Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Wednesday, March 4, 2015 — DT 27598


Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27598
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, September 18, 2014
Setter
RayT (Ray Terrell)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27598]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Falcon
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★★ Enjoyment - ★★★★
Falcon's Experience
┌────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┐
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Legend:
- solved without assistance
- incorrect prior to use of puzzle solving tools
- solved with assistance from puzzle solving tools
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by puzzle solving tools
- solved but without fully parsing the clue
- unsolved or incorrect prior to visiting Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by solutions from Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- reviewed by Falcon for Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- yet to be solved

Introduction

I found this puzzle difficult the first time around when I reviewed it for Big Dave's Crossword Blog in September. It proved to be nearly as great a challenge the second time around. However, I at least recognized very quickly that I had seen the clues before — even if I didn't immediately recall the solutions to the clues.

By the way, this puzzle appeared in the UK on the day that the the Scottish Independence Referendum was held.

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   One provides indicator untangling unknown expression (10)

This is a semi-&lit. (or, if you prefer, semi-all-in-one) clue. The wordplay (marked by the dashed underline) is an anagram (untangling) of INDICATOR + Y (unknown expression). The entire clue supplies the definition.

6a   Drawing and painting, say, // topless characters (4)

9a   Changed around opening /then/ streaked (10)

10a   Passionate over // great singer (4)

12a   Record's after live // electronic sound (4)

13a   Sparkling // Blue Nile flowing by Tana originally (9)

Scratching the Surface
The Blue Nile[5] is one of the two principal headwaters of the Nile. Rising from Lake Tana in northwestern Ethiopia, it flows some 1,600 km (1,000 miles) southwards then north-westwards into Sudan, where it meets the White Nile at Khartoum.

15a   Non-member // of Scouts I deride (8)

16a   Channel /showing/ 'Midnight Express' (6)

18a   Shout /and/ stamp catching Queen (6)

20a   Stop /for/ siesta, then shower (8)

23a   Most reclusive // individual is still in vacant lot (9)

24a   Excited // before today's grand opening (4)

26a   Piece of land // endlessly consecrated (4)

27a   Rifle's used heartlessly guarding formidable // mission (10)

28a   Trim ends oddly // knotted (4)

29a   Rich /and/ poor with purses switched (10)

Down

1d   Kent town's right to drop // anti-war politician (4)

The name in the solution is applicable to anyone — not just a politician — who happens to hold similar pacifist views.

Dover[5] is a ferry port in Kent, in England, on the coast of the English Channel; population 35,200 (est. 2009). It is mainland Britain’s nearest point to the Continent, being only 35 km (22 miles) from Calais, France.

2d   Rogue on trial /is/ most uncivil (7)

3d   Enigmatic, // popular former wife, flexible about clubs (12)

C[1] is the abbreviation for clubs, a suit in a deck of cards.

4d   Ace number purchased by miss /getting/ spruced up (8)

5d   Sorry /for/ sport fan with English leading (6)

Rugby union[10] (abbreviation RU[5]) is a form of rugby football played between teams of 15 players (in contrast to rugby league[5], which is played in teams of thirteen).


7d   Split embodying design /for/ dress (7)

8d   Bit /of/ stuff in chorus perhaps (10)

Chorus is used as a verb.

11d   I dwell over passion on grass /in/ graphic (12)

Grass is an informal British term meaning (1) as a noun, a police informer[5] and (2) as a verb, to inform the police of someone’s criminal activities or plans[5]someone had grassed on the thieves. This expression may derive from rhyming slang (grasshopper 'copper').

14d   Expert/'s/ relentless, taking on case for upheaval (10)

17d   Remains /in/ undergarment I guess, irregularly (8)

In Britain, a vest[5] is an undergarment worn on the upper part of the body, typically having no sleeves. The garment that North Americans (as well as Australians) call a vest[5] is known in the UK as a waistcoat.

"Irregularly" is used in the sense of 'peculiarly' or 'oddly', and thus indicates a sequence of letters occupying odd-numbered positions.

Delving Deeper
Note that the term "regular" is often employed to indicate that a regular sequence of letters is required. This usually means every second letter, and may denote either the even sequence or the odd sequence.

Therefore, "irregular" always means 'odd' but "regular" can mean either 'even' or 'odd'.

19d   Put out // runner vehicle's trapped (7)

Put out[1] is used in the sense of to disconcert.

21d   Green // Party following American, almost articulate (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.

22d   Job /of/ the compiler on line (6)

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

25d   Boil up /seeing/ politicians without conviction? (4)

Wet[5] is an informal British term for a person lacking forcefulness or strength of character ⇒ there are sorts who look like gangsters and sorts who look like wets. In British political circles, the name wet[5] is applied to a Conservative with liberal tendencies ⇒ the wets favoured a change in economic policy. It was a term frequently used by former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher for those to the left of her in the British Conservative Party [which must have been just about everyone].
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

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Tuesday, March 3, 2015 — DT 27597


Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27597
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Setter
Jay (Jeremy Mutch)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27597]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★ Enjoyment - ★★★★
Falcon's Experience
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Legend:
- solved without assistance
- incorrect prior to use of puzzle solving tools
- solved with assistance from puzzle solving tools
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by puzzle solving tools
- solved but without fully parsing the clue
- unsolved or incorrect prior to visiting Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by solutions from Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- reviewed by Falcon for Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- yet to be solved

Introduction

In today's offering, Jay has delivered a very enjoyable puzzle that should not prove to be an overly difficult challenge.

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

Dissecting the Comments
In Comment #1 at Big Dave's blog, Beaver writes "[I] quite enjoyed [the puzzle] with my egg and soldiers ...".
Soldier[5] is an informal British term for a strip of bread or toast, used for dipping into a soft-boiled egg.

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   Chap's show of amusement /is/ a grave offence (12)

This offence is grave not only in the sense of being serious, but it literally puts someone in their grave.

9a   Cobbled together // dress given to model (9)

Come again!
I was surprised to see Big Dave, in his review, describe "shift" as "an archaic word for a woman's dress".
I suspect he may have misread the entry in The Chambers Dictionary. It would appear to be the preceding entry that is archaic ("old" in Chambers terminology) rather than the entry for a dress.

Shift[1] is defined, in part, as "... a woman's undergarment, a smock, chemise or slip (old); a loose dress, roughly triangular or oblong; ..."

10a   Lament // golf in dreadful environment (5)

Golf[5] is a code word representing the letter G, used in radio communication.

11a   'Inculpate' /is/ found in certain dictionaries (6)

In fact, I found this word in all of my regular stable of dictionaries.

12a   Way to encourage // a swimmer (8)

Behind the Picture
Nicola Sturgeon[7] is the fifth and current First Minister of Scotland [a position roughly equivalent to that of the Premier of a Canadian province] and the Leader of the Scottish National Party. She is the first woman to hold either position.

She assumed office in November 2014 [two months after this puzzle was published in the UK] after the former First Minister, Alex Salmond, resigned following the defeat of the Yes Scotland campaign in the 2014 Scottish independence referendum [which was held on the day after this puzzle appeared in The Daily Telegraph].

13a   Slump disheartened, facing heavy defeat, /but/ shoot (6)

Face[5], as a charade indicator, is  used in the sense to cover the surface of (something) with a layer of a different material the external basement walls were faced with granite slabs.

15a   Pretended // to have had an impact (8)

18a   Sack -- anticipating popular // news item (8)

Bullet[10] is British slang for dismissal [from a job], sometimes without notice (especially in the phrases get or give the bullet). I think it would be rather unnerving, to say the least, for a North American posted to the UK to be told that if they didn't shape up, they would "get the bullet".

Anticipate[5], as a charade indicator, is used in the sense to come or take place before (an event or process expected or scheduled for a later time) ⇒ this is to anticipate the argument.

19a   Slim // pickings ultimately on the African grasslands, say (6)

Veld[5] (or veldt) is open, uncultivated country or grassland in southern Africa.

21a   Do nothing, // say, about a gun unloaded (8)

23a   Note revolutionary chasing unknown // soul (6)

Che Guevara[7] (1928–1967) was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, guerrilla leader, diplomat, and military theorist. A major figure of the Cuban Revolution, his stylized visage has become a ubiquitous countercultural symbol of rebellion and global insignia within popular culture.

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.]

Psyche[5] denotes the human soul, mind, or spirit ⇒ I will never really fathom the female psyche.

26a   Conservative list // showing no criminal offences (5)

27a   Argue about crossing river with sick // fighter (9)

Apparently not every guerilla[5] crosses a river, but this guerrilla[5] certainly does.

28a   Element of grammar /found in/ extract from Hamlet's soliloquy, for example (4,2,6)

The wordplay works equally well when broken down into its individual components (as Big Dave does in his review) or when treated as a phrase.

Down

1d   Quiet semi designed /for/ people with children (7)

Scratching the Surface
According to Oxford Dictionaries Online, semi[5] is an informal British term for a semi-detached house ⇒ a three-bedroomed semi. However, one frequently sees this usage in Canada, although I am confident that we would say ⇒ a three-bedroom semi.

2d   Exposed // senior churchman flipped around end of week (5)

A dean[7], in a religious context, is a cleric holding certain positions of authority within a religious hierarchy. The title is used mainly in the Anglican Communion, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Lutheran Church. In the Church of England and elsewhere in the Anglican Communion, the dean is the chief resident cleric of a cathedral or other collegiate church and the head of the chapter of canons. If the cathedral or collegiate church has its own parish, the dean is usually also rector of the parish.

3d   Bewildered at clues, so // struggle in vain (4,5)

As Big Dave points out in his review, the solution means "a vain struggle".

4d   Small fighting force/'s/ upper-class clown (4)

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

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

5d   Quickly get on with // independent upper-class chap supporting strike (3,2,3)

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

Toff[5] is an informal, derogatory British term for a rich or upper-class person.

6d   Duck // down behind this for cover (5)

I didn't completely get the meaning of the wordplay — mainly because I thought that eiderdown was the filling for a quilt rather than a quilt per se.

Eiderdown[5] is a British term for a quilt filled with down (originally from the eider) or some other soft material.

Therefore the wordplay informs us that "this" (standing for the solution to the clue, or EIDER) when placed after (behind) "duck" produces a word meaning a quilt (cover).

7d   Old and terribly reliant // Asian, perhaps (8)

8d   Confined // writer on setting up of study (6)

14d   Issues // rental agreements after vacating residence (8)

16d   Listen, // this happens in autumn with leader being axed (9)

17d   Hold one's position -- /or/ pose drunkenly (3,5)

18d   Essentials /for/ graduates thus employed (6)

20d   Hair /of/ cat under storm centre? (7)

Cat[5] is short for cat-o'-nine-tails[5], a rope whip with nine knotted cords, formerly used (especially at sea) to flog offenders.

22d   Back in New Jersey, an // assassin (5)

A ninja[5] (Japanese. literally 'spy') is a person skilled in the Japanese art of ninjutsu[5], the traditional Japanese art of stealth, camouflage, and sabotage, developed in feudal times for espionage and now practised as a martial art. Or, as Chambers 21st Century Dictionary, defines it, a ninja[2] is (especially in medieval Japan) one of a body of professional assassins trained in martial arts and stealth.

24d   Some local vets // produce young (5)

25d   Britain raised charge /for/ grouse (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

Monday, March 2, 2015

Monday, March 2, 2015 — DT 27596


Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27596
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Setter
Unknown
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27596]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Gazza
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★ Enjoyment - ★★
Falcon's Experience
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Legend:
- solved without assistance
- incorrect prior to use of puzzle solving tools
- solved with assistance from puzzle solving tools
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by puzzle solving tools
- solved but without fully parsing the clue
- unsolved or incorrect prior to visiting Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by solutions from Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- reviewed by Falcon for Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- yet to be solved

Introduction

Today we have a puzzle from the mystery "Tuesday" setter. In the past, there have been suggestions from British commenters that this setter may be an American. There is certainly a minimal dosage of Britishisms in this puzzle — and one or two Americanisms do creep in.

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   Cared madly about a // place of amusement (6)

4a   Slow progress by son -- // untidy writing results (6)

8a   Speak about a king, leader of Abyssinians /for/ so long (8)

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).

Sayonara[5] is an informal, chiefly US exclamation [of Japanese origin] meaning goodbye ⇒ the beautiful Diana was twenty-one when she said sayonara.

Scratching the Surface
Abyssinia[5] is a former name for Ethiopia.

Delving Deeper
As mentioned by Beaver in Comment #1 on Big Dave's blog,
Sayonara[7] is a 1957 American film starring Marlon Brando. The picture tells the story of an American Air Force flier who was an ace fighter pilot during the Korean War.
Sayonara won four Academy Awards, including acting honors for co-stars Red Buttons and Miyoshi Umeki. The film's screenplay was adapted from the novel of the same name by James Michener. Unlike most 1950s romantic dramas, Sayonara deals squarely with racism and prejudice.

10a   Entirely // at home, small child given love (2,4)

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.

11a   Persistent pain? // One must ring hospital (4)

12a   Flush, getting Oscar for one? // Correct (2,3,5)

Oscar[5] is a code word representing the letter O, used in radio communication.

On the money is a North American expression meaning accurate or correct ⇒ every criticism she made was right on the money. [Cue howls of protest!]

In addition to a few howls of protest on Big Dave's blog (but, surprisingly, none from Brian), there were multiple expressions of confusion with regard to this phrase.

13a   Kowtow, // as the novice violinist might? (3,3,6)

16a   Dread // detention (12)

20a   Happen // to finish first, as opposed to second (4,2,4)

I failed to see the wordplay here, instead thinking that the clue must have been intended to be a double definition. Although I did not find my analysis to be overly compelling, I reasoned that "come to pass" was somehow an allusion to the fact that in order to finish first, one must pass the person who finishes second.

The wordplay is actually COME TOP (to finish first) + AS (from the clue) + (opposed to; up against) S (second).

21a   Run over // a pack animal (4)

This was my last one in.

22a   Trim // conifer (6)

23a   High-up // therefore losing head crossing pit (8)

An eminence[3] is a person of high station or great achievements. In the Roman Catholic Church, Eminence (used with Your or His [but never Her]) is a title and form of address for a cardinal.

24a   Small number endeavour to engage a // public official (6)

25a   Rise to the surface // clearly ahead (4,2)

Down

1d   An oil carrier reportedly // held in place (2,6)

Sounds like (reportedly) A TANKER (an oil carrier).

2d   Job // centre -- husband has to go in (5)

3d   Servant turned up on date /bringing/ rock (7)

5d   That man put in care, possibly // a monster (7)

In Greek mythology, a chimera[5] is a fire-breathing female monster with a lion’s head, a goat’s body, and a serpent’s tail.

6d   Writer // shares out bubbly (9)

7d   Modern // type of coffee, right? (6)

9d   Diplomatic bag? (7-4)

An attaché[5] is a person on the staff of an ambassador having a specialized area of responsibility ⇒ naval and air attachés.

As Gazza notes in his review, this cryptic definition seems more than a bit weak. I would guess that the name for this briefcase came from the very fact that it was typically carried by attachés.

14d   Consequently, // atlas user misled (2,1,6)

15d   Takes in better // paper (8)

17d   Hebridean island almost rounded by fellow // explorer (7)

Iona[5] is a small island in the Inner Hebrides, off the west coast of Mull. It is the site of a monastery founded by St Columba in about 563.

18d   Forming a unit // -- see unit formed (2,5)

Oxford Dictionaries Online claims en suite[5] to be a British expression. This may well be the case as, although the term en suite[3,11] is to be found in the American Heritage Dictionary and Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, it is with somewhat different meanings. Nevertheless, the term en suite is certainly used in Canada in the British sense.

19d   Speak in a soft murmur holding up new // voucher (6)

21d   Disc // wife put on list (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

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Saturday, February 28, 2015 — Play Ball!


Introduction

With spring training underway, it is appropriate that a couple of baseball related clues take to the field in today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon.

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

Solution to Today's Puzzle

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

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

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

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

Across

1a   Prisoner obtaining press // card (8)

CO(MEDIA)N — CON (prisoner) containing (obtaining) MEDIA (press)

5a   Students sent back /for/ mistake (4-2)

{SLIP-UP}< — reversal (sent back) of PUPILS (students)

10a   A-B-C is ridiculously // elementary (5)

BASIC* — anagram (ridiculously) of ABC IS

11a   Sleepiest // promise withdrawn before nap cut short (9)

DROW<|SIEST_ — reversal (withdrawn) of WORD (promise) + SIEST[A] (nap) with the final letter removed (cut short)

12a   In a cell, a new // bond (8)

ALLIANCE* — anagram (new) of IN A CELL A

13a   Slimy crawlers /in/ socks (5)

SLUGS — double definition

15a   Love poetry by one // across the ocean (7)

O|VERSE|A — O (love; nil score in tennis) + VERSE (poetry) + A (one)

I cannot recall ever having seen the solution without a final S. However, the word oversea[3] is found in the American Heritage Dictionary, listed as meaning overseas. Oxford Dictionaries Online characterizes oversea as an alternative British term for overseas[5].

16a   Full // agent left before summer in Quebec (7)

REP|L|ETE — REP (agent) + L (left) +ETE (summer in Quebec)

The French word for summer is été[8].

18a   Dirty, /or/ fresh instead (7)

STAINED* — anagram (fresh) of INSTEAD

21a   Middle Easterner // is one taking in king from the East (7)

IS(RAEL<)I —  {IS (†) + I ([Roman numeral for] one)} containing (taking in) a reversal (from the East) of LEAR (king)

Lear[5] was a legendary early king of Britain, the central figure in Shakespeare’s tragedy King Lear. He is mentioned by the 12th century Welsh chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth in his Historia Regum Britanniae (circa 1139; first printed in 1508), an account of the kings of Britain.

23a   Writer // missing the mark about lake (5)

WI(L)DE — WIDE (missing the mark) containing (about) L (lake)

Oscar Wilde[5] (1854–1900) was an Irish dramatist, novelist, poet, and wit; full name Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde. His advocacy of ‘art for art’s sake’ is evident in his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890). As a dramatist he achieved success with the comedies Lady Windermere’s Fan (1892) and The Importance of Being Earnest (1895). Wilde was imprisoned (1895-7) for homosexual offences and died in exile.

25a   Pale hue, // for example green, associated with second nightmare (8)

EG|G|S|HELL — EG (for example) + G (green) + (associated with) S (second) + HELL (nightmare)

27a   Kid I found in lists // does some groundbreaking work (9)

RO(TOT|I)LLS — {TOT (kid) + I (†)} contained in (found in) ROLLS (lists)

Note to overseas readers: Rototiller[5] is the North American name for a rotovator.

28a   My pet ape /is/ hungry (5)

EMPTY* — anagram (ape; berserk) of MY PET

29a   Street baseball team in Tampa // wanders (6)

ST|RAYS — ST (street) + RAYS (baseball team in Tampa)

This team is actually not based in Tampa but in St. Petersburg.

The Tampa Bay Rays[7] (formerly the Tampa Bay Devil Rays) are an American professional baseball team based in St. Petersburg, Florida, that competes in Major League Baseball (MLB). They are currently a member of the East Division of the American League.

Tampa Bay[7] is a large, natural harbor and estuary along the Gulf of Mexico on the west central coast of Florida. "Tampa Bay" is not the name of any municipality. This misconception may stem from the names of several local professional sports franchises which seek to draw support from the entire Tampa Bay Area, the hub of which is the city of Tampa, Florida. St. Petersburg[7] is the second largest city in the Tampa Bay Area.

30a   Brilliance in idiot/’s/ lack of colour (8)

A(SHINE)SS — SHINE (brilliance) contained in (in) ASS (idiot)

Down

1d   Die /from/ Chicago player error (4)

CUB|E — CUB (Chicago [baseball] player) + E (error; baseball term)

Chicago Cubs[7] are an American professional baseball franchise located on the north side of Chicago, Illinois. They are members of the Central Division of Major League Baseball's National League.

2d   Homer’s bartender getting deal /in/ white wine (7)

MO(SELL)E — MOE (Homer's bartender) containing (getting) SELL (deal)

Morris "Moe" Szyslak[7] is a fictional character from the American animated television series, The Simpsons. He is the proprietor and bartender of Moe's Tavern, a Springfield bar frequented by Homer Simpson.

Moselle[5] (also Mosel) is a light medium-dry white wine produced in the valley of the River Moselle. The Mosel[5] (also Moselle) is a river of western Europe, which rises in the Vosges mountains of northeastern France and flows 550 km (346 miles) north-east through Luxembourg and Germany to meet the Rhine at Koblenz.

3d   Poet // spilled ink on disc (9)

DICKINSON* — anagram (spilled) of INK ON DISC

Emily Dickinson[5] (1830–1886) was an American poet. Her poems use an elliptical language, emphasizing assonance and alliteration rather than rhyme, reflecting the struggles of her reclusive life.

4d   Riders // notice lair by day, mostly (7)

AD|DEN|DA_ — AD ([commercial] notice) + DEN (lair) + (by) DA[Y] with the final letter removed (mostly)

6d   Cobbler’s equipment // endures (5)

LASTS — double definition

7d   Suppose // program’s beginning with applicant’s submission (7)

P|RESUME — P {initial letter of (beginning of; 's beginning) Program} + (with) RESUME (applicant's submission; résumé)

8d   Asperities ruined // bakery (10)

PATISSERIE* — anagram (ruined) of ASPERITIES

9d   Party outfit/’s/ place marker (3-3)

DO|G-EAR — DO (party) + GEAR (outfit)

14d   Exercise conflict dividing garden tools /and/ domestic items (10)

HO(USE|WAR)ES — {USE (exercise) + WAR (conflict)} contained in (dividing) HOES (garden tools)

17d   Pierce has changed // game (9)

PARCHEESI* — anagram (changed) of PIERCE HAS

19d   Select athlete // fifty-second in place for sacrifices (3-4)

AL(L|-S)TAR — {L ([Roman numeral for] fifty) + S (second)} contained in (in) ALTAR (place for sacrifice)

20d   Lives // down by water sources (6)

D|WELLS — D (down) + (by) WELLS (water sources)

21d   Room renter gags out loud /and/ swallows (7)

{IN|GESTS}~ — sounds like (out loud) {INN (room renter) + JESTS (gags)}

22d   Feel lip’s edge partially // curve (7)

_EL|LIPS|E_ — hidden in (partially) feEL LIPS Edge

24d   Guard behind the foremost // competitor (5)

_ENTRY — [S]ENTRY with the initial letter removed ([portion of the word found] behind the foremost [initial letter])

26d   Some breads // react to yeast, reportedly (4)

RYES~ — sounds like (reportedly) RISE (react to yeast)

Epilogue

The title of today's blog is inspired by 29a and 1d.
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, February 27, 2015

Friday, February 27, 2015 — DT 27595


Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27595
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Monday, September 15, 2014
Setter
Rufus (Roger Squires)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27595]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Miffypops
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

This offering from Rufus should get your Friday off to a pleasant start. I think I was lulled into a state of inattention and carelessly missed a key element of the wordplay in one clue. As for the solution that I had "incorrect", my answer was probably equally valid — or nearly so.

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   Cracked up, oddly enough (6,4)

I'm afraid I must take issue with Miffypops on two points. First, I would not call this an all-in-one clue. Rather I see it as a cryptic definition.

Second, I think the clue is to be read in the context of mental health rather than disabled equipment. If it were the latter, to me "cracked up" would signify having been involved in an accident, whereas "broken down" would indicate a mechanical failure.

Crack up[5] is an informal term meaning to suffer an emotional breakdown under pressure ⇒ I feel I’m cracking up, always on the verge of tears.

6a   Lower // piece of iceberg? (4)

Lower is used in the whimsical cryptic crossword sense of something that lows (moos) — in other words, a bovine animal.

A calf[5] is a floating piece of ice detached from an iceberg.

10a   Works /and/ plays to music (5)

An opus[10] (plural opuses or opera) is an artistic composition, especially a musical work.

In the second definition, opera is used as a collective noun denoting a musical genre rather than an individual work Opera is part of the Western classical music tradition.

11a   Achievement of one who doesn't miss a trick (5,4)

In the game of bridge, a grand slam[5] is the bidding and winning of all thirteen tricks.

12a   Cause amazement /to/ a holy man on his mobile (8)

Although Miffypops includes the ON as part of the anagram fodder, it can actually stand on its own with the wordplay being A + ST + ON + an anagram (mobile) of HIS.

Scratching the Surface
Mobile[5] is a British term for a mobile phone [North American cell phone[5]] ⇒ we telephoned from our mobile to theirs.

13a   Unfinished picture frame (5)

15a   Regard Shaw plays /as/ utter nonsense (7)

Eyewash[2] [found in American as well as British dictionaries] is a colloquial, derogatory term for (1) nonsense or (2) insincere or deceptive talk.

Scratching the Surface

George Bernard Shaw[5] (1856–1950) was an Irish dramatist and writer. His best-known plays combine comedy with a questioning of conventional morality and thought; they include Man and Superman (1903), Pygmalion (1913), and St Joan (1923). A socialist, he became an active member of the Fabian Society. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1925.

17a   Say something quickly /and/ stagger away (4,3)

19a   Relationship // hit by drink (7)

21a   A muscle unaffected by being retracted (7)

I found the correct solution but I confess failing to realize that "unaffected by being retracted" is indicating a palindrome.

I had presumed that the setter must be implying that since the muscle is a rotator it does not extend and contract — although I would find such a contention difficult to accept. I think that a rotator must extend and contract, albeit about an axis. Consequently, I think the phrase "unaffected by being retracted" actually has nothing to do with the movement of the muscle.

I debated whether to include a dashed underline below the latter part of the clue. In the end, I decided that the phrase "unaffected by being retracted" does provide elaboration that helps to narrow the scope of the definition. In this case, the elaboration concerns the structure of the word rather than the meaning of word.

22a   Conservative-Labour // rift (5)

The Labour Party[5] in Britain is a left-of-centre political party formed to represent the interests of ordinary working people that since the Second World War has been in power 1945–51, 1964–70, 1974-9, and 1997–2010. Arising from the trade union movement at the end of the 19th century, it replaced the Liberals as the country’s second party after the First World War.

24a   Loudmouthed female // union member to use the rod first (8)

A fishwife[5] [found in American as well as British dictionaries] is a coarse-mannered woman who is prone to shouting the screech of a fishwife.

27a   Hate waiting? // I'm open about one (9)

Behind the Picture
The illustration in Miffypops' review comes from one of his favourite reference soures, My First Dictionary, a blog which evolved into a book.

Here is how a review in the Boston Globe described the book:

In his new book “My First Dictionary: Corrupting Young Minds One Word at a Time’’ (It Books), Ross Horsley, a British librarian with a wicked sense of humor, skewers the adult world of lies and secrets, infidelities, and overindulgences. He accomplishes this by pairing cheery illustrations based on a children’s dictionary from the 1970s with his own twisted and irreverent definitions. Each word, from “abandon’’ to “zoo,’’ is used in a simply stated vignette involving adult subject matter, running the gamut from sexually transmitted diseases, pedophilia, and adultery to alcoholism, suicide, and murder. Horsley is an equal opportunity offender.


28a   Appearance /of/ men, it is said (5)

29a   Flower /that's/ 18 Down (4)

The numeral "18" combined with the directional indicator "Down" is a cross reference indicator directing the solver to insert the solution to clue 18d in its place to complete the clue. The directional indicator is often omitted in situations like this where only a single clue starts in square 18.

Flower is used in the whimsical cryptic crossword sense of something that flows — in other words, a river.

30a   What travellers, soldiers and clerics do (4,6)

This was my last one solved and I pondered over it for a long time before the penny dropped.

The phrase take holy orders[5] means to become an ordained member of the clergy his first ambition was to take holy orders.

Down

1d   Hollow sound of success in business (4)

2d   Fail to turn out as intended (9)

Like Miffypops, I initially took this to be a driving reference, writing in OVERSTEER — meaning to have a tendency to turn more sharply than intended. Fortunately, this error did not create a serious impediment to reaching my destination.

3d   Muse // a long time on uplifting part of the Bible (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.

4d   Trouble with fog in vessel /seeking/ shark (7)

5d   Come safely through // the elements (7)

7d   Collected maps /of/ African mountains (5)

The Atlas Mountains[5] are a range of mountains in North Africa extending from Morocco to Tunisia in a series of chains.

8d   It could be the concern of several generations (6,4)

I had FAMILY FARM. It does fit and is almost as equally a valid answer.

9d   He will be embraced by wildly ardent // fan (8)

14d   Not a direct criminal // slander (10)

Detraction[10] is (1) the act of discrediting or detracting from another's reputation, especially by slander; or (2) disparagement.

16d   He no longer believes /in/ a teapot's brewing (8)

An apostate[5] is a person who renounces a religious or political belief or principle ⇒ after fifty years as an apostate he returned to the faith.

18d   Behaving badly, // ejected from queue? (3,2,4)

While I suppose the second part of the clue might be considered to be a definition (as Miffypops shows it), I lean toward it being a charade in which the wordplay is OUT (ejected) + OF (from) + LINE (queue).

20d   Staff head's missed tea breaks /to obtain/ material (7)

Taffeta[5] is a fine lustrous silk or similar synthetic fabric with a crisp texture.

21d   Favour shown to electorate (7)

A favour[2] is a knot of ribbons worn as a badge of support for a particular team, political party, etc., although Oxford Dictionaries Online characterises this usage of favour[5] as archaic.

A rosette[5] is a rose-shaped decoration, typically made of ribbon, worn by supporters of a sports team or political party or awarded as a prize ⇒ the showjumping rosettes Samantha had accumulated.

In Britain, it is a common practice to wear a rosette to show one's allegiance to a sports team or political party.

23d   One way to apply a finish to education (5)

Students at Everest College recently had another method thrust upon them.

25d   It's laid down by our betters (5)

26d   Leonard's // telescope will have one (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