ST 3163 (full review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3163 (full review)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3163

A full review by Rahmat Ali

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This puzzle was published on 5th June 2022

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Greetings from Kolkata. Dada has offered us a very gentle Sunday puzzle that was thoroughly enjoyable and I now present to you a full review of the same for your perusal and would be enlightened and delighted to have your precious feedback.

The wordplays pertaining to ‘drunk’ of 1d and ‘drunk’ of 4d throw light on their cruciverbal homonymity, the first being subject to insertion and the second to anagramming.

‘Throwing’, the answer to the clue of 16d, is commonly known as chucking in the world of cricket. I became curious to know more about this illegal bowling action and hence turned to the net. I learnt that the laws of cricket set down that a bowler’s arm should not extend while bowling and clarify that only the shoulder could be rotated while affording velocity to the ball. Throwing can help a bowler to generate more pace and, more particularly, a spinner to generate more rotations on the ball and trouble the batsman. Throwing instead of bowling would eventually lead to a no-ball and the batsman would not be given out, even if it turns out to be so, from that delivery. Before the advent of developed biomechanical and audio-visual technology, judging a delivery as illegal or thrown was done through the naked eye of the field umpire. However, the law against throwing has not changed in its essence since overarm bowling was legalised in 1864. The International Cricket Council has set a limit of 15 degrees of permissible straightening of the elbow joint for all bowlers in international cricket. The law is applied between the point where the bowling arm passes above the shoulder height and the point where the ball is released. The permissible limit is meant only for the natural flexing of the elbow joint that occurs during the course of legal delivery. As the cricket players generally specialise in batting or bowling, the inability to rectify their action of throwing might spell doom for the bowlers by way of their forcible retirement.

Able, the answer to the clue of 24d, reminded me of the famous palindrome that I first saw in a book in British Council Library in the 1980s: Able was I ere I saw Elba. The quote is attributed to Napoleon Bonaparte, the renowned French leader who was once exiled to the island of Elba, although Le Petit Caporal himself did not ever construct it. However, the person who did formulate this palindromic sentence managed to take advantage of the historical event of his exile as the inspiration for his wordplay.

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7a    Chip
worktop (7)
COUNTER: Double definition; the first being a noun meaning a small disc used in board games for keeping the score or as a place marker and the second again a noun referring to a flat surface, especially in a kitchen and often of heat-resistant laminated plastic, that is used for preparation of food

8a    Curtail a card game (7)
ABRIDGE: A from the clue and BRIDGE (card game) as a card game related to whist, played by four players in two competing partnerships who at the beginning of each hand bid for the right to declare a trump suit, seek to win tricks equal to the final bid and play with the hand of declarer’s partner exposed and played by declarer take to the definition of a verb meaning to curtail a right or privilege or shorten a piece of writing without losing the sense

10a    Turning circle, more or less (10)
ROUND ABOUT (more or less) as an adverbial phrase meaning roughly or at a point or time approximately equal to leads to the definition of a traffic circle or a road junction at which traffic moves in one direction round a central island to reach one of the roads converging on it

11a    Man, that can fly! (4)
ROOK: A cryptic way of arriving at the definition of a chess piece typically with its top in the shape of a battlement (man) possessing the ability to move any number of unoccupied squares in a direction along a rank or file parallel to the sides of the chessboard on which it stands (that can fly)

12a    Rich, goal staggering for powerful ruler (8)
OLIGARCH: An anagram (staggering) of RICH GOAL guides to the definition of an extremely rich and powerful business leader, especially in Russia after the end of the former Soviet Union, with a great deal of political influence

14a    Pace of horse entering American territory (6)
CANTER: Part of or hidden inside (entering) ameriCAN TERritory guides to the definition of a pace of a horse or other quadruped between a trot and a gallop, with not less than one foot on the ground at any time

15a    Container filled with grit, else toxic spirit (11)
POLTERGEIST: POT (container) as a rounded or cylindrical container, typically of metal, used for cooking is containing or having inside (filled with) an anagram (toxic) of GRIT ELSE, giving a definition of a ghost or other supernatural being supposedly responsible for physical disturbances such as making loud noises and throwing objects about

19a    For example, a gramophone record artist (6)
TURNER: A cryptic way of describing a thin disc of a plastic material upon which sound has been recorded in grooves on each surface, when played on a phonograph, turning or causing to turn or whirling round or acting like a turner that leads to the definition of Joseph Mallord William TURNER as the English Romantic painter, printmaker and watercolourist

20a    Prepare to go on the fiddle? I applaud you! (4,1,3)
TAKE A BOW: Double definition; the second being a figurative expression used to acknowledge appreciation of an audience’s applause by an actor or actors at the end of a show or performance by bending forward or inclining the head that is cryptically arrived at from the first that tells what one is supposed to do when getting ready to use the stringed instrument

22a    Yearn for
girl (4)
MISS: Double definition; the first being a verb meaning to have an intense feeling of longing for something, typically something that one has lost or been separated from and the second a noun referring to a young unmarried woman or girl

23a    Merchant here allows fake (10)
WHOLESALER: An anagram (fake) of HERE ALLOWS guides to the definition of a merchant middleman who sells goods in large quantities at low prices chiefly to retailers, other merchants or industrial, institutional and commercial users mainly for resale or business use

25a    Member welcomed by man — top, say? (7)
GARMENT: ARM (member) as
each of the two upper limbs of the human body from the shoulder to the hand taken inside (welcomed) by GENT (man) as an informal and old-fashioned term for gentleman or man, taking to the definition of an item of clothing covering the upper part of the body and worn with a skirt, trousers or shorts, as an example

26a    Blade caused injury to female (7)
CUTLASS: A charade of CUT (caused injury to) as a verb in the past tense meaning caused injury to someone by piercing or penetrating a part of their body or by cutting their skin with a sharp-edged instrument or object and LASS (female) as a girl or young woman as in Scotland and Northern England, arriving at the definition of a short sword with a slightly curved blade, formerly used by sailors


1d    Certainly not a hundred drunk by spy, single glass (7)
MONOCLE: A combo of NO (certainly not) as not at all or to no extent and C (a hundred) as the Roman numeral for one hundred is swallowed (drunk) by MOLE (spy), leading to the definition of a single
eyeglass, kept in position by the muscles around the eye

2d    Writer hasn’t been identified
in a little while (4)
ANON: Double definition, the first as a noun and abbreviation for anonymous often written after poems or other writings to indicate an unknown writer or author and the second an adverb meaning quite soon, shortly or in a short time or little while

3d    Mend about two (6)
REPAIR: A charade of the preposition RE (about) as a commercial jargon used to indicate ‘with reference to’, ‘concerning’ or ‘about’ and PAIR (two) as a set of two things used together or regarded as a unit takes to the definition of a verb meaning to restore something damaged, faulty or worn to a good condition

4d    Something to climb over drunk locates round back of pub (8)
OBSTACLE: An anagram (drunk) of LOCATES placed around (round) the back or last letter (back) of [PU]B, leading to the definition of an obstacle course used in training for the army or military which has, inter alia, climbing as one of the techniques to be performed that include
climbing straight or knotted ropes that are one and a half inches wide, scaling an unstable cargo net, climbing a fireman’s vertical pole 15 to 20 feet high and 6 to 8 inches wide and climbing walls 7 to 8 feet high

5d    Pacific region where nice Maoris scattered (10)
MICRONESIA: An anagram (scattered) of NICE MAORIS guides to the definition of a subregion of Oceania, consisting of about two thousand small islands in the western Pacific Ocean

6d    Go in off snooker ball pushed to one side (7)
IGNORED: An anagram (off) of GO IN is followed by RED (snooker ball) as a red ball in snooker or billiards, leading to the definition of a verb in the past tense meaning disregarded intentionally or refused to acknowledge

9d    The two are not, I gathered, rats! (11)
BOTHERATION: BOTH (the two) as a determiner used for emphasis to refer to two people or things, regarded and identified together followed by an anagram (gathered) of ARE NOT I take to the definition of an exclamation used to express mild irritation or annoyance

13d    Moon’s edges blurred, I say! (8,2)
GOODNESS ME: An anagram (blurred) of MOON’S EDGES guides to the definition of a mild exclamation of surprise, alarm, dismay, annoyance, or exasperation

16d    Fielder’s skill is absent in this sport (8)
THROWING: IS is excluded (absent) through removal in TH[IS] followed by ROWING (sport) as the sport or pastime of propelling a boat by means of oars, arriving at the definition of an illegal bowling action which occurs when a bowler straightens the bowling arm when delivering the ball in cricket

17d    Joke about girl, prude (7)
PURITAN: PUN (joke) as a joke exploiting the different possible meanings of a word or the fact that there are words which sound alike but have different meanings is placed around (about) RITA (girl) as the short form for the name ‘Margarita’, the Spanish form of Margaret, the name of a girl, leading to the definition of a person who is excessively concerned with propriety or modesty, especially in sexual matters

18d    Heroism, surprisingly addictive (7)
MOREISH: An anagram (surprisingly) of HEROISM guides to the definition of an adjective meaning so pleasant to eat that one wants more

21d    Part of castle built, stay with me! (4,2)
KEEP UP: A charade of KEEP (part of castle) as the strongest or central tower of a castle, acting as a final refuge and UP (built) as put up or built, arriving at the definition of a phrasal verb meaning to keep pace with or to move or progress at the same rate or speed as someone or something else

24d    Clever board has sacked leader (4)
ABLE: [T]ABLE (board) as a piece of furniture with a flat top and one or more legs, providing a level surface for eating, writing or working at has removed (sacked) the leading or beginning letter T (leader), leading to the definition of an adjective meaning having or showing the ability to learn and understand things quickly and easily

The clues that I liked in this puzzle were 10a, 11a, 15a, 19a, 20a, 25a, 1d, 2d, 6d, 9d, 13d and 16d; the topper being 9d. Thanks to Dada for the entertainment and to BD for the encouragement. Would love to be here again. Have a nice day.

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