Saturday, October 25, 2014

Saturday, October 25, 2014 — Preliminary Post


Introduction

Here is today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon. I will return later with the solution.

Signing off for the moment — Falcon

Friday, October 24, 2014

Thursday, October 29, 2014 — DT 27502


Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27502
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Setter
RayT (Ray Terrell)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27502]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
scchua
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

For the most part, today's puzzle from RayT provided a relatively gentle workout. However, I found the northeast quadrant to be rather more of a challenge. I did finish without assistance, but this latter quadrant seemed to take as much time — or more — than the rest of the puzzle combined.

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 (//).

Across

1a   Case of feed swallowed in birds/'/ craws (7)

I was a bit surprised by this clue when the wordplay finally dawned. I don't recall ever having seen a similar clue — but that may simply be attributable to poor memory. It is fairly evident that the indicator is "case of", denoting the initial and final letter of the fodder. However, I presumed the fodder to be "FeeD" and thus spent an inordinate amount of time trying to construct a solution containing the letters FD. However, the fodder is actually "EaT" (a synonym for "feed", as a verb).

This construct would seem to be indirect wordplay (i.e., the indicator operates on fodder that is not directly present in the clue). I know that indirect anagrams are not permitted, so I was a bit surprised that indirect deletions would be allowed. In reading the comments on Big Dave's site, I discover that I am not the only one to raise this point. However, the discussion there would appear to indicate that such a construct is fair game. When you think about it, it is not appreciably different than "Ale without a head" being used to clue [B]EER in 3d.

5a   A sailor reportedly /becoming/ offensive (7)

9a   Leading // tramp into wild (9)

10a   Scoundrel, say, turning // bum (5)

11a   Police officers shot /in/ protest (7)

Given the events of yesterday, it is an unfortunate coincidence that this clue should appear today.

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

12a   Counters /for/ laboratory equipment (7)

13a   Left-winger touring English bay Queen // came round (9)

As a containment indicator, "touring" is used in the sense of 'going around'.

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).

16a   Aggravation of member blowing top /for/ coalition (5)

17a   Charges /from/ Duke in battles (5)

A duke[5] (abbreviation D.[10]) is a male holding the highest hereditary title in the British and certain other peerages.

18a   Prudence /seeing/ dodgy gift horse (9)

21a   Craftsman /is/ slacker after midnight (7)

In this clue, we encounter a not uncommon cryptic crossword construct, in which the word "midnight" is used to clue G, the middle letter (mid) of niGht.

22a   Sheep's tail before last // dish (7)

25a   It's farewell to Hollande! (5)

This clue is a style of cryptic definition in which a very general statement is coupled with an element that adds specificity. Here, the general statement is "it's farewell" or, in other words, the solution to the clue is a word that means 'farewell'. The phrase "to Hollande" adds specificity by indicating that we need a word from the French language.

François Hollande[5] has been the President of France since 2012.

26a   A corset is removed /in/ bar (9)

As an anagram indicator, remove[5] [or remove to] is used in the dated sense of to change one’s home or place of residence by moving to (another place) he removed to Wales and began afresh.

27a   Agrees to go round pub /for/ birds (7)

Note that let is a synonym of agree to so the wordplay is LETS (agrees to) containing (go round) INN (pub).

A linnet[5] is any of three species of mainly brown and grey finch with a reddish breast and forehead.

In the surface reading, bird[5] would seem to be an informal British term for a young woman or a man’s girlfriend.

28a   Fool possibly // stranded initially in wasteland (7)

Fool[5] is a chiefly British name for a cold dessert made of pureed fruit mixed or served with cream or custard ⇒ raspberry fool with cream.

Down

1d   Former capital of the Netherlands (7)

Until the introduction of the euro in 2002, the guilder[5] was the basic monetary unit of the Netherlands, equal to 100 [euro] cents.

2d   Runs // edge of axe in cuts (5)

Here one needs to focus on the trailing edge rather than the leading edge.

3d   Ale without a head? That is // unnatural (5)

4d   More biting following small // first course (7)

Starter[5] is a chiefly British term [but most certainly one not entirely foreign to Canada] meaning the first course of a meal.

5d   Adult, bored, taking time /to get/ dressed (7)

The A (Adult) certificate is a former film certificate[7] issued by the British Board of Film Classification. This certificate existed in various forms from 1912 to 1985, when it was replaced by the PG (Parental Guidance) certificate.

6d   These cut with ease separating ends of roses (9)

This is a semi-&lit. (or semi-all-in-one) clue. The entire clue constitutes the the definition, while the portion marked with a dashed underline also serves as the wordplay. In his review, scchua refers to this type of clue as "a WIND (wordplay intertwined with definition) clue".

Secateurs[5] (also a pair of secateurs) is a British name for a pair of pruning clippers for use with one hand.

7d   Bounder lingered, grabbing // maid perhaps (9)

Bounder[5] is a dated informal British term for a dishonourable man he is nothing but a fortune-seeking bounder.

8d   Subversion /of/ terrorist leader's cause (7)

14d   US maybe supporting auto // plant (9)

15d   Unfortunately I've sublet // part of house (9)

17d   Bird/'s/ cry around a great void (7)

A wagtail[5] is any of several species of slender Eurasian and African songbird with a long tail that is frequently wagged up and down, typically living by water.

18d   Golfer roused, holding // iron (7)

19d   Alleged // grass will get placed inside (7)

20d   Harry/'s/ wrong to hold hands (7)

23d   Get together // when mum's embraced (5)

24d   Custard centre topping well-grown // rhubarb (5)

Rhubarb[5] is an informal British term meaning either (1) the noise made by a group of actors to give the impression of indistinct background conversation, especially by the random repetition of the word ‘rhubarb’ or (2) nonsense ⇒ it was all rhubarb, about me, about her daughter, about art.

Tripe[5] is (1) the first or second stomach of a cow or other ruminant used as food or (2) an informal term meaning nonsense or rubbish ⇒ you do talk tripe sometimes.
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

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 — DT 27501


Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27501
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Setter
Jay (Jeremy Mutch)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27501]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave
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

I am afraid that it was a very sad and traumatic day in Ottawa today. Although the puzzle was not an overly challenging one, it was difficult to maintain focus with the events transpiring around me.

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 (//).

Across

1a   Spirits prior to Conservative // account limited by definition (5,5)

In Britain, a short[5] is a drink of spirits served in a small measure[5] [a container of standard capacity used for taking fixed amounts of a substance] or, as Collins English Dictionary puts it, a drink of spirits as opposed to a long drink such as beer[10].

A Tory[4] is a member or supporter of the Conservative Party in Great Britain [or Canada].

6a   Taken advantage of /by/ American and heartlessly evicted (4)

As a link word, by[5] would seem to be used in the sense of a preposition indicating the means of achieving something.

9a   Looking embarrassed -- expensive-sounding /for/ a stag? (3,4)

The question mark indicates that a stag is an example of the solution. Other examples would be a doe or a fawn.

The red deer[5] is a deer (Cervus elaphus) with a rich red-brown summer coat that turns dull brownish-grey in winter, the male having large branched antlers. It is native to North America, Eurasia, and North Africa.

10a   Large // policemen accepting note of indebtedness (7)

12a   Famous monument /of/ Rome -- dirt cheap (ruined) (3,2,8)

The Arc de Triomphe[5] is a ceremonial arch standing at the top of the Champs-Élysées in Paris, commissioned by Napoleon to commemorate his victories in 1805-6. Inspired by the Arch of Constantine in Rome, it was completed in 1836.

In this clue (as well as two others elsewhere in the puzzle), the word "of" is a link (indicating constituent parts) between the definition and wordplay. The preposition of[5] may be used to indicate the material or substance constituting something ⇒ (i) the house was built of bricks; or (ii) walls of stone.

14a   Got up before court date /to get/ material for carpenter (8)

15a   Hole /caused by/ credit taking in charge (6)

17a   Frogman with time // to entertain (6)

19a   Not very good -- // book covered in beer after amorous advance (8)

21a   Alliance /taking/ company line prior to Labour speech (13)

24a   One key diver recalled // a danger at sea (7)

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

25a   Irritated angler secures quiet // hook (7)

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.

Grapnel[5] can mean either (1) a grappling hook or (2) a small anchor with several flukes.

26a   Lad sent back hospital // grub (4)

In Britain, nosh[5] is an informal term for food ⇒ filling the freezer with all kinds of nosh whereas in North America it denotes a snack or small item of food ⇒ have plenty of noshes and nibbles conveniently placed.

27a   Habitual // attire even when running (10)

Down

1d   There's no good in rapid rise, // certainly in the USA (4)

The use of sure[5] as an adverb is a chiefly North American practice. It can mean certainly (used for emphasis) ⇒ Texas sure was a great place to grow up or as an exclamation used to show assent ⇒ Are you serious?’ ‘Sure.’.

2d   Gold trades /can be/ trying experiences (7)

Or[5] is gold or yellow, as a heraldic tincture.

3d   New RAF charter transformed // combat in the field (6,7)

The Royal Air Force[5] (abbreviation RAF) is the British air force, formed in 1918 by amalgamation of the Royal Flying Corps (founded 1912) and the Royal Naval Air Service (founded 1914).

4d   Excited, // went to bed with love for one (6,2)

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.

5d   Rights protecting expert // runner (5)

7d   Top moves in close // field event (4,3)

8d   Take hope from // a resident shuffling around hospital (10)

11d   Delay // disciplining a prisoner with tact (13)

13d   Pressure on way of talking about engineers /making/ forecast (10)

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

16d   Rant /making one/ earn a hug, possibly? (8)

The link phrase "making one" is to be interpreted as 'producing (making) [for the] solver (one)'.

18d   Geographical features /of/ very narrow streets (7)

20d   Extreme letters supporting ban on working /for/ instant prosperity (7)

22d   The heart, for example, /of/ a music producer (5)

23d   I haven't got one -- have you? (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

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 — DT 27500


Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27500
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Setter
Unknown
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27500]
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

Introduction

As Gazza points out in his introductory comments, this is puzzle to bring back memories — provided one is of a certain age and possessed of a remarkable long term memory.

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 (//).

Across

7a   Adult favouring wearing long // apron (8)

The A (Adult) certificate is a former film certificate[7] issued by the British Board of Film Classification. This certificate existed in various forms from 1912 to 1985, when it was replaced by the PG (Parental Guidance) certificate.

In Britain, pinafore[2] can mean either (1) an apron, especially one with a bib (sometimes shortened to pinny) or (2) (also pinafore dress) a sleeveless dress for wearing over a blouse, sweater, etc. The name comes from from "pin + afore", because it was formerly 'pinned afore', i.e. pinned to the front of a dress.

9a   Definitely // in a bad way on express (3,3)

In his review, Gazza remarks "I anticipate some complaints about the enumeration ..." alluding to the fact that the apostrophe is not explicitly shown in the enumeration. If it were to be shown, the enumeration would be (1'2,3). However, it is common for apostrophe's not to be shown.

10a   Female collecting round // Oxford, perhaps (4)

The word "perhaps" indicates that "Oxford" is an example of the solution.

11a   One poem (abridged) penned by one of the Mitfords /in/ Cambridge? (10)

Here, it is the question mark that indicates that "Cambridge" is an example of the solution.

The Mitford family[7] is a minor aristocratic English family whose main family line had seats at Mitford, Northumberland. A junior line, with seats at Newton Park, Northumberland, and Exbury House, Hampshire, descends via the historian William Mitford (1744–1827).

The Mitford sisters are William Mitford's great-great-great-granddaughters. The sisters, six daughters of David Freeman-Mitford, 2nd Baron Redesdale (1878–1958), and Sydney Bowles, became celebrated, and at times scandalous, figures that were caricatured, according to The Times journalist Ben Macintyre, as "Diana the Fascist, Jessica the Communist, Unity the Hitler-lover; Nancy the Novelist; Deborah the Duchess and Pamela the unobtrusive poultry connoisseur".

12a   'Sweet' // clued badly by third of setters (6)

14a   Gang leader in yarn, detective // novel (4,4)

Dick[5] is a dated, informal, chiefly North American term for a detective.

15a   More than one // place in the country where river's dropped (6)

Pl.[5] (also pl.) is the abbreviation for Place (in street addresses) ⇒ 3 Palmerston Pl., Edinburgh.

17a   Soldier's taken over facilities /in/ homes up north (6)

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).

Loo[5] is an informal British term for a toilet.

20a   Secretary, calm, appears with Ecstasy // tablet (8)

22a   Manage // to come to party (4,2)

23a   On top of everything else, // item for auction rejected across London, for instance (2,3,2,3)

24a   English philosopher // poorly following onset of mumps (4)

Poorly[3,4,11] is an adjective meaning in poor health or ill. In the UK, one might see it used in the sense ⇒ She is poorly today whereas in North America one would likely see it used as She is feeling poorly today.

John Stuart Mill[5] (1806–1873) was an English philosopher and economist. Mill is best known for his political and moral works, especially On Liberty (1859), which argued for the importance of individuality, and Utilitarianism (1861), which extensively developed this theory which had originally been proposed by English philosopher Jeremy Bentham.

25a   Ghost, // one consumed by anger (6)

26a   Rolling Stones song -- // lyric about diamonds, with cartoon heroine (4,4)

Diamonds[2]) (abbreviation D[2]) is one of the four suits of playing-cards.

In the wordplay, lyric[5] (usually lyrics) is to be interpreted in the sense of a lyric poem or verse ⇒ an edition of Horace’s Lyrics — and not as the words of a popular song.

Jane[5] was a comic strip created and drawn by Norman Pett exclusively for the British tabloid newspaper The Daily Mirror from 5 December 1932 to 10 October 1959. Originally entitled Jane's Journal, Or the Diary of a Bright Young Thing, the salacious comic strip featured the misadventures of the title ingenue. The heroine had a habit of frequently (and most often inadvertently) losing her clothes.

Down

1d   Having taken drugs, start // field event (4,4)

2d   Pay // wife to go on date (4)

3d   Clouts buzzing // insect (6)

4d   Western star with badge performing /in/ variety (5,3)

Tom Mix[5] (1880–1940) was an American film actor and the star of many early Western movies. Between 1909 and 1935, Mix appeared in 291 films, all but nine of which were silent movies. He was Hollywood's first Western megastar and is noted as having helped define the genre for all cowboy actors who followed.

5d   Completed novel, // a mystery (6,4)

Literally, the wordplay is CLOSED (completed) + BOOK (novel). In his review, Gazza points out that wordplay could also work in a more figurative fashion.

A closed book[5] is a subject or person about which one knows nothing ⇒ accounting has always been a closed book to me.

6d   Coming from Tallinn, perhaps // caught short after Indian restaurant meal (6)

Tallinn[5] is the capital of Estonia, a port on the Gulf of Finland; population 397,000 (est. 2007). Estonia[5] is a a Baltic country on the south coast of the Gulf of Finland; population 1,299,400 (est. 2009).

In Pakistani cooking, balti[5] is a spicy dish cooked in a small two-handled pan known as a karahi.

8d   Mystery // in game unravelled (6)

13d   Jazz pianist/'s/ number I introduced to camp (5,5)

Count Basie[5] (1904–1984) was an American jazz pianist, organist, and bandleader; born William Basie. In 1935 he formed a big band, known as the Count Basie Orchestra, which became one of the most successful bands of the swing era.

16d   Nothing left /in/ safe (3,5)

18d   Second job /in/ food shop during function (8)

In mathematics, the term sine[5] denotes the trigonometric function that is equal to the ratio of the side opposite a given angle (in a right-angled triangle) to the hypotenuse.

19d   A particular // detachment of troops (6)

21d   A plank // on a yacht, maybe (6)

22d   A boy enthralled by my // illness (6)

24d   Jack, coming in low, /exudes/ charm (4)

J[5] is an abbreviation for Jack that is used in describing play in card games.
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, October 20, 2014

Monday, October 20, 2014 — DT 27499


Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27499
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Monday, May 26, 2014
Setter
Rufus (Roger Squires)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27499]
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

The stars have once again aligned, and today's puzzle is actually a "Monday" puzzle — that is to say, it originally appeared in The Daily Telegraph on a Monday. That also means that it was created by Rufus, and thus you should find it to be on the gentle side. I did call out the electronic troops to help with one clue — and then kicked myself for having done so when I saw the answer they revealed.

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 (//).

Across

1a   Prison officer goes to club /for/ cocktail (11)

9a   Aid fliers being diverted /to find/ places to land (9)

10a   Intends /to get/ sufficient funds (5)

11a   Returning, I'd delayed // to explain more fully (6)

Dilate[5,10] (often followed by on or upon) means to speak or write at length on (a subject); to expand or enlargethe faithful could hear the minister dilate on the role religion could play.

12a   Admitting // whole sum is due (8)

13a   Fast, the Italian/'s/ pulse (6)

In the Christian Church, Lent[5] is the period preceding Easter, which is devoted to fasting, abstinence, and penitence in commemoration of Christ’s fasting in the wilderness.

 In Italian, the masculine singular form of the definite article is il[8].

15a   Holding north, top fighter pilots attempt // descent (8)

Descent[5] denotes the origin or background of a person in terms of family or nationality ⇒ the settlers were of Cornish descent.

18a   French port /or/ claret (8)

How I failed to get this one immediately, I will never know. I must have suffered a brain cramp.

Bordeaux[5] is a port of southwestern France on the River Garonne, capital of Aquitaine; population 235,878 (2006). It is a centre of the wine trade.

Bordeaux[5] is a red, white, or rosé wine from the district of Bordeaux.

Claret[5] is a red wine from Bordeaux, or wine of a similar character made elsewhere.

The surface reading suggests port[5] in the sense of a strong, sweet dark red (occasionally brown or white) fortified wine, originally from Portugal, typically drunk as a dessert wine.

19a   He had high-flying ambition but came unstuck (6)

In Greek mythology, Icarus[5] was the son of Daedalus, who escaped from Crete using wings made by his father but was killed when he flew too near the sun and the wax attaching his wings melted.

21a   Sign's sensible /yet/ not in a straightforward way (8)

In astronomy, Cancer[5] is a constellation (the Crab), said to represent a crab crushed under the foot of Hercules. In astrology, Cancer[5] is the fourth sign of the zodiac, which the sun enters at the northern summer solstice (about 21 June).

23a   Breaking up coal /for/ furnace (6)

A cupola[5] (also known as a cupola furnace) is a cylindrical furnace for refining metals, with openings at the bottom for blowing in air and originally with a dome leading to a chimney above.

26a   I give a hand, /being/ perfect! (5)

27a   This pet may sleep indoors but its quarters are hardly spotless (9)

The Woodentops[7] [mentioned by Miffypops in his review] is a children's television series first shown on BBC Television in 1955. The main characters in this puppet show are the members of a middle-class family living on a farm — Daddy and Mummy Woodentop and their three children — together with Spotty Dog.

28a   Chief follows priests out /for/ personal inspection (5-6)

Down

1d   Shock // subject for play school (7)

The School for Scandal[7] is a play written by Irish playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751–1816). It was first performed in London at Drury Lane Theatre in 1777.

2d   Two rivers // characteristic of the country (5)

The Ural River[5] is a river, 1,575 miles (2,534 km) long, that rises at the southern end of the Ural Mountains in western Russia and flows through western Kazakhstan to the Caspian Sea at Atyraū.

3d   Going crazy with a wine list may eventually affect this (9)

This is a semi-&lit. (or semi-all-in-one) clue. The entire clue is the the definition, while the portion marked with a dashed underline — but with a different interpretation — also serves as the wordplay.

4d   Drums sound // to start a revolution (4)

In his review, Miffypops shows the second definition as "revolution" which would make roll a noun. However, his explanation does not account for the phrase "to start a". I suppose one might try to argue that this is a link phrase, but I don't think it fits the bill.

My interpretation is that roll[5] in the second instance is used in the sense of a verb meaning to turn over to face a different direction : she rolled on to her side. Having started by rolling onto her side, three more rolls would complete the revolution.

5d   Shipping company after vessel /for/ petroleum product (8)

The Onedin Line[7] [mentioned by Miffypops in his review] is a BBC television drama series which ran from 1971 to 1980. The series is set in Liverpool, England from 1860 to 1886 and deals with the rise of a shipping line, the Onedin Line, named after its owner James Onedin.

6d   He was known for loving // capital, nothing more (5)

Rome[5] is the capital of Italy and of the Lazio region, situated on the River Tiber about 25 km (16 miles) inland; population 2,724,347 (2008).

Romeo[7], one of the title characters in William Shakespeare's tragedy Romeo and Juliet, serves as the play's male protagonist. His role as an idealistic lover has led the word "Romeo" to become a synonym for a passionate male lover in various languages.

7d   Organ bright /with/ flowers (7)

8d   Is jesting about /providing/ support on flight (8)

This is a case where one must introduce a bit of missing punctuation into the wordplay, thereby making it "is, jesting about". This instructs us to start with the word IS and then place a noun meaning "jesting" around it.

14d   Managed to raise local taxes /and/ provides an account (8)

Rates[3] (often used in the plural) is a chiefly British term for a locally assessed property tax.

16d   No cure, sadly -- time /for/ support (9)

17d   Not the favourite in society? (8)

This would seem to be one of those "barely cryptic" definitions for which Rufus is so well-known. The overall clue relates to outsider[5] meaning a person or thing excluded from or not a member of a set, group, etc. The portion of the clue that is underlined could also be seen as a reference to a contestant, especially a horse, thought unlikely to win in a race.

18d   Withdrawing // support? (7)

20d   Reliable /way to/ limit bloodshed (7)

The phrase "way to" is used as a link phrase and indicates an outcome; i.e., it is equivalent to the phrase "leads to".

22d   Women's group left -- street's hoisted // flags (5)

The Women's Institute (WI)[5] is an organization of women, especially in rural areas, who meet regularly and participate in crafts, cultural activities, and social work. Now worldwide, it was first set up in Ontario, Canada, in 1897, and in Britain in 1915.

Jam & Jerusalem[7] [mentioned by Miffypops in his review] is a British sit-com that aired on the BBC from 2006 to 2009. On BBC America the program aired as Clatterford. The show centres on a Women's Guild in a small, fictional, West Country town called Clatterford St. Mary. 

24d   Rosie's willowy form (5)

My interpretation of the clue differs a bit from that of Miffypops. I would say that the word "form" is more the anagram indicator than is the word "willowy". However, it is really the overall structure of the clue that implies that we need to put ROSIE into a new "form" (i.e., that we need to make an anagram of it). The setter could have indicted the anagram by simply saying "Rosie's new form" or "Rosie in a new form". The word "willowy" is a subsidiary indication telling us that this new "form" has something to do with willow trees.

25d   No success /keeping/ a girl quiet (4)

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.

Florence Nightingale[5,7] (1820–1910) [to whom Miffypops alludes in his review] was an English nurse and medical reformer who is regarded as the founder of modern nursing. In 1854, during the Crimean War, she improved sanitation and medical procedures at the army hospital at Scutari, achieving a dramatic reduction in the mortality rate. She was known as "The Lady with the Lamp" after her habit of making rounds at night.
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, October 18, 2014

Saturday, October 18, 2014 — Two-timing Writer


Introduction

There should be nothing in today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon to hold you up for long.

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.

Across

1a   Brother, regarding a group song, /is/ fiddling (9,6)

MONK|EYING| A|ROUND — MONK (brother) + EYING (regarding) + A (†) + ROUND (group song)

9a   Putting in order, // destroyed dignity (7)

TIDYING* — anagram (destroyed) of DIGNITY

10a   Left Spain and Portugal /for/ African country (7)

L|IBERIA — L (left) + IBERIA (Spain and Portugal)

11a   Sort of column // doctor viewed about restricted iodine (5)

DO(R|I)C — DOC (doctor) containing (viewed about) {R (restricted; film classification) + I ([symbol for the chemical element] iodine}

The Doric order[7] was one of the three orders of ancient Greek or classical architecture[7]; the other two canonical orders were the Ionic and the Corinthian. These orders are distinguished principally by the style of the capital found on the columns. The Doric[5] order of architecture is characterized by a sturdy fluted column and a thick square abacus [see definition below] resting on a rounded moulding.


Orders of Ancient Greek architecture


Left: Architectural elements of the Doric Order showing simple curved echinus of capital

Centre: Capital of the Ionic Order showing volutes and ornamented echinus

Right: Capital of the Corinthian Order showing foliate decoration and vertical volutes.


An abacus[5] is the flat slab on top of a capital, supporting the architrave[5], or main beam resting across the tops of the columns

An echinus[5] is a rounded moulding below an abacus on a Doric or Ionic capital.

12a   Scholarly papers /and/ a Frank McCourt memoir stuck in corners (9)

TRE(A|TIS)ES — {A (†) + TIS (Frank McCourt memoir)} contained in TREES (corners; as a verb)

'Tis[7] is a memoir written by Irish-American author Frank McCourt. Published in 1999, it begins where McCourt ended Angela's Ashes, his Pulitzer Prize winning memoir of his impoverished childhood in Ireland and his return to America.

13a   Pest // sped recklessly into passenger (3,6)

R(ED SP)*IDER — anagram (recklessly) of SPED contained in (into) RIDER (passenger)

16a   Pitch in, awkwardly carrying // some porcelain (5)

_CH|IN|A_ — hidden in (carrying) pitCH IN Awkwardly

The word "some" seems almost superfluous in this clue. At first, I thought that it might be indicating that china is but one example of porcelain. But that does not seem to be the case, as the terms china and porcelain are synonymous. I also considered that the hidden word indicator might be "carrying some", but I dismissed that as being a rather awkward construction.

17a   Trendy high railway // stopover (5)

HOT|EL — HOT (trendy) + EL (high railway)

El[5] is a US term for (1) an elevated railroad (especially that in Chicago) or (2) a train running on an elevated railroad [Although this definition comes from a British dictionary, I thought it would be apropos to replace the British railway with the American railroad].

18a   Incidental information /in/ notice about food store (9)

SI(DELI)GHT — SIGHT (notice) containing (about) DELI (food store)

20a   Holding salt, uncovers // crustaceans (9)

BAR(NACL)ES — BARES (uncovers) containing (holding) NACL ([common] salt)

The scientific name for common salt[5] is sodium chloride, for which the chemical symbol is NaCl.

Here the setters have employed an inverted clue structure for cryptic effect or, as they might have put it "For cryptic effect, the setters have employed an inverted clue structure".

23a   Rasher // English philosopher (5)

BACON — double definition

There are a couple of contenders for the philosopher position

Francis Bacon[5], Baron Verulam and Viscount St Albans (1561–1626) was an English statesman and philosopher. As a scientist he advocated the inductive method; his views were instrumental in the founding of the Royal Society in 1660. Notable works: The Advancement of Learning (1605) and Novum Organum (1620).

Roger Bacon[5] (circa 1214–1294) was an English philosopher, scientist, and Franciscan friar. Most notable for his work in the field of optics, he emphasized the need for an empirical approach to scientific study.

25a   Muscle // tee prices changed (7)

T|RICEPS* — T ([the letter] tee) + an anagram (changed) of PRICES

26a   Loving // a party band (7)

A|DO|RING — A (†) + DO (party) + RING (band)

27a   Novelist // ordered theories rewritten (8,7)

{THEODORE DREISER}* — anagram (rewritten) of ORDERED THEORIES

Theodore Dreiser[5] (1871–1945) was an American novelist. His first novel, Sister Carrie (1900), caused controversy for its frank treatment of the heroine’s sexuality and ambition. Other notable works: America is Worth Saving (1941).

Down

1d   Mom. kid, or // man with a cape (7)

MA|TAD|OR — MA (mom) + TAD (kid) + OR (†)

2d   Plastic drain/'s/ low point (5)

NADIR* — anagram (plastic) of DRAIN

3d   Grand iridescent gem worn by second // of bishops (9)

EPI(S)C|OPAL — {EPIC (grand) + OPAL (iridescent gem)} containing (worn by) S (second)

4d   Valuable bar // I acquired around central Argentina (5)

I(N)GOT — {I (†) + GOT (acquired)} containing (around) N (central [letter of] ArgeNtina)

5d   Adorned log sent back without a // flower (9)

{GOL|DENROD_}< — reversal (sent back) of {[A]DORNED LOG} with A deleted (without A)

6d   Automaton // framed by Sandro Botticelli (5)

_RO|BOT_ — hidden in SandRO BOTicelli

Sandro Botticelli[5] (1445–1510) was an Italian painter; born Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi. He worked in Renaissance Florence under the patronage of the Medicis. Botticelli is best known for his mythological works such as Primavera (circa 1478) and The Birth of Venus (circa 1480).

I am very familiar with the latter work as it appeared in my high school Latin textbook. In later editions, this illustration was replaced by one far less appealing to teenage boys. When textbooks were distributed at the start of the school year, students usually tried to grab a new one. But that was not the case in Latin class. There we scrambled to secure a copy of the older edition.

The Birth of Venus (Botticelli)

7d   Tireless // radical insurgent (9)

UNRESTING* — anagram (radical) of INSURGENT

8d   See a dad swimming /in/ salty lake (4,3)

{DEAD SEA}* — anagram (swimming) of SEE A DAD

The Dead Sea[5] is a salt lake or inland sea in the Jordan valley, on the Israel-Jordan border. Its surface is 400 m (1,300 ft) below sea level.

14d   Find /and/ check big hole in the ground (9)

DETER|MINE — DETER (check; obstruct or impede) + MINE (big hole in the ground)

15d   Person who reveals // one who mislaid a CD? (9)

DISC|LOSER — DISC (a CD) + LOSER (one who mislaid)

The wordplay becomes clear when it and the solution are each read as phrases. Thus "one who mislaid a CD" could be described as a "disc loser".

16d   Last car of the train contains a large // can (9)

C(A|L)ABOOSE — CABOOSE (last car of the train) containing (contains) {A (†) + L (large)}

For the benefit of readers overseas, caboose[5] is a North American term for a railway wagon with accommodation for the train crew, typically attached to the end of the train.

Calaboose[5] is an informal US term for a prison.

17d   Hit slightly at // home (7)

H|A|BIT|AT — H (hit; baseball terminology) + A BIT (slightly) + AT (†)

19d   Light brown, maturer // bird (7)

TAN|AGER — TAN (light brown) + AGER (maturer; a ripening agent, perhaps)

The tanager[5] is a small American songbird of the bunting family, the male of which typically has brightly coloured plumage.

21d   Guys in spot // improve (5)

A(MEN)D — MEN (guys) contained in (in) AD ([commercial] spot)

22d   Small, tough // fragment (5)

S|HARD — S (small) + HARD (tough)

24d   Concentrating primarily on hips, // makes golf shot (5)

C|HIPS — C {initial letter (primarily) of Concentrating) before (on; in a down clue) HIPS (†)

Epilogue

The title of today's post was inspired by 1a and 27a.

After proposing in 1893, Theodore Dreiser[7] married Sara White on December 28, 1898. They ultimately separated in 1909, partly as a result of Dreiser's infatuation with Thelma Cudlipp, the teenage daughter of a work colleague, but were never formally divorced. In 1913, he began a romantic relationship with the actress and painter Kyra Markham (who was much younger than he). In 1919 Dreiser met his cousin Helen Richardson with whom he began an affair and they eventually married on June 13, 1944.

Interestingly, Dreiser was going to return from his first European holiday in the Titanic but was talked out of going by an English publisher who recommended he board a cheaper boat.
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