ST 3242 (full review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3242 (full review)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3242

A full review by Rahmat Ali

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This puzzle was published on 10th Dec 2023

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

Greetings from Kolkata. This Sunday, it was a tough puzzle from Dada that I still enjoyed solving and thereafter writing a full review and I now present it for your kind perusal and precious feedback.

Once I got addicted to Sudoku, the answer to the clue of 1d, and spent a lot many months hopping from one puzzle to another every day. Then, one day, I suddenly thought I was only getting the numbers from 1 to 9 properly placed in the grid and subgrids and that was of course nothing remarkable as such. It was purely a satisfaction. But I asked myself as to how many times I should allow the rerun of such satisfaction in my mind. Then again I replied to myself – not any more. I stopped taking interest in Sudoku and it’s now long many years since I solved the last Sudoku puzzle. The same case, though much earlier, was with ‘solitaire’, a game of cards played solitarily on the computer. I spent more than a year, spending a few hours every evening and then, one evening, I decided that I should not allow the rerun of the similar type of satisfaction in my mind. However, in this puzzle, after getting Sudoku as one of the answers to the clues that I solved, I turned to the net to know more about the history of the number game. Although I was well aware that ‘Sudoku’ is a Japanese term, to my utter surprise, I found out that French newspapers had already featured variations of the Sudoku puzzles in the nineteenth century and the puzzle had appeared since 1979 in puzzle books under the name ‘Number Place’, before the modern Sudoku was introduced in Japan by Maki Kaji, president of the puzzle company, Nikoli in the paper Monthly Nikolist in April 1984 under the name Sūji wa dokushin ni kagiru meaning ‘the digits must be single’. This name was later abbreviated to Sudoku. Now Sudoku is a registered trademark in Japan and the puzzle is generally referred to as ‘Number Place’ (ナンバープレース, Nanbāpurēsu) or, more informally, a shortening of the two words, Num(ber) Pla(ce) (ナンプレ, Nanpure). The Japanese cannot pronounce ‘l’. My Japanese teacher used to called me Ari-san-wa. The Japanese called the late Michael Jackson as Maikeru. Furthermore, all consonants have vowels ending, but ‘n’ is the only consonant that has the additional feature of ending without a vowel. Nanbā (number) and purēsu (place) are both written in katakana, the script reserved for foreign words and so are their short forms nan and purē, because English to the Japanese people are foreign words.

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8a    Contented sound as pussy unwinds, really relaxed initially (4)
PURR: The definition of a continuous vibratory sound expressing contentment, especially of a cat is arrived at from the initial or first letters (initially) each of P[USSY] U[NWINDS], R[EALLY] R[ELAXED]

9a    Sassy joint (3)
HIP: Double definition; the second being a noun referring to either of the joints at the pelvis where the legs are attached that takes to the first an adjective meaning very fashionable or trendy

10a    Owl beak (6)
HOOTER: Double nounal definition; the first being one that hoots or makes a loud noise, especially an owl and the second a slang term for a person’s nose, especially if it is large, prominent and protruding

11a    Cleaning machine has house done (6)
HOOVER: A charade of HO (house) as the abbreviation for house and over (done) as an adverb meaning finished, complete or done takes to the definition of a vacuum cleaner, properly one made by the Hoover company

12a    Route behind narrow part for plunger, say? (8)
NECKLINE: LINE (route) as a direct course or route preceded by or following (behind) NECK (narrow part) as a narrow connecting or end part of something leads to the definition of the edge of a woman’s garment at or below the neck, used with reference to its height or shape, an example for which is the plunger or plunging neckline that is a low-cut neckline in a woman’s dress, blouse etc

13a    This page surely hadn’t failing! (6,9)
SUNDAY TELEGRAPH: An anagram (failing) of PAGE SURELY HADN’T guides to the definition of the description of this puzzle

15a    Public notice smart building hosting party (7)
STARDOM: An anagram (building) of SMART entertaining or welcoming in (hosting) DO (party) as an informal term for a party or other social event takes to the definition of the state of being or status of a star performer, especially of stage or screen, that one is supposed to draw the public

17a    Ban bag, more toxic (7)
EMBARGO: The definition of a verb meaning to officially ban the publication of documents or prohibit or prevent commerce is arrived at from an anagram (toxic) of BAG, MORE

20a    Focal point V? (6,2,7)
CENTRE OF GRAVITY: The definition of the single point at which the resultant gravitational force of a body act is cryptically arrived at from focal point V as referring to V being the focal point or focus that is the central point or the central or middle-placed letter of ‘gravity’, that is CENTRE OF GRAVITY

23a    Drink, some hot I gathered (8)
SMOOTHIE: An anagram (gathered) of SOME HOT I guides to the definition of a thick drink of smooth consistency made with puréed fruit, milk, yogurt or ice cream

25a    More flesh visible in lecture (6)
LESSON: LESS ON (more flesh visible) as to have less clothes on the body that results in visibility of more of its parts, arriving at the definition of a period of learning or teaching or a lecture

26a    Monster newspaper featured in Scottish water, perhaps? (6)
DRAGON: RAG (newspaper) as a newspaper, typically one regarded as being of low quality seen inside (featured in) DON (Scottish water, perhaps) as a river in north-east Scotland that rises in the Grampians and flows through Aberdeenshire to the North Sea at Aberdeen takes to the definition of a mythical monster usually represented as breathing fire and having a scaly reptilian body, wings, claws and a long tail

27a    Prisoner, celebrity with shaved head (3)
CON: The definition of a slang term for a prisoner deduced as a short form from convict is reached from [I]CON (celebrity) as a person regarded as a representative symbol or widely admired especially for having great influence or significance in a particular sphere with the leading letter (head) taken away or removed (shaved)

28a    Scottish or Irish dance film (4)
REEL: Double nounal definition; the first being a lively Scottish or Irish folk dance and the second referring to a part of a film


1d    UK duo’s playing the numbers game? (6)
SUDOKU: An anagram (playing) of UK DUO’S guides to the definition of a number game comprising a 9 x 9 grid, where one has to use all the numbers 1 to 9 exactly once in each row, column and the nine 3 x 3 subgrids

2d    Company offering service for six, wine served up (8)
PROVIDER: PRO (for) as the Latin root word for the preposition ‘for’ and VI (six) as the Roman numeral for six followed by RED (wine) as alcoholic drink coloured by red grape skins during fermentation taken upwards (served up) as a reversal in the down clue takes to the definition of a company or organisation that sells a particular type of product or service

3d    Young adult might yet, in short, set out (6-9)
THIRTY-SOMETHING: An anagram (set out) of MIGHT YET, IN SHORT leads to the definition of a person aged between 30 and 39, especially when considered as part of a social group of similarly aged people with specific drives, aims and needs

4d    Talk about an English toy dog? (7)
SPANIEL: SPIEL (talk) as to talk glibly placed around (about) AN from the clue yields the definition of a kind of dog, usually liver-and-white or black-and-white, with large pendent ears, a type of which is the English toy dog of the United States that is known as King Charles Spaniel in the United Kingdom

5d    Jessie, girl left with American dish (7,8)
CHICKEN MARYLAND: A charade of CHICKEN (Jessie) as a cowardly, fearful or faint-hearted person, MARY (girl) as the name of a girl, L (left) as the abbreviation for left and AND (with) as used to connect words of the same part of speech, clauses or sentences that are to be taken jointly takes to the definition of a historic dish, associated with the state of Maryland of the United States, consisting of fried chicken, traditionally garnished with bananas and served with a cream gravy

6d    Wolf in error? (6)
HOWLER: Double nounal definition; the first being someone who howls or utters a long, loud, whining sound, an example of which is a wolf and the second a colloquial term for a glaring and amusing blunder

7d    Nasty geezer buries last of treasure (4)
MEAN: The definition of an adjective meaning unkind, spiteful or unfair is arrived at from MAN (geezer) as an adult male human being, also known informally as a geezer covers or hides inside (buries) the terminal or final letter (last) of [TREASUR]E

14d    Gannet caught in trap, I guess (3)
PIG: Part of or hidden inside (caught in) [TRA]P, I G[UESS] guides to the definition of a colloquial term for a greedy, dirty or unpleasant person that is also known as gannet

16d    Part that’s nailed to back of tree (3)
TOE: The definition of any of the five digits at the end of the foot that has a horny covering on the upper surface of its tip in humans and other primates is arrived at from TO from the clue and the concluding or ultimate letter (back) of [TRE]E

18d    Counselling a swimmer, victory is secured (8)
ADVISORY: The definition of an adjective meaning having the attribute or functioning of counselling is arrived at from A from the clue followed by DORY (swimmer) as a golden-yellow fish, Zeus faber, of the mackerel family, officially called sea wolf having inside (secured) a combo of V (victory) as the abbreviation for victory as V-day in Victory Day and IS from the clue

19d    Crime of receiver of stolen goods (7)
OFFENCE: The definition of a noun referring to a criminal activity or a breach of law is arrived at from OF from the clue followed by FENCE (receiver of stolen goods) as a thieves’ slang for a receiver of stolen goods or a place where stolen goods are received

21d    However difficult, hard going in (6)
THOUGH: The definition of an adverb meaning nevertheless or however is deduced from TOUGH (difficult) as difficult to do or deal with having H (hard) as the symbol for hard in lead pencils getting inside (going in)

22d    Tool drier, last of water absorbed (6)
TROWEL: TOWEL (drier) as a piece of thick absorbent cloth or paper used for drying oneself or wiping things dry having taken inside (absorbed) the final or terminal letter (last) of [WATE]R takes to the definition of a flat or scoop-shaped tool with a short handle, for plastering, gardening etc

24d    Communist score read out? (4)
MARX: The definition of the German-born philosopher, economist, political theorist, historian, sociologist, journalist and revolutionary socialist who also came to be known as the father of communism after he proposed this new ideology in his ‘Communist Manifesto’ is arrived at from a homophone heard by the audience (read out) of MARKS (score) as signifying a person’s score awarded in an examination of competition

There were several clues that I liked in this puzzle such as 10a, 12a, 13a, 15a, 20a, 25a, 26a, 5d, 6d and 16d; the best of the lot being 20a. 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.

5 comments on “ST 3242 (full review)
Leave your own comment 

    1. Thank you so much, Merusa, for liking my comments on the Japanese language. I am also very happy to learn that you have been to Japan a few times and loved the country, especially because of its cleanliness. Although I have never been to Japan, but I love the language and the simple pronunciation of its words, having learnt it in a two-year certificate course at Netaji Institute for Asian Studies in our city in the late nineties.

  1. Thank you, Rahmat for all the very interesting and informative insights that you have provided this year. I continue to learn so much from your introductions.
    I wish you and your family a very happy Christmas and a healthy and peaceful 2024 to you and all of your followers.

    1. Thank you so much once again, Essar, for liking my review. Incidentally, I missed to read your kind comments and season’s greetings earlier and so could not reciprocally wish you and your family a very happy Christmas in time and for which I now tender my sincere apologies. However, I thank you also for your greetings. Hope you have enjoyed a very lovely Christmas with your family and friends. I now wish you and your family and friends also a healthy and peaceful 2024.

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