ST 3147 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3147

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3147

A full review by Rahmat Ali

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This puzzle was published on 13th Feb 2022

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ****

Greetings from Kolkata. A tough but interesting Sunday puzzle of Dada that offered a lot of enjoyment and I now have the pleasure of presenting to you once again a full review of the same and would be delighted to have your precious feedback and comments.

Yesterday, the 22nd February 2022 or 22022022, was a Happy Palindrome Day for all of us. It was also a Happy Ambigram Day since the digital numbers in the form of seven-segment display character representations as on a calculator could be read upside down in exactly the same manner. Some even fashioned 22.2.22 as Happy Happy ‘Twosday’. While the next Happy Palindrome Day will be 03022030, the last Happy Palindrome Day of this century will be on a leap day, 29022092.

The Eurasian winter may have led to the treatment for user as the all-capitalised ‘COLD TURKEY’, the answer to the clue of 13d, as required to be written inside the grid, ‘Turkey’ as the name for a Eurasian country is actually ‘turkey’, the name of a large bird that is somehow related to the treatment for a drug user. As I was inquisitive to learn more about the expression, I visited the net and gathered that ‘cold turkey’ has come from the goosebumps people sometimes get in the days after they suddenly bid good-bye to their contemptible habit, which appear like the skin of a ‘cold turkey’ in the fridge. The verb is to go cold turkey. Some people are of the notion that they won’t be as tempted to use the drug or tobacco product if they just get rid of it. So, rather than tapering off the substance, they go cold turkey. However, going cold turkey may not yield the desired result, particular in case of persons who are heavily addicted to a substance and its effectiveness will also depend on what substance people are trying to quit and their preferences. Unlike drugs, getting off cigarettes or alcohol may be safe for addicts to go cold turkey on their own. Nonetheless, quitting too quickly can lead to uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms and a powerful urge to start using the substance again. Some studies based on research have found abrupt stopping to be more effective than a gradual reduction. Support might have been the solitary, fecund and germane key since the studies revealed that those participants who went cold turkey received the required help to overcome the habit. Quitting an addictive drug like heroin can be much harder cold turkey. These substances cause physical changes in the brain that lead to severe cravings and withdrawal symptoms when the addicts stop taking them. Quitting highly addictive drugs or a severe alcohol dependence can cause serious side effects or sometimes prove to be even fatal. When people cut off their supply of substances like opioids too quickly, they are likely to develop seizures, irregular heart rhythms or even other withdrawal symptoms, some of which can be grave or even life-threatening. Under such circumstances, it is better to be under the supervision of a doctor or an addiction treatment centre.

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7a    Red vehicle carrying number in reverse (7)
MARXIST: TRAM (vehicle) as a passenger vehicle powered by electricity running on rails on the road is having inside (carrying) SIX (number) both coming from the opposite direction (in reverse) as a reversal in the across clue, leading to the definition of a person who agrees with the political, economic and philosophical ideas of Karl Marx and is tagged with emotionally charged term such as ‘red’ that is used to refer to an extreme radical or revolutionary

8a    Asian country backing delay, India (7)
KUWAITI: UK (country) as the abbreviation for United Kingdom going backwards (backing) as a reversal in the across clue followed by WAIT (delay) as a period of time by which something is late or postponed and I (India) as the letter represented by India in the NATO phonetic alphabet take to the definition of a native or inhabitant of Kuwait that is in the Asian continent

10a    Meat available, bottle it (7,3)
CHICKEN OUT: A charade of CHICKEN (meat) as the meat from a domestic fowl and OUT (available) as published or able to be used or obtained or at someone’s disposal guides to the definition of a colloquial term meaning to desert, quit, through losing one’s nerve or cowardice

11a    Tackle first of errors in flier (4)
KITE: KIT (tackle) as a set of articles or equipment needed for a specific purpose followed by the initial or first letter (first) of E[RRORS] take to the definition of a long-tailed bird of prey of the hawk’s family

12a    Cook can pause where food may be simmering (8)
SAUCEPAN: An anagram (cook) of CAN PAUSE guides to the definition of a handled and usually lidded metal pan boiling, stewing etc, originally for sauces

14a    Whole piece of paper, it nearly flipped over (6)
ENTIRE: Part of or hidden inside (piece of) papER IT NEarly that is turned over or thrown so as to be reversed (flipped over) leads to the definition of an adjective meaning full or with no parts left out

15a    Hit American man on head (11)
BLOCKBUSTER: BUSTER (American man) as a mildly disrespectful form of address to a man or boy as used in North America preceded by or following (on) BLOCK (head) as a slang term for a person’s head, especially in the phrase ‘knock someone’s block off’, arriving at the definition of an expensively produced and commercially successful film, novel etc

19a    Business problem (6)
MATTER: Double definition; the first being a situation or subject that is being dealt with or considered and the second the reason for distress, pain or worry

20a    Coffee or tea, for examplesomething else! (3,5)
HOT STUFF: Double definition; the first describing coffee or tea just prepared by pouring hot or boiling water over it for drinking purpose that leads to the second being an informal phrase meaning a person or thing of outstanding quality or skill

22a    Burn, drawing power cut (4)
CHAR: CHAR[M] (drawing power) as the power or quality of delighting, attracting or fascinating others having the last letter removed (cut) leads to the definition of a verb meaning to partially burn so as to blacken the surface

23a    Stories galore, lies circulating (10)
ALLEGORIES: An anagram (circulating) of GALORE LIES guides to the definition of a noun in the plural form meaning stories, poems or pictures or other works of art that can be interpreted to reveal hidden meanings, typically moral or political

25a    Fire, on spreading, has engulfed new blaze (7)
INFERNO: An anagram (spreading) of FIRE ON has taken in (engulfed) N (new) as the abbreviation for new as NT in New Testament, taking to the definition of a large fire that is dangerously out of control

26a    Youth in want (7)
INFANCY: IN from the clue and FANCY (want) as feel a desire or liking for lead to the definition of childhood or one’s early days


1d    Explosive gas available primarily in hospital room (7)
WARHEAD: A combo of HE (gas) as the chemical symbol of helium or a very light inert gas and A[VAILABLE] as the first or primary letter (primarily) is placed inside (in) WARD (hospital room) as a room with several beds in a hospital, arriving at the definition of the head or forward section of a torpedo, bomb or other missile containing the explosive material

2d    Suit in spandex, eccentric (4)
EXEC: Part of or hidden inside (in) spandEX ECcentric takes to the definition of a person with senior managerial responsibility in a business

3d    General bitten by snake, dead to the world (6)
ASLEEP: Robert Edward LEE (general) as an American Confederate general best known for his service to the Confederate States of America is held (bitten) by ASP (snake) as a small venomous snake found especially in North Africa, taking to the definition of an euphemistical term meaning lacking awareness and the capacity for sensory perception as if asleep or dead

4d    In contrast, lock supporting masonry (8)
BUTTRESS: A charade of BUT (in contrast) used to introduce a phrase or clause contrasting with what has already been mentioned and TRESS (lock) as a plait or braid of the hair of the head leads to the definition of a structure of stone or brick built against a wall to strengthen or support it

5d    Illicit TS? (10)
BACKSTREET: Street that appears in its abbreviated form from the other side (TS), when unabbreviated, cryptically leads to denote a BACK STREET or a street that is away from the main road in a city, especially as a part of a poorer, less fashionable area, arriving at the definition meaning acting or done secretly and typically illegally

6d    Reputation rubbish, certain to conceal it (7)
STATURE: TAT (rubbish) as a colloquial term for garbage, junk or trash having SURE (certain) as completely confident that one is right to have it covered (conceal it), guiding to the definition meaning importance gained by ability or achievement

9d    All of a sudden advance beginning to decelerate: courageous defending eh? (2,3,6)
LO AND BEHOLD: LOAN (advance) as a thing that is borrowed, especially a sum of money that is expected to be paid back with interest followed by the initial or beginning letter (beginning) to the word D[ECELERATE] and BOLD (courageous) as daring or showing a willingness to take risks protecting by taking inside (defending) EH from the clue, arriving at the definition of an exclamation used to signal a unexpected or startling revelation

13d    Treatment for user in Eurasian winter? (4,6)
COLD TURKEY: A charade of COLD (winter) as a spell of weather associated with cold or chill or having a condition of low to very low temperature and TURKEY (Eurasian) as a country in western Asia and southeastern Europe between the Mediterranean and Black seas leads to the definition of a treatment involving the abrupt and complete cessation of taking tobacco, alcohol or drugs to which one is consistently addicted

16d    Death from ruin, cast out (8)
CURTAINS: An anagram (out) of RUIN CAST guides to the informal definition of a noun meaning the end or death

17d    Racing, spirited and smart (7)
DASHING: Triple definition; the first being present participle verb meaning running or travelling somewhere in a great hurry, the second an adjective meaning attractive, adventurous and full of confidence, typically used of a man and the third also an adjective denoting stylist and fashionable

18d    Crime of attack using blade (7)
OFFENCE: OF from the clue and FENCE (attack using blade) as attack and defend with a weapon having a long blade as in the sport of fencing take to the definition of an illegal action or crime that breaks a particular law and correspondingly warrants a particular punishment

21d    Drunk eating food from North Africa (6)
TAGINE: An anagram (drunk) of EATING guides to the definition of a dish of stew with vegetables, olives, lemon, garlic and spices, named after the conical clay pot in which it is cooked and associated with the national cuisine in the North African countries of Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia

24d    Bellow unrefined, by the sound of it? (4)
ROAR: The definition of a noun meaning a full, loud, hoarse, low-pitched sound is arrived at from RAW (unrefined) as natural, crude or unrefined, serving as homophone as heard by the audience (by the sound of it)

There were several clues that I liked in this puzzle such as 7a, 8a, 10a, 15a, 26a, 5d, 9d, 13d and 17d; the topper being 5d. Thanks once again to Dada for the entertainment and to BD for the encouragement. Looking forward to being here again. Have a nice day.

4 comments on “ST 3147

  1. Thank you so much for explaining 5d’s ‘drawing power’. I was completely fooled by the part of speech, interpreting ‘drawing’ as a gerund rather than an adjective, so could only think of ‘charge’ or ‘charging’ — which didn’t fit with using ‘cut’ to remove a just single letter.

    26a was also controversial in the day’s comments, with Senf even questioning Dada’s thesaurus. I thought it works in the phrase “in their youth”/“in their infancy”, possibly better when the subject is an organization rather than a human.

    1. The fount of all knowledge, the BRB, includes in its definition of infancy the single word ‘childhood.’ In its definition of youth it includes ‘the period immediately following childhood.’

      I interpret this as sequential not concurrent. So, my querying of which thesaurus Dada uses stands as I still cannot envisage one that ‘links’ the definition and the answer.

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