Saturday, July 30, 2016

Saturday, July 30, 2016 — Cox & Rathvon (Preliminary Post)

Introduction

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

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

Signing off for the moment — Falcon

Friday, July 29, 2016

Friday, July 29, 2016 — DT 28084

Vacation Edition
Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28084
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, April 9, 2016
Setter
Unknown
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28084 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28084 – Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave (Hints)
crypticsue (Review)
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
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

This one-star for difficulty "Saturday" puzzle should be a welcome respite following a couple of taxing days.

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

Signing off for today — Falcon

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Thursday, July 28, 2016 — DT 28083

Vacation Edition
Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28083
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, April 8, 2016
Setter
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28083]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Deep Threat
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

After a very strenuous workout yesterday by Petitjean, it would appear — judging by Deep Threat's introduction, as I have yet to tackle the puzzle myself — that Giovanni has scarcely lowered the intensity level today.

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

Signing off for today — Falcon

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Wednesday, July 27, 2016 — DT 28082

Vacation Edition
Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28082
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, April 7, 2016
Setter
Petitjean (John Pidgeon)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28082]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Kath
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★★★ Enjoyment - ★★★
Falcon's Experience
┌────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┐
███████████████████████████████████
└────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┘
Legend:
- solved without assistance
- incorrect prior to use of puzzle solving tools
- solved with assistance from puzzle solving tools
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by puzzle solving tools
- solved but without fully parsing the clue
- unsolved or incorrect prior to visiting Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by solutions from Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- reviewed by Falcon for Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- yet to be solved

Introduction

I am sneaking a few minutes while the grandkids are at the park to post this.

Kath rated this puzzle from Petitjean as four stars for difficulty. While I have made a start, I am finding it hard going. Although I have completed the top left corner, so far I have been able to make few inroads beyond that area.

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

Signing off for today — Falcon

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Tuesday, July 26, 2016 — DT 28081

Vacation Edition
Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28081
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Wednesday, April 6, 2016
Setter
Jay (Jeremy Mutch)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28081]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
2Kiwis
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
Notes
The National Post has skipped DT 28078 through DT 28080 which were published in The Daily Telegraph from Saturday, April 2, 2016 to Tuesday, April 5, 2016.

Introduction

Today the National Post takes another Great Leap Forward — bounding over three puzzles. I have not written a full review of today's puzzle — my time having been preempted by an invasion of grandchildren.

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

Signing off for today — Falcon

Monday, July 25, 2016

Monday, July 25, 2016 — DT 27842 (Summer Monday Bonus Puzzle)

Prologue

For several years, the practice of the National Post has been not to publish on Monday between Canada Day and Labour Day. To provide readers of the blog with a bit of mental exercise to keep the grey matter well-tuned, I am providing a puzzle that the National Post has skipped (drawn from my reserve of reviews for unpublished puzzles). Today I offer you DT 27842 which appeared in The Daily Telegraph on Wednesday, July 1, 2015 and was skipped by the National Post on Wednesday, December 9, 2015.


Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27842
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Setter
Jay (Jeremy Mutch)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27842]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
2Kiwis
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
Notes
The National Post skipped this puzzle on Wednesday, December 9, 2015.

Introduction

This is a typical Jay puzzle. It takes a while to establish a foothold, but once the solver has succeeded in doing so, progress can steadily be made.

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

Notes on Today's Puzzle

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

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

Across

1a   Soap needed by heavy drinker /getting/ this at teatime? (6,4)

6a   Place restrictions on // dog beginning to bark (4)

10a   Show // womaniser with a change of heart (5)

11a   Build an exciting picture of // a girl some fancy (9)

12a   Person making a mockery /of/ a gourmand? (7)

13a   Attack // yobbo hugging tree (4,3)

Yobbo[5] is an alternative term for yob[5] (back slang for boy), an informal British term for a rude, noisy, and aggressive youth.

14a   Make a speech on safeguard /for/ controlled state (12)

18a   Risk losing advantage /as/ punk slouches around (4,4,4)

21a   Hidden problems /of/ contracts (7)

23a   Laughable // claim thrown out by company (7)

24a   Greeting by head /giving/ sudden inspiration (9)

25a   Poor merchant stocking // shellfish (5)

An ormer[5] is an abalone (mollusc), especially one used as food in the Channel Islands (show explanation ).

The Channel Islands[5] are a group of islands in the English Channel off the northwestern coast of France, of which the largest are Jersey, Guernsey, and Alderney. Formerly part of the dukedom of Normandy, they have owed allegiance to England since the Norman Conquest in 1066, and are now classed as Crown dependencies

hide explanation

26a   Disregarding danger /of/ collision, failing to start (4)

27a   Licence /given/ for each delegation (10)

Down

1d   Emphasise // end of holidays, and lock (6)

Scratching the Surface
Unless I have overlooked something, the surface reading of this clue would seem to be pretty meaningless.

2d   Address that's familiar /for/ a school leaver? (3,3)

This is a double definition. The first is a familiar form of address that — as the 2Kiwis state in their review — one might hear in "stuffy London clubs" and the second a former male student of a school.

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

3d   Going north, food gets cooked /for/ a useless lump (4-3-7)

Given that lump[10] is an informal term for an awkward, heavy, or stupid person, the term "useless lump" should be pretty self-explanatory.

4d   Not a patch on wanting one? (9)

Scratching the Surface
Not a patch on[5] is an informal British expression denoting greatly inferior to ⇒ he no longer looked so handsome—he wasn’t a patch on Peter.

5d   Early bird going up across area /in/ African village (5)

Lark[5] is an informal term for a person who habitually gets up early and feels energetic early in the day. Often contrasted with owl.

Kraal[5] is a South African term for:
  1. a traditional African village of huts, typically enclosed by a fence; or
  2. an enclosure for cattle or sheep.
7d   This type of disorder // in our pal is rampant (8)

As was the case for the 2Kiwis, this was also my last one in.

With respect to psychiatric illnesses, unipolar[5] denotes characterized by either depressive or manic episodes but not both.

8d   Rest /for/ swimmer crossing inside of area? (8)

9d   Windsor, say, held by Greens /for/ this chamber? (5,2,7)

The House of Windsor[7] is the royal house of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms. It was founded by King George V by royal proclamation on 17 July 1917, when he changed the name of the British Royal Family from the German Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (a branch of the House of Wettin) to the English Windsor, due to the anti-German sentiment in the British Empire during World War I. The most prominent member of the House of Windsor is its head, Queen Elizabeth II.

Scratching the Surface
Windsor[7] is a UK Parliamentary constituency which covers the town of Windsor and various portions of the surrounding area, in Berkshire.

A Green party[7] is a formally organised political party based on the principles of Green politics, such as social justice, grassroots democracy, nonviolence, and environmentalism. Green parties exist in nearly 90 countries around the world; many are members of Global Greens, an international network of Green parties and political movements that works to implement the Global Green Charter. In the UK, there are separate Green parties for Scotland, Northern Ireland, and England and Wales.

15d   Application // to join aloof elite? (4,5)

16d   Speed in small pub /is/ key (5,3)

17d   Shy Rasta's complicated // requisites for smoking (8)

Scratching the Surface
Rasta[5] is an informal short form for Rastafarian[5], a member of the Rastafarian religious movement. Rastafarians believe that Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia was the Messiah and that blacks are the chosen people and will eventually return to their African homeland. They have distinctive codes of behaviour and dress, including the wearing of dreadlocks and the smoking of cannabis, and they follow a diet that excludes pork, shellfish, and milk.

19d   Second affected international // dish (6)

I.[10] is the abbreviation for international.

20d   Affair mainly about gold // coin of yore (6)

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

The florin[5] is a a former British coin and monetary unit worth two shillings.

22d   Rock // hotel in auction (5)

Hotel[5] is a code word representing the letter H, used in radio communication.
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 23, 2016

Saturday, July 23, 2016 — Courtiers of Yore

Introduction

As several comments have already made mention, this week's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon seems a bit more difficult than usual. However, posting the puzzle went far more smoothly than was the case the previous week. By climbing half-way up the hill behind my campsite I was able to obtain a strong signal and I remembered to properly configure all the settings on my phone and laptop.

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

Solution to Today's Puzzle

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

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

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

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

Across

1a   Sums up // small, anxious walker from behind (6)

RECAPS< — reversal (from behind) of {S (small) + PACER (anxious walker)}

4a   Squatter // sprayed pure mist (8)

STUMPIER* — anagram (sprayed) of PURE MIST

9a   Light, sticky // doodad (9)

THIN|GUMMY — THIN (light) + GUMMY (sticky)

Thingummy[2,5, 10] (also thingy[5,10], thingamy[2,4,5,10], thingamajig[3,4,10,11], thingamyjig[4,10], thingumajig[3,10,11], thingummyjig[2,10], thingamabob[2,4,10], or thingamybob[4,10], thingumabob[2,10], thingummybob[2,10], or thingumbob[3, 10]) is a person or thing whose name one has forgotten, does not know, or does not wish to mention ⇒ one of those thingummies for keeping all the fire tools together.

If the above should provide an insufficient selection from which to choose, one might also use doohickey, doojigger, gimmick, gismo, gizmo, gubbins, thingmabob, thingmajig, whatchamacallit, whatchamacallum, whatsis, or widget.[WordNet 3.0]

11a   Doyle disturbed // long-distance call (5)

YODEL* — anagram (disturbed) of DOYLE

12a   Trump broadcast about winner’s first // poker hand (3,4)

T(W)O P|AIR — {TOP (trump; as a verb) + AIR (broadcast)} containing (about) W (winner's first; initial letter of Winner)

13a   Dorothy’s best friend taking Harry Potter’s friend/’s/ place on Lake Ontario (7)

TO(RON)TO — TOTO (Dorothy's best friend) containing (taking) RON (Harry Potter's friend)

Toto[7] is a fictional dog in L. Frank Baum's Oz series of children's books. He belongs to Dorothy Gale, the heroine of the books. Being a dog, he is man's — and girl's — best friend.

Ron Weasley[7] is a fictional character in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. His first appearance is in the first book of the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone as the best friend of Harry Potter and Hermione Granger.

14a   Romantic entanglements // revealing lots in a twisted way (4,9)

{LOVE TRIANGLES}* — anagram (in a twisted way) of REVEALING LOTS

18a   Working at getting into range that is // warm (13)

COMPASS|I(ON|AT)E — {ON (working) + AT (†)} contained in (getting into) {COMPASS (range) + IE (that is; abbreviation for id est)}

22a   Nice to hear // old mice scattered (7)

MELODIC* — anagram (scattered) of OLD MICE

24a   A superior // accomplice (7)

A|BETTER — A (†) + BETTER (superior)

26a   Going back on everything // plain (5)

{LLA|NO}< — reversal (going back) of {ON (†) + ALL (everything)}

27a   Fruit // put in mesh again after opening of grocery (9)

G|REENGAGE — RE-ENGAGE (put in mesh again; as gears, for instance) following (after) G (opening [letter] of Grocery)

A greengage[5] is:
  1. (also called gage) a sweet greenish fruit resembling a small plum; or
  2. the tree (Prunus domestica italica) bearing this fruit.
28a   One bit of trivia is included in genealogy chart/’s/ pamphlet (8)

TRE(A|T|IS)E — {A (one) + T (bit [initial letter] of Trivia) + IS (†)} contained in (included in) TREE (genealogy chart)

For the doubtful among you, Collins English Thesaurus shows pamphlet as being a synonym of treatise.

29a   Stress // a leader of Canada with item featuring Queen Elizabeth’s portrait (6)

A|C|CENT — A (†) + C (leader [initial letter] of Canada) + (with) CENT (item featuring Queen Elizabeth's portrait; former coin of Canada for which the Royal Canadian Mint ceased distribution in 2013 although it remains legal tender)

Down

1d   In the middle of hot streak, toddler and I // do some gardening (8)

RO(TOT|I)LL — {TOT (toddler) + I (†)} contained in (in the middle of) ROLL (hot streak; at the casino, perhaps)

Rototill[5] is a verb meaning to use a rototiller[5] (known in the UK as a rotavator).

2d   Yak standing in front of old // khaki cloth (5)

CHIN|O — CHIN (yak; make idle conversation) + O (old)

Chino[3,4,11] is a US term for a coarse twilled cotton fabric, often dyed khaki, used for uniforms and sometimes work or sports clothes.

3d   Leaf bug/’s/ elaborate display (7)

PAGE|ANT — PAGE (leaf) + ANT (bug)

5d   Attempt street // rendezvous (5)

TRY|ST — TRY (attempt) + ST (street)

6d   Springtime test // of a city official (7)

MAY|ORAL — MAY (springtime) + ORAL (test)

7d   Group of islands: // ones in Asian country (9)

IND(ONES)IA — ONES (†) contained in (in) INDIA (Asian country)

8d   Note only destroyed // trust (4,2)

RE|{LY ON}* — RE ([musical] note) + anagram (destroyed) of ONLY

10d   Shop in a // tennis legend’s name (7)

MART|IN|A — MART (shop) + IN (†) + A (†)

Martina Navratilova[7] is a retired Czech and American tennis player and coach. Billie Jean King, former World No. 1 player, said in 2006 that Navratilova is "the greatest singles, doubles and mixed doubles player who's ever lived." In 2005, Tennis magazine selected her as the greatest female tennis player for the years 1965 through 2005. Tennis historian and journalist Bud Collins has called Navratilova "arguably, the greatest tennis player of all time."

15d   Give up about bad // sway (9)

VAC(ILL)ATE — VACATE (give up) containing (about) ILL (bad)

16d   Playing set as an // old tennis star (7)

NASTASE* — anagram (playing) of SET AS AN

Ilie Năstase[7] is a Romanian former world No. 1 professional tennis player, one of the world's top players of the 1970s.

17d   Again, check // the seat of a chair? (8)

REAR|REST — split (4,4) the solution describes the function performed by the seat of a chair

19d   Comprehended, // will possibly question in hearing (4,3)

{MADE OUT}~  — sounds like (in hearing) MAY DOUBT (will possibly question)

20d   Vast // distribution of cocaine (7)

OCEANIC* — anagram of (distribution of) COCAINE

21d   A stubborn sort with true // charm (6)

A|MULE|T — A (†) + MULE (stubborn sort) + (with) T (true)

23d   Pens // 100 Seasons (5)

C|AGES — C ([Roman numeral for] 100) + AGES (seasons; as a verb meaning matures)

25d   Follow // start of track competition (5)

T|RACE —T (start [initial letter] of Track) + RACE (competition)

Epilogue

The title of today's review is inspired by 10d and 16d.
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