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ST 3155

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3155

A full review by Rahmat Ali

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This puzzle was published on 10thApr 2022

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Greetings from Kolkata. Dada has given us a fairly easy and straightforward puzzle this Sunday that I enjoyed solving. I now present to you once again a full review of the same and would be delighted to have your valuable feedback.

Rear-view mirror, the answer to the clue of 9a, made me inquisitive to know more about the difference between the two side-view mirrors or side mirrors and the rear-view mirror of a vehicle and I turned to the net. I learnt that the rear-view mirror is necessary for allowing the driver all-round observation, but the two side mirrors, one on each door, are designed to minimise areas, called blind spots, around the vehicle that cannot otherwise be observed. The side mirrors are curved. They are convex mirrors and provide a wider viewing angle each side of the vehicle. Unlike the curved glass of the side mirrors, the internal rear-view mirror is made from flat glass. The rear-view mirror being flat, objects that the driver sees in this mirror represent an exact reflection of what is going on behind, the objects are the same distance and size as seen in the mirror. But the objects in the side mirrors are closer in reality than they appear in the mirror. Hence, a vehicle seen far away in the side mirrors are actually much closer.

Howdah, the answer to the clue of 17a, made me nostalgic and I reminisced my first experience of sitting along with my wife in a howdah on an elephant’s back at Hollong inside Jaldapara National Park in our own state of West Bengal. In fact, we got married only a week before and it was part of our honeymoon trip that included four more places, viz., Gangtok in Sikkim, Kalimpong in West Bengal and Phuntscholing and Thimphu in Bhutan, a neighbouring country. We stayed inside the forest at Hollong Forest Lodge. Although the object of the ride was to see rhinoceri inside the forest, none of us in the group could have a glimpse of even one of them. The word ‘howdah’ included in the English dictionary long back is actually a celebrated Hindi word in India which is again derived from the Arabic hawdaj, meaning bed carried by a camel. Howdah is, therefore, not only a seat for riding on the back of an elephant, but also of a camel, typically with a canopy and accommodating two or more people. In the past, elephants were used to carry the plutocrats during hunting or processions and the king used them in warfare. I learnt from the net that these days, the howdahs are mainly used for commercial purposes in South East Asia, but their use has invited criticisms from various animal rights groups and organisations. The Millennium Elephant Foundation openly condemn their use, citing evidence that howdahs can cause permanent damage to an elephant’s spine, lungs and other organs and can significantly shorten the animal’s life.

I found out from the net the etymology of Chelsea tractor, the answer to the clue of 2d, as follows: From Chelsea, a wealthy area of London in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea in which this type of vehicle is popular, and tractor, in reference to the size and bulkiness of the vehicle.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.

Across

1a Supporting pipes, very hot features turned off (11)
SCAFFOLDING: SCALDING (very hot) as an adjective meaning of liquid too hot or burning confines (features) OFF from the clue that has come back (turned) as a reversal in the across clue, arriving at the definition of a temporary structure on the outside of the building, made of wooden planks and metal poles, used by workmen while building, repairing or cleaning the building

9a Where one may take a look back, on reflection? (4-4,6)
REAR-VIEW MIRROR: The definition of a mirror that shows what is behind a vehicle is cryptically arrived at from where one can take a VIEW (look) as to look at or inspect and REAR (back) as the back part of something, especially a vehicle, or a REAR VIEW on MIRROR (reflection) as a surface, originally of polished metal, reflecting the image in front of it

11a Sense organ is aware, by the sound of it? (4)
NOSE: KNOWS (is aware) as is familiar with from having learned or experienced serving as a homophone heard by the audience (by the sound of it) takes to the definition of the part of the face or facial region in humans and certain animals that contains the nostrils and the organs of smell and functions as the usual passageway for air in respiration

12a Serious criminal misused rifle (5)
LIFER: An anagram (misused) of RIFLE guides to the definition of a dangerous criminal sentenced to imprisonment for life

13a Weaponry secure when turned over (4)
GUNS: SNUG (secure) as to secure by fastening or lashing down when written backwards (turned over) as a reversal in the across clue leads to the definition of a particular type of weapon regarded collectively

16a Feller missing last bit of mustard in a sandwich, sadly (8)
CHAINSAW: The definition of a power saw with cutting teeth linked in an endless chain is arrived at from an anagram (sadly) of A SANDWICH without (missing) D that is the last letter (last bit) of [MUSTAR]D

17a Who had wrong seat on jumbo? (6)
HOWDAH: An anagram (wrong) of WHO HAD guides to the definition of a pavilion or seat fixed on the back of an elephant or jumbo, the term that became common for any elephant after Jumbo, an enormously popular name of an elephant at London Zoo that was sold in 1882 to the Barnum and Bailey circus

19a Fat sovereign in store (6)
LARDER: A charade of LARD (fat) as the clarified fat of the pig and ER (sovereign) as the abbreviation of Edwardus Rex in New Latin meaning King Edward takes to the definition of a stock of provisions

20a Hone language at university (6,2)
POLISH UP: POLISH (language) as the language of Poland followed by (at) UP (university) as the abbreviation for University of Portland lead to the definition of a verb meaning to work at or study in order to improve

22a Dip bird in pond? (4)
DUCK: Double definition; the second being a noun meaning a small wild or domesticated web-footed broad-billed swimming bird usually having a depressed body and short legs and often paddling across lakes and ponds that leads to the first a verb meaning to dip for a moment in water

23a Country that’s fragile (5)
CHINA: The name of the most populous country on earth is cryptically arrived at from items made of china, a type of porcelain that could be easily broken or damaged (fragile)

24a Spots: one mopping up unknown number (4)
ACNE: ACE (one) as the one in dice, cards, dominoes etc absorbing (mopping up) N (unknown number) as an indefinite number, especially in a series in mathematics, leading to the definition of a skin disease caused by inflammation of the sebaceous follicles, especially on the face, neck and shoulders

27a Yes! Trick entertains us, good day for object of schoolboy humour (7,7)
WHOOPEE CUSHION: WHOOPEE (Yes!) as an exclamation of delight followed by CON (trick) as a swindle or trick that takes inside (entertains) US from the clue and HI (good day) as hello or good day as greeting take to the definition of a rubber cushion that makes a noise like the breaking of wind when sat on and can serve as an object of schoolboy humour

28a One’s cut after two are joined (7,4)
WEDDING CAKE: The definition of the traditional cake served at wedding reception usually following dinner and believed to bring good luck to all guests and the couple is arrived at from CAKE (one’s cut) as a sweet, baked breadlike food, made with or without shortening, and usually containing flour, sugar, baking powder of soda, eggs and liquid flavouring, that is cut on the occasions of several types of celebrations including birthday or wedding anniversaries, success in examinations, at work or in business preceded by or following (after) WEDDING (two are joined) as the act or an instance of blending or joining especially opposite or contrasting elements

Down

2d Team player after little time runs SUV (7,7)
CHELSEA TRACTOR: CHELSEA (team) as the short name of the English association football team Chelsea F.C. or Chelsea Football Club based in Fulham, West London, followed by ACTOR (player) as a person who plays the part of a character in a movie, play, television show etc that is preceded by or coming after (after) a combo of T (time) as the symbol for time in Physics and R (runs) as the abbreviation for run or runs scored in cricket, taking to the definition of an SUV or a 4×4 vehicle that people drive around towns and cities for ordinary domestic purposes, although it is more suitable for roads in the country

3d Republican leader supporting Democrat (4)
FORD: A charade of FOR (supporting) as a preposition meaning in support of or in favour of and D (Democrat) as the abbreviation for Democrat who is a member of the Democrat Party, arriving at the definition of Gerald FORD, the leader of the Republican Party in the House of Representatives prior to becoming the 40th Vice President and subsequently the 38th President of the United States

4d First test in which I drink (8)
ORIGINAL: ORAL (test) as a spoken examination or test inside which (in which) is placed a combo of I from the clue and GIN (drink) as a spirit distilled from grain or malt and flavoured with juniper berries or other aromatic substances, leading to the definition of an adjective meaning first or earliest

5d Rod we manipulated circling top of soil, one searching for water (6)
DOWSER: An anagram (manipulated) of ROD WE surrounding (circling) the topmost letter (top) of S[OIL] in the down clue, taking to the definition of a person who divines water

6d Nothing has hooked a tack (4)
NAIL: NIL (nothing) as nothing or zero, especially as the score in certain games has trapped (hooked) A from the clue, guiding to the definition of a small, usually metal spike with a head, used for fastening wood etc

7d Where hands go incessantly? (6-3-5)
AROUND-THE-CLOCK: The definition of an adjective meaning being in effect, continuing or lasting 24 hours a days is cryptically arrived at from the act of the hands of the clock, namely, the hour hand, the minute hand and the third or second hand that move (go) constantly or without interruption (incessantly)

8d Sharp pegs or otherwise for small jumper (11)
GRASSHOPPER: An anagram (otherwise) of SHARP PEGS OR guides to the definition of a herbivorous jumping insect of the Orthoptera that chirps by rubbing its wing-covers

10d Joint wretched, get to work (7,4)
KNUCKLE DOWN: A charade of KNUCKLE (joint) as any of the finger-joints and (DOWN) as low and dejected guides to the definition of a phrasal verb meaning to set oneself to work hard on

14d Unconscious fusion of French and German articles (5)
UNDER: The definition of a colloquial adjective meaning in a state of unconsciousness is arrived at from the joining (fusion) of UN and DER (French and German articles), UN being the indefinite article ‘a’ or ‘an’ in the French language used with singular masculine words and DER the definite article ‘the’ in the German language used with singular masculine words

15d Note refreshing substance (5)
TONIC: Double definition; the first being an adjective meaning of or being the first note in a scale as in music and the second a noun meaning a medicinal substance taken to give a feeling of vigour or well-being

18d Revolution supporting Irish county in economic decline (8)
DOWNTURN: TURN (revolution) as an act of moving something in a circular direction round an axis or point is preceded by or following (supporting) DOWN (Irish county) as the name of a county in Northern Ireland, taking to the definition of a decline in economic, business, or other activity

21d Theme in story, yarn (6)
THREAD: Double definition; the first being a theme or continuous connecting element or link in an argument or story and the second several strands of yarn twisted together for sewing

25d Part of church where wasps seen, odd ones swatted? (4)
APSE: The definition of a semicircular or polygonal recess, especially at the east end of a church choir is arrived at from wAsPs SeEn, with the odd letters removed (swatted)

26d Fashionable, some kitsch, I confess (4)
CHIC: Part of or hidden inside (some) of kitsCH I Confess leads to the definition of an adjective meaning smart, elegant and fashionable

Some of the clues that I liked in this puzzle were 1a, 9a, 16a, 17a, 20a, 27a, 28a, 4d, 5d, 7d, 8d, 10d and 14d and the best among them was 16a. Thanks once again to Dada for the entertainment and to BD for the encouragement. Looking forward to being here again. Have a nice day.


3 comments on “ST 3155
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  1. Thanks, Rahmat for another informative and entertaining review. I learned a lot about elephants and your reminisces about using them with your wife on your honeymoon. I was in Nepal many years ago but didn’t get the chance of a howdah ride, but I did see some impressive 1a scaffolding in Durbar Square in Kathmandu. It was all made of bamboo and tied on with nothing more than string. Wild horses (or indeed elephants) wouldn’t have persuaded me to go anywhere near such a rickety structure. I have a picture somewhere but it was in the pre-digital age and I have deferred converting all my old photographs until the 12th of never.

    1. Thank you once again, Sloop John Bee, for finding my review informative and interesting. Thank you also for sharing some interesting moments of your trip to Nepal.

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