Monday, March 23, 2015

Monday, March 23, 2015 — DT 27611

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27611
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, October 3, 2014
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27611]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Deep Threat
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


Fairly early in the solving process, I suspected that this might be a pangram — a rare occurrence indeed (not the fact that it is a pangram, but that I was able to recognize it as such). A pangram is a puzzle in which every letter of the alphabet makes at least one appearance in the solution grid.

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.


1a   Excellent // companion -- a politician and I will get on (8)

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

In Northern English dialects, champion[10] is an adjective denoting first rate or excellent.

5a   Sound of drunken sailor /in/ unruly incident at the controls (6)

The entry for jack in The Chambers Dictionary would fill a page if it were not spread over parts of two pages. Among the definitions, one finds jack[1] defined as (often with capital) a sailor.

9a   A Parisian suit's beginning to get greasy -- /so/ clean (8)

In French, the masculine singular form of the indefinite article is un[8].

10a   Very little // time for measuring the pulse? (6)

12a   One can tell what pressure we are under (9)

13a   Rise /from/ place say, having been knocked over (3,2)

14a   I become cross, having come to destroy // beast (4)

The ibex[5] is any of several species of wild mountain goat with long, thick ridged horns and a beard, found in parts of central Asia and in Ethiopia. Ironically, after providing that definition, Oxford Dictionaries Online proceeds to give an example of a species (Capra pyrenaica) found in the Pyrenees!

16a   Longed // to be scholarly, given new head (7)

19a   One of two arches either side of a bridge (7)

21a   Enthusiasm /brings/ prizes, though with many missing out (4)

The solution is hidden (with many [letters] missing out) in priZES Though.

24a   Fortune no end about /to be made/ -- filthy money (5)

25a   Good to join mate visiting a nice rickety // bar (3,6)

In Britain, mate[5] is an informal term (1) for a friend or companion ⇒ my best mate Steve or (2) used as a friendly form of address between men or boys ⇒ ‘See you then, mate.’.

Gin palace[10] is an antiquated term for a gaudy drinking house.

27a   Crime writer // managed to get ink flowing (6)

Ian Rankin[7] is a Scottish crime writer, best known for his Inspector Rebus novels.

28a   New poet isn't // one to help friends or relations (8)

29a   Depression // over with first husband out of the way (6)

30a   Like yarn running through a book? (8)


1d   US television network includes odd // bits (6)

CBS[7] (an initialism of the network's former name, the Columbia Broadcasting System; corporate name CBS Broadcasting, Inc.) is an American commercial broadcast television and radio network that is the flagship property of CBS Corporation.

Rum[5] is a dated informal British term meaning odd or peculiar ⇒ it’s a rum business, certainly.

2d   Promise /made by/ fool on northern river (6)

The River Ure[7] is a stream in North Yorkshire, England, approximately 74 miles (119 km) long from its source to the point where it changes name to the River Ouse.

3d   Solid figure /of/ knight turning up to be received by premier (5)

Sir[5] is used as a title before the forename of a knight or baronet.

Outside of Australia and Canada, the term Premier[5] refers to a Prime Minister or other head of government. In Australia and Canada, a Premier is the chief minister of a government of a state or province.

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's blog, Deep Threat describes PM as the initials denoting David Cameron’s office.
David Cameron[5] is a British Conservative statesman, Prime Minister since 2010 (in coalition with the Liberal Democrats). 

In mathematics, a prism[5] is a solid geometric figure whose two ends are similar, equal, and parallel rectilinear figures, and whose sides are parallelograms.

4d   Open with a sign that something's wrong -- // stress too much (7)

6d   Tumbler's content ______, // that's clear! (9)

Having seen this term fairly recently. I knew that isinglass would likely refer to the gelatin which is used to clarify beer (and, as Deep Threat informs us, to clarify wine and preserve eggs) — rather than the US term for the more or less transparent mineral. Apparently, isinglass is a clear gelatin that dissolves in water.

Isinglass[5] is a kind of gelatin obtained from fish, especially sturgeon, and used in making jellies, glue, etc. and for fining real ale. Real ale[5] is a British term for cask-conditioned beer that is served traditionally, without additional gas pressure. Fine[5] as a verb means to clarify (beer or wine) by causing the precipitation of sediment during production.

Isinglass[5] is a chiefly US term for mica or a similar material in thin transparent sheets.

7d   Spanning entrance to theatre is a charmingly old-fashioned // etching (8)

An aquatint[5] is a print resembling a watercolour, made by etching a copper plate with nitric acid and using resin and varnish to produce areas of tonal shading.

8d   Dan keeps crashing -- // protection for joints /needed/ (4,4)

11d   Supplicate // quietly -- bit of hope follows (4)

Piano[3,5] (abbreviation p[5]), is a musical direction meaning either (as an adjective) soft or quiet or (as an adverb) softly or quietly.

15d   Ban the heartless group // trafficking? (9)

I would think that traffic[10] and barter[10] are hardly synonymous — but Collins English Dictionary does not support me on that contention.

17d   Trouble taken initially to store the Spanish litres -- /in/ this cupboard? (8)

Historically, a cellaret[5] (US also cellarette) was a cabinet or sideboard for keeping alcoholic drinks and glasses in a dining room.

18d   Style of singing /that/ could convey noble act (3,5)

Bel canto[5] is a lyrical style of operatic singing using a full, rich, broad tone and smooth phrasing (i) a superb piece of bel canto; (ii) the bel canto arias of Bellini.

20d   Person full of humour and energy /gets/ remuneration (4)

21d   Re-establishment of Nazi set /is/ most bizarre (7)

22d   Hunger // in the morning when there's possible food around? (6)

Hunger[10] can denote to have or cause to have a need or craving for food, while famish[10] can mean to be or make very hungry or weak.

I am comfortable with I hunger meaning I have a craving for food but it took me a while to get my head around other usages of these two words. From the definition, one could apparently say Lack of food hungers one meaning Lack of food causes one to have a craving for food. Similarly, one could apparently say I famish (I am very hungry) or lack of food famishes one (lack of food makes one very hungry). As the dictionary points out, famish is now usually used in the passive, so one would commonly say I am famished (by lack of food) [with "by lack of food" being unstated but understood] rather than lack of food famishes me.

23d   Ten roughly accommodated in apartment? // Only five here (6)

The definition, when read in the context of the overall clue, implies "Only five [can be accommodated] here [i.e., in the solution]".

Pentad[5] is a technical term for a group or set of five.

26d   After start of argument fight // roughly (5)
Key to Reference Sources: 

[1]   - The Chambers Dictionary, 11th Edition
[2]   - Search Chambers - (Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)
[3]   - (American Heritage Dictionary)
[4]   - (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] - (Collins English Dictionary)
[11] - (Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary)
Signing off for today — Falcon

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