ST 3204 (Full Review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3204 (Full Review)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3204

A full review by crypticsue

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This puzzle was published on 19th March 2023

BD Rating – Difficulty ***Enjoyment ***

As I worked my way down the Across clues, I did wonder whether Dada might have put the following Tuesday’s Toughie in the wrong envelope, and I didn’t really change my mind about it when I reached the end [The Tuesday Toughie took a smidgen less time to solve, so make of that what you will]

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1a    Bird having fight after fight, aggressive type (11)
SPARROWHAWK – ROW (fight) goes after SPAR (fight), HAWK (aggressive type who advocates war and confrontation rather than peace and conciliation)

7a    Drink Robespierre’s blood, draught knocked back (7)
SANGRIA – Robespierre was a Frenchman so he’d use the word SANG for blood. This should be followed by a reversal (knocked back) of AIR (draught)

8a    Order a stove, installing cooker at the back (7)
ARRANGE – A (from the clue) and RANGE (stove) into which is inserted (installing) the letter at the back of cookeR

10a    Visionary, I’m a stockbroker? (5)
IDEAL – I DEAL (I’m a stockbroker)

11a    Snap cue in indignation, messing up, first of all (9)
IMPROMPTU – PROMPT (cue) inserted into the first letters of Indignation Messing UP

12a    Drive in silence, desperate for a drink (7)
GASPING – SPIN (drive) inserted into GAG (silence)

14a    Train reversing into mobile unit, erroneously (7)
RETINUE – Hidden in reverse in mobilE UNIT Erroneously

15a    Seafood or beef, did you say? (7)
MUSSELS – Sounds like (did you say) MUSCLES (beef)

18a    Loamy ground around holy sanctuary of ancient Greece (7)
OLYMPIA – An anagram (ground) of LOAMY goes around PI (holy)

20a    Dizzy spell and attack of illness after a sudden change (9)
TURNABOUT – TURN (dizzy spell) and BOUT (attack of illness) the latter going after A (from the clue)

21a    Knight and waif flayed in Middle Eastern city (5)
DUBAI – DUB (confer a knighthood on someone) and the inside (flayed) letters of wAIf

22a    Concerned with someone offered part for nuclear device (7)
REACTOR – RE (concerned with) ACTOR (someone offered part)

23a    Rule about central part of locality set straight (7)
REALIGN – REIGN (rule) goes ‘about’ the central part of locALity

24a    Unexpected blow for straw user? (6,5)
SUCKER PUNCH – A US slang expression for an unexpected blow, especially from behind – so a PUNCH for a SUCKER (straw user)


1d    Luminous ultimately, except when dark (7)
SUNLESS – The ultimate letter of luminouS and UNLESS (except)

2d    A Russian river in one sense (5)
AURAL – A (from the clue) and URAL (Russian river)

3d    Lesson in English university (7)
READING – A reading (lesson) in a religious service or the name of an English university

4d    Reportedly, performer delivering monologue in jacket, say? (7)
WRAPPER – A homophone (reportedly) of RAPPER (person delivering monologue)

5d    Fine to go up? (9)
AIRWORTHY – A cryptic definition of a plane in good condition to fly (to go up)

6d    Piece on spike for big gun (7)
KINGPIN – KING (chess piece) on PIN (spike)

7d    Device predicting election, revolutionary more set to engage left or right? (11)
SWINGOMETER – An anagram (revolutionary) of MORE SET into which is inserted (to engage) WING (left or right)

9d    Detailed account mountaineer fabricated (11)
ENUMERATION – An anagram (fabricated) of MOUNTAINEER

13d    Stiff drink required after fluffing of line, lid off cognac! (9)
INELASTIC – ASTI (drink) goes after an anagram (fluffing) of LINE, followed by the ‘lid’ of Cognac

16d    Cross appropriate with leader off on donkey (7)
SURPASS – Remove the ‘leader’ of uSURP (appropriate) and follow with ASS (donkey)

17d    Plague source unfortunately touring capital in Germany (7)
SCOURGE – AN anagram (unfortunately) of SOURCE going round the capital letter of Germany

18d    Rock formation revealed before harvest (7)
OUTCROP – OUT (revealed) CROP (harvest)

19d    Press admitting error, not entirely put out (7)
PUBLISH – PUSH (press) ‘admitting’ almost all (not entirely) of BLIp (error)

21d    Sap in cedar essentially drops (5)
DRAIN – The ‘essential’ letter of ceDar with RAIN (drops)

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