Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Tuesday, August 23, 2016 — DT 28105

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28105
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
Setter
Jay (Jeremy Mutch)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28105]
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
Notes
The National Post has skipped DT 28102 through DT 28104 which were published in The Daily Telegraph from Saturday, April 30, 2016 to Tuesday, May 3, 2016.

Introduction

Similar to the 2Kiwis, 10a was my last one in for which I needed a nudge from my electronic helpers to get me back on track.

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

Notes on Today's Puzzle

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

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

Across

1a   North America's first exploit precedes a // feeling of revulsion (6)

5a   Begin hostilities /after/ sack is given to writer on love (4,4)

The setter has almost certainly used "writer" in the sense of an implement used for writing. While North American dictionaries define pen[3,11] as a writer or an author ⇒ a hired pen, British dictionaries do not list this meaning and instead show pen[2,4] (or the pen[5,10]) as symbolically denoting writing as an occupation.

"love" = O (show explanation )

In tennis, squash, and some other sports, love[5] is a score of zero or nil ⇒ love fifteen. The resemblance of a zero written as a numeral (0) to the letter O leads to the cryptic crossword convention of the word "love" being used to clue this letter.

Although folk etymology has connected the word with French l'oeuf 'egg', from the resemblance in shape between an egg and a zero, the term apparently comes from the phrase play for love (i.e. the love of the game, not for money).

hide explanation

I would say that the word "after" is acting merely as a link word between the definition and the wordplay rather than serving as a positional indicator. However, I initially did try to place the remainder of the solution after the synonym for "sack".

The wordplay is FIRE (sack) following (is given to; is added to or appended to) {PEN (writer) following (on) O (love)}.

The loosely-respected convention in across clues is that "A on B" denotes A following B since A can only be added on(to) B if B is already in position (i.e., has been written first). Similarly, A given to B would imply A following B since A can only be given to (added to) B if B is already in position.


9a   Self-restraint /needed/ /seeing/ cheek after altercation during meal? (5,5,3)

The words "needed" and "seeing" are what I think of as elements providing framework to the clue. They are not part of either the wordplay or the definition, but merely give structure to the clue. The word "seeing" is a link word — a word which provides a link between the definition and the wordplay — while the phrase "self-restraint needed" is a shorthand way of saying that "the solution to this clue is a word meaning self-restraint".

10a   Question on pay /as/ cause of inflation (4-4)

I fell hook, line and sinker for Jay's misdirection. I was considering COST-JUMP as a possibility until my electronic assistants steered me in the right direction.

11a   Puts one's foot down /and/ studies after start of term (6)

In Britain, to read[5] means to study (an academic subject) at a university ⇒ (i) I’m reading English at Cambridge; (ii) he went to Manchester to read for a BA in Economics.

12a   A radio presenter working to include one // neighbour (6)

In the cryptic reading, "neighbour" is a verb.

Presenter[5] is a British term for a person who introduces and appears in a television or radio programme. In North America, terms such as host, announcer or anchor might be used for such a person.

14a   A girl, ten, excitedly // telling of events (8)

16a   Pure manoeuvring, to cross street in the morning // against the flow (8)

19a   Independent person elected to expose // damage (6)

"independent" = I (show explanation )

I[1] is the abbreviation for independent, likely in the context of a politician with no party affiliation.

hide explanation

"Member of Parliament" = MP (show explanation )

In Britain (as in Canada), a politician elected to the House of Commons is known as a Member of Parliament[10] (or MP[5] for short).

hide explanation

21a   Person who rules, // for example, in lease (6)

23a   Beer // in tea? (4-4)

25a   Innumerable? About a hundred // that cannot be explained (13)

26a   Players // first locked in prison accommodation (8)

27a   Face // slump during struggle (6)

Down

2d   Sailor back East drops out // to go absent without leave (7)

"sailor" = AB (show explanation )

In the Royal Navy, according to Oxford Dictionaries, able seaman[5] (abbreviation AB[5]), is a rank of sailor above ordinary seaman and below leading seaman. On the other hand, Collins English Dictionary tells us that an able seaman[10] (also called able-bodied seaman) is an ordinary seaman, especially one in the merchant navy, who has been trained in certain skills.

hide explanation

No, abscond[2] is not specifically a British term meaning to go AWOL. It means the same on the other side of the pond as it does here; namely, that one departs quickly and usually secretly — obviously without seeking permission (leave) to do so — because one has done something wrong and wants to avoid punishment or arrest.

3d   Flier/'s/ strain hugging women (5)

The swift[5] is any of numerous species of swift-flying insectivorous bird with long, slender wings and a superficial resemblance to a swallow, spending most of its life on the wing.

4d   Wealth /is/ a common disease in criminal surroundings (9)

5d   Theoretically, // often heartless treatise (2,5)

6d   Standing // ruined broadcast after end of performance (5)

The 2Kiwis might have more correctly said "... and then a syllable that sounds like (broadcast) a word meaning ruined".

7d   Trifle ruined, mine's gone up /in/ smoke! (6,3)

Yes — as the 2Kiwis indicate — the solution is "part of a cigarette" but it can also be used as a synonym for cigarette ⇒ he smokes nothing but filter tips.

8d   Sculptor framing poet oddly /gets/ volunteered (5,2)

Auguste Rodin[5] (1840–1917) was a French sculptor. He was chiefly concerned with the human form. Notable works: The Thinker (1880) and The Kiss (1886).

13d   Alert -- /yet/ dribbling? (2,3,4)

I immediately thought of basketball, but the setter is more likely to be thinking of soccer — or even field hockey.

Dribble[5] means (in soccer, [field] hockey, and basketball) to take (the ball) forwards past opponents with slight touches of the feet or the stick, or (in basketball) by continuous bouncing.

The equivalent term in hockey [ice hockey to the Brits] is stickhandle.

15d   Transferable vote limit? /It's/ a recurring theme! (9)

17d   Take for granted // parking and carry on (7)

18d   Jumbo pilots // moving south after degree (7)

In South and Southeast Asia, a mahout[5] is a person who works with and rides [guides or pilots] an elephant.

20d   Danger at sea -- // heartily sick diver should come up (7)

The grebe[5] is any of several species of diving waterbird with a long neck, lobed toes, and almost no tail, typically having bright breeding plumage used in display.

22d   Suckers /for/ correct marks (5)

Think of "correct marks" as being marks placed on an academic test or assignment to denote that the answer is correct.

24d   British ramblers regularly /finding/ these in arms (5)
Key to Reference Sources: 

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

Monday, August 22, 2016

Monday, August 22, 2016 — DT 27702 (Summer Monday Bonus Puzzle)

Prologue

For several years, the practice of the National Post has been not to publish on Monday between Canada Day and Labour Day. To provide readers of the blog with a bit of mental exercise to keep the grey matter well-tuned, I am providing a puzzle that the National Post has skipped (drawn from my reserve of reviews for unpublished puzzles). Today I offer you DT 27702 which appeared in The Daily Telegraph on Monday, January 19, 2015 and was the first of two puzzles skipped by the National Post on Friday, July 3, 2015.

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27702
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Monday, January 19, 2015
Setter
Rufus (Roger Squires)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27702]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Gazza
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
The National Post skipped this puzzle on Friday, July 3, 2015.

Introduction

While I can't argue with Gazza's assessment of two-star difficulty, I would say that the puzzle sits at the upper limit of that range. Several clues required a good deal of thought — some of it well outside the box. Nevertheless, it was a very satisfying exercise — especially when I finished it unaided after thinking about halfway into it that I would soon need to be calling in the electronic helpers.

I also fully concur with his observation "More than with any other setter I have difficulty in deciding exactly what to underline in some of Rufus’s clues". His clues frequently straddle the boundary between clue types — and sometimes seem not to match any recognized clue type.

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

Notes on Today's Puzzle

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

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

Across

1a   It may be the // thing required (7)

I am marking this as a double definition, although Gazza has not done so. The accuracy of his observation is already becoming clear.

5a   He swears he's a soldier (7)

Like Gazza, I reached the conclusion that this clue is a cryptic definition rather than a double definition. I see it as a type of cryptic definition in which we are given a fairly broad straight definition (in this case, "a soldier") which is augmented by a bit of cryptic elaboration (provided by the remainder of the clue) which serves to narrow the scope of the definition. In this case, the setter has told us that the solution is a soldier who's known for swearing.

The other approach would be to look at the clue as a double definition in which the two definitions are "He swears" and "he's a soldier". However, both definitions effectively lead us to the same meaning of the solution (TROOPER). I don't believe this satisfies the requirements for a double definition — in which the two definitions must lead to different meanings for the same word (as we can see in 1d).

Swear like a trooper[5] means to swear a great deal ⇒ his fists were clenched and he was swearing like a trooper.

9a   Goat-like figure heads a // list of animals (5)

In Roman mythology, a faun[5] is one of a class of lustful rural gods, represented as a man with a goat’s horns, ears, legs, and tail.

10a   Not a single female will go out in this outfit (9)

11a   Give up /using/ catapult -- i.e. playing around (10)

12a   High-class // sort of shop (4)

14a   We need to find our own fare for these holidays (4-8)

Self-catering[5],  a British term which is used in reference to a holiday or accommodation, signifies offering facilities for people to cook their own meals ⇒ guests stay in self-catering apartments.

18a   Turbulent masses resent // another property valuation (12)

21a   Lazy, // appearing backward in fielding (4)

22a   Slump /causing/ gloom (10)

25a   Starting place for the three-legged race? (4,2,3)

The Isle of Man[5] (abbreviation IOM[5]) is an island in the Irish Sea which is a British Crown dependency having home rule, with its own legislature (the Tynwald) and judicial system.

It seems that this clue does not refer to the famous International Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophy) Race[7], an annual motor-cycle racing event held on the Isle of Man. Nor does it allude to a yacht race of three legs departing from the Isle of Man. Of course, I did expend considerable time and effort going down both those blind alleys.

Flag of the Isle of Man
For centuries, the island's symbol has been the so-called "three legs of Mann", a triskelion of three legs conjoined at the thigh. Thus the Manx can be considered to be a race of people represented by three legs, or "a three-legged race".


On May 6, 2013, 649 pairs of runners completed a 200m three-legged race in Douglas, Isle of Man. This event has been certified by Guiness World Records as the world record for the largest three-legged race in a single venue [see: Guinness confirms record set at Isle of Man three-legged race].

26a   Something cast in gold -- // the last word in France (5)

"gold" = AU (show explanation )

The symbol for the chemical element gold is Au[5] (from Latin aurum).

hide explanation

Adieu[8] is a French word meaning 'goodbye' or 'farewell'.

27a   Board carriage // herd aren't in (7)

Carriage[5] is a British term for any of the separate sections of a train that carry passengers ⇒ the first-class carriages.

28a   Increase // in general disorder (7)

Down

1d   Pretend // to influence (6)

2d   A superior suit (6)

I initially thought the solution might by SPADES, the highest-ranking suit in bridge — at least until TRUMPS are established!

3d   Plan to recycle // liqueur (10)

Chartreuse[5] is a pale green or yellow liqueur made from brandy and aromatic herbs.

4d   Former tax reduced by a pound -- // celebrate (5)

"pound" = L (show explanation )

The pound[5] (also pound sterling) is the basic monetary unit of the UK, equal to 100 pence. While the symbol for pound is £, it is often written as L[10]

hide explanation

5d   Where to see the beginning -- and end -- of the rainbow? (5,4)

6d   Give marching orders to // us to put out (4)

Like Gazza, I also initially thought that this was a hidden word clue. However, as he points out in his review, it is actually an anagram.

7d   Capital // turn of a pierrot (8)

Pretoria[5] is the administrative capital of South Africa; population 1,679,200 (est. 2009). It was founded in 1855 by Marthinus Wessel Pretorius (1819–1901), the first President of the South African Republic, and named after his father Andries.

Scratching the Surface
Pierrot[5] is a stock male character in French pantomime, with a sad white-painted face, a loose white costume, and a pointed hat.

8d   It aids digestion /if having/ hard time (8)

13d   Racketeers' go-between? (6,4)

15d   She parts company with an // angler (9)

16d   /Take/ care -- if it changed, /it's/ a trick (8)

The word "take" is part of the infrastructure of the clue — the framework which supports the definition and wordplay. This infrastructure most often takes the form of a link word or link phrase between the definition and wordplay. However, it can sometimes be a bit more elaborate — as in this clue. The idea in this clue could be expressed (far more verbosely) as:
  • Consider (take) 'CARE IF IT changed'; this is wordplay leading to a solution that is a synonym for the definition 'a trick'.
17d   Don't stand round /showing/ what a bad crack will do (4,4)

19d   Old court official, // specifically one over the Queen (6)

Viz.[5] is a chiefly British term meaning namely or in other words (used to introduce a gloss or explanation) ⇒ the first music-reproducing media, viz. the music box and the player piano. It is an abbreviation of videlicet, z being a medieval Latin symbol for -et.

"the Queen" = 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

Historically, a vizier[5] was a high official in some Muslim countries, especially in Turkey under Ottoman rule.

20d   Guarantee // Rex is about to succeed? Quite the opposite (6)

"rex" = R (show explanation )

Rex[5] (abbreviation R[5]) [Latin for king] denotes the reigning king, used following a name (e.g. Georgius Rex, King George) or in the titles of lawsuits (e.g. Rex v. Jones, the Crown versus Jones — often shortened to R. v. Jones).

hide explanation

It is not uncommon to see this construction in a puzzle. The setter begins by telling us one thing, then uses a phrase such as "quite the opposite" to indicate that he really intends exactly the inverse of what he has just finished telling us. This is used when the surface reading of the required wordplay would be utter rubbish but the inverse would be meaningful. This device allows the setter to achieve a meaningful surface reading, while still conveying the directions needed to solve the clue.

23d   Limit // the area for stock (5)

24d   Served up in Norway, osprey /is/ a source of protein (4)
Key to Reference Sources: 

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

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Saturday, August 20, 2016 — Music for Many Tastes

Introduction

Similar to what has been reported by others, the bottom half of today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon went in well before the top half. The last to go in was 5d.

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
┌────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┐
███████████████████████████████████
└────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┘
Legend:
- solved without assistance
- incorrect prior to use of puzzle solving tools
- solved with assistance from puzzle solving tools
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by puzzle solving tools
- solved but without fully parsing the clue
- yet to be solved

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

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

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

Across

1a   Monotonous song // ruined acorn-gathering (9,5)

{GREGORIAN CHANT}* — anagram (ruined) of ACORN GATHERING

10a   Brownish // cucumber’s inside (5)

_UMBER_ — hidden in (inside) cucUMBER's

The solution is "inside" only if one considers the 's to be part of the fodder rather than part of the indicator.

11a   Mark // changed limos once (9)

SEMICOLON* — anagram (changed) of LIMOS ONCE

12a   With a partner, devises // openings for nickels and dimes? (9)

COIN|VENTS — split (4,5) one has a whimsical description — as evidenced by the question mark — of openings through which nickels and dimes might pass

13a   Pen with the French // flair (5)

STY|LE — STY (pen [for pigs]) + (with) LE (the French; French definite article)

14a   Tenor imitated // on a record (5)

T|APED — T (tenor; abbrev.) + APED (imitated)

16a   Wet-weather garments // Croatians refashioned (9)

RAINCOATS* — anagram (refashioned) of CROATIANS

18a   Actress Page // realigned cast (9)

GERALDINE* — anagram (cast) of REALIGNED

Geraldine Page[7] (1924–1987) was an American film, television and stage actress. An eight-time Academy Award nominee, she failed to win on seven occasions before garnering the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance as Carrie Watts in The Trip to Bountiful (1985).

I did spend some time trying to cast Canadian actress Ellen Page[7] (Juno, 2007) in the role.

19a   A street in New York /is/ mean (5)

N(A|ST)Y — {A (†) + ST (street; abbrev.)} contained in (in) NY (New York; abbrev.)

Scratching the Surface
Mean Streets[7] is a 1973 American crime film directed and co-written by Martin Scorsese (see 28a).

21a   Identifies men as “alien” (5)

NAMES* —anagram (alien) of MEN AS

23a   Told, as a tale // tallied anew (9)

RECOUNTED — double definition

26a   Top-rated songs // blasted apartheid (3,6)

{HIT PARADE}* — anagram (blasted) of APARTHEID

27a   Individual with a large // teammate of Bryant, once (5)

ONE|A|L — ONE (individual) + (with) A (†) + L (large; abbrev.)

They may have been teammates, but they were hardly the best of teammates.

Kobe Bryant[7] is an American retired professional basketball player. He played his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Shaquille O'Neal[7], nicknamed Shaq, is an American retired professional basketball player who is currently an analyst on the television program Inside the NBA (Turner Network Television). Listed at 7 ft 1 in (2.16 m) tall and weighing 325 pounds (147 kg), he was one of the heaviest players ever to play in the NBA. O'Neal played for six teams throughout his 19-year NBA career — including the Los Angeles Lakers.

A feud between O'Neal and Bryant[7] led to O'Neal being traded to the Miami Heat.

28a   Movie director // sadly resists romance (6,8)

{MARTIN SCORSESE}* — anagram (sadly) of RESISTS ROMANCE

Martin Scorsese[5] is an American film director. Notable works: Mean Streets (1973), Taxi Driver (1976), and The Last Temptation of Christ (1988).

Down

2d   Teacher/’s/ pet liking carrots, for the most part (5)

RABBI_ — RABBI[T] (pet liking carrots) with the final letter removed (for the most part)

3d   Author/’s/ goal: holding pearl-seeker back (4,5)

GO({RE VID}<)AL — GOAL (†) containing (holding) a reversal (back) of DIVER (pearl-seeker)

Gore Vidal[5] (1925–2012) was an American novelist, playwright, and essayist; born Eugene Luther Vidal. His novels, many of them satirical comedies, include Williwaw (1946) and Myra Breckenridge (1968).

4d   Siren busted // up (5)

RISEN* — anagram (busted) of SIREN

5d   Break in war // room is in a time freeze (9)

ARMISTICE — {RM (room; abbrev.) + IS (†)} contained in (in) {A (†) + T (time; abbrev.) + ICE (freeze)}

6d   Prepares to shoot // some barnyard birds (5)

COCKS — double definition

7d   Mr. Keach and Ms. Fitzgerald brought back // some felines (5,4)

{ALLE|Y CATS}< — a reversal (brought back) of {STACY (Mr. Keach) + (and) ELLA (Ms. Fitzgerald)}

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

Ella Fitzgerald[5] (1917–1996) was an American jazz singer, known for her distinctive style of scat singing [which I suppose is appropriate to this clue].

8d   Presents // boneless chicken strips (7)

TENDERS — double definition

Chicken tenders is another name for chicken fingers[7]. I must say that it is a new term to me. While I suspect that it may be a regional term, I could find no evidence to confirm this.

9d   Greek character acts strangely /in/ Oman’s capital (6)

MU|SCAT — MU (Greek character; twelfth letter of the Greek alphabet) + SCAT* {anagram (strangely) of ACTS}

Muscat[5] is the capital of Oman, a port on the southeastern coast of the Arabian peninsula; population 620,000 (est. 2007).

15d   Disciple keeping a sheep // constant (9)

P(A|RAM)ETER — PETER (disciple [of Christ]) containing (keeping) {A (†) + RAM (sheep)}

A parameter is certainly not necessarily constant!

16d   Rod’s a liar, shifting // Monopoly game holdings (9)

RAILROADS* —anagram (shifting) of RODS A LIAR

Monopoly being an American game, these holdings are RAILROADS rather than RAILWAYS.

17d   Magicians // fool people in a courtroom (9)

CON|JURORS — CON (fool) + JURORS (people in a courtroom)

18d   Material // among banging hammers (7)

_GING|HAM_ — hidden in (among) banGING HAMmers

Gingham[5] is lightweight plain-woven cotton cloth, typically checked in white and a bold colour.

20d   Doyle’s arranged /for/ long-distance calls (6)

YODELS* — anagram (arranged) of DOYLES

22d   Hindu teacher // did laps in the pool before one (5)

SWAM|I — SWAM (did laps in the pool) + (before) I ([Roman numeral for] one)

24d   Company accepting Communist // statement of beliefs (5)

C(RED)O — CO (company; abbrev.) containing (accepting) RED (Communist)

25d   Levels, /for/ crying out loud (5)

TIERS~ — sounds like (out loud) of TEARS (crying)

Epilogue

The title of today's review is inspired by 1a, 26a 20d — not to mention the midnight serenade from 7d.
Key to Reference Sources: 

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

Friday, August 19, 2016

Friday, August 19, 2016 — DT 28101

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28101
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, April 29, 2016
Setter
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28101]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Deep Threat
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

One can always count on Giovanni to throw a few terms at us that we have never before encountered.

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

Notes on Today's Puzzle

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

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

Across

1a   Maiden possibly facing accusation /as/ cheat (10)

In cricket, a maiden[5] (also maiden over) is an over in which no runs are scored.

6a   Drink nothing, coming back /for/ work (4)

As a verb, sup[5] is a dated or Northern English term meaning to take (drink or liquid food) by sips or spoonfuls ⇒ (i) she supped up her soup delightedly; (ii) he was supping straight from the bottle. As a noun, sup[5] means (1) a sip of liquid ⇒ he took another sup of wine or (2) in Northern England or Ireland, an alcoholic drink ⇒ the latest sup from those blokes at the brewery.

In music, an opus[5] (Latin for 'work') is a separate composition or set of compositions.

9a   Officer returning with hesitation /as/ one to fill a gap? (5)

In his hint, Deep Threat neglects to mention that the "abbreviation for a senior regimental officer" must be reversed (returning).

Locum[5] (short for locum tenens) is a British term for a person who stands in temporarily for someone else of the same profession, especially a cleric or doctor.

10a   Optical instrument /must be/ awfully precise when surgery's involved (9)

Op[5] is an informal term for a surgical operation ⇒ a minor op.

12a   Soldiers calm when guarding hospital /or/ academic institution (7,6)

14a   Quickest // run by runner in Hants (8)

Hants[5] is the abbreviation for Hampshire[5], a county on the coast of southern England; county town, Winchester.

The setter uses the word "runner" in the whimsical sense of something that runs or flows — in other words, a river.

The River Test[7] is a river in Hampshire, England. It has a total length of 40 miles (64 km) and it flows through downland from its source near Ashe to the sea at the head of Southampton Water. In its upper reaches it is a chalk stream, and is used for fly fishing for trout. The river plays a significant part in Richard Adams' novel Watership Down.

15a   Dissolute editor // stopped indulging completely (6)

17a   Government department has uncertainty with unknown // change (6)

In the UK, the abbreviation MOD[5] stands for Ministry of Defence.

"unknown" = Y (show explanation )

In mathematics (algebra, in particular), an unknown[10] is a variable, or the quantity it represents, the value of which is to be discovered by solving an equation ⇒ 3y = 4x + 5 is an equation in two unknowns. [Unknowns are customarily represented symbolically by the letters x, y and z.]

hide explanation

19a   Steward in club at Etihad Stadium with one short request (8)

The City of Manchester Stadium[5] in Manchester, England, also known as the Etihad* Stadium for sponsorship reasons, is the home ground of Manchester City Football Club.
* Etihad Airways is a flag carrier and the second-largest airline of the United Arab Emirates (after Emirates).
Manchester City Football Club[7] (often referred to simply as City) is an English professional football [soccer] club, based in Manchester, England, that plays in the Premier League (the top level in the English football league system).

Manchester United Football Club[7] (often referred to simply as United — and often as Man Utd or Man U) is an English professional football [soccer] club, based at Old Trafford [football stadium] in Old Trafford [district of Manchester], Greater Manchester, that also plays in the Premier League.

Apparently, in a manner similar to Manchester United being popularly known as Man U, Manchester City may commonly be referred to as Man C — although I was unable to find evidence of this.

Manciple[5] is a chiefly archaic term for a person in charge of buying provisions for a college, an Inn of Court, or a monastery.

21a   One with exaggerated respect for priests could become so strait-laced (13)

Even with all the checking letters in place, no arrangement of the remaining letters was readily apparent, although I did get most of them in the right order.

A sacerdotalist[5] is is someone who believes in a theological doctrine which ascribes sacrificial functions and spiritual or supernatural powers to ordained priests.

24a   Gross rage may come from // this belligerent person (9)

25a   Bosses of firm // lacking enthusiasm, we hear (5)

26a   Long periods // of leisure on sabbatical (4)

27a   Tense // learner at university, outwardly faultless (10)

"learner" = L (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.

hide explanation

In Britain, up[5] means at or to a university, especially Oxford or Cambridge ⇒ they were up at Cambridge about the same time.

In grammar, the pluperfect[5] (also pluperfect tense) denotes an action completed prior to some past point of time specified or implied, formed in English by had and the past participle, as in he had gone by then.

Down

1d   Look after seaman /in/ capital city (4)

"look" = LO (show explanation )

Lo[5] is an archaic exclamation used to draw attention to an interesting or amazing event and lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them.

hide explanation

Ordinary seaman[5] (abbreviation OS[5]) is the lowest rank of sailor in the Royal Navy, below able seaman.


Oslo[5] is the capital and chief port of Norway, on the south coast at the head of Oslofjord; population 839,423 (2007). Founded in the 11th century, it was known as Christiania (or Kristiania) from 1624 until 1924 in honour of Christian IV of Norway and Denmark (1577–1648).

2d   English witness wants capture of top // person who's got away (7)

3d   Join branch of police /and/ achieve legal recognition (4,4,5)

4d   A quiet break interrupted by onset of loud // cheers? (8)

"quiet" = P (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

5d   Shrub /getting/ good 'ack? (5)

"good" = G (show explanation )

The abbreviation G[10] for good likely relates to its use in grading school assignments or tests.

hide explanation

To a cockney, this quadruped could be either an 'ack or an 'orse.

7d   IRA member on street /becomes/ a dignitary (7)

Provo[5] is an informal term for Provisional[5], a member of the Provisional wings of the IRA (Irish Republican Army, the military arm of Sinn Fein) or Sinn Fein itself (an Irish political movement and party seeking a united republican Ireland).

Provost[5] could mean dignitary in any of several senses:
  1. British term for the head of certain university colleges, especially at Oxford or Cambridge, and public schools;
  2. Scottish term for mayor;
  3. the head of a chapter in a cathedral;
  4. historically, the head of a Christian community.
8d   Something in tool shed maybe // has left little darlings upset -- snake (10)

The adder[5] (also called viper) is a small venomous Eurasian snake (Vipera berus) which has a dark zigzag pattern on its back and bears live young. It is the only poisonous snake in Britain.

11d   Conservative in party flexible -- // one out to impress superiors (6,7)

"Conservative" = C (show explanation )

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

The Conservative Party[5] is a a major British political party 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.

hide explanation

13d   Not following official line, // could make some gaffes (3-7)

Might this clue be directed at a certain unnamed politician south of the border.

16d   Male in the manner of rugby player // who couldn't find the right words? (8)

Mrs. Malaprop[10] is a character in Irish playwright Richard Sheridan's play The Rivals (1775), who makes ludicrous blunders in her use of words.

The character has given her name to the term malapropism[5], the mistaken use of a word in place of a similar-sounding one, often with an amusing effect (e.g. ‘dance a flamingo’ instead of flamenco).

18d   Figure /in/ endless pain after a month (7)

20d   Servant eating too much // stew (7)

Historically, a page[5] is:
  1. a boy in training for knighthood, ranking next below a squire in the personal service of a knight; or
  2. a man or boy employed as the personal attendant of a person of rank.
OTT[5] (short for over the top) is an informal British expression denoting excessive or exaggerated ⇒ presenting him as a goalscoring Superman seems a bit OTT.

22d   Bird /in/ roofless building overlooking lake (5)

Ousel is an alternative spelling of ouzel[5], a bird that resembles the blackbird, especially the ring ouzel.

23d   Revolutionary movement /bringing/ change (4)
Key to Reference Sources: 

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

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Thursday, August 18, 2016 — DT 28100

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28100
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, April 28, 2016
Setter
RayT (Ray Terrell)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28100]
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

In her review, Kath reports finding this puzzle tricky. It has been a while since I solved it but I do remember it putting up a fairly stiff — but not overly onerous — challenge.

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

Notes on Today's Puzzle

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

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

Across

1a   Love being in cool pants? I'm turning // urbane (12)

"love" = O (show explanation )

In tennis, squash, and some other sports, love[5] is a score of zero or nil ⇒ love fifteen. The resemblance of a zero written as a numeral (0) to the letter O leads to the cryptic crossword convention of the word "love" being used to clue this letter.

Although folk etymology has connected the word with French l'oeuf 'egg', from the resemblance in shape between an egg and a zero, the term apparently comes from the phrase play for love (i.e. the love of the game, not for money).

hide explanation

8a   Running alongside sweetheart? (7)

What did she say?
In her review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Kath describes the solution as what two people do when they decide to leg it to go off and get married on the quiet.
Leg it[5] is an informal British term meaning to run away ⇒ he legged it after someone shouted at him.

9a   Shut up inside more open // cooler (7)

11a   Account for // former husband maybe left in drag (7)

12a   Riotous // crew gripping paddle (7)

13a   Light /from/ church on hill (5)

A tor[7] is a large, free-standing rock outcrop that rises abruptly from the surrounding smooth and gentle slopes of a rounded hill summit or ridge crest. In the South West of England, the term is commonly also used for the hills themselves – particularly the high points of Dartmoor in Devon and Bodmin Moor in Cornwall.

 Torch[10] — in addition to its historical meaning — is the British name for a flashlight.

14a   Occasionally // thus answered the compiler's vacuous enigmas (9)

"the 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 "the compiler" with the verb "to be" producing "the compiler's" (a contraction of "the compiler is") which must be replaced by "I'm" (a contraction of "I am").

hide explanation

16a   Short // record frill by Queen, nearly perfect (9)

"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

"Queen" = 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

19a   Fellow robed in Augustinian raiment initially (5)

In her review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Kath shows the definition as being "fellow robed" making the clue a semi-&lit. (semi-all-in-one). With not too much of a stretch one might say that the entire clue provides the definition, in which case the clue would be a true &lit. (or all-in-one) clue.

21a   Back // nag, not first after finish (7)

23a   Modest, taking small // plunge (7)

24a   Raunchier // photo that is found in Sun, right? (7)

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

The Sun was once known for its Page 3[7] feature,  a large photograph of a topless, bare-breasted female glamour model which was usually published on the print edition's third page. 

Delving Deeper
The Page 3 feature first appeared in the newspaper on 17 November 1970 and on the official Page 3 website since June 1999, where it still continues. The terms "Page 3" and "Page Three" are registered trademarks of News UK, parent company of The Sun, although the feature has been imitated in Britain's other 'red top' tabloids and by newspapers internationally.

Page 3 was popular with Sun readers, but it also attracted sustained controversy. Critics argued that Page 3 objectifies and demeans women, while others believe that it should not appear in a generally circulated national newspaper. Some campaigners advocated for legislation to ban Page 3, while others tried to convince newspaper editors to voluntarily drop the feature or modify it so that models no longer appear topless. The No More Page 3 campaign was launched in 2012.

The Irish edition of The Sun dropped topless Page 3 models in August 2013. After several days of non-appearance, an article appeared in sister newspaper The Times on 19 January 2015 indicating that the UK editions were dropping the feature too. The 22 January 2015 edition, in what became a one-off revival, was the last to include the feature.

25a   Green // Party, following article, almost outspoken (7)

Scratching the Surface
A Green party[7] is a formally organised political party based on the principles of Green politics, such as social justice, grassroots democracy, nonviolence, and environmentalism. Green parties exist in nearly 90 countries around the world; many are members of Global Greens, an international network of Green parties and political movements that works to implement the Global Green Charter. In the UK, there are separate Green parties for Scotland, Northern Ireland, and England and Wales.

26a   Free // support before shower in nude, unusually (12)

Kath has managed to include an extra instance of the word "IN" in her review. Her hint should read "A support or prop (before) a shower or spell of wet weather – all contained in (in) an anagram (unusually) of NUDE".

Down

1d   One cuts // start of county cricket, say (7)

Chopper[2,5,10] is a mainly British term for a small hand axe having a short handle and a large blade.

Scratching the Surface
County cricket[5] refers to first-class cricket played in the UK between the eighteen professional teams contesting the County Championship.

Inter-county cricket matches are known to have been played since the early 18th century, involving teams that are representative of the historic counties of England and Wales. Since the late 19th century, there have been two county championship competitions played at different levels: the County Championship, a first-class competition which currently involves eighteen first-class county clubs; and the Minor Counties Championship, which currently involves nineteen English county clubs and one club that is representative of several Welsh counties.[7]

2d   Sort of crop // rotation, endlessly long (7)

3d   Arranger // of scores in a group making comeback (9)

4d   Old iron in fire oddly // present (5)

The symbol for the chemical element iron is Fe[5] (from Latin ferrum).

5d   Muddled // account accepted by one following (7)

6d   Shame, it turned into // disbelief (7)

7d   Criminal even shelters // still (12)

10d   Recording // about soldier on base stifling resistance (12)

"soldier" = GI (show explanation )

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

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 explanation
 
"resistance" = R (show explanation )

In physics, the symbol R[5] is used to represent electrical resistance.

hide explanation

15d   Theatrics /from/ Dame with moral performing (9)

Melodrama[2] (a theatrical genre especially popular during the 19th century) is drama often including musical items and featuring simplified characters, sensational events and traditional justice, usually in the form of a happy ending. The term has since come to be a derogatory term for excessively dramatic behaviour.

Behind the Picture
I am not convinced that the picture chosen by Kath to illustrate her hint would be particularly helpful to British solvers — or, for that matter, virtually anyone else.

The photo would appear to come from an article appearing in the Santa Fe Reporter of August 26, 2015 describing an upcoming production at the Santa Fe Playhouse. The article opens:
Fiesta season is upon us, and with it comes the annual Fiesta Melodrama, which has been presented at the Santa Fe Playhouse for give or take a century. Old photos in the Playhouse foyer dating back to 1919 offer a glimpse into the rich history of this time-honored event. Always written anonymously by a group of dedicated denizens, it’s a part of the melodrama tradition to keep the scriptwriters’ identities secret, as local places and figures are heavily lampooned. Legend has it, back in the ’50s or ’60s, there was an archbishop who actually had to step down over what came to light in the annual melodrama. While difficult to verify, it’s wise to never let the truth get in the way of a good story. “Especially a melodrama,” director Andrew Primm says. (more)

17d   Emperor // deceived over new look, sent up (7)

Hadrian[5] (AD 76-138) was Roman emperor 117–138; full name Publius Aelius Hadrianus. The adopted successor of Trajan, he toured the provinces of the Empire and secured the frontiers.

His name has been immortalized in Hadrian's Wall[5], a Roman defensive wall across northern England, stretching from the Solway Firth in the west to the mouth of the River Tyne in the east (about 120 km, 74 miles). It was begun in AD 122, after the emperor Hadrian’s visit, to defend the province of Britain against invasions by tribes from the north.

18d   Spread // tiny amount holding knife perhaps (7)

Marmite[5] is a British trademark for a dark savoury spread made from yeast extract and vegetable extract.

19d   Safe's too noticeable to hold // swag (7)

A swag[5] is a decorative garland or chain of flowers, foliage, or fruit fastened so as to hang in a drooping curve.

A festoon[5] is a chain or garland of flowers, leaves, or ribbons, hung in a curve as a decoration.

20d   Erin lad possibly from here (7)

I would say that this is a semi-&lit. (semi-all-in-one) clue in which the entire clue is the definition and the wordplay is contained in the portion of the clue marked with a dashed underline.

Erin[5] is an archaic or literary name for Ireland.

22d   Better get over embracing // bird (5)

The egret[5] is any of several species of heron with mainly white plumage, having long plumes in the breeding season.
Key to Reference Sources: 

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