DT 29838 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 29838

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29838

A full review by Rahmat Ali

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This puzzle was published on 20th Nov 2021

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Greetings from Kolkata. The puzzle of Cephas that I solved last was pangrammatic like this one. I enjoyed cracking this puzzle too and now present to you a full review of the same for your kind perusal and valuable comments.

‘Himalaya’ as the answer to the clue of 22a reminded me of the term alaya that is used as a suffix in several words of the Hindi language. Etymologically, the word alaya belongs to Sanskrit and it means an abode or a dwelling place. Alaya is singular and so is Himalaya, the Hindi proper name given to the mountain range in the northern part of our country, and that is the appropriate transliteration, though in English, the mountain range is more popularly known as the Himalayas and the adjective Himalayan is always capitalised. While solving this clue, for a while, I also fancied of a simpler one: Greeting old country and mountains. Coming to the alaya part, in Hindi, there are numerous single words, each of which has been formed from a combination of two words through a process called sandhi. Thus, the Hindi proper name Himalaya which means ‘abode of snow’ is the combination of two words, namely, hima meaning snow and alaya meaning abode, or rather literally, snow-abode. Several other celebrated Hindi words having alaya as their suffix are as follows: Meghalaya (abode of clouds; name of an Indian state), devalaya (abode of God; temple), bhojnalaya (abode of food; restaurant), nyayalaya (abode of justice; court), sangrahalaya (abode of collection; museum), karyalaya (abode of work; office), shauchalaya (abode of defecation; lavatory), rugnalaya (abode of the sick; hospital), mukhyalaya (abode of the head; headquarters), mantralaya (abode of the ministers; ministry), granthalaya (abode of books; library), vidyalaya (abode of education; school), mahavidyalaya (abode of greater or higher education; college), vishwavidyalaya (abode of universal education; university) and the last one I would like to particularly mention is Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Mukta Vishwavidyalaya (Indira Gandhi National Open University), of which I am probably a permanent learner.

Looking at the two tagged names, Smart Alec and Clever Dick, in the overall history of the clue of 3d, the name of the Western movie, ‘Deaf Smith and Johnny Ears’ of the 1970s immediately flashed into my mind, though I could not go beyond the tags and names in my thought. But definitely when it came to similarity between brothers, I recalled the English proverb, “Birds of a feather, flock together”, having its counterpart in the Bengali language, defining not birds, but brothers, as in “Chore-chore mastuto bhai“, literally meaning “thief-thief ‘maternal’ brothers”, or specifically referring to two thieves who are cousins, their mothers being sisters to each other.

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Across

1a Bureaucrat, one who numbers runners? (4,7)
BEAN COUNTER: The definition of a person, typically an accountant, financial officer or business manager, perceived as placing excessive emphasis on controlling expenditure and budgets is cryptically deduced from COUNTER (one who numbers) as one who counts and BEANS (runners) as runner beans or long flat green pods growing on a climbing plant of genus Phaseolus coccineus and in the legume family, Fabaceae, that is ‘counter of beans’ or rather, BEAN COUNTER

7a Mooring charge coming from plant long time afterwards (7)
DOCKAGE: A charade of DOCK (plant) as a perennial plant in the family Polygonaceae having large leaves and a long root and AGE (long time) as a very long time that comes later (afterwards), taking to the definition of a charge levied for mooring a vessel to a jetty, pier or dock

8a As insane with great energy (4,3)
LIKE MAD: LIKE (as) as similar to or having the same characteristics of and MAD (insane) as mentally disordered or deranged in a charade, leading to the definition of an informal expression meaning with great intensity, energy or enthusiasm

10a Discuss when speech has finished (4,4)
TALK OVER: TALK (speech) as an informal address or lecture followed by (has) OVER (finished) as concluded or ended take to the definition of a phrasal verb meaning to consider or discuss something thoroughly

11a If it is, don’t you believe it (6)
UNTRUE: The definition of an adjective meaning false, incorrect or not in accordance with fact or reality is arrived at from the advice not to believe in anything that happens to be such

13a Daughter comes in to be apologetic for something impolite (4)
RUDE: D (daughter) as the genealogical abbreviation for daughter enters (comes in) RUE (to be apologetic for something) as to be sorry for something, leading to the definition of an adjective meaning offensively discourteous or bad-mannered

14a In tandem arranged fair adaptation (10)
ADJUSTMENT: Inside (in) an anagram (arranged) of TANDEM is JUST (fair) as impartial or unbiased, taking to the definition of a noun meaning the fact, act, process or result of making fit or suitable for a new use or purpose

16a I name worker accepting poisonous inebriant (10)
INTOXICANT: I from the clue followed by a combo of N (name) as the abbreviation for name and ANT (worker) as a social insect working together in groups taking inside (accepting) TOXIC (poisonous) as venomous or noxious, leading to the definition of a noun meaning something that intoxicates or causes someone to lose control of their faculties or behaviour, especially an alcoholic drink

18a Land lies in ruins (4)
ISLE: An anagram (in ruins) of LIES takes to the definition of a small island or a mass of land surrounded by water


21a Felt like scratching (6)
ITCHED: The definition of a verb in the past tense meaning had an uneasy, irritating sensation of the skin is arrived at from the irresistible urge of rubbing a part of one’s body with one’s fingernails to relieve itching that one experienced and felt uncomfortable

22a Greeting old country, it’s to do with mountains (8)
HIMALAYA: A charade of HI (greeting) used as a friendly greeting or to attract attention and MALAYA (old country) as a former country that achieved independence in 1957, but entered into a federation with some British crown colonies in 1963 to become Malaysia, leading to the definition of a mountain range in Asia that separates the plains of the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau

24a Real information on one taken in by a Parisian? (7)
GENUINE: GEN (information) as the colloquial short form for information followed by (on) I (one) as the Roman numeral for one welcomed inside (taken in) by UNE (a Parisian) as the indefinite feminine article representing ‘a’ or ‘an’ spoken by the people of Paris in their native language that is French, taking to the definition of an adjective meaning authentic or truly what something is said to be

25a Lack of reverence from naughty child that is teary on vacation (7)
IMPIETY: IMP (naughty child) as a mischievous child, IE (that is) as the abbreviation of the Latin term id est meaning ‘in other words’ or ‘that is to say’ and T[EAR]Y having vacated or emptied the inner letters (on vacation), arriving at the definition of a noun meaning lack of piety or reverence

26a How overenthusiastic stretcher case was transported? (7,4)
CARRIED AWAY: A cryptic way of arriving at the definition of a phrasal verb in the past tense denoting how one was so excited about something as to lose one’s control from the case or situation of how an injured, sick or dead person on a stretcher was taken from one place to another

     

Down

1d Male went first prepared for action (7)
BUCKLED: A charade of BUCK (male) as the male of the deer, goat, hare or rabbit and LET (went first) as showed the way by going first, taking to the definition of a verb in the past tense meaning applied or prepared oneself vigorously to a task or undertaking

2d South America’s greatest current asset (6)
AMAZON: A cryptic way of defining South America’s rainforest, with 75% of its own rainfall feeding the nearby rivers from which water flows directly into the ocean, as the greatest resource responsible for maintaining extremely important ocean currents and hence controlling the continent’s climate

3d Smart Alec’s brother? One is irritatingly knowledgeable (6,4)
CLEVER DICK: The definition of a person who is irritatingly and ostentatiously knowledgeable or intelligent is arrived at by semantically relating it to a person who is irritating because they behave as if they know everything (smart Alec), just like two brothers being closely united or resembling each other

4d Unpleasant and somewhat smug lyricist (4)
UGLY: Part of or hidden inside (somewhat) smUG LYricist leads to the definition of an adjective meaning disagreeable or repulsive, especially in appearance

5d Carefully observe a keen tot exercising (4,4)
TAKE NOTE: An anagram (exercising) of A KEEN TOT takes to the definition of a phrase meaning to pay attention or observe carefully or closely

6d Pity about TV detective (7)
REMORSE: The preposition indicating ‘with reference to’, ‘concerning’ or ‘regarding’ used as a commercial jargon RE (about) and Detective Chief Inspector Endeavour MORSE (TV detective) as the detective played by John Edward Thaw in the English television serial ‘Inspector Morse’ in a charade, leading to the definition of a noun meaning a deep regret or guilt for a wrong committed

7d Deciding to put off digging (11)
DETERMINING: A charade of DETER (put off) as discourage someone from doing something by instilling doubt or fear of the consequences and MINING (digging) as extracting ore, coal or other minerals from the earth by digging, leading to the definition a verb in the continuous form meaning coming to a decision

9d Those over there accepting blame after main treatment of disease (4,7)
DEEP THERAPY: THEY (those over there) as the pronoun referring to two or more persons identified by their presence taking inside (accepting) RAP (blame) as imputation of fault, preceded by or following (after) DEEP (main) as the poetic word for the sea, taking to the definition of the treatment of disease by deep X-rays or gamma rays

12d Measured over half of amount provided I lead occasionally (10)
QUANTIFIED: More than 50% of the letters (over half) of QUANT[ITY] (amount) followed by IF (provided), I from the clue and the even letters (occasionally) of [L]E[A]D take to the definition of a verb in the past tense meaning expressed as a quantity

15d Old rioter in trouble outside (8)
EXTERIOR: EX (old) as an adjective meaning out of fashion or a prefix denoting former but still living or colloquially as someone with whom a person was once associated is followed by an anagram (in trouble) of RIOTER, leading to the definition of an adjective meaning outer; outward or external; on or from the outside

17d Practical skill of detective Nicholas shortly going round hospital (7)
TECHNIC: TEC (detective) as the colloquial term for a detective and NIC (Nicholas shortly) as a male given name in short for Nicholas are placed around (going round) H (hospital) as an abbreviation for hospital, leading to the definition of a particular method of performance in any art or technical skill

19d Type of home visit: rent rises during this (7)
STATELY: STAY (visit) as a period of staying somewhere as a visitor or guest inside which (during this) LET (rent) as allow someone to use a room, house or property in return for payment goes upwards (rises) as a reversal in the down clue, leading to the definition of the description of house as large and impressive, having an interesting history and open to the public for visit during specified hours

20d Handles fruit (6)
PAWPAW: PAWS (handles) cryptically split up as PAW and PAW, arriving at the definition of an edible oblong yellow fruit from a North American tree of the custard-apple family or a green-skinned fruit with edible orange flesh and small black seeds, more commonly known as the papaya that is native to South America but common in the tropics

23d Specialised food shop, one third of it (4)
DELI: The short form of DELI[CATESSEN] (one third of it) as equalling to one third of the word takes to the definition of a shop selling prepared foods, especially cooked meats, pâtés and unusual or foreign foods


Some of the clues that I liked in this puzzle were 1a, 8a, 13a, 16a, 22a, 25a, 26a, 3d, 7d, 12d, 20d and 23d, with 1a being the topper. Thanks to Cephas for the lovely entertainment and to BD for the encouragement. Looking forward to be here again. Have a nice day.


2 comments on “DT 29838
Leave your own comment 

  1. Nice and easy for an SPP but still enjoyable and as usual an in-depth review and insight into Indian subculture.
    I look forward to your reviews Rahmat, I have been trekking in Nepal and was impressed by the wonderful scenery.
    Thanks to. Cephas and Rahmat Ali

    1. Thank you once again, John Bee, for going through my review and enjoying it. I feel all the more encouraged. I feel delighted to learn that you have been trekking in Nepal. I wish you the very best in your endeavours now and in the times ahead.

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