Thursday, October 30, 2014

Wednesday, October 29, 2014 — DT 27508


Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27508
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, June 5, 2014
Setter
Unknown
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27508]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Falcon
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★ Enjoyment - ★★★
Falcon's Experience
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Legend:
- solved without assistance
- incorrect prior to use of puzzle solving tools
- solved with assistance from puzzle solving tools
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by puzzle solving tools
- solved but without fully parsing the clue
- unsolved or incorrect prior to visiting Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by solutions from Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- reviewed by Falcon for Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- yet to be solved

Introduction

Today, I very quickly recognized this as a puzzle that I had seen before. However, I was very nearly forced to look at my own hint for 8d. Fortunately, the penny dropped just as I was about to throw in the towel. I have a vague recollection that I got the solution to this clue in June without much difficulty due to having seen a very similar clue only a few days previous in another puzzle.

I invite you to leave a comment to let us know how you fared with the puzzle.

Notes on Today's Puzzle

This commentary is intended to serve as a supplement to the review of this puzzle found at Big Dave's Crossword Blog, to which a link is provided in the table above.

Primary indications (definitions) are marked with a solid underline in the clue; subsidiary indications (be they wordplay or other) are marked with a dashed underline in all-in-one (&lit.) clues, semi-all-in-one (semi-&lit.) clues and cryptic definitions. Explicit link words and phrases are enclosed in forward slashes (/link/) and implicit links are shown as double forward slashes (//).

Across

1a   Drink's needed by worker -- // an aid to office work? (9)

In Britain, a short[5] is a drink of spirits served in a small measure[5] [a container of standard capacity used for taking fixed amounts of a substance] or, as Collins English Dictionary puts it, a drink of spirits as opposed to a long drink such as beer[10].

6a   Inform on // German author (5)

In the UK, grass[5] is used informally as a noun to mean a police informer and as a verb meaning to inform the police of someone’s criminal activities or plans ⇒ someone had grassed on the thieves. This expression may derive from rhyming slang (grasshopper = copper).

Günter Grass[5] is a German novelist, poet, and dramatist. Notable works: The Tin Drum (novel, 1959) and The Flounder (novel, 1977). He was awarded the 1999 Nobel Prize for Literature.

9a   A number heard before crashing? (7)

10a   English doctor entering quiet medical area -- // one that's deceptive? (3-6)

Emergency room[5] (abbreviation ER[5]) is a North American term. The equivalent British term would be either accident and emergency[5] (abbreviation A & E) or casualty department[5] (or casualty ward).

Oxford Dictionaries Online characterises GP[5] (abbreviation for general practitioner) as a British usage. Nevertheless, I would say that this abbreviation is certainly in widespread use in Canada.

11a   Unusual gripe in the morning? /That's/ saying (7)

12a   Comfort /given by/ vicar entertaining priest with little energy (7)

A rector[5] and a vicar[5] are both members of the clergy. In the the Church of England, a rector is an incumbent of a parish where all tithes formerly passed to the incumbent, whereas a vicar is an incumbent of a parish where tithes formerly passed to a chapter or religious house or layman.

 In the Bible, Eli[5] is a priest who acted as a teacher to the prophet Samuel (1 Sam. 1-3).

13a   Event requiring national crosses? (7,8)

17a   Trendy // resort from which bachelor's ejected (5-2)

Brighton[5] is a resort on the south coast of England, in East Sussex; population 127,700 (est. 2009).

Right-on[3] means up-to-date and sophisticated. Although I had supposed that it might be a British expression, I was surprised to find it listed in The American Heritage Dictionary. Oxford Dictionaries Online defines right-on[5] as an informal, often derogatory term meaning in keeping with fashionable liberal or left-wing opinions and values ⇒ the right-on music press. Collins English Dictionary says that right-on is an informal term denoting modern, trendy, and socially aware or relevant (i) The people that come to watch the play are all those right-on left-wing sort of people.; (ii) right-on green politics; (iii) the young, right-on student crowd.

19a   Severe // military bigwig detaining an American close to unit (7)

22a   Below par flavour /observed in/ less popular period (9)

23a   Judge and retiring society girl getting day /in/ growing area? (7)

The word "retiring" was omitted from the clue when it first appeared in the UK. The version of the puzzle on The Daily Telegraph website did get corrected at some point during the day of publication (see the comment that Big Dave inserted into my review at his website).

From my experience, the life cycle of a puzzle is as follows:
  1. The setter creates the puzzle and submits it to the puzzle editor.
  2. The puzzle editor and setter refine the puzzle.
  3. The puzzle is distributed in syndication.
  4. The puzzle editor may make changes to the puzzle (with or without consulting the setter) after it has been distributed in syndication. These (and subsequent) changes do not appear in the syndicated puzzle (which has already been distributed).
  5. The puzzle is prepared for publication. Errors may be introduced during the production process. These errors sometimes also carry forward to the online version of the puzzle.
  6. The online version of the puzzle is posted to the website. Errors introduced at this point affect only the online version of the puzzle.
Given that no one on Big Dave's site reported differently, the error was likely present in both the print version and the online version of the puzzle in Britain. As the error does not appear in the syndicated version of the puzzle, we can assume that it was likely introduced during the production process at The Daily Telegraph.

24a   Ground // that's blocked near thoroughfare (5)

25a   Inspector in the flying squad? (4,5)

Flying squad[5] (as we are meant to interpret it in the surface reading) is a British term for a division of a police force or other organization which is capable of reaching an incident quickly ⇒ (i) the gang were caught by the Flying Squad; (ii) a medical flying squad.

Down

1d   Comfort // thus found with delicate fabric (6)

2d   Old boy damaged violin, /showing/ forgetfulness (8)

In Britain, an old boy[5] (abbreviation OB[2])  is (1) a former male student of a school or college ⇒an old boy of Banbury County School or (2) a former male member of a sports team or company ⇒the White Hart Lane old boy squared the ball to present an easy chance from 12 yards. It is also a chiefly British affectionate form of address to a boy or man ⇒ ‘Look here, old boy,’ he said.

3d   Problem /in/ police device around Spain (6)

The International Vehicle Registration (IVR) code for Spain is E[5] [from Spanish España].

4d   A yard in run-down area /provides/ refuge (6)

5d   Husky, perhaps, actor Richard goes over line /in/ poor poetry (8)

Richard Gere[7] is an American actor. Among his film credits is a starring role opposite Julia Roberts in the 1990 romantic comedy Pretty Woman.

6d   Come out /as/ one involved in US party club that's riotous (2,6)

GOP[5] stands for Grand Old Party, a nickname for the Republican Party in the US.

7d   /Get/ a place on course about extremely traditional // PM (6)

Although it appears at the beginning of the clue, the word "get" would appear to serve effectively the same purpose as a link word.

Clement Attlee[5], 1st Earl Attlee (1883–1967) was a British Labour statesman, Prime Minister 1945–51. His term saw the creation of the modern welfare state and the nationalization of major industries.

8d   Theatre worker capturing actor's heart, // provider of delicacy? (8)

13d   A logger working round year /is/ grotesque figure (8)

14d   Make economies -- /and/ have another dig? (8)

15d   What paparazzi might get /in/ improbable venture (4,4)

16d   Labs unit planned /in/ foreign city (8)

Istanbul[5] is a port in Turkey on the Bosporus, lying partly in Europe, partly in Asia; population 10,757,300 (est. 2007). Formerly the Roman city of Constantinople (330–1453), it was built on the site of the ancient Greek city of Byzantium. It was captured by the Ottoman Turks in 1453 and was the capital of Turkey from that time until 1923.

18d   Boss // upset man in the middle with cigarette (6)

Gaffer[5] is an informal British term for a person in charge of others; in other words, a boss ⇒ street cleaners stopping for a smoke when their gaffer isn’t in the vicinity.

19d   Church students holding second // count (6)

The Church of England[10] (abbreviation CE[10]) is the reformed established state Church in England, Catholic in order and basic doctrine, with the Sovereign as its temporal head.

You may recall from yesterday that, in the UK, NUS[5] is the abbreviation for the National Union of Students[5], a confederation of students’ unions in the United Kingdom.

20d   Maintenance // that, if followed, produces secret look? (6)

This is an inverse wordplay type of clue — specifically an inverse reversal. The solution to the clue consists of a reversal indicator and its fodder, with the result of the reversal being found in or given by the clue.

The solution is UPKEEP which, if split (2,4), could be used in a down clue in a cryptic crossword as wordplay indicating a reversal (up) of KEEP giving the result PEEK (secret look).

The wordplay tells us that if we follow the instructions (UP KEEP) given in the solution to the clue, the result will be a synonym for 'secret look'.

21d   Councillor shortly getting correct // praise (6)

Cr[5] is the abbreviation for Councillor.

The wordplay is CR (Councillor shortly; abbreviation (shortly) for Councillor) + (getting) EDIT (correct).
Key to Reference Sources: 

[1]   - The Chambers Dictionary, 11th Edition
[2]   - Search Chambers - (Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)
[3]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (American Heritage Dictionary)
[4]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (Collins English Dictionary)
[5]   - Oxford Dictionaries (Oxford Dictionary of English)
[6]   - Oxford Dictionaries (Oxford American Dictionary)
[7]   - Wikipedia
[8]   - Reverso Online Dictionary (Collins French-English Dictionary)
[9]   - Infoplease (Random House Unabridged Dictionary)
[10] - CollinsDictionary.com (Collins English Dictionary)
[11] - TheFreeDictionary.com (Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary)
Signing off for today — Falcon

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Tuesday, October 29, 2014 — DT 27507


Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27507
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Setter
Jay (Jeremy Mutch)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27507]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★ Enjoyment - ★★★
Falcon's Experience
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Legend:
- solved without assistance
- incorrect prior to use of puzzle solving tools
- solved with assistance from puzzle solving tools
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by puzzle solving tools
- solved but without fully parsing the clue
- unsolved or incorrect prior to visiting Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by solutions from Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- reviewed by Falcon for Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- yet to be solved

Introduction

This fairly gentle puzzle from Jay should not cause you to raise an excessive sweat.

I invite you to leave a comment to let us know how you fared with the puzzle.

Notes on Today's Puzzle

This commentary is intended to serve as a supplement to the review of this puzzle found at Big Dave's Crossword Blog, to which a link is provided in the table above.

Primary indications (definitions) are marked with a solid underline in the clue; subsidiary indications (be they wordplay or other) are marked with a dashed underline in all-in-one (&lit.) clues, semi-all-in-one (semi-&lit.) clues and cryptic definitions. Explicit link words and phrases are enclosed in forward slashes (/link/) and implicit links are shown as double forward slashes (//).

Across

1a   Responsible prisoner/'s/ time -- out of practice! (6)

When used as a link word, the 's is interpreted as a contraction of is.

4a   Story about a ship/'s/ dog in pictures (6)

I long ago discovered that a ship in Crosswordland is almost invariably a steamship, the abbreviation for which is SS[10].

Lassie[7] is a fictional female collie dog character created by Eric Knight in a short story expanded to novel length called Lassie Come-Home. Published in 1940, Knight's novel was filmed by MGM in 1943 as Lassie Come Home with a dog named Pal playing Lassie. Pal then appeared with the stage name "Lassie" in six other MGM feature films through 1951. Pal's owner and trainer Rudd Weatherwax then acquired the Lassie name and trademark from MGM and appeared with Pal (as "Lassie") at rodeos, fairs, and similar events across America in the early 1950s. In 1954, the long-running, Emmy winning television series Lassie debuted, and, over the next 19 years, a succession of Pal's descendants appeared on the series. The "Lassie" character has appeared in radio, television, film, toys, comic books, animated series, juvenile novels, and other media. Pal's descendants continue to play Lassie today.

If the illustration used by Big Dave appears very British, it is because it comes from the theatrical release poster for Lassie[7], a 2005 remake of the original story, which was filmed in Scotland, Ireland and on the Isle of Man.

Those — such as myself — who are familiar with Lassie only from the television series will no doubt be surprised to learn that the original story was set in Yorkshire, England and not in the US.

8a   Odd sock/'s/ potential cause of merriment (3,5)

Rum[5] is a dated informal British term meaning odd or peculiar ⇒ it’s a rum business, certainly.

10a   Roofing material /for/ brood on top of tree (6)

11a   Just // loud music (4)

Forte[5] (abbreviation f[5]) is a musical direction meaning (as an adjective) loud or (as an adverb) loudly.

12a   Open // popular castle regularly occupied by herald (10)

In ancient Rome, an augur[5] was a religious official who observed natural signs, especially the behaviour of birds, interpreting these as an indication of divine approval or disapproval of a proposed action. Today the term augur[3,4,11] has come to mean a seer, prophet or soothsayer.

13a   Unhappy /and /confused client, so sad, accepts ring (12)

16a   A barrier /for/ good girl securing broadcast? (5,7)

20a   Where a sommelier might be // cooking tuna rarest (10)

21a   Policeman embracing universal // success (4)

Under the British system of film classification[7] a U (for 'universal') rating indicates that a film is suitable "for all the family" — or, at any rate, for children over 4 years of age.

22a   Stung /by/ scrap -- then dismissing hospital (6)

23a   Rough cost /of/ redeveloping site with partner (8)

24a   Fail to embrace South American // neglect (6)

25a   Watch // nurse have a go (6)

In the UK, a State Enrolled Nurse[5] (abbreviation SEN) is a nurse enrolled on a state register and having a qualification lower than that of a State Registered Nurse.

Down

1d   A mist swirling around tabloid // catastrophes (8)

The Sun[7] is a daily tabloid newspaper published in the United Kingdom and Ireland by a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

2d   Stimulant // that's found in shoe (5)

3d   Stress // formerly missing from new part of house (7)

5d   Important I guarantee to provide accommodation for // holiday destination (7)

Antigua[5] is One of the islands that make up the country of Antigua and Barbuda[5], a country consisting of three islands (Antigua, Barbuda, and Redonda) in the Leeward Islands in the Eastern Caribbean; population 85,600 (est. 2009); languages, English (official), Creole; capital, St John’s (on Antigua). Discovered in 1493 by Columbus and settled by the English in 1632, Antigua became a British colony with Barbuda as its dependency; the islands gained independence within the Commonwealth in 1981.

6d   Air pocket occurring mid-flight? (9)

I think we have to accept this as one of those fanciful cryptic definitions for which there is no concrete explanation.

I pursued a number of fruitless leads in attempting to glean more from this clue than perhaps exists. I thought that "air" might possibly refer to the letters AIR occurring roughly in the middle of the word STAIRWELL. However, that does not appear to be the case. I also briefly flirted with the idea that "mid-flight" might be clueing the letters IG (the middle letters of flIGht). I even toyed with the notion that "mid-flight" could be referring to a landing.

Most dictionaries define stairwell[5] along the lines of a shaft in a building in which a staircase is built. However, I got some inspiration from the listing in The American Heritage Dictionary which defines stairwell[3] as a vertical shaft around which a staircase has been built. Thus one might conceivably think of the empty shaft at the centre of an open staircase as an "air-pocket". Granted this shaft is only part of the stairwell — with the stairs themselves occupying the remainder of the stairwell. Also a flight (a set of steps or stairs between one landing or floor and the next) is hardly synonymous with staircase — unless, of course, one is talking about a circular staircase (which has no landings).

7d   Quote by divorcee // to cause great emotion (6)

9d   Putin, say, // has to defeat revolutionary (4,2,5)

Vladimir Putin[5] is a Russian statesman, President 2000-8 and since 2012, Prime Minister 2008–2012.

14d   Muses // get a Stoic in trouble (9)

The surface reading is an allusion to Greek and Roman mythology, where the Muses[5] were the nine goddesses, the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, who preside over the arts and sciences. The Muses are generally listed as Calliope (epic poetry), Clio (history), Euterpe (flute playing and lyric poetry), Terpsichore (choral dancing and song), Erato (lyre playing and lyric poetry), Melpomene (tragedy), Thalia (comedy and light verse), Polyhymnia (hymns, and later mime), and Urania (astronomy).

A Stoic[5] is a member of the school of Stoicism[5], an ancient Greek school of philosophy founded at Athens by Zeno of Citium. The school taught that virtue, the highest good, is based on knowledge; the wise live in harmony with the divine Reason (also identified with Fate and Providence) that governs nature, and are indifferent to the vicissitudes of fortune and to pleasure and pain.

15d   Attempt to underpin flower // business (8)

The setter uses flower in a whimsical cryptic crossword sense meaning something that flows — in other words, a river.

The Indus[5] is a river of southern Asia, about 2,900 km (1,800 miles) in length, flowing from Tibet through Kashmir and Pakistan to the Arabian Sea. Along its valley an early civilization flourished from circa 2600 to 1760 BC.

17d   Graduate // students supporting a learner with sign of hesitation (7)

In the UK, NUS[5] is the abbreviation for the National Union of Students[5], a confederation of students’ unions in the United Kingdom.

18d   Call // sir? (7)

I thought that this clue might simply be a cryptic definition. To call (someone) sir would be to award the title sir (to someone) or, in other words, to entitle (them).

However, Big Dave suggests that it is a double definition — although he clearly experiences some difficulty in his attempt to explain why. The first definition is straightforward ⇒ Margaret Atwood chose to call/entitle her first novel The Edible Woman. The second definition is far less clear. For the clue to be a double definition, sir would seem to have been used whimsically as a verb meaning to award the title of sir (to someone) ⇒ I hereby sir you/I hereby entitle you.

19d   Challenged // proof of title to cover Grand Prix racing (6)

FIA Formula One World Championship[7] (also Formula One, Formula 1, and F1) is the highest class of single-seat auto racing that is sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA). The "formula", designated in the name, refers to a set of rules with which all participants' cars must comply. The F1 season consists of a series of races, known as Grands Prix (from French, originally meaning great prizes), held throughout the world on purpose-built circuits and public roads.

21d   Space traveller /finds/ the compiler in bed! (5)

It is a common cryptic crossword convention for the creator of the puzzle to use terms such as (the) compiler, (the) setter, (this) author, (this) writer, or this person to refer to himself or herself. To solve such a clue, one must generally substitute a first person pronoun (I or me) for whichever of these terms has been used in the clue.

Cot[5] is the name used in Britain for a crib[5], a small bed with high barred sides for a baby or very young child..
Key to Reference Sources: 

[1]   - The Chambers Dictionary, 11th Edition
[2]   - Search Chambers - (Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)
[3]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (American Heritage Dictionary)
[4]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (Collins English Dictionary)
[5]   - Oxford Dictionaries (Oxford Dictionary of English)
[6]   - Oxford Dictionaries (Oxford American Dictionary)
[7]   - Wikipedia
[8]   - Reverso Online Dictionary (Collins French-English Dictionary)
[9]   - Infoplease (Random House Unabridged Dictionary)
[10] - CollinsDictionary.com (Collins English Dictionary)
[11] - TheFreeDictionary.com (Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary)
Signing off for today — Falcon

Monday, October 27, 2014

Monday, October 27, 2014 — DT 27506


Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27506
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Setter
Unknown
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27506]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Gazza
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★ Enjoyment - ★★
Falcon's Experience
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└────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┘
Legend:
- solved without assistance
- incorrect prior to use of puzzle solving tools
- solved with assistance from puzzle solving tools
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by puzzle solving tools
- solved but without fully parsing the clue
- unsolved or incorrect prior to visiting Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by solutions from Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- reviewed by Falcon for Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- yet to be solved
Notes
The National Post has skipped DT 27504 and DT 27505 which were published in The Daily Telegraph on Saturday, May 31, 2014 and Monday, June 2, 2014 respectively.

Introduction

The National Post has skipped a couple of puzzles. This puzzle seems rather unremarkable, although the setter may well have introduced us to the most obscure village in England at 3d.

I invite you to leave a comment to let us know how you fared with the puzzle.

Notes on Today's Puzzle

This commentary is intended to serve as a supplement to the review of this puzzle found at Big Dave's Crossword Blog, to which a link is provided in the table above.

Primary indications (definitions) are marked with a solid underline in the clue; subsidiary indications (be they wordplay or other) are marked with a dashed underline in all-in-one (&lit.) clues, semi-all-in-one (semi-&lit.) clues and cryptic definitions. Explicit link words and phrases are enclosed in forward slashes (/link/) and implicit links are shown as double forward slashes (//).

Across

1a   Any thug could become // wayward (7)

5a   Dedicated // diet regularly ticked the box for Cameron perhaps? (7)

David Cameron[5] is a British Conservative statesman, Prime Minister since 2010 (in coalition with the Liberal Democrats).

9a   Snack item // crisis -- is going for peanuts initially (5)

I incorrectly supposed that the wordplay parsed as CR (crisis) + IS (from the clue) + (going for) P (peanuts initially). When I failed to find CR listed as an abbreviation for crisis in any of my dictionaries, I should have tried another approach.

Crisp[5] (also known as potato crisp) is the British name for a potato chip[5], a wafer-thin slice of potato fried or baked until crisp and eaten as a snack ⇒ cut down on fatty snacks such as crisps.

10a   Where one worships // domestic animal the man had? Really, on a regular basis! (9)

11a   Top actress excited // viewers (10)

12a   Splendid // religious instruction by church (4)

The abbreviation for religious instruction is RI[10]. According to Wikipedia, "In secular usage, religious education[7] is the teaching of a particular religion (although in England the term religious instruction would refer to the teaching of a particular religion, with religious education referring to teaching about religions in general) and its varied aspects — its beliefs, doctrines, rituals, customs, rites, and personal roles."

14a   Broken tip? Repair's no // sweat (12)

18a   Right to go into mass meeting with hospital department's // demands (12)

In the Roman Catholic Church, a Requiem[10] is a mass celebrated for the dead.

In my experience, the busiest section — by far — of the Crosswordland Hospital is the ear, nose and throat (ENT[2]) department.

21a   Jack has trouble // having a stretch here? (4)

J[5] is an abbreviation for Jack that is used in describing play in card games.

The definition is a rather cryptic way of saying "a place where one might have a stretch". A question mark is often used in a clue as a signal that the solver should expect to see something a bit out of the ordinary.

22a   Exaggerating // time spent in 21 in heart of Bangkok (10)

The numeral "21" in the clue is a cross reference indicator directing the solver to insert the solution to clue 21a in its place to complete the clue.

In his review, Gazza comments on the fact that the solution to 22a essentially appears in 21a — the very clue that it cross-references.

Bangkok[5] is the capital and chief port of Thailand, on the Chao Phraya waterway, 40 km (25 miles) upstream from its outlet into the Gulf of Thailand; population 5,705,100 (est. 2007).

25a   Places for storing // trophies around table (9)

Board[5,10] is an archaic term for a table, especially one used for eating at, and especially when laden with foodhe looked at the banquet which was spread upon his board.

26a   Fool going round following the French // language (5)

Nit[5] is an informal British term for a foolish person ⇒ you stupid nit!.

In French, the feminine singular form of the definite article is la[8].

27a   Horse might be // stuck (7)

28a   Generally // slow, skipping round city in Cambridgeshire (7)

Largo[5] is a musical direction meaning in a slow tempo and dignified in style.

Ely[5] is a cathedral city in the fenland of Cambridgeshire, eastern England, on the River Ouse; population 15,600 (est. 2009).

A fen[5] is a low and marshy or frequently flooded area of land. The Fens[5] is a name applied to the flat low-lying areas of eastern England, mainly in Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, and Norfolk, formerly marshland but largely drained for agriculture since the 17th century.

Down

1d   Best // city street (6)

Nice[5] is a resort city on the French Riviera, near the border with Italy; population 348,721 (2007).

2d   Joined // college with Edward (6)

Uni[5] is a [seemingly British] informal term for university he planned to go to uni.

In Britain, college can refer to any of the independent institutions into which certain universities are separated, each having its own teaching staff, students, and buildings ⇒ the Oxford colleges.

3d   Is the shop opening in Yeominster? Fantastic // idea (10)

Yeominster must be the most obscure British community to ever appear in a puzzle. After extensive (largely fruitless) searching, I have concluded that it is likely a very tiny village in Dorset, England. It would appear that it may have been the birthplace of a fair number of early emigrants to Newfoundland.

4d   River rising with children trapped /in/ boat (5)

The Tay[5] is the longest river in Scotland, flowing 192 km (120 miles) eastwards through Loch Tay, entering the North Sea through the Firth of Tay.

5d   Decide // to stop explosive device (9)

6d   Contend with women/'s/ opinion (4)

7d   Almost frighten one Conservative? // Splendid (8)

The Conservative Party[5] (abbreviation C.[10])  is a a major British political party that since the Second World War has been in power 1951–64, 1970-4, and 1979–97. It emerged from the old Tory Party under Sir Robert Peel in the 1830s and 1840s.

8d   Old ship at sea coming across new // sea creatures (8)

13d   Special // piano at a joint (10)

Piano[3,5] (abbreviation p[5]), is a musical direction meaning either (as an adjective) soft or quiet or (as an adverb) softly or quietly.

Articular[5] is an adjective meaning relating to a joint or the joints ⇒ articular cartilage.

15d   Secluded // trees held nuts (9)

16d   Launches // proposals (8)

17d   Joked after house finally /is/ furnished (8)

19d   Be leaving rubbish? /That's/ petty (6)

Rubbish[5] (used as a verb) is an informal British term meaning to criticize severely and reject as worthless ⇒ he rubbished the idea of a European Community-wide carbon tax.

20d   Means // business (6)

23d   Sly person cutting wife/'s/ artistic aid (5)

24d   Black bird/'s/ food container (4)
Key to Reference Sources: 

[1]   - The Chambers Dictionary, 11th Edition
[2]   - Search Chambers - (Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)
[3]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (American Heritage Dictionary)
[4]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (Collins English Dictionary)
[5]   - Oxford Dictionaries (Oxford Dictionary of English)
[6]   - Oxford Dictionaries (Oxford American Dictionary)
[7]   - Wikipedia
[8]   - Reverso Online Dictionary (Collins French-English Dictionary)
[9]   - Infoplease (Random House Unabridged Dictionary)
[10] - CollinsDictionary.com (Collins English Dictionary)
[11] - TheFreeDictionary.com (Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary)
Signing off for today — Falcon

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Saturday, October 25, 2014 — Shillyshallying to Absurdity


Introduction

As I recall, today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon was fairly typical of their recent offerings. However, as I have been working on solving and blogging several puzzles simultaneously, it sometimes becomes difficult to keep them sorted out in my mind.

I invite you to leave a comment to let us know how you fared with the puzzle.

Solution to Today's Puzzle

Falcon's Experience
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Legend:
- solved without assistance
- incorrect prior to use of puzzle solving tools
- solved with assistance from puzzle solving tools
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by puzzle solving tools
- solved but without fully parsing the clue
- yet to be solved

Legend: "*" anagram; "~" sounds like; "<" letters reversed

"( )" letters inserted; "_" letters deleted; "†" explicit in the clue

Primary indications (definitions) are marked with a solid underline in the clue; subsidiary indications (be they wordplay or other) are marked with a dashed underline in all-in-one (& lit.) clues, semi-all-in-one (semi-& lit.) clues and cryptic definitions.

Across

1a   Around five, observed // an odd number (5)

SE(V)EN — SEEN (observed) containing (around) V ([Roman numeral for] five)

For cryptic effect, the setters have employed an inverted sentence structure. I have used a standard sentence structure for clarity.

4a   Inherited // Lancaster cuckoo (9)

ANCESTRAL* — anagram (cuckoo) of LANCASTER

Lancaster[5] is a city in northwestern England, the county town of Lancashire, on the estuary of the River Lune; population 44,500 (est. 2009). Of course, it might also refer to any of at least twenty communities named Lancaster[7] in the United States or to others found in Canada and Australia. However, I would like to think that it is an allusion to American actor Burt Lancaster[7] (1913-1994) who starred in the 1962 film, The Birdman of Alcatraz.

9a   Tie // knots, ultimately, in a bed (5)

A(S)COT — S {knots ultimately; final letter (ultimately) of knotS} contained in (in) {A (†) + COT (bed)}

10a   Calls about English queen/’s/ factories (9)

C(ANNE)RIES — CRIES (calls) containing (about) ANNE (English queen)

Anne[7] (1665–1714) became Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland on 8 March 1702. On 1 May 1707, under the Acts of Union, two of her realms, the kingdoms of England and Scotland, united as a single sovereign state, the United Kingdom of Great Britain. She continued to reign as Queen of Great Britain and Ireland until her death.

11a   Back in the car, Yale reporter // timed competition (5,4)

{_R|ELAY| RAC|E_}< — reversed (back) and contained in (in) {thE CAR YALE Reporter}

12a   Famous old aviator // left the Indianapolis 500 (5)

L|INDY — L (left) + INDY (the Indianapolis 500)

The Indianapolis 500-Mile Race[7] (commonly known as the Indianapolis 500, the Indy 500, or simply the Indy) is an automobile race held annually at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana over the Memorial Day weekend.

Charles Lindbergh[7] (1902–1974), nicknamed Lucky Lindy,  was an American aviator, who as a 25-year-old U.S. Air Mail pilot, made the first solo non-stop flight across the Atlantic on May 20–21, 1927 in his plane, the Spirit of St. Louis

13a   Jude Law character entering frigid // mining area (9)

CO(ALFIE)LD — ALFIE (Jude Law character) contained in (entering) COLD (frigid)

In 2004, English actor Jude Law[7] portrayed the title character in Alfie, the remake of the 1966 film, playing the role originated by Michael Caine.

16a   Elton disturbed // Nick in the movies (5)

NOLTE* — anagram (disturbed) of ELTON

Is the surface reading an allusion to Sir Elton John[5]?

Nick Nolte[7] is an American actor who has been nominated for three Academy Awards, twice for Best Actor [The Prince of Tides (1991) and Affliction (1997)] and once for Best Supporting Actor [Warrior (2011)].

19a   Listener’s influenced // material (5)

SUEDE~ — sounds like (listener's; to the listener) SWAYED (influenced)

20a   Cry “Oops!,” e.g., breaking // device in a plane (9)

GYROSCOPE* — anagram (breaking) of CRY OOPS EG

21a   Fires // jazz band member in audition (5)

SACKS~ — sounds like (in audition) SAX (jazz band member)

23a   Paint mist swirling around // user of kettles? (9)

TIMPANIST* — anagram (swirling around) of PAINT MIST

26a   Keach and Fitzgerald returned // felines (5,4)

{ALLE|Y CATS}< — reversal (returned) of STACY (Keach) + (and) ELLA (Fitzgerald)

Stacy Keach[7] is an American actor and narrator.

Ella Fitzgerald[5] (1917–1996) was an American jazz singer, known for her distinctive style of scat singing.

27a   Dictation taker/’s/ scattered notes (5)

STENO* — anagram (scattered) of NOTES

28a   Part of a plane // right outside wing (9)

PROP(ELL)ER — PROPER (right) containing (outside) ELL (wing)

29a   Stick // salt in party spread (5)

PA(S)TE — S (salt) contained in (in) PATE (party spread)

Down

1d   Phony music genre’s // green emblems (9)

SHAM|ROCKS — SHAM (phony) + ROCK (music genre) + S ('s)

2d   Waver /and/ leave, taking sick (9)

VAC(ILL)ATE — VACATE (leave) containing (taking) ILL (sick)

3d   Smart // lawyer after plaintiff’s heart (5)

N|ATTY — ATTY (lawyer; abbreviation for attorney) following (after) N {plaintiff's heart; middle letter (heart) of plaiNtiff}

4d   Air conditioning ruined car /in/ African city (5)

AC|CRA* — AC (air conditioning) + anagram (ruined) of CAR

Accra[5] is the capital of Ghana, a port on the Gulf of Guinea; population 1,970,400 (est. 2005).

5d   Fool, sensitive /and/ hopeful (9)

CON|TENDER — CON (fool; as a verb meaning to scam) + TENDER (sensitive)

In its role as the definition, "hopeful" is a noun.

6d   Rats with internal healthy // growths (9)

S(WELL)INGS — SINGS (rats; as a verb meaning to inform on) containing (with internal) WELL (healthy)

7d   Check about origin of Golden // Rule (5)

REI(G)N — REIN (check) containing (about) G {origin of Golden; initial letter of Golden}

This is an example of "lift and separate", a play on a phrase often encountered in brassiere advertising. It refers to a situation in which a seemingly single entity (in this case the term "Golden Rule") must be split into separate pieces with one piece forming part of the wordplay with the other piece being part — or all — of the definition.

8d   Middle of blue pen /is/ stout (5)

LU|STY — LU (middle [letters] of bLUe) + STY (pen)

14d   Unstructured // Flyer tees off (9)

FREESTYLE* — anagram (off) of FLYER TEES

15d   Game involving sticks /and/ big, lethal bats (9)

EIGHTBALL* — anagram (bats) of BIG LETHAL

Eightball[7] is one of several variant spellings of the North American name of a pool (pocket billiards) game popular in much of the world. Played on a pool table with six pockets, the game is so universally known in some countries that beginners are often unaware of other pool games and believe the word "pool" itself refers to eightball.

17d   0 - 9 in defeat: // absurdity (9)

LO(O|NINE)SS — {O ([letter that looks like] 0) + NINE (9)} contained in (in) LOSS (defeat)

18d   Conductor // put in a seat was a passenger (9)

ELECT|RODE — ELECT (put in a seat) + RODE (was a passenger)

21d   Soprano instrument /is/ out of tune, in a way (5)

S|HARP — S (soprano) + HARP (instrument)

Sharp[5] (said of musical sound) means above true or normal pitch.

22d   Instrument // battery operated, initially (5)

CELL|O — CELL (battery) + O (operated, initially; initial letter of Operated)

24d   Skinflint // is surrounded by sea in the Riviera (5)

M(IS)ER — IS (†) contained in (surrounded by) MER (sea in the Riviera)

Obviously, we are interested in the French Riviera and not the Italian Riviera.

Mer[8] is a French word meaning sea

The Riviera[5] is part of the Mediterranean coastal region of southern France and northern Italy, extending from Cannes to La Spezia, famous for its beauty, mild climate, and fashionable resorts.

25d   Returning, sit with a // storyteller (5)

{A|ESOP}< — reversal (returning) of {POSE (sit) + (with) A (†)}

Aesop[5] (6th century BC) was a Greek storyteller. The moral animal fables associated with him were probably collected from many sources, and initially communicated orally. Aesop is said to have lived as a slave on the island of Samos.

Epilogue

The title of today's post is inspired by 2d and 17d.
Key to Reference Sources: 

[1]   - The Chambers Dictionary, 11th Edition
[2]   - Search Chambers - (Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)
[3]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (American Heritage Dictionary)
[4]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (Collins English Dictionary)
[5]   - Oxford Dictionaries (Oxford Dictionary of English)
[6]   - Oxford Dictionaries (Oxford American Dictionary)
[7]   - Wikipedia
[8]   - Reverso Online Dictionary (Collins French-English Dictionary)
[9]   - Infoplease (Random House Unabridged Dictionary)
[10] - CollinsDictionary.com (Collins English Dictionary)
[11] - TheFreeDictionary.com (Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary)
Signing off for today — Falcon

Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday, October 24, 2014 — DT 27503


This entry was posted on 2014-10-26 but backdated to maintain sequence.

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27503
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, May 30, 2014
Setter
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27503]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Deep Threat
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★★ Enjoyment - ★★★
Falcon's Experience
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Legend:
- solved without assistance
- incorrect prior to use of puzzle solving tools
- solved with assistance from puzzle solving tools
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by puzzle solving tools
- solved but without fully parsing the clue
- unsolved or incorrect prior to visiting Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by solutions from Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- reviewed by Falcon for Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- yet to be solved

Introduction

I got into trouble by directing my attention to the wrong ideal of manly beauty at 6d which meant that 13a became impossible to solve. I also discovered that I had ordered up far too little wine at 29a. I also called for electronic assistance on three other clues — none of which, in hindsight, should have required it.

Observant solvers — among whom I am not numbered — will have noticed that the puzzle is a pangram. I only discovered this fact from reading the comments at Big Dave's site. A pangram is a puzzle whose solution includes at least one instance of every letter of the alphabet.

I invite you to leave a comment to let us know how you fared with the puzzle.

Notes on Today's Puzzle

This commentary is intended to serve as a supplement to the review of this puzzle found at Big Dave's Crossword Blog, to which a link is provided in the table above.

Primary indications (definitions) are marked with a solid underline in the clue; subsidiary indications (be they wordplay or other) are marked with a dashed underline in all-in-one (&lit.) clues, semi-all-in-one (semi-&lit.) clues and cryptic definitions. Explicit link words and phrases are enclosed in forward slashes (/link/) and implicit links are shown as double forward slashes (//).

Across

1a   A hundred animals devouring odd // items of food (8)

Rum[5] is a dated informal British term meaning odd or peculiar ⇒ it’s a rum business, certainly.

A crumpet[5] is a thick, flat, savoury cake with a soft, porous texture, made from a yeast mixture cooked on a griddle and eaten toasted and buttered.

5a   Friend trapped in Asian country -- /where/ this was used destructively (6)

Although NAM could be clued by merely "Asian country", it is much more precisely denoted by "Asian country -- where [the solution to the clue] was used destructively". Under this latter interpretation, the entire clue would constitute the wordplay. That would make this a semi-all-in-one clue in which the entire clue is the wordplay and a portion of the clue serves as the definition. In accordance with the system of nomenclature employed by my fellow blogger scchua, I presume that this might be known as a definition intertwined with wordplay (DIWW).

Nam[5] is an informal name for Vietnam in the context of the Vietnam War.

Napalm[5] is a highly flammable sticky jelly used in incendiary bombs and flame-throwers, consisting of petrol [gasoline] thickened with special soaps. [It was used extensively — and with devastating effect — during the Vietnam War.]

9a   Member of teenage group changing style // with diffidence (8)

In Britain in the early 1960s. the term mod[5] was applied to a young person of a subculture characterized by a smart stylish appearance, the riding of motor scooters, and a liking for soul music. During this same period, the term rocker[5] [mentioned by Deep Threat in his review] was applied to a young person belonging to a subculture characterized by leather clothing, riding motorcycles, and a liking for rock music.

10a   Relation /needing/ a bit of money to cross America (6)

12a   One insect's nipped ten // goats (6)

An ibex[5] is a wild mountain goat with long, thick ridged horns and a beard, found in parts of central Asia and in Ethiopia.

13a   Rebuke // sounded in Midlands university's accommodation (8)

Having an incorrect solution at 6d — together with never having heard of the British university — severely handicapped my efforts on this clue.

Keele University[7], officially known as the University of Keele, is a public research university located about 3 miles (4.8 km) from Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire, England.

Students attending this university might live — or study or dine — in a "Keele hall".

The M6 motorway[7] [mentioned by Deep Threat in his review] is the longest motorway [controlled-access multi-lane divided highway] in the United Kingdom and one of the busiest. It runs from a junction of the M1[7] (a north-south motorway in England connecting London to Leeds) near Rugby almost as far north as the Scottish border. Keele services[7] is a motorway service station, between junctions 15 and 16 of the M6 motorway near Keele in England.

15a   Thus little woman needs vessel /for/ short stay (7)

Little Women[7] is a novel by American author Louisa May Alcott (1832–1888), which was originally published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869. The novel follows the lives of four sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March—detailing their passage from childhood to womanhood, and is loosely based on the author and her three sisters.

16a   God /gets/ place of the Egyptians overthrown (4)

In Greek mythology, Zeus[5] was the supreme god, the son of Cronus (whom he dethroned) and Rhea, and husband of Hera. Zeus was the protector and ruler of humankind, the dispenser of good and evil, and the god of weather and atmospheric phenomena (such as rain and thunder).

The Isthmus of Suez[5] is an isthmus between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, connecting Egypt and Africa to the Sinai peninsula and Asia. The port of Suez lies in the south. The isthmus is traversed by the Suez Canal.

20a   Cheat /and/ criminal getting caught out -- /put in/ bird (4)

This is a highly unusual clue — a double definition with wordplay. Each definition is connected to the wordplay by its own link.

Rook is a type of bird as well as a verb meaning to cheat (someone). The wordplay is [C]ROOK (criminal) with (getting) C (caught) deleted (out).

The rook[5] is a gregarious Eurasian crow (Corvus frugilegus) with black plumage and a bare face, nesting in colonies in treetops.

On cricket scorecards, the abbreviation c[5] denotes caught (by).

In the surface reading, bird denotes prisonbird[10] being British slang for prison or a term in prison (especially in the phrase do bird; shortened from birdlime, rhyming slang for time).

21a   When to resign? Hard /for/ a PM (7)

H[5] is an abbreviation for hard, as used in describing grades of pencil lead ⇒ a 2H pencil.

Herbert Henry Asquith[5], 1st Earl of Oxford and Asquith (1852–1928) was a British Liberal statesman, Prime Minister 1908–16.

25a   Island /that could give/ us energy supply (8)

As an anagram indicator, supply is an adverb meaning 'in a supple manner'.

Guernsey[5] is an island in the English Channel, to the north-west of Jersey; population 65,900 (est. 2009); capital, St Peter Port. It is the second-largest of the Channel Islands.

26a   One losing heart, dejected inside, // recently (2,4)

28a   Awful // crack gathering dust (6)

In a chiefly British usage, dust[3,4,11] means ashes or household refuse.

In Britain a dustbin[5] (in North America, a garbage can[5] or, less commonly, a garbage bin) is a container for household refuse, especially one kept outside and a dustman[5] (in North America, a garbage man[5]) is a man employed to remove household refuse from dustbins.

In North America, a garbage man might also be known as a garbage collector[5]. I wonder if British dustmen are also called dust collectors!!!

29a   Bottle // tramp wrapped in lots of paper (8)

Obviously the solution could be nothing other than JEROBOAM. Wrong! Perhaps I might have found the correct solution if I was possessed of a greater thirst for wine.

A jeroboam[5] is a wine bottle with a capacity four times larger than that of an ordinary bottle.

A rehoboam[5] is a wine bottle of about six times the standard size.

In the Bible, Rehoboam[5] was the son of Solomon, king of ancient Israel circa 930-circa 915 BC. His reign witnessed the secession of the northern tribes and their establishment of a new kingdom under Jeroboam, leaving Rehoboam as the first king of Judah (1 Kings 11-14).

30a   The countryside // turning brown by northern river (6)

The River Ure[7] is a stream in North Yorkshire, England, approximately 74 miles (119 km) long from its source to the point where it changes name to the River Ouse.

31a   Gang -- it may go by rail /for/ criminal activity (8)

Ry[5] is the abbreviation for railway.

Down

1d   Spice plant // makin' progress, from what we hear (6)

Cummin is an alternate spelling of cumin[5], the aromatic seeds of a plant of the parsley family, used as a spice, especially ground and used in curry powder.

2d   International organisation suffers // things best hidden in polite society? (6)

UN[5] is the abbreviation for United Nations.

3d   Out-of-date academic // died (6,2)

A don[10] is a member of the teaching staff at a university or college, especially at Oxford or Cambridge.

4d   Give away secrets // in hotel lounge (4)

6d   Good-looker/'s/ mission that was out of this world (6)

I thought that ADONIS was a pretty good solution. However, not good enough.

In Greek mythology, Adonis[5] was a beautiful youth loved by both Aphrodite and Persephone. He was killed by a boar, but Zeus decreed that he should spend the winter of each year in the underworld with Persephone and the summer months with Aphrodite. I supposed that his winters in the underworld might constitute his "out of this world" mission. Come to think of it, spending summers with Aphrodite would be pretty awesome too.

In modern usage, an extremely handsome young man has come to be known as an Adonisnot all of us have the body of an Adonis.

In Greek mythology, Apollo[5] was a god, son of Zeus and Leto and brother of Artemis. He is associated with music, poetic inspiration, archery, prophecy, medicine, pastoral life, and the sun.

In modern usage, apollo [3,4,11] has come to mean a strikingly handsome youth.

The Apollo program[7], also known as Project Apollo, was the third human spaceflight program carried out by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the United States' civilian space agency. The program was responsible for the landing of the first humans on Earth's Moon in 1969.

7d   Twit belonging to the upper classes matured /and/ softened (8)

In Britain, U[5] is used informally as an adjective (in respect to language or social behaviour) meaning characteristic of or appropriate to the upper social classes ⇒ U manners. The term, an abbreviation of  upper class, was coined in 1954 by Alan S. C. Ross, professor of linguistics, and popularized by its use in Nancy Mitford's Noblesse Oblige (1956). In Crosswordland, it is frequently clued by words denoting "characteristic of the upper class" (such as posh or superior) or "appropriate to the upper class" (such as acceptable). Today it is clued by the phrase "belonging to the upper classes".

8d   Be more laid back, // stupid! (8)

11d   The group of us facing a defeat // get utterly tired (4,3)

14d   The woman secluded by trees // made a sibilant sound (7)

Woosh is an alternate spelling of whoosh[5], a verb meaning to move quickly or suddenly with a rushing sound ⇒ a train whooshed by.

17d   Alarm /should be/ loud? Correct! (8)

Forte[5] (abbreviation f[5]) is a musical direction meaning (as an adjective) loud or (as an adverb) loudly.

Righten[5] is an archaic term meaning to make (something) right, correct, or straight ⇒ thy stubborn mind will not be rightened.

18d   One gets upset during awful frost -- was it this? (8)

The pronoun "this" is standing in for the solution to the clue — but it can hardly be considered to be a definition. Even the phrase "was it this" which Deep Threat marks as being the definition seems to fall short. I would say that this may be a semi-all-in-one clue in which the entire clue constitutes the definition — the implication being that one would have gotten upset because one was not aware of the coming frost (either because it was not forecast or because one had failed to see the forecast).

19d   Town // employees north of ring road (8)

Stafford[5] is an industrial town in central England, to the south of Stoke-on-Trent, the county town of Staffordshire; population 63,700 (est. 2009).

22d   One part of plant /or/ a second lacking oxygen (6)

23d   Pussy clawing very little men /in/ frolic (6)

The phrase "very little" is used to indicate that we need the abbreviation for 'very'.

In the British armed forces, the term other ranks[5] (abbreviation OR[5]) refers to all those who are not commissioned officers.

24d   Becoming // wily when penning English, this writer flipped (6)

It is a common cryptic crossword convention for the creator of the puzzle to use terms such as compiler, setter, (this) author, (this) writer, or this person to refer to himself or herself. To solve such a clue, one must generally substitute a first person pronoun (I or me) for whichever of these terms has been used in the clue. Today, the setter embellishes the clue by adding a reversal (flipped).

27d   A jewel has turned up -- /it's/ enormous (4)

The word mega may be used more prevalently — and in more contexts — in the UK than in North America. Mega[5] is an informal term which can be used either as an adjective or adverb. As the former it can mean (1) very large or huge ⇒ he has signed a mega deal to make five movies or (2) excellent ⇒ it will be a mega film, while as the latter it denotes extremely ⇒ they are mega rich.
Key to Reference Sources: 

[1]   - The Chambers Dictionary, 11th Edition
[2]   - Search Chambers - (Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)
[3]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (American Heritage Dictionary)
[4]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (Collins English Dictionary)
[5]   - Oxford Dictionaries (Oxford Dictionary of English)
[6]   - Oxford Dictionaries (Oxford American Dictionary)
[7]   - Wikipedia
[8]   - Reverso Online Dictionary (Collins French-English Dictionary)
[9]   - Infoplease (Random House Unabridged Dictionary)
[10] - CollinsDictionary.com (Collins English Dictionary)
[11] - TheFreeDictionary.com (Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary)
Signing off for today — Falcon