Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 — DT 27438

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27438
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, March 15, 2014
Setter
Unknown
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27438 - Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27438 - Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
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
The National Post has skipped DT 27437 which was published in The Daily Telegraph on Friday, March 14, 2014.
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 thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle — and, judging by crypticsue's rating of four stars for enjoyment, the feeling appears to be mutual.

Although I had never heard of either the malted chocolate beverage or the British expression in which it is incorporated, I managed to solve the clue based on the other definition — thereby avoiding (or not) a mess in the southwestern corner.

Although I had heard of the Hebridean island (the ferry going to it leaves from the same dock on Mull as the ferry I once took to Iona), I failed to recognize the non-rhotic homophone.

Finally, I hope that crypticsue will not be upset with me for disputing her calls on what constitutes the defintion in a couple of the clues.

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   Indicator of wind's blow (4)

I concur with crypticsue's characterisation of this clue as a double definition.

3a   Model problem (5)

6a   Cut down garden weed (4)

Dock[5] is a coarse weed of temperate regions, with inconspicuous greenish or reddish flowers. The leaves are used to relieve nettle stings.

8a   Protector of wildlife cites innovators in development (15)

9a   Acknowledge version of the Bible with cry of pain (6)

A chiefly British term, the Authorized Version[5] (abbreviation AV)[5] is an English translation of the Bible made in 1611 at the order of James I and still widely used, though never formally ‘authorized’. It is also called the King James Bible — a name by which it is undoubtedly better known in North America.

10a   Presenter of TV show with unusual format introducing new name (8)

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

My interpretation of the wordplay varies ever so subtly from that of crypticsue. I parsed it as {an anagram (unusual) of FORMAT containing (introducing) N (new)} + N (name). She has incorporated both Ns into the anagram fodder which also works. Under her interpretation, the clue parses as an anagram (unusual) of {FORMAT containing (introducing) {N (name) + N (new)}}. I must say that I prefer my interpretation, if only because it requires fewer levels of parentheses.

11a   Observe large ship's make-up (8)

It would appear that crypticsue's attention must have wandered. Her parsing of the clue should read EYE (observe) + LINER (large ship).

13a   Deception taking in engineers is very funny thing (6)

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.

15a   Group of actors in rep out for a change (6)

Rep[5] is an informal shortened form of repertory[5]. It can refer either to the performance of various plays, operas, or ballets by a company at regular short intervals,  or to a repertory theatre or company.

17a   One put on guard supports family (8)

A bearskin[5] is a tall cap of black fur worn ceremonially by certain troops, such as the Guards [troops who ceremonially guard the sovereign] in the British army. The bearskin is also worn by four Canadian regiments: Canadian Grenadier Guards[7], Governor General's Foot Guards[7], Royal 22e Régiment[7], and The Royal Regiment of Canada[7].

19a   Boy catching gnat gets bit (8)

21a   Make sudden move forward pinching old saloon (6)

In North America, we tend to think of a saloon as being a drinking establishment in the old west. In Britain, saloon[5] (also called saloon bar) is another term for lounge bar[5] (also called lounge[10]), the smarter and more comfortably furnished [and more expensive] bar in a pub they sat in a corner of the lounge bar until closing time. The more more plainly furnished [and less expensive] bar in a pub is known as the public bar[5].

22a   Eden Hazard? Golden feet work deftly with energy (4,2,9)

Eden Hazard[7] is a Belgian professional footballer [soccer player], who plays for Chelsea in the Premier League [the top tier of the English football league system] and the Belgium national team.

In the Bible, the tree of knowledge[5] (also known as the tree of knowledge of good and evil) is the tree in the Garden of Eden bearing the forbidden fruit which Adam and Eve disobediently ate (Gen. 2:9, 3).

23a   Place serving officers Horlicks (4)

Although crypticsue does not mark it as such, I would say that this is another double definition.

Horlicks[5] is a drink made from malted milk powder named after James and William Horlick, British-born brothers whose company first manufactured the drink in the US. In Britain, to make a Horlicks of[5] (something) means to make a mess of (it).

24a   North American animal shed is unpleasant (5)

25a   Blue stuff upset stomachs (4)

Tum[10] is an informal or childish word for stomach.


Down


1d   Host a former athlete dispatched outside (9)

The Host[5] is the bread consecrated in the Eucharist[5], the Christian service, ceremony, or sacrament commemorating the Last Supper, in which bread and wine are consecrated and consumed. In Catholic use, the sacrament[5] (also called the Blessed Sacrament or the Holy Sacrament) refers to the consecrated elements of the Eucharist, especially the bread or Host.

Steve Cram[7] is a British retired track and field athlete. Along with fellow Britons Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett, he was one of the world's dominant middle distance runners during the 1980s. 

2d   Provide comfort to computer games player (7)

In their hints and review, Big Dave and crypticsue seem to have missed marking part of the first definition which is clearly "provide comfort to". If you console someone, you provide comfort to them.

3d   Fish expert catches indefinite number possibly (9)

The letter n[10] is used (especially in mathematics) as a symbol to represent an indefinite number (of) there are n objects in a box.

4d   Regular correspondent's report of Scottish island (7)

Staffer[5] is a chiefly North American term for a member of the staff of an organization, especially of a newspaper. A "regular correspondent" could be a staffer, as opposed to a special correspondent — such as a freelancer, for example.

Staffa[5] is a small uninhabited [other than by seabirds] island of the Inner Hebrides, west of Mull. It is the site of Fingal’s Cave and is noted for its basalt columns.

The word "Staffer", when pronounced in a non-rhotic[5] British accent, sounds like "Staffa". Non-rhotic accents omit the sound /r/ in certain situations, while rhotic accents generally pronounce /r/ in all contexts.

5d   One protected by terrible horn (5)

This is an &lit. clue (sometimes called an all-in-one clue) — a clue in which the entire clue (when read one way) is the the definition, but under a different interpretation takes on the role of wordplay.

6d   Changes the character of area in false set (9)

7d   It will make you go about carrying a sign of injury (7)

Cascara[5] (also called cascara sagrada) is a purgative [laxative] made from the dried bark of an American buckthorn.

12d   Los Angeles strip is cleaner (9)

13d   Secretive about worship, in a way that lacks depth (9)

I believe that crypticsue has come up a bit short on the definition in her review. With the solution being an adverb, the definition must be the entire phrase "in a way that lacks depth".

14d   Name item in pie around Christmas primarily (9)

As an anagram indicator, pie[10] is a variant spelling of pi[10], a printing term meaning, as a noun, (1) a jumbled pile of printer's type or (2) a jumbled mixture or, as a verb, (1) to spill and mix (set type) indiscriminately or (2) to mix up. Thus the phrase "in pie" means in a jumbled mixture.

The wordplay parses as an anagram (in pie) of NAME ITEM containing (around) C (Christmas primarily; initial letter of Christmas).

Question: Name an item that can be found in a pie which is served primarily around Christmas. Answer: the solution to the clue

16d   Regret about detective (7)

Inspector Endeavour Morse[7] is a fictional character in the eponymous series of detective novels by British author Colin Dexter, as well as the 33-episode 1987–2000 television drama Inspector Morse[7], with the character played by John Thaw. Morse is a senior CID (Criminal Investigation Department) officer with the Thames Valley Police force in Oxford, England.

17d   Fruit and nuts (7)

18d   Supreme power to make monk dig furiously (7)

Kingdom[5] is used in the sense of the spiritual reign or authority of God.

20d   Michael Finnegan's content being small (5)

In this case, crypticsue appears to have included a bit more than is called for in the definition which I would make as merely "small" with the word "being" serving as a link between the wordplay and definition.

Michael Finnegan[7] is an example of an unboundedly long song, which can continue with numerous variations until the singer decides (or is forced) to stop. Like most other perpetual songs, this song tends to be sung by schoolchildren. It is a popular song often sung around a campfire or during scouting events.

Each four-line verse starts with the line "There once was a man named Michael Finnegan" (or "There was an old man named Michael Finnegan") and ends with the words "Poor old Michael Finnegan (begin ag'in)", leading to another verse. For example:
There once was a man named Michael Finnegan,
He grew whiskers on his chinnigin,
Shaved them off and they grew in ag'in,
Poor old Michael Finnegan (begin ag'in)

There once was a man named Michael Finnegan,
Climbed a tree and hit his shinnigin,
Took off several yards of skinnigin,
Poor old Michael Finnegan (begin ag'in)

And so forth, ad infinitum ...
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, July 28, 2014

Monday, July 28, 2014 — DT 27432 (Bonus Puzzle)

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27432
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, March 8, 2014
Setter
Cephas (Peter Chamberlain)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27432 - Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27432 - Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
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
The National Post skipped this puzzle which — under its regular publication schedule — would have appeared on Monday, July 21, 2014.
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

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.

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.

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   Round we had -- and hadn't paid (4)

3a   Very useful, home price covering rebuilt lab (10)

8a   Mockery made of tryst Eva organised (8)

9a   Awkward ridge gets left in waistbelt (6)

A waistbelt[10] is [what else] a belt encircling the waist.

10a   Two Spanish articles following pop as a local speciality (6)

The word "local" is interpreted in the context of Spanish.

In Spanish, the masculine singular form of the definite article is el[8].

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

11a   Green buggy? (4,4)

13a   Train rodents to roll over after French bread (8)

The bread is spendable rather than edible.

The euro[5] is the single European currency, which replaced the national currencies of France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Luxembourg, Austria, Finland, the Republic of Ireland, Belgium, and the Netherlands in 2002. Seventeen member states of the European Union now use the euro.

Eurostar[5] (trademark) is the high-speed passenger rail service that links London with various European cities via the Channel Tunnel.

14a   Wrote from prison: 'Study's gone west' (6)

Pen as a synonym for prison appears to be a shortened form of penitentiary, even though penitentiary is characterised as a North American term by Chambers 21st Century Dictionary[2], Collins English Dictionary[10] and  Oxford Dictionaries Online[5].

16a   Young woman's mother the French brought back (6)

In French, the plural form of the definite article is les[10].

19a   Unbecoming to be in drag, if getting a makeover (5,3)

When I worked out what seemed to be the only possible arrangement of the letters in this anagram, I could scarcely bring myself to believe that such a term existed — but one must never underestimate the Brits.

Infra dig[5] is an informal, chiefly British term meaning beneath one or demeaning she regarded playing for the Pony Club as deeply infra dig. The term is an abbreviation of Latin infra dignitatem 'beneath (one's) dignity'.

21a   Journalist's taken back intended hostile challenge (8)

22a   Journey cut short through irrelevancies (6)

23a   I sped round lake to drive away (6)

24a   Many-sided but with no sides? (3-5)

25a   Fry often gets tipsy around the Queen -- sheer impudence! (10)

The regnal ciphers (monograms) of British monarchs are initials formed from the Latin version of their first name followed by either Rex or Regina (Latin for king or queen, respectively). Thus, the regnal cipher of Queen Elizabeth is ER[5] — from the Latin Elizabetha Regina.

26a   Monster not on trail (4)


Down


1d   Fully extended providing picnic? (9)

2d   Satanist's lived riotously -- wish proper reforming's to come (5-10)

I would say that one is meant to interpret the phrase "to come" as "to follow" emphasizing that the latter anagram follows the former one.

3d   Second of this month (7)

Instant[5] is a dated expression once used in business letters. It is a postpositive adjective meaning of the current month ⇒ your letter of the 6th instant.

4d   Envoy, a German taking part as tourist (7)

5d   Cricketer and members going over feature (3,4)

In cricket, leg slip[5] is (1) a fielding position just behind the batsman on the leg side or (2) a fielder at leg slip.

Leg[5] (also known as leg side) is the half of the field (as divided lengthways through the pitch) away from which the batsman's feet are pointed when standing to receive the ball he played a lucky stroke to leg.

6d   Final cardiogram disguised bloomer (7,8)

Tagetes erecta[7], the Mexican marigold, also called Aztec marigold, is a species of the genus Tagetes native to Mexico and Central America. Despite its being native to the Americas, it is often called African marigold.

7d   Wield cross held in upturned palm perhaps (5)

12d   Grain port (3)

Rye[5] is a small town in East Sussex, England, which stands approximately two miles from the open sea and is at the confluence of three rivers: the Rother, the Tillingham and the Brede. In medieval times, however, as an important member of the Cinque Ports confederation, it was at the head of an embayment of the English Channel and almost entirely surrounded by the sea.

15d   No-holds-barred cannibalism? (3-3-3)

17d   Pronounce as an alternative to wonder (3)

The phrase "an alternative to" is supposedly equivalent to "or", although I cannot think of a single instance where I could directly substitute one for the other.

This is one of those British homophones that does not travel well. The word "or", when pronounced in a non-rhotic[5] British accent, sounds like "awe". Non-rhotic accents omit the sound /r/ in certain situations, while rhotic accents generally pronounce /r/ in all contexts.

18d   Fat left a stain finally on jazzy lino (7)

19d   Learned not to start or repeat (7)

20d   Footballers agree with a deadly final ending? (7)

The Football Association[7], also known simply as the FA, is the governing body of football [soccer] in England. Formed in 1863, it is the oldest football association in the world and is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the amateur and professional game in England.

21d   Setter perhaps needs clue at the end to cover up dead duck (5)
Key to Reference Sources: 

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

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Saturday, July 26, 2014 — Ups and Downs


Introduction

Today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon proved to be a bit more of a challenge than usual, but looking back at it I cannot see why. Perhaps I was just not at the top of my game today.

We get raised up near the end of the first half only to be knocked out shortly into the second half.

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


1a   "Young lady, cut and run" (6)

GAL|LOP — GAL (young lady) + LOP (cut)

5a   Member of the clan in changing of the guard? (8)

DAUGHTER* — anagram of (changing of) THE GUARD

9a   Roll beam around a small house (8)

BUN|G(A)LOW — BUN (roll) + {GLOW (beam) containing (around) A (†)}

10a   Second-rate farm's offshoot (6)

B|RANCH — B (second-rate; a B-movie, for instance) + RANCH (farm)

I'm sure some readers may dispute whether a ranch is a farm.

11a   Some European uttered something salty? (6)

_PEAN|UT_ — hidden in (some) EuroPEAN UTtered

12a   Old British coin nowhere near article (8)

FAR|THING — FAR (nowhere near) + THING (article)

A farthing[5] is a former monetary unit and coin of the UK, withdrawn in 1961, equal to a quarter of an old [pre-decimalisation] penny.

13a   Work with soup, crackers (4)

OPUS* — anagram (crackers) of SOUP

In music, an opus[5] (from Latin, literally 'work') is a separate composition or set of compositions. Its abbreviated form, Op.[5] (also op.), is used before a number given to each work of a particular composer, usually indicating the order of publication. Opus[5] can also be used in a more general sense meaning an artistic work, especially one on a large scale he was writing an opus on Mexico.

15a   Deal makers dive inside taverns (10)

BAR(GAINER)S — GAINER (bar) contained in (inside) BARS (taverns)

A gainer[10] (also called full gainer) is a type of dive in which the diver leaves the board facing forward and completes a full backward somersault to enter the water feet first with his back to the diving board. A half gainer[10] is a type of dive in which the diver completes a half backward somersault to enter the water headfirst facing the diving board.

17a   Southern beauty, if pronounced trend leader (10)

BELL|WETHER — sounds like (pronounced) {BELLE (Southern beauty) + WHETHER (if)}

The Southern belle[7] (derived from the French word belle, 'beautiful') is an archetype for a young woman of the American Deep South's upper class.

A wether[5] is a castrated ram. A bellwether[5] is the leading sheep of a flock, with a bell on its neck. The term bellwether is also used figuratively to mean something that leads or indicates a trend [The UK parliamentary constituency of] Basildon is now the bellwether of Britain’s voting behaviour.

Ironically, the above usage example is rather dated as the UK parliamentary constituency of Basildon[7] ceased to exist in 2010 when it was split into two parts which were each combined with adjoining areas to form two new constituencies. However, during its existence, it "was one of the best known bellwether constituencies in the (sic) Britain, having voted for the winning party in each election since its creation."

19a   Some grain right in front of rocks (4)

R|ICE — R (right) + (in front of) ICE (rocks; ice cubes)

20a   Big performance, and clownish (8)

GIG|ANTIC — GIG (performance) + (and) ANTIC (clownish)

22a   Opens last part of menu printed in red ink (6)

DEB(U)TS — U (last part [letter] of menU) contained in (printed in) DEBTS (red ink)

24a   Silver finish on a slate (6)

AG|END|A — AG ([symbol for the chemical element] silver) + END (finish) + (on) A (†)

25a   Raised field put in a new order (8)

UPLIFTED* — anagram (in a new order) of FIELD PUT

26a   Break down in award pitch (8)

GRA(DIE)NT — DIE (break down) contained in (in) GRANT (award)

27a   Group of six tsetse flies? (6)

SESTET* — anagram (flies) of TSETSE

The tsetse[5] (also called tsetse fly) is an African bloodsucking fly which bites humans and other mammals, transmitting sleeping sickness and nagana.


Down


2d   One attractive and sharp (5)

A|CUTE — A (one) + CUTE (attractive)

3d   Myths, for example, involved in advances (7)

L(EG)ENDS — EG (for example) contained in (involved in) LENDS (advances)

4d   Friend with a piece of furniture that you can stand (9)

PAL|A|TABLE — PAL (friend) + (with) A (†) + TABLE (piece of furniture)

A palatable outcome being one "that you can stand".

5d   Knocked out something fluffy given to Dracula? (4,3,3,5)

DOWN FOR THE COUNT — DOWN (something fluffy) + FOR (given to) + THE COUNT (Dracula)

Count Dracula[7] is the title character and primary antagonist of the 1897 Gothic horror novel Dracula by Irish writer Bram Stoker (1847–1912).

6d   Brownish boards, except for the first (5)

_UMBER — [L]UMBER (boards) with the initial letter removed (except for the first)

Note to British readers: In North America, lumber[5,3,4,11] is timber that has been sawn into rough or finished boards, planks, or other structural members of standard or specified length.

Note to North American readers: In Britain, lumber[5] denotes articles of furniture or other household items that are no longer useful and inconveniently take up storage space ⇒ a lumber room.

7d   Warm chicken for pagan (7)

HEAT|HEN — HEAT (warm) + HEN (chicken)

8d   Odd head of copper penny pocketed by Clapton (9)

E(C|CENT)RIC — {C (head [initial letter] of Copper) + CENT (penny)} contained in (pocketed by) ERIC (Clapton)

Eric Clapton[5] is an English blues and rock guitarist, singer, and composer, known particularly for the song ‘Layla’ (1972) and for his group Cream (1966-8).

Note to British readers: In Canada and the United States, a penny[3] is a coin that is worth one cent. The Canadian penny[7] was withdrawn from use in 2013 although it still remains legal tender.

14d   Chief seizing no-good movie director (9)

PREMI(NG)ER — PREMIER (chief) containing (seizing) NG (no good)

This is a recycling (with minor refurbishment) of a clue that Cox & Rathvon used in their puzzle of March 15, 2014:
  • 7d   Provincial leader embracing no-good movie director (9)
The following is a recycling (with no refurbishment) of comments I made then:

While one could further decompose the wordplay into N (no) and G (good; for instance, a grade received on a school assignment or test), NG[3,4,11] and/or its variants N.G., ng, and n.g. are listed in several dictionaries as abbreviations for no good.

Otto Preminger[5] (1906–1986) was an Austrian-born American film director, noted for films such as The Moon is Blue (1953), The Man with the Golden Arm (1955), and Bonjour Tristesse (1958).

16d   Barkers shown some beer (9)

AIRED|ALES — AIRED (shown) + ALES (some beers; the others being lagers)

An Airedale[5] is a large terrier of a rough-coated black-and-tan breed [from Airedale, a district in Yorkshire, where the dog was bred].

18d   Found out fifty made money (7)

L|EARNED — L ([Roman numeral for] fifty) + EARNED (made money)

19d   Turns away half of real fans (7)

RE|BUFFS — RE ([first] half of REal) + BUFFS (fans)

21d   Follow the start of the running event (5)

T|RACE — T (the start [initial letter] of The) + RACE (running event)

23d   Topic is the ego (5)

THE|ME — THE (†) + ME (ego)
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, July 25, 2014

Friday, July 25, 2014 — DT 27436

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27436
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, March 13, 2014
Setter
Shamus (Philip Marlow)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27436]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
archy and mehitabel
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

During the first solving session, I completed that northwest and southeast quadrants. The remaining quadrants fell during the second session.

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   Memorial to encapsulate drinking venue in Ireland, say (8)

5a   Message given after departure cancelled? A swindle (3-3)

10a   Unconventional place to go at this medical institution (7,8)

Cottage hospital[5] is a British term for a small hospital in a country area.

11a   Tinker adjusted front of tatty small ornament (7)

12a   Comfort achieved in Switzerland with soup on reflection (5,2)

The International Vehicle Registration (IVR) code for Switzerland is CH[5] [from French Confédération Helvétique 'Swiss Confederation'].

13a   French city largely developed by titled figure (8)

Developed is used in the sense of became larger.

Grenoble[7] is a city in southeastern France, at the foot of the French Alps where the river Drac joins the Isère. It was the site of the 1968 Winter Olympic Games.

15a   In which one might see hairdressers alone? On the contrary (5)

This is a bit of a tricky clue. I would say that one might think of it as a variant of a semi-all-in-one clue. If you recall, in a semi-all-in-one clue, the entire clue usually forms the definition while a portion of the clue serves as the wordplay. Here the setter has turned the tables (in more ways than one) by letting the entire clue be the wordplay while only a portion of it forms the definition.

The solution is SALON, a place where one might see hairdressers alone (if business were slow). The phrase "on the contrary" in the wordplay tells us that we must invert the sense of the preceding statement, making it read "Which one might see in hairdresserS ALONe".

18a   English people objectively missing at end distinctive character (5)

I don't understand why THOSE should be "people objectively" any more than "people subjectively". Grammatically speaking, the pronoun "those" can surely be used either as an object or a subject.

20a   Writer in work left a note describing modern offices? (4-4)

23a   Severe figure when with football team league’s dropped (7)

Celtic Football Club[7] is a football [soccer] club in Glasgow, Scotland which plays in the Scottish Premiership. The Scottish Premiership[7] is the top division of the Scottish Professional Football League, the league competition for professional football clubs in Scotland.

25a   Legal officer concerned with the military we hear (7)

26a   Tradesmen potter about in large retail site (10,5)

Potter[3,4,11] (the chiefly British counterpart to the North American term putter) means to move with little energy or direction ⇒ to potter about town.

27a   Watford player, one with a buzz? (6)

This was not difficult — once I had the checking letters and remembered that bees are not the only insects that buzz.

Watford Football Club[7] is an English professional football [soccer] club based in Hertfordshire, England that is nicknamed the Hornets. Watford competes in the Football League Championship – the second highest level of English football.

28a   Miserable place around North Elizabeth’s found showing huge determination (4-4)

I thought that North Elizabeth might be a community in the UK, but that does not seem to be the case. Aside from a "lightly used" transit station in Elizabeth, New Jersey, North Elizabeth[7] seems to exist only in Crosswordland.

Bet is a shortened form of Betty[7], a common diminutive for the name Elizabeth.

The clue parses as HELL (miserable place) + {BET ([diminutive for] Elizabeth containing N (north)}.

As is often the case, one must read some implicit punctuation into the wordplay, making it "around North, Elizabeth is found".


Down


1d   Repeat aloud name supporting engineers (6)

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.

2d   Irishman and Arab entertained by wealthy venerable figure (9)

Most of the Irishmen whom one encounter's in Crosswordland seem to be named Pat.

Collins English Dictionary shows Ar.[10] as being the abbreviation for Arabia, Arabian, and Arabic. The Chambers Dictionary adds Arab to this list[1].

3d   Banker abroad taking in cold hillside feature? (7)

4d   Stupid piece of abject penitence brought up (5)

6d   Grab young offender on ship (7)

"On" is used in the sense of "on the subject of".

In Crosswordland, you will find that a ship is almost invariably a steamship, the abbreviation for which is SS[10].

7d   Aquatic creature is more animated? Not initially (5)

The phrase "more animated" is likely intended to clue HOTTER, where hot[5] might be used in the sense of involving much activity, debate, or interest the environment has become a very hot issue.

8d   Asian type of pastry I secure inside (8)

Filo[5] (also phyllo) is a kind of dough that can be stretched into very thin sheets, used in layers to make both sweet and savoury pastries, especially in eastern Mediterranean cookery.

9d   Solid Tory found on island (8)

A Tory[4] is a member or supporter of the Conservative Party in Great Britain [or Canada]. Historically, a Tory was a member of the English political party that opposed the exclusion of James, Duke of York from the royal succession (1679-80). Tory remained the label for subsequent major conservative interests until they gave birth to the Conservative Party in the 1830s.

The abbreviation for Conservative may be either C. or Con.

Crete[5] is a Greek island in the eastern Mediterranean; population 630,000 (est. 2009); capital, Heraklion. It is noted for the remains of the Minoan civilization which flourished there in the 2nd millennium BC. It fell to Rome in 67 BC and was subsequently ruled by Byzantines, Venetians, and Turks. Crete played an important role in the Greek struggle for independence from the Turks in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, becoming administratively part of an independent Greece in 1913.

14d   Car’s back by river overlooking quiet military establishment (4,4)

Boot[5] is the British term for the trunk[5] of a car.

The Cam[10] is a river in eastern England, in Cambridgeshire, flowing through Cambridge to the Great Ouse (river). Length: about 64 km (40 miles).

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.

16d   Hateful motel has collapsed with nothing in it (9)

17d   Woman shaking hand in roofed terrace (8)

19d   Release second film without a charge (3,4)

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial[7] (often referred to simply as E.T.) is a 1982 American science fiction film co-produced and directed by Steven Spielberg. It tells the story of a lonely boy who befriends an extraterrestrial, dubbed "E.T.", who is stranded on Earth. He and his siblings help the extraterrestrial return home while attempting to keep it hidden from their mother and the government.

21d   Study country with society above a lake (7)

22d   Patron having small change (about pound I detected) (6)

In the cryptic analysis, I suspect that we are expected to interpret "having ... detected" as a "split link phrase" (analogous to a "split infinitive"). The clue could be rephrased to express this idea more clearly — however, at the expense of destroying the surface reading.
  • 22d   Patron having detected small change (about pound I) (6)
A cent[5] is a monetary unit in various countries, equal to one hundredth of a dollar, euro, or other decimal currency unit. However, in Britain — despite having adopted a decimal currency — one hundredth of a pound is known as a penny (plural pence) rather than a cent.

Collins English Dictionary circumvents this complication by exhaustively defining cent[10] as a monetary unit of American Samoa, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Australia, Austria, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bermuda, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Brunei, Canada, the Cayman Islands, Cyprus, Dominica, East Timor, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Finland, France, French Guiana, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guam, Guyana, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Kenya, Kiribati, Kosovo, Liberia, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, the Marshall Islands, Martinique, Mauritius, Mayotte, Micronesia, Monaco, Montenegro, Namibia, Nauru, the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles, New Zealand, the Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Réunion, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, the Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Surinam, Swaziland, Taiwan, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uganda, the United States, the Vatican City, the Virgin Islands, and Zimbabwe. It is worth one hundredth of their respective standard units.

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

24d   Prank produced by person in temporary site miles away (5)

25d   Cut rodents besetting bottom of garden (5)
Key to Reference Sources: 

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

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thursday, July 24, 2014 — DT 27435

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27435
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Setter
Jay (Jeremy Mutch)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27435]
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

I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed today's puzzle from Jay.

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   Spike drink given to one politician (6)

In many Commonwealth countries (including Britain and Canada), a member of the House of Commons or similar legislative body is known as a Member of Parliament[10] (or MP[5] for short).

5a   Approaches after work, dismissing fine for disputes (8)

9a   Dishonesty from keen doctors? (5,8)

Sharp practice[10] is an old-fashioned term meaning dishonest or unscrupulous behaviour in business.

10a   Cut charge by £1? (8)

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

11a   A good hotel welcomed by supporter from an Asian country (6)

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

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

12a   Irishman wearing a coat? (6)

I would have to say that most of the Irishmen whom I encounter in Crosswordland seem to be named Pat.

14a   Don't say a word -- liquid silver dries up (8)

16a   Tramps across the west of Ireland for papers (8)

In Britain, dosser[5] is an informal and derogatory term for a tramp or someone who 'sleeps rough'[5] — a British expression meaning to sleep in uncomfortable conditions, typically out of doors "he spent the night sleeping rough on the streets".

19a   Criminal offence on quiet man of the church (6)

A parson[5,10] is a parish priest in the Church of England, formerly applied only to those who held ecclesiastical benefices — that is, a rector or vicar. A benefice[5] is a permanent Church appointment, typically that of a rector or vicar, for which property and income are provided in respect of pastoral duties.

21a   Date with title holder is a depressing experience (6)

This "title holder" is not the winner of a sports championship but, rather, someone with property to their name.

23a   Sweet from Italy carried by public transport is acceptable (8)

Sweet[5] is a British term for a sweet dish forming a course of a meal; in other words, a pudding or dessert. 

The International Vehicle Registration (IVR) code for Italy is I[5]. 

Tram[5] is the British term for streetcar[5].

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

The illustrations in scchua's review show a tiramisu dessert in the hands of the owner of Alimento Fine Food Emporium (King Street West in Toronto — and apparently now closed); Mexican actress Salma Hayek dining in Rome (by the way, she ate a cup of strawberries and virtually ignored the tiramisu), and director Oliver Stone apparently mesmerized by Salma Hayek's ample cleavage. It would seem that scchua is suggesting that eating tiramisu results in ... (well, I'm sure you can imagine where this is leading).

25a   A banking term for reputation and class (8,5)

Standing order[5] is a British term for an instruction to a bank by an account holder to make regular fixed payments to a particular person or organization.

26a   One needs to be reminded in the morning in case working (8)

27a   Deeply affected, let out a scream (6)


Down


2d   How mother hides a sign of injury? (7)

This is a 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.

About the only injury that the solution might conceal is a damaged eyelash.

3d   Conscious of a revolutionary green source of energy (5)

4d   Walk along the seafront -- and see lap dancing (9)

In his review, scchua illustrates the clue with a shot of Miley Cyrus on the Ellen Degeneres show. Here is the entire segment:



5d   Kew, for example, gets women to replace head keepers (7)

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, usually referred to as Kew Gardens[5], is a major botanical institution located at Kew, in London, England.

6d   Capital -- and credit -- squeezed by an accountant (5)

The abbreviation CA[5] for Chartered Accountant  is used in Scotland — and was formerly employed in Canada. However, as of January 2013, Canadian CA's have adopted the CPA (Chartered Professional Accountant) designation. In England and Wales, the designatory letters are ACA or FCA while in Ireland (including Northern Ireland) the acronym CAI is used.[7]

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

In his review, scchua illustrates this clue with pictures of Erica Yayra Nego[7] who won the Miss Universe title in 2011 representing Ghana. However, scchua is mistaken when he says that Accra is her hometown. It seems that Miss Nego — who is of Ghanaian, German and Persian ancestry — was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota in the good old USA.

7d   Reviewing home rule mainly supporting leave (5,4)

8d   I weep audibly and go face-to-face (7)

13d   Unable to feel popular, as tense, worryingly (9)

15d   Vacant role for each right-winger is a sort of theatre (9)

A Tory[4] is a member or supporter of the Conservative Party in Great Britain [or Canada]. Historically, a Tory was a member of the English political party that opposed the exclusion of James, Duke of York from the royal succession (1679-80). Tory remained the label for subsequent major conservative interests until they gave birth to the Conservative Party in the 1830s.

17d   Animal giving sailor problem after work (7)

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

 In music, Op.[5] (also op.) is an abbreviation meaning opus (work). It is used before a number given to each work of a particular composer, usually indicating the order of publication.

An opossum[5] is an American marsupial which has a naked prehensile tail and hind feet with an opposable thumb.

18d   A saint converted Charlie? Like Hell! (7)

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

20d   Notice rising smell and do one's duty (7)

22d   Broadcast without finishing one's lines (5)

24d   Mine misses home with son up for a decoration (5)

The decorated Olympians featured in scchua's review are American swimmer Mark Spitz[7] (seven gold medals at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich) and Australian swimmer Stephanie Rice[7] (three gold medals at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing).
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