ST 3161 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3161

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3161

A full review by Rahmat Ali

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This puzzle was published on 22ndMay 2022

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

Greetings from Kolkata. Dada has given us a more challenging than his usual Sunday puzzles, though overall an enjoyable one. I now present to you a full review of the same for your perusal and would be delighted to have your precious feedback.

The name Matthew, the answer to the clue of 28a, stems originally from the Hebrew name ‘Mattityahu’ which means ‘gift of Yahweh’ or ‘gift of God’. The Gospel of Matthew is considered by many to contain the most comprehensive account of Jesus, who he was and what he did during his time on earth.

I gathered from the net that Rhodesia, the answer to the clue of 1d, was previously the region in south-central Africa that was chartered to the British South Africa Company, led by Cecil John Rhodes. In 1890, Rhodes and his ‘Pioneer Column’ marched north and acquired a huge block of territory. The Company exploited the overall region mostly for its gold, copper and coal deposits and named it Rhodesia in 1895 in his honour. In 1911, it was divided into Northern and Southern Rhodesia. In 1923, the Company’s charter was revoked and Southern Rhodesia attained self-governance and established a legislature. The next year, Northern Rhodesia became a British protectorate. In 1964, Northern Rhodesia became independent from the United Kingdom and concurrently changed its name to Zambia. The Southern Rhodesian colonial government in Salisbury passed legislation to become simply Rhodesia as Northern Rhodesia did not exist any longer, but the British government refused to approve this alteration since the country’s name was defined by British legislation. Salisbury continued to use the shortened name officially, while the British government continued to refer the country as Southern Rhodesia. It became a self-declared independent country without international recognition issuing its own Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) from the United Kingdom on November 11, 1965. Two African nationalist parties, the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU) and Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) launched an armed insurgency against the government upon UDI, sparking the Rhodesian Bush War. Finally, ZANU secured an electoral victory in April 1980, when the country achieved internationally recognised independence as Zimbabwe.

Aerosol, part of the wordplay to the clue of 22d, is a substance enclosed under pressure and released as a fine spray by means of a propellant gas. I learnt from the net that it is also the name given to the metal container that holds an aerosol.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


7a    Area where the race is sabotaged (7)
HECTARE: An anagram (sabotaged) of THE RACE guides to the definition of a metric unit of square measure equal to 100 ares, 2.471 acres or 10,000 square metres

10a    Oxygen inside part of flowering plant for a second? (7)
ANOTHER: O (oxygen) as the chemical symbol for oxygen is seen inside (inside) ANTHER (part of flowering plant) as the part of a stamen in a flower that produces the pollen, leading to the definition of a determiner used to refer to an additional or second person or thing of the same type as one already mentioned or known about

11a    True Democrat, European went to the polls (7)
DEVOTED: A charade of D (Democrat), as the abbreviation for Democrat who is a member of the Democrat Party of the United States, E (European) as the abbreviation for European as EU in European Union and VOTED (went to the polls) as expressed or signified will or choice in a matter by casting a ballot guides to the definition of an adjective meaning very loyal, true and loving

12a    Featured fruit on back of bureau, like a cherry (7)
FIGURED: FIG (fruit) as a soft pear-shaped fruit with sweet dark flesh and many small seeds, eaten fresh or dried, U as the last letter (on back) of [BUREA]U and RED (like a cherry) as like a cherry in colour, usually bright red takes to the definition of a verb in the past tense meaning had a significant part or role in a situation or process

13a    Triangular instrument placed with old fossil (3,6)
SET SQUARE: A charade of SET (placed) put, placed or fixed in position or required condition and (with) SQUARE (old fossil) as a person considered to be old-fashioned or boringly conventional in attitude or behaviour leads to the definition of a right-angled triangular instrument for drawing lines, especially at 90°, 45°, 60° or 30°

15a    Fuse ultimately short after setback, peaceful agreement reached (5)
TRUCE: The impact of a combo of the ultimate or final letter (ultimately) of [FUS]E and CURT (short) as discourteously brief or summary after moving backwards (setback) as a reversal in the across clue results in the definition of an agreement between enemies or opponents to stop fighting or arguing, especially a temporary one

16a    Where bowler for example hits the ground immediately? (2,3,4,2,1,3)
AT THE DROP OF A HAT: The phrasal expression figuratively meaning immediately or instantly, without delay alludes to signalling the start of a race or other contests by dropping a hat that is arrived from the venue of the contest where (where) A HAT (bowler for example) as a shaped covering for the head worn for warmth, as a fashion item, or as part of a uniform, bowler or a man’s hard felt hat with a round dome-shaped crown being one such DROPS (hits the ground) as falls vertically to the ground, that is A HAT DROPS or AT THE DROP OF A HAT

21a    Hound newshounds (5)
PRESS: Double definition; the second being a noun referring to newspapers or journalists viewed collectively that guides to the first a verb meaning to make strong efforts to persuade or force someone to do something

23a    Orchestra member grabbed drink (5,4)
SNARE DRUM: A charade of SNARED (grabbed) as got hold or control of something difficult to catch and RUM (drink) as a strong alcoholic liquor or spirit distilled from sugar-cane residues or molasses leads to the definition of an orchestral percussion instrument in the form of a small drum with twisted wires stretched across the bottom that produces a sharp staccato sound when the head is struck with a drum stick

25a    Determined soldier, for example, behind a barrier (7)
ADAMANT: ANT (soldier, for example) as referring to a single soldier who could be in an army of ants is placed after or following (behind) a combo of A from the clue and DAM (barrier) as a barrier constructed to hold back water and raise its level, forming a reservoir used to generate electricity or as a water supply, leading to the definition of an adjective meaning unyielding or refusing to be persuaded or to change one’s mind

26a    Does it get pig clean? Nonsense! (7)
HOGWASH: The definition of an informal noun meaning insincere nonsense, lies or ridiculous actions is got from a charade of HOG (pig) as a domesticated pig, especially a castrated male reared for slaughter and WASH (clean) as to remove dirt, marks or stains by cleaning with water and, typically, soap or detergent

27a    Top tree was rotten (7)
SWEATER: An anagram (rotten) of TREE WAS guides to the definition of a knitted garment, typically with long sleeves and usually made from wool, that is worn on the upper part of the body

28a    Book, dull shape (7)
MATTHEW: A charade of MATT (dull) as an adjective meaning dull and flat, particularly referring to a colour, paint or surface and HEW (shape) as a verb meaning to make, shape, smooth etc a wood or stone with blows of a cutting instrument, arriving at the definition of the Gospel of Matthew or the first book of the New Testament that contains an account of Jesus’ life and ministry


1d    Island with capital in Indonesia, a country formerly (8)
RHODESIA: RHODES (island) as a Greek island in the southeast Aegean Sea followed by the leading or capital letter (capital) in I[NDONESIA] and A from the clue, taking to the definition of former British colony under the name of Southern Rhodesia in southern Africa that in 1965 became a self-declared independent country Rhodesia without international recognition and in 1980 an internationally recognised independent country Zimbabwe

2d    Metal strap for setter, say (4)
LEAD: Double definition; the second being a noun referring to a strap or cord for restraining and guiding a domestic animal, here a dog, as an example that leads to the first also a noun meaning a soft, heavy, ductile bluish-grey metal, the chemical element of atomic number 82

3d    Rabbit, something for breakfast (6)
WAFFLE: Double definition; the first being a verb meaning to speak or write at length in a vague or trivial manner that guides to the second a noun referring to a small crisp batter cake, baked in a waffle iron and eaten hot with butter or syrup at breakfast

4d    Reported variety searched for (6)
SOUGHT: SORT (variety) as one particular type of a thing serving as a homophone heard by the audience (reported) takes to the definition of a verb in the past tense meaning searched for or tried to find something

5d    Complete, however approximate (8)
THOROUGH: A charade of THO (however) as the non-standard spelling of ‘though’, meaning however or but and used to introduce a statement that contrasts with or seems to contradict something that has just been said and ROUGH (approximate) as not exact or precise takes to the definition of an adjective meaning complete with regard to every detail

6d    Link part of feature that smells (6)
BRIDGE: Double definition; the second being a noun referring to the hard ridge at the upper part of the nose, formed by the underlying nasal bones that leads to the first a verb meaning to connect or reduce the distance between two groups or seeming incompatible things

8d    Desire fellow animal doctor? (5)
COVET: A charade of CO (fellow) as partner, fellow or one who is associated with another in an action or assignment and VET (animal doctor) as a veterinary surgeon or someone who is qualified to give medical care and treatment to sick animals guides to the definition of a verb meaning to desire or wish for eagerly

9d    Old adversary fairly lacking in it (7)
ANTIQUE: ANTI (adversary) as an opponent or a person who is opposed to anything followed by QU[IT]E (fairly) as to a certain or fairly significant extent or degree that is without or not having (lacking in) IT of the clue, arriving at the definition of an adjective meaning ancient, old or belonging to earlier times

14d    Mixture of gases put out (3)
AIR: Double definition; the first being a noun meaning a mixture of invisible gases such as nitrogen, oxygen and minute amounts of other gases that surrounds the earth and forms its atmosphere and the second a verb meaning to broadcast on radio or television, expose to public view or bring to public notice

17d    Youth stirring green tea (8)
TEENAGER: An anagram (stirring) of GREEN TEA guides to the definition of a person from thirteen to nineteen years old inclusive

18d    Pulse up, seductive salsa ends (3)
PEA: The ending or last letters (ends) each of [U]P [SEDUCTIV]E [SALS]A take to the definition of a spherical green seed that is eaten as a vegetable or as a pulse when dried

19d    Load beginning to exclaim in horror (7)
FREIGHT: The beginning or first letter (beginning) to E[XCLAIM] is placed inside FRIGHT (horror) as a sudden intense feeling of fear, dread or terror, leading to the definition of lading or the action of loading a ship with cargo

20d    Male aggressor concealing advanced weapon (8)
TOMAHAWK: TOM (male) as the male of various animals, especially a domestic cat and HAWK (aggressor) as a person who advocates an aggressive or warlike policy, especially in foreign affairs as a combo keeping inside or hiding (concealing) A (advanced) as the abbreviation for advanced, arriving at the definition of a light axe used as a tool or weapon by North American Indians

21d    Force welcoming a cheer (6)
PRAISE: PRISE (force) as to use force in order to move, move apart or open something taking inside (welcoming) A from the clue, leading to the definition of the expression of approval of or admiration for someone or something

22d    Aerosol perhaps in dirty abode, inadequate (6)
SCANTY: CAN (aerosol) as a container, aerosol being one such, is placed inside STY (dirty abode) as an extremely filthy place or abode, guiding to the definition of an adjective meaning small or insufficient in quantity, amount, size or extent

23d    While up, rotate massive spinner (6)
SATURN: AS (while) as a conjunction used to indicate that something is happening during the time when something else is taking place is brought upwards (up) as a reversal in the down clue followed by TURN (rotate) as to move in a circular direction wholly or partly round an axis or point, arriving at the definition of the planet that is second in size, sixth in distance from the sun and having rings around it

24d    Char swimming round old fish (5)
ROACH: An anagram (swimming) of CHAR is placed around (round) O (old) as the abbreviation for old as OT in Old Testament, taking to the definition of a silvery freshwater fish of the carp family, with pale red ventral and tail fins

26d    Place in Idaho, Meridian (4)
HOME: Part of or hidden inside (in) idaHO MEridian takes to the definition of a habitual dwelling place or the residence of one’s family

There were several clues that I liked in this puzzle such as 13a, 15a, 16a, 23a, 25a, 26a, 2d, 3d, 5d, 8d, 20d, 22d, 23d and 26d; the best being 16a. Thanks once again to Dada for the entertainment and to BD for the encouragement. Would love to be here again. Have a nice day.