Monday, December 5, 2016

Monday, December 5, 2016 — DT 28205

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28205
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Monday, August 29, 2016
Setter
Rufus (Roger Squires)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28205]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Miffypops
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★★ Enjoyment - ★★★
Falcon's Experience
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Legend:
- solved without assistance
- incorrect prior to use of puzzle solving tools
- solved with assistance from puzzle solving tools
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by puzzle solving tools
- solved but without fully parsing the clue
- unsolved or incorrect prior to visiting Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by solutions from Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- reviewed by Falcon for Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- yet to be solved
Notes
The National Post has skipped DT 28204 which was published in The Daily Telegraph on Saturday, August 27, 2016.

Introduction

I found this puzzle a touch more difficult than a typical Rufus puzzle.

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

Notes on Today's Puzzle

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

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

Across

1a   Cuts into two // parts, taking half second (7)

Our friendly publican Miffypops has given short measure in his hint which should read "A four letter word meaning parts or pieces ...". Of course, I am sure he would say that he is just getting his first 'intentional mistake' in early.

5a   Bill /is/ an aristocrat, it's said (7)

Precision is hardly Miffypops' forte. Obviously, one can't split a seven letter word (1,5). However, a (1,5) phrase does sound like the seven-letter solution. Or perhaps, he is just getting his second 'intentional mistake' in early.

A count[5] is a foreign [from a British perspective] nobleman whose rank corresponds to that of a British earl.

9a   A temple ornament? (5)

10a   Fear // capture (9)

11a   Letter-openers? (10)

The opening line of a letter is typically "Dear ...".

12a   Beast // left one with no going back (4)

14a   It's not in one's own interest to display it (12)

18a   Mistakenly denounces art /that's now/ done without thinking (6,6)

21a   Articulates further /and/ sums up (4)

22a   Torch // left burnt residue in passage (10)

This is not the first time that we have seen the solution to this clue recently. The first time, I was a bit surprised. By now, I am beginning to wonder if this North American term may be gaining a foothold in Britain — a suspicion that would seem to be supported by the discussion on Big Dave's Crossword Blog.

Torch[10] — in addition to its historical meaning — is the British name for a flashlight. From a British perspective, flashlight[5] is the North American term for an electric torch — as Kitty points out in Comment #7 on Big Dave's Crossword Blog.

In his review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Miffypops offers one possible explanation for "flight" and Jose in a reply to Comment #2 offers a second. I will offer a third.

Flight[5] is a literary term for the swift passage of time ⇒ the never-ending flight of future days.

What the "L" are they talking about?
Many of the comments on Big Dave's Crossword Blog refer to an error which cropped up in the online version of the puzzle in the UK (but, I would surmise, not in the print edition). The clue appears correctly today in the National Post. The clue as it was shown on the Telegraph Puzzles website — before being corrected — was:
  • 22a   Torch leaving burnt residue in passage (10)
With this wording, there is nothing to clue one of the two Ls in the solution.

25a   Musters // to call for drink (7,2)

"drink" = SUP (show explanation )

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.

hide explanation

26a   Gather // information, alternating with the French (5)

Gen[5] is an informal British term for information ⇒ you’ve got more gen on him than we have.

"the French | the Parisian" = LA (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

Behind the Picture
Miffypops illustrates his hint with a picture of The Gleaners[7], an oil painting by French artist Jean-François Millet (1814–1875) completed in 1857. It depicts three peasant women gleaning a field of stray grains of wheat after the harvest. The painting is famous for featuring in a sympathetic way what were then the lowest ranks of rural society; this was received poorly by the French upper classes.

27a   Uncle out to get us -- /that's/ the heart of the matter (7)

28a   A game // cut short (7)

Down

1d   Little girl with fish // to sell down the river (6)

Bet[7] is a nickname for Elizabeth — a further shortening of nicknames such as Betsy or Betty.

In his review, Miffypops refers to a ray as "a member of the Batoid family". Strictly speaking, the batoids[7] constitute a superorder rather than a family.

Are they or are they not?
The American Heritage Dictionary defines a ray[3] as:
  1. any of various cartilaginous fishes of the superorder Batoidea, having ventral gill slits, enlarged pelvic fins that are fused to the sides of the head, and a flattened body, and including the stingrays, skates, and guitarfishes;
  2. any of various members of this superorder having a whiplike tail usually with a stinging spine, such as a stingray, considered in contrast to [i.e., not including] a guitarfish, sawfish, or skate.

2d   Drink that is mixed // and cast around (6)

Shy[5] is a dated term meaning, as a noun, an act of flinging or throwing something at a target and, as a verb, to fling or throw (something) at a target ⇒ he tore the spectacles off and shied them at her.

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Miffypops writes with respect to "shy" Think coconuts at a fete.
Fete[5] (also fête) is a British term for a public function, typically held outdoors and organized to raise funds for a charity, including entertainment and the sale of goods and refreshments ⇒ a church fete.

 Coconut shy[5] is a British term for a fairground sideshow where balls are thrown at coconuts in an attempt to knock them off stands.

3d   Changed circumstances may put a different complexion on them (10)

A chameleon[5] (also chamaeleon) is a small slow-moving Old World lizard with a prehensile tail, long extensible tongue, protruding eyes that rotate independently, and a highly developed ability to change colour.

4d   Checks // foundation garments (5)

Stays[5] is a historical term for a corset made of two pieces laced together and stiffened by strips of whalebone.

5d   Sadly Pat and Ernest split up /for/ now (2,7)

I think that the anagram indicator might be "sadly ... split up", otherwise there are a lot of words in the clue which are not accounted for. The parsing for this interpretation is an anagram (sadly ... split up) of {PAT + (and) ERNEST}.

However, a better option might be to parse the clue as an anagram (sadly) of PAT + an anagram (split up) of ERNEST.

6d   Signals /and/ strikes the ball? (4)

Cue[3] (verb)  means to strike (a ball) with a cue.

7d   Tune died out, // in need of revising (8)

8d   Insisted on getting amended // order (8)

As compared to Miffypops measure, I would top up the anagram indicator a smidgen making it "on getting amended".

13d   Having surveyed houses one may warn of future problems (10)

In astrology, a house[10] is any any of the 12 divisions of the zodiac.

15d   The last people you expect to see in knockout competitions (9)

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Miffypops writes When all others have been eliminated from a knockout competition these two individuals or teams will contest the final tie.
Tie[5] is a British term meaning a sports match between two or more players or teams in which the winners proceed to the next round of the competition Swindon Town have gained themselves a third round tie against Oldham.

The foregoing usage example does not mean — as a North American might presume — that Swindon Town and Oldham played to a draw in the third round. Rather, it means that Swindon Town defeated their opponent in the second round and will move on to face Oldham in the third round.

16d   Two fools in // killer // combination (8)

In an unusual clue construction, the definition ends up in the middle of this clue in which the word "combination" serves as a charade indicator denoting a combination of ASS ([first] fool) + ASS ([second] fool) + IN (from the clue).

17d   One that's learned /what's/ not practical (8)

Miffypops neglects to mark the second definition in this double definition.

19d   Old guards about /to get/ settled (6)

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Miffypops tells us that the container in this containment type clue is a word meaning old as in OAP.
In Britain, the abbreviation OAP[5] stands for old-age pensioner.

20d   Attitude // that a driver may take on a course (6)

The "driver" is here is a golfer preparing to strike a ball.

23d   A shade // sanctimonious in the main (5)

Pi[5] is an informal British short form for pious. 

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

24d   Manage /to get/ note supporting policeman (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, December 3, 2016

Saturday, December 3, 2016 — Working in the Kitchen

Introduction

As someone has already commented, today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon provides a bit stiffer workout than that to which we have become accustomed.

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   Adds up the number of // noblemen (6)

COUNTS — double definition

4a   Send // Spanish article into trench (8)

DI(SP|A)TCH — {SP (Spanish; abbrev.) + A ([indefinite] article)} contained in (into) DITCH (trench)

9a   Try hard // variety (6)

STRAIN — double definition

10a   Merchandising including piano // lesson for a young student (8)

S(P)ELLING — SELLING (merchandising) containing (including) P (piano; musical direction meaning to play softly)

11a   Get barge moving behind empty // chopper (3,6)

E|GGBEATER* — anagram (moving) of GET BARGE following (behind) E (empty; abbrev. found on a fuel gauge)

Chopper[3,4,11] and eggbeater[4,11] are both informal terms for a helicopter, the latter being a chiefly US and Canadian usage.

13a   Hour in pleasant // alcove (5)

NIC(H)E — H (hour; abbrev.) contained in (in) NICE (pleasant)

14a   The actor in Michael Collins fights // in that neighbourhood (11)

THE|REA|BOUTS — THE (†) + REA (actor in Michael Collins) + BOUTS (fights)

Stephen Rea[7] is an Irish film and stage actor who has appeared in high-profile films such as V for Vendetta, Michael Collins, Interview with the Vampire and Breakfast on Pluto. Rea was nominated for an Academy Award for his lead performance as Fergus in the 1992 film The Crying Game.

18a   Mailmen care erratically /for/ tree (8,3)

{AMERICAN ELM}* — anagram (erratically) of MAILMEN CARE

21a   Big on dancing // game (5)

BINGO* — anagram (dancing) of BIG ON

22a   Play // goalie in Olympian novel (9)

PY(G)MALION — G (goalie; abbrev. found on hockey team rosters) contained in (in) anagram (novel) of OLYMPIAN

Pygmalion[7] is a play by George Bernard Shaw, named after a character from Greek mythology. It was first presented on stage to the public in 1913. The work remains Shaw's most popular play and was the inspiration for the highly romanticized 1956 Lerner and Loewe musical My Fair Lady and the 1964 film of the same title.

24a   Get ready to shoot a very // showy bird (8)

COCK|A|TOO — COCK (get ready to shoot) + A (†) + TOO (very)

25a   Old communist // struggle embraced by drunk (6)

SO(VIE)T — VIE (struggle) contained in (embraced by) SOT (drunk)

26a   U. S. writers in Southeast // drama (8)

S(US|PENS)E — {US (U.S.) + PENS (writers)} contained in (in) SE (Southeast; abbrev.)

27a   Sayings // lose freshness in product pitches (6)

AD(AGE)S — AGE (lose freshness) contained in (in) ADS (product pitches)

Down

1d   Tape // collection kept in Hindu class (8)

CAS(SET)TE — SET (collection) contained in (kept in) CASTE (Hindu class)

2d   Stripped in a way // during, e. g., Lost (8)

UNRIGGED* — anagram (lost) of DURING EG

Scratching the Surface
Lost[7] is an American television drama series that originally aired on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) from 2004 to 2010.

3d   Work with excellent // material (5)

TOIL|E — TOIL (work) + (with) E (excellent; abbrev. used by teachers to grade students' assignments)

Toile[10] is a transparent linen or cotton fabric.

5d   Begging // rascal or adjusting pitch (11)

IMP|OR|TUNING — IMP (rascal) + OR (†) + TUNING (adjusting pitch)

6d   I alone spy shifting // group of islands (9)

POLYNESIA* — anagram (shifting) of I ALONE SPY

7d   Jerk, // leader of Tories, with spellbinding woman? (6)

T|WITCH — T (leader [initial letter] of Tories) + (with) WITCH (spellbinding woman; one who casts spells)

8d   The man inside warmly greets // a famous recluse (6)

HUG(HE)S — HE (the man) contained in (inside) HUGS (warmly greets)

Howard Hughes[7] (1905–1976) was an American entrepreneur, known during his life as one of the most financially successful individuals in the world. First making a name for himself as a film producer, he then became an influential figure in the aviation industry. Later in life, he became known for his eccentric behavior and reclusive lifestyle which was caused in part by a worsening obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) and chronic pain from a plane crash.

12d   Poor Pablo’s stone // utensils (11)

TABLESPOONS* — anagram (poor) of PABLOS STONE

15d   Complex // tale a bore spun (9)

ELABORATE* — anagram (spun) of TALE A BORE

16d   Shy // about getting weary (8)

RE|TIRING — RE (about) + TIRING (getting weary)

17d   Some caveman ate some // stems (8)

_EMAN|ATE|S_ — hidden in (some) cavEMAN ATE Some

19d   Device for calculating // air conditioning in a bus (6)

A|B(AC)US — AC (air conditioning) contained in (in) {A (†) + BUS (†)}

20d   New York basketball team // said no (6)

KNICKS~ — sounds like (said) NIX (no; slang)

The New York Knickerbockers[7], commonly referred to as the Knicks, are an American professional basketball team based in New York City. The Knicks compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member club of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. The team plays its home games at Madison Square Garden, located in the borough of Manhattan.

The Knicks are one of two NBA teams located in New York City; the other being the Brooklyn Nets. The team, established in 1946, was one of the founding members of the Basketball Association of America (BAA), which became the NBA after merging with the rival National Basketball League (NBL) in 1949. Along with the Boston Celtics, the Knicks are one of only two original NBA teams still located in its original city.

23d   Duck // enthusiastic about bagel (5)

AV(O)ID — AVID (enthusiastic) containing (about) O ([letter that looks like a] bagel)

Epilogue

The title of today's review was inspired by 11a and 12d with combined with a bit of work from 9a and 3d.
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, December 2, 2016

Friday, December 2, 2016 — DT 28203

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28203
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, August 26, 2016
Setter
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28203]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Tilsit
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

Once again, I would have given this puzzle one more star for difficulty than was awarded by the British reviewer.

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   English bobby in helmet? // A cool dude (6)

In Britain, bobby[5] is an informal name for a police officer. The name comes from a nickname for Robert, the given name of Sir Robert Peel[5] (1788–1850), British Prime Minister 1834-5 and 1841-6, who as Home Secretary (1828–30) established the Metropolitan Police [perhaps better known as Scotland Yard].

PC[5] is a British designation for a police constablePC Bartholomew made his report.

Hepcat[5] is a dated* informal term for a stylish or fashionable person, especially in the sphere of jazz or popular music ⇒ it's rock's most waggish hepcat, on the third of his nine showbiz lives.
* In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Tilsit associates the term with the 1960s but it actually goes back to the 1930s era.
5a   Celebrity female is accompanying husband, // a swimmer (8)

9a   Take lingerers apart /in/ a situation wreaking havoc with the economy? (7,6)

10a   I concede, having admitted small number // with insufficient know-how (8)

I would say that Tilsit comes up short on the definition which must include the word "with" to make it an adjective rather than a noun.

11a   Remember // everyone at the sports ground (6)

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

12a   A soldier enters a party // in leisurely fashion (6)

"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

Adagio[5] is a musical term denoting (especially as a direction) in slow time.

14a   I, having taken a bash after school, /must get/ foot treatment (8)

Like Tilsit, I was sorely tempted to go for a PEDICURE but fortunately held off when I could not justify the wordplay.

A pod[5] is a small herd or school of marine animals, especially whales ⇒ a pod of 500 dolphins frolicking in the bay.

In Britain, podiatry[5] is another term for chiropody[5] whereas, in the US, chiropody[3] is another term for podiatry. According to the US publication -Ologies & -Isms, chiropody[a] is an earlier and still frequent term for podiatry.

[a] -Ologies & -Isms. (2008) The Gale Group, Inc.

16a   Given external stimulus, mean fellow almost // made a commitment (8)

The PROD is merely a "stimulus" rather than an "external stimulus". It may help the solver to undo the inverted structure of the clue to get:
  • Mean fellow almost given external stimulus
which parses as MISE {MISE[R] (mean fellow) with the final letter removed (almost)} contained in (given external) PROD (stimulus).

19a   'Character' -- // a nut wandering about (6)

21a   Crows // left penned in by animals (6)

23a   Refuse to accept // sailor, one hiding head by entrance (8)

"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

25a   Some toiler got mad -- // a person who can tell what's in the air (13)

Behind the Video
Tilsit illustrates his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog with a clip of semi-retired British weather forecaster Michael Fish[7] who is best known for his BBC Weather television presentations, although he was actually employed by the Met Office, the United Kingdom's national weather service.

26a   Spotted /having/ little kiss in winter vehicle (8)

27a   Royal family // exciting characters in Stroud (6)

The House of Tudor[5] was the English royal dynasty which held the throne from the accession of Henry VII in 1485 until the death of Elizabeth I in 1603.

Scratching the Surface
Stroud[7] is a market town and civil parish in the county of Gloucestershire, England.

Down

2d   Occupied, /showing/ purpose -- good time to get stuck in (7)

"good" = G (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

3d   Worker in firm /produces/ piece of poetry (5)

"worker" = ANT (show explanation )

The word "worker" and the phrase "social worker" are commonly used in cryptic crossword puzzles to clue ANT or BEE.

A worker[5] is a neuter or undeveloped female bee, wasp, ant, or other social insect, large numbers of which do the basic work of the colony.

In crossword puzzles, "worker" will most frequently be used to clue ANT and occasionally BEE but I have yet to see it used to clue WASP. Of course, "worker" is sometimes also used to clue HAND or MAN.

hide explanation

A canto[5] is one of the sections into which certain long poems are divided ⇒ Dante 's Divine Comedy has 100 cantos.

4d   Fighters // moved very quickly, pursued by a blonde bombshell (9)

My first thought was that the fighters were Hawker Tornadoes[5], a British single-seat fighter aircraft from World War II. I even went so far as writing it into the grid as it matched all the checking letters. However, I couldn't get the parsing to work and so kept working away at it until the blonde bombshell burst into mind.

Diana Dors[7] (1931–1984), born Diana Mary Fluck, was an English actress. She first came to public notice as a blonde bombshell in the style of Marilyn Monroe, as promoted by her first husband Dennis Hamilton, mostly via sex film-comedies and risqué modelling. When it turned out that Hamilton had been defrauding her for his own benefit, she had little choice but to play up to her established image, and she made tabloid headlines with the adult parties reportedly held at her house. Later she showed a genuine talent for TV and cabaret, and gained new popularity as a regular chat-show guest.

What's in a Name
I was half expecting that Kath might reprise an anecdote that she has shared on a couple of occasions on Big Dave's Crossword Blog (DT 26989 and DT 27985).

It seems that early in her career, Diana Dors (who was born Diana Fluck) was to open a church fair in her home town of Swindon. The local vicar [minister], very consciously making every effort not to make the obvious slip of the tongue, introduced her with the following words " ... and now I’m pleased to introduce you all to Diana Dors – some of you may remember her better as Diana Clunt".

5d   Pulpits badly produced // come apart (5,2)

6d   Female MP once /in/ a never-ending rage (5)

Viscountess Nancy Astor[5] (1879–1964) was an American-born British Conservative politician; born Nancy Witcher Langhorne. She became the first woman to sit in the British House of Commons when she succeeded her husband as MP for Plymouth in 1919.

7d   Over-smart church sculptures? // Such may be seen in lecture (4,5)

8d   S. Pickwick's valet, // one to bulge out (7)

I got the solution based on checking letters and definition but needed to do some research on the wordplay.

Samuel Pickwick[7] is the main protagonist of The Pickwick Papers (in full The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club), an 1836 novel by English writer Charles Dickens (1812–1870). Sam Weller[7] is his valet — and would not appear to be "one to bulge out".

13d   My acting's absurdly // acrobatic (9)

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Tilsit suggests that it may be helpful for the solver to Think Max Whitlock.
Max Whitlock[7] is a British artistic gymnast. He is a five-time Olympic medalist, winning two golds and three bronzes, and a five-time world medalist with one gold and four silvers. He became Britain's first ever gold medalist in artistic gymnastics when he won both the men's floor and pommel horse exercises at the 2016 Summer Olympics. With ten medals and three titles in Olympic and world championships, Whitlock is the most successful gymnast in his nation's history.

15d   Maybe enjoying restaurant // clamour and latest taste? (6,3)

Gout[5] is a literary term denoting a drop or spot of something ⇒ gouts of blood erupted from the wound.

17d   Go round with cleaner /to get/ bit of food (7)

A rollmop[10] (from German Rollmops, from rollen to roll + Mops pug dog) is a herring fillet rolled, usually around onion slices, and pickled in spiced vinegar.

18d   Red card -- // feature of a ball game (7)

20d   One goes round // rubbish dumped on a hill (7)

Rubbish and rot are both used in the sense of nonsense.

"hill" = TOR (show explanation )

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.

hide explanation

22d   Stolen stuff's turning up /in/ seat (5)

24d   Liberal admitted to good Scottish // society (5)

"Liberal" = L (show explanation )

The Liberal Party[5] (abbreviation Lib.[5] or L[2])* in Britain emerged in the 1860s from the old Whig Party and until the First World War was one of the two major parties in Britain. In 1988 the party regrouped with elements of the Social Democratic Party to form the Social and Liberal Democrats, now known as the Liberal Democrats. However, a small Liberal Party still exists although it has no representation in the UK Parliament, no Members of the European Parliament (MEP), no members of the Scottish Parliament, nor any members of the National Assembly for Wales.[7]

Although Lib.[5] may be the more common abbreviation for the Liberal Party in Britain—likely to distinguish it from the the Labour Party[5] (abbreviation Lab.[5])—Chambers 21st Century Dictionary indicates that L[2] may also be used.

hide explanation

Guid[5] is a Scottish form of good.

A guild[5] (also gild) is:
  1. a medieval association of craftsmen or merchants, often having considerable power; or
  2. an association of people for mutual aid or the pursuit of a common goal.
What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Tilsit suggests that it may be helpful for the solver to think Townswomen.
The Townswomen's Guilds (TG)[7] is a British women's organisation. The movement was formed in 1929 when women first won the right to vote and with the aim of educating women about good citizenship. Since then, TG has lobbied on national and local issues. Townswomen are encouraged to have ideas and views, develop new skills, campaign on various issues, support each other, make new friends and above all, have fun.
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, December 1, 2016

Thursday, December 1, 2016 — DT 28202

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28202
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, August 25, 2016
Setter
Unknown
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28202]
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

This puzzle provided me with a pretty stiff mental workout so I would place it solidly in three star territory for difficulty. My hat is off to Kath who seems to have polished it off with far less effort.

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

Error in Today's Puzzle

There is an error in the first clue in today's puzzle. The clue which appears in the paper as:
  • 1a   A chirpy host excited fund?
  •         raising outlet (7,4)
should read:
  • 1a   A chirpy host excited fund-raising outlet (7,4)
That is, the question mark which appears in the clue should actually be a hyphen.

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   A chirpy host excited // fund-raising outlet (7,4)

Charity shop[5] is a British term for a shop where second-hand goods are sold to raise money for a charity. The North American equivalent would be thrift shop[5] (also thrift store).

10a   Daughter during dinner maybe /will get/ award (5)

11a   Dubious // English queen with one noisy following (9)

"queen" = QU (show explanation )

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

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

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

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

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

hide explanation

12a   Joy about origins of excellent victory -- /and/ exalted feeling (9)

13a   A period recalled /in/ stadium (5)

You have to treat "a period" as a phrase and replace it with an equivalent phrase in which the indefinite article changes in order to accord with the noun it modifies.

14a   Interfere /in/ Florida city broadcast (6)

Despite the positioning of the word "broadcast" in the clue, I think it is actually the pronunciation of the word "tamper" that we are supposed to focus on rather than that of the name of the Florida city.

The word "tamper", when pronounced in a non-rhotic (show explanation ) accent typical of many parts of Britain, sounds like "TAM-puh" — similar to the sound of the word "Tampa".

Non-rhotic accents omit the sound < r > in certain situations, while rhotic accents generally pronounce < r > in all contexts. Among the several dozen British English accents which exist, many are non-rhotic while American English (US and Canadian) is mainly rhotic. This is, however, a generalisation, as there are areas of Britain that are rhotic, and areas of America that are non-rhotic. For more information, see this guide to pronouncing < r > in British English.

hide explanation

Now in Boston, the situation would be reversed, with an R being appended to Tampa to make it sound like "TAM-per".

16a   Abandoned // ride with Celt insurgent (8)

As an anagram indicator, insurgent is used as an adjective denoting upsetting the established order.

Scratching the Surface
A Celt[5] is:
  1. a member of a group of peoples inhabiting much of Europe and Asia Minor in pre-Roman times. Their culture developed in the late Bronze Age around the upper Danube, and reached its height in the La Tène culture (5th to 1st centuries BC) before being overrun by the Romans and various Germanic peoples; or
  2. a native of any of the modern nations or regions in which Celtic languages are (or were until recently) spoken; a person of Irish, Highland Scottish, Manx, Welsh, or Cornish descent.

18a   Police on island about to probe law /getting/ mockery (8)

"police" = CID (show explanation )

The Criminal Investigation Department (seemingly better known by its abbreviation CID[2]) is the detective branch of a British police force.

hide explanation

20a   Poor // sort of game discontented rabble (6)

23a   A cricket club shown by artist /in/ capital (5)

CC[5] is the abbreviation for Cricket Club.

"artist" = RA (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

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

24a   Undertaking // to play a great timeless tune (9)

26a   Overwhelming result scored via a lot of crosses? (9)

A cryptic definition.

27a   Packed // hotel welcomes credit? On the contrary (5)

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

Tick[5] (used in the phrase on tick) is an informal British term meaning credit ⇒ the printer agreed to send the brochures out on tick. The term apparently originates as a short form for ticket in the phrase on the ticket, referring to an IOU or promise to pay.

28a   Popular account in document /proving/ appropriate (2,9)

Down

2d   Be shifty /in/ countryside row (5)

3d   Free // film for distribution? (7)

What did she say?
In her review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Kath writes I’m not sure if this one is another double definition or an all in one clue.
To my mind, it is clearly a double definition with the second definition referring to a cinematic project that has reached the stage of being exhibited in movie theatres.

4d   Article is encapsulating second // academic work (6)

5d   Waste /in/ much of piazza bordering messy den (8)

A piazza[5] is a public square or marketplace, especially in an Italian town.

6d   Forestall // old boy through note (7)

"old boy" = OB (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

"note" = TE (show explanation )

In music, te[5] (also ti[2]) is the seventh note of the major scale in tonic sol-fa. Judging by a perusal of entries in American and British dictionaries, the only recognized spelling in the US would seem to be ti[3,4,11] whereas, in the UK, the principal — or only — spelling would appear to be te[2,3,4,11], with ti given as an alternative spelling in some dictionaries. Oxford Dictionaries is more emphatic, giving the spelling as te[5] with ti shown as the North American spelling.

hide explanation

7d   Unusual pub item, barrel, // not to be disturbed (13)

8d   Southern church perhaps involves ministry // full of intrigue (8)

Min.[5] is the abbreviation for Minister or Ministry.

9d   Prepare for action // keel scratched at sea (5,3,5)

15d   Practice for a GP? (8)

She said /he said ...
In her review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Kath writes ... I’ve really been scratching my head about this one – I keep thinking that I must have missed something but, if I have, I’m still missing it.
To which Gazza responds at Comment #3I think that in 15d you’re meant to think that GP means Grand Prix but, since 95% of solvers will think of GP meaning a doctor rather than cars going round in procession, I thought it was a poor clue.

17d   Far from speeding // like a bullet, possibly? (8)

A double definition, the second cryptic.

19d   Clubs with reason to struggle // become rough (7)

"clubs" = C (show explanation )

Clubs[2]) (abbreviation C[1]) is one of the four suits of playing-cards.

hide explanation

21d   Flexible // direction keeps Liberal in charge (7)

"Liberal" = L (show explanation )

The Liberal Party[5] (abbreviation Lib.[5] or L[2])* in Britain emerged in the 1860s from the old Whig Party and until the First World War was one of the two major parties in Britain. In 1988 the party regrouped with elements of the Social Democratic Party to form the Social and Liberal Democrats, now known as the Liberal Democrats. However, a small Liberal Party still exists although it has no representation in the UK Parliament, no Members of the European Parliament (MEP), no members of the Scottish Parliament, nor any members of the National Assembly for Wales.[7]

Although Lib.[5] may be the more common abbreviation for the Liberal Party in Britain—likely to distinguish it from the the Labour Party[5] (abbreviation Lab.[5])—Chambers 21st Century Dictionary indicates that L[2] may also be used.

hide explanation

"in charge" = IC (show explanation )

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

22d   Rush /in/ professional life (6)

While the more obvious explanation involves the word career[3] used as a verb, I was intrigued to see that it might also be used as a noun denoting speed ⇒ My hasting days fly on with full career (John Milton).

25d   Journey close to home /for/ meat dish (5)

Tripe[5] is the first or second stomach of a cow or other ruminant used as food.
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