Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 — DT 27367

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27367
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, December 21, 2013
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27367 - Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27367 - Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave (Hints)
crypticsue (Review)
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★ Enjoyment - ★★★
Falcon's Experience
- 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
The National Post has skipped DT 27365 and DT 27366 which were published in The Daily Telegraph on Thursday, December 19 and Friday, December 20, 2013 respectively.
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.


December 21, 2013 — the day that this puzzle appeared in The Daily Telegraph in Britain — was the 100th anniversary of the crossword puzzle. The first published crossword appeared in the New York World newspaper on 21st December 1913. To mark the occasion, we have a specially themed puzzle — look at the solutions at the centre of the grid (16a and 20a). There is also a Nina (a message hidden in the solution) which starts at the top left-hand corner and runs around the outside edge of the puzzle in a clockwise direction.

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.

Definitions are underlined in the clue, with subsidiary indications being marked by means of a dashed underline in semi-all-in-one (semi-& lit.) clues and cryptic definitions.


7a   Boy attending to a composition (6)

The wordplay might parse as either:
  • SON (boy) + AT (attending to; engaged in, as in the phrase men at work) + A (from the clue)
  • SON (boy) + AT (attending) + (to) A (from the clue).
In the latter case, the word "to" is used as a charade indicator in the sense of "pressed against" — as in expressions such as "shoulder to the wheel" or "nose to the grindstone".

8a   King Henry’s lead in unusual role of Robin Hood perhaps (4,4)

This king would be found either on a chessboard or in a deck of cards. Henry[7] was the name of eight kings of England, Wales and Ireland.

Diverging ever so slightly from crypticsue's explanation, I would say that the wordplay parses as {K (king) + H (Henry's lead; initial letter (lead) of Henry)} contained in (in) anagram (unusual) of ROLE OF.

Robin Hood[5] was a semi-legendary English medieval outlaw, reputed to have robbed the rich and helped the poor. Although he is generally associated with Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire, it seems likely that the real Robin Hood operated in Yorkshire in the early 13th century.

9a   Live accommodated by one encouraging soft drink (4,4)

11a   Occasion for people to enter test (6)

In the UK, MOT[5] (also MOT test) refers a compulsory annual test for safety and exhaust emissions of motor vehicles of more than a specified age. It is an abbreviation of Ministry of Transport, which introduced the original test.

12a   Fashion designer — politician ’Arriet needs one (6)

Harriet Harman[7] is a British Labour Party politician and Member of Parliament (MP) since 1982. She is currently Deputy Leader of the Labour Party as well as Shadow Deputy Prime Minister and Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.

In the cockney dialect spoken in the East End of London — which is characterised by dropping H from the beginning of words — she would be known as 'Arriet 'Arman.

Giorgio Armani[5] is an Italian fashion designer.

15a   Cat left tree (4)

Cat[5] is short for cat-o'-nine-tails[5], a rope whip with nine knotted cords, formerly used (especially at sea) to flog offenders.

16a   Make dramatic entrance year after special occasion (9)

17a   Some scoffed dodgy exotic vegetable (4)

Eddo[3,5,11] is the edible root of the taro — the root being identified variously as a corm [Oxford Dictionaries Online] or tuber [American Heritage Dictionary].

18a   Handle fellow turning to drug (4)

E[5] is an abbreviation for the drug Ecstasy or a tablet of Ecstasy (i) people have died after taking E; (ii) being busted with three Es can lead to stiff penalties.

20a   Puzzle requires ticking off (9)

The term "tick off" has a different meaning on the other side of the pond. Whereas, in North America, to tick someone off[5] means to make someone annoyed or angry Jefferson was a little ticked off, but he’ll come around, in Britain it means to reprimand or rebuke someone (i) he was ticked off by Angela; (ii) he got a ticking off from the magistrate.

23a   City in either end of yearbook (4)

York[5] is a city in North Yorkshire, northern England, on the River Ouse; population 136,900 (est. 2009). The Romans occupied the site, known as Eboracum, from AD 71 until about AD 400; in AD 867 it was taken by the Vikings. It is the seat of the Archbishop of York and is noted for its magnificent cathedral, York Minster.

25a   Cause senora to be upset (6)

Señora[5] is a title or form of address used of or to a Spanish-speaking woman, corresponding to Mrs or madam.

26a   Soft cryptic clue in Daily Telegraph initially (6)

The Daily Telegraph[7] is a daily morning broadsheet newspaper, founded in 1855 as The Daily Telegraph and Courier, which is published in London and distributed throughout the United Kingdom and internationally [... and the newspaper in which this puzzle initially appeared].

28a   Bird dressed to suit me (8)

Titmouse[5] is another term for tit[5], a small songbird that searches acrobatically for insects among foliage and branches. Called chickadee in North America.

31a   Titles constituting me as lord (8)

I note that, in her review, crypticsue has cut the solution short — it should be EARLDOMS.

Earldom[5] is the rank or title of an earl[5]a British nobleman ranking above a viscount and below a marquess [the third highest of the five ranks of nobility — duke, marquess, earl, viscount, and baron].

In the UK, Lord[5] is a title given formally to a baron, and less formally to a marquess, earl, or viscount (prefixed to a family or territorial name) Lord Derby.

32a   Get the better of remote American media company (6)

The Fox Broadcasting Company[7] (commonly referred to as Fox or the Fox Network) is an American commercial broadcasting television network that is owned by the Fox Entertainment Group division of 21st Century Fox.


1d   Hospital supported by boss of our paper given recognition (8)

2d   Card player to scoff, taking in his opponent (4)

In the game of bridge, North[5] and South[5] comprise one partnership and play against East[5] and West[5] who form the other partnership.

3d   Fashion from right period (4)

4d   Heat making airmen toil (10)

In Britain, an eliminator[5] is  a stage in a competition where players or teams are removed from a contest, usually by defeat   ⇒ a world title eliminator. The corresponding term in North America would be elimination game.

5d   Second bad actor in charade (4)

6d   Swimwear revealing torsos (6)

8d   Pelt with mineral causing uproar (6)

10d   Bar’s given European harmful stuff (4)

13d   A familiar chap’s stuck up (5)

In the UK, cock[5] is an informal friendly form of address among men please yourself, cock.

Acock[10] is an obsolete word meaning in a cocked or turned up manner, or defiantly.

14d   Novelty pub gets applause (10)

15d   Name possessed by lady possibly (5)

19d   Space flight is rather aimless, creating news (8)

21d   Rank university beset by figures (6)

22d   Rock band keeping a stock of paper (4)

R.E.M.[7] was an American rock band from Athens, Georgia, formed in 1980 by singer Michael Stipe, guitarist Peter Buck, bassist Mike Mills, and drummer Bill Berry. The group disbanded amicably in September 2011.

24d   Dashing valour could become seedy (6)

27d   Fish around lake — it’s bleak (4)

29d   Second person in the Bible gets short measure (4)

30d   One’s sworn in supremo at Hogwarts (4)

Supremo[5] is an informal British term meaning (1) a person in overall charge of an organization or activity the Channel Four supremo or (2) a person with great authority or skill in a certain area an interior by design supremo Kelly .

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, shortened to Hogwarts[7], is a fictional British school of magic for students aged eleven to eighteen, and is the primary setting for the first six books in British novelist J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series.
Key to Reference Sources: 

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

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