Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tuesday, July 20, 2010 (DT 26214)

This puzzle, by Jay, was originally published in The Daily Telegraph on Wednesday, April 14, 2010


A rather enjoyable puzzle that created a bit of a stir among writers on Big Dave's site. I did need to use some of the implements in my Tool Chest to crack a few British expressions.

Today's Glossary

Some possibly unfamiliar abbreviations, people, places, words and expressions used in today's puzzle

Used in Solutions:

abstract - [American Heritage Dictionary] noun 2. To remove without permission, filch; [Collins English Dictionary] verb 5. Euphemistic to steal. [Note: apparently not a Briticism, but also not a meaning with which I was acquainted]

loo1 -noun British informal a toilet.

mob-handed -adverb British informal in considerable numbers: they came mob-handed

REME - abbreviation Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers - a corps of the British Army that has responsibility for the maintenance, servicing and inspection of almost every electrical and mechanical piece of equipment within the British Army from Challenger II main battle tanks and AH64 Apache helicopters to dental tools and cooking utensils.

silencer - noun 1 British a device fixed to the exhaust of a motor vehicle to reduce engine noise [North America muffler].

sub - noun 5 British informal an advance or loan against expected income.

Today's Links

Big Dave's review of today's puzzle may be found at Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 26214].

Commentary on Today's Puzzle

10a Place for training shoes like this? (8)

This cryptic definition is a play on platform shoes. As Big Dave points out, a "place for training" is a place for boarding (or disembarking from) trains. I must admit that I did not see this connection myself, instead thinking that "training" might be a play on the British meaning of form as "a class or year in a school". Thus, shoes might receive their training in a plat form (I know, this is probably pretty feeble reasoning - although I prefer to label it extreme lateral thinking).

13a Archer's final letter on biography from prisoner (5).

The surface reading of this clue may be an allusion to British author and former politician Jeffrey Archer, Baron Archer of Weston-super-Mare, whose political career ended with his conviction and subsequent imprisonment (2001–2003) for perjury and perverting the course of justice.

24a Hide from people related to Aries? (8)

The definition is "hide" for which the solution is GOATSKIN. The wordplay is "people related to Aries" or "goat's kin". However, since Aries is a ram and Capricorn the goat, the clue probably should have read "people related to Capricorn". Some visitor's to Big Dave's site tried to make the argument that goats and sheep are all part of the same family in the animal kingdom and should therefore be considered to be related.

8d Audacity - virtue they heartlessly welcomed (8)

The definition is "audacity" with the solution being TEMERITY. The wordplay is MERIT (virtue) contained (welcomed) in TEY {they heartlessly; i.e., the word THEY with H (hearts) deleted}. The word "heartless" is interpreted as "without hearts", as one might say of a hand in a game of cards.

This clue gave rise to much discussion on Big Dave's site. The controversy revolved around two points. "Heartless" is often used to indicate the deletion of the middle letters of a word, in which case "they heartlessly" would be TY. Some commenters had also assumed that "heartless" meant "without heart" and argued that the clue was incorrect since H is an abbreviation for "hearts" (the suite in cards) and not "heart". Others pointed out that "heartless" could also mean "without hearts" when referring to a hand in a game of cards.

Signing off for today - Falcon

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