ST 3211 (full review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
View comments 

ST 3211 (full review)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3211

A full review by Rahmat Ali

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

This puzzle was published on 7th May 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 precious feedback and comments.

Bali, the answer to the clue of 6d, is also known as the ‘Island of gods’ or Pulau Dewata in the Indonesian language. However, I learnt from the net that Bali as a name is also existing in many parts of the globe. Bali is a village in Bhutan. Bali is the name of a city in the Indian state of Rajasthan. Bali is a town of Lanzhou in China. Bali is a district of New Taipei City in the Republic of China. Bali is the name of a city of Cameroon, a country in West Africa. Bali is a local government area in the Nigerian state of Taraba. Bali is a region in south-eastern Ethiopia. Bali is the name of a village on the island of Crete, Greece.

Biathlon, the answer to the clue of 7d, has come from the Latin prefix bi- meaning two- and Greek athlon meaning a contest or accomplishment. This sport of a combine cross-country skiing and rifle shooting has its roots in the skiing traditions of Scandinavia, where the inhabitants of the past revered the handsome Norse god Ullr as both the ski god and the hunting god. Ullr was the son of Sif, the goddess of fertility and the stepson of Thor, the thunder-god. Today, this sport, regarded as an exercise for the Norwegians, is an alternative training for the military. Norwegian skiing regiments organised military skiing contest in the 18th century, divided into four classes: shooting at mark while skiing at top speed, downhill race among trees, downhill race on big hills without falling and a long race on flat ground while carrying a rifle and military pack. In modern terminology, these military contests included downhill, slalom, biathlon and cross-country skiing. In 1861, Trysil Skytte- og Skiløberforening (Trysil Shooting and Skiing Association) was formed in Norway with a view to promoting national defence at the local level. The modern biathlon in Norway is a civilian variant of the old military combined exercise and is called skiskyting (literary ski shooting). The combination of skiing and shooting was called ‘Military Patrol’ and was contested at the Winter Olympic Games in 1924, 1928, 1936 and 1948, during which time Norway and Finland were strong competitors. After that, the Military Patrol was dropped from the Olympic programme. Modern Pentathlon was administered directly by the International Olympic Committee until 1948, the year when the Union of International Modern Pentathlon (UIPM) was founded in London. Biathlon as a sport was born when in 1953, Biathlon joined the Union and the organisation was renamed as the Union Internationale de Pentathlon Moderne et Biathlon (UIPMB) with headquarters in Monaco, becoming the international governing body of biathlon and modern pentathlon and biathlon. The first World Biathlon Championship was held in 1958 in Austria. Biathlon was also added to the Winter Olympics program as an official men’s event in 1960. International biathlon competitions for women were first held in 1981; a world championship for them was established three years
later. Women’s biathlon made its Olympic debut at the 1992 Winter Games in Albertville, France. In 1993, the biathlon branch of the UIPMB created the International Biathlon Union (IBU), which officially separated from UIPMB in 1998.

For a while, I fancied 17d as ‘Check out last of four toasted nuts’, as if placing them in a row by a naughty and stubborn child not wanting to munch them.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


9a    Strike keeping Everton, initially, in lead (5)
LEASH: LASH (strike) as to strike or beat with a whip or stick taking inside (keeping) the initial or first letter (initially) of E[VERTON] takes to the definition of a noun meaning a dog’s lead

10a    Smaller country Romanians abandoned (3,6)
SAN MARINO: An anagram (abandoned) of ROMANIANS guides to the definition of the fifth-smallest country in the world and a European microstate in Southern Europe enclaved by Italy

11a    5 Down general’s thrown about (7)
ENLARGE: The definition of a verb meaning to make or become larger or more extensive or to snowball is arrived at from an anagram (thrown about) of GENERAL (general’s)

12a    Sound from ref, ending in shrill note at end of game (7)
WHISTLE: A combo of the ending or last letters (ending) in [SHRIL]L [NOT]E preceded by or coming after (at end of) WHIST (game) as a card game, usually for two pairs of players, in which points are scored according to the number of tricks won leads to the definition of a shrill, high-pitched sound, especially for giving a signal that is produced upon blowing an instrument of the same name by a referee in a game of football, hockey, basketball etc

13a    Where boat may stop like a plane? (5)
JETTY: The definition of a landing stage or small pier at which boats can dock or be moored is arrived at from the cryptic construction of the adjective of JET or an airplane powered by one or more jet engines, that is JET-TY (like a plane)

14a    Start and stop part of engine (5,4)
SPARK PLUG: A charade of SPARK (start) as provide the stimulus for an event or process and PLUG (stop) as to stop up or secure a hole, gap etc with or as if with a plug leads to the definition of an electrical device used in an internal combustion engine to produce a spark which ignites the air-fuel mixture in the combustion chamber

16a    Union pass? (8-7)
MARRIAGE-LICENCE: A cryptic definition of an official and legal document from an authority obtained by a couple or LICENCE (pass) for entering the state of wedlock or MARRIAGE (union), that is, LICENCE for MARRIAGE or MARRIAGE-LICENCE

19a    Talks she organised around opening of negotiations, unrewarded (9)
THANKLESS: An anagram (organised) of TALKS SHE placed around (around) the opening or first letter (opening) of N[EGOTIATIONS] guides to the definition of an adjective meaning difficult or unpleasant and not likely to be satisfying or to be appreciated by others, especially of a job or task

21a    Bread sauce (5)
BRASS: Double informal nounal definition; the first referring to money and the second denoting effrontery, impertinence or impudence

23a    Beseech delicacy of headless chicken? (7)
ENTREAT: TREAT (delicacy) as an event or item that is out of the ordinary and gives great pleasure of [H]EN (chicken) as a female bird, especially of a domestic fowl that is devoid of its head or first letter H, that is TREAT of [H]EN or [H]ENTREAT, that is ENTREAT, taking to the definition of a verb meaning to ask earnestly or beseech

25a    Figure that’s still in job after increase (7)
WAXWORK: WORK (job) as to have job following or preceded by (after) WAX (increase) as to become larger or stronger, literarily, guiding to the definition of a figure made of wax, especially a life-size wax effigy, that is still or lifeless, of a famous person

27a    Awful puns in rag, without mercy (9)
UNSPARING: An anagram (awful) of PUNS IN RAG guides to the definition of an adjective meaning ruthless, unmerciful or severe

28a    Relative peace finally in part of France (5)
NIECE: The final or last letter (finally) of [PEAC]E placed inside (in) NICE (part of France) as the second-largest French city on the Mediterranean coast takes to the definition of the daughter of one’s brother or sister, or of one’s brother-in-law or sister-in-law


1d    Down and dirty (4)
BLUE: Double informal adjectival definition; the second meaning indecent or obscene or having sexual or pornographic content, especially of a film, joke or story that guides to the first denoting melancholy, sad, dismal or depressed, especially when referring to a person or mood

2d    Small settlement, a tragedy (6)
HAMLET: Double nounal definition; the second being a contraction of The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, a tragedy written by William Shakespeare, regarded as his longest play with 29,251 words that leads to the first referring to a small settlement, generally one smaller than a village, and strictly, in Britain, one without a church

3d    Select the best fruit before harvest (6-4)
CHERRY-PICK: The definition of a verb meaning to choose the best people or, in insurance, to accept only the best risks, rejecting the poor ones, is resulted from CHERRY (fruit) as a small, fleshy fruit that is typically bright or dark red and having a large hard stone placed in front of (before) PICK (harvest) as to gather or harvest something by plucking

4d    Look at animals on top of slope (6)
ASSESS: The definition of a verb meaning to survey, examine or evaluate is arrived at from ASSES (animals) as the small, usually grey, long-eared animals of the horse genus and having a braying call placed upon (on) of S[LOPE] serving as the uppermost or first letter (top) in the down clue

5d    Balloon, something round and white (8)
SNOWBALL: Double definition; the second being a round ball of packed white snow, especially one made for throwing at other people for fun that leads to the first a verb meaning to grow greater ever more quickly or increase rapidly in size, intensity or importance

6d    Island in Cuba, lively (4)
BALI: Part of or hidden inside (in) [CU]BA, LI[VELY] guides to the definition of an island in Indonesia located in the east of Java and west of Lombok

7d    The Albion playing after missing European event (8)
BIATHLON: TH[E] ALBION is subject to an anagram (playing) after E (European) as the abbreviation for European as EU in European Union is taken out (missing), leading to the definition of a competition in cross-country skiing and shooting

8d    Morphing is for green aliens (10)
FOREIGNERS: FOR GREEN IS is subject to an anagram (morphing) that guides to the definition of strangers or outsiders or persons belonging to, or from, another country or countries

13d    Start before then scoffing odd bits of grub — go early (4,3,3)
JUMP THE GUN: JUMP (start) as to make a sudden involuntary movement in reaction to something that causes surprise or shock is placed in front of (before) THEN from the clue that is taking inside (scoffing) the oddly-placed letters (odd bits) of GrUb, arriving at the definition of an informal phrase meaning to start something too soon or early

15d    Case in quitting sport (4,6)
KICK BOXING: BOX (case) as a case or receptacle, usually with four sides and a lid, for holding anything placed inside (in) KICKING (quitting) as an informal verb in the continuous form meaning freeing oneself from a habit or addiction yields the definition of a martial art in which the contestants kick with bare fee and punch with gloved fists

17d    Check out toasted nuts, eating last of four (4-4)
ROAD-TEST: The definition of a verb meaning to test a vehicle on the road for performance and roadworthiness is arrived at from an anagram (nuts) of TOASTED taking inside (eating) the terminal or last letter (last) of [FOU]R

18d    Bird: that thing below moving target (5,3)
GREAT TIT: IT (that thing) as used to refer to a thing previously mentioned or easily identified is placed beneath (below) in the down clue an anagram (moving) of TARGET, leading to the definition of a passerine bird, Parus major, with a black head and neck, white cheeks and yellow underparts, occurring in many different races from western Europe to eastern Asia

20d    Understand about wave, something nasty in the water? (6)
SEWAGE: SEE (understand) as to discern or deduce from information placed around (about) WAG (wave) as a single rapid movement from side to side gives the definition of waste water and excrement carried off by sewers

22d    Fuss over ruby, very dear (6)
ADORED: ADO (fuss) as a state of agitation or fuss, especially about something unimportant is placed upon (over) RED (ruby) as of a colour at the end of the spectrum next to orange and opposite violet, as of blood, pigment or ruby in the down clue, taking to the definition of an adjective meaning very dear or regarded with deep love or revered intensely

24d    Top grade ultimately raised in test (4)
EXAM: A combo of MAX (top) as an abbreviation of maximum meaning top or the greatest quantity or highest degree attainable and the ultimate or the final letter (ultimately) of [GRAD]E taken upwards (raised) as a reversal in the down clue provides the definition of the short form of examination that is a formal test to show one’s knowledge or ability in a particular subject

26d    Hold keys, entering every pantry, first of all (4)
KEEP: Each of the first or starting letters (first of all) of K[EYS], E[NTERING] E[VERY] P[ANTRY] guides to the definition of a verb meaning to have or retain possession of something

There were several clues that I liked in this puzzle such as 11a, 13a, 14a, 16a, 21a, 25a, 2d, 3d, 5d, 13d and 15d; the best of the lot being 25a. Thanks once again to BD for the encouragement, to Dada for the entertainment and to Gazza for the assistance. Would be delighted to be here again. Have a nice day.

5 comments on “ST 3211 (full review)
Leave your own comment 

  1. Thank you, Rahmat for another interesting and informative blog. You must spend ages researching. I do enjoy them and find them very helpful because you go into intricate detail about each clue.

    1. Thank you once again, Steve, for enjoying going through my review and finding it interesting and informative.

Join the Conversation, Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 2 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.