ST 3248 (full review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3248 (full review)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3248

A full review by Rahmat Ali

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This puzzle was published on 21st Jan 2024

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Greetings from Kolkata. A nice and lovely puzzle from Dada this Sunday that I enjoyed solving and thereafter writing a full review of his puzzle for your kind perusal and important feedback.

Holy See, the answer to the clue of 17d, is also known by several names like Apostolic See, Petrine See or See of Rome, as I learnt from the net. It is the jurisdiction of the pope in his role as the bishop of Rome. It includes the apostolic Episcopal See of the Diocese of Rome, which has ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the worldwide Catholic Church and sovereignty over the city-state known as the Vatican City, that is also its capital. Its official language is Latin and working languages are Italian and French. According to Catholic tradition, the Apostolic See of Diocese of Rome was established in the 1st century by Saint Peter and Saint Paul. The legal status of the Catholic Church and its property was recognised by the Edict of Milan in 313 by the Roman emperor Constantine the Great and it became the state church of the Roman Empire by the Edict of Thessalonica in 380 by Emperor Theodosius I.
The Lateran Treaty between the Holy See and Italy in 1929 recognised Vatican City as an independent city-state, along with extraterritorial properties around the region. Since that time, Vatican City is distinct from yet under full ownership, exclusive dominion and sovereign authority and jurisdiction of the Holy See. As on date, the Holy See is one of the last remaining seven absolute monarchies in the world, along with Brunei, Eswatini, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The pope governs the Catholic Church through the Roman Curia. The Curia consists of a complex of offices that administer church affairs at the highest level, including the Secretariat of State, nine Congregations, three Tribunals, eleven Pontifical Councils, and seven Pontifical Commissions. The Secretariat of State, under the Cardinal Secretary of State, directs and coordinates the Curia. The Holy See, not Vatican City, maintains diplomatic relations with states. Foreign embassies are accredited to the Holy See, not to Vatican City and it is the Holy See that establishes treaties and concordats with other sovereign entities. When necessary, the Holy See enters a treaty on behalf of Vatican City. The Holy See signed the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, a binding agreement for negotiations for the total elimination of nuclear weapons. The police force within Vatican City, known as the Corps of Gendarmerie of Vatican City, belongs to the city-state, not to the Holy See.

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1a    Middle Eastern queen, sweet little thing (7)
SULTANA: Double nounal definition; the first being a wife or concubine of a sultan who is the ruler or king of a Muslim country, especially of the former Ottoman empire Southeast Europe, West Asia and North Africa, but could also refer to his mother, sister or daughter and the second referring to a small, light brown or golden, seedless raisin used in puddings and cakes

5a    Unfortunate pals she mistreated (7)
HAPLESS: An anagram (mistreated) of PALS SHE takes to the definition of an adjective denoting unfortunate or having no luck

9a    Party wipe the floor for Labour? (5,3,4,3)
PAINT THE TOWN RED: A cryptic definition of a phrase meaning to party or celebrate in a rowdy, wild manner, especially in a public place is another way of saying how the Marxists or communists might celebrate, particularly after a resounding victory at any election, with their presence all over the places (wipe the floor) waving the red flags of Labour party (for Labour)

10a    Answer letter from Nato? (4)
ECHO: Double nounal definition; the second referring to the word that represents the letter E in the Nato phonetic alphabet that takes to the first denoting resonance, repetition or answer or a sound or sounds caused by the reflection of sound waves from a surface back to the listener

11a    Rate part of system poorly (5)
TEMPO: Found hidden inside (part of) [SYS]TEM PO[ORLY] leads to the definition of the rate or speed of motion or activity

12a    Dashing, little bird hasn’t finished (4)
CHIC: CHIC[K] (little bird) as a young bird, especially one newly hatched devoid of its last or finishing letter (hasn’t finished) guides to the definition of an adjective meaning elegantly and stylishly fashionable

15a    Couple knocking swine about in book (7)
TWOSOME: SOW (swine) as an adult female swine having a setback or change to an opposite direction (knocking … about) as a reversal in the across clue placed inside (in) TOME (book) as a book, especially a large, heavy, scholarly one leads to the definition of a group of two or a pair of people considered together

16a    Tutor confusing hectare and the acre! (7)
TEACHER: The definition of an educator, tutor or instructor is arrived at from an anagram (confusing) of HECTARE or from another alternative (and) of THE ACRE

17a    Book that man prepares (7)
HEBREWS: The definition of one of the books of the New Testament is arrived at from a charade of HE (that man) as the pronoun used to refer to a man, boy or male animal previously mentioned or easily identified and BREWS (prepares) as a verb in the simple present tense and third person singular form meaning prepares or makes a drink like tea or coffee by soaking, boiling and fermentation

19a    Article edited for concert (7)
RECITAL: An anagram (edited) of ARTICLE takes to the definition of a performance of a programme of music by a soloist or small group of several performers, as in a concert

21a    Loaf, shiny finish, first cut (4)
LAZE: The definition of a verb meaning to loaf around or spend time in a relaxed, lazy manner is arrived at from [G]LAZE (shiny finish) as a smooth lustrous, glossy or shiny finish on a fabric having removed (cut) the initial or beginning letter (first)

22a    Sherry emptied, then pensioner grabbed bubbly! (5)
SOAPY: The extreme or outermost letters after removal of the inner letters (emptied) of S[HERR]Y having (then) OAP (pensioner) as the abbreviation for ‘old age pensioner’ who is a person old enough to receive an old age pension from the government taken and held inside (grabbed) leads to the definition of an adjective meaning covered with soap or lather that is a frothy white mass of bubbles 

23a    Yankee, say, accompanying a Greek character (4)
BETA: BET (Yankee, say) as a pledge of a forfeit risked on some uncertain outcome, an example of which is Yankee bet that is a multiple bet on four horses in four races, consisting of six doubles, four trebles and one accumulator followed by (accompanying) A from the clue takes to the definition of the second letter of the Greek alphabet

26a    Joker, an impudent cad, so funny! (5-2,8)
STAND-UP COMEDIAN: An anagram (funny) of AN IMPUDENT CAD, SO takes to the definition of an entertainer who stands alone in front of an audience and makes people laugh, by telling jokes or funny stories

27a    Change ensured for consumer (3,4)
END USER: An anagram (change) of ENSURED leads to the definition of a person or other entity that consumes or makes use of the goods or services produced by businesses

28a    Heartless gang imprisoned by judge, one of those firing gun? (7)
TRIGGER: G[AN]G without the inner letters (heartless) taken in (imprisoned) by TRIER (judge) as a person or body responsible for investigating and deciding a case judicially guides to the definition of the part of a gun that one presses in order to fire it


1d    Tragically, ape isn’t living (7)
SAPIENT: An anagram (tragically) of APE ISN’T guides to the definition of an adjective meaning relating to the human species, that is homo sapiens

2d    Fifty, number on flier in Beds town (8,7)
LEIGHTON BUZZARD: L (fifty) as the Roman numeral for fifty EIGHT (number) as the cardinal number one above seven, ON from the clue and BUZZARD (flier) as a large hawklike bird of prey with broad wings and a rounded tail, often seen soaring in wide circles yield the definition of a market town in Bedfordshire, England, in the southwest of the county and close to the Buckinghamshire border

3d    Cast, surprisingly, does what it does? (4)
ACTS: An anagram (surprisingly) of CAST takes to the definition and the obvious answer to the question what the cast (it), i.e. the actors in a play or film, does is puts on a performance, i.e. it ACTS

4d    Diverted, the late runner, say (7)
ATHLETE: An anagram (diverted) or THE LATE leads to the definition of a person who is proficient in sports and other forms of physical exercise, an example of which can be a racer or runner

5d    War zone landing leader of sorts in a stew (7)
HOTSPOT: The leading or initial letter (leader) of S[ORTS) placed inside (in) HOTPOT (a stew) as a baked stew or casserole made with meat or fish and covered with a layer of potatoes takes to the definition of a country or region where dangerous or difficult political situations like a war or revolution may erupt

6d    Piece in hand, last of sixteen (4)
PAWN: PAW (hand) as an informal term for a person’s hand and the ultimate or final letter (last) of [SIXTEE]N takes to the definition of a chess piece or man of the smallest size and value

7d    Cataclysmic becoming hater after this? (5-10)
EARTH-SHATTERING: The definition of an adjective meaning large-scale and violent, especially of a natural event like earthquake that is hated by all is cryptically arrived at from a reverse anagram where the answer is worked out backwards, thus SHATTERING from the answer serves as the anagram indicator and the anagram (shattering) of EARTH that serves as the fodder leads to ‘HATER’ which is present in the clue

8d    One of those on motorbike, scared, I gathered (7)
SIDECAR: An anagram (gathered) of SCARED I takes to the definition of a car attached to the side of a motorcycle for accommodating a passenger

13d    Lightweight or heavyweight dog? (5)
BOXER: Double nounal definition; the first being a person who takes part in boxing, especially for sport and the second referring to a medium-sized dog of a breed with a smooth brown coat and a broad squarish muzzle

14d    Walk for 31 days? (5)
MARCH: Double definition; the second being a noun referring to the name of a month that is having 31 days that leads to the first a verb meaning to walk in a military manner with a regular measured tread

17d    Papal office utterly deep, reportedly? (4,3)
HOLY SEE: A combo of WHOLLY (utterly) as entirely or fully and SEA (deep) as the expanse of salt water that covers most of the earth’s surface and surrounds its land masses serving as homophones heard by the audience (reportedly) takes to the definition of the jurisdiction or the official power to make legal decisions and judgments of the Pope in his role as the bishop of Rome

18d    Small hat for goalie (7)
STOPPER: A charade of S (small) as the abbreviation for small and TOPPER (hat) as a colloquial term for a top hat leads to the definition of a goalie or a player in football etc whose chief duty is to prevent the ball or puck from crossing or entering the goal

19d    Bond taking drink after hit (7)
RAPPORT: PORT (drink) as a strong, sweet dark red, occasionally brown or white, fortified wine, originally from Portugal, typically drunk as a dessert wine preceded by or coming after (after) RAP (hit) as to strike a hard surface with a series of rapid audible blows, especially in order to attract attention takes to the definition of a bond, link or relationship

20d    Ending in school, professional student (7)
LEARNER: The end or final letter (ending) in [SCHOO]L followed by EARNER (professional) as a person who obtains money of a specified kind or level in return for labour or services that is their profession or occupation leads to the definition of a student or a person who is learning a subject or skill

24d    Chance of donkey derby success, initially (4)
ODDS: The initial or first letters (initially) each of O[F] D[ONKEY] D[ERBY] S[UCCESS] guides to the definition of chances or likelihood of success in a certain undertaking

25d    Shop I ran set up (4)
DELI: A combo of I from the clue and LED (ran) as a verb in the past tense meaning was in charge or command of taken upwards (set up) as a reversal in the down clue takes to the definition of the short form of delicatessen that is a shop selling prepared foods, especially cooked meats, pâtés and unusual or foreign foods

The clues that I liked in this puzzle were 1a, 9a, 15a, 16a, 17a, 23a, 2d, 7d, 13d and 19d; the best among them being 15a. 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.

6 comments on “ST 3248 (full review)
Leave your own comment 

    1. Thank you so much once again, Merusa, for your kind comment. Although I visited the Vatican City in 2012 and learnt a lot about this smallest country of the world, I was also not aware of such elaborate government system of the Holy See until I googled the net recently.

  1. Having done the prize crosswords for 30 years or more, and never expecting to win, this arrived in the post today for my entry in the Sunday Cryptic 3248!

    I hope that’s not boasting, but it may give hope to others that winning is possible!

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