ST 3181 (full review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3181 (full review)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3181

A full review by Rahmat Ali

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This puzzle was published on 9th Oct 2022

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Greetings from Kolkata. A very straightforward Sunday puzzle of Dada that I enjoyed solving and now have the pleasure of presenting to you once again a full review of the same and would be delighted to have your comments and feedback.

‘Like a lobster’ forming part of the wordplay to the clue of 19a, is described as ‘red’ that characterises the look of a lobster all over its body after it has been boiled. Such a fate of a lobster has given rise to an idiom ‘red as a lobster’ that is used to describe someone who is red faced with anger or red-skinned because of their exposure to the sun or some other situations.

My inquisitiveness to know more about ‘Florida’, part of the wordplay to the clue of 24a, made me explore the net and I chanced upon some fascinating facts. In the region known as the Florida Keys, there are altogether 800 Keys and they stretch over 180 miles. 42 bridges connect all the Florida Key islands. While the longest bridge, Seven Mile Bridge, is 35,716 feet long and it connects the mainland of Florida to the Florida Keys, the shortest bridge, Harris Gap Bridge, is only 37 feet in length. The beaches of Key West, the southernmost city in the United States, are breathtakingly beautiful, but most of their sand is not natural, but was shipped in from the Caribbean! Since 1981, more than 23 artificial reefs have been created in the waters off the Keys, mostly through the sinking of ships! In 2002, the Spiegal Grove, a then 34-year-old landing ship of the United States Navy, was purposely sunk in Key Largo to form an artificial coral reef! And, interestingly, the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is the only national marine sanctuary in the world to have approved artificial reefs! Finally, the Florida Keys and Florida in general have the most sea turtle nests in the United States and one can also visit a world-class sea turtle hospital in Florida!

‘On the nose’, the answer to the clue of 15d, reminded me of one of the days of 1974 when studying in Class IX I came across in a poetry book the lines, “With spectacles on nose and pouch on side; His youthful hose, well sav’d, a world too wide” in a poem entitled, ‘All the world’s a stage’ by William Shakespeare, which later on, was found by me to be a speech of Jacques in his play ‘As You Like It’. ‘All the world’s a stage’ is regarded as one of the best speeches written by the poet laureate of Europe.

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Across

1a    Meat’s lost on a Greek character (5)
GAMMA: The definition of the third letter of the Greek alphabet is arrived at from GAMM[ON] (meat) as the cured meat from the hindquarters of leg of a pig that has been deprived of (lost) ON followed by A from the clue

4a    Moral  direction? (5)
RIGHT: Double definition; the second being a noun referring to a direction that is opposite of left that takes to the first an adjective meaning good, just or in accordance with what is true or fitting

10a    Bald head in heat, unpleasantly warm? (8)
HAIRLESS: The first or the front letter (head) in H[EAT] followed by AIRLESS (unpleasantly warm) as stuffy, not ventilated or affecting unpleasantly because there is no air that leads to the definition of an adjective meaning having no hair


11a    Englishman who painted cog or wheel, say? (6)
TURNER: Double definition; the second either being an example of an implement that can be used to turn or flip something over that leads to the first referring to the name of the English Romantic painter, printmaker and watercolourist whose full name was Joseph Mallord William Turner

12a    Rush job (6)
CAREER: Double definition; the second being a noun referring to the job or progress or advancement in one’s profession or occupation during their working life that leads to the first a verb meaning to rush wildly or to move fast and in a way that is out of control, especially of a vehicle

13a    Good friend on pitch, everywhere (8)
GLOBALLY: G (good) as the abbreviation for good, ALLY (friend) as a friendly nation or person that helps or cooperates placed after (on) LOB (pitch) as to throw or hit a ball in a high arc, arriving at the definition of an adverb meaning in a way that is relating to or involving the entire world

14a    Remove four, roughly, imprisoned by Egyptian king (4,3)
TURF OUT: An anagram (roughly) of FOUR taken inside (imprisoned) by King TUT (Egyptian king) as the commonly referred name of King Tutankhamen, the Egyptian pharaoh who was the last of his royal family to rule during the 18th dynasty, guiding to the definition of an informal verb meaning to eject or throw out forcibly

16a    Lack of interest in a course ending in misery (6)
APATHY: A from the clue, PATH (course) as the course or route of line along which anything moves and the final or ending letter (ending) in [MISER]Y take to the definition of a noun denoting lack of feeling, passion or interest

17a    Timing device peters out (6)
PRESET: An anagram (out) of PETERS guides to the definition of a setting on a device that is adjusted or applied before use or by the manufacturer, especially on electronic audio or video equipment

19a    Food like a lobster back in soup (7)
CHOWDER: CHOW (food) as an informal term for food followed by RED (like a lobster) as boiled lobsters that look red all over their body that is coming from the opposite side (back) as a reversal in the across clue, leading to the definition of a North American dish of a stew or thick soup made of fish or clams with vegetables


21a    Privately, American misbehaving (2,6)
IN CAMERA: An anagram (misbehaving) of AMERICAN leads to the definition of a phrase meaning in private, in particular taking place in the private chambers of a judge, with the press and public excluded

22a    Things ending on balcony, close (6)
STUFFY: STUFF (things) as a colloquial term for a broad category or collection of indeterminate or unspecified things and the last or ending letter (ending) on [BALCON]Y guide to the definition of an adjective meaning oppressive to the breathing or lacking fresh air or ventilation

23a    Sticky material in novel crossword (6)
VELCRO: Part of or hidden inside noVEL CROssword guides to the definition of a brand name for a nylon fastening material for clothes etc consisting of two facing layers, the one composed of tiny hooks, the other of tiny loops, strips of which, attached one on either side of an opening, form a secure closure when pressed together


24a    Florida island’s mood — everything depends on it (8)
KEYSTONE: A charade of KEY’S (Florida island’s) as one of the islands of Florida and TONE (mood) as the general character or attitude of a place, piece of writing, situation etc takes to the definition of the central principle or part of a policy, system etc on which everything else depends

25a    Centre card (5)
HEART: Double nounal definition; the first being the central or innermost part of something and the second referring to one of the four suits in a conventional pack of playing cards, denoted by a red heart-shaped figure



26a    Initially petty, impertinent moralist (5)
PRUDE: The beginning or initial letter (initially) of P[ETTY] followed by RUDE (impertinent) as offensively impolite or bad-mannered guides to the definition of a person who is excessively proper or modest in speech, conduct, dress etc

Down

2d    Firm uniting man and social worker (7)
ADAMANT: The definition of an adjective meaning unyielding or obstinate is arrived at after combining (uniting) ADAM (man) as the first man, according to the book of Genesis with (and) ANT (social worker) as eusocial insect of the family Formidicae working together in groups

3d    Collecting figures, score three races wrongly (6,8)
MARKET RESEARCH: The definition of the systematic collection or gathering, recording and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data about issues relating to marketing products is reached after MARK (score) as a figure or letter representing the total number of marks awarded in an examination or competition and signifying a person’s score followed by an anagram (wrongly) of THREE RACES

5d    Intuition is thing that’s mysterious (7)
INSIGHT: The definition of the power of discerning or understanding things is arrived at from IS THING that is (that’s) subject to an anagram (mysterious)

6d    Sensitive issue seeing King Edward in sauna? (3,6)
HOT POTATO: The definition of a controversial issue or situation which is awkward to deal with is reached after noticing (seeing) a type of POTATO (King Edward) that originated as a cultivar in Scotter, Lincolnshire, England in 1902 and is kept in a room that is so HOT (in sauna?) that it makes one sweat if one sits or lies for some time, turning it into a HOT POTATO

7d    Live with earl, oddly bitter? (4)
BEER: BE (live) as to stay or live and (with) the oddly placed letters (oddly) of EaRl take to the definition of an alcoholic beverage made by brewing and fermentation from cereals, usually malted barley, and flavoured with hops and the like for a slightly bitter taste


8d    Basic foods keep (5-3-6)
BREAD-AND-BUTTER: Triple definition; the first being an adjectival phrase meaning basic and relating directly to most people’s needs and interests, the second a noun denoting two foods consisting of bread and butter or slices of bread that have been spread with butter and the third again a noun referring to a means of sustenance or livelihood

9d    Wellness lacking originally in old PM (6)
HEALTH: The first or original letter (originally) of L[ACKING] placed inside (in) Edward HEATH (old PM) as the late British politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from June 1970 to March 1974, giving rise to the definition of the state of being comfortable and free from illness or injury


15d    Where glasses sit, precisely (2,3,4)
ON THE NOSE: Double definition; the second being a phrase meaning precisely or exactly or at the appointed time is arrived at from the first the obvious narration of the sense organ on which a pair of lenses, set in a frame and used to correct or assist defective eyesight, is made to rest or sit

18d    Tap water, quite possibly, for athlete (6)
RUNNER: The definition of a person who runs competitively as a sport or hobby is cryptically arrived at from the possible running condition of the water when flowing out of a tap


19d    Firework, sensation (7)
CRACKER: Double nounal definition; the second denoting a person or thing that is very good or has a special exciting quality that leads to the first a firework that explodes with a sharp noise

20d    Sophisticated judge in journalist (7)
REFINED: REF (judge) as an informal term for a referee who is an arbitrator, umpire or judge in sports, IN from the clue and ED (journalist) as the abbreviation for editor being in charge of the final content of a journal or a newspaper or magazine take to the definition of an adjective meaning elegant and cultured in appearance, manner or taste

22d    Source of protein in mayo served up (4)
SOYA: Part of or hidden inside (in) mAYO Served that is seen going upwards (served up) as a reversal in the down clue, taking to the definition of a type of small bean rich in oil and protein and growing in large amounts as food for people and animals


Clues that delighted me in this puzzle were 1a, 10a, 14a, 16a, 19a, 24a, 3d, 6d and 15d; the best of the lot being 1a. 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.

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