ST 3175 (full review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3175 (full review)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3175

A full review by Rahmat Ali

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This puzzle was published on 28th Aug 2022

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

Greetings from Kolkata. A slightly tougher Sunday puzzle of Dada, but overall an enjoyable one to solve. I now have the pleasure of presenting to you a full review of the same and would be delighted to have your valuable feedback.

Postcard, the answer to the clue of 1d, reminded me of the days of September 1993, when I received by mail more than fifty postcards within a span of two to three days. Postcard has all along been the cheapest mode of communication in our country. During those days, it used to cost around 15 paise per piece or £0.00163 of today’s worth. Never before in my life did I receive even two postcards at a time. However, what actually surprised me was not the number of the postcards, but the age of the senders. In fact, they were all children studying in a school in the state of then-Andhra Pradesh, now bifurcated into two: Andhra Pradesh and Telengana. All of them belonged to Class V; thus they must have been in the age group 9-11. I had already been receiving letters in sealed envelopes and continued to receive them for about a month. But obviously, there was a strong and valid reason about it and I must bring to light as to why so many letters poured in for me. I had participated in an all-India essay contest organised by Competition Review Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi for their monthly magazine, Competition Success Review, the largest selling educational magazine of India with a now annual readership of more than a million. There were three different topics and a participant was supposed to write on any one of them. The best essays on all the three topics were published and prizes awarded. I had written on the topic ‘India of My Dreams’. Although I was overall the Second Prize Winner, my essay was adjudged as best for that topic and published in the magazine of September 1993. I was awarded a certificate, gift hampers and a cheque for two thousand rupees. All the letters and postcards that I received from hundreds of people, young and old, from all over the country were, as could be guessed, congratulatory messages for bagging the prize and commendations for writing the essay. Well, of course, I also replied to each one of them along with my thanks seconded with good wishes and, more particularly, to each of the school-going children of Class V with my photograph and autograph, as demanded by them. Considering their age-group, I feel that those children might have been instructed by or inspired through their class teacher who might have been impressed by my essay. In February 2020, my son repeated the feat of his father following his participation in the essay contest of Competition Review Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi that had, once again, ‘India of My Dreams’ as one of the topics. He chose to write on ‘India of My Dreams’, was adjudged as the First Prize Winner for that essay and was rewarded with gift hampers and his essay was published in their magazine. Coming back to postcard, I must say that the postcards of the little children will remain with me as one of the most cherished gifts I have ever received.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Troublesome child in predicament? (6)
PICKLE: Double definition of informal terms; the second meaning a muddle or tricky situation that leads to the first that is used as an affectionate form of address to a mischievous child

4a    Fighter in soup, what a mess! (8)
SOUTHPAW: An anagram (a mess) of SOUP WHAT guides to the definition of a left-handed boxer who leads with the right hand

9a    Fiddle about right for its cord? (6)
STRING: STING (fiddle) as to swindle or exorbitantly overcharge someone is placed around (about) R (right) as the abbreviation for right, taking to the definition of a slender cord or thick thread used for binding or tying

10a    Very old style adopted by philosopher (5-3)
STONE-AGE: TONE (style) as a style or manner of expression in speaking or writing embraced (adopted) by SAGE (philosopher) as a great wise man, especially in ancient history or legend or a mentor in spiritual and philosophical topics who is renowned for profound wisdom, arriving at the definition of an adjective meaning belonging to the very early period of human history when tools and weapons were made of stone

12a    Steal
bed (4)
CRIB: Double definition; the second being a noun denoting a child’s bed, usually with slatted sides that leads to the first a verb meaning to plagiarise or steal another person’s work

13a    Spoil opening of film after error (2,3)
GO OFF: The opening or starting letter (opening) of F[ILM] following or coming after (after) GOOF (error) as a blunder or mistake, leading to the definition of a phrasal verb meaning to begin to decompose and become inedible, especially of food and drink

14a    Bit of white, a little colour (4)
TEAL: Part of or hidden inside (bit of) whiTE A Little guides to the definition of a dark greenish-blue colour

17a    Tossing and turning irately, European heard wake-up call (7,5)
REALITY CHECK: An anagram (tossing and turning) of IRATELY followed by a homophone heard by the audience (heard) of CZECH (European) as a person of Czech descent or a native or inhabitant of the Czech Republic that is in Europe, arriving at the definition of an informal term for a reminder or wake-up call

20a    Hollow roar breaking boundaries when flying — at this? (5,7)
SOUND BARRIER: R[OA]R as devoid of the inner letters (hollow) getting inside (breaking) an anagram (when flying at) of BOUNDARIES, leading to the definition of the large increase in aerodynamic drag and other undesirable effects experienced by an aircraft or other object when it approaches the speed of sound 

23a    Block
piece of publicity (4)
PLUG: Double definition; the first being a verb meaning to block or fill in a hole or cavity and the second informally referring to a piece of favourable publicity, especially one incorporated in other material

24a    Rabbit on
jet (5)
SPOUT: Double definition; the first being a verb meaning to speak a lot, in a way that is boring or annoying for other people and the second a noun denoting a stream, jet or discharge of or as of liquid coming out of something with some force

25a    Margaret has missed starter — like a frittata? (4)
EGGY: [P]EGGY as one of the diminutives of the name Margaret has fallen short (missed) of P as the starting or first letter (starter), leading to the definition of an adjective meaning abounding in eggs as found in an Italian dish that is made with beaten eggs

28a    Wicked sin in Adonis (8)
DEVILISH: EVIL (sin) as profound immorality and wickedness, especially when regarded as a supernatural force is placed inside (in) DISH (Adonis) as an informal term for a sexually attractive person, arriving at the definition of an adjective meaning morally bad or showing the cunning or ingenuity or wickedness typical of a devil

29a    Slight backtracking later on, girl admits (6)
IGNORE: Part of or hidden inside (admits) latER ON GIrl coming back (backtracking) as a reversal in the across clue guides to the definition of a verb meaning to refuse to take notice of or acknowledge or to disregard intentionally

30a    Short of money, son unable to get out (8)
STRAPPED: A charade of S (son) as the genealogical abbreviation for son and TRAPPED (unable to get out) as unable to move or escape as a result of obstruction guides to the definition of an informal term for an adjective meaning suffering from scarcity, especially of money

31a    Party including a show (6)
REVEAL: REVEL (party) as a lively and noisy enjoyment, especially with drinking and dancing having inside (including) A from the clue, taking to the definition of a verb meaning to cause or allow something to be seen


1d    Eccentric type after job mailed item (8)
POSTCARD: CARD (eccentric type) as a comical or eccentric person is placed after (after) POST (job) as a position of paid employment or a job, arriving at the definition of a card for sending a message by mail without an envelope, typically having a photograph or other illustration on one side

2d    Fashion designer pinning first of gems on a knitted garment (8)
CARDIGAN: Pierre CARDIN (fashion designer) as the Italian-born naturalised-French fashion designer holding inside (pinning) the first or initial letter (first) of G[EMS] placed upon (on) A from the clue, leading to the definition of a piece of knitted woollen clothing that covers the upper part of the body and the arms, fastening at the front with buttons and worn over other clothes

3d    Acquire
ground as property (4)
LAND: Triple definition; the first being a verb meaning to succeed in obtaining or achieving something desirable, especially in the face of competition, the second a noun referring to the part of the earth’s surface that is not covered by water and the third a noun denoting an area of ground, especially in terms of its ownership or use

5d    Wherefrom sunbeams descend without warning? (3,2,3,4)
OUT OF THE BLUE: The definition of a phrase meaning all of a sudden, unexpectedly or without warning is cryptically arrived at as a response referring to the sunny, clear, blue sky wherefrom the sunbeams seem to descend on our earth

6d    Container for wine served with a fish (4)
TUNA: TUN (container for wine) as a large beer or wine cask to which is added (served with) A from the clue provides the definition of a large and active predatory schooling fish of warm seas, extensively fished commercially as a food fish and popular as a bluewater game fish

7d    Design alien world (6)
PLANET: A charade of PLAN (design) as to design something to be made or built and ET (alien) as an abbreviated version for an extraterrestrial or a hypothetical or fictional being from outer space leads to the definition of the earth we live in

8d    Car, where wife put on shoes (6)
WHEELS: W (wife) as the genealogical abbreviation of wife is placed upon (put on) HEELS (shoes) as high-heeled shoes in the down clue, taking to the definition of an informal term for a car

11d    Notepad’s pacy new IT tool (4-3-5)
COPY-AND-PASTE: An anagram (new) of NOTEPADS’S PACY guides to the definition of the two commands in a computer user interface that help in creating a duplicate of a selected text, data, files or objects in a storage area called clipboard using the copy command and inserting the said text, data, files or objects in another location using the paste command

15d    Insignificant digger, it’s said (5)
MINOR: The definition of an adjective meaning lesser in importance, seriousness or significance from a homophone as reported to the audience (it’s said) of MINER (digger) as a person who works in a mine, digging coal, salt, gold, minerals or other natural resources out of the earth

16d    Net
twenty (5)
SCORE: Double definition; the first being a verb meaning to gain a point, goal, run etc in a competitive game and the second a noun referring to a group or set of twenty

18d    Identify uplifting English tune, Help! (8)
DIAGNOSE: A charade of E (English) as the abbreviation for English, SONG (tune) as written words set to music or meant to be sung to a tune or the characteristic tuneful call or sound made by certain birds or insects and AID (Help!) as to come to rescue by providing support for or relief to, all going upwards (uplifting) as a reversal in the down clue, leading to the definition of a verb meaning to identify the nature of an illness or other problem by examination of the symptoms

19d    Marine mammal remarkably large: yes! (4,4)
GREY SEAL: An anagram (remarkable) of LARGE YES guides to the definition of a large seal with a spotted greyish coat and a convex profile that populates North Atlantic coastal waters

21d    Tools passed up the wall (6)
SPADES: An anagram (up the wall) of PASSED guides to the definition of tools each with a sharp-edged, typically rectangular, metal blade and a long handle, used for digging or cutting earth, sand, turf etc

22d    Shake
note (6)
QUAVER: Double definition; the first being a verb meaning to shake or tremble in speaking, typically through nervousness or emotion and the second a noun referring to a note having the time value of an eighth of a semibreve or half a crotchet, represented by a large dot with a hooked stem

26d    Label
stew (4)
FLAP: Double nounal definition; the first referring to a thin, flat piece of paper, cloth, metal etc that is hinged or attached on one side only and hangs down from something and the second denoting a panic or a state of agitation

27d    Eyeball, optical globe looking everywhere initially (4)
OGLE: The first or initial letters (initially) of O[PTICAL] G[LOBE] L[OOKING] E[VERYWHERE] guide to the definition of a verb meaning to stare at someone in a lecherous manner

There were several clues that I liked in this puzzle such as 1a, 4a, 10a, 13a, 17a, 20a, 25a, 30a, 2d,3d, 5d, 7d, 15d, 18d and 21d; 25a being the best of the lot. Thanks once again to Dada for the entertainment, to BD for the encouragement and to Gazza for the assistance. Looking forward to being here again. Have a pleasant day.

11 comments on “ST 3175 (full review)

  1. Wow, lovely story about the postcards and both you and your son in the essay competition.

    Never mind the crossword, it was worth reading this page just for that anecdote!

  2. Thanks for the review as entertaining as ever.

    I am familiar with 1a PICKLE in reference to a child but more as a general term of endearment; however, the BRB says ‘troublesome’ – heigh ho!

  3. I always enjoy reading your reviews, Rahmat and particularly enjoyed this lovely story. Thank you.
    It’s sad that e-mails or phone calls seem to have replaced the thank you letters which were so treasured (though I do remember how hard it was to get my children to write them!)

    1. Thank you once again, Essar, for always enjoying reading my reviews and thank you also for liking my story about the postcards and the essay competition. What you say regarding the e-mails and phone calls is very much true!

    1. You’ve lengthened your alias so your comment needed moderation – both versions will work from now on.

      BRB is the Big Red Book (Chambers Dictionary).

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