Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Tuesday, September 2, 2014 — DT 27465


Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27465
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Setter
Jay (Jeremy Mutch)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27465]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
scchua
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 27464 which was published in The Daily Telegraph on Tuesday, April 15, 2014.

Introduction

Given enough time, I can usually complete a two star puzzle unaided. Today, I chose not to throw in the towel early and managed to accomplish that feat.

In my review, I have pointed out a couple of errors in scchua's review. That is not meant to belittle his efforts. These sort of mistakes happen when working to a deadline. I sometimes find similar errors in my own reviews that I wrote for Big Dave's blog — and I draw attention to them as well.

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.

Across

1a   Escapes from rich people on cul-de-sacs (5,6)

Close[5] (often found in street names) is a British term for a residential street without through access she lives at 12 Goodwood Close.

9a   Sign of remorse seeing material on fire? (9)

Sackcloth[5] is a very coarse, rough fabric woven from flax or hemp. The phrase sackcloth and ashes is an allusion to the wearing of sackcloth and having ashes sprinkled on the head as a sign of penitence or mourning (Matt 11:21) they should, at least, be wearing sackcloth and ashes in token penance of the wrongs committed.

10a   Run away from revolutionary European, free at last! (5)

I notice that scchua has mixed up the the fodder and indicator in his hint. His hint should read:
  • Reversal of (revolutionary) [an Eastern European national] + the last letter of (at last) “free
11a   Short article -- very dry -- about parking (6)

The adjective brut[5] (used to describe sparkling wine) means unsweetened; or, in other words, very dry.

12a   Budding setter's back with new genre, not without a negative reaction (8)

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

13a   Demand points to follow (6)

15a   Barack's worried about new cafe! (5,3)

Surely the President of arguably the world's most powerful nation has more important things with which to concern himself.

18a   Sheet iron reshaped as a form of entertainment (4,4)

Film noir[5] is a style or genre of cinematographic film marked by a mood of pessimism, fatalism, and menace. The term was originally applied (by a group of French critics) to American thriller or detective films made in the period 1944–54 and to the work of directors such as Orson Welles, Fritz Lang, and Billy Wilder.

19a   Assorted nuts covering each throw (6)

21a   Prepare a team reserve (3,5)

In North America, the term side[3] is used in a very general fashion that can denote one of two or more opposing individuals, groups, teams, or sets of opinions. While this same general usage would seem to exist as well in the UK, the term side[5] is also used there in a much more specific sense to mean a sports team ⇒ (i) Previous England rugby sides, and England teams in many other sports, would have crumbled under the weight of such errors.; (ii) They'll face better sides than this Monaco team, but you can only beat what's put in front of you..

23a   Country needing man with an answer (6)

Guyana[5] is a country on the northeastern coast of South America; population 752,900 (est. 2009); languages, English (official), English Creole, Hindi; capital, Georgetown. Official name Cooperative Republic of Guyana.

The Spaniards explored the area in 1499, and the Dutch settled there in the 17th century. It was occupied by the British from 1796 and established, with adjacent areas, as the colony of British Guiana in 1831. In 1966 it became an independent Commonwealth state.

In his review, scchua alludes to the fact that American singer-songwriter Madonna[7] was married to English filmmaker Guy Ritchie[7] from 2000 to 2008.

26a   Type of woodwork popular with non-specialist (5)

27a   Wearing down, turning it into art (9)

28a   Rocket, say, for second eleven needing to change, lacking core (5,6)

The first thing to come to mind was SPACE ENGINE and it took some time to realize that I should be looking for a vehicle that runs on the ground, not one that flies through the heavens.

Eleven[5] is the number of players on a cricket[7] side or an Association football[7] [soccer] team — and is often used as a metonym for such a team ⇒ at cricket I played in the first eleven. See the comment at 21a concerning the British use of the word "side" to mean a team.

Stephenson's Rocket[7] was an early steam locomotive, built in 1829 by Robert Stephenson and Company in Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. Though the Rocket was not the first steam locomotive, it was the first to bring together several innovations to produce the most advanced locomotive of its day.

It is the most famous example of an evolving design of locomotives by Stephenson that became the template for most steam engines in the following 150 years. The locomotive was preserved and is now on display in the Science Museum in London.

Down

1d   Falls for bounder in suit (7)

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

Cad[5,10] is a dated informal British term for a man who behaves dishonourably, especially towards a woman her adulterous cad of a husband.

2d   Award for boys regularly on wheels (5)

An Oscar[5] (a trademark in the US) is the nickname for a gold statuette given as an award by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Hollywood, US) presented annually since 1928 for achievement in the film industry in various categories.

3d   It proves the rule, but no one returns (9)

"The exception [that] proves the rule"[7] means that the presence of an exception applying to a specific case establishes ("proves") that a general rule exists. For example, a sign that says "parking prohibited on Sundays" (the exception) "proves" that parking is allowed on the other six days of the week (the rule). A more explicit phrasing might be "The exception that proves the existence of the rule."

4d   Criminal needing specs to be included in high definition (4)

This is a 'visual' or 'looks like' clue. The word "specs" (short for spectacles) clues OO because these letters look like a pair of spectacles.

5d   Forceful opening across European border (8)

6d   Cornish listener's curse? (5)

The adjective Cornish[5] denotes a relation to Cornwall or its people or language. Cornwall[5] is a county occupying the extreme south-western [hint, hint!] peninsula of England; county town, Truro.

7d   One who wields a cross in Spain with moulded Celt gold (7)

The International Vehicle Registration (IVR) code for Spain is E[5] [from Spanish España].

Or[5] is gold or yellow, as a heraldic tincture. In heraldry, a tincture[5] is any of the conventional colours (including the metals and stains, and often the furs) used in coats of arms.

8d   Endearing label designed to cover the centre of Dover (8)

It would seem that scchua has made another slip. His comment should clearly read "... the 3 inner letters of (the centre of) 'Dover'".

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.

14d   Revealing story supports Swiss marksman (8)

William Tell[5] was a legendary hero of the liberation of Switzerland from Austrian oppression. He was required to hit with an arrow an apple placed on the head of his son, which he did successfully. The events are placed in the 14th century, but there is no evidence for a historical person of this name, and similar legends are of widespread occurrence.

16d   Discoloration of skin of onions cut in pieces (9)

The anagram indicator (in pieces) would seem to indicate that one disassemble the fodder (ONIONS CUT) into its individual components (letters). I take it that we are to infer that we then reassemble these pieces in a different order.

17d   Time to lock up for a walk in London (8)

In British slang, do (one's) bird[5] means to serve a prison sentence [i.e., time] [bird from rhyming slang birdlime 'time']. Birdlime[5] is a sticky substance spread on to twigs to trap small birds.

The wordplay parses as BIRD (time; prison sentence) + CAGE (to lock up).

Birdcage Walk[7] is a street in the City of Westminster in London, England. It runs east-west as a continuation of Great George Street, from the crossroads with Horse Guards Road and Storey's Gate, to a junction with Buckingham Gate, at the southeast corner of Buckingham Palace.

18d   Refusing to eat following an insect bite (7)

In publishing, f. (plural ff.) is used to denote following (page).

20d   Fall in support on course for novice (7)

22d   Problems for viewers in street, of course (5)

24d   Politician protected by first-class defence (5)

The Liberal Party[5] (abbreviation Lib.[5] [used to indicate the affiliation of a politician with the party]) 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; a small Liberal Party still exists.

A1[4][5] or A-one[3] meaning first class or excellent comes from a classification for ships in The Lloyd's Register of Shipping where it means equipped to the highest standard or first-class. 

25d   Shred a short book (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, September 1, 2014

Monday, September 1, 2014 — DT 27457 (Bonus Puzzle)

Prologue

For those who are suffering from CCWS (Cryptic Crossword Withdrawal Syndrome), I present your Monday fix — namely, the puzzle that the National Post skipped one week ago. This will be the final Bonus Puzzle of the summer as the National Post returns to its normal publication schedule following Labour Day.

During July and August, the National Post does not publish an edition on Monday. In years past, a Monday Diversions page has sometimes been printed in either a preceding or subsequent edition of the paper. However, that practice appears to have been discontinued. In order to afford readers the opportunity to tackle the puzzles that the National Post has skipped, throughout the summer I will be posting (with a one week delay) the puzzles that would normally have appeared on Monday.
Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27457
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Monday, April 7, 2014
Setter
Rufus (Roger Squires)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27457]
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 skipped this puzzle which — under its regular publication schedule — would have appeared on Monday, August 25, 2014.

Introduction

I needed a slight boost from my electronic assistants to clear the final couples of hurdles in today's puzzle. At 19d I knew the solution would be a British term for a bumper car — but had no idea what that term might be.

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.

Across

1a   Battlefield area where pilot operates (7)

5a   His mate turned in disbelief (7)

9a   Bohemian girl seen around a Florida resort (5)

Mimi is the tragic heroine of the opera La bohème[7] by Italian composer Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924).

10a   His cattle wandering off track, perhaps (9)

11a   In bar seats, possibly, but they're not drinking (10)

12a   It's a lot older than you (4)

14a   Undecided fate of plane taking paratroopers into battle? (4,2,3,3)

18a   They make the most noise, but they aren't charged (5,7)

Empty vessels make the most noise[5] is a proverb implying that those with the least wisdom or knowledge are always the most talkative.

21a   Russian leader is one at front (4)

Ivan[5] is the name of six rulers of Russia, the most famous being Ivan IV (1530–84), grand duke of Muscovy 1533–47 and first tsar of Russia 1547–84; known as Ivan the Terrible. He captured Kazan, Astrakhan, and Siberia, but the Tartar siege of Moscow and the Polish victory in the Livonian War (1558–82) left Russia weak and divided. In 1581 he killed his eldest son Ivan in a fit of rage, the succession passing to his mentally disturbed second son Fyodor.

22a   Steady lads -- hold your horses! (10)

I interpret the entire clue to be the definition with a portion of the clue (marked with a dashed underline) also supplying the wordplay, thereby making this a semi-&lit. clue.

25a   Sailor directed watch to go back for those missing (9)

In the Royal Navy, able seaman[5] (abbreviation AB[5]), is a rank of sailor above ordinary seaman and below leading seaman.

26a   Right to enter complaint in dispute (5)

In cryptic crosswords, a "complaint" is often of the medical variety.

27a   Last to finish with the majority (7)

28a   Plans for me to get into chess, that's absurd (7)

Down

1d   One brass instrument that clashes with another (6)

2d   Score confused with a gross (6)

In the surface reading, score denotes to a quantity of twenty while gross refers to a quantity of twelve dozen.

3d   Detective magazine (7,3)

Private Eye[7] is a fortnightly British satirical and current affairs magazine. Since its first publication in 1961, Private Eye has been a prominent critic and lampooner of public figures and entities that it deems guilty of any of the sins of incompetence, inefficiency, corruption, pomposity or self-importance and it has established itself as a thorn in the side of the British establishment.

4d   He wrote books in two parts (5)

Mark Twain[5] (1835–1910) was an American novelist and humorist; pseudonym of Samuel Langhorne Clemens. His best-known novels, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), give a vivid evocation of Mississippi frontier life.

 Twain[5] is an archaic term for two he split the spar in twain [in two (parts)].

5d   Fans present in stand run riot (9)

6d   Those warned should take it (4)

7d   Pat his arm in coming together (8)

In Crosswordland, you will soon discover that an Irishman is most often named Pat.

8d   Rubbers needed for wrong figures? (8)

In the surface reading, we are intended to interpret rubber[5] as the British equivalent of what we know as an eraser, a piece of rubber used for erasing pencil or ink marks a pencil with a rubber at the end.

13d   Club gets convict into hellish upset (10)

A shillelagh[5] is a thick stick of blackthorn or oak used in Ireland, typically as a weapon.

15d   Dealing with management (9)

Does "dealing with" really equate to "treatment"? I would say that "manner of dealing with" equates to "treatment of" his treatment of women come in for criticism.

16d   Tender arrangement for Ted and Alice (8)

17d   University commended and elevated (8)

19d   One may provide a crash course for the fair driver (6)

Dodgem[5] (also dodgem car) is a British term for a bumper car[5], a small electrically powered car with rubber bumpers all round, driven in an enclosure at a funfair [a fair consisting of rides, sideshows, and other amusements] with the aim of bumping into other such cars he wanted to go on the dodgems.

20d   Directs woman's standing in American society (6)

23d   Foundation exists to support graduates (5)

24d   A preposition seen in print only (4)
Key to Reference Sources: 

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

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Saturday, August 30, 2014 — A Visit to the Far East


Introduction

I got off to a quick start with today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon and thought it might turn into a "write in". However, my pace rapidly slowed to a crawl.


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.

Across

8a   People in a sci-fi story, and alien near them (8)

EARTHMEN* — anagram (alien) of NEAR THEM

It would seem that the solution is not a reference to a people in a specific sci-fi work. While I did find a reference to a people called the Earthmen, it is found in a work from the wrong genre. In The Chronicles of Narnia, a series of seven high fantasy novels by British author C.S. Lewis (1898–1963), Earthmen[7] are the gnome-like natives of Bism, a land which lies far beneath the surface of the Narnian earth. However, as these tales belong to the fantasy genre, rather than sci-fi, the reference most probably applies to a people that appear in any of a great many sci-fi works.

9a   Animal's horn I twisted (5)

RHINO —anagram (twisted) of HORN I

10a   Little rascals stay in a tent with two snakes outside (6)

S(CAMP)S — CAMP (stay in tents) contained in (with ... outside) {S + S (two snakes)}

11a   Vendor's French sea song (8)

MER|CHANT — MER (French [word meaning] sea) + CHANT (song)

12a   Writer, 51, wearing no part of a suit (8)

NO|VE(LI)ST — LI ([Roman numeral for] 51) contained in (wearing) {NO (†) + VEST (part of a suit)}

13a   Small Caribbean island diver's gear (5)

S|CUBA — S (small) + CUBA (Caribbean island)

14a   Move back into dull swampy area (7)

B(OG<)LAND — reversal (back) of GO (move) contained in (into) BLAND (dull)

18a   Fetching me now is wrong (7)

WINSOME* — anagram (wrong) of ME NOW IS

22a   Nearly foolish as the creator of Aramis (5)

DUM|AS — DUM[B] (foolish) with the last letter removed (nearly) + AS (†)

René d'Herblay, alias Aramis[7] is a fictional character in the novels The Three Musketeers, Twenty Years After and The Vicomte de Bragelonne by French writer Alexandre Dumas, père (1802–1870). He and the other two musketeers Athos and Porthos are friends of the novels' protagonist, d'Artagnan.

23a   Vandal of sorts, a true s.o.b., busted (8)

SABOTEUR* — anagram (busted) of A TRUE SOB

24a   Dandy soda in joint (8)

POP|IN|JAY — POP (soda) + IN (†) + JAY (joint)

Joint[7] is a slang term for a cigarette rolled using cannabis (marijuana). There are many slang terms mostly synonymous with the word joint; among them, the term "jay" or "J" is used as an abbreviation for a generic joint.

25a   King of the blues found in pit, lame (6)

HO(BB)LE — BB (King of the blues; American blues musician B.B. King[7]) contained in (found in) HOLE (pit)

In the  cryptic reading of the clue, "lame" must be interpreted as a verb.

26a   Cut second tie up (5)

S|LASH — S (second) + LASH (tie up)

27a   Shares in the penning of bully ceremonies (8)

COW|RITES — COW (bully; cow is used as a modifier) + RITES (ceremonies)

If one reads the solution and the wordplay as entire phrases, it should be apparent that "cow rites" and "bully ceremonies" could be alternative ways to describe bovine religious practices.

Down

1d   Sing loudly around fire with bit of operatic singing style (3,5)

BEL (CAN)T|O —BELT (sing loudly) containing (around) CAN (fire; dismiss from employment) + (with) O (bit [first letter] of Operatic)

Bel canto[5] is a lyrical style of operatic singing using a full, rich, broad tone and smooth phrasing (i) a superb piece of bel canto; (ii) the bel canto arias of Bellini.

2d   Vampire bats left earliest (8)

PRIMEVA*|L — anagram (bats; crazy, very eccentric) of VAMPIRE + L (left)

3d   Meddle, crossing franchise line (6,2)

_CHISE|L IN_ — hidden in (crossing) franCHISE LINe

Chisel in is synonymous with butt in, chime in, barge in, break in, cut in, or put in. I suspect that it is a North American expression.

4d   Dangerous current turned bad, and that hurts (8)

UNDERT|OW — anagram (bad) of TURNED + (and) OW (that hurts; ouch!)

5d   Necrosis ruined telecom giant (8)

ERICSSON* — anagram (ruined) of NECROSIS

Ericsson[7] (Telefonaktiebolaget L. M. Ericsson) is a Swedish multinational provider of communications technology and services.

6d   Fasten a slow boat alongside orange volcano (8)

PIN|A|TUB|O — PIN (fasten) + A (†) + TUB (slow boat) + O (orange)

Mount Pinatubo[5] is a volcano on the island of Luzon, in the Philippines. It erupted in 1991, killing more than 300 people and destroying the homes of more than 200,000.

7d   Some engineers of TWA returned computer programs (8)

_S|OF|TWA|RE_ — hidden in (some) engineerS OF TWA REturned

Trans World Airlines[7] (TWA) was a major American airline from 1925 until 2001 when its assets were acquired by AMR Corp., the parent company of American Airlines.

14d   Begin to develop a pain in the neck in a European capital (8)

BUD|A|PEST — BUD (begin to develop) + A (†) + PEST (pain in the neck)

Budapest[5] is the capital of Hungary; population 1,712,210 (2009). The city was formed in 1873 by the union of the hilly city of Buda on the right bank of the River Danube with the low-lying city of Pest on the left.

15d   Piano acquired by Indonesian music ensemble's strategy (4,4)

GAME (P)LAN —P (piano; musical direction) contained in (acquired by) GAMELAN (Indonesian music ensemble)

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.

Gamelan[7] is traditional ensemble music of Java and Bali made up predominantly of percussive instruments. The most common instruments are metallophones played by mallets as well as a set of hand played drums called kendhang which register the beat. Other instruments include xylophones, bamboo flutes, bowed instrument called rebab, and even vocalists called sindhen.

Although its popularity has declined since the introduction of pop music, gamelan is still commonly played in formal occasions and is an integral part in many traditional Indonesian ceremonies. For most Indonesians, gamelan is an integral part of Indonesian culture.

16d   Core components in the wormwood (8)

ABS|IN|THE — ABS (core components; abdominal muscles) + IN (†) + THE (†)

Absinthe[5] is another term for wormwood[5], a woody shrub with a bitter aromatic taste, used as an ingredient of vermouth and absinthe [an alcoholic drink] and in medicine.

17d   Send spring inside drainage channel (8)

DI(SPA)TCH — SPA (spring) contained in (inside) DITCH (drainage channel)

19d   School of thought about different line on a map (8)

IS(OTHER)M — ISM (school of thought) containing (about) OTHER (different)

20d   Gels containing something savoury for desserts (8)

S(HERB)ETS — SETS (gels) containing (†) HERB (something savoury)

21d   Russian range shrouded in fog for painter (8)

M(URAL)IST — URAL (Russian [mountain] range) contained in (shrouded in) MIST (fog)

The Ural Mountains[5] (also the Urals) is the name of a mountain range in Russia, extending 1,600 km (1,000 miles) from the Arctic Ocean to the Aral Sea in Kazakhstan, and rising to 1,894 m (6,214 ft) at Mount Narodnaya. It forms part of the conventional boundary between Europe and Asia.

Epilogue

The title of today's post is inspired by the Philippine volcano at 6d and the Indonesian musicians at 15d.
Key to Reference Sources: 

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

Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday, August 29, 2014 — DT 27463

This entry was posted on Saturday, August 30, 2014 but backdated to maintain sequence.

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27463
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Monday, April 14, 2014
Setter
Rufus (Roger Squires)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27463]
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

Introduction

What can I say — other than another delightful puzzle from Rufus.

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.

Across

1a   Seat of unusual charm and appearance (8)

6a   Those vanquished by the Spanish heading east as a precaution (2,4)

The Incas[5] were a South American Indian people living in the central Andes before the Spanish conquest.

9a   One of four on the fiddle (6)

10a   Vessel on a shark trip (5,3)

Noah's ark[5] is the ship in which Noah, his family, and the animals were saved from the Flood, according to the biblical account (Genesis 6-8).

11a   Sunny reflection in a dark hour? (8)

12a   Relation puts us in the money (6)

13a   Refuse to work and get off? Blimey! (6,1,5)

Blimey[5] (also cor blimey) is an informal British exclamation used to express surprise, excitement, or alarm.

Strike a light[5] is an informal, dated British term used as an expression of surprise, dismay, or alarm cor, strike a light, he’s a crazy geezer and no mistake!.

Cor[5] is an informal British exclamation expressing surprise, excitement, admiration, or alarm ⇒ Cor! That‘s a beautiful black eye you’ve got!

Another variant of this term is gorblimey[5], an informal British expression of surprise or indignation.

16a   It shows the priorities for strikers (7,5)

A striker[5] is the player who is to strike the ball in a game. From the solution, one sees that the setter almost certainly had cricket in mind, although the clue would work equally well if applied to baseball.

19a   Cable from ship to shore (6)

21a   Small creature with aggressive rearing (8)

23a   Senior nurse seen around at home -- that's ominous (8)

In Britain, a sister[5] (often Sister) is a senior female nurse, typically in charge of a ward.

24a   Makes better repairs following direction (6)

25a   Information on the German male or female (6)

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

In German, der[8] is one of the several forms that the definite article may assume.

26a   Rose might arrange a date with men (8)

Down

2d   Moderation seen, lacking fashion allowance (6)

3d   Gormless mountain dog! (5)

In the surface reading, gormless[5] is an informal British term meaning lacking sense or initiative; foolish a constantly grinning, rather gormless boy.

The Cairngorm Mountains[5] (also the Cairngorms) is the name of a mountain range in northern Scotland.

The cairn[5] (also cairn terrier) is a small terrier of a breed with short legs, a longish body, and a shaggy coat. [perhaps so named from being used to hunt among cairns]

4d   Fishermen do it with club support (5,4)

5d   Went crazy -- managed all right after morning (3,4)

In his review, Miffypops should have said "A two letter term for morning or ante meridiem [rather than anti meridian] ..."

6d   Numberless Visa account for a patriarch (5)

Did anyone else think that for the word "Visa" to be truly numberless, one would need to remove not only the Roman numeral for five but also the Roman numeral for one.

In the Bible, Isaac[5] is a Hebrew patriarch, son of Abraham and Sarah and father of Jacob and Esau.

7d   French dresser Tom Cruise ordered (9)

A costumier[5] [a term adopted from French] is a person or company that makes or supplies theatrical or fancy-dress costumes.

Tom Cruise[5] is is an American film actor and producer. As a child, he lived for several years in Ottawa where he reportedly first became involved in acting — appearing in a grade four school drama production.

8d   Neat and honest (8)

13d   Pleased to have met (9)

14d   Dead Roman, possibly, or mythical Greek (9)

In Greek mythology, Andromeda[5] was an Ethiopian princess whose mother Cassiopeia boasted that she herself (or, in some stories, her daughter) was more beautiful than the Nereids. In revenge Poseidon sent a sea monster to ravage the country; to placate him Andromeda was fastened to a rock and exposed to the monster, from which she was rescued by Perseus.

15d   Arsenal making a weekly result? (8)

The surface reading is meant to evoke thoughts of an English football club. Arsenal Football Club[7] is an English professional association football [soccer] club based in Holloway, London that plays in the Premier League (the top level in the English football league system).

17d   Watch and obey (7)

18d   It's looped around a dog (6)

20d   Up and down, round and round it goes (5)

22d   Religious work that is accepted by school liaison group (5)

A pietà[5] is a picture or sculpture of the Virgin Mary holding the dead body of Christ on her lap or in her arms.
Key to Reference Sources: 

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

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thursday, August 28, 2014 — DT 27462

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27462
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, April 12, 2014
Setter
Unknown
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27462 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27462 – Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Prolixic & Big Dave (Hints)
crypticsue (Review)
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★★ Enjoyment - ★★★
Falcon's Experience
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Legend:
- solved without assistance
- incorrect prior to use of puzzle solving tools
- solved with assistance from puzzle solving tools
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by puzzle solving tools
- solved but without fully parsing the clue
- unsolved or incorrect prior to visiting Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by solutions from Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- reviewed by Falcon for Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- yet to be solved
Notes
As this was a Saturday "Prize Puzzle" in Britain, there are two entries related to it on Big Dave's Crossword Blog — the first, posted on the date of publication, contains hints for selected clues while the second is a full review issued following the entry deadline for the contest. The vast majority of reader comments will generally be found attached to the "hints" posting with a minimal number — if any — accompanying the full review.

Introduction

I needed just a bit a help from my electronic assistants today, so I would say that crypticsue's three star difficulty rating is sound.

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.

Across

1a   Person adored taking time in warm place with Roy perhaps (5-5)

Rob Roy[5] (1671–1734) was a Scottish outlaw; born Robert Macgregor. His reputation as a Scottish Robin Hood was exaggerated in [Scottish writer] Sir Walter Scott’s novel of the same name (1817).

6a   Assemble for service (4)

10a   Perry introducing leader of backing group (5)

Perry Como[7] (1912–2001) was an American singer and television personality. During a career spanning more than half a century, he sold millions of records and pioneered a weekly musical variety television show, which set the standards for the genre and proved to be one of the most successful in television history. His combined success on television and popular recordings was not matched by any other artist of the time.

11a   Fool guitar player, fussy type (3-6)

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

12a   Weapon of wood, pine on front (7)

13a   Great man in resting place one turns to ashes (7)

14a   Putting strain on right girl engaged in kissing (5-7)

18a   Support a stranger picked up involved in drunken sprees (12)

21a   Craft needed to break through pack (7)

Iceboat[3,5,10,11] is another name for icebreaker, a vessel with a reinforced bow for breaking up the ice in bodies of water to keep channels open for navigation.

23a   Beat for speed over university track (7)

In cricket, an over[5] (abbreviation O[5]) is a division of play consisting of a sequence of six balls bowled by a bowler from one end of the pitch, after which another bowler takes over from the other end.

On cricket scorecards, the abbreviation O[5] denotes over(s), an over[5] being a division of play consisting of a sequence of six balls bowled by a bowler from one end of the pitch, after which another bowler takes over from the other end.

24a   Fruit bats entering holding area (9)

As an anagram indicator, bats[5] is used as an informal, dated term meaning mad [crazy; very eccentric].

25a   Badly behaved child losing head, a mistake (5)

26a   Send cycling tips (4)

I had interpreted "cycling" as merely an anagram indicator, but — as crypticsue points out — it actually indicates a more restricted range of motion.

27a   Rick engrossed by money’s finer details (5,5)

Brass[5] is an informal British term for money ⇒ they wanted to spend their newly acquired brass.

Down

1d   Mild oath the French abuse (6)

In French, the masculine singular form of the definite article is le[8].

2d   Scottish Nationalist, not the first nut (6)

Alex Salmond[7] is a Scottish politician who is the Leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP)  and current First Minister of Scotland.

3d   Repair man makes brother lose out (14)

4d   Made by craft working down in harbour (4-5)

5d   Choose integrated circuit by sight (5)

7d   At risk of thrashing -- if one does this (3,3,2)

This is a semi-&lit. (semi-all-in-one) clue. The entire clue serves as the definition, while the portion with the dashed underline provides the wordplay.

8d   Long-term plan to go wrong, about to become upset (8)

9d   End tennis match broken showing loss of enthusiasm (14)

15d   Opportunities for big wins nearly part romantic couple (9)

Rollover[5] is a British term denoting (in reference to a lottery) the accumulative carry-over of prize money to the following draw the lottery jackpot rollover is close to £4 million.

16d   Spirit shown by Arabs in Thessaly (8)

Absinthe[5,7,10] (also absinth) is a potent green aniseed-flavoured alcoholic drink, technically a gin, originally made with the shrub wormwood. For most of the twentieth century, absinthe was banned in the United States and much of Europe.

17d   Native Americans in uplifting studies shown on TV (8)

The Cree[5] are an an American Indian people living in a vast area of central Canada [stretching from Labrador as far west as eastern British Columbia[7]].

19d   Material that’s great, opulent mostly (6)

20d   Wreckage turned up by gentleman on bottom of sea (6)

As I read it, the way the clue is phrased would seem to associate the reversal indicator (turned up) with the definition (wreckage) rather than with the wordplay.Try as I might, I cannot construct an explanation for this clue that fully satisfies me.

22d   One game in German city (5)

Trier[5] is a city on the River Mosel in Rhineland-Palatinate, western Germany; population 103,500 (est. 2006). Established by a Germanic tribe, the Treveri, circa 400 BC, Trier is one of the oldest cities in Europe. It was a powerful archbishopric from 815 until the 18th century, but fell into decline after the French occupation in 1797.
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