ST 3173 (full review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3173 (full review)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3173

A full review by Rahmat Ali

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This puzzle was published on 14th Aug 2022

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Greetings from Kolkata. Dada has given us a nice and straightforward Sunday puzzle that I enjoyed solving and now have the pleasure of presenting to you a full review of the same and would be delighted to have your precious feedback.

Vietnam, the answer to the clue of 8a, took me down memory lane of 1973 when I was in Class VIII. I reminisced people of our locality smilingly and quite often telling one another Tomar Nam, Amar Nam, Vietnam, Vietnam that I then heard for the first time. That was in Bengali meaning “Your name, my name, Vietnam, Vietnam.” At that time, I could not comprehend the inner meaning of those words. I now became inquisitive and wanted to explore the net for a detailed picture. I discovered that many demonstrations were held in the-then Calcutta even in the 1960s, our city which is now called Kolkata, by the Communist Party of India which was gaining a foothold in the state of West Bengal, to protest against the involvement of the United States in the Vietnam War and Tomar Nam, Amar Nam, Vietnam, Vietnam became a rallying cry of the people here. Now I understand that this slogan that was on everybody’s lips actually meant “Vietnam is your name, Vietnam is my name” and it was raised particularly to express our solidarity with the people of Vietnam. In 2019, Pham Sanh Chau, the Ambassador of Vietnam to India opined that the voice of humanity was heard from the city and acknowledged the moral support that people of the-then Calcutta provided to the Vietnamese.

Maestri, the answer to the clue of 17a, is the plural of maestro that is derived in English from Italian and Spanish maestro meaning ‘master’ or ‘teacher’ as an honorific title of respect. Maestros is also used as plural in English. However, in the Italian language, maestro, maestra, maestri, maestre are the four varieties referring to masculine singular, feminine singular, masculine plural and feminine plural of the word. In the Spanish language, the singular word for both the genders are the same as in Italian, but, unlike in Italian, maestros and maestras are the masculine plural and feminine plural of the word. Finally, in the Portuguese language, mestre, mestra, mestres and mestras are the four types referring to masculine singular, feminine singular, masculine plural and feminine plural of the word.

Kerosene, the answer to the clue of 5d, reminded me that it was part and parcel of our life till the mid-2000s. During my childhood, we used a kerosene lamp at night as we did not have the electricity connection then. That helped me in my studies. Just before sleep, my grandmother used to make the light dimmer by tuning the knob of that lamp. In those days, coal and wood were the main fuel for cooking food. In the 1970s, when we got the electricity connection, we had only one bulb for the purpose of light in the evening but we did not have any fan. In the 1980s, the coal and wood were replaced by kerosene as the solitary cooking fuel and stove occupied the place of the mud oven. Finally, we bid good-bye to kerosene around sixteen years ago when we took the gas connection.

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Across

7a    Artificial image, latest captured (7)
PLASTIC: PIC (image) as a colloquial term for a picture having LAST (latest) as most recent in time or coming after all others in time or order taken inside (captured), leading to the definition of an adjective meaning unattractively synthetic or artificial

8a    Native abroad heading for mountainous country (7)
VIETNAM: An anagram (abroad) of NATIVE and the head or first letter (heading) for M[OUNTAINOUS] guide to the definition of a country in Southeast Asia and the fifteenth-most populous country of the world

10a    Theological studies topical in periodical (9)
RECURRENT: A charade of RE (theological studies) as an abbreviation for religious education that is referring to teaching about a particular religion and its varied aspects and CURRENT (topical) as belonging to the present time; happening or being used or done now leads to the definition of an adjective meaning occurring or appearing again, especially repeatedly or periodically

11a    Duck called for ape (5)
ORANG: A charade of O (duck) as a batsman’s score of nought and RANG (called) as called by telephone guides to the definition of a short version for orangutan that is a large mainly solitary arboreal ape with long red hair, long arms, and hooked hands and feet, native to Borneo and Sumatra


12a    Vacant English politician, vacuous Tory (5)
EMPTY: E (English) as the abbreviation for English, MP (politician) as the abbreviation for Member of Parliament who is obviously a politician and T[OR]Y as lacking content (vacuous) with the removal of the inner letters, arriving at the definition of an adjective meaning having nothing inside

13a    Unfortunately smellier, a French city (9)
MARSEILLE: An anagram (unfortunately) of SMELLIER A guides to the definition of the oldest and the second most populous city of France


15a    Carrying Roo initially, Winnie the Pooh’s friend set off (7)
TRIGGER: TIGGER (Winnie the Pooh’s friend) as a fictional character, being an energetic anthropomorphic stuffed tiger who is one of the best friends of Winnie the Pooh and possessing an affinity for bouncing is having inside (carrying) R as the beginning or initial letter (initially) of R[OO], leading to the definition of a verb meaning to set off or cause a device to function

17a    Parent tries playing aces (7)
MAESTRI: MA (parent) as a childish contraction for mamma or mother who is the female parent of a child and an anagram (playing) of TRIES take to the definition of masters, especially eminent musical composers or conductors

18a    Crazy
where ivy might climb? (2,3,4)
UP THE WALL: Double definition; the second being the obvious reply to the question (where ivy might climb?) where ivy is a woody evergreen Eurasian climbing plant, typically having shiny, dark green five-pointed leaves and like any other climbing plant, it also attaches itself to something, such as a wall, as it grows up that leads to the first a colloquial expression meaning mad or distracted or into a state of intense agitation, annoyance or frustration

20a    Slip
down (5)
FLUFF: Double definition; the first being a verb meaning to bungle in sport, musical or dramatic performance leading to the second a noun referring to any soft downy substance, especially the fur of a young mammal or feathers of a bird

21a    Large animal like that filling waste basket (5)
BISON: SO (like that) as an adverb meaning in the way or manner indicated, described or implied getting inside (filling) BIN (waste basket) as a container for rubbish, taking to the definition of a large wild ox with shaggy hair and a fatty hump


23a    Greek philosopher, a leader on Rhodes TS Eliot translated (9)
ARISTOTLE: A from the clue followed by the leading or first letter (leader) on R[HODES] and an anagram (translated) of TS ELIOT guide to the definition of the famous Greek philosopher and polymath of ancient Greece


24a    Calm priest introduced to half-cut reverend (7)
RELIEVE: ELI (priest) as the high priest in the Books of Samuel in the Bible is brought into (introduced to) REVE[REND] that is subject to half-exclusion (half-cut) with the removal of 50% of the letters, arriving at the definition of a verb meaning to bring, give or afford relief or calm to someone

25a    Terribly pleased — passed! (7)
ELAPSED: An anagram (terribly) of PLEASED guides to the definition of a verb in the past tense meaning passed or gone by, particularly with reference to time

Down

1d    Striker takes position for game’s critical moment (5,5)
MATCH POINT: A charade of
MATCH (striker) as a matchstick that acts as a striker against a rough surface of any of two sides of a matchbox for lighting something and POINT (position) as a particular spot, place or position in any area or on a map, object or surface takes to the definition of a situation, as in a game of tennis, when one of the players can win the match by winning the next point

2d    Level lie, by the sound of it? (6)
STOREY: STORY (lie) as an informal term for a lie or a false statement serving as a homophone heard by the audience (by the sound of it) guides to the definition of a part of a building comprising all the rooms that are on the same level


3d    Headline, one making a lot of noise? (8)
SCREAMER: Double nounal definition; the second meaning something or someone causing screams of excitement, laughter or the like that leads to the first referring to a slang term for a sensationally startling headline

4d    A tax collector ultimately beyond a two-dimensional icon (6)
AVATAR: A from the clue, VAT (tax) as the abbreviation for value added tax that is the tax on the amount by which the value of an article has been increased at each stage of its production or distribution and [COLLECTO]R with R as its ultimate or last letter (ultimately) placed after (beyond) A again from the clue, arriving at the definition of an icon or figure representing a particular person in a video game, internet forum etc


5d    Fuel: one reeks after spillage (8)
KEROSENE: An anagram (after spillage) of ONE REEKS guides to the definition of a light fuel oil obtained by distilling petroleum, used especially in jet engines and domestic heating boilers


6d    One girl edges away from another! (4)
ANNA: The definition displaying the name of a girl is arrived at from [H]ANNA[H] (another) as the name of another girl that is having its outermost letters (edges) removed (away)

7d    Six, say, tense before anaesthetic (7,6)
PERFECT NUMBER: PERFECT (tense) as the shorter version for the perfect tense used in verb to describe a complete action is placed prior to (before) NUMBER (anaesthetic) as the adjective ‘numb’ in its comparative degree meaning more anaesthetic or unable to feel anything in a particular part of the body to a greater degree, especially as a result of cold or anaesthesia, taking to the definition of an example of a number that is equal to the sum of its factors, including unity, as 6 = 1 + 2 + 3

9d    Attractive area where I am deflecting bombs (8,5)
MAGNETIC FIELD: An anagram (bombs) of I AM DEFLECTING guides to the definition of the space or area over which magnetic force is felt

14d    Laboratory experiment, content of chemical it must establish (6,4)
LITMUS TEST: Part of or hidden inside [
CHEMICA]L IT MUST EST[ABLISH] leads to the definition of a laboratory experiment in chemistry done by using litmus or litmus paper to determine if a solution is acidic or basic

16d    Drink teenager’s drunk (5,3)
GREEN TEA: An anagram (drunk) of TEENAGER guides to the definition of a tea made from unfermented leaves that is pale in colour and slightly bitter in flavour, produced mainly in China and Japan


17d    Teller of literary tale about popular hatter (8)
MILLINER: MILLER (teller of literary tale) as a character in Geoffrey Chaucer’s ‘The Canterbury Tales’ as one of the pilgrims on a trip to Canterbury and who, during the course of the journey, tells a tale that is somewhat blasphemous, ridiculing religious and scholarly clerks, carpenters and women placed around (about) IN (popular) as characteristic of, influenced by or representing a current, popular style, arriving at the definition of a person who designs, makes, trims or sells women’s hats

19d    A complex system observed before Durham’s opener bowled over (6)
AMAZED: A from the clue followed by MAZE (complex system) as a complex system of passages or paths between walls or hedges that is designed to confuse people who try to find their way through it, often as a form of amusement seen before the opening or first letter (opener) of D[URHAM] (Durham’s), leading to the definition of a verb in the past tense meaning astonished, awe-struck or dumbfounded

20d    Big cheese evidently satisfied mouser? (3,3)
FAT CAT: The image of a mouse-catching animal or a cat (mouser) that consumes more than an appropriate amount of food and becomes grossly overweight (evidently satisfied) leads to the definition of a wealthy, prosperous person, especially one who is thought to have gained excessive rewards

22d    One
fish (4)
SOLE: Double definition; the first being an adjective meaning only, lone, singular or solitary that leads to the second denoting a marine, elliptical flatfish of the genus Solea

There were several clues that I liked in this puzzle such as 7a, 12a, 15a, 17a, 21a, 1d, 7d, 9d, 14d, 17d, 19d and 20d; the best of the lot being 17d. Thanks once again to Dada for the entertainment, to BD for the encouragement and to Gazza for the assistance. Would be as ever delighted to be here again. Have a wonderful day.

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