ST 3195 (full review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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ST 3195 (full review)

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 3195

A full review by Rahmat Ali

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This puzzle was published on 15th Jan 2023

BD Rating – Difficulty *Enjoyment ****

Greetings from Kolkata. A very straightforward puzzle of Dada that I enjoyed solving and am now presenting to you a full review of the same for your kind perusal and significant feedback.

I learnt from the net that toast, the answer to the clue of 12a, as in drinking to someone’s health, comes from a literal piece of spiced or charred toast that was dropped in a cup or bowl of wine, either as form of food or perhaps to make the wine taste better. One of the first written accounts of toast is noticed in Shakespeare’s ‘The Merry Wives of Windsor’ when the character of Falstaff demands “Go fetch me a quart of sack; put a toast in’t.” He actually asks for a lot of wine with a piece of literal toast in it, which was a common practice at the time due to the poor quality of wine. Thus, placing a piece of toast within a jug was meant to soak up some of the acidity and improve the flavour. By the 18th century, the term ‘toast’ had been transferred from the floating bread to the person honoured by the toast. All those who were celebrities came to be known as the ‘toasts of the town.’

Neptune, the answer to the clue of 14a, is now the farthest planet from the sun and one of two ‘ice giants’ in our solar system. This cold blue planet is about 30 times farther away from the sun than Earth and takes around 165 earth years to complete a single orbit around our star. Since Neptune spins around its axis quicker than Earth, a day on Neptune is only around 16 Earth hours. The Association of Indian universities declared Pluto a dwarf planet in 2006, so now Neptune is the farthest planet. Its distance from Sun in the Solar System is 4495 million km.

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Across

8a    Defender of rights ending in prison in Beirut, unfortunately (7)
TRIBUNE: The last or final letter (ending) in [PRISO]N is placed inside (in) an anagram (unfortunately) of BEIRUT, arriving at the definition of a champion of people’s rights or a magistrate elected by the plebeians in ancient Rome to defend their rights

10a    Double serving of sticky stuff with English sauce (7)
TARTARE: A twice representation (double serving) of TAR (sticky stuff) as a dark-brown or black, sticky substance obtained by distillation, especially of wood or coal, and used to cover road surfaces and (with) E (English) as the abbreviation for English lead to the definition of a thick cold white sauce made from mayonnaise, onions and capers, usually eaten with fish


11a    Flash giving off light (9)
TWINKLING: Double definition; the first being a noun referring to a moment or instant and the second an adjective meaning giving off light intermittently

12a    Brown bread for your health, perhaps (5)
TOAST: Double definition; the second being a noun referring to an expression of good wishes in the form of a traditional call to a gathering of people to raise their glasses and drink together in order to honour a person, or an instance of drinking in this way



13a    Report politician after first of scandals (5)
STORY: The definition of a report of an item of news in a newspaper, magazine or broadcast is arrived at from TORY (politician) as a member or supporter of the Conservative Party which evolved from Royalist politicians in Great Britain preceded by or following (after) the initial or first letter (first) from (of) S[CANDALS]

14a    Somewhat inept, unexceptional god (7)
NEPTUNE: Part of or hidden inside (somewhat) [I]NEPT UNE[XCEPTIONAL] guides to the definition of the ancient Roman sea-god, identified with the Greek Poseidon


17a    Relating to food that’s good, in a big way (15)
GASTRONOMICALLY: The definition of an adverb meaning relating to skilful cooking and the enjoyment of good food is arrived at from a charade of G (good) as the abbreviation for good and ASTRONOMICALLY (in a big way) as an adverb meaning in a way that is astronomical or prodigiously great

19a    Container holding Greek letter for someone from Lhasa? (7)
TIBETAN: TIN (container) as an airtight container or vessel of tin or tinplate or aluminium having inside (holding) BETA (Greek letter) as the second letter of the Greek alphabet B or β, taking to the definition of a native of Tibet who is from Lhasa, its capital

21a    Detached land has a new tenant (5)
ISLET: IS LET (has a new tenant) as another way of telling that a new person has been granted to occupy temporary possession of a flat or house in return for rent, taking to the definition of a little isle or island that is a mass of land detached from the mainland and surrounded with water

24a    Part of committee, Thatcherite set (5)
TEETH: Hidden inside (part of) [COMMIT]TEE TH[ATCHERITE] leads to the definition of a set of hard bonelike enamel-coated structures embedded in the jawbones, used for biting and chewing

26a    Crispy rind great, learner digging in (9)
CRACKLING: The definition of the crispy rind of roast pork is arrived at from CRACKING (great) as great or very impressive or effective having L (learner) as appearing in an L-plate each displayed at the front and back of a vehicle denoting a learner driver getting inside (digging in)


27a    Stupid, and not funny? (7)
WITLESS: Double adjectival definition; the first meaning unintelligent or stupid and the second not witty, droll or amusing

28a    Bridge: card game (7)
PONTOON: Double definition; the first being a bridge of boats and the second referring to a card game of chance or the winning score of twenty-one points which is its object

Down

1d    Standing stones that are turned upright: Stonehenge, earliest of all (6)
STATUS: The definition of a high rank or social standing is arrived at from a combo of the first or starting letters (earliest of all) of S[TONES] T[HAT] A[RE] T[URNED] U[PRIGHT] S[TONEHENGE]

2d    Guests with sex appeal wearing masks (8)
VISITORS: IT (sex appeal) as a colloquial term for sex appeal having a cover of (wearing) VISORS (masks) as the plural of a movable part of a helmet that can be pulled down to cover the face or the plural of the archaic term for a mask or other means of disguise takes to the definition of persons who visit, call on or make a stay with another person or other persons, especially socially

3d    Shot of brandy about right after country dance (6,4)
TURKEY TROT: TOT (shot of brandy) as a small amount of a strong alcoholic drink such as whisky or brandy placed around (about) R (right) as the abbreviation for right is preceded by or following (after) TURKEY (country) as a transcontinental country located mainly on the Anatolian Peninsula in Western Asia, with a small portion on the Balkan Peninsula in Southeast Europe, leading to the definition of a kind of ballroom dance to ragtime music which originated in the United States and was popular in the early twentieth century


4d    Same agent used for Liberace, say (5,4)
STAGE NAME: An anagram (used) of SAME AGENT guides to the definition of a name assumed professionally by an actor or actress, as the example here being of the American pianist and vocalist of Polish-Italian origin whose full name was Władziu Valentino Liberace

5d    Gravel and steel (4)
GRIT: Double nounal definition; the first being small hard particles of sand, stone etc and the second denoting toughness or strength of character

6d    Idyllic place in Sudan a xenophobe flipped over (6)
XANADU: Part of or hidden inside (in) [S]UDAN A X[ENOPHOBE] that is turned onto the other side (flipped over) as a reversal in the down clue leads to the definition of an idealised place of great or idyllic magnificence and beauty

7d    The early shifts, tough (8)
LEATHERY: An anagram (shifts) of THE EARLY guides to the definition of an adjective meaning tough or having a tough, hard texture like leather

9d    Change, where level of water up (4)
EDIT: TIDE (level of water) as a regular rise and fall in the level of waters of the oceans, caused by the pull of the moon and sun that is going upwards (up) as a reversal in the down clue, arriving at the definition of a verb meaning to make changes by correcting and improving a piece of text etc ready for publication

15d    Eating out, taking pictures? (10)
PICNICKING: The definition of a verb in the continuous form meaning having an open-air meal by a number of people on a country excursion is arrived at from taking pictures that can be represented as picture-taking, whereby PIC colloquially referring to a picture and NICKING denoting stealing or taking something by theft, especially secretly

Happy young family picnicking outdoors near the lake 742766 Stock Photo at  Vecteezy

16d    Where smugglers might hide contraband, whatever happens (2,3,4)
IN ANY CASE: Double definition; the first being the obvious response to the query where smugglers might keep contraband or prohibited goods to avoid being seen by the legal authorities and the second a phrase meaning anyway, however or whatever happens

17d    Drive into urban area and make merry (2,2,4)
GO TO TOWN: Double verbal definition; the first referring to travel into town or a city and the second meaning to do something successfully and/or with great enthusiasm

18d    Sweet tablet put in water after upset (8)
LOLLIPOP: PILL (tablet) as a little ball, flattened sphere or disc etc of medicine for swallowing placed inside (put in) POOL (water) as a small body of still water after both getting overturned (upset) as reversals in the down clue, arriving at the definition of a large boiled sweet which has been allowed to solidify around a stick


20d    Air in the bar, circulating (6)
BREATH: An anagram (circulating) of THE BAR guides to the definition of the air drawn into and then expelled from the lungs

22d    Jerk eating Moroccan food (6)
TAGINE: An anagram (jerk) of EATING takes to the definition of one of the most popular dishes of Moroccan cuisine that stands for a stew-like dish that includes meat, vegetables and sometimes fruits or nut, traditionally cooked in an earthenware pot of the same name


23d    Light moggy originally in comfortable position? (4)
LAMP: The original or starting letter (originally) of M[OGGY] placed inside (in) LAP (comfortable position) as figuratively a place where one is nurtured or where one can rest secure, guiding to the definition of any source of light

25d    Follow roller, heading off (4)
HEEL: [W]HEEL (roller) as a circular frame that rolls or revolves on an axle and is fixed below a vehicle or other object to enable it to move easily over the ground that is devoid of its topmost or head letter (heading off) in the down clue, leading to the definition of a verb pertaining especially to a dog meaning to follow closely behind an accompanying person

There were several clues that I liked in this puzzle such as 10a, 11a, 12a, 17a, 26a, 1d, 3d, 5d, 15d and 18d; the topper being 15d. Thanks to BD for the encouragement, to Dada for the entertainment and to Gazza for the assistance. Looking forward to being here again. Have a wonderful day.

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