Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 — DT 27500


Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27500
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Setter
Unknown
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27500]
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

As Gazza points out in his introductory comments, this is puzzle to bring back memories — provided one is of a certain age and possessed of a remarkable long term memory.

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 (//).

Across

7a   Adult favouring wearing long // apron (8)

The A (Adult) certificate is a former film certificate[7] issued by the British Board of Film Classification. This certificate existed in various forms from 1912 to 1985, when it was replaced by the PG (Parental Guidance) certificate.

In Britain, pinafore[2] can mean either (1) an apron, especially one with a bib (sometimes shortened to pinny) or (2) (also pinafore dress) a sleeveless dress for wearing over a blouse, sweater, etc. The name comes from from "pin + afore", because it was formerly 'pinned afore', i.e. pinned to the front of a dress.

9a   Definitely // in a bad way on express (3,3)

In his review, Gazza remarks "I anticipate some complaints about the enumeration ..." alluding to the fact that the apostrophe is not explicitly shown in the enumeration. If it were to be shown, the enumeration would be (1'2,3). However, it is common for apostrophe's not to be shown.

10a   Female collecting round // Oxford, perhaps (4)

The word "perhaps" indicates that "Oxford" is an example of the solution.

11a   One poem (abridged) penned by one of the Mitfords /in/ Cambridge? (10)

Here, it is the question mark that indicates that "Cambridge" is an example of the solution.

The Mitford family[7] is a minor aristocratic English family whose main family line had seats at Mitford, Northumberland. A junior line, with seats at Newton Park, Northumberland, and Exbury House, Hampshire, descends via the historian William Mitford (1744–1827).

The Mitford sisters are William Mitford's great-great-great-granddaughters. The sisters, six daughters of David Freeman-Mitford, 2nd Baron Redesdale (1878–1958), and Sydney Bowles, became celebrated, and at times scandalous, figures that were caricatured, according to The Times journalist Ben Macintyre, as "Diana the Fascist, Jessica the Communist, Unity the Hitler-lover; Nancy the Novelist; Deborah the Duchess and Pamela the unobtrusive poultry connoisseur".

12a   'Sweet' // clued badly by third of setters (6)

14a   Gang leader in yarn, detective // novel (4,4)

Dick[5] is a dated, informal, chiefly North American term for a detective.

15a   More than one // place in the country where river's dropped (6)

Pl.[5] (also pl.) is the abbreviation for Place (in street addresses) ⇒ 3 Palmerston Pl., Edinburgh.

17a   Soldier's taken over facilities /in/ homes up north (6)

A GI[5] is a private soldier in the US army ⇒ she went off with a GI during the war. Contrary to popular belief, the term apparently is not an abbreviation for general infantryman, but rather derives from the term government (or general) issue (originally denoting equipment supplied to US forces).

Loo[5] is an informal British term for a toilet.

20a   Secretary, calm, appears with Ecstasy // tablet (8)

22a   Manage // to come to party (4,2)

23a   On top of everything else, // item for auction rejected across London, for instance (2,3,2,3)

24a   English philosopher // poorly following onset of mumps (4)

Poorly[3,4,11] is an adjective meaning in poor health or ill. In the UK, one might see it used in the sense ⇒ She is poorly today whereas in North America one would likely see it used as She is feeling poorly today.

John Stuart Mill[5] (1806–1873) was an English philosopher and economist. Mill is best known for his political and moral works, especially On Liberty (1859), which argued for the importance of individuality, and Utilitarianism (1861), which extensively developed this theory which had originally been proposed by English philosopher Jeremy Bentham.

25a   Ghost, // one consumed by anger (6)

26a   Rolling Stones song -- // lyric about diamonds, with cartoon heroine (4,4)

Diamonds[2]) (abbreviation D[2]) is one of the four suits of playing-cards.

In the wordplay, lyric[5] (usually lyrics) is to be interpreted in the sense of a lyric poem or verse ⇒ an edition of Horace’s Lyrics — and not as the words of a popular song.

Jane[5] was a comic strip created and drawn by Norman Pett exclusively for the British tabloid newspaper The Daily Mirror from 5 December 1932 to 10 October 1959. Originally entitled Jane's Journal, Or the Diary of a Bright Young Thing, the salacious comic strip featured the misadventures of the title ingenue. The heroine had a habit of frequently (and most often inadvertently) losing her clothes.

Down

1d   Having taken drugs, start // field event (4,4)

2d   Pay // wife to go on date (4)

3d   Clouts buzzing // insect (6)

4d   Western star with badge performing /in/ variety (5,3)

Tom Mix[5] (1880–1940) was an American film actor and the star of many early Western movies. Between 1909 and 1935, Mix appeared in 291 films, all but nine of which were silent movies. He was Hollywood's first Western megastar and is noted as having helped define the genre for all cowboy actors who followed.

5d   Completed novel, // a mystery (6,4)

Literally, the wordplay is CLOSED (completed) + BOOK (novel). In his review, Gazza points out that wordplay could also work in a more figurative fashion.

A closed book[5] is a subject or person about which one knows nothing ⇒ accounting has always been a closed book to me.

6d   Coming from Tallinn, perhaps // caught short after Indian restaurant meal (6)

Tallinn[5] is the capital of Estonia, a port on the Gulf of Finland; population 397,000 (est. 2007). Estonia[5] is a a Baltic country on the south coast of the Gulf of Finland; population 1,299,400 (est. 2009).

In Pakistani cooking, balti[5] is a spicy dish cooked in a small two-handled pan known as a karahi.

8d   Mystery // in game unravelled (6)

13d   Jazz pianist/'s/ number I introduced to camp (5,5)

Count Basie[5] (1904–1984) was an American jazz pianist, organist, and bandleader; born William Basie. In 1935 he formed a big band, known as the Count Basie Orchestra, which became one of the most successful bands of the swing era.

16d   Nothing left /in/ safe (3,5)

18d   Second job /in/ food shop during function (8)

In mathematics, the term sine[5] denotes the trigonometric function that is equal to the ratio of the side opposite a given angle (in a right-angled triangle) to the hypotenuse.

19d   A particular // detachment of troops (6)

21d   A plank // on a yacht, maybe (6)

22d   A boy enthralled by my // illness (6)

24d   Jack, coming in low, /exudes/ charm (4)

J[5] is an abbreviation for Jack that is used in describing play in card games.
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, October 20, 2014

Monday, October 20, 2014 — DT 27499


Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27499
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Monday, May 26, 2014
Setter
Rufus (Roger Squires)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27499]
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

The stars have once again aligned, and today's puzzle is actually a "Monday" puzzle — that is to say, it originally appeared in The Daily Telegraph on a Monday. That also means that it was created by Rufus, and thus you should find it to be on the gentle side. I did call out the electronic troops to help with one clue — and then kicked myself for having done so when I saw the answer they revealed.

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 (//).

Across

1a   Prison officer goes to club /for/ cocktail (11)

9a   Aid fliers being diverted /to find/ places to land (9)

10a   Intends /to get/ sufficient funds (5)

11a   Returning, I'd delayed // to explain more fully (6)

Dilate[5,10] (often followed by on or upon) means to speak or write at length on (a subject); to expand or enlargethe faithful could hear the minister dilate on the role religion could play.

12a   Admitting // whole sum is due (8)

13a   Fast, the Italian/'s/ pulse (6)

In the Christian Church, Lent[5] is the period preceding Easter, which is devoted to fasting, abstinence, and penitence in commemoration of Christ’s fasting in the wilderness.

 In Italian, the masculine singular form of the definite article is il[8].

15a   Holding north, top fighter pilots attempt // descent (8)

Descent[5] denotes the origin or background of a person in terms of family or nationality ⇒ the settlers were of Cornish descent.

18a   French port /or/ claret (8)

How I failed to get this one immediately, I will never know. I must have suffered a brain cramp.

Bordeaux[5] is a port of southwestern France on the River Garonne, capital of Aquitaine; population 235,878 (2006). It is a centre of the wine trade.

Bordeaux[5] is a red, white, or rosé wine from the district of Bordeaux.

Claret[5] is a red wine from Bordeaux, or wine of a similar character made elsewhere.

The surface reading suggests port[5] in the sense of a strong, sweet dark red (occasionally brown or white) fortified wine, originally from Portugal, typically drunk as a dessert wine.

19a   He had high-flying ambition but came unstuck (6)

In Greek mythology, Icarus[5] was the son of Daedalus, who escaped from Crete using wings made by his father but was killed when he flew too near the sun and the wax attaching his wings melted.

21a   Sign's sensible /yet/ not in a straightforward way (8)

In astronomy, Cancer[5] is a constellation (the Crab), said to represent a crab crushed under the foot of Hercules. In astrology, Cancer[5] is the fourth sign of the zodiac, which the sun enters at the northern summer solstice (about 21 June).

23a   Breaking up coal /for/ furnace (6)

A cupola[5] (also known as a cupola furnace) is a cylindrical furnace for refining metals, with openings at the bottom for blowing in air and originally with a dome leading to a chimney above.

26a   I give a hand, /being/ perfect! (5)

27a   This pet may sleep indoors but its quarters are hardly spotless (9)

The Woodentops[7] [mentioned by Miffypops in his review] is a children's television series first shown on BBC Television in 1955. The main characters in this puppet show are the members of a middle-class family living on a farm — Daddy and Mummy Woodentop and their three children — together with Spotty Dog.

28a   Chief follows priests out /for/ personal inspection (5-6)

Down

1d   Shock // subject for play school (7)

The School for Scandal[7] is a play written by Irish playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751–1816). It was first performed in London at Drury Lane Theatre in 1777.

2d   Two rivers // characteristic of the country (5)

The Ural River[5] is a river, 1,575 miles (2,534 km) long, that rises at the southern end of the Ural Mountains in western Russia and flows through western Kazakhstan to the Caspian Sea at Atyraū.

3d   Going crazy with a wine list may eventually affect this (9)

This is a semi-&lit. (or semi-all-in-one) clue. The entire clue is the the definition, while the portion marked with a dashed underline — but with a different interpretation — also serves as the wordplay.

4d   Drums sound // to start a revolution (4)

In his review, Miffypops shows the second definition as "revolution" which would make roll a noun. However, his explanation does not account for the phrase "to start a". I suppose one might try to argue that this is a link phrase, but I don't think it fits the bill.

My interpretation is that roll[5] in the second instance is used in the sense of a verb meaning to turn over to face a different direction : she rolled on to her side. Having started by rolling onto her side, three more rolls would complete the revolution.

5d   Shipping company after vessel /for/ petroleum product (8)

The Onedin Line[7] [mentioned by Miffypops in his review] is a BBC television drama series which ran from 1971 to 1980. The series is set in Liverpool, England from 1860 to 1886 and deals with the rise of a shipping line, the Onedin Line, named after its owner James Onedin.

6d   He was known for loving // capital, nothing more (5)

Rome[5] is the capital of Italy and of the Lazio region, situated on the River Tiber about 25 km (16 miles) inland; population 2,724,347 (2008).

Romeo[7], one of the title characters in William Shakespeare's tragedy Romeo and Juliet, serves as the play's male protagonist. His role as an idealistic lover has led the word "Romeo" to become a synonym for a passionate male lover in various languages.

7d   Organ bright /with/ flowers (7)

8d   Is jesting about /providing/ support on flight (8)

This is a case where one must introduce a bit of missing punctuation into the wordplay, thereby making it "is, jesting about". This instructs us to start with the word IS and then place a noun meaning "jesting" around it.

14d   Managed to raise local taxes /and/ provides an account (8)

Rates[3] (often used in the plural) is a chiefly British term for a locally assessed property tax.

16d   No cure, sadly -- time /for/ support (9)

17d   Not the favourite in society? (8)

This would seem to be one of those "barely cryptic" definitions for which Rufus is so well-known. The overall clue relates to outsider[5] meaning a person or thing excluded from or not a member of a set, group, etc. The portion of the clue that is underlined could also be seen as a reference to a contestant, especially a horse, thought unlikely to win in a race.

18d   Withdrawing // support? (7)

20d   Reliable /way to/ limit bloodshed (7)

The phrase "way to" is used as a link phrase and indicates an outcome; i.e., it is equivalent to the phrase "leads to".

22d   Women's group left -- street's hoisted // flags (5)

The Women's Institute (WI)[5] is an organization of women, especially in rural areas, who meet regularly and participate in crafts, cultural activities, and social work. Now worldwide, it was first set up in Ontario, Canada, in 1897, and in Britain in 1915.

Jam & Jerusalem[7] [mentioned by Miffypops in his review] is a British sit-com that aired on the BBC from 2006 to 2009. On BBC America the program aired as Clatterford. The show centres on a Women's Guild in a small, fictional, West Country town called Clatterford St. Mary. 

24d   Rosie's willowy form (5)

My interpretation of the clue differs a bit from that of Miffypops. I would say that the word "form" is more the anagram indicator than is the word "willowy". However, it is really the overall structure of the clue that implies that we need to put ROSIE into a new "form" (i.e., that we need to make an anagram of it). The setter could have indicted the anagram by simply saying "Rosie's new form" or "Rosie in a new form". The word "willowy" is a subsidiary indication telling us that this new "form" has something to do with willow trees.

25d   No success /keeping/ a girl quiet (4)

Piano[3,5] (abbreviation p[5]), is a musical direction meaning either (as an adjective) soft or quiet or (as an adverb) softly or quietly.

Florence Nightingale[5,7] (1820–1910) [to whom Miffypops alludes in his review] was an English nurse and medical reformer who is regarded as the founder of modern nursing. In 1854, during the Crimean War, she improved sanitation and medical procedures at the army hospital at Scutari, achieving a dramatic reduction in the mortality rate. She was known as "The Lady with the Lamp" after her habit of making rounds at night.
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, October 18, 2014

Saturday, October 18, 2014 — Two-timing Writer


Introduction

There should be nothing in today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon to hold you up for long.

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







Solution to Today's Puzzle

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

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

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

Primary indications (definitions) are marked with a solid underline in the clue; subsidiary indications (be they wordplay or other) are marked with a dashed underline in all-in-one (& lit.) clues, semi-all-in-one (semi-& lit.) clues and cryptic definitions.

Across

1a   Brother, regarding a group song, /is/ fiddling (9,6)

MONK|EYING| A|ROUND — MONK (brother) + EYING (regarding) + A (†) + ROUND (group song)

9a   Putting in order, // destroyed dignity (7)

TIDYING* — anagram (destroyed) of DIGNITY

10a   Left Spain and Portugal /for/ African country (7)

L|IBERIA — L (left) + IBERIA (Spain and Portugal)

11a   Sort of column // doctor viewed about restricted iodine (5)

DO(R|I)C — DOC (doctor) containing (viewed about) {R (restricted; film classification) + I ([symbol for the chemical element] iodine}

The Doric order[7] was one of the three orders of ancient Greek or classical architecture[7]; the other two canonical orders were the Ionic and the Corinthian. These orders are distinguished principally by the style of the capital found on the columns. The Doric[5] order of architecture is characterized by a sturdy fluted column and a thick square abacus [see definition below] resting on a rounded moulding.


Orders of Ancient Greek architecture


Left: Architectural elements of the Doric Order showing simple curved echinus of capital

Centre: Capital of the Ionic Order showing volutes and ornamented echinus

Right: Capital of the Corinthian Order showing foliate decoration and vertical volutes.


An abacus[5] is the flat slab on top of a capital, supporting the architrave[5], or main beam resting across the tops of the columns

An echinus[5] is a rounded moulding below an abacus on a Doric or Ionic capital.

12a   Scholarly papers /and/ a Frank McCourt memoir stuck in corners (9)

TRE(A|TIS)ES — {A (†) + TIS (Frank McCourt memoir)} contained in TREES (corners; as a verb)

'Tis[7] is a memoir written by Irish-American author Frank McCourt. Published in 1999, it begins where McCourt ended Angela's Ashes, his Pulitzer Prize winning memoir of his impoverished childhood in Ireland and his return to America.

13a   Pest // sped recklessly into passenger (3,6)

R(ED SP)*IDER — anagram (recklessly) of SPED contained in (into) RIDER (passenger)

16a   Pitch in, awkwardly carrying // some porcelain (5)

_CH|IN|A_ — hidden in (carrying) pitCH IN Awkwardly

The word "some" seems almost superfluous in this clue. At first, I thought that it might be indicating that china is but one example of porcelain. But that does not seem to be the case, as the terms china and porcelain are synonymous. I also considered that the hidden word indicator might be "carrying some", but I dismissed that as being a rather awkward construction.

17a   Trendy high railway // stopover (5)

HOT|EL — HOT (trendy) + EL (high railway)

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].

18a   Incidental information /in/ notice about food store (9)

SI(DELI)GHT — SIGHT (notice) containing (about) DELI (food store)

20a   Holding salt, uncovers // crustaceans (9)

BAR(NACL)ES — BARES (uncovers) containing (holding) NACL ([common] salt)

The scientific name for common salt[5] is sodium chloride, for which the chemical symbol is NaCl.

Here the setters have employed an inverted clue structure for cryptic effect or, as they might have put it "For cryptic effect, the setters have employed an inverted clue structure".

23a   Rasher // English philosopher (5)

BACON — double definition

There are a couple of contenders for the philosopher position

Francis Bacon[5], Baron Verulam and Viscount St Albans (1561–1626) was an English statesman and philosopher. As a scientist he advocated the inductive method; his views were instrumental in the founding of the Royal Society in 1660. Notable works: The Advancement of Learning (1605) and Novum Organum (1620).

Roger Bacon[5] (circa 1214–1294) was an English philosopher, scientist, and Franciscan friar. Most notable for his work in the field of optics, he emphasized the need for an empirical approach to scientific study.

25a   Muscle // tee prices changed (7)

T|RICEPS* — T ([the letter] tee) + an anagram (changed) of PRICES

26a   Loving // a party band (7)

A|DO|RING — A (†) + DO (party) + RING (band)

27a   Novelist // ordered theories rewritten (8,7)

{THEODORE DREISER}* — anagram (rewritten) of ORDERED THEORIES

Theodore Dreiser[5] (1871–1945) was an American novelist. His first novel, Sister Carrie (1900), caused controversy for its frank treatment of the heroine’s sexuality and ambition. Other notable works: America is Worth Saving (1941).

Down

1d   Mom. kid, or // man with a cape (7)

MA|TAD|OR — MA (mom) + TAD (kid) + OR (†)

2d   Plastic drain/'s/ low point (5)

NADIR* — anagram (plastic) of DRAIN

3d   Grand iridescent gem worn by second // of bishops (9)

EPI(S)C|OPAL — {EPIC (grand) + OPAL (iridescent gem)} containing (worn by) S (second)

4d   Valuable bar // I acquired around central Argentina (5)

I(N)GOT — {I (†) + GOT (acquired)} containing (around) N (central [letter of] ArgeNtina)

5d   Adorned log sent back without a // flower (9)

{GOL|DENROD_}< — reversal (sent back) of {[A]DORNED LOG} with A deleted (without A)

6d   Automaton // framed by Sandro Botticelli (5)

_RO|BOT_ — hidden in SandRO BOTicelli

Sandro Botticelli[5] (1445–1510) was an Italian painter; born Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi. He worked in Renaissance Florence under the patronage of the Medicis. Botticelli is best known for his mythological works such as Primavera (circa 1478) and The Birth of Venus (circa 1480).

I am very familiar with the latter work as it appeared in my high school Latin textbook. In later editions, this illustration was replaced by one far less appealing to teenage boys. When textbooks were distributed at the start of the school year, students usually tried to grab a new one. But that was not the case in Latin class. There we scrambled to secure a copy of the older edition.

The Birth of Venus (Botticelli)

7d   Tireless // radical insurgent (9)

UNRESTING* — anagram (radical) of INSURGENT

8d   See a dad swimming /in/ salty lake (4,3)

{DEAD SEA}* — anagram (swimming) of SEE A DAD

The Dead Sea[5] is a salt lake or inland sea in the Jordan valley, on the Israel-Jordan border. Its surface is 400 m (1,300 ft) below sea level.

14d   Find /and/ check big hole in the ground (9)

DETER|MINE — DETER (check; obstruct or impede) + MINE (big hole in the ground)

15d   Person who reveals // one who mislaid a CD? (9)

DISC|LOSER — DISC (a CD) + LOSER (one who mislaid)

The wordplay becomes clear when it and the solution are each read as phrases. Thus "one who mislaid a CD" could be described as a "disc loser".

16d   Last car of the train contains a large // can (9)

C(A|L)ABOOSE — CABOOSE (last car of the train) containing (contains) {A (†) + L (large)}

For the benefit of readers overseas, caboose[5] is a North American term for a railway wagon with accommodation for the train crew, typically attached to the end of the train.

Calaboose[5] is an informal US term for a prison.

17d   Hit slightly at // home (7)

H|A|BIT|AT — H (hit; baseball terminology) + A BIT (slightly) + AT (†)

19d   Light brown, maturer // bird (7)

TAN|AGER — TAN (light brown) + AGER (maturer; a ripening agent, perhaps)

The tanager[5] is a small American songbird of the bunting family, the male of which typically has brightly coloured plumage.

21d   Guys in spot // improve (5)

A(MEN)D — MEN (guys) contained in (in) AD ([commercial] spot)

22d   Small, tough // fragment (5)

S|HARD — S (small) + HARD (tough)

24d   Concentrating primarily on hips, // makes golf shot (5)

C|HIPS — C {initial letter (primarily) of Concentrating) before (on; in a down clue) HIPS (†)

Epilogue

The title of today's post was inspired by 1a and 27a.

After proposing in 1893, Theodore Dreiser[7] married Sara White on December 28, 1898. They ultimately separated in 1909, partly as a result of Dreiser's infatuation with Thelma Cudlipp, the teenage daughter of a work colleague, but were never formally divorced. In 1913, he began a romantic relationship with the actress and painter Kyra Markham (who was much younger than he). In 1919 Dreiser met his cousin Helen Richardson with whom he began an affair and they eventually married on June 13, 1944.

Interestingly, Dreiser was going to return from his first European holiday in the Titanic but was talked out of going by an English publisher who recommended he board a cheaper boat.
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, October 17, 2014

Friday, October 17, 2014 — DT 27498


Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27498
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, May 24, 2014
Setter
Unknown
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27498 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27498 – 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
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

It was not an overly taxing workout today — although it did take me a rather long time to see the solution to 4a which was my last one in.

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 (//).

Across

1a   Trophy's displayed over Los Angeles // Dome (6)

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

4a   Appropriate // type of modern art (8)

Abstract[5] (usually abstract something from) can be a verb meaning to extract or remove (something) ⇒ applications to abstract more water from streams. In this clue, the term seems to be used euphemistically to indicate that someone has stolen something ⇒ his pockets contained all he had been able to abstract from the flat.

10a   French artist /delivers/ shock before time (5)

Édouard Manet[5] (1832–1883) was a French painter. He adopted a realist approach which greatly influenced the impressionists, using pure colour to give a direct unsentimental effect. Notable works: Déjeuner sur l’herbe (1863), Olympia (1865), and A Bar at the Folies-Bergère (1882).

11a   Peacekeeping organisation p-put forward // without resistance (9)

UNO[5] is the abbreviation for United Nations Organization.

12a   Shocked // in the style of jolly editor (7)

In cooking, à la[5] denotes (with respect to a dish) cooked or prepared in a specified way ⇒ fish cooked à la meunière. The term is also used informally to mean in the style or manner of ⇒ afternoon talk shows à la Oprah.

Jolly[10] is British slang for a member of the Royal Marines (RM)[5] , a British armed service (part of the Royal Navy) founded in 1664, trained for service at sea, or on land under specific circumstances.

13a   Exit stamp // describing desperate effort (2-2-3)

14a   Go off with intellectual faculty, // organised in groups (14)

I think that gnomethang's comment glosses over the full explanation of this clue. Faculty[5] is used in the sense of an inherent mental or physical power ⇒ (i) her critical faculties; (ii) the faculty of sight. Thus the phrase "with intellectual faculty" translates to 'mentally'.

17a   Dan waited there pathetically // doomed not to make progress (4,2,3,5)

21a   Thin material // in newspaper article is unknown (7)

In mathematics (algebra, in particular), an unknown[10] is a variable, or the quantity it represents, the value of which is to be discovered by solving an equation ⇒ 3y = 4x + 5 is an equation in two unknowns. [Unknowns are typically represented symbolically by the letters x, y and z.]

23a   Moves like a kangaroo // born on Oz (7)

Purists would argue that the construction used in the wordplay does not work in an across clue. According to them, in order for B to be placed on A, A must already have been written. Thus "B on A" would signify the sequence AB (not BA, as it must be in this clue). If it were a down clue, then "B on A" could denote 'B on top of A", leading to the sequence BA. However, in practice, one often sees "B on A" being used in across clues to signify either the sequence BA or the sequence AB.

24a   Active old reprobate/'s / indulgent lifestyle on the continent (5,4)

As an anagram indicator, reprobate[10] is presumably used as an adjective meaning corrupt [see synonyms].

Dolce vita[5] (usually la dolce vita) means a life of heedless pleasure and luxury ⇒ he was young, beautiful, and living la dolce vita. From Italian, literally 'sweet life'.

25a   Bishop after protest // to get out of army (5)

B[5] is an abbreviation for bishop that is used in recording moves in chess.

Demo[5] is a chiefly British term for a public meeting or march protesting against something or expressing views on a political issue ⇒ a peace demo.

Demob[3] is a chiefly British term meaning to demobilize (armed forces).

26a   Put forward, // could make a mention (8)

27a   One who loves /making/ fuss about king (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).

Down

1d   Special troop // with positive attitude collecting old Military Medal (8)

As can-do[5] is an adjective, it would have to be clued by the phrase "with positive attitude".

In the UK and Commonwealth countries, the Military Medal[5] (abbreviation MM) is a decoration for distinguished active service on land, instituted in 1916 (originally for enlisted soldiers).

2d   Under tree, place monkey's swallowed // fruit (9)

Pl.[5] (also pl.) is the abbreviation for Place (in street addresses) ⇒ 3 Palmerston Pl., Edinburgh.

3d   Religious martyr, // rigged trial snared me (7)

Hugh Latimer[5] (circa 1485–1555) was an English Protestant prelate and martyr. One of Henry VIII’s chief advisers when the king broke with the papacy, under Mary I he was condemned for heresy and burnt at the stake at Oxford with Nicholas Ridley.

5d   Hippy perhaps // sporting a denim bathrobe (5,2,3,4)

6d   Bit of a blow -- ten around /for/ dessert (7)

7d   Middle Eastern president // like Saddam -- not half (5)

The Assads[7] are an Alawite family which has held political power in Syria since 1970. The family has produced two presidents:
  • Hafez al-Assad, President of Syria 1970–2000
  • Bashar al-Assad, current President of Syria
Saddam Hussein[5] (1937–2006) was Iraqi President, Prime Minister, and head of the armed forces 1979–2003; full name Saddam bin Hussein at-Takriti. During his presidency, Iraq fought a war with Iran (1980-8) and invaded Kuwait (1990), from which Iraqi forces were expelled in the Gulf War of 1991. He also ordered punitive attacks on Kurdish rebels in the north of Iraq and on the Marsh Arabs in the south. He was overthrown in 2003 following the invasion and occupation of Iraq by US-led forces. He was later tried for crimes against humanity and executed.

8d   Spruces up // items of clothing worn by princess, affectionately remembered (6)

Diana, Princess of Wales[5] (1961–1997) was the former wife of Prince Charles; title before marriage Lady Diana Frances Spencer. The daughter of the 8th Earl Spencer, she married Prince Charles in 1981; the couple were divorced in 1996. She became a popular figure through her charity work and glamorous media appearances, and her death in a car crash in Paris gave rise to intense national mourning.

9d   Holder of extreme views // to provide money for disruption of animal test (14)

15d   Detective officer initially entering the sea at Nice /is/ poor timekeeper (9)

Tec[5] is a dated informal term for a detective. Given its absence from American dictionaries, it may be a chiefly British term.

The O is not an abbreviation for "officer" but rather is clued by "officer initially".

La mer[8] is French for the sea

Nice[5] is a resort city on the French Riviera, near the border with Italy; population 348,721 (2007).

16d   Part of goal /is/ to thwart lawyers (8)

18d   Dropping long stretch of time /in/ underground cell (7)

19d   Rolled up with Miliband, // damaged (7)

Ed Miliband[7] is a British Labour Party politician who is currently the Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition.

20d   Like poor actor /in/ court study (6)

22d   Supernatural being -- // endless precious metal produced by 'em (5)

In Jewish legend, golem[5] is a clay figure brought to life by magic.
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, October 16, 2014

Thursday, October 15, 2014 — DT 27497


Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27497
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, May 23, 2014
Setter
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27497]
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

Introduction

I was pleased (or, perhaps, relieved) to see that Gazza awarded this puzzle three stars for difficulty. I came to a total impasse in the lower right hand corner with 29a, 25d and 26d. After setting the puzzle aside and revisiting it numerous times, the pennies finally began to drop.

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 (//).

Across

1a   Outlaw // supporting writer (9)

9a   Drowning in drink is a very small // animal (6)

10a   Terribly late, one certain /to be/ taking one's time (2,7)

11a   Knight hiding hesitation when approaching a // mountain range (6)

Especially in Spanish-speaking countries or the western US, sierra[5] is a term for a long jagged mountain chain.

12a   The female copper -- thin /or/ big and strong? (9)

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

13a   Heathens /making/ vessels with silver lining (6)

The symbol for the chemical element silver is Ag[5] from Latin argentum.

17a   Cut // not all of the wood (3)

19a   Near // wild ocelots (5,2)

20a   Henry, king presumably resting // old weapon (7)

Hal has been a nickname for Henry at least as far back as the days of William Shakespeare.

Henry V[7] is a history play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in approximately 1599. It tells the story of King Henry V of England, focusing on events immediately before and after the Battle of Agincourt (1415) during the Hundred Years' War. The play is the final part of a tetralogy, preceded by Richard II, Henry IV, Part 1 and Henry IV, Part 2. The original audiences would thus have already been familiar with the title character, who was depicted in the Henry IV plays as a wild, undisciplined lad known as "Prince Harry" and by Falstaff as "Hal".

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).

The phrase "presumably resting" is used as a substitute for 'in bed'. Thus "king presumably resting" becomes 'king in bed' which parses as 'R (king) contained in (in) BED'. [The phrase "presumably resting" allows for the possibility that the king might be engaged in some more active pursuit while abed.]

A halberd[5] (also known as a halbert) is a combined spear and battleaxe.

21a   Precise // removal of article from cart (3)

Dry[5] (said of information, writing, etc.) denotes dully factual the dry facts of the matter.

23a   Youngster /is/ very quiet when external control is brought back (6)

Pianissimo (abbreviation pp)[5] is a direction used in music to mean either (as an adjective) very soft or very quiet or (as an adverb) very softly or very quietly.

My British dictionaries define nipper[2,5,10] as an informal or colloquial term for a (small) child, while my American dictionaries say that nipper[3,11] means a small boy. The American Heritage Dictionary indicates that the term is chiefly British and Chambers 21st Century Dictionary characterises it as dated ("old colloquial use").

27a   Lacking discipline, // silly nude catches puff-puff (9)

In Britain, puff-puff[10] is a children's name for a steam locomotive or railway train.

28a   Customary practice // of Spiritualists (6)

29a   Rodent /in/ yellow vessel hidden in wood (9)

Live and learn — it had never occurred to me that a porcupine is a rodent. As a result, it took me an incredibly long time to crack this clue.

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

30a   Church book, we hear, /is/ one for preservation (6)

Psalter[10] is another name for Psalms, especially in the version in the Book of Common Prayer[10], the official book of church services of the Church of England, until 1980, when the Alternative Service Book was sanctioned.

31a   Never giving up // in ascents proving tricky (9)

Down

2d   It's dreadful // ascending hill -- number will stay at bottom (6)

In the clue, the word "it's" plays a role very similar to that of a link word despite not being positioned between the definition and wordplay. Read "it's ..." more verbosely as 'the solution to the clue is a synonym for ...'.

3d   Supper's beginning with fish // smell (6)

The tench[5] is a European freshwater fish (Tinca tinca) of the carp family, popular with anglers and widely introduced elsewhere.

4d   Issue /that/ troubles Ulster (6)

As a link word, that[5] may have been used as a conjunction expressing a result ⇒ she was so tired that she couldn’t think.

Properly Ulster[10] is an area that was a province and former kingdom of northern Ireland which passed to the English Crown in 1461. Following centuries of conflict, Ulster was partitioned in 1921, with six counties [Antrim, Down, Armagh, Londonderry, Tyrone, and Fermanagh] forming Northern Ireland (a region within the United Kingdom) and three counties [Cavan, Donegal, and Monaghan] joining the Republic of Ireland. Despite this, Ulster is a widely-used (albeit inaccurate) name for Northern Ireland.

5d   Torrent /of/ anger in the pub? (7)

In this clue, the word "of" is a link (indicating constituent parts) between the definition and wordplay. The preposition of[5] may be used to indicate the material or substance constituting something ⇒ (i) the house was built of bricks; or (ii) walls of stone.

"Anger in the pub" could also be referred to as 'pub anger' or 'bar rage'.

6d   Anger against topsy-turvy board /is/ genuine (9)

Board[5,10] is an archaic term for a table, especially one used for eating at, and especially when laden with foodhe looked at the banquet which was spread upon his board.

7d   Open cut // bled too much? (9)

In his review, Gazza makes reference to the Chancellor of the Exchequer[5], the chief finance minister of the United Kingdom, who prepares the nation’s annual budgets.

8d   Bus blocking us out where it's parked? // Verbal abuse results (9)

In this clue, the word "results" fulfills a function similar to that of a link word. In fact, one can easily see this by rewriting the clue as:
  • 8d   Bus blocking us out where it's parked /resulting in/ verbal abuse (9)
14d   Writer of dramatic script /needing/ exceptional actress in (9)

The surface reading of this clue, given the apparent omission of the object of the preposition "in", sounds ungrammatical to my ear. However, I do not rule out the possibility that there may be dialects where such a construction is used. I had a friend at university who hailed from the Lunenburg area of Nova Scotia and he would often say something such as "I'm heading downtown. Do you want to come with?"

15d   Little fellow trapped in house expresses scorn /for/ medical facilities (9)

16d   Specially financed // party set up and getting on (9)

17d   Have to spend pounds /for/ builder's item (3)

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].

18d   Question of puzzlement /from/ character becoming audible (3)

22d   Managed to talk at length /in/ Asian city (7)

Rangoon[5] is the former capital of Burma (Myanmar), a port in the Irrawaddy delta; population 4,088,000 (est. 2007). For centuries a Buddhist religious centre, it is the site of the Shwe Dagon Pagoda, built over 2,500 years ago. The modern city was established by the British in the mid 19th century and was the capital from 1886 until it was replaced by Naypyidaw in 2005.

24d   Wise person/'s/ spoken with energy about origin of capitalism (6)

25d   Dropout having year off with huge // animals in the wild (6)

The sizes of clothing that North Americans would describe as plus-size[7] (or often big and tall in the case of men's clothing) would be called outsize (OS[5]) in Britain.

26d   Writer with name on // flag (6)

Pennon[5] is a less common term for pennant.
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