ST 3251 (Full Review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3251 (Full Review)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3251

A full review by crypticsue

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This puzzle was published on 11th February 2024

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ***

Dada in friendly mode this week, probably helped by the fact that he’d used seven anagrams and nine clues requiring insertions

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought


1a    Bird, duck takes advantage of first of ponds in school (5,7)
HOUSE SPARROW – O (duck in cricket scoring) USES (takes advantage of) P (the first letter of Ponds, all inserted into HARROW (school)

9a    Unhappy about site, if remarkably content (9)
SATISFIED – SAD (unhappy) ‘about’ an anagram (remarkably) of SITE IF

10a    Let into circle, a senator (5)
LEASE – Hidden in circLE A SEnator

11a    Seat hurled, did you say? (6)
THRONE – A homophone (did you say) of THROWN (hurled)

12a    Wrong kit, names incorrect (8)
MISTAKEN – An anagram (wrong) of KIT NAMES

13a    Try a story, no. 1 usually? (6)
GOALIE – GO (try) A (from the clue) LIE (story)

15a    Balloon blown, as spinning left (8)
SNOWBALL – An anagram (spinning) of BLOWN AS followed by L (left)

18a    Denial from France about a European emperor (8)
NAPOLEON – NON (French word for no – denial) goes ‘about’ A (from the clue) and POLE (European)

19a    More than one pin proves fascinating (6)
RIVETS – More than one rivet

21a    Victor, defender (8)
CHAMPION – Double definition

23a    Crossword writer, one turning to jelly? (6)
SETTER – And another, the second one more cryptic than the first

26a    Betting odds, numbers originally cut (5)
EVENS – sEVENS (numbers) without the first letter (originally cut)

27a    A report in place for orbiter (9)
SATELLITE – A (from the clue) and TELL (report) in SITE (place)

28a    Container in good colour, smooth surface (7,5)
BOWLING GREEN – BOWL (container) IN (from the clue) G (good) GREEN (colour)


1d    Mark owns hot ticket (7)
HASHTAG – HAS (owns) H (hot) TAG (ticket)

2d    Thorough, say (5)
UTTER – Double definition – the first an adjective, the second a verb

3d    Key turned as let in after entrances cleared (9)
ESSENTIAL – An anagram (turned) of AS LET IN goes after the outside (cleared) letters of EntranceS

4d    Container companion filled with iodine (4)
PAIL – PAL (companion) ‘filled’ with I (chemical symbol for Iodine

5d    Star granted immunity, initially worried (3,5)
RED GIANT – An anagram (worried) of GRANTED and I (the initial letter of Immunity)

6d    Little bird of woodland leaving egg, tawny primarily (5)
OWLET – The primary letters of Of Woodland Leaving Egg Tawny

7d    Remove people in sports day event (4,4)
SACK RACE – SACK (remove) RACE (people)

8d    Heart, from which army officer’s spoken? (6)
KERNEL – A homophone (spoken) of COLONEL (army officer)

14d    First of physicists in the lab, a kooky set of characters (8)
ALPHABET – The first letter of Physicists inserted into an anagram (kooky) of THE LAB A

16d    A few light smudges in colourless banner (5,4)
WHITE FLAG – An anagram (smudges) of A FEW LIGHT

17d    Great reduction in fuel (8)
COLOSSAL – A very ‘old friend’ – LOSS (reduction) inserted into COAL (fuel)

18d    King in particular on head of large foreign coin (6)
NICKEL – K (chess abbreviation for King) inserted into NICE (particular) and followed by the ‘head’ of Large

20d    Doctor in rush, working (7)
SURGEON – SURGE (rush) ON (working)

22d    Filling in canapes, tomato sauce! (5)
PESTO – Hidden in (filling) canaPES TOmato

24d    Second time given staple food (5)
TRICE – T (time) RICE (staple food)

25d    Cash raised for public school (4)
ETON – A reversal (raised) of NOTE (cash)

4 comments on “ST 3251 (Full Review)
Leave your own comment 

  1. Thanks, CrypticSue. For once I’ve remembered that there was something I wanted to say but didn’t on publication day, and to come back and say it after the closing date. Now all I need to do is remember what on earth that was …

    13a, “goalie”, was my favourite, making that 2 days in a row for goalie favourites — in DT30533 the previous day it was 27a, “Preserve dignity with this female: brilliant goalie?”. Which was odd, because I’m not even into football, so I’ve no idea why goalkeeper-related clues should suddenly appeal so much!

    My repetition radar pinged with 27a and 9a: both use SITE in their wordplay, once clued as “place” and once clued as, um “site”.

    I always like to see owlet. Partly because they’re so cute. And partly because that was an answer to a clue which got me into cryptic crosswords properly, just over a decade ago.

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