Saturday, May 27, 2017

Saturday, May 27, 2017 — Heating Things Up

Introduction

Today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon is hot stuff. I did find it considerably more of a challenge than usual.

The next two weeks will find me travelling outside the country. As I may not have access to the Internet on a regular basis, I may not be able to post the puzzles and reviews in a timely manner.

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

Solution to Today's Puzzle

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

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

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

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

Across

1a   Hot // range brand coming in green (7)

CHAR(GE)D — GE (range brand; General Electric) contained in (coming in) CHARD (green; leafy vegetable)

Hot is the sense of acrimonious.

5a   Hot // up in tree (7)

POP(U)LAR — U (up; abbrev.) contained in (in) POPLAR (tree)

The setters appear to be using U as an abbreviation for "up", a usage for which I can find no justification in the several dictionaries that I consulted. Perhaps one might encounter this on elevator signage or on volume controls or channel selectors on electronic equipment, but usually one would merely see up and down arrows being used.

The list of acronyms at The Free Dictionary website shows U as being the abbreviation for upper and upper class but not up.

In particle physics, u is the symbol for the up quark[7]. However, I found nothing to suggest that the up quark is otherwise known simply as an up, although the up antiquark (the antiparticle of the up quark) is sometimes called antiup quark or simply antiup.

9a   Hot // one in East Germany (5)

E(A)GER — A (one) contained in (in) {E (East; abbrev.) + GER (Germany; abbrev.))}

I did initially try to use I instead of A thereby finding myself stranded atop a mountain in the Swiss Alps.

10a   Hostilities // get a ruler hot? (3-6)

WAR-M|A|KING —WARM (get ... hot) containing (...) {A (†) + KING (ruler)}

To properly appreciate the clue, read both the solution and the wordplay as complete phrases: WARM A KING (get a ruler hot).

11a   Vacation // quarrel broken up by me with love (4,3)

TI(ME| O)FF — TIFF (quarrel) containing (broken up by) {ME (†) + O (love; score of nil in tennis)}

12a   After most of trip, half-remember // boat (7)

TRI|REME — REME (half-remember; [first] half of the word REMEmber) following (after) TRI (most of trip; most of the letters in the word TRIp)

A trireme[5] is an ancient Greek or Roman war galley with three banks of oars.

13a  Star in Leo // prepared bed alone (8)

DENEBOLA — anagram (prepared) of BED ALONE

I did not know this star, but I did know Deneb[5] and so tried to incorporate it into the solution. As it turns out, Deneb is located in another constellation, Cygnus.

Denebola[5,10] is the second-brightest* star in the constellation Leo.

* According to Wikipedia, Denebola[7] is the third-brightest star in Leo — and Wikipedia would appear to be correct. The editors at both Oxford Dictionaries and Collins English Dictionary seem to have fallen victim to the misconception that the Bayer designation[7] is an accurate indication of a star's relative brightness in a constellation.

15a   Abominable // Snowman’s head stuck in well again (6)

CUR(S)ED — S (Snowman's head; initial letter of the word Snowman) contained in (stuck in) CURED (well again)

Scratching the Surface
The Abominable Snowman[5] (also called yeti) is a large hairy creature resembling a human or bear, said to live in the highest part of the Himalayas.

18a   Lucy’s husband regarding // hot feeling (6)

DESI|RE — DESI (Lucy's husband) + RE (regarding)

Desi Arnaz[7] (1917–1986) was a Cuban-born American actor, musician, and television producer. He is best remembered for his role as Ricky Ricardo on the American television series sitcom I Love Lucy (which originally ran from 1951 to 1957). He co-starred on that show with Lucille Ball, to whom he was married at the time.

19a   Hot // at any time in search (8)

F(EVER)ISH — EVER (at any time) contained in (in) FISH (search; for information, perhaps)

22a   Relay including one // flame (7)

PASSION — PASS ON (relay) containing (including) I ([Roman numeral for] one)

24a   Mother’s new // container for hot drinks (7)

THERMOS* — anagram (new) of MOTHERS

26a   Pasta // tossed at the pigs (9)

SPAGHETTI* — anagram (tossed) of AT THE PIGS

27a   Composer /and/ I had gun returned (5)

{VER|DI}< — reversal (returned) of {ID (I had; contracted as I'd} + REV (gun; as you would an automobile engine)

Giuseppe Verdi[5] (1813–1901) was an Italian composer. His many operas, such as La Traviata (1853), Aida (1871), and Otello (1887), emphasize the dramatic element, treating personal stories on a heroic scale and often against backgrounds that reflect his political interests. Verdi is also famous for his Requiem (1874).

28a   Interjecting oneself, exchanges // hot outbursts (7)

T(I)RADES —TRADES (exchanges) containing (interjecting) I (myself)

29a   General puzzle // hot spot (7)

G|RIDDLE — G (general; abbrev.) + RIDDLE (puzzle)

G[11] is an abbreviation for general, a motion-picture rating advising that the film is suitable for general audiences, or for children as well as adults and, more generally, g.[11] is the abbreviation for general.

Down

1d   Took advantage of // cold and hot (7)

C|HEATED — C (cold; abbrev.; on a water faucet) + (and) HEATED (hot)

2d   Something to chew on in a Broadway hit’s // hot discussions (9)

A|R(GUM)ENT|S — GUM (something to chew on) contained in (in) {A (†) + RENT (Broadway hit) + S ('s)}

Rent[5] is a rock musical loosely based on Giacomo Puccini's opera La Bohème. It tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists struggling to survive and create a life in New York City's East Village under the shadow of HIV/AIDS.

3d   Dress old Hollywood legend (5)

GARB|O — GARB (dress) + O (old; abbrev.)

Greta Garbo[5] (1905–1990) was a Swedish-born American actress; born Greta Gustafsson. She is remembered for films such as Anna Christie (1930), Mata Hari (1931), and Anna Karenina (1935). After her retirement in 1941 she lived as a recluse.

4d   Ruin // insulating material, failing completely (8)

DOWN|F|ALL — DOWN (insulating material) + FAll (failing completely) F (failing; abysmal academic result) + ALL (completely)

Thank you to MG for suggesting the parsing which is superior to my original attempt.

5d   Hot in pursuit of penny // thief (6)

P|IRATE — IRATE (hot) following (in pursuit of) P (penny)

In Britain's current decimal currency system, a penny[5] (plural pennies [for separate coins] or pence [for a sum of money]) is a bronze coin and monetary unit equal to one hundredth of a pound. The abbreviation for penny or pence is p[5].

6d   Liberality behind pitcher/’s/ trite remark (9)

P|LATITUDE — LATITUDE (liberality) following (behind) P (pitcher; position on a baseball team)

7d   Tours river /and/ island, getting into folk knowledge (5)

LO(I)RE — I (island; abbrev.) contained in (getting into) LORE (folk knowledge)

The Loire[7], at a length of 1,012 kilometres (629 mi), is the longest river in France. It rises in the highlands of the southeastern quarter of the Massif Central in the Cévennes range (in the department of Ardèche) at 1,350 m (4,430 ft) near Mont Gerbier de Jonc; it flows north for over 1,000 km (620 mi) through Nevers to Orléans, then west through Tours and Nantes until it reaches the Bay of Biscay (Atlantic Ocean) at St Nazaire.

8d   Common allergen // we put inside got hot (7)

RAG(WE)ED — WE (†) contained in (put inside) RAGED (got hot)

14d   With freshening rub, shined? (9)

BURNISHED* — an anagram (with freshening) of RUB SHINED

This is what is known as an  &lit.[7] clue, a type of clue in which the entire clue not only provides the definition (according to one interpretation) but also serves as the wordplay (according to a different interpretation). Those of you who do the weekday cryptic crosswords in the National Post may recognize this as being what Big Dave's Crossword Blog likes to call an all-in-one clue.

16d   High inside, was hot /and/ appeared to quiver (9)

S(H)IMMERED — H (high; abbrev., symbol on a gearshift lever perhaps) contained in (inside) SIMMERED (was hot)

17d   Observe object // boiling (8)

SEE|THING — SEE (observe) + THING (object)

18d   So I worked over in department // store (7)

DEP(OSI*)T — anagram (worked over) of SO I contained in (in) DEPT (department; abbrev.)

20d   Most of hot, hot stuff /in/ medical facility (7)

HO|SPICE — HO (most of hot; most of the letters of the word HOt) + SPICE (hot stuff)

21d   Merges // iTunes mistakenly (6)

UNITES* — anagram (mistakenly) of ITUNES

23d   Commotion about baby’s second // step (5)

ST(A)IR — STIR (commotion) containing (about) A (baby's second; second letter of the word bAby)

25d   Final stanza, // in drunken voices (5)

_EN|VOI_ — hidden in (in) drunkEN VOIces

An envoi[3] (alternate spelling of envoy) is a short closing stanza in certain verse forms, such as the ballade or sestina, dedicating the poem to a patron or summarizing its main ideas.

Epilogue

The theme of today's puzzle is immediately seared upon one's consciousness. Of the clues that don't include the word "hot", many include related words such as "flame" and "boiling". We also have an insulating material found in garments meant to keep one warm and an actress who was one of Hollywood's hottest stars in her day.

The title of the review also alludes to the possibly questionable abbreviation at 5a.
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)
Signing off for today — Falcon

Friday, May 26, 2017

Friday, May 26, 2017 — DT 28382

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28382
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, March 23, 2017
Setter
RayT (Ray Terrell)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28382]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Falcon
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★★ / ★★★★ Enjoyment - ★★★★
Falcon's Experience
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Legend:
- solved without assistance
- incorrect prior to use of puzzle solving tools
- solved with assistance from puzzle solving tools
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by puzzle solving tools
- solved but without fully parsing the clue
- unsolved or incorrect prior to visiting Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by solutions from Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- reviewed by Falcon for Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- yet to be solved

Introduction

I reviewed this puzzle on Big Dave's Crossword Blog back in March when it was published in The Daily Telegraph. I found it difficult then and I found it nearly as difficult the second time around.

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   Action // for each soldier in army (11)

10a   Bare grip holding plug over // wireless (5)

"over" = O (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

11a   Working // empty parable into sermon (9)

12a   Risks // limits tackling drive round the bend (9)

13a   Rock and roll, largely old // hat for soldier (5)

A shako[10] is a tall usually cylindrical military headdress, having a plume and often a peak [visor], popular especially in the 19th century.

14a   In due course catching hot // fever (6)

16a   Give up? // It could be far worse (8)

18a   Concrete // enclosure containing chamberpot (8)

In Britain, po[5] is an informal name for a chamber pot.

20a   Rabble // rose and got toffs abruptly guillotined initially (6)

The rabble[5] denotes ordinary people, especially when regarded as socially inferior or uncouth ⇒ the British feel no compunction about ushering the gentry into the coach and packing the rabble off to debtor's prison.

Ragtag[10] (noun) is a derogatory term for the common people; in other words, rabble (especially in the phrase ragtag and bobtail*).

* Ragtag and bobtail[3,11] (noun) denotes the lowest social class; the riffraff or rabble.

Scratching the Surface
Toff[5] is a derogatory, informal British term for a rich or upper-class person.

23a   Follow // sign with sweetheart sent to the back (5)

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

"sweetheart" = E (show explanation )

A common cryptic crossword construct is to use the word "sweetheart" to clue E, the middle letter (heart) of swEet.

hide explanation

24a   Gold one found inside quiet // tomb (9)

The symbol for the chemical element gold is Au[5] (from Latin aurum).

26a   One cleans // material turning round less (9)

27a   God /of/ sex in reflection -- bronze (5)

It[2,5] (usually written in quotation marks, "it") is an informal term for sexual intercourse or sex appeal ⇒ (i) the only thing I knew nothing about was ‘it’; (ii) they were caught doing ‘it’ in the back seat of his car.

28a   Pugnacious /in/ ring, one chap grabs rope, gutted (11)

Bell[5] is an informal British term meaning to telephone (someone) ⇒ no problem, I’ll bell her tomorrow.

Chap[3,4,11] is an informal British[5] or chiefly British[3] term for a man or boy (show explanation ) — although one that is commonly used in Canada.

Chap[3,4,11] is a shortened form of chapman[3,4,11], an archaic term for a trader, especially an itinerant pedlar[a,b].

[a] Pedlar is the modern British spelling of peddler[c] which, in most senses, is a US or old-fashioned British spelling. The exception is in the sense of a dealer in illegal drugs which the Brits spell as drug peddler.
[b] The current meaning of chap[2] dates from the 18th century. In the 16th century, chap meant 'a customer'. The dictionaries do not explain how a shortened form of 'chapman' (pedlar) came to mean 'customer'.
[c] Collins COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary

hide explanation

Down

2d   Need to get drunk before day /is/ over (5)

3d   Stalk // fluid snow leopard (7)

Ounce[5] is another term for snow leopard[5], a rare large cat which has pale grey fur patterned with dark blotches and rings, living in the Altai mountains, Hindu Kush, and Himalayas.

4d   Little marsupial nourished /and/ covered (6)

Roo[5] is an informal Australian term for a kangaroo.

5d   Hatred // is over and almost dissipated (8)

6d   Cold airhead absorbed by the man/'s/ body (7)

Chassis[10] is a slang term for the the body of a person, especially a woman.

7d   Precious // peace Liberal shattered embracing Republican (13)

"Republican" = R (show explanation )

A Republican[5] (abbreviation R[5])  is a member or supporter of the Republican Party[5], one of the two main US political parties*, favouring a right-wing stance, limited central government, and tough, interventionist foreign policy. It was formed in 1854 in support of the anti-slavery movement preceding the Civil War.

* the other being the Democratic Party

In the UK, republican[5] can refer to an advocate of a united Ireland but the abbreviation does not seem to apply to that usage.

hide explanation

Scratching the Surface
The Liberal Party[5] in Britain emerged in the 1860s from the old Whig Party and until the First World War was one of the two major parties in Britain. In 1988 the party regrouped with elements of the Social Democratic Party to form the Social and Liberal Democrats, now known as the Liberal Democrats. However, a small Liberal Party still exists although it has no representation in the UK Parliament, no Members of the European Parliament (MEP), no members of the Scottish Parliament, nor any members of the National Assembly for Wales.[7]

8d   Bond // afire about plucky M's successor (8)

Scratching the Surface
James Bond[5] (known also by his code name 007) is a fictional British secret agent in the spy novels of English author Ian Fleming (1908–1964).

M[7] is a fictional character in the James Bond books; the character (who is Bond's boss) is the Head of Secret Intelligence Service—also known as MI6.

9d   Support /of/ United in recent game on ground (13)

"United" = U (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

As an anagram indicator, ground is the past tense or past participle of the verb grind[5]. An anagram indicator is a word that denotes movement or transformation. Grind denotes transformation, for example, in the sense of wheat being ground into flour.

15d   First of tenors leading Queen without // end (8)

"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

17d   Flash artist in Globe -- // top coverage for Scotsman (8)

Mo[5] (abbreviation for moment) is an informal, chiefly British term for a short period of time ⇒ hang on a mo!.

"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

A balmoral[5] is a round brimless hat with a cockade or ribbons attached, worn by certain Scottish regiments.

Scratching the Surface
I can't say for certain to what — if anything — the surface reading is alluding but it is likely not the Toronto newspaper, or for that matter, the Boston or defunct New York newspapers. Here are a couple of intriguing, if unlikely, possibilities.

The Globe[5] was a British newspaper founded in 1803 that merged with the Pall Mall Gazette in 1921.

The Globe Theatre[7] was a theatre in London associated with William Shakespeare. It was built in 1599 by Shakespeare's playing company, the Lord Chamberlain's Men and was destroyed by fire in 1613. A second Globe Theatre was built on the same site by June 1614 and closed by Ordinance in 1642*. A modern reconstruction of the Globe, named "Shakespeare's Globe", opened in 1997 approximately 750 feet (230 m) from the site of the original theatre.

* In September 1642 the Long Parliament ordered a closure of the London theatres. The order cited the current "times of humiliation" and their incompatibility with "public stage-plays", representative of "lascivious Mirth and Levity". The ban, which was not completely effective, was reinforced by an Act of 11 February 1648. It provided for the treatment of actors as rogues, the demolition of theatre seating, and fines for spectators. In 1660, after the English Restoration brought King Charles II to effective power in England, the theatrical ban was lifted.

19d   Lover duelling covers // behind (7)

21d   One takes up // a drug, checking temperature right (7)

22d   Timbuktu, a region including // nomadic people (6)

The Tuareg[5] are a Berber people of the western and central Sahara, living mainly in Algeria, Mali, Niger, and western Libya, traditionally as nomadic pastoralists.

Scratching the Surface
Timbuktu (also Timbuctoo) is a town in northern Mali; population 35,600 (est. 2009). It was formerly a major trading centre for gold and salt on the trans-Saharan trade routes, reaching the height of its prosperity in the 16th century but falling into decline after its capture by the Moroccans in 1591.

The name has become emblematic of a remote or extremely distant place from here to Timbuktu.

25d   Picked // public school, one hears (5)

Eton College[7], often informally referred to simply as Eton, is an English independent boarding school for boys located in Eton, Berkshire, near Windsor. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as "The King's College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor". It is one of ten English schools, commonly referred to as public schools, regulated by the Public Schools Act of 1868.

Here and There
In Britain, an independent school[10] is a school that is neither financed nor controlled by the government or local authorities; in other words, an independent school[2] is not paid for with public money and does not belong to the state school system.

In Britain, a public school[2] is a particular category of independent school, namely a secondary school, especially a boarding school, run independently of the state and financed by a combination of endowments and pupils' fees.

Another category of independent school is the private school[2,5] which is a school run independently by an individual or group, especially for profit and supported wholly by the payment of fees.

What we in North America would call a public school[2], is known in the UK as a state school[5] or a maintained school*.

* In England and Wales, a maintained school[5] is a school that is funded by a local education authority.

Pick[5] is used in the sense of to eat food in small amounts or without much appetite she picked at her breakfast.
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)
Signing off for today — Falcon

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Thursday, May 25, 2017 — DT 28381

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28381
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Setter
Jay (Jeremy Mutch)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28381]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
2Kiwis
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★ Enjoyment - ★★★★
Falcon's Experience
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└────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┘
Legend:
- solved without assistance
- incorrect prior to use of puzzle solving tools
- solved with assistance from puzzle solving tools
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by puzzle solving tools
- solved but without fully parsing the clue
- unsolved or incorrect prior to visiting Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by solutions from Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- reviewed by Falcon for Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- yet to be solved

Introduction

One always expects a highly entertaining puzzle from Jay — and he rarely, if ever, fails to deliver.

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   Treacherous person upended Scotsman/'s/ stuff on the road (6)

In Crosswordland, a Scotsman rarely goes by any name other than Ian or Mac.

Here and There
Tarmac[5] is a trademark in the UK for material used for surfacing roads or other outdoor areas, consisting of broken stone mixed with tar. 

The equivalent term in North America is asphalt — or, more properly from a technical perspective, asphalt concrete*.

* Asphalt concrete[7] (commonly called asphalt)  is is a composite material consisting of mineral aggregate bound together with asphalt, laid in layers, and compacted. Asphalt concrete pavement mixes[7] are typically composed of 5% asphalt/bitumen cement and 95% aggregates (stone, sand, and gravel).

In North America, the term tarmac[7] would be used only for a paved surface of a runway, taxiway, or apron at an airport.

Scratching the Surface
Tarmac (a contraction of tarmacadam) was invented — or, perhaps more accurately, discovered* — by English inventor Edgar Purnall Hooley. Tarmac roads superseded macadam roads which were pioneered by Scottish engineer John Loudon McAdam.

So the "surface" reading actually may allude to a 'treacherous' Englishman who disrupted the road building industry by obsoleting the "Scotsman's stuff on the road".

* In 1901, Edgar Purnell Hooley was walking in Denby, Derbyshire when he noticed a smooth stretch of road close to an ironworks. He was informed that a barrel of tar had fallen onto the road, and someone poured waste slag from the nearby furnaces to cover up the mess. Hooley noticed this unintentional resurfacing had solidified the road, and there was no rutting and no dust (problems which had long plagued macadam roads).

5a   Inflates // benefits to include everybody (8)

9a   Mostly firm rear -- hard // to express disapproval! (8)

"hard" = H (show explanation )

H[2,5] is an abbreviation for hard, as used in describing grades of pencil lead ⇒ a 2H pencil.

hide explanation

10a   High-ranking officer dismissing line /in/ groups (6)

In biology, a genus[10] (plural genera or genuses) is any of the taxonomic groups into which a family is divided and which contains one or more species. For example, Vulpes (foxes) is a genus of the dog family (Canidae).

11a   Navigator // chap welcomes legal wrangling (8)

Ferdinand Magellan[5] (c.1480–1521) was a Portuguese explorer. In 1519 he sailed from Spain, rounding South America through the strait which now bears his name, and reached the Philippines in 1521. He was killed in a skirmish on Cebu; the survivors sailed back to Spain round Africa, completing the first circumnavigation of the globe (1522).

12a   Glutton needing long time /to get/ responsibility (6)

13a   Dramatic // summoning by old flame (8)

15a   Sort of hug // stomach? (4)

17a   Diplomatic approach /sees/ bill on time (4)

19a   Flag /of/ current Queen (8)

"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

20a   The French will get fit /for/ this sporting competition (6)

"the French" = LE (show explanation )

In French, the masculine singular form of the definite article is le[8].

hide explanation

I would say that league[5] is being used in the sense of the contest for the championship of a league the year we won the league.

21a   Church must accept shortly one's // to make saint (8)

"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

In the Roman Catholic Church, canonise (an alternative* spelling of canonize) means to officially declare (a dead person) to be a saint he was the last English saint to be canonized prior to the Reformation.

* All my British dictionaries show the principal spelling to be canonize. However, despite that, I expect many Brits will insist that the word should be spelled canonise. As I understand it, the -ize ending is derived from the Greek spelling while the -ise comes from the French spelling (presumably brought to England in the Norman Conquest).

22a   Gives a lift to American country folk full of love? (6)

From a British perspective, hick[5] is an informal North American term for a person who lives in the country, regarded as being unintelligent or parochial ⇒ she puts on a hick accent.

"love" = O (show explanation )

In tennis, squash, and some other sports, love[5] is a score of zero or nil ⇒ love fifteen. The resemblance of a zero written as a numeral (0) to the letter O leads to the cryptic crossword convention of the word "love" being used to clue this letter.

Although folk etymology has connected the word with French l'oeuf 'egg', from the resemblance in shape between an egg and a zero, the term apparently comes from the phrase play for love (i.e. the love of the game, not for money).

hide explanation

Hoick[5] is an informal British term meaning to lift or pull abruptly or with effort she hoicked her bag on to the desk.

23a   Little songbird /making/ teachers brood? (8)

In the UK, the National Union of Teachers is commonly known by the acronym NUT[5] [much to the delight of their students, I am sure].

A hatch[5] is a newly hatched brood ⇒ a hatch of mayflies.

The nuthatch[5] is a small songbird with a stiffened tail, which climbs up and down tree trunks and feeds on nuts, seeds, and insects.

24a   Sporting meet // worried slimy cop (8)

25a   Feel an aversion towards // international following first couple of defeats (6)

International[5] is a British term for a game or contest between teams representing different countries in a sport ⇒ the Murrayfield rugby international.

Test[5] (short for Test match)[5] denotes an international cricket or rugby match, typically one of a series, played between teams representing two different countries ⇒ the Test match between Pakistan and the West Indies.

Down

2d   This list should show the fare for Paris (1,2,5)

The entire clue is a cryptic definition comprised of a broad straight definition (solid underline) combined with cryptic elaboration (dashed underline) which is a play on different meanings of the word "fare".

3d   One makes a killing// twice regarding instrument that's beaten up (8)

4d   Firm with politician within the law, /but/ sharing guilt (9)

"politician" = MP (show explanation )

In Britain (as in Canada), a politician elected to the House of Commons is known as a Member of Parliament[10] (abbreviation MP[5]) or, informally, as a member[5].

hide explanation

5d   Posterior and chest seen, sadly // in secret (6,3,6)

6d   Liberal European circle supports end of inane // ogling (7)

"liberal | Liberal" = L (show explanation )

The Liberal Party[5] (abbreviation Lib.[5] or L[2])* in Britain emerged in the 1860s from the old Whig Party and until the First World War was one of the two major parties in Britain. In 1988 the party regrouped with elements of the Social Democratic Party to form the Social and Liberal Democrats, now known as the Liberal Democrats. However, a small Liberal Party still exists although it has no representation in the UK Parliament, no Members of the European Parliament (MEP), no members of the Scottish Parliament, nor any members of the National Assembly for Wales.[7]

* Although Lib.[5] may be the more common abbreviation for the Liberal Party in Britain — likely to distinguish it from the the Labour Party[5] (abbreviation Lab.[5]) — Chambers 21st Century Dictionary indicates that L[2] may also be used.

hide explanation

7d   Little work of note? (8)

8d   Inactive // sort of party needing new worker (8)

"worker | 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

14d   Proposed // to show agreement with poor inmate locked in (9)

15d   Times grabs a couple of students who heard // commotion (8)

"student" = L (show explanation )

The cryptic crossword convention of L meaning learner or student arises from the L-plate[7], a square plate bearing a sans-serif letter L, for learner, which must be affixed to the front and back of a vehicle in various jurisdictions (including the UK) if its driver is a learner under instruction.

hide explanation

What did they say?
In their review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, the 2Kiwis describe "by" as A two letter word that is the equivalent to ‘times’ in Maths.
In Britain, the short form for mathematics is maths[5]her mother was a maths teacher, rather than math[5] as is the case in North America ⇒ she teaches math and science.

16d   Financial check covering account year -- /that's/ daring (8)

17d   Discharge business // coaches with one missing turn (8)

A turn[5] is a short performance, especially one of a number given by different performers in succession ⇒ (i) Lewis gave her best ever comic turn; (ii) he was asked to do a turn at a children’s party.

18d   Greek island fires // cavalry (8)

Cos is an alternative spelling of Kos[5], a Greek island in the southeastern Aegean, one of the Dodecanese group. It is the home of cos lettuce[5] (known to North Americans as romaine[5]).

A Cossack[5] is:
  • a member of a people of Ukraine and southern Russia, noted for their horsemanship and military skill
  • a member of a Cossack military unit
19d   Snobbish -- /and/ mystified at university (5-2)

In Britain, up[5] means at or to a university, especially Oxford or Cambridge ⇒ they were up at Cambridge about the same time.
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)
Signing off for today — Falcon

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 — DT 28380

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28380
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Setter
Mister Ron (Samuel)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28380]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Mr Kitty
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

Aside from the river in northern England at 28a, I had no real difficulty with this puzzle.

The puzzle is set by Mister Ron, the pseudonym used by the setter when posting on Big Dave's Crossword Blog. This is known to be the same individual who uses the nom de plume Samuel on other occasions.

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   Cave if fool goes berserk /in/ leader's workplace (4,6)

The Oval Office[5] is the office of the US president in the White House.

6a   Sailor the Spanish /portrayed as/ murder victim (4)

"sailor" = AB (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

"the Spanish" = EL (show explanation )

In Spanish, the masculine singular form of the definite article is el[8].

hide explanation

In the Bible, Abel[5] was the second son of Adam and Eve, murdered by his brother Cain.

9a   Pretty thing in garden/'s/ become tedious after photo (10)

10a   Sell // loud record (4)

"loud" = F (show explanation )

Forte[5] (abbreviation f[5]) is a musical direction meaning (as an adjective) loud or (as an adverb) loudly.

hide explanation

12a   Hostility /shown by/ bowler, perhaps English (4)

Bowler[5] (also bowler hat) is a chiefly British name for a man’s hard felt hat with a round dome-shaped crown. The North American name for this item of apparel is derby[5] — said to arise from American demand for a hat of the type worn at the Epsom Derby [a prestigious British horse race — not to mention a major event on the British social calendar].

13a   Sensitive about male // emotion (9)

15a   Allow island journey? // Go for it! (3,2,3)

An Americanism?
Let it rip[a] (or let her rip) is an informal, mainly American expression. If someone lets a vehicle rip, they make it move very fast ⇒ She put her foot on the car's accelerator, and he said, 'OK, let her rip'.

[a] Cambridge Idioms Dictionary


Let it rip[b] (also let her[c] rip) means:
  • to make a vehicle or machine move very fast ⇒ He would get up early Sunday mornings, fire up the lawnmower, and let her rip.
  • to do something with energy and enthusiasm ⇒ Hendrix would walk into a recording studio, turn on his amp, and let it rip while the tape recorder rolled.

    [b] Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms
    [c] the pronoun her is often used to refer to a machine
Let it rip[d] (also let her[e] rip) means to go ahead, proceed unchecked ⇒ Once you get the tractor started, let it rip. The use of her in the variant comes from a tradition of referring to vehicles as feminine.

[d] The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
[e] the use of her in the variant comes from a tradition of referring to vehicles as feminine

16a   Shout // about being taken in by fraud (6)

18a   Books // bishop to visit area with dreadful slum (6)

"bishop" = B (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

20a   Doctor Smooth on // mission to attain heavenly body? (8)

Scratching the Surface
I seriously doubt that the setter had the Canadian soft drink in mind when he composed the clue. In fact, I expect that he has never heard of it — I certainly hadn't.

Doctor Smooth[7] is a Canadian soda produced by President's Choice. With a flavor in the same vein as the American Dr Pepper, Doctor Smooth derives its name from the very little carbonation the beverage possesses.

23a   Uncompromising // line by hospital department (9)

"hospital department" = ENT (show explanation )

Should you not have noticed, the ear, nose and throat (ENT[2]) department is the most visited section, by far, in the Crosswordland Hospital.

hide explanation

24a   Promise // 'Road to Hell' in prime locations (4)

A prime number[3,5] (or simply prime[5]) is a positive integer that is greater than 1 and is not divisible without a remainder by any positive integer other than itself and 1 (e.g. 2, 3, 5, 7, 11).

Scratching the Surface
The surface reading alludes to the aphorism the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.[7]

While I found a film and several musical works with the title "Road to Hell"[7], none would appear to be of sufficient significance to be the inspiration for the clue.

26a   Scrap coming back by motorway /for/ test (4)

Motorway[2,5] (abbreviation M[5]) is a British, Australian, and New Zealand term for a dual-carriageway road [divided highway] designed for fast-moving traffic, especially one with three lanes per carriageway [direction of travel] and limited access and exit points [controlled access].

27a   Standard moan about current // legislative body (10)

In physics, I[5] is a symbol used to represent electric current in mathematical formulae.

28a   Support southern // banker (4)

I set this one aside to come back to later but then inadvertently saw Mr Kitty's hint on Big Dave's site.

Banker is a whimsical Crosswordland term for a river — something that has banks.

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

29a   Dear God! Man engineered // the end of the world (10)

Armageddon*[5] is a dramatic and catastrophic conflict, especially one seen as likely to destroy the world or the human race nuclear Armageddon.

* In the New Testament, Armageddon[5] is the last battle between good and evil before the Day of Judgement.

Down

1d   Evict // rogues regularly behind in rent (4)

2d   Some dread a man temping /for/ firm (7)

3d   Writings // that could become modest talent (3,9)

4d   Important // part of body tires first (8)

5d   Jokers /and/ clubs depressed bridge partners (6)

"clubs" = C (show explanation )

C[1] is the abbreviation for clubs, a suit in a deck of cards.

hide explanation

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.

7d   Accept // busy person embodies terrible evil (7)

8d   Run off with one friend /that's/ genuine (10)

Leg it[5] is an informal British term meaning to:
  • travel by foot or walk ⇒ I am part of a team legging it around London; or
  • run away ⇒ he legged it after someone shouted at him.
In Britain, mate[5] — in addition to being a person’s husband, wife, or other sexual partner — is an informal term for a friend or companion ⇒ my best mate Steve.

11d   Down // one last rum after dance (12)

As an anagram indicator, rum[5] is used in a dated informal British sense meaning odd or peculiar ⇒ it’s a rum business, certainly.

In Britain, disco[5] — in addition to being a style of music or dancing or a club at which such music is performed — can also refer to a party at which people dance to such music.

14d   Wash bedding // that team wants to keep? (5,5)

Clean sheet[10] (especially in the phrase keep a clean sheet) denotes an instance of a sports team conceding no goals or points in a match or competition.

17d   Wrap // run up with ailing leader in agony (8)

19d   Gunners on board boat // continued attack (7)

The Royal Regiment of Artillery, commonly referred to as the Royal Artillery[7] (abbreviation RA), is the artillery arm of the British Army. Despite its name, it comprises a number of regiments.

"on board" = 'contained in SS' (show explanation )

In Crosswordland, you will find that a ship is almost invariably a steamship, the abbreviation for which is SS[10]. Thus phrases such as "aboard ship" or "on board ship" (or sometimes merely "on board") are Crosswordland code for 'contained in SS'.

hide explanation

21d   One's short-tempered, // a result of too much sun? (7)

22d   Patch up and get married again? (6)

25d   Shock // Scot and Ulsterman on vacation (4)
Key to Reference Sources: 

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