ST 3141 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3141

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3141

A full review by Rahmat Ali

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This puzzle was published on 2nd Jan 2022

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Greetings from Kolkata. Dada has given us an affable and enjoyable puzzle this Sunday and I loved solving it and thereafter writing a full review for your kind perusal and valuable feedback.

‘Loots’ as the answer to part of the wordplay of 4a reminded me of the Hindi common noun ‘loot’ which means ‘booty’ or ‘stolen money or valuables’ and the Hindi verbal nouns ‘lootpaat’ and ‘lootmaar’ refer to as looting. The Hindi verb ‘lootna’ means to steal goods from a place, typically during a war or riot and, of course, the Hindi noun ‘lootera’ means a robber or marauder.

The answer to the clue of 17a ‘tsetse’ made me explore the net as I wanted to know more about these insects that inhabit much of tropical and sub-Saharan Africa. I learnt that tsetse flies or simply tsetses or tsetse, are also known as tik-tik flies. They are holoparasites that live by feeding on the blood of vertebrate animals. They are also the biological vectors of trypanosomes, which cause human sleeping sickness and animal trypanosomiasis. Tsetse are multivoltine and long-lived – typically producing about four broods per year and upto 31 broods over their lifespans. Tsetse without the fly in the English language has become more common, particularly among the scientific and development communities. Tsetse have been extensively studied by entomologists because of their veterinary, medical and economic significance. They can easily be raised in a laboratory and it’s their relative large size that facilitates the entomologists in their analyses. Incidentally, the word ‘tsetse’ in Tswana, a Bantu language, means ‘fly’.

Again, looking at ‘plaster of Paris’, the answer to the clue of 8d, I became inquisitive to get the ‘parce que’ of my ‘pourquoi Paris?’. I learnt that although the plaster of Paris was first made around 9000 years ago and used by ancient Greek, Egyptian and Roman civilisations, its large-scale use was noticed in the 17th century in all constructions taking place in Paris. A fire in London in 1666 had led the king of France to order all the wooden walls to be covered with plaster immediately to prevent such fires in future as a precautionary measure. As there was abundant gypsum at Montmartre in Paris, large-scale mining of that mineral was carried. The next century saw Paris becoming the centre of plaster production and to the people of England, it became the plaster of Paris. However, there are also various accounts describing the origin of the name with one mentioning King Henry III, who visited Paris in 1254 and was so impressed by the fine white walls that he introduced similar plastering in England where it became popular as the ‘plaster of Paris’.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.

Across

1a    Standard liquid for soup (5)
STOCK: Double definition; the first being a noun assigning to anything that is fixed and solid and the second referring to liquor from simmered meat, bones etc used as a basis for soups, stews etc

4a    Revolutionary steals seat (5)
STOOL: Steals goods from a place, typically during a war or riot or LOOTS (steals) as favouring the nature of revolution by going against the existing structure or coming from the opposite direction (revolutionary) as a reversal in the across clue, coming to the definition of a seat without a back or arms, typically resting on three or four legs or on a single pedestal


10a    Point in a cutter surprisingly cut! (8)
TRUNCATE: N (point) as the compass point corresponding to the direction indicating the North is placed inside (IN) an anagram (surprisingly) of A CUTTER, leading to the definition of a verb meaning to cut short the duration or extent of

11a    Company only renegotiated settlement abroad (6)
COLONY: Company in its abbreviated version CO (company) is followed by an anagram (renegotiated) of ONLY, taking to the definition of a settlement of a body of people of one’s nationality or race living in a foreign country

12a    Punish cricketer (6)
BATTER: Double definition; the first being a verb meaning to hit or strike especially a prisoner with repeated hard blows and the second a noun referring to a cricket player who wields the bat in order to hit or strike the ball

13a    Picture that’s the same, ruined (8)
SNAPSHOT: A charade of SNAP (that’s the same) as a type of card game in which the first player to shout ‘snap’ on spotting a pair of cards of the same rank wins all the cards on the table and SHOT (ruined) as an informal term for an adjective meaning ruined or worn out leads to the definition of a photograph taken quickly and informally, with simple equipment


14a    Note, behind in tennis match? (3,4)
SET DOWN: Double definition; the second referring to a situation in which a tennis player is trailing behind his or her opponent in a game of several sets that leads to the first meaning to record or put something in writing

16a    A male perhaps heard schedule (6)
AGENDA: A from the clue is followed by the quality of being either of the sexes or GENDER (male perhaps) coming as a homophone to the audience (heard), taking to the definition of a plan of things to be done or problems to be addressed or a list of items to be discussed at a formal meeting

17a    Fly has come back into widest estuary (6)
TSETSE: The definition of a large biting fly of the African genus Glossina that transmits trypanosome parasites and causes sleeping sickness, nagana and other diseases has come from the opposite direction (come back) as a reversal in the across clue that is part of or hidden inside (into) widEST ESTuary


19a    Five back cut for sellers (7)
VENDORS: V (five) as the Roman numeral for five and ENDORS[E] (back) as declare one’s public approval or support of that is shortened (cut) with the removal of the last letter, leading to the definition of persons who sell something, especially real property but also generally of persons or companies that sell goods or services

21a    Politician looking to the left in Qatar, comedian (8)
DEMOCRAT: Facing leftside (looking to the left) as a reversal in the across clue is part of or found hidden inside (in) QaTAR COMEDian that leads to the definition of a person who, as a principle, adheres to or promotes democracy, as a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people collectively

22a    Temporarily leave it upon ground (3,3)
NIP OUT: An anagram (ground) of IT UPON guides to the definition of an idiom meaning to go somewhere quickly and for only a short time

23a    Parents touring outskirts of Nicaragua, Central American country (6)
PANAMA: PA and MA (parents) as nicknames for father and mother respectively are going around (touring) the edges or the outermost letters (outskirts) of N[ICARAGU]A, taking to the definition of the largest country in the Central American isthmus

24a    Colleague, old woman initially embraced by beauty (2-6)
CO-WORKER: The initial or first letters (initially) of O[LD] and W[OMAN] are accepted (embraced) by CORKER (beauty) as a person or thing that is an excellent example of its kind, leading to the definition of a person associated with another in some employment

25a    Flat — and crooked? (5)
LYING: Double definition; the first meaning being in a horizontal or nearly horizontal position to assume such a position on a supporting surface and the second meaning bent, dishonest or corrupt

26a    The woman seen by American court official (5)
USHER: HER (the woman) as the woman over there or a slang term for a female coming after (seen by) US (American) as the adjectival abbreviation for the United States or belonging to the United States, arriving at the definition of a minor court official responsible for swearing in jurors and witnesses and keeping order

Down

2d    Clothes hardest to repair (7)
THREADS: An anagram (to repair) of HARDEST leads to the definition of a slang term meaning a suit, or clothes generally

3d    Legitimate walk (14)
CONSTITUTIONAL: Double definition; the first being an adjective meaning conforming to the constitution or frame of government or existing subject to fixed laws and the second a noun referring to a walk for the benefit of one’s health

5d    Arson: the gutless, hideous crime (7)
TREASON: An anagram of a combo of ARSON and T[H]E without the gut or central letter (gutless) takes to the definition of a noun meaning betraying of the government or an attempt to overthrow it

6d    Ocean waves increase another time (4,5)
ONCE AGAIN: An anagram (waves) of OCEAN is followed by GAIN (increase) as an increase in wealth and resources, arriving at the definition of a phrase used when something is being repeated

7d    Just one has gone in a long way (4)
FAIR: The Roman numeral for one I (one) has entered (gone in) by a substantial distance or FAR (a long way), leading to the definition of an adjective meaning equitable or impartial

8d    White powder for pastries pal scattered about (7,2,5)
PLASTER OF PARIS: An anagram (scattered about) of FOR PASTRIES PAL guides to the definition of a fine white colour powder used for holding broken bones in place and making sculptures and casts


9d    Boundless, as story no one’s heard? (6)
UNTOLD: Double definition of adjectives; the second meaning of a story or event, not narrated or recounted that leads to the first meaning too much or too many to be counted to measured

15d    Duck and every cuckoo like a chicken, perhaps? (4-5)
OVEN-READY: O (duck) as a batsman’s score of nought is followed by an anagram (cuckoo) of AND EVERY, arriving at the definition of an example of food, prepared beforehand so as to be ready for cooking in the oven immediately after purchase

18d    Now and then observe plank on fulcrum (6)
SEESAW: A charade of SEE (observe) as to perceive with the eyes that is a repeated alternation (now and then) of the present SEE and the past SAW, taking to the definition of a long plank balanced in the middle on a fixed support, on each end of which children sit and swing up and down by pushing the ground alternately with their feet


19d    Tax I preserve in religious authority (7)
VATICAN: A combo of a charade of VAT (tax) as a colloquial acronym for value-added tax, I from the clue and CAN (preserve) as put into tins in order to preserve takes to the definition of the papal authority


20d    Crush, person loved (7)
SQUEEZE: Double definition; the first being a verb meaning to crush, press hard or compress, or to crush the juice or liquid from and the second referring to a sweetheart or a girl who is one’s regular companion

22d    Scientist has dropped on amphibian (4)
NEWT: Sir Isaac NEWT[ON] (scientist) as the scientist celebrated for his formulation of the laws of motion and universal gravitation has taken out or removed (dropped) ON, leading to the definition of a small slender-bodied amphibian with lungs and a well-developed tail, typically spending its adult life on land and returning to water to breed


There were several clues that I liked such as 1a, 4a, 10a, 13a, 21a, 23a, 24a, 3d, 5d, 9d, 15d, 18d and 22d, with topper being 18d. Thanks once again to Dada for the entertainment and to BD for the encouragement. Would love to be here again. Have a pleasurable day.


6 comments on “ST 3141

  1. I promised that I would explain my use of the illustration I chose for 22d when I blogged the puzzle on January 2nd.

    The photo is of Ken Livingstone (shown again below) – last leader of the Greater London Council, first Mayor of London, and, in between, Labour MP for Brent East. But, more importantly, as far as 22d is concerned, someone who has had a lifelong obsession with newts, alligators and other exotic pets.

    As I stated on the 2nd, the illustration was for all those who complain that some prize puzzle illustrations are too ‘direct’ as I did not use the WordPress feature to identify him and it would need knowledge of his obsession to get the link to 22d.

    Thanks, of course, to Rahmat Ali for his excellent review of the puzzle.

    1. I like it Senf – another little game to play, ‘Guess the tenuous link’
      That one was lost on me
      PS I rarely do the Sunday puzzle but always look in on your blog so thanks for all you do
      Thank you also Rahmat Ali, I also read your reviews

    2. Wow! What a correct connection, Senf. Now I got to learn more about Ken Livingstone. He has not only shown marked enthusiasm for keeping and breeding newts, but also campaigned for the protection of the great crested newt. Thank you so much, Senf, for liking my review that comes to me as a great encouragement.

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