ST 3240 (full review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3240 (full review)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3240

A full review by Rahmat Ali

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This puzzle was published on 26th Nov 2023

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Greetings from Kolkata. A lovelier and friendlier puzzle from Dada this Sunday that I enjoyed solving and thereafter writing a full review which I now present for your kind reading and valuable feedback.

I visited the net to know more about velociraptor, the answer to the clue of 1a and got a lot of information on it. Velociraptor is a genus of small dromaeosaurid dinosaurs that lived in Asia during the Late Cretaceous era, about 75 million to 71 million years ago. Two species are presently recognised. The first one, whose fossils have been discovered in the Djadochta Formation in Mongolia, is Velociraptor mongoliensis, named and described in 1924. The second one, Velociraptor osmolskae, was named in 2008 for skull material from the Bayan Mandahu Formation in China. A velociraptor was about 4.9 ft to 6.8 ft long with a body mass around 31 lb to 43 lb. It was roughly the size of a turkey but smaller than other dromaeosaurids like Deinonychus and Achillobator. It, however, shared many of the same anatomical features. It was a bipedal, feathered carnivore with a long tail and an enlarged sickle-shaped claw on each hindfoot that helped it to tackle and restrain its prey. But it differed from other dromaeosaurids due to its long and low skull and an upturned snout. Velociraptor today is familiar to palaeontologists, with over a dozen described fossil skeletons.

You, part of the wordplay to the clue of 8a, sans being seconded by a homophone indicator, came as a surprise. But soon an afterthought followed. Thanks to the modern-day short-cutters who have somehow brought the letter U to rampant use as a word in social media and text messages. I is a one-letter word. U is a one-letter word. I and U together make WE, a two-letter word. Mathematically, very justified; cruciverbally, U needs to be cordially accepted and accommodated.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought.


1a    Bent over, tropical reptile that’s very old (12)
VELOCIRAPTOR: An anagram (bent) of OVER, TROPICAL guides to the definition of a small bipedal Cretaceous dinosaur with a long narrow head and a sickle-like claw on each hind foot

8a    Area is spread around you, land including Turkey (7)
EURASIA: An anagram (spread) of AREA IS placed about (around) U (you) as referring to ‘you’ in text messages takes to the definition of the largest continental area on Earth, comprising all of Europe and Asia or nowadays, sometimes used to refer to the post-Soviet space, in particular Russia, the Central Asian republics and the Transcaucasus republics, and sometimes also adjacent regions such as Turkey and Mongolia

9a    Canny washer, say, after bath (7)
SPARING: The definition of an adjective meaning frugal, economical or canny is fetched from RING (washer, say) as a small circular band or any circular object, an example of which is washer, that is a ring, usually flat, of metal, rubber etc to keep joints or nut secure etc placed after (after) SPA (bath) as a heated bath or pool of aerated water

11a    Wind up around Norway originally from Scandinavia (7)
FINNISH: FINISH (wind up) as to wrap up or wind up or bring a task or activity to an end surrounding (around) N (Norway) as the IVR code for Norway takes to the definition of a person of Finnish descent or a native of Finland that is now included among the Scandinavian countries by some authors due to its economic and other similarities

12a    Sour-tasting stuff and nonsense (7)
RHUBARB: Double nounal definition; the first referring to long pinkish sour leafstalks usually eaten cooked and sweetened and the second denoting nonsense or used to show disagreement like in a heated dispute or controversy

13a    Opening of cabaret with musical host (5)
CHAIR: The starting or initial letter (opening) of C[ABARET] and (with) HAIR (musical) as the American tribal love-rock musical whose work reflects the creators’ observations of the hippie counterculture and sexual revolution of the late 1960s takes to the definition of a verb meaning to conduct a meeting etc as a chairperson

14a    Divine Comedy primarily lies, tale made up (9)
CELESTIAL: The initial or beginning letter (primarily) of C[OMEDY] followed by an anagram (made up) of LIES, TALE leads to the definition of an adjective meaning heavenly, divine or sublime

16a    Get involved, as would an actor? (4,1,4)
PLAY A PART: Double phrasal and verbal definition; the second referring to act a theatrical role that takes to the first meaning to be involved in or to be instrumental or helping in doing something

19a    Saw somewhat rusty? (5)
DATED: Double definition; the second being an adjective meaning old-fashioned, outmoded or somewhat rusty or time-worn that leads to the first a verb in the past tense meaning met and had a romantic meeting or outing with a lover

21a    Sampling wine perhaps, it’s tipped back passing flavour around (7)
TASTING: IT’S from the clue is overturned (tipped back) as a reversal in the across clue and surrounded by (passing … around) TANG (flavour) as a sharp distinctive often lingering flavour, leading to the definition of sampling the flavour of food or drink by taking it into the mouth, an example of which can include sampling, comparing and evaluating different wines

23a    English university examination (7)
READING: Double nounal definition; the second meaning scrutiny, inspection, study or examination that guides to the first referring to one of the eight English universities that were under a university constituency called Combined English Universities until 1950 when it was abolished by the Representation of the People Act 1948

24a    Sterility in greeting to dancer Kelly, we hear? (7)
HYGIENE: The definition of a noun referring to conditions and practices that help to maintain health and prevent the spread of diseases, especially through cleanliness is reached from homophones (we hear) as heard by the audience of a combo of HI (greeting) as an interjection used as a friendly greeting to GENE (dancer Kelly) as referring to Gene Kelly, nickname of Eugene Curran Kelly, the late American dancer, actor, singer, director and choreographer

25a    The loos out of order somewhere in Africa (7)
LESOTHO: An anagram (out of order) of THE LOOS leads to the definition of a landlocked country in Southern Africa

26a    Special message, a reminder of when delivered? (8,4)
BIRTHDAY CARD: A cryptic definition of a greeting card, arriving once a year, that displays message of good wishes that serves as a remembrance of one’s birth (when delivered)


1d    Terrace queen found in royal museum (7)
VERANDA: The definition of a roofed platform along the outside of a house, level with the ground floor is arrived at from ER (queen) as the abbreviation for Elizabeth Regina, the name taken on by Queen Elizabeth upon ascending the throne; the word ‘regina’ being the Latin name for ‘queen’ seen inside (found in) VANDA (royal museum) as referring to the abbreviated version V&A of the Victoria and Albert Museum that was founded in 1852 and named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

2d    Result, I suspect, more robust (7)
LUSTIER: An anagram (suspect) of RESULT I guides to the definition of an adjective in the comparative degree meaning more robust, healthy and strong

3d    Series missing in repeated dance (3-3-3)
CHA-CHA-CHA: CHA[IN] (series) as a series of linked metal rings used for fastening or securing something or for pulling loads without (missing) IN as in the clue and occurring thrice (repeated) leads to the definition of a dance of Latin American origin, consisting of a series of short steps followed by a rhythmic hip-swaying shuffling movement

4d    Bit of a step up in figures I recall (5)
RISER: Going upwards (up) in the down clue and being part of or hidden inside (in) [FIGU]RES I R[ECALL] takes to the definition of the upright portion or vertical part of a step

5d    Seeds in chickenfeed? (7)
PEANUTS: Double definition; the second being a colloquial term for something very trifling or insignificant, especially a paltry sum of money or chickenfeed that leads to the first referring to oval seeds of a tropical South American plant, often roasted and salted and eaten as a snack or used to make oil

6d    Folding payment up, could I be? (7)
ORIGAMI: The definition of the Japanese art of folding paper into decorative shapes and figures is arrived at from GIRO (payment) as a system of electronic payment that is seen rising (up) as a reversal in the down clue followed by AM I? (could I be?) as an interrogatory statement by a person in doubt, surprise or wonder wanting to make doubly sure about what they just heard about themselves

7d    Faultless track, musical talent? (7,5)
PERFECT PITCH: The definition of a person’s ability to identify any musical note by name after hearing it, without reference to other notes is reached from a charade of PERFECT (faultless) as an adjective meaning impeccable, flawless or faultless and PITCH (track) as a noun referring to an area of ground marked out or used for play in an outdoor team game or playing field or track

10d    Tripe eaten, say, nothing right (12)
GOBBLEDEGOOK: A charade of GOBBLED (eaten) as eaten hurriedly and noisily, EG (say) as the abbreviation for the Latin phrase exempli gratia meaning ‘for example’ or ‘say’, O (nothing) as the letter representing nought or nothing and OK (right) as used to express agreement or acceptance leads to the definition of a noun meaning rubbish or nonsense or referring to an unintelligible official jargon

15d    Sideways, last-minute improvement? (9)
LATERALLY: A charade of LATE (last-minute) as happening or being near the end of a period of time and RALLY (improvement) as a quick or marked recovery after a decline takes to the definition of an adverb meaning sideways or at, towards or from the side or sides

17d    Spear as good in main incursion, initially (7)
ASSEGAI: The definition of a slender spear of hard wood tipped with iron, either for hurling or for thrusting with, used in southern Africa is reached from AS from the clue followed by G (good) as the abbreviation for good put inside (in) SEA (main) as a great body of salt water that covers much of the earth and also referred to as the main or ocean followed by the initial or starting letter (initially) of I[NCURSION]

18d    Food that’s green fed to insect (7)
ALIMENT: LIME (green) as a bright light green colour like that of the citrus fruit of the same name put into (fed to) ANT (insect) as eusocial insect of the family Formidicae takes to the definition of a noun meaning nourishment or food

19d     Water gone here? (4,3)
DEAD SEA: The definition of a salt lake bordered by Jordan to the east and Palestine’s West Bank and Israel to the west is arrived at from SEA (water) as the expanse of salt water that covers most of the earth’s surface as also referring to any large hypersaline lake and DEAD (gone) as no longer with us or not existing any more, or SEA that is DEAD, or precisely DEAD SEA

20d    Article with coloured packaging, spoilt (7)
TAINTED: A (article) as one of the indefinite articles with TINTED (coloured) as tinged or slightly coloured surrounding or serving as a cover (packaging) leads to the definition of an adjective meaning spoilt or damaged in quality, taste or value

22d    Overindulgence does maybe end in sobbing when upset (5)
GREED: DEER (does maybe) as hoofed ruminant mammals of the family Cervidae, an example of which are does or female deer and the terminal or last letter (end) in [SOBBIN]G combinedly overturn (when upset) as reversals in down clue, guiding to the definition of a noun referring to a selfish and excessive desire for more of something than is needed

There were several clues that I liked in this puzzle such as 1a, 11a, 19a, 23a, 24a, 26a, 1d, 3d, 10d, 15d and 19d; the best of the lot being 10d. 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.

2 comments on “ST 3240 (full review)

  1. 3*/4* ….
    liked 21A ” Sampling wine perhaps, it’s tipped back passing flavour around (7)” ….
    appreciated the informative review & pictures.

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