ST 3223 (full review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3223 (full review)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3223

A full review by Rahmat Ali

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This puzzle was published on 30th July 2023

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Greetings from Kolkata. A nice and lucid Sunday puzzle of Dada that I took delight in solving and thereafter writing a full review of his puzzle for your kind perusal and significant feedback.

After solving the puzzle, I became eager to know more about the golf ‘bunker’, part of the answer to the clue of 16a and visited the net for my insight. A bunker is actually a sand trap or a hollowed-out area on the golf course filled with sand. The traps are strategically placed near greens to pose a severe challenge to the golfers as they are up to their next shot. Escaping from these traps can be a notoriously tricky task that results in extra strokes from failed attempts and lost ground. Golfers can make a reliable exit from the sand if they are able to comprehend how the sand affects their ball and club differently than grass. When any golfer hits from a sand trap, the sand creates a cushion between their club face and the ball, which reduces the speed at which energy is transferred from the club head to the ball. This obviously causes a slower and shorter shot. The sand also produces a high amount of friction between their ball and club face which can propel the ball to spin more, typically resulting in greater backspin, a higher flight and a softer landing. Sand traps, however, are a core feature of the golf course and add another layer of strategy to every hole. They ultimately serve as an inspiration to the golfers to become better players. It is not enough to hit a successful shot from the sand, but to do it consistently is the ultimate goal for improving their game and achieving a clear victory over any sorts of fear or doubt. Thus, the key to a reliable sand trap shot is to develop the right approach and mindset that will get them safely out.

For 18d, despite the clue being okay, I would still have preferred to see it as either ‘Born in Eastbourne, England’ or ‘Born in Eastbourne, Englishwoman’.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


7a    Books written after novel ready — long time ago (4,3)
YEAR DOT: OT (books) as the abbreviated form of Old Testament that comprise the chief texts of the law, history, prophecy and wisdom literature of the ancient people of Israel placed (written) after an anagram (novel) of READY guides to the definition of an informal idiom denoting the very beginning of time or a very long time ago

10a    Speak about exercise in work (7)
OPERATE: ORATE (speak) as to speak in an elevated and often pompous manner placed around (about) PE (exercise) as the abbreviation for physical education that represents sport and exercise that is taught in schools takes to the definition of a verb meaning to work, perform or function

11a    French city has better device for photographer (4,3)
LENS CAP: A charade of LENS (French city) as a city in the Pas-de-Calais department in northern France and (has) CAP (better) as a verb meaning to outdo or surpass with something better leads to the definition of a small lid or cover which provides protection to a camera lens from scratches and minor collisions when the camera is not in use

12a    Asleep in bed, or man trembling (7)
DORMANT: Part of or hidden inside (in) [BE]D OR MAN T[REMBLING] guides to the definition of an adjective denoting in or as if in a deep sleep

13a    Note a swamp overwhelming new pool in Australia (9)
BILLABONG: BILL (note) as a promissory note, A from the clue, followed by BOG (swamp) flowing or covering over (overwhelming) N (new) as the abbreviation for new as NT in New Testament takes to the definition of a branch of a river in Australia forming a backwater or stagnant pool, made by water flowing from the main stream during a flood

15a    Entire space for the audience? (5)
WHOLE: HOLE (space) as an unoccupied space serving as a homophone heard by the audience (for the audience) takes to the definition of an adjective meaning entire, total or complete

16a    Defensive strategy — of golfer in trap? (6,9)
BUNKER MENTALITY: The definition of an approach or strategy of extreme defensiveness and self-justification based on an often exaggerated sense of being under persistent attack from others is cryptically arrived at from the approach, mindset or MENTALITY of a golfer attempting to play a reliable sand trap shot when their ball is in a trap, precisely a sand trap called BUNKER, that is MENTALITY in BUNKER or BUNKER MENTALITY

21a    Power in arachnid, by the sound of it? (5)
MIGHT: MITE (arachnid) as a minute arachnid that has four pairs of legs when adult and related to the ticks serving as a homophone heard by the audience (by the sound of it) takes to the definition of a noun denoting great and impressive power or strength, especially of a nation, large organisation or natural force

23a    Non-alcoholic drink, abundance found in last few bars? (5,4)
CREAM SODA: The definition of a soft drink made with vanilla-flavoured carbonated water coloured brown with caramel is arrived at from REAMS (abundance) as a colloquial term for a large quantity noticed (found) in CODA (last few bars) as a passage that brings a piece of music to a satisfactory end

25a    Pertinent European directive, ultimately (7)
GERMANE: GERMAN (European) as a native or inhabitant of Germany that is in the European continent and the ultimate or final letter (ultimately) of [DIRECTIV]E guides to the definition of an adjective meaning relevant or appropriate to a subject under consideration

26a    Well, face friendly (7)
CORDIAL: A charade of COR (well) as an exclamation expressing surprise, excitement, admiration or alarm and DIAL (face) as a face of a clock or watch that is marked to show units of time takes to the definition of an adjective meaning warm and friendly

27a    Held by FBI, names somewhat disorganised (2,1,4)
IN A MESS: Part of or hidden inside (held by) [FB]I, NAMES S[OMEWHAT] guides to the definition of an adjective meaning in an untidy, disordered or disorganised condition

28a    Doctor in rush, running (7)
SURGEON: The definition of a doctor who performs operations that involve cutting into someone’s body in order to repair or remove damaged or diseased parts is arrived at from a charade of SURGE (rush) a sudden powerful forward or upward movement, especially by a crowd or by a natural force such as the tide and ON (running) as functioning or in operation, especially of an electrical appliance or power supply


1d    Busy cooks entertaining party served up alcoholic dessert (8)
SYLLABUB: An anagram (cooks) of BUSY taking in (entertaining) BALL (party) as a large formal party for dancing taken upwards (served up) as a reversal in the down clue leads to the definition of a whipped cream dessert, typically flavoured with white wine or sherry

2d    Prevent vessels up-ending (4)
STOP: The definition of a verb meaning to prevent, obstruct or discontinue is arrived at from POTS (vessels) as the plural of a round vessel of any size, made as of metal, earthenware or glass, used for holding liquids, cooking or preserving food etc overturning (up-ending) as a reversal in the down clue

3d    Pig stuffed with first of trimmings, cook meaty snack (3,3)
HOT DOG: HOG (pig) as a domesticated pig, especially a castrated male reared for slaughter filled (stuffed) with a combo of the initial or beginning letter (first) of T[RIMMINGS] and DO (cook) as to cook food to completion or to a specified degree takes to the definition of a small cooked sausage that is mild in flavour and is usually served in a long roll

4d    The Lord has plan for Semitic language (6)
HEBREW: A charade of HE (the Lord) as the masculine pronoun for God that is seconded by classical and scriptural understanding and (has) BREW (plan) as a verb meaning to contrive, plan or plot leads to the definition of a Semitic language spoken by the ancient Jews and a modern version of the language now in use in Israel

5d    Pasta carbonara initially imported by Romania, surprisingly (8)
MACARONI: The definition of pasta in the form of long thing tubes is arrived at from the initial or beginning letter (initially) of C[ARBONARA] brought inside (imported) by an anagram (surprisingly) of ROMANIA

6d    Coin on cross (6)
CENTRE: CENT (coin) as a coin and unit of money worth a hundredth part of the main unit of money in many countries and RE (on) as a commercial jargon used to indicate ‘referring to’, ‘concerning’, ‘on’ or ‘about’ in a charade that leads to the definition of a kick, hit or throw of the ball from the side to the middle of field in soccer

8d    Cancel any new negotiations, until later, first of all (5)
ANNUL: Each of the first or beginning letters (first of all) of A[NY] N[EW] N[EGOTIATION], U[NTIL] L[ATER] guides to the definition of a verb meaning to cancel the validity of something, especially a law or marriage

9d    Order change of cat diet (7)
DICTATE: An anagram (change) of CAT DIET leads to the definition of a verb meaning to state or order authoritatively

14d    German physicist well meaning, originally (3)
OHM: OH (well) as used to express a range of emotions including surprise, anger, disappointment or joy followed by the initial or beginning letter (originally) of M[EANING] takes to the definition of the German physicist and mathematics after whom the unit of electrical resistance is named

17d    African country, Asian country not right (8)
NIGERIAN: The definition of a native or inhabitant of Nigeria that is in Africa is arrived at from NIGER (country) as a landlocked country in West Africa, I[R]AN (Asian country) as a country located in West Asia devoid of (not) R (right) as the abbreviation for R

18d    Born in Eastbourne, Englishman (3)
NÉE: Part of or hidden inside (in) [EASTBOUR]NE, E[NGLISHMAN] guides to the definition of a literary adjective meaning born, used in stating the maiden or family name of a married woman

19d    Male blocks a more ghastly suitor (7)
ADMIRER: M (male) as the abbreviation for male interrupts a combo of (blocks) A from the clue and DIRER (more ghastly) as a comparative adjective meaning more dreadful or appalling, leading to the definition of a noun referring to a person who has a sexual or romantic interest in someone

20d    Horse in grey lad cut off (8)
YEARLING: The definition of a racehorse one year old, as calculated from 1 January of its year of foaling is arrived at from an anagram (off) of IN GREY LA[D], the last of which is having its last letter removed (cut)

21d    Periodical food for bird (6)
MAGPIE: A charade of MAG (periodical) as a colloquial short term for magazine that is a type of periodical and PIE (food) as quantity of meat, fruit or other food baked within or under a crust of prepared pastry leads to the definition of any of various birds, especially Pica pica, related to the jays but having a long graduated tail and black-and-white or brightly coloured plumage

22d    Merchant promoted wine with skill (6)
TRADER: A combo of RED (wine) as alcoholic drink coloured by red grape skins during fermentation and (with) ART (skill) as a skill at doing a specified thing, typically one acquired through practice raised or taken upwards (promoted) as a reversal in the down clue guides to the definition of a dealer or merchant or a person who engages in trade

23d    Tasteless, as is fondue? (6)
CHEESY: The definition of an adjective meaning tasteless, tacky or not having or exhibiting good taste is arrived at from the cryptic construction of an adjective for fondue (as is fondue) on the basis of its principal ingredient; fondue being a sauce made by heating a mixture of cheese and wine etc, eaten by dipping pieces of bread etc in the mixture

24d    Tree that’s old, as it happens (5)
OLIVE: A charade of O (old) as the abbreviation of old as OT in Old Testament and LIVE (as it happens) as an adjective meaning broadcast, recorded or seen while it is happening, especially of a performance leads to the definition of a tree, Olea europaea, cultivated round the Mediterranean for it oily fruit

26d    Box, for example (4)
CASE: Double nounal definition; the first being a container designed to hold or protect something and the second an instance of something occurring

There were many clues that I like in this puzzle such as 7a, 13a, 16a, 23a, 1d, 4d, 14d, 21d and 22d; 13a 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.

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