country [BRA]ZIL (of South America) without the first three letters BRA (braless), leading to the definition of an extremely large number of people or things in its plural form

12a    As here, initial letters ordered so? (14)
ALPHABETICALLY: The adverbial definition meaning in the order of the letters of the alphabet is arrived at from the alphabetically-ordered initial letters A, H, I, L, O and S seen in the words of the clue itself: As Here Initial Letters Ordered So

15a    Statistics collected together, a bit taken aback (4)
DATA: A combo of A from the clue and TAD (bit) as a small amount of something is written backwards (taken aback) as a reversal, leading to the definition of facts in the form of numbers or characters collected together for reference or analysis

17a    With narrowest of leads in cricket match, build hastily (3,2)
RUN UP: Double definition; the first being a very narrow lead in a cricket match, leading by just one run, and the second a verb meaning to make something quickly or hurriedly, especially a piece of clothing or to sew with a rapid succession of stitches

19a    Telephone cartel (4)
RING: Double definition; the first being a verb meaning to make a telephone call or to call on the telephone and the second referring to a group of people engaged in a shared enterprise, especially one involving illegal or unscrupulous activity

20a    Engineer putting in a seal, strip of sticky material (10,4)
INSULATING TAPE: An anagram (engineer) of PUTTING IN A SEAL leads to the definition of an adhesive tape made from water-resistant insulating material and used chiefly to cover exposed electrical wires

23a    Swimming in sea, dog was distressed (8)
AGONISED: An anagram (swimming) of IN SEA DOG takes to the definition of an adjective meaning manifesting, suffering or characterised by great physical or mental pain

25a    Deliberately miss Italian title, having thrown away lead (6)
IGNORE: [S]IGNORE (Italian title) as the Italian title or form of address equivalent to Mr or Sir having shed off (thrown away) the leading letter S (lead), arriving at the definition of a verb meaning to pay no heed or attention to or refuse to take notice of or acknowledge

27a    Female twit in fiction (6)
LASSIE: ASS (twit) as a dull or foolish person is placed inside (in) LIE (fiction) as a false statement made with the intention of deceiving, taking to the definition of the ordinary Scots word for a girl

28a    Superficial wound comes with it, first of cuts (8)
COSMETIC: An anagram (wound) of a combo of COMES and (with) IT, followed by the first letter (first) of C[UTS], arriving at the definition of an adjective meaning involving or producing an apparent or superficial concession or improvement without any real substance


1d    Huge pile of cash, unused (4)
MINT: Double definition; the first referring to a vast sum of money and the second an adjective meaning in perfect or mint condition, as if new or unused

2d    Break part of arm, did you say? (6)
BREACH: BREECH (part of arm) or the lower or back part of a gun or rifle as a homophone heard by the audience (did you say), taking to the definition of a verb meaning to break or fail to observe a law, agreement or code of conduct

3d    Cry from attention-seeker stuck in maze, youngster going the wrong way (4)
OYEZ: Part of or hidden inside (stuck in) maZE YOungster going upwards (going the wrong way) as a reversal in the down clue, leading to the definition of a call given, typically three times, by a public crier or an officer of a law-court to command silence and attention before making a proclamation

4d    Bulb glowing and radiating light is coruscating, first of all (6)
GARLIC: The initial or first letters (first of all) of Glowing And Radiating Light Is Coruscating guide to the definition of a strong-smelling pungent-tasting bulb, used as a flavouring in cooking and in herbal medicine

5d    Book hour hosted by ship’s guide (8)
THRILLER: The abbreviation HR (hour) is embraced (hosted) by TILLER (ship’s guide) or a horizontal bar fitted to the head of a boat’s rudder post and used for steering, arriving at the definition of a novel with a sensational or exciting plot, typically involving crime or espionage

6d    Sweet thing right to invest in crooked game? (6,4)
BRANDY SNAP: The abbreviation R (right) to get into (invest in) BANDY (crooked) as curved or bent and followed by SNAP (game) a type of card game in which the first player to shout ‘snap’ on spotting a matching pair of cards wins all the cards on the table, taking to the definition of a thin, crisp rolled gingerbread wafer and filled with whipped cream

8d    Scrambled brain? I’m cooler (7)
MINIBAR: An anagram (scrambled) of BRAIN I’M leads to the definition of a small refrigerator in a hotel room containing a selection of drinks and light snacks which, if consumed, are charged to the occupant’s bill

13d    Hero in England, I’m a maverick (7,3)
LEADING MAN: An anagram (maverick) of ENGLAND I’M A takes to the definition of an actor playing the principle male part in a film or play

14d    Reversible doctrine? (5)
TENET: The definition of a belief or a set of beliefs held and taught by a religious body, a political party or other groups is arrived at from its palindromic characteristic of being read the same forward and backward; hence able to be overturned (reversible) in the down clue without any change in appearance

16d    Exploding, no star is lighter! (8)
ARSONIST: An anagram (exploding) of NO STAR IS leads to the definition of a person engaged in the crime of maliciously and feloniously setting property alight

18d    God fastens underwear (7)
PANTIES: A charade of PAN (God) as the god of pastures, flocks and woods in Greek mythology and TIES (fastens) as attaches or fastens with string or similar cord takes to the definition of brief knickers for a girl or woman

21d    Pioneering surgeon one catalogues, might you say? (6)
LISTER: The definition of the surname of a British surgeon, experimental pathologist and a pioneer of antiseptic surgery is arrived at, cryptically, from a compiler of catalogues or LIST-ER (one catalogues) serving as a homonym, having the same spelling and pronunciation but a different meaning, to the ears of the listeners (might you say)

22d    Sunbed, possibly, in old money (6)
TANNER: Double definition; the second being another name for the British sixpence until 15 February 1971 when the coin got devalued to a two and a half new pence following decimalisation that cryptically leads to the first being a lounger that can be used for sunbathing or exposing the body to the sun’s rays, especially in order to tan the skin


24d    Channel avoided, reportedly? (4)
DUCT: DUCKED (avoided) as steered clear of or evaded any duty or undertaking as a homophone heard by the audience (reported) takes to the definition of a tube or passageway in a building or machine for air, liquid, cables etc.

26d    Free to defend a surprise attack (4)
RAID: RID (free) as make someone or something free of an unwanted person or thing to cover (defend) A from the clue, leading to the definition of a sudden, swift inroad, assault or seizure

There were several clues that were worth of mention, such as 7a, 11a, 12a, 20a, 25a, 27a, 14d, 16d, 18d, 21d, 22d and 26d, of which the clear winner to me was 11a. Thanks to Dada for the entertainment and to BD for the encouragement. Looking forward to being here again. Have a gorgeous day.

10 comments on “ST 3133

  1. Thank you, Rahmat Ali, for your comprehensive review of ST 3133, so helpful to a beginner. I also appreciated your revelation of alliums as non-vegetarian in some sub- continent diets.

  2. 3*/5*….
    liked 16D ” Exploding, no star is lighter! (8) “….
    took a while to twig 11A…had to disassociate from the Amazons.

  3. I have looked at your review for the first time, Rahmat and I have asked myself why? What a wonderful, comprehensive breakdown of Dada’s puzzle. I will certainly follow your review from now on.

    1. Thank you so much, Steve Cowling, for liking my review. I am also very delighted to know that you will read my future reviews.

  4. It’s May 8th, so this crossword is six months old but a very fine puzzle it was too! Anyway, I’ve just gotten round to solving it on a lovely May evening in Scotland, the evenings are 6 hours lighter than November. I’ve no idea why I’m writing this as nobody will read it in a month of Dada Sundays!l

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