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DT 29885

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 29885

A full review by Rahmat Ali

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This puzzle was published on 15th Jan 2022

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Greetings from Kolkata. Once again, a friendly and straightforward Saturday puzzle from Cephas that I enjoyed solving and thereafter writing a review of the same for your kind reading and important feedback.

‘Primrose path’ as the answer to the clue of 26a reminded me of Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’. The coinage of the phrase was of Shakespeare himself. Primrose path is ironically a flowery path that appears from the surface, but is actually a metaphor with reference to the road to hell. Shakespeare was steeped in the knowledge of both the Old and New Testaments and might have extracted the idea from the Gospel of Matthew 7:13 that says, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.” In ‘Hamlet’, Shakespeare speaks of ‘the primrose path of dalliance’ through Ophelia who warns her brother, Laertes not to take the easy and attractive path of sin to hell, rather than the difficult and arduous path of righteousness to heaven. Again, with the same meaning in mind, Shakespeare has used the phrase ‘the primrose way to the everlasting bonfire’ in ‘Macbeth’.

I gained enlightenment through the net about the etymology of ‘liquorice’ that formed part of the wordplay to the clue of 1d. The word ‘liquorice’ or ‘licorice’ via Anglo-French lycorys was derived from late Latin liquiritia and means ‘sweet root’. The English common name is spelt ‘liquorice’ in most of the Commonwealth and ‘licorice’ in the United States.

I also learnt that the word ‘hazel’ as part of the wordplay to the clue of 3d, has come from the Old English word ‘hæsel’. It was originally used as a habitational surname for people who lived by a hazel tree, dating back to the 12th century, but is now primarily a female name.

I further learnt that the ‘New English Bible’, the answer to the clue of 4d, was further revised as the ‘Revised English Bible’ in 1989.

‘Cheese’ as the answer to the clue of 20d was known to me since my teenage days but now the word made me realise the importance of that ‘ee’ sound in its long syllable that necessarily takes the mouth to the smile-like shape and so I became inquisitive to learn how photographers of other countries, if also into the habit of instructing their subjects before taking their shots, proceeded to do so. I found out to my satisfaction that barring a few, the photographers of most countries of the world have words in their languages that have the same magical ‘ee’ sound in the final syllable to produce the desired impact. In Argentina and Colombia, the instructed word to the subjects is ‘Whisky’, while in most of the Latin American countries, it is Diga whisky, the Spanish to ‘Say whisky’ and in Brazil, Digam X, the Portuguese translation of ‘Say X’ and where the letter X is pronounced as ‘eeks’. For the Bulgarians, the word is Zele meaning ‘Cabbage’ and pronounced zeyley. The French people have to say Ouistiti pronounced oweestiti meaning ‘Marmoset’, the Italians Dì cheese meaning ‘Say cheese’ and for the Iranians, the word is Saeeb meaning ‘Apple’ in Persian. For the Chinese, the word is Qiezzi that is written in kanji script and pronounced somewhat like chietzee very akin to the pronunciation of ‘cheese’, though meaning ‘Brinjal’ and for the Koreans, the name of a vegetable dish called Kimchi is the word that is written in hangeul script and pronounced as kimchhee. As the Japanese cannot pronounce any consonant without the addition of any vowel to it, with the exception the consonant ‘n’ if it happens to appear at the end of a word, they use the English word ‘cheese’, but pronounce and write it as Cheezu in katakana script, the script reserved by the Japanese for writing only the foreign words, though only the first syllable is long and stressed and the second is soft and short. In our country, besides ‘Say cheese’, the Hindi word Paneer, of course a kind of cheese, are, inter alia, the most favoured one. And what’s my choice as both a photographer and a subject? Well, of course, it’s ‘Say cheese’.

Finally, I found out that ‘Rom’, the answer to part of the wordplay to the clue of 22d, had his ancestors living in our very own country in the north-western regions as the net enlightened and surprised me with the information that the Romani as a people originated from the states of Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab of modern-day India.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


2a    Prolonged drama, it’s an old record (8,4)
EXTENDED PLAY: A charade of EXTENDED (prolonged) as lasting longer than is usual or expected and PLAY (drama) as a dramatic performance for the stage or to be broadcast leads to the definition of a gramophone record that plays for longer than most singles and famously known by its abbreviated version EP

8a    Female in north? (4)
FINN: A combo of F (female) as the abbreviation for female, IN from the clue and N (north) as the compass point corresponding to the direction indicating the north as a whole adding up to the definition of a female member among a group of peoples living in Finland that is in northern Europe

9a    Talcum powder shaken, team withdrawing in international competition (5,3)
WORLD CUP: From an anagram (shaken) of [TA]LCU[M] POWD[E]R giving [TEAM] WORLD CUP, TEAM is coming out (withdrawing), giving the definition of a competition between teams from several countries in a sport, in particular an international soccer held every four years in which the participating teams usually having qualified from preliminary round to determine a world champion in the finals

10a    Right during month to have soup (8)
JULIENNE: LIEN (right) as a right to retain possession of another’s property until the owner pays a debt or fulfils a contract is placed inside (during) JUNE (month) as the sixth month of the year, taking to the definition of a clear soup with shredded vegetables

11a    Agent going round ebbing river fast (6)
SPEEDY: SPY (agent) as a secret agent employed to watch others or to collect information, especially of a military nature is embracing (going round) DEE (river) as the river flowing through parts of Wales and England retreating (ebbing) as a reversal in the across clue, leading to the definition of an adjective meaning swift or moving quickly

12a    Permission to begin, motorists go on it (5,5)
GREEN LIGHT: Double definition; the first being the permission to go ahead with any project or any hint of consent or encouragement and the second referring to a green traffic light as a signal indicating that waiting motorists and other drivers may proceed with their vehicles

13a    Deal with bout of illness (6)
ATTACK: Double definitions; the first being a verb meaning to begin to deal with a task or problem in a determined and vigorous way and the second a noun referring to a sudden onset or episode of illness

16a    After Friday hear he will leave monk (5)
FRIAR: After FRI (Friday) as the abbreviation of Friday, [HE]AR is placed as HE will go away (leave), arriving at the definition of a member of a religious community of men living together under vows of poverty, chastity and obedience

17a    Range of knowledge boy had back in town in north-west (6)
KENDAL: KEN (range of knowledge) as one’s range of knowledge, sight or understanding LAD (boy) as a young man had directed in a reverse course (back) as a reversal in the across clue, taking to the definition of a town in South Lakeland district of Cumbria in north-west of England

18a    Hatred of each reborn eccentric (10)
ABHORRENCE: An anagram (eccentric) of EACH REBORN guides to the definition of a feeling of aversion or disgusted loathing

21a    Part of email address of commissioner Dorothy to start with (6)
DOTCOM: COM (commissioner) as the abbreviation for commissioner preceded by or following (to start with) DOT (Dorothy) as one of the several pet forms of Dorothy, leading to the definition of a URL or domain name that ends as ‘.com’ and appears as the final part of an email address

23a    Knew, having been told (8)
INFORMED: Was enlightened after having been supplied with some facts, information or notification

24a    Gained access after one’s turned round? (8)
DOORKNOB: A cryptic way of arriving at the definition of a handle on a door that is turned to release the latch to enable one to gain access into a room, flat or any interior accommodation

25a    Over tense (4)
PAST: Double definition; the first being an adjective meaning gone by in time or no longer existing and the second a noun referring to the past tense or form of a verb

26a    Flowery way to describe life of pleasure (8,4)
PRIMROSE PATH: PRIMROSE (flowery) as an adjective meaning pale yellow, like a primrose flower and PATH (way) as a way trodden out by the feet, arriving at the definition meaning the pursuit of pleasure, especially when it is seen to bring disastrous consequences


1d    Drink that’s sweet without ice (6)
LIQUOR: LIQUOR[ICE] (sweet) as a sweet, chewy, aromatic black substance made by evaporation from the juice of a root of Glycyrrhiza glabra, a papilionaceous plant of the bean family Fabaceae and used as a flavouring in candies and in medicine having removed (without) ICE, taking to the definition of a beverage, especially a strong alcoholic drink

2d    Be taken in by fellows not starting with Edward to be excited (9)
ENLIVENED: LIVE (be) as to be alive or lead one’s life in a certain way is placed between (taken in by) [M]EN (fellows) as male persons associated with a particular place, activity or occupation without its starting letter (not starting) and (with) NED (Edward) as one of the familiar forms of Edward, leading to the definition of an adjective meaning exhilarated or invigorated

3d    Perhaps Hazel and Leonard both turned up in passage (6)
TUNNEL: NUT (perhaps Hazel) as an example of a round brown hard-shelled nut that is the edible fruit of the hazel tree is directed from a girl’s name when capitalised and LEN (Leonard) as a nickname for Leonard both moved upwards (turned up) as reversals, seriatim, in the down clue, arriving at the definition of an artificial underground passage, especially one built through a hill or under a building, river or sea

4d    Ben, his wellbeing could originate from modern translation of Scriptures (3,7,5)
NEW ENGLISH BIBLE: An anagram (originate from) BEN HIS WELL BEING guides to the definition of a modern English version of the Bible and Apocrypha, supervised by a committee formed of representatives from all the major British Christian denominations, first published in 1970

5d    Train continental celebrity (8)
EUROSTAR: A charade of EURO (continental) as the informal adjective meaning relating to Europe or the European Community or European Union and STAR (celebrity) as a very famous or talented entertainer or sports player or an outstandingly successful person who is supposed to draw the public, leading to the definition of the high-speed passenger rail service that links London with various European cities via the Channel Tunnel

6d    Priest to shave round bottom of beard (5)
PADRE: PARE (shave) as to cut or shave off the outer edges of something is placed around (round) the bottom or the last letter of [BEAR]D in the down clue, taking to the definition of a title given to a priest or chaplain in some countries

7d    Adult taking that Parisian channel bridge (8)
AQUEDUCT: A charade of A (adult) as the rating of motion pictures meant for only the adult viewers in some countries taking QUE (that Parisian) as the relative pronoun denoting ‘that’ in the French language, as spoken by the people of Paris and DUCT (channel) as a hole, pipe or channel for carrying a fluid, leading to the definition of an artificial channel for conveying water, typically in the form of a bridge across a valley

14d    Great help arranged for rapid communication (9)
TELEGRAPH: An anagram (arranged) of GREAT HELP directs to the definition of an apparatus, system or process of swift communication at a distance by electric transmission over wire

15d    No time apparently when operation starts (4,4)
ZERO HOUR: A charade of ZERO (no) as a cipher or nothing and HOUR (time) as a period of time equal to sixty minutes takes to the definition of the exact time in hour, minute and second that is fixed for launching an attack or beginning an operation

16d    Dance with officer supporting female hobbling (8)
FLAMENCO: NCO (officer) as the abbreviation for non-commissioned officer preceded by or following (supporting) a combo of F (female) as the abbreviation for female and LAME (hobbling) as disabled, specifically in the use of a leg, arriving at the definition of a type of emotionally gypsy song, or the dance performed to it, originating from Andalusia, the southernmost region of Spain

19d    Strange affair, it’s binding (6)
RAFFIA: An anagram (strange) of AFFAIR guides to the definition of the fibre from the leaves of the raffia tree, principally used as a binding and basketwork material in garden and fruit cultivation as also for weaving baskets, rugs, hats, mats etc

20d    Say it with a smile (6)
CHEESE: The instruction of a photographer to his subject or subjects “Say cheese” or simply to utter the one-word definition before clicking the photograph will take to people forming their mouths into what will each automatically appear to be a smile-like shape, irrespective of whether they really smile or not

22d    Reportedly seedy gypsy’s disk (2-3)
CD-ROM: A charade of CD (seedy) as a homophone reported to the audience (reportedly) and ROM (gypsy) as a gypsy man or a member of the Romani people, colloquially known as Roma, who were traditionally nomadic itinerants living mostly in Europe leads to the definition of the more-commonly-used abbreviated version of Compact Disk Read-Only Memory or a compact disk that is used as a read-only optical memory device for a computer system

There were several clues that I liked in this puzzle such as 2a, 10a, 11a, 12a, 24a, 26a, 1d, 3d, 6d, 15d, 16d, 20d and 22d; 24a being the best of the lot. Tonnes of thanks to Cephas for the entertainment and to BD for the encouragement. Would love to be here again. Have a nice day.


15 comments on “DT 29885
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  1. Thanks to Cephas for a fine puzzle and Rahmat for a fine review … particularly enjoyed the world tour of “say cheese”!

  2. Thank you Rahmat for the cheesy information.

    Regarding the puzzle, I thought the Crossword Editor had decreed that when removing removing a short anagram from a longer one, both need anagram indicators? 9a appears to break that, because ‘team’ can’t be removed from ‘talcum powder’ directly.

    What’s cryptic about 23a? That just seems like a straightforward definition of the solution to me. Or maybe ‘knew’ and ‘having been told’ are supposed to be separate definitions, for a double-definition clue? But those are so similar, that’s more like single-definition twice.

    As is 12a, where the ‘permission to begin’ meaning comes directly from ‘permission to go’ for motorists.

    And, to an extent, 25a, where things that are over are in the past, for which we use the past tense. That’s the same meaning of ‘past’ in both cases! It’s like having ‘scarlet colour’ as a clue for ‘red’ on the grounds that red is scarlet and also it’s a colour — true, but that’s the same thing.

    5d is a compound word, and its ‘wordplay’ is just the definitions of each of its components: the train company presumably named it that because it links Europe and to give it some kind of glamour.

    While in 2a, an EP is called that because, as Rahmat says, it is prolonged compared to a single. So again, that doesn’t feel to me like cryptic or wordplay, just etymology.

    Plenty of other solvers seemed to like the crossword, so maybe it’s just me. Or perhaps most crosswords have clues like this and I don’t normally notice but was just in the wrong mood on Saturday?

    1. Thank you once again, Smylers, this time for liking the cheesy information followed by your valuable feedback thereafter.

      Truly, the ‘team’ in 9a was hiding crookedly inside ‘talcum powder’ and couldn’t be removed directly, but once it was one of World Cup, it could withdrew easily. Even if rule doesn’t allow and we ourselves don’t come across such a situation every other day, such a decision seems worthwhile once in a blue moon.

      In 12a, I agree with you that the first definition comes directly from the second. However, the two definitions should bask in the glory in their main difference one can visualise is that the first one is broad-based, the second exclusive.

      In 25a, I think the first definition as an adjective and the second a noun leave a strong impact on the idea of double definition than taking over as in the past telling to use the past tense leading to confirmation of the second as past among the three options of tense as past, present and future.

      In 5d, the wordplay is indeed the definitions of each of the two components.

      For the clue of 2a, I didn’t approach it from a cryptic angle, either. Whether you made use of wordplay or any other play, the result of ‘extended play’ that one got with reason was all that was required. The BRB defines a gramophone record of extended play as giving longer reproduction because of a closer groove and the use of a larger part of its surface area. Incidentally, Smylers, the EP made me nostalgic and I remember my childhood years witnessing people playing gramophone records in the locality at high-pitched volume for four days and a half from Wednesday morning till Sunday noon if it happened to be a marriage occasion in their family, barring the nighttime starting from 11 o’clock till 6 o’clock in the morning. The marriage ceremony always took place on a Sunday in the afternoon preceded by, usually, tunes from songs of Hindi and Urdu movies by a band of musicians, most popular among them were ‘Mehboob Band’ and ‘Sohrab Band’. Those were the days when people never felt being disturbed; rather they were too eager to listen to the songs mostly from the Hindi movies that those records played. For long many years in the 1960s and 1970s, I noticed that people during the occasion of any marriage rented the LPs that each played up to 30 minutes per side. I was thrilled to see larger-size records, the EPs, that each played up to 45 minutes per side, when they first appeared in our locality in the late 1970s during the occasion of marriage or some festivals.

      23a seemed also to me like a straightforward definition, but after my submission, BD informed me before midnight that ‘INFORMED’ should, perhaps, have served a double definition. But here it was 3.47 am and I was asleep. I noticed this at around 11 o’clock, tried to annotate it as a double definition and send it (annotation only of 23a) again at 11.26 am IST (5.56 am GMT), around three hours before the publication. It was thus: QUOTE – INFORMED: Double definition; the second being a passive past participial adjective meaning having been enlightened or briefed that leads to the first being a verb in the past tense meaning understood, noticed, realised or, colloquially, had at one’s fingertips – UNQUOTE.

      1. Thanks for such a comprehensive response. Everything you say is correct, and obviously the editor approved all the clues as being suitable for publication, but for me the number of clues with quibbles meant I found this less fun than most Telegraph crosswords.

        1. Smylers, your feedback was important and valuable to me. Not only do I appreciate your views that were really commendable, but also learn a lot of new things from it. Your comments provided me with an opportunity to present my own views in a more detailed manner on some matters. For 9a, I myself enjoyed taking the unusual decision that seemed worthwhile to me. For 2a, my comment on use of wordplay or any other play to reasonably get the ‘extended play’ was just to put a smile on your face.

          Whenever I solve any puzzle, I always keep in mind the hard work of the setter that goes in its composition and whenever I get stuck by any clue, I sometimes persevere in finding what the setter could have also thought of while framing the clue, though not always successful. I remember having failed to arrive at a six-letter-word correct answer to a clue ‘Shower to strike around’, for which the allotted time was 23½ hours, in ‘A Clue a Day’ contest that ran for a long nine months last year in our country. When the answer was uploaded by the organisers the next day, I was shocked! (6) that was meant to be the required number of letters for the word of the answer was also annotated as part of the wordplay. And even more surprised to see that one contestant was able to solve it. Perhaps in future, setters will expect that their solvers sometimes include the placement number of the across or down clue also as part of the wordplay.

          I always prefer preparing comprehensive reviews so that beginners are able to grasp the finer points of the clues. However, had it not been the encouragement and help of BD, I would have never reached this far over here. In most of the times, BD helps me out in the modifications of the annotations to a clue or two, and sometimes even more and that is why my thanks always goes to him for the encouragement.

  3. Thank you Rahmat for an informative review (as ever!).
    I’m afraid I didn’t especially enjoy this puzzle and I’m not quite sure why. A sneaky look at the blog revealed it was a pangram and it was really only this that kept me going to the end. I’ve enjoyed other Cephas puzzles so probably just me on the day. I’m ashamed to admit that Kendal was one of the last ones in….it’s only 15 miles down the road from us!

    1. Thank you once again, Mikep, for finding my review informative as ever.

      It happens sometimes but there is nothing to be ashamed of. But still your familiar ‘Kendal’ was one of the last ones in. In one somewhat similar situation, though not in crossword, my luck was not even that bright. Once I appeared for an entrance MCQ exam for getting enrolled into an MBA course of two years and a half, which I, of course, got through, but with unhappiness unleashed. There were four parts: General Awareness 30 questions, English Language 50 questions, Quantitative Aptitude 50 questions and Reasoning 70 questions. Each question carried one mark. There was no negative marking for any question wrongly answered and no qualifying mark separately for any section, but a qualifying mark was there indeed, based on all the four sections taken together. In the exam hall, I had a glance at the questions. General Awareness was tough; the rest three were easy. I would have got almost near to full marks in English but that would have taken a lot of time as there were questions in which there were many long sentences as also a big matter to read for tackling questions based on comprehension. So, I straightaway started with Quantitative Aptitude followed by Reasoning, both which seemed easy and less time-consuming to me. I could solve 119 out of 120 questions to my full satisfaction but at the cost of 90% of the allotted time. There was only one question on Quantitative Aptitude that seemed very easy but still I could not solve it. I felt unhappy about it. However, I turned to English language and quickly solved those questions which did not involve a lot of reading. I might have scored a little more than 20 out of 50. The three of the remaining five minutes might have got me 7 out of 30 in the General Awareness Test. In the dying moments of that exam, I was struggling to get that one problem based on maths solved, but my effort was in vain. I left the exam hall with a heavy heart, but when I came out of that building, the required formula immediately flashed into my mind and I even worked out mentally and got the answer on that very spot, but happiness didn’t return to me for this small success in the wrong place at the wrong time.

      Your ‘Kendal’ that you finally remembered at the last moment to some extent reminded me of my ‘Italy’, the European country, that was 2 miles away from our home that I used to fancy during my childhood. A locality by the name ‘Entally’ or the old name ‘Intally’, from where Saint Mother Teresa started her eleemosynary activities, is adjacent to our locality which is ‘Beniapukur’. The earliest I remember people, particularly the female folks of several families, speaking of reaching ‘Itaaly’ in half-an-hour’s time, was when I was six or seven years old in the mid-’60s. Actually, they used to go in a group to watch the Hindi movies at ‘Intally Talkies’. Colloquially, they used to call both the locality and the cinema hall by one name, ‘Itaaly’. Noticing ‘Italy’ in the world map, I was then under the impression that our nearby locality ‘Itaaly’ was the same ‘Italy’ that is in Europe and that it could be reached in half an hour’s time by walking.

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