ST 3221 (full review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3221 (full review)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3221

A full review by Rahmat Ali

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This puzzle was published on 16th July 2023

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

Greetings from Kolkata. A truly tougher Sunday puzzle of Dada that I still enjoyed solving and thereafter writing a full review of his puzzle for your kind perusal and significant comments.

Gnome, the answer to part of the wordplay to the clue of 10a, has been known to me since my childhood. Gnome was first introduced by Paracelsus in the sixteenth century as a mythological creature and diminutive spirit in Renaissance magic and alchemy and thereafter the authors of the yesteryears chose to include these creatures in fairy tales and fantasy literature. They are known to live in dark places, especially underground, in the depths of forests and are busy counting their riches. While solving, I became inquisitive as to why a Swiss banker should be called so. So I explored the net for my erudition. I learnt that the Swiss bankers had all along been popularly associated with extremely secretive policies. After World War II, British Labour Party politicians were worried about speculation against the pound that was undermining the economy of the Kingdom and they had to put the blame squarely on the Swiss bankers for raising it. However, it was not until November 1964 when in a crisis meeting of the Labour politicians, the term ‘gnome’ did originate. With Zürich as the commercial centre of Switzerland in mind, Baron George Brown, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, criticised the Swiss bankers and said, “The gnomes of Zürich are at work again.” Since then, ‘Gnomes of Zürich’ became a slang phrase for Swiss bankers. It was put into use by many other politicians of the time. Prime Minister Harold Wilson vowed to resist the sinister power of the gnomes. Even the Americans began to use the phrase as well. Soon after the catchphrase became famous, some Swiss bankers started answering their phone as “Hello, gnome speaking.” An audacious Swiss banker set up his business in London under the name ‘Gnome of Notting Hill’. An American historian, T.R. Fehrenbach wrote a book entitled ‘The Gnomes of Zurich’ on the rise of the Swiss bankers and their relationship to the Swiss Confederation from the fourteenth century right through to modern times. Although in the early twenty-first century, the Zürich bankers lost the foothold they had in the global economy due to the rise of London, New York, Dubai and Hong Kong as leading financial capitals, some bankers in London, agitated by rising taxes and public antipathy to investment banking, have considered moving to Zürich itself, where banking is the state religion.

I came to know from the net that Dirk Bogarde, the answer to the clue of 15a, was born Derek Jules Gaspard Ulric Niven van den Bogaerde in 1921. His father’s name was Ulric van den Bogaerde and mother’s name was Margaret Niven. During the Second World War, Derek Bogaerde served in the British Army, initially with the Royal Corps of Signals before being commissioned at the age of 22 into the Queen’s Royal Regiment in 1943. After the war, he started pursuing film roles using the name ‘Dirk Bogarde’ and until 1991, he acted in a total of 63 films. Bogarde was nominated five times as Best Actor by BAFTA, winning twice, for ‘The Servant’ in 1963 and for ‘Darling’ in 1965. In 1977, he embarked on his second career as an author. He wrote a series of 15 best-selling books – nine volumes of memoirs and six novels, as well as essays, reviews, poetry and collected journalism. In 1984, Bogarde served as president of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival, the first British person to serve in this capacity. He was awarded the Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government in 1990. He was the recipient of the London Film Critics Circle Lifetime Award in 1991 and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1992. He died in 1999, aged 78.

I further learnt that Chelsea, part of the wordplay to the clue of 9d, was once celebrated for the manufacture of Chelsea buns that were made from a long strip of sweet dough tightly coiled with currants trapped between the layers and topped with sugar. The Chelsea Bun House sold these during the eighteenth century and was patronised by the Georgian royalty. At Easter, great crowds would assemble on the open spaces of the Five Fields that were subsequently developed as Belgravia. The Bun House would then do a great trade in hot cross buns. It sold about quarter of a million on its final Good Friday in 1839, prior to its demolition.

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7a    Last of merchandise pilfered by peculiar female criminal (7)
ILLEGAL: The terminal or final letter (last) of [MERCHANDIS]E taken in (pilfered) by a combo of ILL (peculiar) as suffering from an illness or disease or feeling unwell and GAL (female) as an informal term for a girl or young woman leads to the definition of an adjective meaning contrary to or forbidden by law, especially criminal law

8a    Gold and glass walls in a French city (7)
ORLÉANS: OR (gold) as the tincture gold in heraldry and LENS (glass) as a piece of transparent glass which concentrates or disperses light rays when passing through them by refraction surrounds (walls in) A from the clue, guiding to the definition of a city located on the river Loire in north-central France

10a    A crooked sort in Swiss banker, bon vivant (10)
GASTRONOME: A combo of A from the clue and an anagram (crooked) of SORT is placed inside (in) GNOME (Swiss banker) as a slang term for a Swiss banker, especially one in Zürich, leading to the definition of an epicure or a lover and connoisseur of good food and wines

11a    US state where solver cheers out loud? (4)
UTAH: The definition of a landlocked state in the Mountain West subregion of the Western United States is arrived at from U as ‘you’ (solver) that is referring to any solver by the compiler of this crossword and TAH as ‘ta’ (cheers) as the childish form of ‘thank you’, but now more commonly used as a straightforward colloquialism synonymous to the term ‘cheers’, both serving as
homophones heard aloud by the audience (out loud)

12a    Latin, might that get him in a tizzy? (8)
HISPANIC: What might get him in a tizzy that is a state of agitation, nervousness or confusion could be his sudden fright or HIS PANIC that takes to the definition of a Spanish-speaking citizen of the United States of America who or whose family originally came from Latin America, that is South America and hence a Latin that is a native of a country whose language developed from Latin

14a    Go with French maestro after end of concert (6)
TRAVEL: Joseph Maurice RAVEL (French maestro) as the French composer, pianist and conductor who is often associated with Impressionism preceded by or following (after) the terminal or last letter (end) of [CONCER]T takes to the definition of a verb meaning to go from one place to another on a trip, usually over a long distance

15a    Bad kid, Roger, naughty old player (4,7)
DIRK BOGARDE: An anagram (naughty) of BAD KID, ROGER guides to the definition of the English actor, novelist and screenwriter who was awarded the Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government in 1990 and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1992

19a    Very old article, still (6)
SOOTHE: A charade of SO (very) as an adverb meaning very, extremely or to such a degree, O (old) as the abbreviation for old as OT in Old Testament and THE (article) as the definite article in the English language takes to the definition of a verb meaning to gently calm or still a person or their feelings

20a    Ship carrying drink from Jerez? (8)
SCHOONER: Double nounal definition; the second referring to a glass for drinking a large measure of sherry that could possibly be from Jerez, a city in southwestern Spain that is famous for making sherry that leads to the first denoting a sailing ship with two or more masts, typically with the foremast smaller than the mainmast

22a    Star is dazzling, or luminous at first (4)
IDOL: The definition of a person or thing that is greatly admired, loved or revered is arrived at from the starting or first letter (at first) each of I[S] D[AZZLING], O[R] L[UMINOUS]

23a    Tree an Isle of Man company cut? (7,3)
DOUGLAS FIR: DOUGLAS (Isle of Man) as the capital of the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea and FIR[M] (company) as a business house or a company having its last letter M removed (cut) lead to the definition of a tall evergreen timber tree of western North America having resinous wood and short needles

25a    Delivery worker at club’s door (7)
BOUNCER: Double nounal definition; the first referring to a delivery or a ball bowled fast and short so as to rise high after pitching and the second denoting a person employed by a nightclub or similar establishment to prevent troublemakers and other unwanted people from entering or to eject them from the premises

26a    Corny things in fodder for gossip (7)
HEARSAY: EARS (corny things) as the seed-bearing spikes of a cereal plant like corn placed inside (in) HAY (fodder) as a type of fodder or coarse food for livestock prepared from grass that is cut, dried and stored takes to the definition of a rumour or any information received from other people which cannot be substantiated


1d    Dump plate, if broken (7)
FLEAPIT: An anagram (broken) of PLATE IF guides to the definition of a shabby public building, especially a cinema, supposedly infested with vermin

2d    Soft material picked up (4)
FELT: Double definition; the second being a verb in the past tense meaning became aware of something happening through physical sensation that leads to the first a noun referring to a type of soft thick cloth made from wool or hair that has been pressed tightly together

3d    Chap accommodating Australian native, cast away (6)
MAROON: MAN (chap) as an adult male human being taking in (accommodating) ROO (Australian native) as an Australian colloquial term for a kangaroo that is indigenous to Australia and New Guinea guides to the definition of a verb meaning to leave someone trapped and alone in an inaccessible place, especially an island from which they cannot escape

4d    Author getting to grips with end of script before a drink (5,3)
GREEN TEA: Graham GREENE (author) as the English writer and journalist whom many people regard as one of the leading English novelists of the twentieth century taking inside (getting to grips with) the terminal or last letter (end) of [SCRIP]T and placed in front of (before) A from the clue leads to the definition of tea made from unfermented leaves that have been dried without fermentation and retain a light colour

5d    Split energy (3-2-3-2)
GET-UP-AND-GO: Double colloquial phrasal definition; the second being a noun meaning energy or referring to the active strength of body or mind that takes to the first a verb meaning to split, leave or depart

6d    Theoretically working as journalist? (2,5)
ON PAPER: Double phrasal definition; the first meaning in theory rather than in practice or reality and the second denoting in writing or printed form, producing newspaper etc, especially in large quantities, by a mechanical process involving the transfer of text or designs to paper

9d    Festival fare, snappy Chelsea sweater? (3,5,3)
HOT CROSS BUN: The definition of a spiced bun marked with a cross and containing dried fruit, traditionally eaten on Good Friday is arrived at from CROSS (snappy) as snappy or irritable and inclined to speak sharply, BUN (Chelsea) as a sweet bread roll, a type of which originated in Chelsea and became famous as Chelsea bun that is HOT (sweater) as a period of relatively high temperature or a period of heat that makes people sweat, cryptically, that is CROSS BUN that is HOT, or HOT CROSS BUN

13d    Position void, frankly (5-5)
POINT-BLANK: A charade of POINT (position) as a location, spot or position and BLANK (void) as an empty space or period of time, especially in terms of a lack of knowledge or understanding guides to the definition of an adverb meaning directly, bluntly, frankly or without hesitation or quibbling

16d    Living around poverty, but some way from going under? (4-4)
KNEE-DEEP: KEEP (living) as food, clothes and other essential for living surrounding (around) NEED (poverty) as the state of requiring help or of lacking basic necessities such as food takes to the definition of an adjective meaning submerged in water, mud etc to half-way up one’s legs or as high as the knees

17d    Thoughtless driver reportedly took vehicle over corner (4,3)
ROAD HOG: RODE (took vehicle) as travelled in a vehicle serving as a homophone heard by the audience placed upon (over) HOG (corner) as to take or use most or all of something in an unfair or selfish way in the down clue, taking to the definition of a motorist who drives recklessly or inconsiderately, making it difficult for others to pass

18d    Health centre welcomes first of customers (7)
MEDICAL: MEDIAL (centre) as situated in or pertaining to the middle or centre takes in (welcomes) the initial or starting letter (first) of C[USTOMERS], taking to the definition of a health examination of a person’s body by a doctor in order to find out if that person is healthy, sometimes done before a person can be accepted for a particular job

21d    Solver of clues cracks around a thousand (6)
HOLMES: HOLES (cracks) as the plural of an aperture passing through something surrounding (around) M (a thousand) as the Roman numeral for a thousand leads to the definition of a fictional detective known for his proficiency with observation, deduction, forensic science and logical reasoning and who was created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the British writer

24d    Kind, somewhat generous, or thoughtful (4)
SORT: Part of or hidden inside (somewhat) [GENEROU]S, OR T[HOUGHTFUL] guides to the definition of a noun meaning type, kind or a category of things or people with a common feature

There were many clues that I like in this puzzle such as 8a, 10a, 23a, 25a, 26a, 4d, 5d, 9d, 16d and 21d; 25a being the best of the lot. My prayers to the Almighty for the eternal rest and peace of BD and my thanks to Dada for the entertainment and to Gazza for the assistance. Looking forward to being here again. Have a nice day.

4 comments on “ST 3221 (full review)

  1. 5*/2* ….
    liked 20A “Ship carrying drink from Jerez? (8)”
    appreciated Rahmat’s interesting opening comments.

  2. I’m going back over some DT and ST crosswords that I put away for a ‘rainy’ day as I did not get around to finishing them for one reason or another. Rahmat, and if anyone is still out there, I also enjoyed your enlightening comments on the ‘gnomes’ and Dirk Bogarde. Cheers 🦇

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