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ST-3151

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3151

A full review by Rahmat Ali

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This puzzle was published on 13th Mar 2022

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Greetings from Kolkata. Dada has given us a very gentle and straightforward puzzle this Sunday and I overall enjoyed solving it. I now present to you a full review of the same and would be delighted to have your valuable comment and feedback.

Looking at ‘Ben’ as part of the wordplay to the clue of 22a and being already familiar with several Scottish mountains starting with the name of ‘Ben’, I became inquisitive to know more about the word. I learnt from the net that ‘Munro’ is the name given for a small mountain that is elevated above 3000 feet from the sea level, whereas the name ‘Ben’ is given to a mountain peak above 4000 feet from the sea level. The Scottish Highlands, Central Lowlands and the Southern Uplands are the major mountain ranges in Scotland. The most celebrated mountain in that country is, of course, the Ben Nevis, though the Cairnwell Munro among the Scottish mountains is the most comfortable one to climb.

‘Constantinople’ as the answer to the clue of 8d was the capital of the Roman/Byzantine Empire (330-1204 and 1261-1453), the Latin Empire (1204-1261) and the Ottoman Empire (1453-1922). It is strategically located between the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara at the point where Europe meets Asia. It was the largest and wealthiest city in Europe throughout the Middle Ages and was known as the ‘Queen of Cities’. It was renamed Istanbul in 1930 as part of the Turkish national reforms under Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founding father of the Republic of Turkey. The city is not only the largest city and financial centre of that country, it remains today the largest city in Europe as well.

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Across

1a    Feeder shortly scoffing last of soup (5)
SPOON: SOON (shortly) as in a short time taking in (scoffing) the last letter (last) of [SOU]P, leading to the definition of an implement consisting of a small, shallow oval or round bowl on a long handle, used for eating, stirring and serving food as also for feeding someone with food


4a    Keep supply of broth (5)
STOCK: Double definition; the first being a verb meaning to have or keep a supply of a particular product or type of product available for sale that leads to the second being a noun meaning liquor from simmered meat, bones etc used as a basis for soup, stews etc

10a    A demonic, funny entertainer (8)
COMEDIAN: An anagram (funny) of A DEMONIC guides to the definition of an entertainer on stage or television whose act is designed to make an audience laugh

11a    A lecturer is a lovely bloke (6)
ADONIS: A from the clue, DON (lecturer) as a head, tutor or fellow in a college of Oxford or Cambridge University or broadly a college or university lecturer or professor and IS from the clue take to the definition of a very handsome youth or young man

12a    Minister after revolution has little time for scum (6)
VERMIN: REV (minister) as a usually-written title prefixed in place of Reverend or a minister or member of the clergy after making a comeback (revolution) as reversal in the across clue followed by (has) MIN (little time) as an abbreviation for minute or a very short period of time take to the definition of a group of people perceived as obnoxious despicable and causing problems for the rest of society

13a    Dancing is adored — where might one stop? (8)
ROADSIDE: An anagram (dancing) of IS ADORED takes to the definition of the wayside or the side or border of the road where one might stop to park their car


14a    Gun, say, drunk admires (7)
SIDEARM: An anagram (drunk) of ADMIRES leads to the definition of an example of a weapon worn at the side or in a belt

16a    River passing through West Ham estate (6)
THAMES: Part of or hidden inside (passing through) wesT HAM EState guides to the definition of a river that flows through southern England, including London

17a    Reveal pictures drawn by scamp? (6)
IMPART: ART (pictures) as creative activity resulting in the production of, inter alia, pictures preceded by or following (drawn by) IMP (scamp) as a mischievous child, taking to the definition of a verb meaning to make information known to others

19a    A cot finally brought into play — bed (7)
STRATUM: A combo of A from the clue and the last or final letter (finally) of [CO]T is placed inside (brought into) STRUM (play) as an act, instance or sound of playing music on a stringed instrument, especially guitar, leading to the definition of a bed of sedimentary rock, generally consisting of one kind of matter representing continuous deposition

21a    Hungry baby, one on the ball? (8)
DRIBBLER: Double definition; the second referring to someone who takes the ball forwards past opponents with slight touches of the feet in a game of football or the stick in a game of hockey or by continuous bouncing in basketball that leads to the first denoting a baby who salivates excessively but cannot move its saliva to the back of its mouth to swallow it despite its salivary glands starting to work in preparation for solid food



22a    Harmless trap set back inside Scottish mountain (6)
BENIGN: GIN (trap) as a trap for catching birds or small mammals turned backwards (set back) as a reversal in the across clue is placed inside (INSIDE) BEN (Scottish mountain) as any high mountain or mountain peak in Scotland, taking to the definition of an adjective meaning having no harmful influence or effect

23a    Short of money, firm finished (4,2)
HARD UP: A charade of HARD (firm) as solid, firm an rigid and not easily broken, bent or pierced and UP (finished) as into the desired or a proper condition so as to be finished or closed leads to the definition of an adjectival informal phrase meaning not having enough money, especially for a very short period of time

24a    Secure within college, most important people (8)
KINGPINS: PIN (secure) as to attach or fasten with a pin is placed inside (within) KING’S (college) as a constituent college of the University of London informally known as KCL or King’s College London, leading to the definition of persons who are essential to the success of an organisation or operation

25a    Appropriate report produced initially by American university (5)
USURP: The first or initial letters (initially) of R[EPORT] and P[RODUCED] preceded by or following (by) US (American) as the adjectival abbreviation for the United States or belonging to the United States and U (university) as the abbreviation for university, arriving at the definition of a verb meaning to take a position of power or importance illegally or by force

26a    Coffee looked at the wrong way (5)
DECAF: FACED (looked at) as looked toward or in the direction of someone or something coming from the other side (the wrong way) as a reversal in the across clue, arriving at the definition of the short version of decaffeinated coffee that have had most of their caffeine removed


Down

2d    Deal with media holding business up (7)
PROCESS: PRESS (media) as newspapers or journalists viewed collectively keeping in (holding) CO (business) as a short version for company that is a commercial business going upwards (up) as a reversal in the down clue, leading to the definition of a verb meaning to deal with someone or something using an official procedure

3d    Where I’m mourned during burial, under no circumstances! (4,2,4,4)
OVER MY DEAD BODY: Double definition; the first being a cryptic way of describing a funeral scene, in the event of my death, at a cemetery where the mourners are standing on the ground vis-à-vis my dead body that has been placed beneath a trench dug for interment that leads to the second definition informally used to emphasise that one completely opposes something

5d    Social worker inhabiting empty trailer, I’m not sure fit (7)
TANTRUM: ANT (social worker) as a social insect working together in groups living in (inhabiting) T[RAILE]R that is hollow or having the inner letters removed (empty) followed by UM (I’m not sure) as expressing hesitation or a pause in speech when not sure about what to say, arriving at the definition of a sudden fit of childish, uncontrolled bad temper or rage

6d    Quality letter (9)
CHARACTER: Double definition; the first being a noun meaning the quality of being individual in an interesting or unusual way and the second a graphic symbol such as a hieroglyph or alphabet letter used in writing or printing, a symbol such as a letter or number that represents information or a representation of such a symbol that may be accepted by a computer

7d    Prowler has put new painting up (4)
LION: A combo of N (new) as the abbreviation for new and OIL (painting) as an oil painting going upwards (up) as reversal in the down clue leads to the definition of an animal who is moving about restlessly but quietly or stealthily as if in search of prey or plunder


8d    No contest! Plain stupid old city (14)
CONSTANTINOPLE: An anagram (stupid) of NO CONTEST PLAIN guides to the definition of the historical city that was founded by the Roman emperor Constantine the Great


9d    Play musical instrument (6)
FIDDLE: Double definition; the first being an informal verb meaning to play the violin and the second an informal noun meaning a violin that is a stringed musical instrument of treble pitch, played with a horsehair bow

15d    Wild animals alone with pets, worryingly (9)
ANTELOPES: An anagram (worryingly) of ALONE and (with) PETS guides to the definition of swift-running even-toed ruminants with smooth hair and upward-pointing horns, that are indigenous to various regions in Africa and Eurasia


18d    Type of farm machinery originally set up — a great deal (6)
MYRIAD: A combo of DAIRY (type of farm) as a place on a farm where milk and cream are kept and cheese and butter are made and followed by the first or original letter (originally) of M[ACHINERY] is taken up (set up) as a reversal in the down clue, arriving at the definition of an adjective meaning very large in number or having great variety

19d    Footballer, one with a match? (7)
STRIKER: A cryptic way of referring to one holding a matchstick in order to light it by striking it against a rough surface on any of the two sides of a matchbox that leads to the definition of a player in the front line, chiefly in football, as an attacker, and especially one whose task is to attempt to score goals


20d    New game and books, a dark colour (7)
MAGENTA: An anagram (new) of GAME followed by (and) NT (books) as the New Testament or the second part of the Christian Bible, consisting of writings about Christ and the Apostles after his death, and documents from the very first years of the Christian Church and A from the clue, arriving at the definition of a primary subtractive colour that is variously defined as purplish-red, reddish-purple or mauvish-crimson and complementary to green

22d    Group not allowed on the phone? (4)
BAND: BANNED (not allowed) as officially or legally prohibited serving as a homophone heard by the audience (on the phone), taking to the definition of a group of people who have a common interest or purpose or who share a common feature

There were several clues that I liked in this puzzle such as 11a, 17a, 19a, 21a, 22a, 25a, 3d, 7d, 15d and 18d; the last being the clear winner. Thanks once again to Dada for the entertainment and to BD for the encouragement. Looking forward to being here again. Have a nice day.


7 comments on “ST-3151
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  1. Many thanks Rahmat for your interesting and comprehensive review. I particularly liked 25a and 2d, but agree 18d was the pick of the bunch.

  2. Thank you, Rahmat for your review, which was, as ever, most interesting and enjoyable. My particular favourite was 3d.

    1. Once again, thank you so much, Steve Cowling, for summing up my review as most interesting and enjoyable, as ever. 3d was one of my favourite clues and now I am feeling fascinated by my annotation of the same, too.

  3. Enjoyed the info re Munro and Ben. When I hear my friends say they scaled a Munro before breakfast, I know to be suitably impressed.

    1. Once again, thank you so much, Merusa, this time particularly for enjoying the info regarding Munro and Ben.

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