Friday, May 27, 2016

Friday, May 27, 2016 — DT 28018

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28018
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, January 23, 2016
Setter
Unknown
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28018 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28018 – Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave (Hints)
gnomethang (Review)
BD Rating
Difficulty - Enjoyment - ★★★
Falcon's Experience
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└────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┘
Legend:
- solved without assistance
- incorrect prior to use of puzzle solving tools
- solved with assistance from puzzle solving tools
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by puzzle solving tools
- solved but without fully parsing the clue
- unsolved or incorrect prior to visiting Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by solutions from Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- reviewed by Falcon for Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- yet to be solved
Notes
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

After a very slow start, this puzzle actually fell into place quite readily with a sprint to the finish.

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   What makes crust // start to rise in pie? (6)

It took me quite a while to realize that the definition is not "pie".

Pasty[5] (also pastie) is a British term for a folded pastry case with a savoury filling, typically of seasoned meat and vegetables.

4a   English journalists will tuck in exceedingly /and/ drink (8)

9a   Place found in rickety pier /causing/ undulation (6)

10a   One car is overturned /in/ plan of action (8)

11a   Poet/'s/ house next to watercourse (6)

"house" = HO (show explanation )

Although not found in most of the dictionaries that I consulted, ho.[10] is the abbreviation for house.

hide explanation

Horace[5] (65-8 BC) was a Roman poet of the Augustan period; full name Quintus Horatius Flaccus. A notable satirist and literary critic, he is best known for his Odes, much imitated by later ages, especially by the poets of 17th-century England. His other works include Satires and Ars Poetica.

12a   Alan's suffering little sister following day's end // breakdown (8)

14a   Little time for sleep? (5,5)

This is a a cryptic definition which incorporates embedded wordplay in the form of a charade.

The small hours[1,2,3,4,5,10,11] are the early hours of the morning (immediately or just) after midnight (and before dawn).
There is some variance between — and even within — dictionaries as to what hours constitute the small hours. For some dictionaries, they are simply the early hours of the morning, others restrict them to the early hours of the morning immediately (or just) after midnight, while others extend the period to dawn. Collins English Dictionary actually defines the term in two different entries — the first time as the hours just after midnight and the second time as the early hours of the morning, after midnight and before dawn.
Perhaps due to my Scottish heritage, I would say "wee hours" rather than "small hours". Judging by dictionary entries, wee hours[3] would seem to be a North American expression as I failed to find it in a single British dictionary. The Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary shows small hours[11] as an alternative term for wee hours — seemingly without providing a definition for wee hours. Of course, there are also the wee small hours.

18a   Not drinking /as/ sailors can -- leading French in this? (10)

"sailors" = ABS (show explanation )

In the Royal Navy, according to Oxford Dictionaries, able seaman[5] (abbreviation AB[5]), is a rank of sailor above ordinary seaman and below leading seaman. On the other hand, Collins English Dictionary tells us that an able seaman[10] (also called able-bodied seaman) is an ordinary seaman, especially one in the merchant navy, who has been trained in certain skills.

hide explanation

In French, en[8] is a preposition meaning 'in' and ce[8] is a demonstrative adjective meaning 'this'.

22a   Squirts rush out when it's played on the lawn (8)

Hosepipe[5] is a British term for a hose that people use to water their gardens or wash their cars.

23a   'Nearly all.' -- 'Nearly all?' -- // 'Nearly ...' (6)

24a   Living with cook /as/ a temporary solution (5-3)

The quick[5] (plural noun) is an archaic term denoting those who are living ⇒ the quick and the dead.

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, gnomethang says with respect to "fix" being a synonym for "cook" an Americanism as far as I am concerned!.
I am not clear to which of the two words he is referring, but I could find nothing in my three British dictionaries to support his observation.

25a   Ollie's partner's spoken a // few lines (6)

Laurel and Hardy[5] were an American comedy duo consisting of Stan Laurel (born Arthur Stanley Jefferson) (1890–1965) and Oliver Hardy (1892–1957). British-born Stan Laurel played the scatterbrained and often tearful innocent, Oliver Hardy his pompous, overbearing, and frequently exasperated friend. They brought their distinctive slapstick comedy to many films from 1927 onwards.

Scratching the Surface
As the surface reading of the clue alludes, Oliver Hardy was the more verbose member of the pair.

26a   Old and sore -- // stretcher /required?/ (8)

The word "required" in the clue is equivalent to saying "the solution to this clue is a synonym for ...". As such, I do not see it as part of the definition, but rather what I think of as a piece of framework — akin in function to a link word or link phrase.

This point perhaps becomes more clear were one to rephrase the clue as:
  • Old and sore /requires/ stretcher (8)
27a   Game // groom's first to be hugged by future relative (6)

... but a relative only by marriage.

Down

1d   Buy // tea bag on the way round (8)

Cha as well as chai are alternative spellings of char[5], an informal British name for tea.

2d   Prue's new chap /is/ one with great abilities (8)

Chap[3,4,11] is an informal term for a man or boy; a fellow. It is a shortened form of chapman[3,4,11], an archaic term for a trader, especially an itinerant pedlar.

Scratching the Surface
Prue[7] is a short form for the female given names Prudence or Prunella.

3d   Check of presents? (4-4)

5d   After short time, speed /becomes/ uninspiring (6-4)

6d   Cause long-term irritation /in/ right joint (6)

7d   Teacher misses motorway // pressure (6)

Mistress[5] is a British term for a female schoolteacher who teaches a particular subject ⇒ a Geography mistress.

The M1[7] is a north–south motorway [controlled access, multi-lane divided highway] in England connecting London to Leeds.

8d   Old boy is to broadcast /as/ orchestra member (6)

"old boy" = OB (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

13d   Award one fails to win (5,5)

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, gnamethang says I couldn’t get away from the Wooden Spoon for a while!.
Wooden spoon[5] is a British term for an imaginary prize said to be awarded to the person who is last in a race or other competition ⇒ they finished with the wooden spoon after losing a penalty shoot-out.

15d   Pump /provided by/ men in apartment above (8)

"men" = OR (show explanation )

In the British armed forces, the term other ranks[5] (abbreviation OR[5]) refers to all those who are not commissioned officers.

hide explanation

In Britain, the term flat[5] is used for what would be called an apartment[5] in North America. The term apartment is used in Britain, but seemingly in a more restricted sense than in North America  applying to temporary or more classy accommodation. From the perspective of Oxford Dictionaries, apartment[5] is
  1. a British term for a flat, typically one that is well appointed or used for holidays ⇒ self-catering holiday apartments; or
  2. a North American term for any flat ⇒ the family lived in a rented apartment.
16d   Urged // United to support 27 opponents (8)

The numeral "27" is a cross reference indicator directing the solver to insert the solution to clue 27a in its place to complete the clue. The directional indicator is customarily omitted in situations such as this where only a single clue starts in the light* that is being referenced.
* light-coloured cell in the grid
In the card game bridge, North[5] and South[5] comprise one partnership and play against East[5] and West[5] who form the other partnership.

Scratching the Surface
In Britain, United[5] is a word commonly used in the names of soccer and other sports teams formed by amalgamation ⇒ Man U [Manchester United].

Perhaps the best known is Manchester United Football Club[7] (often referred to simply as United), an English professional football [soccer] club, based at Old Trafford [football stadium] in Old Trafford [district of Manchester], Greater Manchester, that plays in the Premier League (the top level in the English football league system).

17d   Eat with wife -- have outside /in/ warm spell (8)

19d   Verify said // money order (6)

Cheque[5] (US check) is an order to a bank to pay a stated sum from the drawer’s account, written on a specially printed form ⇒ fees are payable by cheque or postal order.
Note to British readers: this is one instance where we clearly use the British spelling in Canada. Of course, the US spelling is seen here in publications from the US but it would definitely be considered an error were it to appear in a Canadian publication.
The term money order[5] meaning a printed order for payment of a specified sum, issued by a bank or Post Office does appear to be used in Britain. Thus the use of the term "money order" in the clue as a definition for cheque would appear to be a bit of playful misdirection by the setter.

20d   Help // musician starting late (6)

21d   Declared // Scots know to get half of spoils beforehand (6)

Scots[10] denotes any of the English dialects spoken or written in Scotland.

Ken[5] is a Scottish and Northern English term meaning:
  1. know [in the sense of to be aware of] ⇒ d’ye ken anyone who can boast of that?; or
  2. recognize or identify ⇒ that’s him—d’ye ken him?.
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, May 26, 2016

Thursday, May 26, 2016 — DT 28017

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28017
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, January 22, 2016
Setter
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28017]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Deep Threat
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★ Enjoyment - ★★★
Falcon's Experience
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└────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┘
Legend:
- solved without assistance
- incorrect prior to use of puzzle solving tools
- solved with assistance from puzzle solving tools
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by puzzle solving tools
- solved but without fully parsing the clue
- unsolved or incorrect prior to visiting Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by solutions from Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- reviewed by Falcon for Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- yet to be solved
Notes
The National Post has skipped DT 28015 and DT 28016 which were published in The Daily Telegraph on Wednesday, January 20, 2016 and Thursday, January 21, 2016.

Introduction

If the editors of the National Post took a Great Leap Forward last week, this week they take a Lesser Leap Forward — skipping no more than a brace of puzzles.

While the Brits may have found this puzzle to be slightly less difficult than average, I would think that it poses a more substantial challenge 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   Treat with contempt // a pre-exam test (4)

North Americans will be familiar with mock[5] , as an adjective, meaning (said of an examination, battle, etc.) arranged for training or practice ⇒ mock GCSEs*.
* In the UK except Scotland, GCSE[5] (General Certificate of Secondary Education) is a qualification in a specific subject typically taken by school students aged 14-16, at a level below A [advanced] level. The equivalent in Scotland is Standard Grade.
In England and Wales, mock[5,10] (often plural) is an informal term for the school examinations taken as practice before public examinationsobtaining Grade A in mocks.

3a   Initially going head first, changing /to become/ shrewd (3-7)

9a   Phoned /and/ spoke (4)

Spoke[10] is another term for the rung of a ladder.

10a   Attendant /making/ little display of anger crossing street (10)

11a   Become strange, always /offering/ greeting (4,3)

Ay[10] is an archaic or poetic term meaning ever or always.

13a   Italian in pain // having a rest? (7)

"Italian" = IT (show explanation )

This clueing might be explained in either of a couple of ways:
  • It.[10] is an abbreviation for Italian or Italy.

  • Italian[10] is another name for Italian vermouth. It[5] is an informal, dated British term for Italian vermouth ⇒ he poured a gin and it.
hide explanation

14a   Hostile little bugs in destructive action? // A farmer grew unhappy (4,7)

18a   Disposition /to show/ rage -- be regretful losing head (11)

21a   Description of a Charlie /in/ inferior part (4-3)

Tail-end charlie[5] is an informal term for:
  1. a person or thing that brings up the rear in a group or formation; or
  2. [likely British] a member of the crew of a military aircraft who operates a gun from a compartment at the rear (i.e., tail gunner).
According to Wikipedia, the British slang term for tail gunners[7] was "Tail-end Charlies" which was adopted in the USAAF* to mean the last bomber in a unit formation, or the last unit formation in a larger bomber stream, both considered highly vulnerable to enemy attack.
* The United States Army Air Forces[7] (USAAF or AAF) were the military aviation service of the United States of America during and immediately after World War II, successor to the United States Army Air Corps and the direct predecessor of the United States Air Force.
22a   Nut // to satisfy the boy at 23, by the sound of it (7)

The numeral "23" is a cross reference indicator directing the solver to insert the solution to clue 23a in its place to complete the clue. The directional indicator is customarily omitted in situations such as this where only a single clue starts in the light* that is being referenced.
* light-coloured cell in the grid
23a   Dissolute types /given/ punishment at school, one boy included (10)

24a   Leave with quiet // expression of surprise (4)

Surprise! Surprise! The word "quiet" is not being used to clue P (piano) today — although it certainly took a while for me to figure that out.

25a   Fool around, // trying to be like Billy? (3,3,4)

Act the (giddy) goat[5,10] or play the (giddy) goat is an informal British term meaning to fool around ⇒ just for once, stop acting the goat.

26a   Foreign money // haphazard -- order lost (4)

"order" = OM (show explanation )

The Order of Merit[7] (abbreviation OM[5]) is a dynastic order recognising distinguished service in the armed forces, science, art, literature, or for the promotion of culture. Established in 1902 by King Edward VII, admission into the order remains the personal gift of its Sovereign, the reigning monarch of the Commonwealth realms, and is limited to 24 living recipients at one time from these countries plus a limited number of honorary members. The current membership includes one Canadian (former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien).

hide explanation

The rand[5] is the basic monetary unit of South Africa, equal to 100 cents.

Down

1d   Bankrupt's ultimate joke, involved in extra // money being borrowed (8)

2d   Study French city // features on map (8)

Con[5] is an archaic term meaning to study attentively or learn by heart (a piece of writing)  ⇒ the girls conned their pages with a great show of industry.

Tours[5] is an industrial city in west central France, on the Loire; population 140,252 (2006).

4d   Cordial disposition -- // it is evident in Jo's sister (5)

Little Women[7] is a novel by American author Louisa May Alcott (1832–1888), which was originally published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869. The novel follows the lives of four sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March—detailing their passage from childhood to womanhood, and is loosely based on the author and her three sisters. Little Women is set in the Alcott family home, Orchard House, in Concord, Massachusetts.

5d   What nave of church has, /being/ well-kept (9)

As Deep Threat alludes in his review, the English word nave[5] comes from the Latin word navis 'ship'.

What did he say?
In his on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Deep Threat tells us that The expression meaning ‘well-kept’ is completed by ‘and Bristol fashion’.
Bristol fashion[5] is a dated, informal British expression denoting in good order; neat and clean ⇒ it gave him pleasure to keep things shipshape and Bristol fashion.

6d   Fail // to prepare for game at Eton? (2,2,3,4)

The Eton wall game[7] is a game which bears some resemblance to rugby union that originated at and is still played at Eton College*. It is played on a strip of ground 5 metres wide and 110 metres long ("The Furrow") next to a slightly curved brick wall ("The Wall") erected in 1717.
* Eton College[7], often informally referred to simply as Eton, is an English boarding school for boys located in Eton, Berkshire, near Windsor.
The traditional and most important match of the year is played on St Andrew's Day, as the Collegers (King's Scholars) take on the Oppidans (the rest of the school). The annual St Andrew's Day match begins with the Oppidans climbing over the wall, after throwing their caps over in defiance of the Scholars, while the Collegers march down from the far end of College Field, arm-in-arm, towards the near end, where they meet the Oppidans.

Go to the wall[5] is an informal term (said of a business) meaning to go out of business; fail ⇒ thousands of firms are expected to go to the wall this year.

7d   Disastrous // time with student event undermined by one head of college (6)

In Britain, rag[5] (usually used as a modifier) refers to a programme of stunts, parades, and other entertainments organized by students to raise money for charity ⇒ rag week.

8d   Senility /of/ Venice's bigwig entertaining volunteers (6)

Historically, a doge[5] was the the chief magistrate of Venice or Genoa.

"volunteers" = TA (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

12d   Having both feet on the ground -- // as, say, after parachute jump? (4-2-5)

You are this — whether you have "both feet on the ground" or you find yourself lying on your backside.

15d   Putting right // a part of the Army that's withering? (9)

The Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers[7] (abbreviation REME; pronounced phonetically as "Reemee") is a corps of the British Army that has responsibility for the maintenance, servicing and inspection of almost every electrical and mechanical piece of equipment within the British Army from battle tanks and helicopters to dental tools and cooking equipment/utensils.

16d   Leo has this // place with wild animal getting horrible disease (8)

Denebola[5] is the second-brightest star in the constellation Leo.

Ebola[5] is an infectious and frequently fatal disease marked by fever and severe internal bleeding, spread through contact with infected body fluids by a filovirus ( Ebola virus), whose normal host species is unknown.

17d   Good person felt irritation // as one post-operation? (8)

19d   Woman /given/ command in Salvation Army (6)

SA[5] is the abbreviation for Salvation Army.

20d   Projecting beam /or/ stake buried under rocky territory (6)

The "rocky territory" is Gibraltar.

Gib[5] is a British short form for Gibraltar[5], a British overseas territory near the southern tip of the Iberian peninsula, at the eastern end of the Strait of Gibraltar ⇒ we reached Gib in August and docked at Oran [a port on the Mediterranean coast of Algeria].

Occupying a site of great strategic importance, Gibraltar consists of a fortified town and military base at the foot of a rocky headland, the Rock of Gibraltar. Britain captured it during the War of the Spanish Succession in 1704 and is responsible for its defence, external affairs, and internal security.

Gibbet[5] is:
  1. another name for a gallows; or
  2. an upright post with an arm on which the bodies of executed criminals were left hanging as a warning or deterrent to others; or
  3. (the gibbet) execution by hanging :⇒ the four ringleaders were sentenced to the gibbet.
22d   Goddess // elevated in prayer festival (5)

In Scandinavian mythology, Freya[5] is the goddess of love and of the night, sister of Frey. She is often identified** with Frigga*.
* Frigga[5] (also Frigg[7]) is is the wife of Odin and goddess of married love and of the hearth, often identified** with Freya. Friday is named after her.

** The phrase "often identified with" implies that some scholars believe that the two goddesses evolved from what was in earlier times a single goddess[7].
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, May 25, 2016

Wednesday, May 25, 2016 — DT 28014

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28014
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Setter
Unknown
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28014]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Gazza
BD Rating
Difficulty - Enjoyment - ★★★
Falcon's Experience
┌────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┐
███████████████████████████████████
└────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┘
Legend:
- solved without assistance
- incorrect prior to use of puzzle solving tools
- solved with assistance from puzzle solving tools
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by puzzle solving tools
- solved but without fully parsing the clue
- unsolved or incorrect prior to visiting Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by solutions from Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- reviewed by Falcon for Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- yet to be solved
Notes
The National Post has skipped DT 28013 which was published in The Daily Telegraph on Monday, January 18, 2016.

Introduction

We are given a very gentle workout today. I expect that one of our regular visitors, Richard, will have had no difficulty getting started on this puzzle.

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

Notes on Today's Puzzle

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

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

Across

1a   Vehicle insurance required to cross upper-class // Canadian city (9)

"insurance" = COVER (show explanation )

In this instance, while the same verb form is used in Britain and North America, we use a different form of the noun on this side of the pond.

As a verb, cover[5] means to protect against a liability, loss, or accident involving financial consequences ⇒ your contents are now covered against accidental loss or damage in transit.

However, in the UK, the word cover[5] is used to denote protection by insurance against a liability, loss, or accident ⇒ your policy provides cover against damage by subsidence. This is equivalent to the North American term coverage[5] meaning the amount of protection given by an insurance policy ⇒ your policy provides coverage against damage by subsidence.

hide explanation

"upper-class" = U (show explanation )

In Britain, U[5] is used informally as an adjective (in respect to language or social behaviour) meaning characteristic of or appropriate to the upper social classes ⇒ U manners.

The term, an abbreviation of  upper class, was coined in 1954 by Alan S. C. Ross, professor of linguistics, and popularized by its use in Nancy Mitford's Noblesse Oblige (1956).

In Crosswordland, the letter U is frequently clued by words denoting "characteristic of the upper class" (such as posh or superior) or "appropriate to the upper class" (such as acceptable). 

hide explanation

6a   Note no intro /for/ stringed instrument (4)

10a   Man on board losing head /in/ the dark (5)

11a   Homes were vandalised, // at a place not specified (9)

12a   Changed them at one, // shabby in appearance (4-5)

14a   Fool about /to produce/ gunpowder ingredient (5)

Nitre[5] (US niter) is an alternative name for saltpetre[5] (US saltpeter) which, in turn, is an alternative name for potassium nitrate[5], a white crystalline salt which is used in preserving meat and as a constituent of gunpowder.

Scratching the Surface
This substance was actually once used in a likely unsuccesful attempt to keep people from "fooling about".

Saltpetre (potassium nitrate) was once thought to induce impotence, and is still falsely rumored to be in institutional food (such as military fare) as an anaphrodisiac [a drug that reduces sexual desire]; however, there is no scientific evidence for such properties.[7]

15a   Soccer player /in/ rear of bus with someone crying (7)

In soccer [usually football to the Brits — but not today], a sweeper[5] is a player stationed behind the other defenders, free to defend at any point across the field and sometimes initiating and supporting attacks.

16a   Sovereign // exercises right in capital, upon return (7)

"exercises" = PE (show explanation )

PE[5] is the abbreviation for physical education [or Phys Ed, as it was known in my school days]. 

hide explanation

18a   Was // left holding son (7)

20a   Boasted about any number // installed (7)

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.

21a   Rule: // keep leader of government in check (5)

23a   Wisecracks /made by/ individuals touring ship (3-6)

25a   Rude when drinking drop of vodka // on the rocks (9)

26a   Small figure in corner /may be from/ fashionable collection (5)

28a   Row /in/ dead heat on river (4)

Contravention of Convention
This clue contravenes the convention that, in an across clue, the construction "A on B" is used to clue B + A.

The rationale for this practice is that in order for A to be placed on B, B must already exist (i.e., already have been written). Since the English language is written from left to right, this means that B must come first and A is then appended to it. .

In the above clue, TIE (dead heat) corresponds to A and R (river) corresponds to B. Thus, according to convention, TIE on R should produce RTIE, not TIER.

Notwithstanding the above, a solver must always be vigilant for setters who flout convention.

29a   One delivering goods, perhaps // confused by an order (6,3)

Down

1d   /There's this/ malice /in/ missive, no mistake (5)

The phrase "there's this" — despite being positioned at the beginning of the clue — plays a very similar role to a link phrase. The thought in the clue could have equally well been expressed as
  • Malice /is to be found in/ missive, no mistake (5)
2d   Silver's following Tonto's third // horse (3)

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

Scratching the Surface
Tonto[7] is a fictional character, the either Potawatomi or Comanche companion of the Lone Ranger, a popular American Western character created by George W. Trendle and Fran Striker. Tonto has appeared in radio and television series and other presentations of the characters' adventures righting wrongs in 19th century western America.

Tonto was portrayed on television (arguably the most well-remembered version today) by Jay Silverheels (born Harold John Smith, 1912–1980), a Canadian Mohawk actor from the Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation, near Hagersville, Ontario. The most recent portrayal was by Johnny Depp in the 2013 Disney film The Lone Ranger.

In Spanish, "tonto" translates as "moron" or "fool." In the Spanish dubbed version, the character is called "Toro" (Spanish for "bull") or "Ponto." In the Italian version the original name is retained, despite the fact that its meaning in Italian is the same as in Spanish.

The Long Ranger rode a magnificent white stallion named Silver. At the beginning of each episode of the TV series,  Silver would rear up with the Lone Ranger on his back, then they would dash off, the Ranger encouragingly shouting, "Hi-Yo, Silver!" Tonto could occasionally be heard to urge on his mount by calling out, "Get 'em up, Scout!" At the end of each episode, mission completed, one of the characters would always ask the sheriff or other authority, "Who was that masked man?" When it was explained, "Oh, he's the Lone Ranger!", the Ranger and Tonto would be seen galloping off with the cry, "Hi-Yo, Silver! Away!" catching the attention of one of the townspeople crossing the street.[7]

Silver and Scout were the second horses of the Lone Ranger and Tonto respectively.
According to the radio episode "The Legend of Silver" (September 30, 1938), before acquiring Silver, the Lone Ranger rode a chestnut mare called Dusty. The Lone Ranger saves Silver's life from an enraged buffalo and, in gratitude, Silver chooses to give up his wild life to carry him.

The origin of Tonto's horse, Scout, is less clear. For a long time, Tonto rides a white horse called White Feller. In "Four Day Ride" (August 5, 1938), Tonto is given a paint horse by his friend Chief Thundercloud, who then takes White Feller. Tonto rides this horse and refers to him simply as "Paint Horse" for several episodes. The horse is finally named Scout in "Border Dope Smuggling" (September 2, 1938). In another episode, however, the Lone Ranger, in a surge of conscience, releases Silver back to the wild. The episode ends with Silver returning, bringing along a companion who becomes Tonto's horse Scout.[7]

3d   In a difficult situation // there (2,3,4)

4d   Tourist, // Italian, wearing eyeshade (7)

"Italian" = IT (show explanation )

This clueing might be explained in either of a couple of ways:
  • It.[10] is an abbreviation for Italian or Italy.

  • Italian[10] is another name for Italian vermouth. It[5] is an informal, dated British term for Italian vermouth ⇒ he poured a gin and it.
hide explanation

5d   Love affair // beginning in remote country church (7)

Oman[7], officially the Sultanate of Oman, is an Arab country in the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. 

"church" = CE (show explanation )

The Church of England[10] (abbreviation CE[10]) is the reformed established state Church in England, Catholic in order and basic doctrine, with the Sovereign as its temporal head.

hide explanation

7d   Row after vehicle on round /brings/ contaminant (5,6)

Agent Orange[5] is a defoliant chemical used by the US in the Vietnam War.

Agent Orange[7] was a mixture of equal parts of two herbicides, 2,4,5-T and 2,4-D. In addition to the adverse effects of the two chemicals that constituted Agent Orange, in 1969 it was also revealed that the 2,4,5-T was contaminated with a dioxin, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzodioxin (TCDD), and that the TCDD was causing many of the previously unexplained adverse health effects which were correlated with Agent Orange exposure. TCDD has been described as "perhaps the most toxic molecule ever synthesized by man".[7]

8d   Page handed over /is/ liked better (9)

9d   See 22 Down

13d   Newspaper // article on grown-up children (3,3,5)

The Big Issue[7] is a street newspaper published in four continents. It is written by professional journalists and sold by homeless individuals. The Big Issue is one of the UK's leading social businesses and exists to offer homeless people, or individuals at risk of homelessness, the opportunity to earn a legitimate income, thereby helping them to reintegrate into mainstream society. It is the world's most widely circulated street newspaper.

15d   Flavour /of/ small juicy fruit, perfect (9)

The answer is a flavour of chewing gum, but it is not Juicy Fruit.

17d   Preparation // for eyesight (9)

19d   See // cod? I see flounders (7)

A see[10] is the diocese of a bishop, or the place within it where his cathedral or procathedral is situated.

20d   Cold and stern -- welcoming to // architect? (7)

22d and 9d   Sound of a bell heard by Welsh boy /and/ English actress (4,4)

Gwyn[7] (also Gwynn or Gwynne) is both a given name and a surname meaning "white" or "blessed" in Welsh and Cornish.

Nell Gwyn[5] (1650–1687) was an English actress; full name Eleanor Gwyn. Originally an orange seller, she became famous as a comedienne at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London. She was a mistress of Charles II.

24d   Delay eating a // Malaysian dish (5)

Satay[5] (also satai or saté) is an Indonesian and Malaysian dish consisting of small pieces of meat grilled on a skewer and served with a spiced sauce that typically contains peanuts.

27d   Blubber // may be extracted from whales, obviously (3)
Key to Reference Sources: 

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

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 — DT 28012

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28012
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, January 16, 2016
Setter
Unknown
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28012 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28012 – Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave (Hints)
crypticsue (Review)
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★★ Enjoyment - ★★
Falcon's Experience
┌────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┐
███████████████████████████████████
└────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┘
Legend:
- solved without assistance
- incorrect prior to use of puzzle solving tools
- solved with assistance from puzzle solving tools
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by puzzle solving tools
- solved but without fully parsing the clue
- unsolved or incorrect prior to visiting Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by solutions from Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- reviewed by Falcon for Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- yet to be solved
Notes
The National Post has skipped DT 28010 and DT 28011 which were published in The Daily Telegraph on Thursday, January 14, 2016 and Friday, January 15, 2016.
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

Despite appearing in the UK in mid-January, this puzzle certainly has a very Christmassy feel to it.

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   Mourns epic broadcast /in/ part of theatre (10)

The proscenium[5] is the part of a theatre stage in front of the curtain.

6a   Bubbly // essential for post-Christmas tipple (4)

Asti[7] (formerly known as Asti Spumante) is a sparkling white Italian wine that is produced throughout southeastern Piedmont but is particularly focused around the towns of Asti and Alba. Since 1993 the wine has been classified as a Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) and as of 2004 was Italy's largest producing appellation.

9a   Doing stunts on high // bar, one caught cracking nuts (10)

Here, I fell into the trap set by the compiler by putting in ACROBATICS which I reasoned was "doing stunts on high bar". Of course, this left me unable to fully explain the wordplay. However, it took merely crypticsue's mention of "bar" in her introduction for the penny to drop.

Aero[7] is a chocolate bar manufactured by Nestlé.

Delving Deeper
Aero was originally introduced to the North of England as the "new chocolate" by English confectionary company Rowntree in 1935. By the end of the year, it had proved so popular with consumers that sales were extended throughout the UK. By 1936, the popularity of the chocolate, due no doubt in part to its unique bubbly texture, had extended to New York City, and has since spread to many other countries including Canada, Australia, South Africa and Japan. Aero has been manufactured by the Swiss food and beverage company Nestlé since its 1988 acquisition of Rowntree Mackintosh.

Known for its unique "bubbly" texture that collapses as the bar melts, it is available in many different forms including Aero Bars and Aero Biscuits, and originally had a mint flavour.

"caught" = C (show explanation )

In cricket, one way for a batsman to be dismissed is to be caught out[5], that is for a player on the opposing team to catch a ball that has been hit by the batsman before it touches the ground.

On cricket scorecards, the abbreviation c.[2,10] or c[5] denotes caught (by).

hide explanation

10a   Dishes half smashed? // Little reptile! (4)

"Little" indicates that the definition is a shortened form of the reptile's name.

12a   One with equal role // upset actors (2-4)

13a   Stop meeting // professional villain (8)

15a   Opted to work with incisor, /as/ part of dentistry (12)

Periodontics[5] is the branch of dentistry concerned with the structures surrounding and supporting the teeth.

18a   Orchestra/'s/ man arranged main orch. (12)

21a   Extra work performed in the long run (8)

22a   Sir Tim recalled eating the French // cake (6)

Sir Tim Rice[5] is an English lyricist and entertainer. Together with Andrew Lloyd Webber he co-wrote a number of hit musicals, including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (1968), Jesus Christ Superstar (1971), and Evita (1978). He has won three Oscars for best original film song (1992, 1994, and 1996).

"the French" = LA (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

24a   Look back /and/ observe (4)

25a   People in a series of races have not commonly // achieved goal (10)

The Tourist Trophy[5] (abbreviation TT[5]) is a motorcycle-racing competition held annually on roads in the Isle of Man since 1907.

For many years, the Isle of Man TT[7] was the most prestigious motorcycle race in the world. The race is run in a time-trial format on public roads closed for racing. Since, in a time trial, each competitor races alone against the clock, the event could be described as a "series of races".

26a   Count /as/ Swiss hero (4)

According to Oxford Dictionaries, tell[5] is an archaic term meaning to count (the members of a group) ⇒ the shepherd had told all his sheep. Collins English Dictionary reveals that tell[10] can mean to count (votes). From The American Heritage Dictionary and the Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, we learn that tell[3,11] can mean to enumerate or count ⇒ (i) telling one's blessings; (ii) 16 windows, all told.

This sense of the word "tell" would also seemingly give rise to the term teller[5]*, a person employed to deal with customers' transactions in a bank [in other words, someone who counts money].
* The term teller (in the sense of a bank employee) is characterized by Oxford Dictionaries as being chiefly North American. However, Collins English Dictionary makes no such claim, defining teller as merely another name for a cashier (also known as a bank clerk) an employee of a bank responsible for receiving deposits, cashing cheques, and other financial transactions.
William Tell[5] was a legendary hero of the liberation of Switzerland from Austrian oppression. He was required to hit with an arrow an apple placed on the head of his son, which he did successfully. The events are placed in the 14th century, but there is no evidence for a historical person of this name, and similar legends are of widespread occurrence.

27a   Shakespeare role American/'s/ doing well (10)

Prospero[7] is a fictional character and the protagonist of William Shakespeare's play The Tempest. He is the rightful Duke of Milan, whose title has been usurped by his brother, Antonio, twelve years before the play begins.

Down

1d   Fish // I displayed in position (6)

The plaice[5] is either of two species of North Atlantic flatfish which are commercially important food fish. The European Pleuronectes platessa is often found in very shallow water while the American Hippoglossoides platessoides is found in deeper waters.

2d   Quiet after performing rugger // forward surge (6)

Rugger[5] is an informal British term for rugby.

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

3d   Savoy perhaps with unusual end to Madame // Butterfly (7-5)

Savoy[5] is a cabbage of a hardy variety with densely wrinkled leaves.

The cabbage white[5] is any of several species of mainly white butterfly that has caterpillars which are pests of cabbages and related plants.

Scratching the Surface
The Savoy Theatre[7] is a West End theatre in the Strand in the City of Westminster, London, England. The theatre opened in 1881 and was built by Richard D'Oyly Carte on the site of the old Savoy Palace as a showcase for the popular series of comic operas of Gilbert and Sullivan, which became known as the Savoy operas as a result. As an aside, the theatre was the first public building in the world to be lit entirely by electricity.

Madama Butterfly[7] is an opera in three acts (originally two) by Italian composer Giacomo Puccini, with an Italian libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa. The opera is based in part on the short story "Madame Butterfly" (1898) by John Luther Long which was dramatized by David Belasco as a one-act play, Madame Butterfly: A Tragedy of Japan.

4d   Clear // visitor from the heavens appears in holy books (4)

"visitor from the heavens" = ET (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

Nett[5] is an alternative British spelling of net.

5d   Neglected // racer found wandering (7-3)

7d   Two types of fuel sent up to house the Queen /in/ women's quarters (8)

"the Queen" = ER (show explanation )

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.

hide explanation

Seraglio[5] is a historical term for the women’s apartments (harem) in an Ottoman palace.

8d   Appreciate // batsman's position (8)

A batsman[5] is a player, especially in cricket, who is batting or whose chief skill is in batting.

In cricket, a crease[10] is any of three lines (bowling crease, popping crease, or return crease) near each wicket marking positions for the bowler or batsman.

Note that, in cricket, a crease is a line — not an area as it is in hockey and lacrosse. Thus even I recognized that it would be highly unlikely that a batsman would be said to be "in crease". The correct term, as pointed out by Rabbit Dave in a comment on Big Dave's Crossword Blog is, in fact, "at the crease".

11d   Smelly stuff /gives/ fellow utter outrage (12)

I discovered upon reading crypticsue's review that I had been extremely lax in my parsing of this clue having decided that FRANK was being clued by "fellow" and having surmised that INCENSE must be a homophone (utter) of s word meaning "outrage". Well, this turned out to be a rather outrageous result as INCENSE itself means "outrage".

"fellow" = F (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

Frankincense[5] is an aromatic gum resin obtained from an African tree (Boswellia sacra) native to Somalia and burnt as incense.

14d   Around start of concert there’s more merit playing // sensitive instrument (10)

16d   Tooth // present briefly in place where it should be (8)

17d   Pack mainly containing revolt, // warning things are too hot (4,4)

19d   Manage // model party (4,2)

20d   We hear of Alfred and Alexander, perhaps, /in/ scrapes (6)

Alfred[5] (849–899),  known as Alfred the Great, was king of Wessex 871–99. Alfred’s military resistance saved SW England from Viking occupation. A great reformer, he is credited with the foundation of the English navy and with a revival of learning.

Alexander[5] (356–323 BC), known as Alexander the Great, was king of Macedon 336–323, son of Philip II. He conquered Persia, Egypt, Syria, Mesopotamia, Bactria, and the Punjab; in Egypt he founded the city of Alexandria.

23d   Clear // flirtatious move (4)

Clear[10] could be used as a verb in at least a couple of senses:
  • to move or pass by or over without contact or involvement : he cleared the wall easily..
  • to obtain clearance (from) or give clearance.
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