Monday, September 25, 2017

Monday, September 25, 2017 — DT 28468 (Published Saturday, September 23, 2017)

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28468
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, July 1, 2017
Setter
Unknown
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28468 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28468 – Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave (Hints)
crypticsue (Review)
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
As this was a Saturday "Prize Puzzle" in Britain, there are two entries related to it on Big Dave's Crossword Blog — the first, posted on the date of publication, contains hints for selected clues while the second is a full review issued following the entry deadline for the contest. The vast majority of reader comments will generally be found attached to the "hints" posting with a minimal number — if any — accompanying the full review.
This puzzle appears on the Monday Diversions page in the Saturday, September 23, 2017 edition of the National Post.

Introduction

Fortunately, this puzzle was not a difficult solve — and equally easy to review.

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 semi-all-in-one (semi-&lit.) clues. All-in-one (&lit.) clues and cryptic definitions are marked with a dotted underline. Explicit link words and phrases are enclosed in forward slashes (/link/) and implicit links are shown as double forward slashes (//).

Across

1a   Agree to fix /being/ very thin (10)

6a   Nail // poet that's twisted inside (4)

9a   Rock singer // learning to join blooming band (7)

Lorelei[5] is a siren said to live on the Lorelei rock, a rock on the bank of the Rhine. She is held by legend to lure boatmen to destruction with her enchanting song.

Scratching the Surface
In the surface reading, 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.

10a   Seam put in Her Majesty's // furs (7)

"Her Majesty" = ER (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 explanation

12a   Trump's game upset insurgent concealing mean // person exposing wrongdoing (7-6)

14a   Something unusual, // 'I tarry', needs rewriting (6)

15a   Appear less civilised /in/ puzzle (8)

17a   Do away with corrupt // cruel woman (3-5)

19a   Six-footer // belonging to religious faction (6)

22a   Prepare a lithe model /for/ Victorian artist (3-10)

A Pre-Raphaelite[5] is a member of a group of English 19th-century artists, including Holman Hunt, Millais, and D. G. Rossetti, who consciously sought to emulate the simplicity and sincerity of the work of Italian artists from before the time of Raphael.

24a   Someone lagging in race /for/ promotion (7)

25a   Empire sacked queen /as/ head of government (7)

"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) 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.

hide explanation

Here and There
Outside Australia and Canada, the term Premier[5] refers to a Prime Minister or other head of government. In Australia and Canada, a Premier is the chief minister of a government of a state or province.

26a   Hearties regularly /are/ unable to stand (4)

Scratching the Surface
Hearty[5] is an informal British term for a vigorously cheerful and sporty person climbers and haversack-touting hearties.

27a   French short story with surprise ending // entering competition (10)

Conte[5] (the French word for 'tale') in English denotes a short story* as a form of literary composition.

* To the best of my knowledge, the French word conte does not necessarily mean a "short" story.

Down

1d   Mass with everyone /in/ shopping complex (4)

"mass" = M (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

2d   Old gardener /has/ hour in tall building (7)

Percy Thrower[7] (1913–1988) was a British gardener, horticulturist, broadcaster and writer
who became nationally known through presenting [hosting] various gardening programmes on the BBC from 1956 to 1976.

What did she say?
In her review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, crypticsue writes it will be interesting to see how many solvers know/remember Percy Thrower.
On this side of the pond I venture to say very few — if any. Fortunately, the wordplay easily lead one to the correct solution.

3d   Source of money /and /wealth hellion dissipated (4,2,3,4)

Scratching the Surface
In Britain, a hole in the wall[5] is an automatic cash dispenser installed in the outside wall of a bank and not, as in North America, a small dingy bar, shop, or restaurant.

4d   Needing refreshment when sun comes out, /making/ a couple of points over love? (6)

In tennis, love[5] is a score of zero or nil. A players first and second points are each worth fifteen, so a couple of points over love is thirty.

5d   Party in playground having to turn up // smarter (8)

Here and There
Rec[5] is an informal British term for a recreation ground whereas in North America it is used as a short form for recreation ⇒ the rec centre. Thus Brits may conduct their sporting activities at the rec while North Americans would pursue theirs at the rec centre.

7d   Sheep gets to tear around // refreshed (7)

8d   Group of soldiers // abandon traitors (6,4)

Desert Rat[5] is an informal term for a soldier of the 7th British armoured division in the North African desert campaign of 1941–2. The badge of the division was the figure of a jerboa (a desert-dwelling rodent).

11d   Very rich woman // crashed airline's limos (13)

13d   Bad-tempered person /in/ vote plot (10)

This plot is found in the garden.

16d   Previously // popular leading man's touring time (8)

As a containment indicator, touring is used in the sense of travelling (i.e., going) around — with the emphasis on around.

18d   Debonair, /making/ a gentle change (7)

20d   Old professors // deserve interrupting that is on the rise (7)

21d   Tyrant // installing son in base (6)

23d   Dress up /showing/ swagger (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)
Signing off for today — Falcon

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Saturday, September 23, 2017 — Dispensing Solutions

Introduction

In today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon, we drop into our local drug store. Given that the forecast for the next few days (at least, here in Ottawa) is for sunny skies with the mercury surpassing 30° C, the purpose of the visit is more likely to be to get a sunburn remedy than to pick up something to treat a cold.

I found this puzzle to be considerably more gentle than last week's stiff workout, although the bottom half seemed to put up a bit more resistance than the top half.

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 semi-all-in-one (semi-&lit.) clues. All-in-one (&lit.) clues and cryptic definitions are marked with a dotted underline. Explicit link words and phrases are enclosed in forward slashes (/link/) and implicit links are shown as double forward slashes (//).

Across

1a   Said, “Old MacDonald’s place is of use to // druggists” (11)

{PHARM|ACISTS}~ — sounds like (said) {FARM (Old MacDonald's place) + ASSISTS (is of use to)}

7a   Edge // held by chemists (3)

_HEM_ — hidden in (held by) cHEMists

At first, I dismissed the possibility that this clue could be part of the theme*. However, when I discovered that the corresponding clue in the lower half of the puzzle is part of the theme, I concluded that this clue may well be included in the theme clues.

* Note that the theme clues occur in symmetrically arranged pairs (1a, 27a), (7a, 26a), and 11a, 20a).

In Britain, the term chemist[5] can mean
  • a shop where medicinal drugs are dispensed and sold, and in which toiletries and other medical goods can be purchased antihistamine tablets are freely available in chemists; or
  • a person authorized to dispense medicinal drugs.
9a   Greek city/’s/ rich, not poor (7)

CORINTH* — anagram (poor) of RICH NOT

10a   Indifferent // time in northeast Russian range (7)

NE|U(T)RAL — T (time; abbrev.) contained in (in) {NE (northeast) + URAL (Russian range)}

To be precise, I would think that the Russian range is the Urals or the Ural Mountains, not the Ural. After all, one would never say that the Rocky is a Canadian range.

11a   Copiers print out // doctor’s order (12)

PRESCRIPTION* — anagram (out) of COPIERS PRINT

14a   Prize // commercial about fighting (5)

A(WAR)D — AD (commercial) containing (about) WAR (fighting)

15a   Direct // Time media astray (9)

IMMEDIATE* — anagram (astray) of TIME MEDIA

Scratching the Surface
Time is a US newsmagazine.

17a   Eastern saint called Edward // “distant” (9)

E|ST|RANG|ED — E (Eastern; abbrev.) + ST (saint; abbrev.) + RANG (called) + ED (Edward; nickname)

19a   The place that // the woman held in my group (5)

W(HER)E — HER (the woman) contained in (held in) WE (my group)

20a   Druggists // answer the guy with tooth decay about marijuana (12)

A(POT)HE|CARIES — {A (answer; abbrev.) + HE (the guy) + (with) CARIES (tooth decay)} containing (about) POT (marijuana)

24a   Tavern coated with the right // paint product (7)

TH(INN)E|R — INN (tavern) contained in (coated with) THE (†) + R (right; abbrev.)

25a   Parrot // one partner, catching it (7)

I|M(IT)ATE — I ([Roman numeral for] one) + MATE (partner) containing (catching) IT (†)

26a   Toupee // used by druggists (3)

_RUG_ — hidden in (used by) dRUGgists

It is interesting to note that not only do both 7a and this clue play into the theme of the puzzle, but both are hidden word clues.

27a   Recall // guy at a cash register with druggist, initially (11)

COUNTERMAN|D — COUNTERMAN (guy at a cash register) + (with) D (druggist, initially; initial letter of Druggist)

Down

1d   Choose // miner’s tool (4)

PICK — double definition

2d   Oddly Aquarian // vibe (4)

AURA — the odd-numbered letters from AqUaRiAn

3d   Care about raw resource // concentrated to a lesser degree (7)

MIN(ORE)D — MIND (care) containing (about) ORE (raw resource)

4d   Sharing the presentation of // “Salmon Swindle” (9)

COHO|STING — COHO (salmon) + STING (swindle)

5d   Fly high, carrying nitrogen // detection device (5)

SO(N)AR — SOAR (fly high) containing (carrying) N ([symbol for the chemical element] nitrogen)

6d   Strike-caller sitting in snowmobile // had lousy posture (7)

SL(UMP)ED — UMP (strike-caller) contained in (sitting in) SLED (snowmobile)

7d   Rushes, containing fire // storms (10)

HURRI(CAN)ES — HURRIES (rushes) containing (†) CAN (fire)

8d   Hung around after Mom // pretended to be sick (10)

MA|LINGERED — LINGERED (hung around) following (after) MA (Mom)

12d   Evildoer/’s/ masculine element (10)

MALE|FACTOR — MALE (masculine) + FACTOR (element)

13d   Funny drawing // on cigar not exploding (10)

CARTOONING* — anagram (exploding) of ON CIGAR NOT

I think cartooning is being used as a noun as in cartooning is the professional of drawing funny pictures (or, phrased rather inelegantly, "funny drawing").

16d   Breaking from tradition, // stormed in wildly (9)

MODERNIST* — anagram (wildly) of STORMED IN

Modernist is being used as an adjective, not a noun.

18d   One playing Chopin // not vocalizing (7)

A|PHONIC* — A (one) + anagram (playing) of CHOPIN

19d   Sadder // little dock (7)

WEE|PIER — WEE (little) + PIER (dock)

21d   Greek island // planted in lilac or fuchsia (5)

_C|OR|FU_ — hidden in (planted in) lilaC OR FUchsia

22d   Month with a // Yucatan native (4)

MAY|A — MAY (month) + (with) + A (†)

23d   Heavy metal // solo (4)

LEAD — double definition

Epilogue

One did not have to look far for a theme in this puzzle. However, it occurred to me that I am somewhat like a pharmacist — we are both in the business of dispensing solutions.

I did note that the drug stores at 20a carry POT, something that apparently is not going to be the case in Ontario.
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)
Signing off for today — Falcon

Friday, September 22, 2017

Friday, September 22, 2017 — DT 28467

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28467
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, June 30, 2017
Setter
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28467]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
pommers
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

We wrap up the week with this relatively gentle offering from Giovanni.

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 semi-all-in-one (semi-&lit.) clues. All-in-one (&lit.) clues and cryptic definitions are marked with a dotted underline. Explicit link words and phrases are enclosed in forward slashes (/link/) and implicit links are shown as double forward slashes (//).

Across

1a   State of dissolution // in which things get very hot (7,3)

I like this clue very much and I had no difficulty solving it. However, it did give me pause when I came to write the review.

After some reflection, I have concluded that this is a double definition with the second definition slightly on the cryptic side, it being an allusion to a melting pot[5] which is a pot in which metals or other materials are melted and mixed.

In the first definition, I believe that dissolution[10] is used in the sense of the act of dissolving; the resolution or separation into component parts; disintegration; destruction by breaking up and dispersing.

I would say that "state of dissolution" may be a rather incomplete analogue for melting pot[5] which is a figurative description of a place where different peoples, styles, theories, etc. are mixed together Toronto is a melting pot of different cultures. Dissolution refers only to the breakdown of the original cultures but not to the subsequent fusion between the elements of those cultures that is the essence of the 'melting pot'.

Scratching the Surface
In the surface reading, dissolution[5] is intended to be seen as meaning debauched living or dissipation an advanced state of dissolution.

6a   More than one great performer // hurts when losing heart (4)

10a   Social ritual // embraced by weird ancestors (5)

11a   I got tools out /as/ investigator of organ (9)

12a   To-do /gets/ prisoner 'enry being locked up (5-2)

If an H is dropped in the clue, then an H must also be dropped in the solution.

Harry was considered the "spoken form" of Henry[7] in medieval England. Most English kings named Henry were called Harry. At one time, the name was so popular for English men that the phrase "Tom, Dick, and Harry" was used to refer to everyone.

This is one of those clues where the wordplay must be broken up to form a list of instructions, in this case "[Step 1] prisoner; [Step 2] 'enry being locked up". At each step, one must apply the instruction to the result of the preceding step. The result of Step 1 is CON (prisoner). At Step 2, we insert (lock up) ARRY ('enry) in the result from Step 1 to get C(ARRY) ON.

Here and There
Carry-on[10] (noun) is an informal British term for a fuss or commotion ⇒ (i) What a carry-on!; (ii) Nobody imagined this carry-on in the Gulf; (iii) With all the carry-on you couldn't blame the man for wishing he was miles away. [not to be confused with the phrasal verb carry on[5]]

In North America, we would say carrying-on[6] rather than carry-on I'm fed up with your incessant carrying-on.

A Whole New Perspective
I was not familiar with this British use of carry-on as a noun. However, I now wonder if there is an allusion to this usage in the titles of the long-running series of British Carry On ... films. Although the film titles use the phrasal verb Carry On, there is certainly a lot of carry-on taking place in the films.

13a   Ottoman ruler given a // bit of food /for/ his wife? (7)

This is a double definition with wordplay.

A sultan[10] is the sovereign of a Muslim country, especially of the former Ottoman Empire.

Sultana[5] is a British* name for a small, light brown, seedless raisin used in foods such as puddings and cakes.

* despite being characterized as British by Oxford Dictionaries, the term sultana[3] is certainly in common usage in North America

A sultana[5] is a wife or concubine of a sultan.

14a   Cast doubt on earliest gospel? /What is/ the point // ? (8,4)

Following on the heels of one double definition with wordplay, might this be yet another? I have marked it in this manner, although it may not have been intended as such. In fact, there is even a second question mark in the clue that I might have marked — but that seemed a bit extreme!

The Gospel According to Mark[7] is the second book of the New Testament and one of the four canonical gospels contained therein.

Traditionally thought to be an epitome (summary) of Matthew, which accounts for its place as the second gospel in the Bible, most scholars now regard it as the earliest of the gospels, dating from c. AD 66–70. Most scholars also reject ["cast doubt on"] the tradition which ascribes it to Mark the Evangelist, the companion of Peter, and regard it as the work of an unknown author.

18a   Police tag's so unreliable /for/ one managing to break free (12)

21a   English politician to go wrong entertaining old // ruler (7)

23a   Unfortunately inadequate couple of arts graduates /in/ a state (7)

24a   TV presenter /shows/ a knight meeting monarch getting excited (9)

"knight" = N (show explanation )

A knight[5] is a chess piece, typically with its top shaped like a horse’s head, that moves by jumping to the opposite corner of a rectangle two squares by three. Each player starts the game with two knights.

N[5] is the abbreviation for knight used in recording moves in chess [representing the pronunciation of kn-, since the initial letter k- represents 'king'].

As an aside, it is interesting to note that the Chambers 21st Century Dictionary defines: 
  • K[2] as an abbreviation used in chess for knight. 
  • K[2] is a symbol used in chess to represent a king. 
  • N[2] is a symbol used in chess to represent a knight.
The dictionary fails to specify how one differentiates an abbreviation from a symbol.

On the other hand, both The Chambers Dictionary and the Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary list K or K.[1,11] as an abbreviation for knight without specifying the specific context in which this abbreviation is used. However, the context may well be in an honours list rather than in a game of chess. In the UK, for instance, KBE[5] stands for Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

hide explanation

25a   I had the thing to capture old // fool (5)

26a   Match // that might expose inadequacies (4)

Contrary to pommers, I see this as a double definition. A test is something that is specifically designed to expose inadequacies.

Test[5] (short for Test match)[5] denotes an international cricket or rugby match, typically one of a series, played between teams representing two different countries ⇒ the Test match between Pakistan and the West Indies.

27a   Married woman may keep it -- /and/ demean man, I fancy (6,4)

Down

1d   /As/ one dealing with people not well, // I'd come out (6)

The setter has chosen to use an inverted sentence structure causing the link word "as" to be positioned at the beginning of the clue rather than in its customary position in the middle.

Medico[3,5] is an informal term for a medical practitioner or student [apparently on both sides of the pond].

2d   Inner protections /for/ ships (6)

3d   A purer boy doing wrong /offers/ an apology (1,3,4,6)

4d   Weed // crushed under logs (9)

Groundsel[5] is the common name for several species of widely distributed plant of the daisy family, with yellow rayless flowers, in particular the common groundsel (Senecio vulgaris), which is a common weed.

5d   Tramps heading off -- // they make a musical sound (5)

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, pommers refers to tramps, possibly of American origin.
From a British perspective, hobo[5] is a North American term for a homeless person; a tramp or vagrant.

7d   Country fellow /providing/ delivery on cricket field (8)

In cricket, a Chinaman[5] is a ball that spins from off (show explanation ) to leg (show explanation ), bowled by a left-handed bowler to a right-handed batsman.

Off[5] (also called off side) denotes the half of the field (as divided lengthways through the pitch) towards which the batsman's feet are pointed when standing to receive the ball.

Leg[5] (also called leg side) denotes the half of the field (as divided lengthways through the pitch) away from which the batsman’s feet are pointed when standing to receive the ball. Leg is also known as on[5] (or on side).

hide explanation

8d   Disappointments /with/ groups needing inner support (8)

9d   A building in which political opponents will get cross more than once (7,7)

15d   Well-established // home, crumbling, finally came down (9)

16d   Material // engineers brought to Mediterranean area (8)

"engineers | soldiers" = RE (show explanation )

The Corps of Royal Engineers[7], usually just called the Royal Engineers (abbreviation RE), and commonly known as the Sappers[7], is a corps of the British Army that provides military engineering and other technical support to the British Armed Forces.

hide explanation

Levant[5] an archaic name for the eastern part of the Mediterranean with its islands and neighbouring countries.

17d   One getting cold with little energy chooses // items for mountaineering (3,5)

19d   River goes into sea, a // place where yachts are seen (6)

The main[5] is an archaic or literary term for the open ocean.

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, pommers writes Take a word for sea, the Spanish one ....
The Spanish Main[5] is the former name for the north coast of South America between the Orinoco River and Panama and adjoining parts of the Caribbean Sea when they were under Spanish control.

Note that the term Spanish Main refers not only toa portion of the Caribbean Sea but also to the coastal areas bordering it.

20d   Abstainer surrounded by British booze? /It's/ a struggle! (6)

"abstainer" = TT (show explanation )

Teetotal[5] (abbreviation TT[5]) means choosing or characterized by abstinence from alcohol ⇒ a teetotal lifestyle.

A teetotaller[5] (US teetotalerabbreviation TT[5]) is a person who never drinks alcohol.

The term teetotal is an emphatic extension of total, apparently first used by Richard Turner, a worker from Preston [England], in a speech (1833) urging total abstinence from all alcohol, rather than mere abstinence from spirits, as advocated by some early temperance reformers.

hide explanation

22d   Graduate has drink before // 10 (5)

The numeral "10" is a cross reference indicator directing the solver to insert the solution to clue 10a in its place to complete the clue. The directional indicator is customarily omitted in situations such as this where only a single clue starts in the light* that is being referenced.

* light-coloured cell in the grid
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)
Signing off for today — Falcon

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Thursday, September 21, 2017 — DT 28466

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28466
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, June 29, 2017
Setter
RayT (Ray Terrell)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28466]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Kath
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

While not a piece of cake, this is far from being RayT's most difficult 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 semi-all-in-one (semi-&lit.) clues. All-in-one (&lit.) clues and cryptic definitions are marked with a dotted underline. Explicit link words and phrases are enclosed in forward slashes (/link/) and implicit links are shown as double forward slashes (//).

Across

1a   Boob /gets/ married -- I use catcall crudely (12)

Boob[5] is an informal British term for:
  • (noun) an embarrassing mistake ⇒ the boob was spotted by a security expert at the show
  • (verb) to make an embarrassing mistake we found that we had boobed and the booking was for the previous week.
9a   Fancy // chair occupied by male after little time (9)

Fancy[5] (noun) is a British name for a small iced cake chocolate fancies.

Sweet[5] is a British term for a sweet dish forming a course of a meal; in other words, a pudding or dessert.

Wee[5] is a Scottish adjective meaning little ⇒ (i) when I was just a wee bairn; (ii) the lyrics are a wee bit too sweet and sentimental. [The word may be of Scottish origin but, like the Scots themselves, the word has migrated around the world.]

Sweetmeat[5] is an archaic term for an item of confectionery or sweet food he hurried back to his room like a schoolboy who has stolen a sweetmeat.

10a   Light // captured by Monet or Chagall (5)

Scratching the Surface
Claude Monet[5] (1840–1926) was a French painter. A founder member of the impressionists, his fascination with the play of light on objects led him to produce series of paintings of single subjects painted at different times of the day and under different weather conditions, such as the Water-lilies sequence (1899–1906; 1916 onwards). 

Marc Chagall[5] (1887–1985) was a Russian-born French painter and graphic artist. His work was characterized by the use of rich emotive colour and dream imagery, and had a significant influence on surrealism. 

11a   The compiler's left /to provide/ meaning (6)

"compiler's" = IM (show explanation )

It is a common cryptic crossword convention for the creator of the puzzle to use terms such as (the or this) compiler, (the or this) 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 has made the scenario slightly more complicated by combining "compiler" with the verb "to be" producing "compiler's" (a contraction of "compiler is") which must be replaced by "I'm" (a contraction of "I am").

hide explanation

Port[5] denotes the side of a ship or aircraft that is on the left when one is facing forward ⇒ (i) the ferry was listing to port; (ii) the port side of the aircraft.

12a   Company soldier died protected by second // soldier (8)

"second" = MO (show explanation )

Mo[5] (abbreviation for moment) is an informal, chiefly British term for a short period of time ⇒ hang on a mo!.

hide explanation

13a   Encore /of/ Queen record with Plant (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) 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.

hide explanation

"record" = EP (show explanation )

EP[10] (abbreviation for extended-play) is one of the formats in which music is sold, usually comprising four or five tracks.

hide explanation

Scratching the Surface
Queen[5] [reportedly RayT's favourite band] is a British rock group that in its heyday featured camp vocalist Freddie Mercury (1946–1991). Queen are known for their extravagant, almost operatic brand of rock, as exemplified by the hugely successful ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ (1975).

Robert Plant[7] is an English singer, songwriter, and musician, best known as the lead singer and lyricist of the rock band Led Zeppelin.

15a   Thin /and/ starving finally after fish (8)

On first blush, this clue would seem to direct one to place the final letter of starvinG after a synonym for fish. However the wordplay actually parses as G (starvinG finally) + ANGLING (after fish; attempting to catch fish).

18a   Seaside town // beginning to be fashionably left-wing? (8)

Right-on[5] as a derogatory* informal term meaning in keeping with fashionable liberal or left-wing opinions and values ⇒ the right-on music press.

* On the other hand, neither the The American Heritage Dictionary nor Collins English Dictionary charactize the expression right-on[3,10] as being derogatory.

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

19a   Drive round the bend following British // car (6)

Banger[5] is an informal British term for an old car in poor condition ⇒ they’ve only got an old banger.

21a   Tars at sea circling lake /in/ vessels (8)

Lake Erie[5] is one of the five Great Lakes of North America, situated on the border between Canada and the US. It is linked to Lake Huron by the Detroit River and to Lake Ontario by the Welland Ship Canal and the Niagara River, which is its only natural outlet.

Scratching the Surface
Tar[5] is an informal, dated nickname for a sailor. The term came into use in the mid 17th century and is perhaps an abbreviation of tarpaulin, also used as a nickname for a sailor at that time.

23a   Former politician // effectively chasing work in retirement (6)

Here I thought that the word "work" was being used to clue ON and so came up with NOWELL as a solution. I did find a couple of English MPs from the distant past with this surname — one from the 14th century (Richard Nowell[7]) and one from the 16th century (Andrew Nowell[7]). However, I was certain that they were far to obscure to possibly be correct.

Enoch Powell[5] (1912–1998) was a British Conservative and Ulster Unionist politician, noted for his condemnation of multiracial immigration into Britain and his opposition to British entry into the Common Market.

26a   Carbon measurement /should offer/ certainty (5)

"carbon" = C (show explanation )

C[5] is the symbol for the chemical element carbon.

hide explanation

27a   Old judge catching one with trap // to begin (9)

A gin[2] (also gin trap) is a wire noose laid as a snare or trap for catching game.

28a   Drunken bore's posture /becomes/ unruly (12)

Down

1d   Bank below motorway's // more obscure (7)

Motorway[2,5] (abbreviation M[5]) is a British, Australian, and New Zealand term for a dual-carriageway road [divided highway] designed for fast-moving traffic, especially one with three lanes per carriageway [direction of travel] and limited access and exit points [controlled access].

The M1[7] is a north–south motorway in England connecting London to Leeds.

2d   Fast-rising // odds gathering support (5)

SP[5] is the abbreviation for starting price[7], the odds prevailing on a particular horse in the on-course fixed-odds* betting market at the time a race begins.

* To the best of my limited knowledge in this field, this term would not be encountered in North America as betting on horse racing here is based on parimutuel betting rather than fixed-odds betting.

3d   From oaf, term at Harvard /produces/ results (9)

4d   Munch // cold cut (4)

5d   Coastal area // lacking imagination, we hear (8)

6d   Symbol /of/ support on head of Mohican (5)

On Big Dave's Crossword Blog, in the thread arising from Comment #1, there is a discussion on the use of tote to mean support. I did not find the justification given to be overly compelling.

Scratching the Surface
Mohican[5] is an old-fashioned variant spelling of Mahican or Mohegan.

The Mahican[5] (British Mohican) are a North American people formerly inhabiting the Upper Hudson Valley in New York State.

The Mohegan[5] (British Mohican) are an Algonquian people formerly inhabiting part of Connecticut.

7d   Running topless /and/ making an impression (8)

8d   Crush // bottom in endeavour to wear skimpy costume (6)

14d   Untouched // can must be gripped by force (8)

16d   Beautify // a girl with some sprucing up (9)

17d   Wood covering empty mango/'s/ top ... (8)

18d   ... bough /with/ top of bough spread (6)

20d   Arbitrator's swallowing deceit /from/ substitutes (7)

22d   Recovery establishment helping addicts' behaviour initially (5)

Like Kath, I struggle with identifying the definition in these type of clues. There is no disputing that the entire clue constitutes the wordplay. At a stretch, one might also say that the entire clue provides the definition. However, the word "initially" really cannot be considered to be part of the definition and the words "helping addict's behaviour" are not essential to the definition. As a result, I have reduced the definition to merely "recovery establishment".

The conclusion is that this is a semi-all-in-one clue in which the entire clue forms the wordplay and the definition is embedded in the clue. However, I have yet to come up with an elegant way to clearly mark such clues.

24d   Muse /seeing/ her reaction, oddly removed (5)

In Greek and Roman mythology, Erato[5] was the Muse* of lyric poetry and hymns.

* The Muses[5] are nine goddesses, the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, who preside over the arts and sciences.

25d   Obscure English // coin (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)
Signing off for today — Falcon