Monday, September 17, 2018

Monday, September 17, 2018 — DT 28727 (Published Saturday, September 15, 2018)

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28727
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, May 1, 2018
Setter
Unknown
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28727]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Mr K
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, September {date}, 2018 edition of the National Post.

Introduction

I needed a bit of help from my electronic assistants to complete this puzzle and so was greatly relieved when I saw that Mr K had set the difficulty level at four stars in his review.

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
  • The Story 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   Rough // spherical object found by recreation ground (8)

Recreation ground[5] is a British term for a piece of public land used for sports and games.

5a   Not charged, // deserter held by American soldiers (6)

Rat[10] has several derogatory informal meanings, but here it is used in the sense of a person who deserts his or her friends or associates, especially in time of trouble.

"American soldier" = GI (show explanation ) so "American soldiers" = GIS

A GI[5] is a private soldier in the US army ⇒ she went off with a GI during the war.

Contrary to popular belief, the term apparently is not an abbreviation for general infantryman, but rather derives from the term government (or general) issue (originally denoting equipment supplied to US forces).

hide explanation

9a   Bad thing, weapon /used in/ disco (9)

11a   Country /in/ revolutionary fairy story (5)

12a   Live // on edge (6)

13a   Good boys protecting kid /in/ best clothes (4,4)

"good" = G (show explanation )

The abbreviation G[a] for good comes from its use in education as a mark awarded on scholastic assignments or tests.

[a] Collins English to Spanish Dictionary

hide explanation

15a   Take the part of one of Silver's crew and he will // be very angry (4,5,4)

I would think that one does not necessarily have to be angry to play merry hell — one might merely be boisterous or rambunctious.

Play merry hell[a] means to complain loudly or disruptively or to behave in a chaotic or disruptive manner (i) The team's star quarterback played merry hell about the team's new policy, but he fell in line once the season started.; (ii) The kids have been playing merry hell since dinner. I think we need to get them to bed!.

[a] Farlex Dictionary of Idioms

Note: Verbs such as kick up, raise or create can be used instead of play I will be raising merry hell at the meeting tomorrrow.[b]

[b] Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary



George Merry[7] is a member of Long John Silver's crew in Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson's adventure novel Treasure Island.

18a   Fifties Kitchen sink drama -- // something Winnie was fond of? (1,5,2,5)

Winnie-the-Pooh[5], also called Pooh Bear, is a fictional anthropomorphic teddy bear created by English author A. A. Milne (1882–1956). Pooh is very fond of food, especially "hunny"[7].



A Taste of Honey[7], first produced in 1958, is the first play by the British dramatist Shelagh Delaney, . It was initially intended as a novel, but she turned it into a play because she hoped to revitalise British theatre and to address social issues that she felt were not being presented. The play comments on, and puts into question, class, race, gender and sexual orientation in mid-twentieth-century Britain. It became known as a "kitchen sink" play, part of a genre revolutionising British theatre at the time.

Delving Deeper
Kitchen sink realism[7] (or kitchen sink drama) is a British cultural movement that developed in the late 1950s and early 1960s in theatre, art, novels, film, and television plays, whose protagonists usually could be described as "angry young men" who were disillusioned with modern society. It used a style of social realism, which depicted the domestic situations of working class Britons, living in cramped rented accommodation and spending their off-hours drinking in grimy pubs, to explore controversial social and political issues ranging from abortion to homelessness. The harsh, realistic style contrasted sharply with the escapism of the previous generation's so-called "well-made plays".

The films, plays and novels employing this style are often set in poorer industrial areas in the North of England, and use the accents and slang heard in those regions. The conventions of the genre have continued into the 2000s, finding expression in such television shows as Coronation Street and EastEnders.

22a   Judge/'s/ pipe (8)

In England and Wales, a recorder[5] is a barrister appointed to serve as a part-time judge.



A pipe[10] is any musical instrument whose sound production results from the vibration of an air column in a simple tube. The recorder[7] is a form of pipe, often used as a rudimentary instructional musical instrument at schools, but so versatile that it is also used in orchestral music.

23a   /In/ section of sea, notice a // large fleet (6)

Due to the manner in which the setter has structured the clue (to facilitate the surface reading), the link word "in" is positioned at the beginning.

26a   Played out, // even across river (5)

27a   Announce team // in the USA (9)

"team" = SIDE (show explanation )

Side[5] is a British term for a sports team ⇒ there was a mixture of old and young players in* their side.

* Note that, in Britain, a player is said to be "in a side" rather than "on a team" as one would say in North America.

In North America, the term side[3] is used in a very general fashion that can denote one of two or more opposing individuals, groups, teams, or sets of opinions. While this same general usage is also found in the UK, the term side[5] is also used there in a much more specific sense to mean a sports team, as we can clearly see from the following usage examples ⇒ (i) Previous England rugby sides, and England teams in many other sports, would have crumbled under the weight of such errors.; (ii) They'll face better sides than this Monaco team, but you can only beat what's put in front of you.

hide explanation



Stateside[5,10,12] is an informal US* expression denoting of, in, to, or towards the US (used in reference to the US from elsewhere or from the geographically separate states of Alaska and Hawaii) (i) stateside police departments; (ii) they were headed stateside.


* as is frequently the case, Oxford Dictionaries Online characterizes this term as North American when it is actually specifically a US expression. Collins English Dictionary is almost always a far more reliable source when it comes to differentiating between US and Canadian usage

28a   County town originally /producing/ a red wine (6)

Clare[5] is a county of the Republic of Ireland, on the west coast in the province of Munster.



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

29a   You almost sussed out // Greek hero (8)

In Greek mythology, Odysseus[5] is the king of Ithaca and central figure of the Odyssey, renowned for his cunning and resourcefulness. His counterpart in Roman mythology is Ulysses.

Down

1d   Row right up close to craft // on the rocks (8)

2d   Gallons stored in Asian country // port (5)

Lagos[5] is the chief city of Nigeria, a port on the Gulf of Guinea. Originally a centre of the slave trade, it became capital of the newly independent Nigeria in 1960. It was replaced as capital by Abuja in 1991.

3d   Foolish to stay up /in/ German city (7)

Potsdam[5] is a city in eastern Germany, the capital of Brandenburg, situated just south-west of Berlin on the Havel River. It is the site of the rococo Sans Souci palace built for Frederick II between 1745 and 1747.

4d   Function /of/ pitch, reportedly (4)

6d   Remainder // to lodge round university (7)

7d   Sailor, man wearing // waterproof stuff (9)

"sailor" = TAR (show explanation )

Tar[5] is an informal, dated nickname for a sailor. The term came into use in the mid 17th century and is perhaps an abbreviation of tarpaulin, also used as a nickname for a sailor at that time.

hide explanation

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Mr K informs us that the man's name in question is an alter ego of one of our regular Monday setters, a Beatle, a chain of bakeries, a saint, ….
John Halpern[7] — who alternates with Chris Lancaster setting the Monday Cryptic Crossword puzzle in The Daily Telegraph — also sets puzzles for The Guardian newspaper under the pseudonym Paul.

Paul[7] is a French chain of bakery/café restaurants established in 1889 that operates in 29 countries.

As for the Beatle and the saint ...

8d   Few and far between, // boxes on foremost of estates (6)

10d   Everyone, taken in by most of band, /in/ uproar (8)

14d   Fellow members // run into trouble with Society (8)

"run" = R (show explanation )

On cricket scorecards [not to mention baseball scoreboards], the abbreviation R[5] denotes run(s).

In cricket, a run[5] is a unit of scoring achieved by hitting the ball so that both batsmen are able to run between the wickets, or awarded in some other circumstances.

hide explanation

"Society" = S (show explanation )

S[10] is the symbol for Society.

hide explanation

16d   Evergreen // opera song about a posh limo? (9)

An aria[5] is a long accompanied song for a solo voice, typically one in an opera or oratorio.

"posh" = U (show explanation )

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

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

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

hide explanation

The araucaria[5] is an evergreen conifer of a genus that includes the monkey puzzle, having stiff sharp leaves.

Who is he talking about?
On Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Mr K writes in our community the word [Araucaria] is better known as a pseudonym used by a distinguished crossword composer.
Araucaria was the pseudonym used by crossword compiler John Graham[7](1921–2013) for puzzles published in The Guardian.

17d   Famous pianist, // murderess's first husband in Sayers novel (4,4)

Dame Myra Hess[7] (1890–1965) was a British concert pianist who performed from 1907 to 1961 when she was forced to retire at age 71 following a stroke.

Scratching the Surface
Dorothy L. Sayers[7] (1893–1957) was a renowned English crime writer best known for her mysteries, a series of novels and short stories set between the First and Second World Wars that feature English aristocrat and amateur sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey, which remain popular to this day.

19d   Shorten // a piece of snooker equipment (7)

In billiards [and related games], a bridge[5] is:a long stick with a frame at the end which is used to support a cue for a difficult shot.

20d   Short durable cape -- /that's/ the gear (7)

"cape" = NESS (show explanation )

Ness[5] (a term usually found in place names) means a headland or promontory Orford Ness.

hide explanation

21d   Bitterly cold /in/ lorry crossing Canada's capital (6)

Lorry[5] is the common name in the UK* for the vehicle known in North America as a truck[5].

* The word truck also seems to be well known to the Brits. In fact, Oxford Dictionaries Online rather circularly defines a lorry as being a truck and a truck as being a lorry.

Artic[5] is an informal British name for an articulated lorry.

24d   Similar // article to enjoy (5)

25d   Eccentric // queen, for example (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)
[14] - CollinsDictionary.com (COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary)
Signing off for today — Falcon

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Saturday, September 15, 2018 — Cox & Rathvon (Preliminary Post)

Introduction

Here is today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon. I will return later with the solution.

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

Signing off for the moment — Falcon

Friday, September 14, 2018

Friday, September 14, 2018 — DT 28726

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28726
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Monday, April 30, 2018
Setter
Mister Ron (Chris Lancaster)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28726]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Miffypops
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★ Enjoyment - ★★★
Falcon's Experience
┌────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┐
███████████████████████████████████
└────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┘
Legend:
- solved without assistance
- incorrect prior to use of puzzle solving tools
- solved with assistance from puzzle solving tools
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by puzzle solving tools
- solved but without fully parsing the clue
- unsolved or incorrect prior to visiting Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by solutions from Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- reviewed by Falcon for Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- yet to be solved

Introduction

Today's puzzle is an entertaining one from Mister Ron in which you will find members of various political stripe present — a Liberal, a Tory, and an Independent.

The frequent mention of Dada in the early comments on Big Dave's Crossword Blog arises from Miffypops having initially misidentified the setter (a fact he acknowledges in his intro).

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
  • The Story 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   Leave the Titanic, perhaps -- /and/ its orchestra? (7,4)

9a   Sailor /and/ soldier with queen (9)

"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

10a   Kiss and cuddle /in/ club (5)

As Jezzafox points out at Comment #36 on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, one would need to be quite a contortionist to kiss while spooning.



Spoon[5] is a dated term for a golf club with a slightly concave wooden head.

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Miffypops refers to a spoon as a golf club with the loft of a modern nine iron.
This bit of misinformation gets corrected in the thread arising from Comment #6. The spoon "was most equivalent to today’s fairway woods of various lofts – 3-woods, 5-woods, 7-woods".

11a   Settle // a match? (6)

12a   Some yeti going around // national park (8)

Yosemite National Park[5] is a national park in the Sierra Nevada in central California. It includes Yosemite Valley, with its sheer granite cliffs and Yosemite Falls, the highest waterfall in the US.

13a   Former partner left at sea? // Send overseas! (6)

15a   Pressure provided by affair /is/ trivial (8)

"pressure" = P (show explanation )

In physics, p[5] is a symbol used to represent pressure in mathematical formulae.

hide explanation

18a   Betrayal? // It's in the bag (8)

Shop[5] is an informal British term meaning to inform on (someone) ⇒ she shopped her husband to bosses for taking tools home.

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Miffypops provides a list of alternative synonyms for the act of betrayal ... informing on someone. Dobbing them in. Ratting on them. Grassing them up..
Dob[2,5] (often dob someone in or dob on someone) is an informal Australian and New Zealand term meaning to inform on or betray (someone) ⇒ (i) Helen dobbed me in to Mum; (ii) He's in the prison, he's dobbing on his prison mates, on other inmates, and he's very scared for his life.

Grass[5] is an informal British term meaning:
  • (noun) a police informer
  • (verb, often grass on or grass up) to inform the police of someone’s criminal activities or plans ⇒ (i) someone had grassed on the thieves; (ii) she threatened to grass me up.

19a   Hospital // not quite secure, one's admitted (6)

21a   Copper left argument about // items of clothing (8)

"copper" = CU (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

23a   Live article carrying firm // warning (6)

26a   Head/'s/ working and working to get Independent on board (5)

"Independent" = I (show explanation )

I[1] is the abbreviation for independent, in all likelihood in the context of a politician with no party affiliation.

hide explanation



Onion[1] is slang for the head.

27a   Cold playing golf /in/ open space (9)

If you were playing golf, you would be on [the] course.

28a   Set in stone // what stylists might have done? (3,3,5)

The second definition is a literal interpretation of this figurative expression.

Down

1d   Pacify // monkey eating greens (7)

I managed to solve this clue despite apes not being monkeys and peas not being greens.

A monkey[2] is any mammal belonging to the primates other than a human, ape, chimpanzee, gibbon, orang utan or lemur.

Greens[2] are vegetables with edible green leaves and stems.

2d   Liberal put in jail with no defences /or/ excuse (5)

"Liberal" = LIB (show more )

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] Today, the party holds only a handful of seats at the local government level.

* 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.

show less

3d   Hot temperature in faulty adapter? // One could be lethal (9)

"temperature" = T (show explanation )

The abbreviation for temperature is t[2].

hide explanation

A deathtrap is a place, structure, or vehicle that is potentially very dangerous a match can turn a foam-filled armchair into a deathtrap in seconds.

4d   Require // massage, we hear (4)

5d   Musical // chairs mostly played around particular day (8)

6d   Old-fashioned // grandpa's second-hand clothes (5)

7d   Sing about English // herbal remedy (7)

Ginseng[5] is a plant tuber credited with various tonic and medicinal properties.

8d   Command // underling to support party (8)

14d   Poor complain endlessly about king/'s/ broadcast (8)

"king" = R (show explanation )

In the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms*, Rex[5] (abbreviation R[5]) [Latin for king] denotes the reigning king, used following a name (e.g. Georgius Rex, King George — often shortened to GR) or in the titles of lawsuits (e.g. Rex v. Jones, the Crown versus Jones — often shortened to R. v. Jones).

* A Commonwealth realm[7] is a sovereign state that is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations and shares the same person, currently Elizabeth II, as its head of state and reigning constitutional monarch, but retains a crown legally distinct from the other realms. There are currently sixteen Commonwealth realms, the largest being Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom with the remainder being smaller Caribbean and Pacific island nations.

hide explanation

16d   Lie /from/ policeman working undercover, possibly? (9)

Split (5,4), the solution might describe a policeman who has infiltrated a criminal gang.

17d   Brisket perhaps /that's/ sold too cheap? (8)

Undercut[10] means to to charge less* than (a competitor) in order to obtain trade [business].

* Note: the solution to the second definition is in the past tense, so (despite the spelling being identical to that of the present tense) means "to have charged less than ...".

Mislabeled Beef?
Has our setter mislabeled his cuts of beef? Do not brisket and undercut come from opposite ends of the cow — brisket from the lower front and undercut from the upper rear?

Brisket[5] is meat cut from the breast of an animal, typically a cow.

Undercut[1,5] is a British term for the tenderloin*, or fillet**, or underside of a sirloin*** of beef.

* tenderloin[5] is the tenderest part of a loin of beef, pork, etc., taken from under the short ribs in the hindquarters
** a fillet[5] is a beef steak cut from the lower part of a sirloin
*** sirloin[5] is good-quality beef cut from the loin


British Beef Cuts

Note: Beef cuts[7] differ around the world. The above discussion refers to British cuts.

I do take note that the clue drew not a peep of complaint on Big Dave's Crossword Blog so perhaps I have misinterpreted the dictionaries (although they seem pretty clear) or the dictionaries have it wrong.

18d   Criminal sources // something sweet (7)

20d   Challenge // Tory over care (7)

"Tory" = CON (show more )

A Tory[10] is a member or supporter of the Conservative Party in Great Britain or Canada.

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

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.

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.

hide explanation

22d   Turning up at home, getting into bed, /is/ pick-me-up (5)

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Miffypops refers to a cot as a small bed.
In Britain, a small bed with high barred sides for a baby or very young child is called a cot[5] rather than a crib[5] as it is known in North America.

24d   My American soldier/'s/ dog (5)

Cor[5] is an informal British exclamation expressing surprise, excitement, admiration, or alarm ⇒ Cor! That‘s a beautiful black eye you’ve got!.

"American soldier" = GI (show explanation )

A GI[5] is a private soldier in the US army ⇒ she went off with a GI during the war.

Contrary to popular belief, the term apparently is not an abbreviation for general infantryman, but rather derives from the term government (or general) issue (originally denoting equipment supplied to US forces).

hide explanation

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Miffypops instructs us to Find a word meaning my or blimey.
Blimey[5] (also cor blimey) is an informal British exclamation used to express surprise, excitement, or alarm.

Another variant of this term is gorblimey[5], an informal expression of surprise or indignation.

25d   Rule 100 should be dropped // soon (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)
[14] - CollinsDictionary.com (COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary)
Signing off for today — Falcon

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Thursday, September 13, 2018 — DT 28725

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28725
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, April 28, 2018
Setter
Unknown
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28725 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28725 – Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave (Hints)
gnomethang (Review)
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★ Enjoyment - ★★
Falcon's Experience
┌────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┐
███████████████████████████████████
└────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┘
Legend:
- solved without assistance
- incorrect prior to use of puzzle solving tools
- solved with assistance from puzzle solving tools
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by puzzle solving tools
- solved but without fully parsing the clue
- unsolved or incorrect prior to visiting Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by solutions from Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- reviewed by Falcon for Big Dave's Crossword Blog
- yet to be solved
Notes
As this was a Saturday "Prize Puzzle" in Britain, there are two entries related to it on Big Dave's Crossword Blog — the first, posted on the date of publication, contains hints for selected clues while the second is a full review issued following the entry deadline for the contest. The vast majority of reader comments will generally be found attached to the "hints" posting with a minimal number — if any — accompanying the full review.

Introduction

Most of those commenting on Big Dave's Crossword Blog report getting bogged down in the southeast corner — and the experience was certainly no different for me.

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
  • The Story 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   Damage // clothes (4)

3a   Arrest aunt running // place to eat (10)

8a   Support whip /producing/ retaliation (8)

9a   Bear // to undergo pain (6)

I have no idea why gnomethang, in his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, refers to this double definition as "Two very similar cryptic definitions". Perhaps the word "cryptic" slipped in unintentionally. Big Dave, in his hints, merely characterizes the clue as "Two similar definitions".

10a   Very much liking posh English // sauce (6)

"posh" = U (show explanation )

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

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

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

hide explanation



The Chambers Dictionary (affectionately known on Big Dave's Crossword Blog as the BRB [Big Red Book]), defines fondue as:
  • a sauce made by heating a mixture of cheese and wine, etc, eaten by dipping pieces of bread, etc in the mixture (also Swiss fondue)
  • a dish consisting of small cubes of meat cooked at the table on forks in hot oil and served with piquant sauces (also fondue bourguignonne)
  • a soufflĂ© with bread or biscuit crumbs
11a   Left single part // desolate (8)

13a   Non-union lady? (8)

14a   Allow old clock with centre removed to be put in // ornamental case (6)

Read the wordplay as if it were a series of steps in a recipe ''Allow; old clock with centre removed to be put in" or "Step 1: [Start with (a synonym for)] Allow; Step 2: old clock with centre removed to be put in [the result from Step 1]".

16a   It limits animal's movement /or/ range of endurance (6)

The expression the end of one's tether[5] (North American the end of one's rope) denotes having no patience or energy left to cope with something (i) I don't know what to do. I'm at the end of my tether; (ii) these individuals have reached the end of their tether.

19a   Be around Selina in trouble /with/ Mark on court? (8)

The word "Mark" is deceptively capitalized. It is generally regarded as acceptable to misleadingly capitalize words in a clue but it is a definite no-no for a setter to omit to capitalize words that are required to be capitalized.

In tennis, volleyball, and other games, a baseline[5] is the line marking each end of a court.

Scratching the Surface
Had the player been named Serena (rather than Selina) and the official been named Carlos (rather than Mark), this would have been a very timely clue given the recent incident at the US Open[7].

21a   New tramline/'s/ destination (8)

22a   We will be hugged by American brother, // one making drinks (6)

In the southern US dialect, brer[5] (meaning brother) is used as an informal title before a man's name Brer Rabbit.

23a   Sign to receive adult books /in/ shelter (4-2)

In astrology, Leo[10] (also called the Lion) is the fifth sign of the zodiac, symbol , having a fixed fire classification and ruled by the sun. The sun is in this sign between about July 23 and Aug 22.

"adult" = A (show explanation )

The A (Adult) certificate is a former film certificate[7] issued by the British Board of Film Classification. This certificate existed in various forms from 1912 to 1985, when it was replaced by the PG (Parental Guidance) certificate. [Despite its demise in the real world, it continues to find widespread use in Crosswordland.]

hide explanation

In Crosswordland, the term "books" — or phrases such as "collection of books" or "religious books" — are commonly used to clue either the Old Testament (OT) or the New Testament (NT). Today, as is often the case, the clue provides no indication whether the reference is to the former or the latter.

24a   Render unfit for consumption // article in plate (8)

25a   Unusually wary in predicament, // one could be dramatic (10)

26a   King succeeded capturing extremely large // dependency (4)

"king" = R (show explanation )

In the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms*, Rex[5] (abbreviation R[5]) [Latin for king] denotes the reigning king, used following a name (e.g. Georgius Rex, King George — often shortened to GR) or in the titles of lawsuits (e.g. Rex v. Jones, the Crown versus Jones — often shortened to R. v. Jones).

* A Commonwealth realm[7] is a sovereign state that is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations and shares the same person, currently Elizabeth II, as its head of state and reigning constitutional monarch, but retains a crown legally distinct from the other realms. There are currently sixteen Commonwealth realms, the largest being Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom with the remainder being smaller Caribbean and Pacific island nations.

hide explanation

"succeeded" = S (show explanation )

The abbreviation s[5] stands for succeeded, in the sense of to have taken over a throne, office, or other position from ⇒ he succeeded Hawke as Prime Minister. It might be seen, for instance, it charts of royal lineages.

hide explanation

"extremely large" = OS (show explanation )

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

hide explanation



The Ross Dependency[5] is the part of Antarctica administered by New Zealand, consisting of everything lying to the south of latitude 60° south between longitudes 160° east and 150° west.

Origin: named after its discoverer, British explorer Sir James Clark Ross

Down

1d   Method of printing // network from radio, perhaps (3,6)

Web offset[5] is offset printing* on continuous paper fed from a reel.

* Offset[5] is a method of printing in which ink is transferred from a plate or stone to a uniform rubber surface and from that to the paper.

2d   How croupier became successful? (5,2,3,5)

3d   Get near fused // substance used in chemical test (7)

A reagent[5] is a substance or mixture for use in chemical analysis or other reactions this compound is a very sensitive reagent for copper.

4d   Sunday neckwear, we hear, /for/ learned person (7)

5d   Team // learns a complicated formation? (7)

Arsenal Football Club[7] is an English professional association football [soccer] club based in Islington, London that plays in the Premier League (the top level in the English football league system).

6d   Say no to charity worker, // one who works for the council (6,9)

I presume a collector (in the sense of a "charity worker") is a canvasser. However, I could find neither collector nor canvasser specifically defined in my dictionaries as one who solicits charitable donations.

The council[10] (sometimes capitalized) is a British term for the local governing authority of a town, county, etc. In North America, one would likely say "one who works for the city (or town, county, etc., as the case may be)".

7d   Time with Irish maybe // short (5)

Erse[5] is a dated term for the Scottish or Irish Gaelic language. The word "maybe" is included as Irish is but one variant of this language.

12d   Mother heads East /for/ Ms West (3)

Mae West[5] (1892–1980) was an American actress and dramatist. She made her name on Broadway in her own comedies Sex (1926) and Diamond Lil (1928), memorable for their spirited approach to sexual matters, before embarking on her successful Hollywood career in the 1930s.

15d   Nervous complaint that’s progressive? (3,6)

I see this as a cryptic definition with an embedded precise definition. The latter part of the clue ("that's progressive") does not lead to the solution directly but, rather, provides cryptic elaboration relating to the precise definition.

17d   Girl // develops clothes (3)

18d   Row articulated our // bitterness (7)

19d   Male animals // breed! (7)

A dog[5] is the male of an animal of the dog family, or of some other mammals such as the otter a dog fox.

20d   One vehicle turned up first, // it's part of something larger (7)

Similar to 14a, we must read the wordplay in this clue as though it were the steps in a recipe "One; vehicle turned up first".

21d   Flower /in/ rubbish dump about middle of July (5)

As a noun, tip[10] is a British term for a dump for refuse,  etc. and, as a verb, it means to dump (rubbish, etc.).
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