Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Wednesday, March 20, 2019 — DT 28861

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28861
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, October 18, 2018
Setter
RayT (Ray Terrell)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28861]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Falcon
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★★ Enjoyment - ★★★
Falcon's Experience
┌────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┐
███████████████████████████████████
└────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┘
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

In a rare occurrence, I immediately recognized this puzzle as one that I had reviewed on Big Dave's Crossword Blog. However, as I worked through the puzzle, I encountered clues that I did not recall and began to doubt whether I had really solved it before.

Then, in writing the review, I discovered a few glaring errors in my previous review. Oh well, c'est la vie!

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.

Click here for an explanation of conventions and symbols used in explaining the parsing of clues.


The purpose of this article is to explain the conventions and symbols that I use on this blog in explaining the parsing of clues.

Legend:

The following symbols are used in reviews:
  • "*" anagram
  • "~" sounds like
  • "<" indicates that the preceding letters are reversed
  • "( )" encloses contained letters
  • "_" replaces letters that have been deleted
  • "†" indicates that the word is present in the clue

The review of a clue takes the following general structure:

#a/d   Clue containing parsing markup (num*)

* num = numeration

Explanations pertaining to the wordplay (or first definition in a double definition)

(Horizontal separator)


Explanations pertaining to the definition (or second definition in a double definition) and solution.

Explanatory Box
An explanatory box provides additional information about the clue. In most cases this information will not necessarily help in solving the clue but provides information about the clue. In the case of the weekday syndicated Daily Telegraph puzzles, such information is often intended to help the North American solver appreciate how the clue may be perceived by a British solver. These boxes may also provide information on people, places, films, television programmes, works of art and literature, etc. mentioned in the clue.

Although the titles of these boxes will usually be drawn from a standard list, I do occasionally throw in a title specifically suggested by the subject at hand. The standard titles include:
  • Scratching the Surface - an explanation of the surface reading of the clue
  • Delving Deeper - in-depth information pertaining to a subject mentioned in an explanation
  • The Story Behind the Picture - for weekday puzzles, information about an illustration found on Big Dave's Crossword Blog
  • What did he/she/they say? - for weekday puzzles, an explanation of a remark made in a review or comment on Big Dave's Crossword Blog
  • What are they talking about? - for weekday puzzles, an explanation of a discussion on Big Dave's Crossword Blog
One box that may provide information that could prove helpful in solving the clue is the following:
  • Here and There - for weekday puzzles, discusses words whose British meaning differs from their North American meaning

Note that there are many types of cryptic crossword clue and it is not my intention to exhaustively go through all of them here. I will only deal with clue types to the extent necessary to explain the conventions and symbols used on the blog. Furthermore, be aware that, in the world of cryptic crosswords, there seems to be an exception to every rule.

With one exception that I can think of, cryptic crossword clues provide two routes to the solution. These are commonly referred to as the definition and wordplay. While these terms serve well for most clues, there are some cases where the more formal terms of primary indication and subsidiary indication may be more appropriate.

Most cryptic crossword clues consist of a definition (primary indication) and wordplay (subsidiary indication). The definition may be a "precise definition" (a definition that is either taken straight from a dictionary or at least phrased in a non-misleading fashion) or it may be a "cryptic definition" (a definition misleadingly phrased so as to misdirect the solver either with respect to the meaning of the definition as a whole or to an incorrect sense of a word used in the definition).

The only type of clue that I can think of where there are not two ways of finding the solution are those in which the entire clue is a cryptic definition.
I identify precise definitions by marking them with a solid underline in the clue and cryptic definitions by marking them with a dotted underline.
In clues in which both definition and wordplay are present, the two parts of the clue combine to provide an overall meaningful statement (the surface reading) which usually bears no relationship to the underlying cryptic reading of the clue. In some cases, an extra word or phrase will be inserted into the clue to create a meaningful link between the definition and wordplay. I define clues which contain such a link word or link phrase as having an explicit link and clues which contain no link word or link phrase as having an implicit link.
I mark the existence of an explicit link by enclosing the link word or link phrase between forward slashes (/link/) and mark the existence of an implicit link with double forward slashes (//) positioned between the definition and wordplay.
Examples

A few examples may help to illustrate these points more clearly.

The first example is a clue used by Jay in DT 28573:

  • 4d   Fellow left work // a failure (4)
Here the definition is "a failure" which is marked with a solid underline to show that it is a precise definition. The wordplay parses as F (fellow; abbrev.) + L (left; abbrev.) + OP (work; abbrev. used in music) which gives us the solution F|L|OP. The double forward slashes (//) between the definition and wordplay indicate the existence of an "implicit link" between the two parts of the clue (that is, no extra words are inserted into the clue to form the link).

The second example is a clue used by Giovanni in DT 28575:
  • 29a   Female going to match // travels with mother in advance (10)
Here the definition "female going to match" is cryptic (the setter is attempting to misdirect our thoughts to a sports event rather than a marriage ceremony) and thus is marked with a a dotted underline. The wordplay is {RIDES (travels) + (with) MA (mother)} contained in (in) BID (advance) giving us the solution B(RIDES|MA)ID. As in the first example, the double forward slashes indicate the presence of an implicit link.

The third example is a clue used by Rufus is DT 28583:
  • 18d   Knight caught by misplaced big blow /is/ staggering (8)
Here the definition is "staggering" which is marked with a solid underline to show that it is a precise definition. The wordplay parses as N ([chess symbol for] knight) contained in (caught in) an anagram (misplaced) of BIG BLOW producing the solution WOBBLI(N)G. Finally, forward slashes mark the link word (/is/).
I also use distinctive underlining to mark &lit.[7] and semi-&lit. clues. Note that the reviewers on Big Dave's Crossword Blog generally prefer to refer to these clue types by the less pretentious names of all-in-one or semi-all-in-one clues respectively.

In an &lit. clue[7] (or all-in-one clue) the entire clue provides not only the definition (when read one way), but under a different interpretation also serves as the wordplay.
In future, I will mark such clues with a combined solid and dashed underline. Although this is a departure from past practice, it would seem to make more sense than using a dotted underline as I have in the past). Henceforth, the dotted underline will be reserved for cryptic definitions.
In a semi-&lit. clue (or semi-all-in-one clue), either:
  • the entire clue acts as the definition while a portion of the clue provides the wordplay; or
  • the entire clue acts as the wordplay while a portion of the clue provides the definition.
For these clues, I will mark the definition with a solid underline and the wordplay with a  dashed underline. This means that a portion of the clue may have a solid underline, a portion of the clue may have a dashed underline and a portion of the clue may have a combined solid and dashed underline.
One final clue type is what I characterize as a cryptic definition comprised of a precise definition combined with cryptic elaboration. For example, in DT 28560 (setter unknown) the following clue appears:
  •  26d   Heroic exploit, whichever way you look at it (4)
As the entire clue is a cryptic definition, it is marked with a dotted underline. The 'precise definition' is "heroic exploit" and is indicated by a solid underline.

Given the numeration, the precise definition could give rise to at least two solutions, DEED or FEAT. However, the 'cryptic elaboration' ("whichever way you look at it") indicates that the solution is a palindrome thereby immediately eliminating one of the two obvious choices.

Note that the part of the clue that I have called 'cryptic elaboration' does not provide a second independent route to the solution (as the wordplay would do in most other types of clue). Rather it merely provides a piece of additional information (elaboration) related to the 'precise definition'.

Again, this approach is a departure from past practice, but like the other changes mentioned previously is intended to remove inconsistencies in the way that I have been applying parsing markup to clues. The markup rules that I have been using until now evolved bit-by-bit over a long period of time resulting in some degree of internal inconsistency.

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Across

1a   Terribly masculine sporting lad's // bigchested (6)

4a   Trigger's first with rogues // Del and Rodney? (8)

Rotter[5] is a informal, dated, chiefly British term for a cruel, mean, or unkind person ⇒ Rosemary had decided that all men were rotters.



Derek "Del Boy" Trotter and his younger brother Rodney Trotter are fictional characters from the BBC sitcom Only Fools and Horses[7] which aired from 1981 to 1991 (with sporadic Christmas specials until 2003).

Scratching the Surface
Colin Ball, more commonly known as Trigger[7], is a fictional character in the popular BBC sitcom Only Fools and Horses and its prequel Rock & Chips.

In my review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, I naively supposed that the name might be a reference to Roy Roger's horse — a faux pas that did not go unnoticed by the Brits (see Comment #9 on Big Dave's Crossword Blog)!

9a   Rubbish actress almost // given new role (6)

As an anagram indicator, I believe that rubbish[1] is likely being used as an adjective* denoting of or relating to rubbish (in the sense of nonsense). Nonsense[12] itself can be an adjective meaning of or designating verse, poetry, or other literary composition consisting of words or syllables constructed of sounds or symbols arranged arbitrarily so as to convey an absurd meaning or no meaning at all. Thus presumably 'rubbish verse' would be another way of saying 'nonsense verse'.

* In North America, the word rubbish[3,11] is employed only as a noun whereas, in the UK, it is also used as both an adjective and verb. (show more )

  • Rubbish[5] (adjective) is an informal British term denoting very bad; worthless or useless ⇒ (i) people might say I was a rubbish manager; (ii) she was rubbish at maths*.

    * In Britain, the short form for mathematics is maths[5]her mother was a maths teacher, rather than math[5] as is the case in North America ⇒ she teaches math and science.
  • Rubbish[4,5] (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.
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10a   Page // messenger taking time (8)

I must say that I question whether a page would really be considered to be a courtier. Would not the page be an attendant to the courtier?

Historically. a page[5] was a man or boy employed as the personal attendant of a person of rank.

A courtier[5] is a person who attends a royal court as a companion or adviser to the king or queen.

12a   Caused // upset on hospital department (8)

"hospital department" = ENT (show explanation )

Should you not have noticed, the ear, nose and throat (ENT[2]) department is the most visited section, by far, in the Crosswordland Hospital.

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Upset[10] is used in the sense of to make physically ill ⇒ seafood always upsets my stomach.



Entail[5] is used in an archaic legal sense meaning to cause to experience or possess (something) permanently or inescapably ⇒ I cannot get rid of the disgrace which you have entailed upon us.

13a   Dock facing North // River (6)

The Severn[5] is a river of southwestern Britain. Rising in central Wales, it flows north-east then south in a broad curve for some 290 km (180 miles) to its mouth on the Bristol Channel.

15a   Striking /and/ elegant, but for pants ... (13)

As an anagram indicator, pants[5] is used in an informal British sense meaning rubbish or nonsense ⇒ he thought we were going to be absolute pants.

18a   ... changing pants, idea is so // cool (13)

22a   Old Nick // relating to skeleton (6)

Nick[5] is an informal British term meaning to steal ⇒ she nicked fivers from the till.

Scratching the Surface
Nick[2] (also Old Nick) is another name for the devil.

24a   Laurence looking terrible /in/ blue? (8)

Cerulean[5] is a literary term denoting a deep sky-blue colour.

26a   Popular detective, cocky, coming over // brave (8)

Don't be fooled into thinking that the detective is the PI so obviously sitting in the clue.

"detective" = DI (show explanation )

A detective inspector (DI[5]) is a senior police officer in the UK. Within the British police, inspector[7] is the second supervisory rank. It is senior to that of sergeant, but junior to that of chief inspector. Plain-clothes detective inspectors are equal in rank to their uniformed counterparts, the prefix 'detective' identifying them as having been trained in criminal investigation and being part of or attached to their force's Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

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27a   Attach 'cut down bad habit' // warning (6)

At least this time I did not repeat the mistake that I made when I first solved the puzzle in October.

28a   Legally /giving/ sanctuary in sacred surroundings (8)

29a   Bad sport inhibiting one/'s/ cheers (6)

Prosit[5] (also prost) is a German expression used in drinking a person's health.

This puzzle was published in the UK during October and, as such, the solution to this clue was quite timely with Oktoberfest in full swing.

Down

1d   Checked /and/ exposed trapping Queen (6)

"Queen" = R (show explanation )

Queen may be abbreviated as Q, Qu. or R.

Q[5] is an abbreviation for queen that is used especially in describing play in card games and recording moves in chess.

Qu.[2] is another common abbreviation for Queen.

In the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms*, Regina[5] (abbreviation R[5]) [Latin for queen] denotes the reigning queen, used following a name (e.g. Elizabetha Regina, Queen Elizabeth — often shortened to ER) or in the titles of lawsuits (e.g. Regina v. Jones, the Crown versus Jones — often shortened to R. v. Jones).

* A Commonwealth realm[7] is a sovereign state that is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations and shares the same person, currently Elizabeth II, as its head of state and reigning constitutional monarch, but retains a crown legally distinct from the other realms. There are currently sixteen Commonwealth realms, the largest being Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom with the remainder being smaller Caribbean and Pacific island nations.

Thus Queen Elizabeth signs her name as 'Elizabeth R' as seen here on Canada's paint-stained constitution.

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2d   Tool /that's/ fancy eases cut trimming rose's top (9)

3d   Guard dog /is/ old lady's pet (7)

5d   Chess piece // one jumps over King (4)

Roo[5] is an informal Australian term for a kangaroo.

"king" = K (show explanation )

K[5] is an abbreviation for king that is used especially in describing play in card games and recording moves in chess.

hide explanation

6d   Most cutting // exam after tell-tale turned up (7)

7d   Exclusive lot is terribly exclusive initially (5)

The entire clue provides the wordplay in which the definition is embedded.

I think one might well underline a bit more of the clue:
  • Exclusive lot is terribly exclusive initially (5)
where the definition is structured along the lines of crème de la crème.

8d   More offbeat // satire oddly covers outrage (8)

11d   Cool // match official occasionally cried quietly (7)

On Second Thought
In my review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, I wrote that we need an irregular sequence of letters drawn from cRiEd ....
I can't imagine what I was thinking at the time. This is obviously a regular sequence of letters.

14d   Demure in action /getting/ seduced (7)

Decoy[5] means to lure or entice (a person or animal) away from their intended course, typically into a trap ⇒ they would try to decoy the enemy towards the hidden group.

16d   Beer ends namely in containers here? (9)

The entire clue provides a cryptic definition as the solution does specify places where beer ends up in containers — and they are named containers (as shown by the illustration I used in my review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog). Of course, I could have equally well used a picture of a beer bottle or beer can.

Another Second Thought
Although, in my review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, I included the word "here" in the wordplay, that is obviously an error as that word clearly does not factor into the wordplay.

17d   Correct // my French taken by a beauty (8)

Mon[8] is the masculine singular form in French of the possessive adjective 'my'.

19d   Inspires // American with, like, acquiring knowledge (7)

Ken[5] (noun) denotes one's range of knowledge or understanding ⇒ politics are beyond my ken.

20d   Adult, small below, // in pieces (7)

"adult" = A [film certificate] (show more )

The A (Adult) certificate is a former film certificate[7] issued by the British Board of Film Classification. This certificate existed in various forms from 1912 to 1985, when it was replaced by the PG (Parental Guidance) certificate. [Despite its demise in the real world, it continues to find widespread use in Crosswordland.]

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"small" = S [clothing size] (show explanation )

S[5] is the abbreviation for small (as a clothing size).

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21d   Consume, // consumed by binges, tippling (6)

23d   God /of/ sex with bronze exterior (5)

"sex" = IT (show explanation )

It[2,5] (usually written in quotation marks, "it") is an informal term for sex appeal* or sexual intercourse ⇒ (i) the only thing I knew nothing about was ‘it’; (ii) they were caught doing ‘it’ in the back seat of his car.

* Chambers 21st Century Dictionary considers this sense to be an "old use" (Chambers' terminology for archaic, obsolete or old-fashioned). "It"[7] (written in quotation marks) is a term that has come to mean sex appeal — although, in its earliest manifestation, it seems that the term pertained more to personality than to glamorous looks. Despite having been used as early as 1904 by Rudyard Kipling, the term was popularized  in the 1927 film It starring Clara Bow (who became known as the "It Girl").

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In Classical Greek mythology, the Titans and Titanesses[7] were members of the second order of divine beings, descending from the primordial deities and preceding the Olympian deities. Based on Mount Othrys, the Titans most famously included the first twelve children of the primordial Gaia (Mother Earth) and Uranus (Father Heaven). They were giant deities of incredible strength, who ruled during the legendary Golden Age, and also composed the first pantheon of Greek deities.

25d   Put pressure on sick /to get/ medicine (4)

"pressure" = P [symbol used in physics] (show explanation )

In physics, p[5] is a symbol used to represent pressure in mathematical formulae.

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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)
[12] - CollinsDictionary.com (Webster’s New World College Dictionary)
[13] - MacmillanDictionary.com (Macmillan Dictionary)
[14] - CollinsDictionary.com (COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary)
Signing off for today — Falcon

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Tuesday, March 19, 2019 — DT 28860

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28860
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Wednesday, October 3, 2018
Setter
Jay (Jeremy Mutch)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28860]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
2Kiwis
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★★ Enjoyment - ★★★★
Falcon's Experience
┌────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┐
███████████████████████████████████
└────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┘
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's puzzle is but a gentle workout to keep the brain cells in tune — possibly for sterner stuff to come.

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.

Click here for an explanation of conventions and symbols used in explaining the parsing of clues.


The purpose of this article is to explain the conventions and symbols that I use on this blog in explaining the parsing of clues.

Legend:

The following symbols are used in reviews:
  • "*" anagram
  • "~" sounds like
  • "<" indicates that the preceding letters are reversed
  • "( )" encloses contained letters
  • "_" replaces letters that have been deleted
  • "†" indicates that the word is present in the clue

The review of a clue takes the following general structure:

#a/d   Clue containing parsing markup (num*)

* num = numeration

Explanations pertaining to the wordplay (or first definition in a double definition)

(Horizontal separator)


Explanations pertaining to the definition (or second definition in a double definition) and solution.

Explanatory Box
An explanatory box provides additional information about the clue. In most cases this information will not necessarily help in solving the clue but provides information about the clue. In the case of the weekday syndicated Daily Telegraph puzzles, such information is often intended to help the North American solver appreciate how the clue may be perceived by a British solver. These boxes may also provide information on people, places, films, television programmes, works of art and literature, etc. mentioned in the clue.

Although the titles of these boxes will usually be drawn from a standard list, I do occasionally throw in a title specifically suggested by the subject at hand. The standard titles include:
  • Scratching the Surface - an explanation of the surface reading of the clue
  • Delving Deeper - in-depth information pertaining to a subject mentioned in an explanation
  • The Story Behind the Picture - for weekday puzzles, information about an illustration found on Big Dave's Crossword Blog
  • What did he/she/they say? - for weekday puzzles, an explanation of a remark made in a review or comment on Big Dave's Crossword Blog
  • What are they talking about? - for weekday puzzles, an explanation of a discussion on Big Dave's Crossword Blog
One box that may provide information that could prove helpful in solving the clue is the following:
  • Here and There - for weekday puzzles, discusses words whose British meaning differs from their North American meaning

Note that there are many types of cryptic crossword clue and it is not my intention to exhaustively go through all of them here. I will only deal with clue types to the extent necessary to explain the conventions and symbols used on the blog. Furthermore, be aware that, in the world of cryptic crosswords, there seems to be an exception to every rule.

With one exception that I can think of, cryptic crossword clues provide two routes to the solution. These are commonly referred to as the definition and wordplay. While these terms serve well for most clues, there are some cases where the more formal terms of primary indication and subsidiary indication may be more appropriate.

Most cryptic crossword clues consist of a definition (primary indication) and wordplay (subsidiary indication). The definition may be a "precise definition" (a definition that is either taken straight from a dictionary or at least phrased in a non-misleading fashion) or it may be a "cryptic definition" (a definition misleadingly phrased so as to misdirect the solver either with respect to the meaning of the definition as a whole or to an incorrect sense of a word used in the definition).

The only type of clue that I can think of where there are not two ways of finding the solution are those in which the entire clue is a cryptic definition.
I identify precise definitions by marking them with a solid underline in the clue and cryptic definitions by marking them with a dotted underline.
In clues in which both definition and wordplay are present, the two parts of the clue combine to provide an overall meaningful statement (the surface reading) which usually bears no relationship to the underlying cryptic reading of the clue. In some cases, an extra word or phrase will be inserted into the clue to create a meaningful link between the definition and wordplay. I define clues which contain such a link word or link phrase as having an explicit link and clues which contain no link word or link phrase as having an implicit link.
I mark the existence of an explicit link by enclosing the link word or link phrase between forward slashes (/link/) and mark the existence of an implicit link with double forward slashes (//) positioned between the definition and wordplay.
Examples

A few examples may help to illustrate these points more clearly.

The first example is a clue used by Jay in DT 28573:

  • 4d   Fellow left work // a failure (4)
Here the definition is "a failure" which is marked with a solid underline to show that it is a precise definition. The wordplay parses as F (fellow; abbrev.) + L (left; abbrev.) + OP (work; abbrev. used in music) which gives us the solution F|L|OP. The double forward slashes (//) between the definition and wordplay indicate the existence of an "implicit link" between the two parts of the clue (that is, no extra words are inserted into the clue to form the link).

The second example is a clue used by Giovanni in DT 28575:
  • 29a   Female going to match // travels with mother in advance (10)
Here the definition "female going to match" is cryptic (the setter is attempting to misdirect our thoughts to a sports event rather than a marriage ceremony) and thus is marked with a a dotted underline. The wordplay is {RIDES (travels) + (with) MA (mother)} contained in (in) BID (advance) giving us the solution B(RIDES|MA)ID. As in the first example, the double forward slashes indicate the presence of an implicit link.

The third example is a clue used by Rufus is DT 28583:
  • 18d   Knight caught by misplaced big blow /is/ staggering (8)
Here the definition is "staggering" which is marked with a solid underline to show that it is a precise definition. The wordplay parses as N ([chess symbol for] knight) contained in (caught in) an anagram (misplaced) of BIG BLOW producing the solution WOBBLI(N)G. Finally, forward slashes mark the link word (/is/).
I also use distinctive underlining to mark &lit.[7] and semi-&lit. clues. Note that the reviewers on Big Dave's Crossword Blog generally prefer to refer to these clue types by the less pretentious names of all-in-one or semi-all-in-one clues respectively.

In an &lit. clue[7] (or all-in-one clue) the entire clue provides not only the definition (when read one way), but under a different interpretation also serves as the wordplay.
In future, I will mark such clues with a combined solid and dashed underline. Although this is a departure from past practice, it would seem to make more sense than using a dotted underline as I have in the past). Henceforth, the dotted underline will be reserved for cryptic definitions.
In a semi-&lit. clue (or semi-all-in-one clue), either:
  • the entire clue acts as the definition while a portion of the clue provides the wordplay; or
  • the entire clue acts as the wordplay while a portion of the clue provides the definition.
For these clues, I will mark the definition with a solid underline and the wordplay with a  dashed underline. This means that a portion of the clue may have a solid underline, a portion of the clue may have a dashed underline and a portion of the clue may have a combined solid and dashed underline.
One final clue type is what I characterize as a cryptic definition comprised of a precise definition combined with cryptic elaboration. For example, in DT 28560 (setter unknown) the following clue appears:
  •  26d   Heroic exploit, whichever way you look at it (4)
As the entire clue is a cryptic definition, it is marked with a dotted underline. The 'precise definition' is "heroic exploit" and is indicated by a solid underline.

Given the numeration, the precise definition could give rise to at least two solutions, DEED or FEAT. However, the 'cryptic elaboration' ("whichever way you look at it") indicates that the solution is a palindrome thereby immediately eliminating one of the two obvious choices.

Note that the part of the clue that I have called 'cryptic elaboration' does not provide a second independent route to the solution (as the wordplay would do in most other types of clue). Rather it merely provides a piece of additional information (elaboration) related to the 'precise definition'.

Again, this approach is a departure from past practice, but like the other changes mentioned previously is intended to remove inconsistencies in the way that I have been applying parsing markup to clues. The markup rules that I have been using until now evolved bit-by-bit over a long period of time resulting in some degree of internal inconsistency.

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Across

1a   Moral determinant /that's/ against genetics, say? (10)

6a   Simple // student taken in by criminal (4)

"student" = L [driver under instruction] (show explanation )

The cryptic crossword convention of L meaning learner or student arises from the L-plate[7], a square plate bearing a sans-serif letter L, for learner, which must be affixed to the front and back of a vehicle in various jurisdictions (including the UK) if its driver is a learner under instruction.

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10a   Leave // son needing stuff (5)

"son" = S [genealogy] (show explanation )

In genealogies, s[5] is the abbreviation for son(s) ⇒ m 1991; one s one d*.

* married in 1991; one son and one daughter.

hide

11a   Scan Times in order /to find/ such study of language (9)

Scratching the Surface
The Times[7] is a British daily national newspaper based in London.

12a   Valedictory // international bill on English stage (7)

"international" = I (show explanation )

I.[10] is the abbreviation for International.

hide explanation

13a   What is to eat on the move? (7)

The entire clue provides the definition in which the wordplay is embedded.



Toastie[5] is an informal British term for a toasted sandwich or snack.

14a   People mature -- or it's a disastrous // sort of relationship (6,1,5)

18a   Fail // to arrive, having run into a policeman (4,1,7)

"run" = R [cricket term] (show explanation )

On cricket scorecards [not to mention baseball scoreboards], the abbreviation R[5] denotes run(s).

In cricket, a run[5] is a unit of scoring achieved by hitting the ball so that both batsmen are able to run between the wickets, or awarded in some other circumstances.

hide explanation



Come a cropper[5] is an informal British expression meaning to suffer a defeat or disaster ⇒ the club's challenge for the championship has come a cropper.

21a   Rule reportedly after artist reversed // charge (7)

"artist" = RA (show explanation )

A Royal Academician (abbreviation RA[10]) is a member of the Royal Academy of Arts[5] (also Royal Academy; abbreviation also RA[10]), an institution established in London in 1768, whose purpose is to cultivate painting, sculpture, and architecture in Britain. 

hide explanation

23a   Courageous, crossing line /for/ sweetheart (7)

"line" = L [publishing term] (show explanation )

In textual references, the abbreviation for line [of written matter] is l.[5]l. 648.

hide

24a   Scathing words with name for Conservative // original (9)

"Conservative" = C [member of British political party] (show more )

The abbreviation for Conservative may be either C.[10] or Con.[10].

The Conservative Party[5] is a major right of centre British political party promoting free enterprise and private ownershipthat emerged from the old Tory Party* under Sir Robert Peel in the 1830s and 1840s. Since the Second World War, it has been in power 1951–64, 1970-74, and 1979–97. It governed in a coalition with the Liberal Democrats from 2010 until the general election of May 2015, in which it was returned with a majority.

* Historically, a Tory[10] was a member of the English political party that opposed the exclusion of James, Duke of York from the royal succession (1679–80). Tory remained the label for subsequent major conservative interests until they gave birth to the Conservative Party in the 1830s.

hide

25a   Polish rejected by mother // country (5)

Burma[5] is the former name (prior to 1989) of the Union of Myanmar, a country in southeast Asia, on the Bay of Bengal.

26a   Agreeable gestures /from/ daughter hugged by lad on the way back (4)

"daughter" = D [genealogy] (show explanation )

In genealogies, d[5] is the abbreviation for daughterHenry m. Georgina 1957, 1s 2d*.

* Henry married Georgina in 1957. Their marriage produced 1 son and 2 daughters.

hide

27a   Hamlet/'s/ resolution? (10)

Scratching the Surface
The surface reading is clearly intended to suggest Hamlet[7] (in full The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark), a tragedy written by William Shakespeare at an uncertain date between 1599 and 1602.

Down

1d   Gets money in return for // cold remains (6)

2d   Hospital workers // harbour grudges, ultimately (6)

3d   European allowances underpinning trainee chef/'s/ sympathies (14)

A commis[5] (also commis chef) is a junior chef.

4d   Simple cleaner welcomes one // place to sit (4,5)

Char[5] is an informal British term for charwoman[5] (or charlady[5]), a dated British name for a woman employed as a cleaner in a house or office.

What are they talking about?
In their review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, the 2Kiwis refer to the cleaner as a lady wot does.
Do[5] is an informal British expression meaning to do the cleaning for a person or household Florrie usually did for the Shermans in the mornings.

5d   Somewhat accurate mock-up reflecting // object in space (5)

7d   Flying // first-class, accommodating five people without leader (8)

"first-class" = AI (show explanation )

A1[4][5] or A-one[3] meaning first class or excellent comes from a classification for ships in The Lloyd's Register of Shipping where it means equipped to the highest standard or first-class.

hide explanation

8d   Spread out // terribly impressed, having lost millions (8)

9d   Relent if banter upset, // embarrassing nonconformist (6,8)

An enfant terrible[5] (French, literally 'terrible child') is a person who behaves in an unconventional or controversial way the enfant terrible of contemporary art.

The Story Behind the Picture
The 2Kiwis illustrate their review with a picture of Dennis the Menace — however not the one with which the Brits would likely be most familiar.

Dennis the Menace[7] is the name of separate US and UK comic strip characters that debuted on the same day in March 1951 in their respective readership areas, and are still published.

The American Dennis the Menace[7] is a daily syndicated newspaper comic strip originally created, written, and illustrated by Hank Ketcham. It debuted on March 12, 1951, in 16 newspapers. Now written and drawn by Ketcham's former assistants, Marcus Hamilton and Ron Ferdinand, and son Scott Ketcham, it is distributed to at least 1,000 newspapers in 48 countries and in 19 languages.

Coincidentally, a UK comic strip of the same name debuted on the same day, though the issue in question bore the cover date of March 17. The two are not related and change their names subtly in each other's respective home bases to avoid confusion.

The UK Dennis[7] is quite different in appearance and character from his American counterpart, characterized by his red-and-black striped jersey, his devilish grin, his scruffy, black (versus straw-coloured) hair, his dog Gnasher, and his gang of friends (known as "The Menaces" who carry on a running feud — that sometimes becomes violent — with a rival gang "The Bash Street Kids").

The British Dennis is an uncontrollable schoolboy who takes pride in causing chaos and mayhem to those around him due to his intolerance for rules and order. Dennis often proves himself to be quite selfish and greedy, often disregarding his friends in favour for treasures. Often equipped with an array of menacing weaponry (such as a catapult [slingshot]), Dennis is considered to be quite the loner, seeking no solace in anyone's company aside from his faithful pet dog Gnasher.

The British Dennis would certainly seem to be far more of an enfant terrible than the American one!

15d   Practical // divorcee exercises with nuts originally in regimen (9)

"exercises" = PE [phys ed] (show explanation )

PE[5] is an abbreviation* for physical education.

* In my experience, phys ed[3,6,11,12,14] is the more common shortened form in North America.

hide

16d   Grounds /for/ affair? (8)

17d   Film regularly shown // got better (8)

19d   Run through // newspaper article about resistance (6)

"resistance" = R [symbol from physics] (show explanation )

In physics, R[5] is a symbol used to represent electrical resistance in mathematical formulae.

hide explanation

20d   Shocked // husband in story turned up on time (6)

"husband" = H (show explanation )

The abbreviation for husband is h[1,2] or h.[3,4,10,11,12] or H[12] or H.[4,10,11,12]) [although no context is provided, it may come from the field of genealogy].

hide

22d   Green // water in France is on the up (5)

Évian (in full Évian-les-Bains[10]) is a resort and spa town in eastern France, on Lake Geneva opposite Lausanne, that is noted for its bottled mineral waters.
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)
[12] - CollinsDictionary.com (Webster’s New World College Dictionary)
[13] - MacmillanDictionary.com (Macmillan Dictionary)
[14] - CollinsDictionary.com (COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary)
Signing off for today — Falcon

Monday, March 18, 2019

Monday, March 18, 2019 — DT 28859 (Published Saturday, March 16, 2019)

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28859
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, October 2, 2018
Setter
Unknown
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28859]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Mr K
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★ Enjoyment - ★★★
Falcon's Experience
┌────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┐
█████████████████████████████████
└────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┘
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
This puzzle appears on the Monday Diversions page in the Saturday, March {date}, 2019 edition of the National Post.

Introduction

The top half went in quickly, the bottom half not so rapidly — with progress slowed further by initially entering an incorrect solution at 27a.

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.

Click here for an explanation of conventions and symbols used in explaining the parsing of clues.


The purpose of this article is to explain the conventions and symbols that I use on this blog in explaining the parsing of clues.

Legend:

The following symbols are used in reviews:
  • "*" anagram
  • "~" sounds like
  • "<" indicates that the preceding letters are reversed
  • "( )" encloses contained letters
  • "_" replaces letters that have been deleted
  • "†" indicates that the word is present in the clue

The review of a clue takes the following general structure:

#a/d   Clue containing parsing markup (num*)

* num = numeration

Explanations pertaining to the wordplay (or first definition in a double definition)

(Horizontal separator)


Explanations pertaining to the definition (or second definition in a double definition) and solution.

Explanatory Box
An explanatory box provides additional information about the clue. In most cases this information will not necessarily help in solving the clue but provides information about the clue. In the case of the weekday syndicated Daily Telegraph puzzles, such information is often intended to help the North American solver appreciate how the clue may be perceived by a British solver. These boxes may also provide information on people, places, films, television programmes, works of art and literature, etc. mentioned in the clue.

Although the titles of these boxes will usually be drawn from a standard list, I do occasionally throw in a title specifically suggested by the subject at hand. The standard titles include:
  • Scratching the Surface - an explanation of the surface reading of the clue
  • Delving Deeper - in-depth information pertaining to a subject mentioned in an explanation
  • The Story Behind the Picture - for weekday puzzles, information about an illustration found on Big Dave's Crossword Blog
  • What did he/she/they say? - for weekday puzzles, an explanation of a remark made in a review or comment on Big Dave's Crossword Blog
  • What are they talking about? - for weekday puzzles, an explanation of a discussion on Big Dave's Crossword Blog
One box that may provide information that could prove helpful in solving the clue is the following:
  • Here and There - for weekday puzzles, discusses words whose British meaning differs from their North American meaning

Note that there are many types of cryptic crossword clue and it is not my intention to exhaustively go through all of them here. I will only deal with clue types to the extent necessary to explain the conventions and symbols used on the blog. Furthermore, be aware that, in the world of cryptic crosswords, there seems to be an exception to every rule.

With one exception that I can think of, cryptic crossword clues provide two routes to the solution. These are commonly referred to as the definition and wordplay. While these terms serve well for most clues, there are some cases where the more formal terms of primary indication and subsidiary indication may be more appropriate.

Most cryptic crossword clues consist of a definition (primary indication) and wordplay (subsidiary indication). The definition may be a "precise definition" (a definition that is either taken straight from a dictionary or at least phrased in a non-misleading fashion) or it may be a "cryptic definition" (a definition misleadingly phrased so as to misdirect the solver either with respect to the meaning of the definition as a whole or to an incorrect sense of a word used in the definition).

The only type of clue that I can think of where there are not two ways of finding the solution are those in which the entire clue is a cryptic definition.
I identify precise definitions by marking them with a solid underline in the clue and cryptic definitions by marking them with a dotted underline.
In clues in which both definition and wordplay are present, the two parts of the clue combine to provide an overall meaningful statement (the surface reading) which usually bears no relationship to the underlying cryptic reading of the clue. In some cases, an extra word or phrase will be inserted into the clue to create a meaningful link between the definition and wordplay. I define clues which contain such a link word or link phrase as having an explicit link and clues which contain no link word or link phrase as having an implicit link.
I mark the existence of an explicit link by enclosing the link word or link phrase between forward slashes (/link/) and mark the existence of an implicit link with double forward slashes (//) positioned between the definition and wordplay.
Examples

A few examples may help to illustrate these points more clearly.

The first example is a clue used by Jay in DT 28573:

  • 4d   Fellow left work // a failure (4)
Here the definition is "a failure" which is marked with a solid underline to show that it is a precise definition. The wordplay parses as F (fellow; abbrev.) + L (left; abbrev.) + OP (work; abbrev. used in music) which gives us the solution F|L|OP. The double forward slashes (//) between the definition and wordplay indicate the existence of an "implicit link" between the two parts of the clue (that is, no extra words are inserted into the clue to form the link).

The second example is a clue used by Giovanni in DT 28575:
  • 29a   Female going to match // travels with mother in advance (10)
Here the definition "female going to match" is cryptic (the setter is attempting to misdirect our thoughts to a sports event rather than a marriage ceremony) and thus is marked with a a dotted underline. The wordplay is {RIDES (travels) + (with) MA (mother)} contained in (in) BID (advance) giving us the solution B(RIDES|MA)ID. As in the first example, the double forward slashes indicate the presence of an implicit link.

The third example is a clue used by Rufus is DT 28583:
  • 18d   Knight caught by misplaced big blow /is/ staggering (8)
Here the definition is "staggering" which is marked with a solid underline to show that it is a precise definition. The wordplay parses as N ([chess symbol for] knight) contained in (caught in) an anagram (misplaced) of BIG BLOW producing the solution WOBBLI(N)G. Finally, forward slashes mark the link word (/is/).
I also use distinctive underlining to mark &lit.[7] and semi-&lit. clues. Note that the reviewers on Big Dave's Crossword Blog generally prefer to refer to these clue types by the less pretentious names of all-in-one or semi-all-in-one clues respectively.

In an &lit. clue[7] (or all-in-one clue) the entire clue provides not only the definition (when read one way), but under a different interpretation also serves as the wordplay.
In future, I will mark such clues with a combined solid and dashed underline. Although this is a departure from past practice, it would seem to make more sense than using a dotted underline as I have in the past). Henceforth, the dotted underline will be reserved for cryptic definitions.
In a semi-&lit. clue (or semi-all-in-one clue), either:
  • the entire clue acts as the definition while a portion of the clue provides the wordplay; or
  • the entire clue acts as the wordplay while a portion of the clue provides the definition.
For these clues, I will mark the definition with a solid underline and the wordplay with a  dashed underline. This means that a portion of the clue may have a solid underline, a portion of the clue may have a dashed underline and a portion of the clue may have a combined solid and dashed underline.
One final clue type is what I characterize as a cryptic definition comprised of a precise definition combined with cryptic elaboration. For example, in DT 28560 (setter unknown) the following clue appears:
  •  26d   Heroic exploit, whichever way you look at it (4)
As the entire clue is a cryptic definition, it is marked with a dotted underline. The 'precise definition' is "heroic exploit" and is indicated by a solid underline.

Given the numeration, the precise definition could give rise to at least two solutions, DEED or FEAT. However, the 'cryptic elaboration' ("whichever way you look at it") indicates that the solution is a palindrome thereby immediately eliminating one of the two obvious choices.

Note that the part of the clue that I have called 'cryptic elaboration' does not provide a second independent route to the solution (as the wordplay would do in most other types of clue). Rather it merely provides a piece of additional information (elaboration) related to the 'precise definition'.

Again, this approach is a departure from past practice, but like the other changes mentioned previously is intended to remove inconsistencies in the way that I have been applying parsing markup to clues. The markup rules that I have been using until now evolved bit-by-bit over a long period of time resulting in some degree of internal inconsistency.

hide

Across

1a   Relaxing // wound again? (7)

5a   Former Conservative exploits // justifications (7)

"Conservative" = C [member of British political party] (show more )

The abbreviation for Conservative may be either C.[10] or Con.[10].

The Conservative Party[5] is a major right of centre British political party promoting free enterprise and private ownership that emerged from the old Tory Party* under Sir Robert Peel in the 1830s and 1840s. Since the Second World War, it has been in power 1951–64, 1970-74, and 1979–97. It governed in a coalition with the Liberal Democrats from 2010 until the general election of May 2015, in which it was returned with a majority.

* Historically, a Tory[10] was a member of the English political party that opposed the exclusion of James, Duke of York from the royal succession (1679–80). Tory remained the label for subsequent major conservative interests until they gave birth to the Conservative Party in the 1830s.

hide

9a   Inferior // hat worn by the man (5)

10a   Show // the Queen over there (9)

"the Queen" = ER [regnal cipher] (show explanation )

The regnal ciphers (monograms) of British monarchs are initials formed from the Latin version of their first name followed by either Rex or Regina (Latin for king or queen, respectively). Thus, the regnal cipher of Queen Elizabeth is ER[5] — from the Latin Elizabetha Regina.

hide

11a   Leave // for each expedition (10)

12a   Wife having bad // self-control (4)

"wife" = W [genealogy] (show explanation )

The abbreviation for 'wife' is w[1,2,12] or w.[3,4,10,11] [although no context is provided, it can likely be attributed to the field of genealogy].

hide

14a   In cotton suit, rearranged // make-up (12)

18a   More and more anglers in icy waves (12)

As an anagram indicator, I would suggest that waves may be used in the sense of flutters in the wind.

21a   Daughter with strange // part of tattoo (4)

"daughter" = D [genealogy] (show explanation )

In genealogies, d[5] is the abbreviation for daughterHenry m. Georgina 1957, 1s 2d*.

* Henry married Georgina in 1957. Their marriage produced 1 son and 2 daughters.

hide

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

22a   Blooming // old pig never moving without resistance (10)

"resistance" = R [symbol from physics] (show explanation )

In physics, R[5] is a symbol used to represent electrical resistance in mathematical formulae.

hide explanation

Scratching the Surface
Blooming[5] is an informal British term used to express annoyance or for emphasis ⇒ (i) of all the blooming cheek!; (ii) a blooming good read.

25a   Flipping mistake nearly found in chapters tense editor // put right (9)

"chapter" = C [publishing term] (show explanation )

The abbreviation for chapter (likely in textual references) is c.[2]

hide explanation

"tense" = T [grammatical term] (show explanation )

Grammatically speaking, t.[10] is the abbreviation for tense.

hide explanation

Scratching the Surface
Flipping[5] is an informal British term used for emphasis or to express mild annoyance ⇒ (i) are you out of your flipping mind?; (ii) it’s flipping cold today.

26a   Bird // in tree -- a glede? (5)

Scratching the Surface
Glede[10] is a former British name for the red kite[5], a bird of prey of the hawk family with reddish-brown plumage and a forked tail, found chiefly in Europe.

27a   Horse might be this // weighed down (7)

Post Mortem
Well, entering STALLED here did just that to my efforts in this corner.

28a   Wanted // gentleman to interrupt activity (7)

Down

1d   Ready to receive city/'s/ instructions (6)

"city" = EC [postcode area in London] (show more )

In the clue, the setter uses "city area" to stand for for the EC postcode* which serves the City of London. The EC (Eastern Central) postcode area[7] (also known as the London EC postcode area) is a group of postcode districts in central London, England. It includes almost all of the City of London as well as parts of several other London boroughs.

* postcode being the British counterpart of the Canadian postal code or American zip code

The City of London[7] (not to be confused with the city of London) is a city and ceremonial county within London. It constituted most of London from its settlement by the Romans in the 1st century AD to the Middle Ages, but the conurbation has since grown far beyond the City's borders. The City of London is now only a tiny part of the metropolis of London, though it remains a notable part of central London. It is one of two districts of London to hold city status, the other being the adjacent City of Westminster.

The City of London is widely referred to simply as the City (often written as just "City" and differentiated from the phrase "the city of London" by capitalising "City") and is also colloquially known as the Square Mile, as it is 1.12 sq mi (2.90 km2), in area. Both of these terms are also often used as metonyms for the United Kingdom's trading and financial services industries, which continue a notable history of being largely based in the City. This is analogous to the use of the terms Wall Street and Bay Street to refer to the financial institutions located in New York and Toronto respectively.

hide

2d   Small fruit -- // they might be thrown at one's enemies (6)

3d   Put away // rubbish -- I promised around noon (10)

As an anagram indicator, rubbish[1] is used as an adjective* denoting of or relating to rubbish (nonsense). Nonsense[12] (adjective) means of or designating verse, poetry, or other literary composition consisting of words or syllables constructed of sounds or symbols arranged arbitrarily so as to convey an absurd meaning or no meaning at all.

* In North America, the word rubbish[3,11] is employed only as a noun whereas, in the UK, rubbish[4,5] is also used as an adjective or a verb.

The abbreviation for noon is n[2].

4d   American soldiers circling both directions /for/ young women (5)

"American soldier" = GI (show explanation )

A GI[5] is a private soldier in the US army ⇒ she went off with a GI during the war.

Origin: Contrary to popular belief, the term apparently is not an abbreviation for general infantryman, but rather derives from the term government (or general) issue (originally denoting equipment supplied to US forces).

hide

5d   Report // rapid increase (9)

6d   Men aboard // wreck almost on the rocks (4)

7d   Particular // female in charge is after ground spice (8)

"in charge" = IC (show explanation )

The abbreviation i/c[2,5] can be short for either:
  • (especially in military contexts) in charge (of) ⇒ the Quartermaster General is i/c rations
  • in command (of) ⇒ 2 i/c = second in command.
hide

As an anagram indicator, ground is the past tense or past participle of the verb grind[5]. An anagram indicator is typically a word that denotes movement or transformation. Grind denotes transformation, for example, in the sense of wheat being ground into flour.

8d   Deciding // badger's home is next to heather (8)

A sett[5] (also Australian, British, and New Zealand set) is the underground lair or burrow of a badger.

Ling[5] is another name for the common heather[5], a purple-flowered Eurasian heath that grows abundantly on moorland and heathland [especially in the UK].

13d   Farm animal sleeps around rear of our // large tractors (10)

15d   Was inclined to think // Southern train cut speed (9)

16d   They can cross valleys // through pipes (8)

17d   Got // free, endless wine (8)

Post Mortem
An initial incorrect entry at 27a proved to be my undoing here.

19d   Hang around // big ship -- good to be aboard (6)

"good" = G [academic result] (show explanation )

The abbreviation G[a] for good comes from its use in education as a mark awarded on scholastic assignments or tests.

[a] Collins English to Spanish Dictionary

hide

20d   Admitted // longing to be next to American (6)

23d   Was likely to have no time /to get/ finished (5)

24d   Reportedly flog // prisoner probably in here (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)
[12] - CollinsDictionary.com (Webster’s New World College Dictionary)
[13] - MacmillanDictionary.com (Macmillan Dictionary)
[14] - CollinsDictionary.com (COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary)
Signing off for today — Falcon