ST 3166 (full review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3166 (full review)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3166

A full review by Rahmat Ali

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This puzzle was published on 26th June 2022

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

Greetings from Kolkata. A very light and pretty straightforward Sunday puzzle of Dada that I highly enjoyed solving and then writing a full review of the same for your kind perusal and valuable feedback.

Caries, the definition to the clue of 4d, is the Latin word for ‘rottenness’. It is the decay and crumbling of a tooth. Caries can bring forth toothache, difficulty with eating, inflammation of the tissue around the tooth and even tooth loss. Hence, it is also a progressive destruction of a tooth that can ultimately lead to its death. Caries is mostly associated with irregular brushing of the teeth and poor cleaning of the mouth. Various types of dentists such as orthodontists, pedodontists, endodontists, periodontists, prosthodontists, inter alios, are available these days vis-à-vis the only ‘dentists’ of the yesteryears to provide treatment of various ailments of tooth. Still, a dentist will not allow a tooth to be in its place where the concerned tooth has undergone a severe decay and where its removal is the only option. Drawing comparison among people, the Shakespearean Caesar might have vociferated, “Cowards die many times before their death; the valiant never taste of death but once”, I find here my mind telling me, “People, young or old, will taste of death once; those having a very long life will see many to all of their teeth dying before their death.” Therefore, to take the best care of one’s teeth in order to suffer loss the least is perhaps our only option.

I wanted to know more about ‘ninety-nine’ that formed part of the wordplay of 22d. In fact, as a number, it initially led me to also ponder its importance in any sector or field, but it did come to me as a wonder when I could not hit on any specific reason to glorify it. Instead, I, in the twinkling of an eye, visualised the anguish of a cricketer failing to hit a century and heartbreakingly seeing their final score at 99! Since I could not have guessed it to be an edible item, I found the illustration provided by Senf to be, indeed, apposite and then I turned to the net to know whether ‘ninety-nine’ was an ice cream or an ice cream cone. After solving the puzzle, I explored the net for a detailed information on the cone. I found out that it can also be represented as ’99’ or called as ’99 Flake’, all the more because it contains a half-sized Cadbury-produced flake bar. The flake that was created at the Cadbury’s factory in Birmingham was originally designed to be cuboid and to fit into a wafer. Hence, in the beginning, ’99 Flake’ was a wafer ‘sandwich’, consisting of a small chocolate flake inserted between two servings of ice cream and placed between two wafer biscuits. In 1930, Cadbury started producing a smaller version of the standard flake bar especially for use with ice cream cones under the name ’99 Flake’ that sold loose in boxes. ‘Ninety-nine’ is usually vanilla flavoured. Variations include a ’99’ with two flakes and often referred to as a ‘double 99’ or ‘bunny’s ears’ and a ’99’ with strawberry or raspberry syrup on top, sometimes known as ‘monkey’s blood’.

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7a    Two alcoholic drinks, I say, for game (3,5)
GIN RUMMY: A charade of GIN and RUM (two alcoholic drinks) as alcoholic beverages, the first being distilled from grain or malt and flavoured with juniper berries or anise and caraway seeds and the second from fermented sugar-cane juice or from molasses and MY (I say) as used interjectionally to express surprise takes to the definition of a rummy game for two players in which a player whose unmatched cards count ten or less may stop the game

9a    Canopy becoming evident, though not opening (6)
AWNING: [D]AWNING (becoming evident) as being perceived or understood or becoming evident to the mind without the first or opening letter (though not opening), leading to the definition of a sheet of canvas or other material stretched on a frame and used to keep the sun or rain off a shop window, doorway or ship’s deck

10a    Careless, fail once more? (6)
REMISS: MISS (fail) as fail to reach, hit, meet, find or attain some specified or implied aim, goal, target etc having RE (once more) as afresh, anew or once more used as a prefix and thus placed earlier, taking to the definition of an adjective meaning negligent or lacking care or attention to duty

11a    Increase number within layer (8)
HEIGHTEN: EIGHT (number) as one more than seven in number is placed inside (within) HEN (layer) as a bird that lays eggs, leading to the definition of a verb meaning to increase the amount or degree of something

12a    Supporting part of garment, spare tights apt when elasticated (9,5)
SPAGHETTI STRAP: An anagram (when elasticated) of SPARE TIGHTS APT guides to the definition of a very thin shoulder strap acting as a supporter to a bare-shouldered garment of a woman

15a    Briton sensing change of tactics, initially (4)
SCOT: The initial or first letters (initially) from each of S[ENSING] C[HANGE] O[F] T[ACTICS] take to the definition of a person of Scottish descent or a native of Scotland that is part of Great Britain

17a    Canine eluding odontologist’s embedded (5)
DINGO: Part of or hidden inside (embedded) eluDING Odontologist’s guides to the definition of a wild or half-domesticated dog with a sandy-coloured coat, found in Australia

19a    Weakling died, rest well (4)
DRIP: A charade of D (died) as the abbreviation for died written before the date of someone’s death and RIP (rest well) as the abbreviation for the Latin expression requiescat in pace meaning ‘may he or she rest in peace’ that appears as engraved on a gravestone and serves as a common epitaph written in memory of a person who has died or a prayer for the dead person to lie peacefully in the grave leads to the definition of a weak and ineffectual person

20a    Man squeezed into lift closer, unfortunately, for the present (8,6)
STOCKING FILLER: KING (man) as the most important man or piece in chess, of which each player has one, which the opponent has to checkmate in order to win, is pushed inside (squeezed into) an anagram (unfortunately) of LIFT CLOSER, arriving at the definition of a small present suitable for putting in a Christmas stocking

23a    Conspicuous
thumping (8)
STRIKING: Double definition; the first being an adjective meaning attracting attention by reason of being unusual, extreme or prominent and the second a verb in the continuous form meaning hitting forcibly and deliberately with one’s hand or a weapon or other implement

25a    One making marks and so forth, that woman (6)
ETCHER: The definition of a person who etches or engraves metal, glass or stone by coating it with a protective layer, drawing on it with a needle, and then covering it with acid to attack the parts the needle has exposed, especially in order to produce marks or prints from it is arrived at from ETC (and so forth) as ‘and so on’ or ‘and so forth’ and as the abbreviation for the Latin expression et cetera meaning ‘and the rest’ and HER (that woman) as a genitive or possessive pronoun or a pronoun in the accusative or dative case pertaining to the third person singular feminine gender

27a    Leader in hiding after cadet breaks free (6)
DETACH: The first or leading letter (leader) in H[IDING] is placed after (after) an anagram (breaks) of CADET, taking to the definition of a verb meaning to leave or separate oneself from a group or place

28a    Further into sea, offered care and protection (8)
MOTHERED: OTHER (further) as additional to what already exists or has already taken place, been done or been accounted for is placed inside (into) MED (sea) as the informal term for the Mediterranean Sea, arriving at the definition of a verb in the past tense meaning brought up someone with care and affection or cared for and protected like a mother


1d    Penalty
nothing to worry about (4)
FINE: Double definition; the first being a noun meaning a sum of money exacted as a penalty by a court of law or other authority and the second an adjective used as an exclamation to tell someone that their action, suggestion or decision was good enough or acceptable and hence there was no need to worry about it or ironically used when a person, despite being depressed or unwell, does not want the other person to know about it and get worried

2d    Loose sovereign, round item (6)
ERRING: The definition of an adjective meaning straying from the right moral course or accepted standards is arrived at from ER (sovereign) as the abbreviation for Elizabeth Regina, the longest-lived and longest-reigning British monarch; the name taken on by Her Majesty upon ascending the throne and the word ‘regina’ being the Latin name for queen followed by RING (round item) as a ring-shaped or circular object

3d    This writer’s short article, a delusion (4)
MYTH: MY (this writer’s) as of or belonging to the compiler and writer of this crossword puzzle and TH[E] (article) as the definite article in the English language that is not having the last letter (short), taking to the definition of a widely held but false belief or idea

4d    One going in provides treatment for tooth decay (6)
CARIES: I (one) as the Roman numeral for one is entering (going in) CARES (provides treatment) as looks after and provides the needs of someone, leading to the definition of a decay and crumbling of a tooth

5d    Joiner keeping job, held down (8)
ANCHORED: AND (joiner) as a conjunction used to connect words of the same part of speech, clauses or sentences that are to be taken jointly is having inside (keeping) CHORE (job) as a routine task, especially a household one, taking to the definition of a verb in the past tense meaning prevented a ship or boat from moving due to a heavy device that is attached to it by a rope or chain and thrown into the water to hold it in place

6d    Crack force in venture (10)
ENTERPRISE: A charade of ENTER (crack) as to enter, open a place, vehicle or container forcibly, especially for the purpose of theft and PRISE (force) as to move or force, especially in an effort to get something open guides to the definition of a project or undertaking, especially a bold or complex one

8d    Get wrong mark, raised erroneously (7)
MISREAD: M (mark) as the abbreviation for mark or marks, referring to the Deutschmark or Deutsche Mark, the erstwhile German currency followed by an anagram (erroneously) of RAISED, taking to the definition of a verb meaning to judge or interpret incorrectly

13d    Step ahead of dog, one temporarily leading (4-6)
PACE-SETTER: PACE (step) as a single step taken when walking or running is placed in front (ahead) of SETTER (dog) as a dog of a large long-haired breed trained to stand rigid when scenting game, arriving at the definition of a person who is in the lead during part of a race or competition and therefore decides the speed or standard of the race or competition for that time

14d    Figure working in joint (5)
TENON: A charade of TEN (figure) as one more than nine in number and ON (working) as functioning or working as of an electrical appliance or power supply leads to the definition of a noun meaning a strong joint formed by fitting one end of a piece of specially-shaped wood into a mortise or hole in another piece of wood

16d    Very hot temperature, almost all polar ice melted (8)
TROPICAL: T (temperature) as the symbol for temperature as in physics followed by an anagram (melted) of most of the letters (almost all) of POLAR IC[E] lead to the definition of an adjective meaning very hot and humid

18d    Unusual, not on strike (7)
OFFBEAT: A charade of OFF (not on) as not connected or functioning and BEAT (strike) to hit or strike someone repeatedly takes to the definition of an adjective meaning different from the ordinary, usual or expected in usually an appealing way

21d    Cloak finally on dark horseman (6)
KNIGHT: The last or final letter (finally) of [CLOA]K is placed upon (on) NIGHT (dark) as the night-time or the time of darkness in the down clue, arriving at the definition of a warrior of the Middle Ages who fought on horseback, served a king, held a special military rank and swore to behave in a noble way

22d    Beaten, as ninety-nine may have been? (6)
LICKED: Double definition; the second being a verb meaning passed the tongue over or moved the tongue across the surface of something as a way of eating it, referring to what may have been done to a ninety-nine that is a traditional British ice cream cone with a stick of flaky chocolate in it that leads to the first again a verb meaning defeated someone or something or overcame or solved a difficult problem

24d    Willing
pheasants, for example (4)
GAME: Double definition; the second being an example of a group of a particular type of bird hunted for sport or food that leads to the first an adjective meaning eager or willing to do something new or challenging

26d    Somewhat neglected, English garden (4)
EDEN: Part of or hidden inside (somewhat) neglectED ENglish guides to the definition of the garden or earthly paradise where, according to the account in Genesis, Adam and Eve, the first man and woman respectively, first lived

There were many clues that I liked in this puzzle such as 11a, 12a, 20a, 25a, 28a, 2d, 5d, 13d and 22d; 22d being the best of the lot. Thanks to Dada for the entertainment, to BD for the encouragement and to Gazza for the assistance. Looking forward to be here again. Have a pleasant day.

5 comments on “ST 3166 (full review)

  1. Thank you for explaining 4d, Rahmat. I hadn’t encountered the word before, it wasn’t a clue that Senf hinted, the checkers (-A-I-S, I think?) didn’t inspire me to anything, and I failed to work out the wordplay — so DNF for me.

    I enjoyed the crossword overall though, with many fun clues in there, which apparently I didn’t note down on the day and have since forgotten. So non-specific thanks to Dada. Oh, maybe 2d’s lose sovereign was one of them.

    1. Not the first time, and probably not the last, that the tooth decay has appeared in a puzzle.

      Thanks Rahmat.

      1. Thank you as ever, Senf, for liking my review that always comes to me as a great encouragement.

    2. Thank you once again, Smylers, for liking my review and, more particularly, my explanation of 4d.

  2. 3*/4*…
    liked 20A “Man squeezed into lift closer, unfortunately, for the present (8,6)”

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