Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tuesday, April 21, 2015 — DT 27639


Vacation Edition
Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27639
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Setter
Jay (Jeremy Mutch)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27639]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
2Kiwis
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★★ Enjoyment - ★★★
Notes
I am currently on vacation. Today's abbreviated posting provides a link to the review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog for the puzzle published today.

Signing off for today — Falcon

Monday, April 20, 2015

Monday, April 20, 2015 — DT 27638


Vacation Edition
Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27638
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Setter
Unknown
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27638]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Gazza
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★ Enjoyment - ★★
Notes
I am currently on vacation. Today's abbreviated posting provides a link to the review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog for the puzzle that has been published today.

Signing off for today — Falcon

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Saturday, April 18, 2015 — That Tingling Sensation


Introduction

After a couple of week's of more rigorous fare, I thought that today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon was a return to the more usual Cox & Rathvon standard.

Does the tingling sensation I feel come from sitting on a live wire or from insects invading my trousers — or is it in anticipation of my upcoming vacation?

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

Vacation Time

I am about to head off for a few weeks of vacation. This will be my last full blog until Saturday, May 9, 2015.

The weekday blog will go into "vacation mode" where I publish only a link to the review at Big Dave's blog for The Daily Telegraph puzzle that I expect to appear on that date. However, the recent departure from a predictable pattern of publishing by the National Post will make my standard caveat that "the National Post has been known to alter its publication schedule unexpectedly, so there is no guarantee that my forecast will necessarily prove to be accurate" even more apropos than I had imagined.
 
While travelling, I will attempt to post the Saturday puzzles and keep the Vacation Edition postings for the weekday puzzles correct but that will be dependent on availability of time and access to Internet facilities at hotels along the route.

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   Elation after adjusting // part of the body (7)

TOENAIL* — anagram (after adjusting) of ELATION

A part of the body that was far from mind — in more ways than one!

5a   Something chewed outside of celebrity/’s/ dessert (7)

CU(STAR)D — CUD (something chewed) containing (outside of) STAR (celebrity)

The 's, a possessive indication in the surface reading, becomes a contraction for is — and serves as an explicit link between the wordplay and definition — in the cryptic reading.

9a   Belgian seaport getting rid of an // annoying doofus (5)

TWERP — [AN]TWERP (Belgian seaport) with AN (†) removed (getting rid of)

10a   Old Greek scholar // lost a tire in confusion (9)

ARISTOTLE* — anagram (in confusion) of LOST A TIRE

11a   Different than sitting down, // anyway (15)

NOTWITHSTANDING* — anagram (different) of THAN SITTING DOWN

I wrote the solution into the grid without rigorously parsing the clue, thinking that it was a charade based on "different than" meaning opposed to or NOT WITH. It was only when it came time to write the blog that I realized that "different than sitting down" is merely STANDING and — try as I might — no way could I rationalize the inclusion of NOT WITH in a charade. Eventually, the penny dropped with a resounding thud.

12a   Church accommodation Ed // pulled up (7)

CH|INN|ED — CH (church) + INN (accommodation) + ED (†)

13a   Tapers // Robin’s last missiles (7)

N|ARROWS — N (RobiN's last [letter]) + ARROWS (missiles)

An allusion to Robin Hood?

15a   Cheats // Chicago’s trains (7)

CHI|S|ELS — CHI (Chicago) + S ('s) + ELS (trains)

This is not the first time that Cox & Rathvon have used Chicago to clue CHI.

Chi-Town or Chitown is a nickname for Chicago[7] often used in CB slang as noted in the C.W. McCall song Convoy. The abbreviation CHI is commonly used to represent Chicago sports teams in statistical tables, etc. found on sports pages and on scoreboards at sports venues. It is also found in nicknames for Chicago sports teams. For instance, the Chicago White Sox[7] are known as the ChiSox (to distinguish them from the Boston Red Sox[7]).

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

17a   Rolling Stone is // most meddlesome (7)

NOSIEST* — anagram (rolling) of STONE IS

Scratching the Surface
Rolling Stone[7] is a fortnightly American magazine that focuses on popular culture. Although founded in San Francisco in 1967, it is now based in New York City.

19a   Rogue elephant ate fops /in/ sci-fi film (6,2,3,4)

{PLANET OF THE APES}* — anagram (rogue) of ELEPHANT ATE FOPS

Planet of the Apes[7] is a 1968 American science fiction film based on the 1963 French novel La Planète des Singes by Pierre Boulle. It was the first in a series of five films made between 1968 and 1973. A remake of the film was released in 2001, followed by additional sequels in 2011 and 2014.

21a   First things /in/ grain silo ruined (9)

ORIGINALS* — anagram (ruined) of GRAIN SILO

22a   Region Greeks colonized // in nation I admire (5)

_ION|I|A_ — hidden in (in) natION I Admire

In classical times, Ionia[5] was the central part of the west coast of Asia Minor, which had long been inhabited by Hellenic people (the Ionians) and was again colonized by Greeks from the mainland from about the 8th century BC.

23a   Feeling // small in upper house (7)

SEN(S)ATE — S (small) contained in (in) SENATE (upper house)

24a   Gold rush by a // place hosting The Masters (7)

AU|GUST|A — AU ([symbol for the chemical element] gold) + GUST (rush [of wind]) + (by) A (†)

The setters have shown up a week late. The Masters was held last weekend.

The Masters Tournament[5] is a prestigious US golf competition, held in Augusta, Georgia, in which golfers (chiefly professionals) compete only by invitation on the basis of their past achievements.

Down

1d   Some thought it a nice // ocean liner (7)

_T|IT|A|NIC_ — hidden in (some) thoughT IT A NICe

The RMS [Royal Mail Ship] Titanic[5] was a British passenger liner, the largest ship in the world when she was built and supposedly unsinkable, that struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic on her maiden voyage in April 1912 and sank with the loss of 1,490 lives.

2d   Notice if article altered // empowerment? (15)

ELECTRIFICATION* — anagram (altered) of NOTICE IF ARTICLE

The setters use a question mark to flag that "empowerment" is a somewhat whimsical definition.

3d   Nuts I can put into fruit // blender, e.g. (9)

APPL(I|ANC)*E — {anagram (nuts) of I CAN} contained in (put into) APPLE (fruit)

4d   Hated // article added to laundry pile (7)

LOA(THE)D — THE ([definite] article) contained in (added to) LOAD (laundry pile)

5d   U.S. President/’s/ opposed to framing fuzz (7)

C(LINT)ON — CON (opposed to) containing (framing) LINT (fuzz)

Bill Clinton[5] is an American Democratic statesman, 42nd President of the US 1993–2001; full name William Jefferson Clinton. Re-elected in 1996, he was impeached in 1998 on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice, but was acquitted.

6d   Rested in // smooth fabric (5)

SAT|IN — SAT (rested) + IN (†)

7d   Feeling of agitation // spans ten nations in turmoil (4,2,4,5)

ANTS IN ONE[']S PANTS — anagram (in turmoil) of SPANS TEN NATIONS

8d   Doctor, next to borders, // digs with a big scoop (7)

DR|EDGES — DR (doctor) + (next to) EDGES (borders)

14d   By the sound, going back /and/ planting again (9)

RESEEDING~ — sounds like (by the sound) RECEDING (going back)

15d   Plentiful // notes of debt trailing policeman (7)

COP|IOUS — IOUS (notes of debt) following (trailing) COP (policeman)

16d   Use for a trunk // otherwise in play area? (7)

ST(OR)AGE — OR (otherwise) contained in (in) STAGE (play area?)

The setters use a question mark to flag that "play area" is a whimsical way to describe a stage.

17d   Woman in War and Peace // has a tan weaving (7)

NATASHA* — anagram (weaving) of HAS A TAN

Countess Natalya "Natasha" Ilyinichna Rostova[7] is a central fictional character in Russian writer Leo Tolstoy's 1869 novel War and Peace.

18d   A sad tot played with // Tex-Mex food (7)

TOSTADA* — anagram (played with) of A SAD TOT

A tostada[5] (also tostado) is a Mexican deep-fried maize [corn] flour pancake topped with a seasoned mixture of beans, mincemeat, and vegetables.

20d   Heather’s group /is/ partly American (5)

_ERICA_ — hidden in (partly) AmERICAn

Erica[5] denotes a plant of the genus Erica (family Ericaceae), especially (in gardening) heather.

Epilogue

The title of today's posting is inspired by 2d and 7d — with an honourable mention to 23a.
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, April 17, 2015

Friday, April 17, 2015 — DT 27637


Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27637
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Monday, November 3, 2014
Setter
Rufus (Roger Squires)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27637]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Miffypops
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★★ Enjoyment - ★★★
Falcon's Experience
┌────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┐
███████████████████████████████████
└────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┘
Legend:
- solved without assistance
- incorrect prior to use of puzzle solving tools
- solved with assistance from puzzle solving tools
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by puzzle solving tools
- solved but without fully parsing the clue
- unsolved or incorrect prior to visiting Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by solutions from Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- reviewed by Falcon for Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- yet to be solved
Notes
The National Post has skipped DT 27631 through DT 27636 which were published in The Daily Telegraph from Monday, October 27, 2014 through Saturday, November 1, 2014.

Introduction

With today's offering, the National Post has skipped an entire week of puzzles. After months of very predictable behaviour, the puzzles editor has begun to exhibit some very bizarre symptoms. Drop a day there, skip a week here.

For me, this development has come at a rather inopportune time. I am about to head off for a few weeks of vacation and had planned to put the blog into "vacation mode" where I publish only a link to the review at Big Dave's blog for the puzzle that I expect to appear. However, this recent unpredictability will make my standard caveat that "the National Post has been known to alter its publication schedule unexpectedly, so there is no guarantee that my forecast will necessarily prove to be accurate" very apropos.

I expect tomorrow's blog to be my last full blog until Saturday, May 9, 2015. While travelling, I will attempt to keep the Vacation Edition postings correct but that will be dependent on availability of time and access to Internet facilities at hotels along the route.

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   Star, a bit dim, /is/ embarrassed and diminutive (3,5)

The wordplay parses as RED (embarrassed) + (and) DWARF (diminutive)

Despite what Miffypops writes in his review, DWARF is clearly not used as a verb in this clue. Being clued by the word diminutive, it must be either a noun or an adjective.

Red dwarf[2] is an astronomical term for a cool faint star of about one-tenth the mass and diameter of the Sun, e.g. Proxima Centauri or Barnard's Star.

6a   Impressive // time of the year (6)

9a   He reviews // one with opposing views (6)

What did he say?
In his review, Miffypops refers to Kenneth Tynan, Clive James. Charles Spencer, Matthew Norman who have all written for The Daily Telegraph.
Among their other undertakings, Kenneth Tynan[7] (1927–1980) was an English theatre critic, Clive James[7] is an Australian-British television and literary critic, Charles Spencer[7] is the former chief drama critic of The Daily Telegraph (having retired shortly before the appearance of this puzzle in the UK), and Matthew Norman is a restaurant critic.

10a   Really fancy // outing on a ferry (5,3)

It took a gentle nudge from my electronic helpers before I noticed that this is an anagram.

11a   A chartered accountant meant to retire /for/ the scholastic life (8)

Here's a tip of the hat to all the CA's in our midst who are facing the looming tax deadline. Although, the term chartered accountant is in common usage, that is not generally the official designation of members of this profession.

Delving Deeper
The official designation 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]

12a   Rise in prices, perhaps, // left east of Paris ruined (6)

13a   Few vehicles about, /but/ this will control them (7,5)

The name of a traffic control device could also express the idea that there are few vehicles on the road.

16a   Seems return for my passage will be by end of day -- // pity! (4,8)

19a   Horses // one's used in a racket (6)

21a   Pound note put back in share // account (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].

23a   Cadger is going off /in/ shame (8)

24a   Support // attempt to back horse to come first (6)

25a   Change into // suit (6)

26a   Nurse that is meeting son/'s/ agreements (8)

Down

2d   No rice pudding /for/ Caruso, for instance (6)

I presume that the justification for using "pudding" as an anagram indicator must be that either as a dessert or a type of sausage, a pudding would be a mixture of ingredients.

Enrico Caruso[5] (1873–1921) was an Italian operatic tenor. He was the first major tenor to be recorded on gramophone records.

3d   Old-fashioned /but/ popular with the boys (5)

4d   Escort // agency is brought to account (9)

5d   Rugby player /is/ crafty one of a pair (3,4)

Fly[5] is an informal British expression meaning knowing and clever ⇒ she’s fly enough not to get tricked out of it.

In rugby, fly half[5] is another term for stand-off half[5], a half back who forms a link between the scrum half and the three-quarters. You may recall that we encountered the term scrum half in DT 27625 just over a week ago, on Thursday, April 9, 2015.

6d   A lot // to collect (5)

7d   Culture for breeding (9)

I would say this is one of those double definitions that we sometimes see from Rufus where it is very difficult to distinguish between the two definitions. In his review, Miffypops cites the definition from Oxford Dictionaries Online. Note that I said "the" definition, as Oxford Dictionaries Online provides only one definition for gentility[5], namely social superiority as demonstrated by polite and respectable manners, behaviour, or appearances ⇒ her grandmother’s pretensions to gentility. The entry goes on to state that the term comes from a Middle English word meaning 'honourable birth'.

Collins English Dictionary is a bit more help. It says that gentility[10] is (1) respectability and polite good breeding or (2) noble birth or ancestry. The former would seem to roughly correspond to the definition at Oxford Dictionaries Online (which Miffypops equates to the first definition in the clue). The latter might perhaps equate to the second definition in the clue "breeding".

Nevertheless, the two definitions would seem to come down to (1) culture arising from good breeding and (2) good breeding.

8d   Tolerates // corporations (8)

Corporation[3,4,5,11] is a dated humorous term for a large paunch or pot belly.

13d   Addressing // some criticism (7-2)

14d   List /and/ a record used in acute novel (9)

15d   Sit a certain way /for/ the ideal journey? (8)

17d   Flawlessly finished, /though/ tense (7)

18d   Path // that students may take (6)

No, Miffypops, it certainly "should not give too much trouble" — but it did. I got lost wandering around campus looking for some sort of walkway.

20d   Elegance /of/ a short prayer (5)

Miffypops would appear to have overlooked the elegance of this double definition.

22d   Conviction that can be reversed? (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, April 16, 2015

Thursday, April 16, 2015 — DT 27630


Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27630
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, October 25, 2014
Setter
Unknown
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27630 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27630 – Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Deep Threat (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

Although crypticsue awarded only two stars for difficulty to this puzzle, there are more than enough Briticisms in it to drive it firmly into three star difficulty territory for those on this side of the pond.

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   Manager plunged into Eastern sea // showing relief (8)

The Med[5] is an informal, chiefly British term for the Mediterranean Sea.

5a   Dish /for/ alcoholic drink (6)

Dish[5] is an informal, chiefly British term denoting to utterly destroy or defeat ⇒ the election interview dished Labour’s chances.

10a   Move fast // to suppress dissent (3,4,4,4)

In the first definition, one applies the required action to the gas pedal.

11a   Work too hard /to get/ public a vote (7)

12a   King rejected an extremely // wicked activity (7)

K[5] is an abbreviation for king that is used especially in describing play in card games and recording moves in chess.

13a   English journalists gripped by such // strong drink (8)

Such[3] is used as an adverb meaning to so extreme a degree or so ⇒ (i) such beautiful flowers; (ii) such a funny character. Perhaps the synonym is a bit difficult to see because if one were to use the word "so" in place of the word "such", I believe these examples would read ⇒ (i) flowers so beautiful; (ii) so funny a character.

15a   Knight -- alias covering fine // author (5)

I did a bit of a double-take here as N[5] is the usual abbreviation for knight used in recording moves in chess [representing the pronunciation of kn-, since the initial letter k- represents 'king']. However, Chambers 21st Century Dictionary defines K[2] as an abbreviation used in chess for knight as well as a symbol used in chess to represent a king. The dictionary fails to specify how one differentiates an abbreviation from a symbol.

On the other hand, both The Chambers Dictionary and the Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary list K or K.[1,11] as an abbreviation for knight without specifying the specific context in which this abbreviation is used. However, the context may well be — as Deep Threat indicates in his review — "in an honours list rather than in chess".

F[5] is an abbreviation for fine, as used in describing grades of pencil lead [a usage that Oxford Dictionaries Online surprisingly characterizes as British]. 

Franz Kafka[5] (1883–1924) was a Czech novelist, who wrote in German. His work is characterized by its portrayal of an enigmatic and nightmarish reality where the individual is perceived as lonely, perplexed, and threatened. Notable works: The Metamorphosis (1917) and The Trial (1925).

18a   London police arresting a knight // on purpose (5)

Sticking with Chambers 21st Century Dictionary, N[2] is a symbol used in chess to represent a knight.

The Met[5] denotes the Metropolitan Police in London — otherwise known as Scotland Yard.

20a   Various items held by doctor // in the house (8)

23a   Give job to // petty officer splitting a beer (7)

A petty officer[5,10] (abbreviation PO[5]) is a rank of non-commissioned officer in the navy, above leading seaman or seaman and below chief petty officer and comparable in rank to a sergeant in an army or marine corps.

In Britain (as well as elsewhere), the pint[5] is the traditional measure for a serving of beer ⇒ we’ll probably go for a pint on the way home.

25a   Get hold of // backward-looking people who like fairies (7)

Snaffle[5] is an informal British term meaning to take (something) for oneself, typically quickly or without permission ⇒ shall we snaffle some of Bernard’s sherry?. [Although this is apparently a British expression, it certainly does not sound unfamiliar to me.]

26a   Here you'll find White Stripes // music that's rather bland (6-2-3-4)

Scratching the Surface
The White Stripes[7] were an American rock duo, formed in 1997 in Detroit, Michigan. The group consisted of the husband and wife team of Jack and Meg White [contrary to convention, Jack Gillis took his wife's surname when they married]. The White Stripes rose to prominence in 2002, as part of the garage rock revival scene. Their successful and critically acclaimed albums White Blood Cells and Elephant drew attention from a large variety of media outlets in the United States and the United Kingdom, with the single "Seven Nation Army" and its now-iconic guitar line becoming a huge hit. The band recorded two more albums, Get Behind Me Satan in 2005 and Icky Thump in 2007, and dissolved in 2011 after a lengthy hiatus from performing and recording.

27a   Tell /of/ churchman losing head (6)

Prelate[5] is a formal or historical term for a bishop or other high ecclesiastical dignitary.

28a   Bliss perhaps // as Clegg's friend's meeting the Queen (8)

If you thought that this clue is a reference to a British politician, you have joined me in the trap that the setter has laid. Fortunately, even without knowing the right Clegg, I was still able to arrive at the correct solution.

Scratching the Surface
Nick Clegg[7] is British Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister in the coalition government of which British Conservative Leader David Cameron is the Prime Minister.

Norman Clegg[7], often nicknamed Cleggy, is a fictional character from the British sitcom, Last of the Summer Wine.

William Simmonite, better known by his nickname of Compo[7], is a character in the British sitcom, Last of the Summer Wine.

Delving Deeper
Last of the Summer Wine[7] is a British sitcom that was originally broadcast on the BBC from 1973 to 2010 making it the longest-running sitcom in the world. Repeats of the show are still being broadcast in the UK as well as in more than twenty-five other countries, including various PBS stations in the United States and on VisionTV in Canada.

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.

Sir Arthur Bliss[5] (1891–1975) was an English composer. He moved from the influence of Stravinsky, in works such as A Colour Symphony (1922), to a rich style closer to Elgar, as in his choral symphony Morning Heroes (1930).

Down

1d   Use // my pole when rambling (6)

2d   Pound -- main // place for stray dogs (9)

The main[5] is an archaic or literary term for the open ocean.

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home[7] is the United Kingdom's oldest and most famous home for dogs and cats and is situated in the Battersea area of London, England.

Battersea[7] was a civil parish and metropolitan borough in the County of London, England. In 1965, the borough was abolished and its area combined with parts of the Metropolitan Borough of Wandsworth to form the London Borough of Wandsworth.

3d   Politician // organised treason (7)

4d   Elizabeth's favourite // fearless explorer embraced (5)

Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex[7] (1565– 1601) was an English nobleman and a favourite of Elizabeth I. Politically ambitious, and a committed general, he was placed under house arrest following a poor campaign in Ireland during the Nine Years' War in 1599. In 1601, he led an abortive coup d'état against the government and was executed for treason.

6d   Saving // Trades Union Congress apparently (7)

This is an example of inverse wordplay — an inverse reversal to be precise. The solution to the clue (CUTBACK) if numerated (3,4) would constitute wordplay indicating a reversal (back) of CUT. I describe this as inverse wordplay because the indicator and fodder are in the solution with the result of the wordplay being found in the original clue — the inverse of the usual situation in which the indicator and fodder are in the original clue and the result of the wordplay is found in the solution.

You will see many bloggers referring to this type of clue as "reverse wordplay". However, I prefer the term "inverse wordplay" as it is closely analogous to inverse functions in mathematics. My terminology also avoids the awkward label "reverse reversal" for the present clue.

Scratching the Surface
The Trades Union Congress[7] (TUC) is a national trade union centre, a federation of trade unions in England and Wales, representing the majority of trade unions.

7d   Time to get around /for/ hidden treasure (5)

8d   The Queen embracing Murray, an // all-round performer (8)

In the UK [not to mention other Commonwealth Realms], HM[5] is the abbreviation for Her or His Majesty('s) ⇒ HM Forces.

Andy Murray[5] is a Scottish tennis player. In 2012 he won the Olympic gold medal for singles and, by winning the US Open, became the first British man to win a grand slam singles tournament since 1936. In 2013 he won the men’s singles title at Wimbledon.

9d   Avid reader of Bellow getting over work being rewritten (8)

Scratching the Surface
Saul Bellow[5] (1915–2005) was a Canadian-born American novelist, of Russian-Jewish descent. Notable works: The Adventures of Augie March (1953) and Herzog (1964). He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1976.

14d   Small publication // promoting revolution (8)

16d   Footwear for beach // somersault is a failure (4-5)

17d   He helped make mummy // glower when accepting endless charity (8)

19d   Group of three // making small journey? (7)

The wordplay is a whimsical definition based on an extension of the word "trip" in an manner analogous to the formation of words such as "piglet" and "booklet".

21d   Have evening meal traditionally including fish /for/ a change (5-2)

The hake[7] is any of several species of large-headed elongated fish with long jaws and strong teeth. It is a valuable commercial food fish.

The inclusion of the word "traditionally" indicates that the setter is referring to a rather old-fashioned word for "have evening meal".

22d   Vulnerable // bid (6)

Scratching the Surface
The surface reading suggests a bid made in the game of bridge when a partnership is vulnerable.

In bridge, the adjective vulnerable[5] is used to describe a partnership liable to higher penalties, either by convention or through having won one game towards a rubber ⇒ the authors advise a variable no-trump opening bid which means weak non-vulnerable and strong vulnerable.

24d   Ride bike // round bend finally, ring bell (5)

25d   Fight // aquatic creatures coming up leaving river (3-2)
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, April 15, 2015

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 — DT 27629


Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27629
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, October 24, 2014
Setter
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27629]
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

Today's puzzle is surprisingly gentle, given that it was set by Giovanni.

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

7a   Bad weather is restricting team playing -- // very unwelcome message (8)

9a   A part of the face beginning to glow, // in pain (6)

If you accept that aching can be a noun (which most dictionaries do not), then the definition could be merely "pain" with the word "in" serving as a link between the wordplay and definition.

The only reference source that I found which considers aching to be a noun is the WordNet Thesaurus. Well, to that short list, I suppose I could add Led Zeppelin who sing of "Going to California with an aching in my heart".

10a   Film actress opposite H. Keel in 1953, // significant time (1-3)

Calamity Jane[7] is  a 1953 film that explores an alleged romance between Calamity Jane (played by Doris Day) and Wild Bill Hickok (played by Howard Keel).

11a   Violent duo out /to get/ a transfer of power (10)

12a   Still /and/ quiet lake with chemical harmful to it? (6)

14a   Appearing before the photographer again /or/ taking a rest? (8)

A double definition, the first of which is rather whimsical.

15a and 17a   Clue to a padre /being seen here in/ military area (6,6)

I prefer to call this an inverse anagram while Deep Threat uses the term reverse anagram. The solution to this clue could be a clue to the phrase "A PADRE". That is, an anagram (ground) of PARADE would produce the result A PADRE. In a normal clue, the anagram indicator and fodder would be found in the clue with the result appearing in the solution. Here we have the inverse situation, where the anagram indicator and fodder appear in the solution with the result being found in the clue itself.

17a   See 15a

20a   Mother or saint // in a position to honour the dead (4,4)

I arrived at the correct solution despite using a line of reasoning that clearly defies rational explanation (it had to do with MA being half of MAMA). It was definitely not well thought through, in fact no real thought went into it at all — more gut instinct than intellectual exercise.

As Deep Threat explains, MA (mother) is half of MAST (the first half) and ST (abbreviation for saint) is also half of MAST (the second half). Thus, either "mother or saint" could be used to clue HALF MAST.

22a   See shelter inside, // wanting to have a rest (6)

23a   Like many foreign goods, // I can be brought in as hand luggage? (10)

24a   Little son, depressed /and/ not reacting quickly (4)

25a   River /gets/ any number cut off initially (6)

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.

The Severn[5] is a river of southwestern Britain. Rising in central Wales, it flows north-east then south in a broad curve for some 290 km (180 miles) to its mouth on the Bristol Channel.

26a   Animals // ascend, running over hill, half hidden (8)

The echidna[5] (also called spiny anteater) is a spiny insectivorous egg-laying mammal with a long snout and claws, native to Australia and New Guinea.

Down

1d   Hot and cold drink /will get/ sign of approval (8)

2d   Lots of people gathering together // drink audibly (4)

Bevvy[5] is an informal British term for an alcoholic drink ⇒ we popped into the Prince of Wales for a few bevvies.

A bevy[2,3,4,5,11] is a large group of people or things of a particular kind, especially and originally a group of women or girls ⇒ (i) a bevy of beauties; (ii) he was surrounded by a bevy of beautiful girls. It is interesting that the Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary takes a contrarian approach with its usage example ⇒ a bevy of sailors [or, perhaps, they are Wrens[7]].

In zoology, bevy[2,3,4,5,11] can denote (1) a flock of birds, especially larks, quails or swans or (2) a group of roedeer.

3d   Stood by after king // attacked (6)

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).

Note the vastly different connotation of the phrase "stood by" in the following sentences ⇒ (i) he stood by and did nothing; (ii) she stood by him through thick and thin.

4d   Girl one with long slow strides? // Much quicker mover (8)

5d   I chew suet, a smashing // addition to ham? (5,5)

White sauce[5] is a sauce of flour, melted butter, and milk or cream that is apparently a traditional British accompaniment to ham — or, then again maybe not, if one is to judge by some of the comments on Big Dave's blog.

6d   Congenital // pest speaking endlessly in pub (6)

8d and 19d   Building with special horses, // 51, most unlikely to collapse (6,6)

Most[5] is used as an adverb meaning extremely or very ⇒ (i) it was most kind of you; (ii) that is most probably correct.

13d   Plant // some powdery stuff in 5, as one might say? (10)

The numeral "5" is a cross reference indicator directing the solver to insert the solution to clue 5d in its place to complete the clue. The directional indicator is often omitted in situations such as this where only a single clue starts in the square that is being referenced.

Cornflour[5] (known in North America as cornstarch[5]) is a British term for finely ground maize [corn] flour, used for thickening sauces.

The word "corn" has quite a different meaning in Britain than it does in North America — although, strangely, the term cornflour would seem to allign more with North American usage. The plant known in North America (as well as Australia and New Zealand) as corn[5], is called maize[5] in the UK. In Britain, corn refers to the chief cereal crop of a district, especially (in England) wheat or (in Scotland) oats.

16d   Designing // buoyant structure with sound cladding (8)

What did he say?
In his review, Deep Threat describes a raft as a floating structure, such as Kon Tiki.
Kon-Tiki[5] is the name of the raft made of balsa logs in which Norwegian anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl sailed from the western coast of Peru to the islands of Polynesia in 1947.

18d   I'd set up plan to engage the old woman -- /I'm/ a tactful type (8)

Deep Threat and I came to slightly different interpretations of this clue. I would not say that one is right and one is wrong — or even that one is more correct than the other. They are merely different.

Deep Threat indicates that the definition is "I'm a tactful type" — an interpretation which is analogous to 21d.

On the other hand, I saw the word "I'm" as playing the role of a link word. It effectively denotes 'the solution is'. The nounal phrase "a tactful type" could well describe a diplomat. In fact, the clue could have read:
  • I'd set up plan to engage the old woman -- // a tactful type (8)
where the diplomat becomes the old woman rather than the speaker, but the wordplay and the solution remain the same.

19d   See 8d

21d   Stars, about a thousand -- // they may be fighting each other (6)

While the structure of this clue is superficially similar to that of 18d, there is an important difference. We cannot assign the role of link phrase to "they may be" as the phrase "fighting each other" does not stand on its own as a definition of ARMIES.

However, were we to rephrase the clue along the lines of:
  • Stars, about a thousand -- /they may be/ groups fighting each other (6)
we could then consider the definition to be "groups fighting each other" with the phrase "they may be" acting as a link.

In astronomy, Aries[5] is a small constellation (the Ram), said to represent the ram in Greek mythology whose Golden Fleece was sought by Jason and the Argonauts.

22d   What NE river is rising, /revealing/ froth? (6)

Canadian solvers will certainly be familiar with the interjection required here, although likely in a somewhat different context. In Canada, eh[3] is primarily used to to ascertain or reinforce a listener's interest or agreement rather than in asking a question or in seeking repetition or confirmation of a statement.

The Tees[5] is a river of northeastern England which rises in Cumbria and flows 128 km (80 miles) generally south-eastwards to the North Sea at Middlesbrough.

24d   Buried under piece of grass is a // chemical (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