ST 3231 (full review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3231 (full review)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3231

A full review by Rahmat Ali

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This puzzle was published on 24th Sep 2023

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

Greetings from Kolkata. A bit tougher puzzle from Dada this Sunday that was still enjoyable and now I present to you a full review of his puzzle. Hope to have your valuable feedback and comments.

I wanted to know about the etymology of birthday suit, the answer to the clue of 28a, and hence a visit to the net for my learning became inevitable. Birthday suit can be traced to the immediate situation when one is born; when one is having no clothes on their person. Thus, birthday suit has come to be accepted as an idiomatic, often humorous term for nakedness referring to unclothed skin or an exposure of a human’s natural anatomy without clothing. The adjectival deduction is, of course, birthday-suited meaning unclothed or naked.

Tutti, the answer to the clue of 22d, is an Italian word that has come to be accepted in English and other European languages. It has its etymological root in the Latin word ‘tōtus’, literally meaning ‘all’ or ‘together’. It is used as a musical term for the whole orchestra as opposed to the soloist, where a person plays music or singing all by himself or herself. Likewise, it is applicable to choral music, where the whole section or choir is called to sing. During examination, sometimes, the candidates are instructed by music boards to play in ‘tuttis’, indicating that the candidates should play both the solo and the tutti sections. An orchestrator may specify that a section leader, for instance, the principal violinist, plays alone, while the rest of the section is silent for the duration of the solo passage, by writing solo in the music at the point where it begins and tutti at the point where the rest of the section should resume playing. ‘Tutti’ can be used as both a noun and an adjective. The numbers and genders of the Italian grammar have always fascinated me. When a word is accompanied by a noun, it has to agree with the said noun in both number. Barring a few exceptions, all words in this language ending in ‘o’ are masculine and those ending in ‘a’ are feminine. Thus, ‘tutto’ is used for singular masculine nouns and ‘tutta’ for singular feminine nouns. Their respective plurals are ‘tutti’ for plural masculine nouns and ‘tutte’ for plural feminine nouns. Hence, ‘tutti’ is the plural masculine formation of ‘tutto’ meaning ‘all’. One can easily guess why the Italians preferred the word ‘tutti’ over ‘tutte’ as the musical term.

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1a    Slight, minor infection on joint (4-8)
COLD-SHOULDER: The definition of a verb meaning to disrespect someone, especially by ignoring them is arrived at from COLD (minor infection) as a common infection in which the mucous membrane of the nose and throat becomes inflamed, typically causing running at the nose, sneezing and a sore throat followed by (on) SHOULDER (joint) as the upper joint of each of a person’s arms and the part of the body between this and the neck

9a    Great picture lost, dream a nightmare? (3,6)
OLD MASTER: The definition of a painting by an established master and especially by any of the distinguished painters of the 13th to the 18th century Europe is arrived at from an anagram (a nightmare) of LOST DREAM

10a    Information that is for bottled spirit? (5)
GENIE: A charade of GEN (information) as a slang term for general information and IE (that is) as the abbreviated form of the Latin phrase id est meaning ‘that is’ or ‘that is to say’ guides to the definition of a spirit of Arabian folklore, frequently depicted as being imprisoned within a bottle or oil lamp and as being capable of granting wishes when summoned

11a    One insect let out after another (6)
BEETLE: The definition of any of an order Coleoptera of insects having four wings of which the outer two are modified into stiff elytra that protect the inner two when at rest is arrived at from an anagram (out) of LET preceded by or following (after) BEE (another) as referring to a different insect that feed on pollen and nectar and sometimes produce honey and that differ from the wasps especially in the heavier hairier body and in having sucking as well as chewing mouthparts

12a    Separate gents are different (8)
ESTRANGE: The definition of a verb meaning to separate and live apart from one’s spouse or to alienate, especially from friendship is attained from an anagram (different) of GENTS ARE

13a    Sketch again in colour, green (6)
REDRAW: The definition of a verb meaning to draw or sketch something again or differently is reached from a charade of RED (colour) as a colour at the end of the spectrum next to orange and opposite violet and RAW (green) as new to an activity or job and therefore lacking experience or skill

15a    Fifty absent from trial you’d organised in hearing (8)
AUDITORY: L (fifty) as the Roman numeral for fifty removed (absent) from an anagram (organised) of TRIA[L] YOU’D to arrive at the definition of an adjective denoting of or related to the process of hearing, the sense of hearing or the organs of hearing or used in hearing

18a    Wretched involuntary action (8)
BLINKING: Double definition; the second being a noun referring to a reflex that closes and opens the eye involuntarily that leads to the first a slang adjective and adverb used as an intensifier to express annoyance or anger

19a    Eccentric twist provided in film (6)
MISFIT: The definition of a person who cannot adjust to his or her social environment, job etc is arrived at from a turn or reversal (twist) of IF (provided) as a conjunction denoting provided, assuming or in case placed inside (in) MIST (film) as a thin film of moisture condensed on a surface in droplets

21a    Colourful writers considered advice (4,4)
FELT TIPS: A charade of FELT (considered) as believed, considered or thought and TIPS (advice) as helpful or casual pieces or words of advice guides to the definition of pens in a range of various colours with each having a writing point made of felt

23a    Floating, where I can be found? (3-3)
MID-AIR: The definition of an adjective meaning suspended, hovering or floating in the air is arrived at from the letter ‘I’ that can be found as the mid or central letter of air

26a    Be in outskirts of Tralee, crossing boundary the wrong way (5)
EXIST: The definition of a verb meaning to exist, live or have life is arrived at from the outermost letters (outskirts) of T[RALE]E covering (crossing) SIX (boundary) as a hit that reaches the boundary without first striking the ground, scoring six runs, as in cricket, both coming from right to left (the wrong way) as reversals in the across clue

27a    One having lumps treated: I have rash (9)
IMPULSIVE: I (one) as the Roman numeral for one followed by (having) an anagram (treated) of LUMPS and I’VE (I have) as a contraction for ‘I have’ guides to the definition of an adjective meaning hasty or acting or done suddenly without any forethought

28a    American zip for clothes? (8,4)
BIRTHDAY SUIT: The definition of an informal term for a naked human body as people are at birth is cryptically arrived at from nothing for clothes; zip standing for nothing in American English


1d    Severely criticise attire (7)
CLOBBER: Double slang definition; the second being a noun referring to clothing, personal belongings or equipment that takes to the first a verb meaning to criticise harshly or severely

2d    Shelf on which novel ultimately found, narrow surface (5)
LEDGE: The definition of a shelf-like projection is arrived at from the ultimate or final letter (ultimately) of [NOVE]L having alongside (found) EDGE (narrow surface) as any of the narrow surfaces of a thin, flat object

3d    Hunt round shopping centre for gossip (5,4)
SMALL TALK: STALK (hunt) as to follow or approach game, prey etc stealthily and quietly going about (round) MALL (shopping centre) as a large, often enclosed shopping complex containing various stores, businesses and restaurants usually accessible by common passageways takes to the definition of a polite conversation about unimportant or uncontroversial matters, especially as engaged in on social occasions

4d    Promise cap in orange and elaborate hat (4)
OATH: The topmost letter (cap) in O[RANGE] in the down clue and an anagram (elaborate) of HAT guide to the definition of a solemn promise, usually formal, calling upon God or a god to witness to the truth of what one says or to witness that one sincerely intends to do what one says

5d    Bird sat on something sharp in plant (8)
LARKSPUR: LARK (bird) as a bird of the genus Alauda, well-known for flying high as it sings placed upon (sat on) SPUR (something sharp) as a hard sharp projection in the down clue takes to the definition of an annual Mediterranean plant of the buttercup family which bears spikes of spurred flowers

6d    Composer inspired by opera gleefully rising (5)
ELGAR: Part of or hidden inside (inspired by) [OPE]RA GLE[EFULLY] that is seen going upwards (rising) in the down clue leads to the definition of the English composer, Sir Edward William Elgar, many of whose works have entered the British and international classical concert repertoire

7d    Both cricket sides appearing irregularly (2,3,3)
ON AND OFF: Double definition; the first being a noun referring to the two sides in cricket; ‘on’ being the side on which the batsman stands normally the bowler’s right and ‘off’ being the side on which he stands at the bowler’s left and the second an adverb meaning intermittently or occasionally

8d    Just lake lately emptied (6)
MERELY: The definition of an adverb denoting just, only or without being more or better is arrived at from MERE (lake) as a small lake, pond or marsh followed by L[ATEL]Y having its innermost letters removed (emptied)

14d    Sharp and penetrating thing, part of exercise? (5,3)
DRILL BIT: The definition of a cutting tool used in a drilling machine to create cylindrical holes and part of the drill that penetrates the surface or material being drilled is arrived at from BIT (part) as a small piece, part or quantity of something of DRILL (exercise) as an exercise done to practise military skills or procedures, that is BIT OF DRILL or DRILL BIT

16d    Where one must be to win it, one needing partner first (9)
INITIALLY: IN IT (where one must be to win it) as the phrase denoting ‘You’ve got to be in it to win it’ that is a fairly common slogan encouraging people to enter a lottery by buying a lottery ticket, i.e. if you haven’t entered you can’t win the prize followed by I (one) as the Roman numeral for one and ALLY (partner) as a member or party to an alliance or a state or sovereign joined in league for co-operation in a common purpose takes to the definition of an adverb meaning first, at first or in the beginning

17d    Pure tulip’s no daffy! (8)
UNSPOILT: The definition of an adjective meaning not damaged or not lacking freshness is arrived at from an anagram (daffy) of TULIP’S NO

18d    Counter blow that’s strong (6)
BUFFET: Double nounal definition; the first being a refreshment counter or bar where light refreshments are served and the second a quick sharp blow, especially with the hand or fist

20d    By the sound of it, trip resulted in misery (7)
TORMENT: TOUR (trip) as a journey or excursion, especially for pleasure and MEANT (resulted) as had as a consequence or result, both serving as homophones heard by the audience (by the sound of it) guide to the definition of a noun meaning severe physical or mental pain or suffering

22d    Trumpets, ukuleles, then trombones identified, originally playing together (5)
TUTTI: The original or first letters (originally) each of T[RUMPETS], U[KULELES], T[HEN] T[ROMBONES] I[DENTIFIED] guides to the definition of an adverb meaning with all voices or instruments together, especially as a direction or an adjective denoting performed with all voices or instruments together

24d    Stop entering a union I’m leaving (5)
ADIEU: DIE (stop) as to stop working, especially of an engine getting inside (entering) a combo of A from the clue and U (union) as the abbreviation of union as EU in European Union takes to the definition denoting farewell or goodbye or the act of leaving or departing

25d    King Edward perhaps sour at first, then sweet (4)
SPUD: The first or initial letter (at first) of S[OUR) followed by (then) PUD (sweet) as the colloquial term for pudding that is a cooked sweet food made from ingredients such as milk, sugar, flour and eggs and served either hot or cold takes to the definition of an informal term for a potato, a variety of which is King Edward that is grown in the United Kingdom since 1902, making it one of the oldest cultivars still grown commercially

There were several clues that I liked in this puzzle such as 1a, 10a, 18a, 19a, 23a, 26a, 28a, 3d, 16d and 22d; the best among them being 1a. 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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