Monday, May 21, 2018

Monday, May 21, 2018 — DT 28640 (Published Saturday, May 19, 2018)

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28640
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, January 19, 2018
Setter
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28640]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Deep Threat
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★ Enjoyment - ★★★
Falcon's Experience
┌────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┐
███████████████████████████████████
└────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┘
Legend:
- solved without assistance
- incorrect prior to use of puzzle solving tools
- solved with assistance from puzzle solving tools
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by puzzle solving tools
- solved but without fully parsing the clue
- unsolved or incorrect prior to visiting Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by solutions from Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- reviewed by Falcon for Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- yet to be solved
Notes
This puzzle appears on the Monday Diversions page in the Saturday, May 19, 2018 edition of the National Post.

Introduction

For a Giovanni puzzle, this one is not too testing.

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.

Click here for an explanation of conventions and symbols used in explaining the parsing of clues.


The purpose of this article is to explain the conventions and symbols that I use on this blog in explaining the parsing of clues.

Legend:

The following symbols are used in reviews:
  • "*" anagram
  • "~" sounds like
  • "<" indicates that the preceding letters are reversed
  • "( )" encloses contained letters
  • "_" replaces letters that have been deleted
  • "†" indicates that the word is present in the clue

The review of a clue takes the following general structure:

#a/d   Clue containing parsing markup (num*)

* num = numeration

Explanations pertaining to the wordplay (or first definition in a double definition)

(Horizontal separator)


Explanations pertaining to the definition (or second definition in a double definition) and solution.

Explanatory Box
An explanatory box provides additional information about the clue. In most cases this information will not necessarily help in solving the clue but provides information about the clue. In the case of the weekday syndicated Daily Telegraph puzzles, such information is often intended to help the North American solver appreciate how the clue may be perceived by a British solver. These boxes may also provide information on people, places, films, television programmes, works of art and literature, etc. mentioned in the clue.

Although the titles of these boxes will usually be drawn from a standard list, I do occasionally throw in a title specifically suggested by the subject at hand. The standard titles include:
  • Scratching the Surface - an explanation of the surface reading of the clue
  • Delving Deeper - in-depth information pertaining to a subject mentioned in an explanation
  • Behind the Picture - for weekday puzzles, information about an illustration found on Big Dave's Crossword Blog
  • What did he/she/they say? - for weekday puzzles, an explanation of a remark made in a review or comment on Big Dave's Crossword Blog
  • What are they talking about? - for weekday puzzles, an explanation of a discussion on Big Dave's Crossword Blog
One box that may provide information that could prove helpful in solving the clue is the following:
  • Here and There - for weekday puzzles, discusses words whose British meaning differs from their North American meaning

Note that there are many types of cryptic crossword clue and it is not my intention to exhaustively go through all of them here. I will only deal with clue types to the extent necessary to explain the conventions and symbols used on the blog. Furthermore, be aware that, in the world of cryptic crosswords, there seems to be an exception to every rule.

With one exception that I can think of, cryptic crossword clues provide two routes to the solution. These are commonly referred to as the definition and wordplay. While these terms serve well for most clues, there are some cases where the more formal terms of primary indication and subsidiary indication may be more appropriate.

Most cryptic crossword clues consist of a definition (primary indication) and wordplay (subsidiary indication). The definition may be a "precise definition" (a definition that is either taken straight from a dictionary or at least phrased in a non-misleading fashion) or it may be a "cryptic definition" (a definition misleadingly phrased so as to misdirect the solver either with respect to the meaning of the definition as a whole or to an incorrect sense of a word used in the definition).

The only type of clue that I can think of where there are not two ways of finding the solution are those in which the entire clue is a cryptic definition.
I identify precise definitions by marking them with a solid underline in the clue and cryptic definitions by marking them with a dotted underline.
In clues in which both definition and wordplay are present, the two parts of the clue combine to provide an overall meaningful statement (the surface reading) which usually bears no relationship to the underlying cryptic reading of the clue. In some cases, an extra word or phrase will be inserted into the clue to create a meaningful link between the definition and wordplay. I define clues which contain such a link word or link phrase as having an explicit link and clues which contain no link word or link phrase as having an implicit link.
I mark the existence of an explicit link by enclosing the link word or link phrase between forward slashes (/link/) and mark the existence of an implicit link with double forward slashes (//) positioned between the definition and wordplay.
Examples

A few examples may help to illustrate these points more clearly.

The first example is a clue used by Jay in DT 28573:

  • 4d   Fellow left work // a failure (4)
Here the definition is "a failure" which is marked with a solid underline to show that it is a precise definition. The wordplay parses as F (fellow; abbrev.) + L (left; abbrev.) + OP (work; abbrev. used in music) which gives us the solution F|L|OP. The double forward slashes (//) between the definition and wordplay indicate the existence of an "implicit link" between the two parts of the clue (that is, no extra words are inserted into the clue to form the link).

The second example is a clue used by Giovanni in DT 28575:
  • 29a   Female going to match // travels with mother in advance (10)
Here the definition "female going to match" is cryptic (the setter is attempting to misdirect our thoughts to a sports event rather than a marriage ceremony) and thus is marked with a a dotted underline. The wordplay is {RIDES (travels) + (with) MA (mother)} contained in (in) BID (advance) giving us the solution B(RIDES|MA)ID. As in the first example, the double forward slashes indicate the presence of an implicit link.

The third example is a clue used by Rufus is DT 28583:
  • 18d   Knight caught by misplaced big blow /is/ staggering (8)
Here the definition is "staggering" which is marked with a solid underline to show that it is a precise definition. The wordplay parses as N ([chess symbol for] knight) contained in (caught in) an anagram (misplaced) of BIG BLOW producing the solution WOBBLI(N)G. Finally, forward slashes mark the link word (/is/).
I also use distinctive underlining to mark &lit.[7] and semi-&lit. clues. Note that the reviewers on Big Dave's Crossword Blog generally prefer to refer to these clue types by the less pretentious names of all-in-one or semi-all-in-one clues respectively.

In an &lit. clue[7] (or all-in-one clue) the entire clue provides not only the definition (when read one way), but under a different interpretation also serves as the wordplay.
In future, I will mark such clues with a combined solid and dashed underline. Although this is a departure from past practice, it would seem to make more sense than using a dotted underline as I have in the past). Henceforth, the dotted underline will be reserved for cryptic definitions.
In a semi-&lit. clue (or semi-all-in-one clue), either:
  • the entire clue acts as the definition while a portion of the clue provides the wordplay; or
  • the entire clue acts as the wordplay while a portion of the clue provides the definition.
For these clues, I will mark the definition with a solid underline and the wordplay with a  dashed underline. This means that a portion of the clue may have a solid underline, a portion of the clue may have a dashed underline and a portion of the clue may have a combined solid and dashed underline.
One final clue type is what I characterize as a cryptic definition comprised of a precise definition combined with cryptic elaboration. For example, in DT 28560 (setter unknown) the following clue appears:
  •  26d   Heroic exploit, whichever way you look at it (4)
As the entire clue is a cryptic definition, it is marked with a dotted underline. The 'precise definition' is "heroic exploit" and is indicated by a solid underline.

Given the numeration, the precise definition could give rise to at least two solutions, DEED or FEAT. However, the 'cryptic elaboration' ("whichever way you look at it") indicates that the solution is a palindrome thereby immediately eliminating one of the two obvious choices.

Note that the part of the clue that I have called 'cryptic elaboration' does not provide a second independent route to the solution (as the wordplay would do in most other types of clue). Rather it merely provides a piece of additional information (elaboration) related to the 'precise definition'.

Again, this approach is a departure from past practice, but like the other changes mentioned previously is intended to remove inconsistencies in the way that I have been applying parsing markup to clues. The markup rules that I have been using until now evolved bit-by-bit over a long period of time resulting in some degree of internal inconsistency.

hide explanation

Across

1a   Desires // bringing problems for 'Arry (6)

Rather appropriate timing for this clue methinks what with 'Arry having gotten 'itched on Saturday.

5a   Something in a music bar // here again — attend! (8)

In music, a bar[7] (or measure) is a segment of time defined by a given number of beats, each of which are assigned a particular note value. The word bar is more common in British English, and the word measure is more common in American English, although musicians generally understand both usages.

Backbeat[5] is a music term denoting a strong accent on one of the normally unaccented beats of the bar, used especially in jazz and popular music the song incorporates an exhilarating backbeat.

9a   Futile // message offering to give everything away? (3,3,7)

The latter part of the clue is a literal interpretation of the solution.

10a   One of two American brothers, // awful whingers (8)

George Gershwin[5] (1898–1937) was an American composer and pianist, of Russian-Jewish descent; born Jacob Gershovitz. He composed many successful songs and musicals, the orchestral work Rhapsody in Blue (1924), and the opera Porgy and Bess (1935). The lyrics for many of these were written by his brother Ira Gershwin (1896–1983).

Scratching the Surface
Whinge[5] is an informal British term that means:
  • (verb) to complain persistently and in a peevish or irritating way ⇒ stop whingeing and get on with it! 
  • (noun) denotes an act of complaining persistently and peevishly ⇒ she let off steam by having a good whinge
Although the word essentially seems to mean whine, I have to wonder whether the two terms may have slightly differing connotations to the Brits.

11a   Foul kitchen -- cook finally dismissed /from/ particular community (6)

12a   Some 'daddy', nasty // sort of ruler (6)

A dynast[5] is a member of a powerful family, especially a hereditary ruler.

14a   Officer /in/ twilled fabric meeting social worker (8)

Twill[5] is a fabric so woven as to have a surface of diagonal parallel ridges.

Serge[5] is a durable twilled woollen or worsted fabric a heavy serge coat.

"social worker" = ANT (show explanation )

The word "worker" and the phrase "social worker" are commonly used in cryptic crossword puzzles to clue ANT or BEE.

A worker[5] is a neuter or undeveloped female bee, wasp, ant, or other social insect, large numbers of which do the basic work of the colony.

In crossword puzzles, "worker" will most frequently be used to clue ANT and occasionally BEE but I have yet to see it used to clue WASP. Of course, "worker" is sometimes also used to clue HAND or MAN.

hide explanation

16a   Revolutionary embraced by fools /and/ jerks (8)

"revolutionary" = CHE (show explanation )

Che Guevara[7] (1928–1967) was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, guerrilla leader, diplomat, and military theorist. A major figure of the Cuban Revolution, his stylized visage has become a ubiquitous countercultural symbol of rebellion and global insignia within popular culture.

hide explanation

Here and There
Judging by dictionary entries,  the word "twit" seems to have a different connotation in the UK than it does in North America. North American dictionaries focus on the fact that such a person is a pest whereas British dictionaries stress the lack of intellectual capacity of the person. (show more )

British dictionaries define twit as an informal term meaning variously
  • Chambers 21st Century Dictionary: a fool or idiot[2] 
  • Collins English Dictionary: a foolish or stupid person, an idiot[10] 
  • Oxford Dictionaries Online: a silly or foolish person[5] 
Both Oxford Dictionaries Online and Collins English Dictionary characterize the term as being chiefly British.

American dictionaries, on the other hand, define twit as an informal term for:
  • American Heritage Dictionary: a foolishly annoying person[3] 
  • Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary: an insignificant or bothersome person[11]
hide

19a   Hazel has this // funny act in front of relations (6)

The hazel[5] is a temperate shrub or small tree with broad leaves, bearing prominent male catkins in spring and round hard-shelled edible nuts in autumn.

21a   One in tent wants hot, not cold, // food box (6)

23a   Restrictive practice in business? // I stop men working (8)

25a   Awkward brute is interrupting office task, // a delaying tactic (13)

26a   Troubles after President initially // talks foolishly (8)

27a   Handle last bit of wordy // agreement (6)

Down

2d   Artist coming to church in attempt /to establish/ window pattern? (7)

"artist" = RA (show explanation )

A Royal Academician (abbreviation RA[10]) is a member of the Royal Academy of Arts[5] (also Royal Academy; abbreviation also RA[10]), an institution established in London in 1768, whose purpose is to cultivate painting, sculpture, and architecture in Britain. 

hide explanation

"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

Tracery[5] is ornamental stone openwork, typically in the upper part of a Gothic window the rose designs were divided by tracery.

3d   Port's making // frameworks for vessels (5)

Contrary to Deep Threat's assertion, this clue is a charade and not a double definition.

Hull[5] is a city and port in northeastern England, situated at the junction of the Hull and Humber Rivers. Official name Kingston upon Hull.

4d   Street work -- look at // something taking time (9)

"work" = OP (show explanation )

In music, an opus[5] (plural opuses or opera) is a separate composition or set of compositions.

The abbreviation Op.[5] (also op.), denoting opus, is used before a number given to each work of a particular composer, usually indicating the order of publication. The plural form of Op. is Opp..

Opus[5] can also be used in a more general sense to mean an artistic work, especially one on a large scale ⇒ he was writing an opus on Mexico.

hide explanation

5d   Their skins pose risks? // Crazy! (7)

6d   Attractive person // quietly leaving knockout match (5)

"quietly" = P (show explanation )

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.

hide explanation

Cup tie[5] is a British term for a match in a competition for which the prize is a cup.

Tie[5] is a British term meaning a sports match between two or more players or teams in which the winners proceed to the next round of the competition ⇒ Swindon Town have gained themselves a third round tie* against Oldham.

* This does not mean — as a North American might suppose — that Swindon Town and Oldham played to a draw in the third round. Rather, it means that Swindon Town defeated their opponent in the second round and will move on to face Oldham in the third round.

7d   Second set correct? Wrong set /for/ most intelligent (9)

8d   Member of tribe /has/ point of view not English -- Scotsman? (7)

The Angles[5] were a Germanic people, originally inhabitants of what is now Schleswig-Holstein, who came to England in the 5th century AD. The Angles founded kingdoms in Mercia, Northumbria, and East Anglia and gave their name to England and the English.

If a Scotsman makes an appearance in Crosswordland, it is highly likely that he is named Ian.

13d   Navigator /in/ car leading smug group (9)

Pi[5] is an informal British short form for pious.

15d   Nicer pet I trained /to be/ award-winner? (9)

17d   Punishment? // Explain the thing that caused it (4,3)

What for[5] is an informal term for a a punishment or reprimand especially in the phrase "give (a person) what for".

18d   Employment in wicked activities? // Such may give one a headache (7)

20d   Sixth sense // within one of the other five? (7)

22d   Nonconformist /and/ bishop in dance (5)

"bishop" = B (show explanation )

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

A bishop[5] is a chess piece, typically with its top shaped like a mitre, that can move any number of spaces in any direction along a diagonal on which it stands. Each player starts the game with two bishops, one moving on white squares and the other on black.

hide explanation

24d   Fabric, // not quite enough for small room (5)

The small room[5] (or the smallest room[5]) is a way* — variously described as rare, old-fashioned, humorous, informal, and euphemistic — of referring to the lavatory (the room rather than the fixture) ⇒ In our opinion, the smallest room can provide you with the greatest interior design challenge.

* Judging by its dictionary appearances, this would appear to be a British expression.



Toile[5] is a translucent linen or cotton fabric, used for making clothes.
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)
[12] - CollinsDictionary.com (Webster’s New World College Dictionary)
[13] - MacmillanDictionary.com (Macmillan Dictionary)
[14] - CollinsDictionary.com (COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary)
Signing off for today — Falcon

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Saturday, May 19, 2018 — Hail to the Queens


Queen Victoria

Introduction

Today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon has a theme appropriate to this holiday weekend. As I solved the puzzle in dribs and drabs between other activities, it is difficult to form an overall opinion of it. However, I did choke on the apple.

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
┌────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┐
██████████████████████████████████
└────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┘
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

Click here for an explanation of conventions and symbols used in explaining the parsing of clues.


The purpose of this article is to explain the conventions and symbols that I use on this blog in explaining the parsing of clues.

Legend:

The following symbols are used in reviews:
  • "*" anagram
  • "~" sounds like
  • "<" indicates that the preceding letters are reversed
  • "( )" encloses contained letters
  • "_" replaces letters that have been deleted
  • "†" indicates that the word is present in the clue

The review of a clue takes the following general structure:

#a/d   Clue containing parsing markup (num*)

* num = numeration

Explanations pertaining to the wordplay (or first definition in a double definition)

(Horizontal separator)


Explanations pertaining to the definition (or second definition in a double definition) and solution.

Explanatory Box
An explanatory box provides additional information about the clue. In most cases this information will not necessarily help in solving the clue but provides information about the clue. In the case of the weekday syndicated Daily Telegraph puzzles, such information is often intended to help the North American solver appreciate how the clue may be perceived by a British solver. These boxes may also provide information on people, places, films, television programmes, works of art and literature, etc. mentioned in the clue.

Although the titles of these boxes will usually be drawn from a standard list, I do occasionally throw in a title specifically suggested by the subject at hand. The standard titles include:
  • Scratching the Surface - an explanation of the surface reading of the clue
  • Delving Deeper - in-depth information pertaining to a subject mentioned in an explanation
  • Behind the Picture - for weekday puzzles, information about an illustration found on Big Dave's Crossword Blog
  • What did he/she/they say? - for weekday puzzles, an explanation of a remark made in a review or comment on Big Dave's Crossword Blog
  • What are they talking about? - for weekday puzzles, an explanation of a discussion on Big Dave's Crossword Blog
One box that may provide information that could prove helpful in solving the clue is the following:
  • Here and There - for weekday puzzles, discusses words whose British meaning differs from their North American meaning

Note that there are many types of cryptic crossword clue and it is not my intention to exhaustively go through all of them here. I will only deal with clue types to the extent necessary to explain the conventions and symbols used on the blog. Furthermore, be aware that, in the world of cryptic crosswords, there seems to be an exception to every rule.

With one exception that I can think of, cryptic crossword clues provide two routes to the solution. These are commonly referred to as the definition and wordplay. While these terms serve well for most clues, there are some cases where the more formal terms of primary indication and subsidiary indication may be more appropriate.

Most cryptic crossword clues consist of a definition (primary indication) and wordplay (subsidiary indication). The definition may be a "precise definition" (a definition that is either taken straight from a dictionary or at least phrased in a non-misleading fashion) or it may be a "cryptic definition" (a definition misleadingly phrased so as to misdirect the solver either with respect to the meaning of the definition as a whole or to an incorrect sense of a word used in the definition).

The only type of clue that I can think of where there are not two ways of finding the solution are those in which the entire clue is a cryptic definition.
I identify precise definitions by marking them with a solid underline in the clue and cryptic definitions by marking them with a dotted underline.
In clues in which both definition and wordplay are present, the two parts of the clue combine to provide an overall meaningful statement (the surface reading) which usually bears no relationship to the underlying cryptic reading of the clue. In some cases, an extra word or phrase will be inserted into the clue to create a meaningful link between the definition and wordplay. I define clues which contain such a link word or link phrase as having an explicit link and clues which contain no link word or link phrase as having an implicit link.
I mark the existence of an explicit link by enclosing the link word or link phrase between forward slashes (/link/) and mark the existence of an implicit link with double forward slashes (//) positioned between the definition and wordplay.
Examples

A few examples may help to illustrate these points more clearly.

The first example is a clue used by Jay in DT 28573:

  • 4d   Fellow left work // a failure (4)
Here the definition is "a failure" which is marked with a solid underline to show that it is a precise definition. The wordplay parses as F (fellow; abbrev.) + L (left; abbrev.) + OP (work; abbrev. used in music) which gives us the solution F|L|OP. The double forward slashes (//) between the definition and wordplay indicate the existence of an "implicit link" between the two parts of the clue (that is, no extra words are inserted into the clue to form the link).

The second example is a clue used by Giovanni in DT 28575:
  • 29a   Female going to match // travels with mother in advance (10)
Here the definition "female going to match" is cryptic (the setter is attempting to misdirect our thoughts to a sports event rather than a marriage ceremony) and thus is marked with a a dotted underline. The wordplay is {RIDES (travels) + (with) MA (mother)} contained in (in) BID (advance) giving us the solution B(RIDES|MA)ID. As in the first example, the double forward slashes indicate the presence of an implicit link.

The third example is a clue used by Rufus is DT 28583:
  • 18d   Knight caught by misplaced big blow /is/ staggering (8)
Here the definition is "staggering" which is marked with a solid underline to show that it is a precise definition. The wordplay parses as N ([chess symbol for] knight) contained in (caught in) an anagram (misplaced) of BIG BLOW producing the solution WOBBLI(N)G. Finally, forward slashes mark the link word (/is/).
I also use distinctive underlining to mark &lit.[7] and semi-&lit. clues. Note that the reviewers on Big Dave's Crossword Blog generally prefer to refer to these clue types by the less pretentious names of all-in-one or semi-all-in-one clues respectively.

In an &lit. clue[7] (or all-in-one clue) the entire clue provides not only the definition (when read one way), but under a different interpretation also serves as the wordplay.
In future, I will mark such clues with a combined solid and dashed underline. Although this is a departure from past practice, it would seem to make more sense than using a dotted underline as I have in the past). Henceforth, the dotted underline will be reserved for cryptic definitions.
In a semi-&lit. clue (or semi-all-in-one clue), either:
  • the entire clue acts as the definition while a portion of the clue provides the wordplay; or
  • the entire clue acts as the wordplay while a portion of the clue provides the definition.
For these clues, I will mark the definition with a solid underline and the wordplay with a  dashed underline. This means that a portion of the clue may have a solid underline, a portion of the clue may have a dashed underline and a portion of the clue may have a combined solid and dashed underline.
One final clue type is what I characterize as a cryptic definition comprised of a precise definition combined with cryptic elaboration. For example, in DT 28560 (setter unknown) the following clue appears:
  •  26d   Heroic exploit, whichever way you look at it (4)
As the entire clue is a cryptic definition, it is marked with a dotted underline. The 'precise definition' is "heroic exploit" and is indicated by a solid underline.

Given the numeration, the precise definition could give rise to at least two solutions, DEED or FEAT. However, the 'cryptic elaboration' ("whichever way you look at it") indicates that the solution is a palindrome thereby immediately eliminating one of the two obvious choices.

Note that the part of the clue that I have called 'cryptic elaboration' does not provide a second independent route to the solution (as the wordplay would do in most other types of clue). Rather it merely provides a piece of additional information (elaboration) related to the 'precise definition'.

Again, this approach is a departure from past practice, but like the other changes mentioned previously is intended to remove inconsistencies in the way that I have been applying parsing markup to clues. The markup rules that I have been using until now evolved bit-by-bit over a long period of time resulting in some degree of internal inconsistency.

hide explanation

Across

1a   Queen of the fairies // turned in vain at Italy (7)

{_TI|TA|NIA_}< — reversed (turned) and hidden in (in) vAIN AT ITaly

Titania[7] is a character in William Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream. In the play, she is the queen of the fairies (more ).

In traditional folklore, the fairy queen has no name. Shakespeare took the name "Titania" from Ovid's Metamorphoses, where it is an appellation given to the daughters of Titans. Due to Shakespeare's influence, later fiction has often used the name "Titania" for fairy queen characters.

hide

5a   Not very clear total /for/ Chinese snacks (3,3)

DIM| SUM — DIM (not very clear) + SUM (total)

Dim sum[5] is a Chinese dish of small steamed or fried savoury dumplings containing various fillings.

10a   A department/’s/ expert (5)

A|DEPT — A () + DEPT (department; abbrev.)

11a   I bet Hazel misspelled // queen’s name (9)

ELIZABETH* — anagram (misspelled) of I BET HAZEL

12a   Cloths that wrap around // small sculptures (7)

S|CARVES — S (small; abbrev. found on clothing labels) + CARVES (sculptures; verb)

13a   Laconic actor/’s/ creative culinary hodgepodge? (7)

STEW|ART — split (4,3) the solution could be a description of a genre of ART (creative [endeavour]) constructed from STEW (culinary hodgepodge)

James "Jimmy" Stewart[7] (1908–1997) was an American film and stage actor, known for his distinctive drawl and down-to-earth persona. He starred in many films that are considered to be classics and is known for portraying an American middle class man struggling with a crisis.

14a   Queen/’s/ rook taken by might (4)

MA(R)Y — R (rook; symbol used in chess notation) contained in (taken by) MAY (might)

Mary is the name of two queens of England.

Mary I[5] (1516–1558), the daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon, reigned 1553–8. She was known as Mary Tudor or Bloody Mary. In an attempt to reverse the country's turn towards Protestantism she instigated the series of religious persecutions by which she earned her nickname.

Mary II[5] (1662–1694), daughter of James II, reigned 1689–94. Having been invited to replace her Catholic father on the throne after his deposition in 1689, she insisted that her husband, William of Orange, be crowned along with her.

15a   When ill, I’m a mad // Dutch queen (10)

WILHELMINA* — anagram (mad) of WHEN ILL IM A

Wilhelmina[5] (1880–1962) was queen of the Netherlands 1890–1948. During the Second World War she maintained a government in exile in London, and through frequent radio broadcasts became a symbol of resistance to the Dutch people. She returned to the Netherlands in 1945.

18a   “African Queen” /is/ a Picasso, i.e., abstract (10)

CASSIOPEIA* — anagram (abstract) of A PICASSO IE

In Greek mythology, Cassiopeia[5] is the wife of Cepheus, king of Ethiopia, and mother of Andromeda.

Scratching the Surface

Pablo Picasso[5] (1881–1973) was a Spanish painter, sculptor, and graphic artist, resident in France from 1904. (more )

Picasso’s prolific inventiveness and technical versatility made him the dominant figure in avant-garde art in the first half of the 20th century. Following his Blue Period (1901-4) and Rose Period (1905-6), Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907) signalled his development of cubism (1908–14). In the 1920s and 1930s he adopted a neoclassical figurative style and produced semi-surrealist paintings using increasingly violent imagery, notably The Three Dancers (1935) and Guernica (1937).

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21a   Queen of Carthage // accomplished nothing (4)

DID|O — DID (accomplished) + O (nothing; letter that looks like a zero)

In the Aeneid*, Dido[5] is the queen and founder of Carthage, who fell in love with the shipwrecked Aeneas and killed herself when he deserted her.

* The Aeneid[5] is a Latin epic poem in twelve books by the Roman poet Virgil which relates the travels and experiences of Aeneas after the fall of Troy.

24a   Kiss crown /in/ William Inge play (3,4)

BUS S|TOP — BUSS (kiss) + TOP (crown)

Bus Stop[7] is a 1955 play by American playwright and novelist William Inge. The 1956 film of the same name starring Marilyn Monroe is only loosely based on it.

26a   Arrest dominion’s first // member of the Greens? (7)

COLLAR|D — COLLAR (arrest) + D (Dominion's first [initial letter])

Collard[5] (also collard greens or collards) is North American dialect for a cabbage of a variety that does not develop a heart.

27a   Entire fit wrong /for/ queen (9)

NEFERTITI* — anagram (wrong) of ENTIRE FIT

Nefertiti[5] (also Nofretete; fl. 14th century BC) was an Egyptian queen, wife of Akhenaten. She is best known from the painted limestone bust of her, now in Berlin.

28a   Cover // left in surrender (5)

QUI(L)T — L (left; abbrev.) contained in (in) QUIT (surrender)

29a   Atari’s adapted // headgear for queens (6)

TIARAS* — anagram (adapted) of ATARIS

Atari[7] is a brand name owned by several entities since its inception in 1972, currently by Atari Interactive, a subsidiary of the French publisher Atari, SA. The original Atari, Inc., founded in Sunnyvale, California in 1972, was a pioneer in arcade games, home video game consoles, and home computers. The company's products, such as Pong and the Atari 2600, helped define the electronic entertainment industry from the 1970s to the mid-1980s.

30a   English director of Doctor Zhivago or // Queen of England (7)

E|LEAN|OR — E (English; abbrev.) + LEAN (director of Doctor Zhivago) + OR (†)

Sir David Lean[5] (1908–1991) was an English film director. He made many notable films, including Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Doctor Zhivago (1965), and A Passage to India (1984).

Down

1d   Foremost of throwers pay to restore // window (7)

T|RANSOM — T (foremost [initial letter] of throwers) + RANSOM (pay to restore)

2d   Reference work the guy’s put into overhead sign (9)

T(HES)AURUS — {HE (the guy) + S ('s)} contained in (put into) TAURUS (overhead sign; constellation and sign of the zodiac)

3d   Simple, housing true // local inhabitant (6)

NA(T)IVE — NAIVE (simple) containing (housing) T (true; abbrev.)

4d   Kosygin, // like sea, tossed about (7)

ALEKSEI* — anagram (tossed about) of LIKE SEA

Aleksei Kosygin[5] (1904–1980) was a Soviet statesman who was premier of the USSR 1964–80. He devoted most of his attention to internal economic affairs, being gradually eased out of the leadership by Leonid Brezhnev.

6d   A ringer sitting in is a // queen (8)

IS(A|BELL)A — { A (†) + BELL (ringer)} contained in (sitting in) { IS (†) + A (†)}

Isabella I (1451–1504) was queen of Castile 1474–1504 and of Aragon 1479–1504. She was the wife of Ferdinand of Aragon. (more )

Her marriage in 1469 to Ferdinand of Aragon helped to join together the Christian kingdoms of Castile and Aragon, marking the beginning of the unification of Spain. They instituted the Spanish Inquisition (1478) and supported Columbus's famous expedition of 1492.

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7d   Woman born with a // queen’s land (5)

SHE|B|A — SHE (woman) + B (born; abbrev. found in genealogies) + (with) A (†)

Sheba[5] is the biblical name of Saba in southwestern Arabia. The queen of Sheba visited King Solomon in Jerusalem (1 Kings 10).

8d   Sage // chapeau worn by mother (7)

MA(HAT)MA — HAT (chapeau) contained in (worn by) MAMA (mother)

In south Asia, a mahatma[5] is a revered person regarded with love and respect; a holy person or sage.

9d   Tacky stuff // set for assembly before school (6)

KIT|SCH — KIT (set for assembly) preceding (before) SCH (school; abbrev.)

16d   Fake // shortcoming after losing opener (9)

_IMITATION — [L]IMITATION (shortcoming) with initial letter removed (after losing opener)

17d   Queen // through eating 100 doughnuts (8)

VI(C|TORI)A — VIA (through) containing (eating) {C ([Roman numeral for] 100) + TORI (doughnuts; plural of torus)}

Victoria[5] (1819–1901) was queen of Great Britain and Ireland 1837–1901 and empress of India 1876–1901. She succeeded to the throne on the death of her uncle, William IV, and married her cousin Prince Albert in 1840. She took an active interest in the policies of her ministers, but largely retired from public life after Prince Albert's death in 1861. Her reign was the longest in British history until it was surpassed by that of Elizabeth II in 2015.

18d   I can’t be changing // government committee (7)

CABINET* — anagram (changing) of I CANT BE

19d   Apple // account ID preceded by dot (6)

PIP|PIN — PIN (account ID) following (preceded by) PIP (dot)

A pip[3] is a dot indicating a unit of numerical value on dice or dominoes.

20d   Pitch // popular country singer Patsy (7)

IN|CLINE — IN (popular) + CLINE (country singer Patsy)

Patsy Cline[5] (1932–1963) was an American country singer; born Virginia Petterson Hensley. She had hits with songs such as ‘Crazy’ (1961) and ‘Sweet Dreams of You’ (1963) before dying in an air crash.

22d   Senior // lord set adrift (7)

OLDSTER* — anagram (adrift) of LORD SET

23d   Snobbish group/’s/ pointer about intelligence (6)

CL(IQ)UE — CLUE (pointer) containing (about) IQ (intelligence; IQ being an abbreviation for intelligence quotient, a number representing a person's reasoning ability as compared to the statistical norm for their age)

25d   Piece of furniture accommodating one queen of Spain (5)

SOF(I)A — SOFA (piece of furniture) containing (accommodating) I ([Roman numeral for] one)

Sofía of Greece and Denmark[7] is a member of the Spanish royal family who served as Queen of Spain during the reign of her husband, King Juan Carlos I, from 1975 to 2014 when Juan Carlos abdicated in favour of their son, Felipe VI.

Epilogue

The setters have assembled a collection of real and imagined queens spanning the millennia to mark the birthday of Queen Victoria.
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)
[12] - CollinsDictionary.com (Webster’s New World College Dictionary)
[13] - MacmillanDictionary.com (Macmillan Dictionary)
[14] - CollinsDictionary.com (COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary)
Happy Victoria Day — Falcon

Friday, May 18, 2018

Friday, May 18, 2018 — DT 28639

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28639
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, January 18, 2018
Setter
Unknown
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28639]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
pommers
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

This seems to have been a very polarizing puzzle, eliciting opinions on Big Dave's Crossword Blog that span the spectrum both in terms of difficulty and enjoyment.

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.

Click here for an explanation of conventions and symbols used in explaining the parsing of clues.


The purpose of this article is to explain the conventions and symbols that I use on this blog in explaining the parsing of clues.

Legend:

The following symbols are used in reviews:
  • "*" anagram
  • "~" sounds like
  • "<" indicates that the preceding letters are reversed
  • "( )" encloses contained letters
  • "_" replaces letters that have been deleted
  • "†" indicates that the word is present in the clue

The review of a clue takes the following general structure:

#a/d   Clue containing parsing markup (num*)

* num = numeration

Explanations pertaining to the wordplay (or first definition in a double definition)

(Horizontal separator)


Explanations pertaining to the definition (or second definition in a double definition) and solution.

Explanatory Box
An explanatory box provides additional information about the clue. In most cases this information will not necessarily help in solving the clue but provides information about the clue. In the case of the weekday syndicated Daily Telegraph puzzles, such information is often intended to help the North American solver appreciate how the clue may be perceived by a British solver. These boxes may also provide information on people, places, films, television programmes, works of art and literature, etc. mentioned in the clue.

Although the titles of these boxes will usually be drawn from a standard list, I do occasionally throw in a title specifically suggested by the subject at hand. The standard titles include:
  • Scratching the Surface - an explanation of the surface reading of the clue
  • Delving Deeper - in-depth information pertaining to a subject mentioned in an explanation
  • Behind the Picture - for weekday puzzles, information about an illustration found on Big Dave's Crossword Blog
  • What did he/she/they say? - for weekday puzzles, an explanation of a remark made in a review or comment on Big Dave's Crossword Blog
  • What are they talking about? - for weekday puzzles, an explanation of a discussion on Big Dave's Crossword Blog
One box that may provide information that could prove helpful in solving the clue is the following:
  • Here and There - for weekday puzzles, discusses words whose British meaning differs from their North American meaning

Note that there are many types of cryptic crossword clue and it is not my intention to exhaustively go through all of them here. I will only deal with clue types to the extent necessary to explain the conventions and symbols used on the blog. Furthermore, be aware that, in the world of cryptic crosswords, there seems to be an exception to every rule.

With one exception that I can think of, cryptic crossword clues provide two routes to the solution. These are commonly referred to as the definition and wordplay. While these terms serve well for most clues, there are some cases where the more formal terms of primary indication and subsidiary indication may be more appropriate.

Most cryptic crossword clues consist of a definition (primary indication) and wordplay (subsidiary indication). The definition may be a "precise definition" (a definition that is either taken straight from a dictionary or at least phrased in a non-misleading fashion) or it may be a "cryptic definition" (a definition misleadingly phrased so as to misdirect the solver either with respect to the meaning of the definition as a whole or to an incorrect sense of a word used in the definition).

The only type of clue that I can think of where there are not two ways of finding the solution are those in which the entire clue is a cryptic definition.
I identify precise definitions by marking them with a solid underline in the clue and cryptic definitions by marking them with a dotted underline.
In clues in which both definition and wordplay are present, the two parts of the clue combine to provide an overall meaningful statement (the surface reading) which usually bears no relationship to the underlying cryptic reading of the clue. In some cases, an extra word or phrase will be inserted into the clue to create a meaningful link between the definition and wordplay. I define clues which contain such a link word or link phrase as having an explicit link and clues which contain no link word or link phrase as having an implicit link.
I mark the existence of an explicit link by enclosing the link word or link phrase between forward slashes (/link/) and mark the existence of an implicit link with double forward slashes (//) positioned between the definition and wordplay.
Examples

A few examples may help to illustrate these points more clearly.

The first example is a clue used by Jay in DT 28573:

  • 4d   Fellow left work // a failure (4)
Here the definition is "a failure" which is marked with a solid underline to show that it is a precise definition. The wordplay parses as F (fellow; abbrev.) + L (left; abbrev.) + OP (work; abbrev. used in music) which gives us the solution F|L|OP. The double forward slashes (//) between the definition and wordplay indicate the existence of an "implicit link" between the two parts of the clue (that is, no extra words are inserted into the clue to form the link).

The second example is a clue used by Giovanni in DT 28575:
  • 29a   Female going to match // travels with mother in advance (10)
Here the definition "female going to match" is cryptic (the setter is attempting to misdirect our thoughts to a sports event rather than a marriage ceremony) and thus is marked with a a dotted underline. The wordplay is {RIDES (travels) + (with) MA (mother)} contained in (in) BID (advance) giving us the solution B(RIDES|MA)ID. As in the first example, the double forward slashes indicate the presence of an implicit link.

The third example is a clue used by Rufus is DT 28583:
  • 18d   Knight caught by misplaced big blow /is/ staggering (8)
Here the definition is "staggering" which is marked with a solid underline to show that it is a precise definition. The wordplay parses as N ([chess symbol for] knight) contained in (caught in) an anagram (misplaced) of BIG BLOW producing the solution WOBBLI(N)G. Finally, forward slashes mark the link word (/is/).
I also use distinctive underlining to mark &lit.[7] and semi-&lit. clues. Note that the reviewers on Big Dave's Crossword Blog generally prefer to refer to these clue types by the less pretentious names of all-in-one or semi-all-in-one clues respectively.

In an &lit. clue[7] (or all-in-one clue) the entire clue provides not only the definition (when read one way), but under a different interpretation also serves as the wordplay.
In future, I will mark such clues with a combined solid and dashed underline. Although this is a departure from past practice, it would seem to make more sense than using a dotted underline as I have in the past). Henceforth, the dotted underline will be reserved for cryptic definitions.
In a semi-&lit. clue (or semi-all-in-one clue), either:
  • the entire clue acts as the definition while a portion of the clue provides the wordplay; or
  • the entire clue acts as the wordplay while a portion of the clue provides the definition.
For these clues, I will mark the definition with a solid underline and the wordplay with a  dashed underline. This means that a portion of the clue may have a solid underline, a portion of the clue may have a dashed underline and a portion of the clue may have a combined solid and dashed underline.
One final clue type is what I characterize as a cryptic definition comprised of a precise definition combined with cryptic elaboration. For example, in DT 28560 (setter unknown) the following clue appears:
  •  26d   Heroic exploit, whichever way you look at it (4)
As the entire clue is a cryptic definition, it is marked with a dotted underline. The 'precise definition' is "heroic exploit" and is indicated by a solid underline.

Given the numeration, the precise definition could give rise to at least two solutions, DEED or FEAT. However, the 'cryptic elaboration' ("whichever way you look at it") indicates that the solution is a palindrome thereby immediately eliminating one of the two obvious choices.

Note that the part of the clue that I have called 'cryptic elaboration' does not provide a second independent route to the solution (as the wordplay would do in most other types of clue). Rather it merely provides a piece of additional information (elaboration) related to the 'precise definition'.

Again, this approach is a departure from past practice, but like the other changes mentioned previously is intended to remove inconsistencies in the way that I have been applying parsing markup to clues. The markup rules that I have been using until now evolved bit-by-bit over a long period of time resulting in some degree of internal inconsistency.

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Across

1a   Military force, // say, encapsulated by brave character (6)

In the ancient Roman army, a legion[5] was a division of 3,000–6,000 men, including a complement of cavalry.

4a   Child's first out of bed to enter // part of kitchen (8)

9a   Location announced /for/ swimmer (6)

The plaice[5] is a North Atlantic flatfish which is a commercially important food fish.

10a   Where unprofessional film actor might go /for/ a peripheral part? (8)

11a   Support for snaps /shown by/ retired party after excursion (6)

Scratching the Surface
On first look, the surface reading did not make sense to me — and I see that pommers may have felt similarly, as evidenced by his comment  I’m not convinced about this clue — although his comment may refer to the definition rather than the surface reading.

After failing to find any reasonable alternative, I have concluded that the word "snaps" is used in the surface reading in exactly the same manner as it is used in the cryptic reading, namely as a short form for 'snapshot'. Thus the surface reading alludes to a retiree receiving support for photographs shown upon returning from an excursion. I see that Silvanus has come to much the same conclusion at Comment #30 on Big Dave's Crossword Blog.

12a   Perhaps service policy /reveals/ limit in growth (4,4)

The service tree[5] is a Eurasian tree of the rose family, closely related to the rowan.

14a   Guess // Conservative starts to justify economy's course? True for a change (10)

"Conservative" = CON (show explanation )

The abbreviation for Conservative may be either C.[10] or Con.[10].

The Conservative Party[5] is a a major British political party that emerged from the old Tory Party* under Sir Robert Peel in the 1830s and 1840s. Since the Second World War, it has been in power 1951–64, 1970-74, and 1979–97. It governed in a coalition with the Liberal Democrats from 2010 until the general election of May 2015, in which it was returned with a majority.

* Historically, a Tory[10] was a member of the English political party that opposed the exclusion of James, Duke of York from the royal succession (1679–80). Tory remained the label for subsequent major conservative interests until they gave birth to the Conservative Party in the 1830s.

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18a   A request given backing with noise /in/ a set of peers? (3,7)

22a   Part of winter valued /for/ a break (8)

23a   Urn one's broken /in/ cell (6)

24a   Leading project? // Female falls behind with it (8)

25a   Work online /revealing/ meteorological phenomenon (2,4)

El Niño[5] is an irregularly occurring and complex series of climatic changes affecting the equatorial Pacific region and beyond every few years, characterized by the appearance of unusually warm, nutrient-poor water off northern Peru and Ecuador, typically in late December. The effects of El Niño include reversal of wind patterns across the Pacific, drought in Australasia, and unseasonal heavy rain in South America.

26a   Anglican event // nonetheless no good (8)

In the Christian Church, evensong[5] is a service of evening prayers, psalms, and canticles, conducted according to a set form, especially that of the Anglican Church ⇒ choral evensong.

27a   A companion divides prepared // bag of medicine? (6)

"companion" = CH (show explanation )

A Companion of Honour (abbreviation CH) is a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour[7], an order of the Commonwealth realms[7] founded by King George V in June 1917 as a reward for outstanding achievements in the arts, literature, music, science, politics, industry or religion.

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Sachet[5] is a British term for a small sealed bag or packet containing a small quantity of something a sachet of sugar.

The question mark indicates that medicine is but an example of the contents of a sachet.

Down

1d   Some slap // son after effrontery, wanting credit (8)

"son" = S (show explanation )

In genealogies, s[5] is the abbreviation for son(s) ⇒ m 1991; one s one d*.

* married in 1991; one son and one daughter.

hide explanation

Tick[5] (used in the phrase on tick) is an informal British term meaning credit ⇒ the printer agreed to send the brochures out on tick.

Origin: The term apparently originates as a short form for ticket in the phrase on the ticket, referring to an IOU or promise to pay.



Slap[5] is an informal term for make-up, especially when applied thickly or carelessly I put a bit of slap on my face and we were ready to go. According to The Chambers Dictionary, slap[1] is theatrical slang for stage make-up, hence make-up generally.

2d   Drop in allowance? /It could show/ degree in fall (8)

 This drop might be described as once and for all.

3d   In the past, twice /giving/ casual look (4-4)

5d   Bar group's excited about food's introduction -- /it's/ readily available (2,3,5)

6d   Demand to jump into punt /for/ hamper (6)

Punt[2,3,4,5,10,11] is a chiefly British term which means:
  • (verb) to gamble or bet, especially against the bank (as in roulette and some card games such as faro) or on horses or other sporting events
  • (noun) such a gamble or bet
7d   Rising sign of approval is following a // handsome figure (6)

In modern usage, an Adonis[5] is an extremely handsome young man ⇒ not all of us have the body of an Adonis

* In Greek mythology, Adonis[5] was a beautiful youth loved by both Aphrodite and Persephone. He was killed by a boar, but Zeus decreed that he should spend the winter of each year in the underworld with Persephone and the summer months with Aphrodite.

8d   Show hesitation /as/ one working in trench -- cold must be ignored (6)

13d   Decline /in/ male race (10)

15d   Flower // left in a climate unusually with no end of heat (8)

The camellia[5] is an evergreen East Asian shrub related to the tea plant, grown for its showy flowers and shiny leaves.

16d   Endlessly go round motorway before quiet // minor engagement (8)

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

17d   Part of ground revealed // something exceptional (8)

In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, pommers shows the solution as being an adjective clued by "exceptional". However, that leave the word "something" with no role to play in the clue. Therefore, I conclude that the solution must be a noun clued by "something exceptional".



Ground[5] denotes an area of land, often with associated buildings and structures, used for a particular sport ⇒ (i) a football ground; (ii) Liverpool’s new ground is nearing completion (show more ).

Although this usage of the word ground is not exclusively British, it does seem to be a usage that has fallen into disfavour in North America. In North America, it would be much more likely for such a venue to be called a field or a stadium.

Collins COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary says that a ground[14] is an area of land which is specially designed and made for playing sport or for some other activity. In American English grounds is also used. ⇒ (i) the city's football ground; (ii) a parade ground.

I know of only two instances of this usage for sports facilities in North America (although there are undoubtedly others).

The Wanderers Grounds[7] is a sports field in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The Polo Grounds[7] was the name of three stadiums in Upper Manhattan, New York City, used mainly for professional baseball and American football from 1880 until 1963. As the name suggests, the original Polo Grounds, opened in 1876 and demolished in 1889, was built for the sport of polo. It was converted to a baseball stadium in 1880. In baseball, the stadium served at various times as the home of the New York Giants (now San Francisco Giants), the New York Yankees, and the New York Mets. In football, it was home to the New York Giants (NFL) and New York Jets (AFL).

Shea Stadium opened in 1964 and replaced the Polo Grounds as the home of the Mets and Jets. The Polo Grounds was demolished that year and a public housing complex built on the site.

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19d   Collection including very loud // rubbish (6)

"very loud" = FF (show explanation )

Fortissimo[5] (abbreviation ff[5]) is a direction used in music to mean either (as an adjective) very loud  or (as an adverb) very loudly.

hide explanation

Rubbish[3,4,11] is used in the sense of foolish words or speech; in other words, nonsense.*

* Oxford Dictionaries considers the word rubbish[5] (in all senses) to be British — despite it not being characterized as such by American dictionaries. I think, like starlings, the word has long ago become naturalized in North America.

20d   Re-evaluate as everyone at heart /becomes/ relaxed (2,4)

"At heart" indicates that you need the letters at the heart of [RE-EVALU]ATE AS E[VERYONE], discarding seven letters both before and after those required.

21d   Camper ditching load on English river, /causing/ grave difficulty (6)

Isis[10] is the local name for the River Thames at Oxford, England.
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)
[12] - CollinsDictionary.com (Webster’s New World College Dictionary)
[13] - MacmillanDictionary.com (Macmillan Dictionary)
[14] - CollinsDictionary.com (COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary)
Signing off for today — Falcon