Thursday, September 3, 2015

Thursday, September 3, 2015 — DT 27757

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27757
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Setter
Unknown
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27757]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Gazza
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

This proved to be a very gentle workout — and also one with a rather minimal number of Briticisms. Even the obscure British violinist did not impose much of an impediment.

Did anyone else note that there were a rather large number of "instances" in today's puzzle?

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

Notes on Today's Puzzle

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

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

Across

1a   Be little affected by // island in break (6)

4a   Time left in decrepit flat // despite everything (5,3)

10a   Spell over probing unusually rude // conduct (9)

"over" = O (show explanation )

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.

hide explanation

11a   Precise // legislation from the past? (5)

12a   Sprawling tree blocking vehicle /for/ food source (7)

13a   Old retired volunteers with tea, say, /being/ pale brown (7)

"For instance" number 1.

"volunteers" = TA (show explanation )

In the UK, Territorial Army[5] (abbreviation TA[5]) was, at one time, the name of a volunteer force founded in 1908 to provide a reserve of trained and disciplined military personnel for use in an emergency. Since 2013, this organization has been called the Army Reserve.

hide explanation

"tea" = MEAL (show explanation )

Tea may be either a drink or a meal, especially in Britain.

The British distinguish between afternoon tea and high tea, although both may be referred to simply as tea[10]. Afternoon tea[2,5,7,10] (or Low Tea) is a light afternoon meal, typically eaten between 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm, at which tea, sandwiches, biscuits [British term for cookies or crackers] and cakes are served.

High tea[7] (also known as meat tea) is the evening meal or dinner of the working class, typically eaten between 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm. It typically consists of a hot dish such as fish and chips, shepherd's pie, or macaroni cheese [macaroni and cheese to North Americans], followed by cakes and bread, butter and jam. Occasionally there would be cold cuts of meat, such as ham salad. Traditionally high tea was eaten by middle to upper class children (whose parents would have a more formal dinner later) or by labourers, miners and the like when they came home from work. The term was first used around 1825 and high is used in the sense of well-advanced (like high noon, for example) to signify that it was taken later in the day.

hide explanation

14a   Abandon // period off duty (5)

15a   Shot behind river /showing/ shipbuilding, perhaps (8)

"For instance" number 2.

The Indus[5] is a river of southern Asia, about 2,900 km (1,800 miles) in length, flowing from Tibet through Kashmir and Pakistan to the Arabian Sea. Along its valley an early civilization flourished from circa 2600 to 1760 BC.

18a   Introduction // first character's forgotten in role group played (8)

20a   Place of relief /offering/ nothing in current state (5)

23a   A lot among police turning // forceful? (7)

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

25a   Timeless part soon devised /for/ singer (7)

26a   Go along the edge of // feminine garment (5)

27a   Cruciverbalists // love ruses in cryptic form (9)

Gazza was not alone in trying to work SOLVER into the solution.

A cruciverbalist[5] is a person who enjoys or is skilled at solving crosswords.

28a   Complaint about teachers' union? // It's hard to crack (8)

Yesterday, we had a clue (1a) where it was merely helpful to read the wordplay as a phrase — but here it is essential.

In the UK, NUT[5] stands for the National Union of Teachers [much to the delight of their students, I am sure].

Thus a "complaint about teachers' union" might be "NUT's hell".

29a   Old-fashioned // fellow orchestrating a duel (6)

"fellow" = F (show explanation )

F[2] is the abbreviation for Fellow (of a society, etc). For instance, it is found in professional designations such as FRAIC (Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada).

hide explanation

Down

1d   Dictator once caught breaking law /getting/ derision (8)

Idi Amin Dada[7] (c. 1925–2003) was the third President of Uganda, ruling from 1971 to 1979. As commander of the Ugandan Army, he led a military coup in January 1971 that deposed Milton Obote.

Amin's rule was characterized by human rights abuses, political repression, ethnic persecution, extrajudicial killings, nepotism, corruption, and gross economic mismanagement. The number of people killed as a result of his regime is estimated by international observers and human rights groups to range from 100,000 to 500,000.

2d   Trauma's convulsed // Asian island (7)

Sumatra[5] is a large island of Indonesia, situated to the south-west of the Malay Peninsula, from which it is separated by the Strait of Malacca; chief city, Medan.

3d   Look hard, we're told, and skilfully /for/ flight location (9)

5d   Sentimentality in car, touching hand, say, // as an extra element? (3,4,7)

"For instance" number 3.

A hand[5] is a a unit of measurement of a horse’s height, equal to 4 inches (10.16 cm).

6d   First woman not lacking heart /in/ race, say (5)

"For instance" number 4.

"first woman" = EVE (show explanation )

In the Bible, Eve[5] is the first woman, companion of Adam and mother of Cain and Abel. [What about Seth and their other sons and daughters].[Gen 5:4]

hide explanation

7d   A way to finish game, game taken up // without expertise? (7)

The question mark flags to us that the definition may be rather questionable. Although as a adjective, AMATEUR generally denotes a lack of expertise, an amateur may indeed display a great deal of expertise.

In chess, mate[5] is short for checkmate[5], a position in which a player’s king is directly attacked by an opponent’s piece or pawn and has no possible move to escape the check. The attacking player thus wins the game.

Rugby union[10] (abbreviation RU[5]) is a form of rugby football played between teams of 15 players (in contrast to rugby league[5], which is played in teams of thirteen).

What did he say?
In his review, Gazza alludes to rugby being a game of which we had a feast last Saturday – well done, Ireland!.
Gazza is referring to the outcome of the 2015 Six Nations Championship[7], an annual international rugby union competition involving six European sides: England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales. The final matches in this competition took place on March 21, 2015 (the Saturday prior to the publication of this puzzle in The Daily Telegraph).

Ireland are the 2015 champions, having finished on equal table points with Wales and England but winning the trophy by virtue of achieving a higher match points difference [differential between points for and against].

Given that Ireland and Wales finished with identical 4-1 records and Wales was the only team to defeat Ireland during the series, one might think that Wales deserved the championship. But that is not the basis on which the tie was broken.

8d   Young // female violinist (6)

Tasmin Little[7] is an English classical violinist. She is best known and widely acclaimed as a concerto soloist, and also performs as a recitalist and chamber musician. She has released multiple albums, winning the Critics Award at the Classic Brit Awards in 2011 for her recording of Elgar's Violin Concerto.

9d   Getting on train /in/ Harrow, for instance (8,6)

"For instance" number 5.

Harrow School[5] (informally Harrow) is a boys' public school in northwest London, founded under Queen Elizabeth I in 1571.

In the UK, a public school[5] is a private fee-paying secondary school, especially one for boarders ⇒ his precise English public-school accent. [Note: In Britain, "public schools" are a special class of private school; what North Americans would call public schools are referred to in Britain as state schools.]

16d   Prove knight maybe /is/ a fine specimen (9)

"For instance" number 6.

17d   Support // Poles organised around America (8)

19d   Act wildly /with/ stunted creature touring carnival venue (3,4)

As a containment indicator, touring is used in the sense of travelling or going around — with the emphasis on around.

Rio de Janeiro[5] (commonly known as Rio) is a city in eastern Brazil, on the Atlantic coast; population 6,093,472 (2007). The chief port of Brazil, it was the country’s capital from 1763 until 1960, when it was replaced by Brasilia.

The Carnival in Rio de Janeiro[7] is a world famous festival held before Lent every year and considered the biggest carnival in the world with two million people per day on the streets. The first festivals of Rio date back to 1723.

21d   Desperately lacking in cheer? (7)

Cheer[5] is food and drink provided for a festive occasion ⇒ they had partaken heartily of the Christmas cheer.

22d   Peculiar family member // more than likely (4,2)

24d   Equal // striker /in/ game (5)

Scratching the Surface
In soccer, striker[10] is an informal term for an attacking player, especially one who generally positions himself or herself near the opponent's goal in the hope of scoring.

In cricket, a striker[10] is the batsman who is about to play a ball. [Remember that although there are always two batsmen (positioned at either end of the pitch), only one of them is the striker on any given delivery.]
Key to Reference Sources: 

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

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Wednesday, September 2, 2015 — DT 27756

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27756
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Monday, March 23, 2015
Setter
Rufus (Roger Squires)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27756]
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

Often the clue that holds out to the end gets my vote as my favourite clue. Today, the honour goes to 14d. It seemingly took forever for the penny to drop, but it produced a hearty chuckle when it finally did.

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   Drunken flirting /in/ game? (11)

Tiddly[5] is an informal, chiefly British term meaning slightly drunk.

For full effect, read the wordplay as a phrase "drunken flirting" which equates to "tiddly winks".

9a   One can't be trusted after a deal is made (4-5)

10a   Pot // plant (5)

11a   Make a mistake and throw out // the drink (6)

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

12a   Hamper holding spare // garments (8)

13a   Fine quality // diamonds worn with a shirt in New York (6)

Miffypops appears to see nicety[5] as denoting a detail or aspect of polite social behaviour ⇒ we were brought up to observe the niceties.

I thought of nicety[5] meaning a fine or subtle detail or distinction legal niceties are wasted on him.

15a   Mad party guest going to pot // used room to spruce up (8)

The March Hare and the Hatter put
 the Dormouse's head in a teapot.
Illustration by John Tenniel.
The Dormouse[7] is a character in "A Mad Tea-Party"[7], Chapter VII from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) by English writer Lewis Carroll (1832–1898). In the story, Alice becomes a guest at a "mad" tea party along with the March Hare, the Hatter, and a very tired Dormouse who falls asleep frequently, only to be violently woken up moments later by the March Hare and the Hatter.

18a   It's an indication for drivers, by the way (4,4)

19a   Could be // a good laugh /or/ cry (6)

21a   Believe gold might satisfy him? (8)

"gold" = OR (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

23a   Models /must be/ fashionable ladies (6)

26a   Call up // a woman, a case for approval (5)

27a   Cat seen in various // residences (9)

28a   Confidential sign // which executives employ (11)

"sign" = ARIES (show explanation )

In astrology, Aries[10] (also called the Ram) is the first sign of the zodiac, symbol ♈, having a cardinal fire classification, ruled by the planet Mars. The sun is in this sign between about March 21 and April 19.

hide explanation

Down

1d   Friar's at home /and/ eats heartily (5,2)

Friar Tuck[7] is a companion to Robin Hood in the legends about that character.

2d   An air of sadness (5)

3d   Cobbler's farewell ceremony? (4,5)

A last[5] is a shoemaker’s model [of the foot] for shaping or repairing a shoe or boot. [I was surprised to see the number of people on Big Dave's site who had no idea what a last is.]

In the Christian Church, the last rites[5] are rites administered to a person who is about to die ⇒ a priest came to give her the Last Rites.

This clue seems to have left many Brits scratching their heads and Miffypops clearly struggled to understand it. I see it similar to dutch at Comment #5 on Big Dave's Crossword Blog. A rite is a ceremony. The last rites are a "farewell ceremony" for someone about to depart this life. A cobbler uses a last in his work — to which the setter attempts to draw a tortuous link. I believe the clue works if one does not overthink it. However, the more one ponders it, the less sense it seems to make.

4d   Northern river // sport (4)

The River Wear[7] (pronounced WEER) in North East England rises in the Pennines and flows eastwards, mostly through County Durham to the North Sea in the City of Sunderland. At 60 mi (97 km) long, it is one of the region's longest rivers.

5d   French leader // turned an East European on (8)

Napoleon I[5] (1769–1821) was emperor of France 1804–14 and 1815; full name Napoleon Bonaparte; known as Napoleon. In 1799 Napoleon joined a conspiracy which overthrew the Directory, becoming the supreme ruler of France. He declared himself emperor in 1804, and established an empire stretching from Spain to Poland. After defeats at Trafalgar (1805) and in Russia (1812), he abdicated and was exiled to the island of Elba (1814). He returned to power in 1815, but was defeated at Waterloo and exiled to the island of St Helena.

There were also two other rulers of France named Napoleon. Napoleon II[7], the son of Napoleon I, was emperor for about two weeks when he was four years old and Napoleon III, a nephew of Napoleon I.

6d   Location in sound /and/ vision (5)

7d   Turn gas up in a way, /making/ pasta (7)

Lasagne[3,4] is the preferred British spelling of the Italian dish that we would more likely spell as lasagna. It would appear that, in Britain, lasagna is an alternative spelling of lasagne while, in North America, lasagne is an alternative spelling of lasagna. Of course, in Italy lasagna is the plural of lasagne[8].

8d   Treatment that is always on hand (8)

14d   Female guard of honour (8)

16d   Staff professor, first class, brought up /in/ old country (9)

A don[10] is a member of the teaching staff at a university or college, especially at Oxford or Cambridge.

 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.

Macedonia[5] was an ancient country in southeastern Europe, at the northern end of the Greek peninsula. In classical times it was a kingdom which under Philip II and Alexander the Great became a world power. The region is now divided between Greece, Bulgaria, and the republic of Macedonia.

The name continues to exist in the form of:
  1. the Republic of Macedonia, a landlocked republic in the Balkans; population 2,066,700 (est. 2009); official language, Macedonian; capital, Skopje. Formerly a constituent republic of Yugoslavia, Macedonia became independent after a referendum in 1991; and
  2. a region in the north-east of modern Greece; capital, Thessaloníki.
17d   One doesn't believe /in/ coasting freely (8)

18d   Frauds // seen in court or in the press (7)

The setter has employed a bit of cryptic licence here as one would customarily say "on court". Despite this, I did recognize to what sort of court the setter is alluding. However, I did not realize what sort of press was needed until I saw the illustration in Miffypops' review.

20d   Broods about one's // exploits (7)

22d   Articles in the Telegraph /or/ Times possibly (5)

The Daily Telegraph[7] is a daily morning UK broadsheet newspaper. It is, of course, the paper in which this puzzle first appeared. At one time, the National Post and The Daily Telegraph were both owned by Conrad Black.

Scratching the Surface
The Times[7] is a British daily national newspaper based in London.

24d   Excuse for being absent (5)

At times, Rufus produces clues that verge on being non-cryptic. In this respect, he seems to have outdone himself with this one.

25d   Payment before // ascent of mountain (4)
Key to Reference Sources: 

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

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Tuesday, September 1, 2015 — DT 27755

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27755
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, March 21, 2015
Setter
Unknown
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27755 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27755 – Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave (Hints)
gnomethang (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
The National Post has skipped DT 27753 and DT 27754 which were published in The Daily Telegraph on Thursday, March 19, 2015 and Friday, March 20, 2015.
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

Today we are presented with an enjoyable — but not too difficult — exercise.

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   Copper, special originally, eating something done /that's/ succulent (6)

"copper" = CU (show explanation )

The symbol for the chemical element copper is Cu[5] (from late Latin cuprum).

hide explanation

5a   Mineral springs help? // Yes, indeed (4,4)

9a   Music-maker /and/ I sang carol in resort (3,7)

A cor anglais[5] (also called English horn) is an alto woodwind instrument of the oboe family, having a bulbous bell and sounding a fifth lower than the oboe.

10a   Informant keeping head of precinct // spellbound (4)

11a   Adverse reaction // feared by galley slave? (8)

12a   Released // the Parisian solicitor (3,3)

"the Parisian" = LE (show explanation )

In Paris (as well as the rest of France — not to mention Québec), the masculine singular form of the definite article is le[8].

hide explanation

A tout[10] is a person who solicits business in a brazen way.


What did he say?
In his hints, Big Dave refers to a tout as someone who solicits for business, maybe to sell tickets on the black-market..
The latter part of Big Dave's comment alludes to the fact that the word tout[5] (also ticket tout) also happens to be the British term for a scalper[5], a person who buys up tickets for an event to resell them at a profit.

13a   Saying said by Eastern // biblical character (4)

In the Bible, Esau[10] is the son of Isaac and Rebecca and twin brother of Jacob, to whom he sold his birthright (Genesis 25).

The charade indicator "by" works similar to "on". The construct "A by B" clues BA since, in order to place A by B, B must already be in place (and therefore precede A — after all, English is written left to right).

15a   Substitute Dopey, initially, /for/ Bashful? (8)

Scratching the Surface



Dopey and Bashful are two of the seven dwarfs in Walt Disney's 1937 animated musical fantasy film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs[7] based on a German fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. The story had earlier been made into a Broadway play that debuted in 1912. The dwarfs are not given names in the fairy tale. In the 1912 production, they were named Blick, Flick, Glick, Snick, Plick, Whick and Quee. Disney renamed them Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy, and Dopey.

18a   Way // to pay for course (8)

19a   Opening // in yoga, teaching (4)

21a   Neat // wood (6)

23a   Old maid /in/ flap, rigid almost (8)

It took considerable detective work to link flap to spin. Spin[10] is another term for flat spin[5,10], an informal British expression meaning a state of agitation, confusion, or panic a scandal has put the university into a flat spin.

25a   Nothing else /in/ lake (4)

Mere[5] is a chiefly literary, British term for a lake or pond ⇒ the stream widens into a mere where hundreds of geese gather. Those of us in Ottawa should be familiar with the word as the Mackenzie King Estate (the country estate of Canada’s 10th and longest-serving prime minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King) is located just across the river in Kingsmere, Quebec, on the shores of Kingsmere Lake (a name which surely amounts to King's Lake Lake).

26a   Unintended exchange of early letters /with/ old golf club by wretched miser (10)

Spoon[5] is a dated term for a golf club with a slightly concave wooden head.

A spoonerism[5] is a verbal error in which a speaker accidentally transposes the initial sounds or letters of two or more words, often to humorous effect, as in the sentence you have hissed the mystery lectures. It is named after the Reverend W. A. Spooner (1844–1930), an English scholar who reputedly made such errors in speaking.

27a   Refused to abandon one's belief /in/ organised company (4,4)

Hold[5] is used in the sense of to arrange and take part in (a meeting or conversation) ⇒ a meeting was held at the church.


28a   Politician, // English, before University frolic (4-2)

A Euro-MP[5] is a member of the European Parliament ⇒ the Euro-MP for Cleveland and Yorkshire North.

Down

2d   A city in Italy locally known /for/ perfume (5)

Rome is known to Italians as Roma[5].

3d   What an athlete may wear /in/ line with action (9)

The line is one that trains run on.

4d   Remarkable // gesture (6)

Signal[5] as an adjective means striking in extent, seriousness, or importance; outstanding ⇒ he attacked the government for their signal failure of leadership.

5d   Her thermostat adjusted after we // pull through (7,3,5)

6d   Lacking energy, /and/ unprepared at the supermarket? (8)

7d   Fish // traps at sea (5)

The sprat[3,4]is a small marine food fish, Clupea sprattus, of the northeast Atlantic Ocean and North Sea that is eaten fresh or smoked and is often canned in oil as a sardine; also called brisling.

8d   Unwise /being/ disrespectful about king (9)

"king" = R (show explanation )

Rex[5] (abbreviation R[5]) [Latin for king] denotes the reigning king, used following a name (e.g. Georgius Rex, King George) or in the titles of lawsuits (e.g. Rex v. Jones, the Crown versus Jones — often shortened to R. v. Jones).

hide explanation

14d   Who's working still, we hear, /to create/ the best exhibit? (9)

16d   Hospital doctor // pressing substance right into bottom (9)

In Britain and New Zealand, a registrar[10] is a hospital doctor senior to a houseman[5] [hospital intern] but junior to a consultant[5] [hospital doctor of senior rank within a specific field], specializing in either medicine (medical registrar) or surgery (surgical registrar).

17d   To take part in boating sport, // risk a wet undoing? (5-3)

20d   One knight to leave money, /as/ intended (6)

"knight" = N (show explanation )

N[5] is the abbreviation for knight used in recording moves in chess [representing the pronunciation of kn-, since the initial letter k- represents 'king'].

hide explanation

22d   Greatly affect // winning margin (2-3)

Upend (up-end or upend[1]; up-end[2]) means to affect or upset drastically[4]; to affect drastically or radically, as tastes, opinions, or reputations[11]; to invalidate, destroy, or change completely; overthrow upended a popular legend[3].

Margin[5] is used in the sense of the furthest limit of possibility, success, etc. ⇒ the lighting is brighter than before but is still at the margins of acceptability.

End[5] denotes a a specified extreme of a scale ⇒ homebuyers at the lower end of the market.

24d   Course // record, very good over mile (5)

"record" = EP (show explanation )

An EP[5] (abbreviation for extended-play) is a record or CD that contains more than a single track (per side in the case of a record) but fewer than would be found on an LP[5] (abbreviation for long-playing).

hide explanation

The expression very good[5] (a dated variant of very well) is used to express agreement or consent very good, sir, will that be all?. 

So[5] is a conjunction that can be used to introduce a question (so, what did you do today?) especially one following on from what was said previously (so what did he do about it?).

One can certainly imagine an English butler saying Very good, sir, will that be all?, while someone a bit less refined might express this same idea as "So, will that be all?".

Epsom Downs[7] [which most certainly would be referred to informally simply as Epsom] is a Grade 1 racecourse near Epsom, Surrey, England. The "downs" referred to in the name are part of the North Downs, a ridge of chalk hills in south east England. The course is best known for hosting the Epsom Derby, the United Kingdom's premier thoroughbred horse race for three-year-old colts and fillies, over a mile and a half (2400m). It also hosts the Epsom Oaks for three-year-old fillies and the Coronation Cup for all ages over the same distance.
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, August 31, 2015

Monday, August 31, 2015 — DT 27733 (Bonus Puzzle)

Prologue

The National Post may be publishing on a reduced schedule for the summer. However, that doesn't mean you have to break your Monday puzzle habit. Here is DT 27733, one of three puzzles that the National Post skipped on Tuesday, August 11, 2015.
Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27733
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Setter
Shamus (Philip Marlow)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27733]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Gazza
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★★ Enjoyment - ★★★
Falcon's Experience
┌────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┐
██████████████████████████████████
└────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┘
Legend:
- solved without assistance
- incorrect prior to use of puzzle solving tools
- solved with assistance from puzzle solving tools
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by puzzle solving tools
- solved but without fully parsing the clue
- unsolved or incorrect prior to visiting Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by solutions from Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- reviewed by Falcon for Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- yet to be solved
Notes
The National Post skipped this puzzle on Tuesday, August 11, 2015.

Introduction

I found today's puzzle to be the most difficult that I have encountered in a while. While three stars for difficulty is probably correct, I would put it near the upper end of the three star range.

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   Border cut off in fog that swirls? /It's/ ominous (10)

6a   Crawling // son, small (4)

Crawling ... like traffic during Queensway (show explanation ) construction.

The Queensway is the backbone of the transportation system in Ottawa. It comprises the portion of Ontario Highway 417 from Highway 7 in the west to the Highway 417/Highway 174 split and Highway 174 from the split to Trim Road in the east.

hide explanation

9a   Aggression /of/ copper facing short man, interrupting suspension of hostilities (10)

"copper" = CU (show explanation )

The symbol for the chemical element copper is Cu[5] (from late Latin cuprum).

hide explanation

10a   Part of boom anticipated /in/ ME state (4)

ME is the abbreviation for Middle East[11] — rather than Maine[3,4,11] or Montenegro (internet domain name)[4].

12a   Aspect of sea recalled? /That's/ correct (4)

13a   A port that's dilapidated with new decline /in/ custom (9)

Custom[5] is a British term for regular dealings with a shop or business by customers ⇒ if you keep me waiting, I will take my custom elsewhere.

15a   Mobile accessory in county /is/ precious item (8)

Mobile[5] is a British term for a mobile phone [North American cell phone[5]] ⇒ we telephoned from our mobile to theirs.

In the field of computing, an app[5] (short for application) is an an application, especially as downloaded by a user to a mobile device ⇒ apparently there are these new apps that will actually read your emails to you.

Shire[5] is a British term for a county, especially in England.

16a   Call for // dog to follow directions (6)

18a   Smooth // day leaving SA city to east (6)

SA is the abbreviation for South Africa[3,4,11], rather than South America[3,4,11], South Australia[4,11] or Saudi Arabia (International Vehicle Registration symbol and internet domain name)[4].

I spent far too much time on the wrong continent.

Durban[7] is A seaport and resort in South Africa, on the coast of KwaZulu-Natal; population 3,409,100 (est. 2009). Former name (until 1835) Port Natal.

20a   Aquatic creature // wrongly put, say, behind empty pool (8)

The platypus[5] is a semiaquatic egg-laying mammal (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) which frequents lakes and streams in eastern Australia. It has a sensitive pliable bill shaped like that of a duck, webbed feet with venomous spurs, and dense fur. Also called duckbill or duck-billed platypus.

23a   People in general who succeed? (9)

24a   Work painstakingly  -- /is it/ 'PC'? (4)

Before reading Gazza's review, I had no explanation for the second definition.

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

Plod[5] (also PC Plod) is an informal British term for a police officer ⇒ a bunch of plods arrived, offering me a lift to the cop shop. The term is an allusion to Mr Plod the Policeman in the Noddy stories for children by English children's writer Enid Blyton[7] (1897–1968).

26a   Instant judge barred // suspect (4)

"judge" = J (show explanation )

J[2] (plural JJ) is the abbreviation for judge.

hide explanation

27a   European wearing sequins as fashionable? // Uncomfortable feeling (10)

28a   A German returns to cross lake /and/ river (4)

"a German" = EIN (show explanation )

In German, the masculine singular form of the indefinite article is ein[8].

hide explanation

The Nile[5] is a river in eastern Africa, the longest river in the world, which rises in east central Africa near Lake Victoria and flows 6,695 km (4,160 miles) generally northwards through Uganda, South Sudan, Sudan, and Egypt to empty through a large delta into the Mediterranean.

29a   Lovely // daughter with quality needed for a popular party (10)

Down

1d   Thick English // lot (4)

2d   Series of calls ahead /for/ collection of data (5-2)

Although I did have the correct solution, I had very little confidence in it being right.

Round[5] is a chiefly British term meaning a journey along a fixed route delivering goods as part of one’s job or a job involving such journeys ⇒ I did a newspaper round.

A round-up[5] is a summary of facts or events ⇒ a news round-up every fifteen minutes.

3d   Mercenary lawman /in/ mutinous ship, on watch (6,6)

HMS Bounty[5] was a ship of the British navy on which in 1789 part of the crew, led by Fletcher Christian, mutinied against their commander, William Bligh, and set him adrift in an open boat with eighteen companions.

A hunter[5] is a watch with a hinged cover protecting the glass.

A bounty hunter[5] is a person who pursues a criminal for whom a reward is offered.

4d   Does might dominate in this area? (4-4)

A deer park[5] is a large enclosed area of ground attached to a country house, in which deer are kept.

5d   Finesse // diamonds in no trumps play finally (6)

"no trumps" = NT (show explanation )

In the card game bridge, NT[5] is the abbreviation for no trump(s).

hide explanation

7d   Greek character hosting a // dance (7)

Lambda[5] is the eleventh letter of the Greek alphabet (Λ, λ).

The lambada[5] is a fast erotic Brazilian dance which couples perform in close physical contact.

8d   It shows with roaming around lands? True (10)

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

11d   Precise moment to indicate // cross-country event (5-2-5)

Point-to-point[5] is a British term for an amateur steeplechase for horses used in hunting, over a set cross-country course ⇒ a point-to-point meeting.

14d   Claim /in/ Catholic feast (10)

The Assumption[5] is (1) the reception of the Virgin Mary bodily into heaven (formally declared a doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church in 1950) or (2) the feast in honour of the Assumption, celebrated on 15 August.

17d   False pay suspected? // Act cautiously (4,4)

19d   Party almost packed /for/ one among celebrated seven (7)

I went way off track here, thinking that the "celebrated seven" might be referring to the Seven Hills of Rome[5].

Bashful is one of the seven dwarfs in Walt Disney's 1937 animated musical fantasy film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs[7] based on a German fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. The story had earlier been made into a Broadway play that debuted in 1912. The dwarfs are not given names in the fairy tale. In the 1912 production, they were named Blick, Flick, Glick, Snick, Plick, Whick and Quee. Disney renamed them Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy, and Dopey.

21d   Saw // car in lead (7)

"lead" = PB (show explanation )

The symbol for the chemical element lead is Pb[5] (from Latin plumbum).

hide explanation

Rover[7] was a British automotive marque used between 1904 and 2005. It was launched as a bicycle maker called Rover Company in 1878, before manufacturing cars in 1904. From 1967 onward, ownership of the marque changed many times as the result of a series of corporate takeovers, mergers, nationalisation, and de-mergers. In April 2005, Rover branded cars ceased to be produced when the MG Rover Group became insolvent.

22d   Very little /in/ official memorandum (6)

It was a doh! moment for me when the penny finally dropped.

25d   Man perhaps // deceived having left tips (4)

"Man" = ISLE (show explanation )

The Isle of Man[5] is an island in the Irish Sea which is a British Crown dependency having home rule, with its own legislature (the Tynwald) and judicial system. The island was part of the Norse kingdom of the Hebrides in the Middle Ages, passing into Scottish hands in 1266 for a time, until the English gained control in the early 15th century. Its ancient language, Manx, is still occasionally used for ceremonial purposes.

hide explanation
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