ST 3205 (full review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View closed comments 

ST 3205 (full review)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3205

A full review by Rahmat Ali

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

This puzzle was published on 26th Mar 2023

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ***

Greetings from Kolkata. An excellent Sunday puzzle of Dada that I loved solving and thereafter writing a full review of his puzzle for your kind perusal and valuable feedback and comments.

This time, I wanted to know more about Ella, part of the answer to the clue of 19a and the first name of Ella Jane Fitzgerald, the American jazz singer (1917-1996). So I explored the net and got to learn that she earned many sobriquets in her lifetime, namely, ‘First Lady of Song’, ‘Queen of Jazz’ and ‘Lady Ella. She became famous all the more for her purity of tone, impeccable diction, phrasing, timing, intonation and a ‘horn-like’ improvisational ability, chiefly in her scat singing. After an initial setback, she achieved stability in musical success with the Chick Webb Orchestra, performing far and wide across the country. She was most often associated with the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem. Her rendition of the nursery rhyme ‘A-Tisket, A-Tasket’ shot both Webb and her to national fame. She took over the band when Webb died, but soon left it behind to start her solo career. She recorded some of her more widely noted works with ‘Verve Records’. Later on, she acted in films and appeared as a guest on popular television. Her musical collaborations with Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and ‘The Ink Spots’ were some of her most notable acts outside her solo career. These partnerships boosted her career and they produced some of her best-known songs such as “Dream a Little Dream of Me”, “Cheek to Cheek”, “Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall” and “It don’t mean a thing”. She gave her last public performance in 1993 and three years later, she died of deteriorating health. Needless to mention, 14 Grammy Awards, the National Medal of Arts, the NAACP’s inaugural President’s Award and the Presidential Medal of Freedom were among the several accolades that she received.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


7a    Art nicely surreal? Yes! (9)
CERTAINLY: An anagram (surreal) of ART NICELY guides to the definition of an adverb used to express complete agreement with something that has just been said

8a    Best stuff written about English (5)
CREAM: The definition of a noun meaning the very best of a group of people or things is arrived at from CRAM (stuff) as to completely fill a place or container to the point of overflowing placed around (written about) E (English) as the abbreviation for English

10a    Country seized by thug and autocrat (6)
UGANDA: Part of or hidden inside (seized by) [TH]UG AND A[UTOCRAT] takes to the definition of a landlocked country in East Africa

11a    Design container in which kept a tropical fruit (8)
PLANTAIN: PLAN (design) as to design or make a layout of something to be made or built is followed by TIN (container) as a usually airtight container or vessel of tinplate inside (in) which is placed (kept) A from the clue, arriving at the definition of a banana that is harvested green and widely used as a cooked vegetable in the tropical countries or a banana as a fruit in India

12a    Mint wrapper (6)
PACKET: Double nounal definition; the first being an informal term for a large sum of money and the second referring to a small thin package or a paper wrapping an object in order to cover and protect it

14a    Month bound to be pandemonium (6)
MAYHEM: A charade of MAY (month) as the fifth month of the year and HEM (bound) as the edge, border or margin of anything takes to the definition of a noun meaning violent or extreme disorder

16a    Some supermodel sent back a slipper? (4)
SLED: Part of or hidden inside (some) [SUPERMO]DEL S[ENT] coming from the opposite direction or the eastern side in the across clue (back) guides to the definition of a vehicle usually on runners for transportation especially on snow or ice or that is slippery on ice

17a    Controlling authority in check, by the sound of it? (5)
REIGN: REIN (check) as to stop, restrain or control serving as a homophone heard by the audience (by the sound of it) guides to the definition of the controlling power or authority

18a    Meat, not a sausage at Lord’s? (4)
DUCK: Double definition; the second being a batter’s score of nought or zero at Lord’s, the Home of Cricket that is arrived at from the idiomatic phrase ‘not a sausage’ meaning nil, nothing or nothing at all that takes to the first referring to the meat of a duck as food

19a    Pop singer Fitzgerald’s dish? (6)
PAELLA: A charade of PA (pop) as a childish or familiar word for father and ELLA (singer Fitzgerald) as the first name of the American jazz singer, Ella Jane Fitzgerald leads to the definition of a Spanish dish of rice, saffron, chicken, seafood etc, cooked and served in a large shallow pan

21a    Cool, like a vinyl record? (6)
GROOVY: Double adjectival definition; the second denoting like or pertaining to a groove or the track cut into the surface of a vinyl record, along with the needle of a record-player moves that leads to the first meaning fashionable and exciting or up to date in style

24a    Couple allowed jewellery (8)
BRACELET: A charade of BRACE (couple) as a pair or couple, especially of game shot and LET (allowed) as a verb in the past tense meaning allowed or permitted leads to the definition of an ornament for the wrist

26a    Lovely new design of shield (6)
DELISH: An anagram (new design) of SHIELD takes to the definition of an informal term for a adjective meaning delicious, used for tasty food, attractive people or other things that provide great pleasure

27a    Equally ready for help (5)
ASSET: A charade of AS (equally) as similarly or equally and SET (ready) as ready or prepared guides to the definition of a noun meaning benefit, advantage, resource or help or a valuable thing or person

28a    Fast — as a speeding bullet? (4,1,4)
LIKE A SHOT: LIKE (as) as used to indicate by comparison the way that something happens or is done, A from the clue and SHOT (speeding bullet) as the speeding bullet that is fired from a gun, arriving at the definition of an informal phrase meaning quickly, immediately or without hesitation


1d    Shelf left on side (5)
LEDGE: L (left) as the abbreviation for left placed upon (on) EDGE (side) as the sharpened side of the blade of a cutting implement or weapon in the down clue, leading to the definition of a ridge or shelf of rocks or a shelf-like projection

2d    Usual position, ‘arsh (8)
STANDARD: STAND (position) as a position taken in an argument and ‘ARD (‘arsh) as the Cockney way of pronouncing the adjective hard that means grim, strict or harsh, equivalent to the Cockney ‘arsh; an apostrophe replacing the beginning letter ‘h’ when in written form that takes to the definition of another adjective meaning habitual, common or usual

3d    Greeting sailor, take hostage (6)
HIJACK: A charade of HI (greeting) as an interjection for calling attention and JACK (sailor) as a nautical term for a man who serves as a tar or sailor guides to the definition of a verb meaning to force a pilot to fly an aeroplane to a destination of the hijacker’s choice and take hostage of all those on board

4d    Fielding position‘s dropped catch? (4)
SLIP: Double definition; the first being a noun referring to the position of the fielder who stands a little way behind and to the offside of the wicketkeeper and the second a verb referring to a dropped catch as an example of a slip or blunder

5d    Relatively fair (6)
PRETTY: Double definition; the second being an adjective meaning beautiful or pleasing to the eye that leads to the first an adverb denoting comparatively, reasonably or fairly

6d    PM a cheat, so I gathered (9)
TAOISEACH: An anagram (gathered) of A CHEAT, SO A leads to the definition of the Irish word meaning chief or leader that was adapted in the 1937 Constitution of Ireland as the title of the head of the Government or Prime Minister

9d    Opera‘s male drivers? (6)
CARMEN: Double definition; the second cryptically as ‘car men’ meaning male drivers that is the plural of carman or a male person who drives or conveys goods in a car or cart that leads to the first referring to an opera in four acts by the French composer Georges Bizet

13d    Bag flimsy, splitting in the end (5)
THING: THIN (flimsy) as weak and inadequate or of clothing made of light material is followed by the last or end letter (in the end) of [SPLITTIN]G, taking to the definition of one’s special interest or one’s bag

15d    Winger‘s cross to bear! (9)
ALBATROSS: Double definition; the second being the symbolical representation of a cross hanging around the neck of a person, causing them great problems from which they cannot escape or preventing them from doing what they want to do that takes to the first referring to a large, long-winged seabird with remarkable powers of flight

17d    Race about done, finally — are you kidding? (6)
REALLY: RALLY (race) as a long-distance race for motor vehicles over public roads or rough terrain, typically in several stages is placed around (about) the final or last letter (finally) of [DON]E, taking to the definition of an interjection used to express interest, surprise or doubt

18d    Abominable serving of food with bad filling (8)
DEVILISH: The definition of an adjective meaning evil or morally bad is arrived at from DISH (serving of food) as the platter or plate or a quantity of food suitable for or being served to a person and (with) EVIL (bad) as profoundly immoral or wicked that is going inside it (filling), arriving at the definition of an adjective meaning showing the cunning or ingenuity or wickedness typical of a devil

20d    Cupboard key? (6)
LOCKER: Double nounal definition; the first being a small lockable cupboard, especially for keeping sports equipment and the second referring to a key or anything that locks or helps to lock something

22d    Very many minions, but no leader (6)
OODLES: [P]OODLES (minions) as persons or organisations overly willing to obey another is devoid of its leading letter (but no leader), taking to the definition of an informal noun meaning a very great number or amount of something

23d    Royal meeting lucky person, cap doffed (5)
ASCOT: MASCOT (lucky person) as a person or thing that is supposed to bring good luck, especially one linked to a particular organisation or event having its top or head letter (cap) in the down clue removed (doffed), leading to the definition of a four-day meeting held in June of Royal Ascot, a British horse racing event

25d    Follow story in audio book? (4)
TAIL: TALE (story) as a narrative or story serving as a homophone heard by the audience (in audio book) guides to the definition of a verb meaning to follow closely or shadow

There were several clues that I liked in this puzzle such as 8a, 10a, 12a, 14a, 18a, 19a, 21a, 9d, 17d, 23d; the best of the lot being 19a. Thanks once again to BD for the encouragement, to Dada for the entertainment and to Gazza for the assistance. Looking forward to being here again. Have a pleasant day.

5 comments on “ST 3205 (full review)

  1. Thank you so much for your review. You write with such clarity, I always love reading your post but never have thanked you.

    1. Thank you so much, MsGlad, for your meticulous perusal of my reviews and your liking them.

  2. I didn’t know the Irish Prime Minister title was so new, it sounds as if it has been called that since the mists of time. Thanks for the gen.

    1. You are welcome, Merusa, and I also learn a lot while solving the crosswords.

  3. 4*/2* …
    liked 10A “Country seized by thug and autocrat (6)”
    perhaps I shall be able to remember how to spell the title of the Irish PM.

Comments are closed.