Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tuesday, March 24, 2015 — DT 27612

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27612
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, October 4, 2014
Cephas (Peter Chamberlain) [unconfirmed]
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27612 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27612 – Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave (Hints)
gnomethang (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
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.


Based on the setting rotation, this puzzle should have been set by Cephas (Peter Chamberlain) but there is only the briefest of mentions of this possibility by one commenter on Big Dave's site.

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   Male hanging around to enjoy // carnival (5,4)

An arras[5] is a wall hanging made of a rich tapestry fabric, typically used to conceal an alcove ⇒ he pulled back the arras on the far wall and went into his secret chamber.

Carnival[5] is an annual festival, typically during the week before Lent in Roman Catholic countries, involving processions, music, dancing, and the use of masquerade ⇒ (i) the culmination of the week-long carnival; (ii) Mardi Gras is the last day of carnival; (iii) a carnival parade.

Mardi Gras[5] is a carnival held in some countries on Shrove Tuesday, most famously in New Orleans ⇒ the Mardi Gras parade. Mardi Gras is French for 'fat Tuesday', alluding to the last day of feasting before the fast of Lent.

Scratching the Surface
A carnival[5] is a public event or celebration, typically held outdoors and involving stalls, entertainment, and processions ⇒ children from Wroughton are getting ready for the village carnival. The Québec Winter Carnival[7] might be an example — on a grand scale — of such an event.

Carnival[5], in the sense of a travelling fair or circus, is a North American usage.

6a   Redecorate // reception at university (2,2)

In Britain, up[5] means at or to a university, especially Oxford or Cambridge ⇒ they were up at Cambridge about the same time.

Do up[10] is an informal term meaning to to renovate or redecorate.

10a   Awkward // drunk (5)

11a   Whose epic, remade, /is/ the best example of its type (9)

12a   Group of players, // actors with her, performing (9)

14a   Learning about island /in/ French river (5)

The Loire[5] is a river of west central France. France’s longest river, it rises in the Massif Central and flows 1,015 km (630 miles) north and west to the Atlantic at St-Nazaire.

15a   Press tycoon employing any number, English // without exception (3,4)

The letter n[10] is used (especially in mathematics) as a symbol to represent an indefinite number (of) ⇒ there are n objects in a box.

16a   Terribly angered? Indeed! (7)

The exclamation "Indeed!" could be substituted with "You can say that again!". Thus, we might think of "Terribly angered" serving not only as the wordplay [when said once] but also as the definition [when uttered a second time].

18a   Plumper // game, mostly (7)

Rounders[5,7] is a ball game played between two teams. The game involves hitting a small, hard, leather-cased ball with a cylindrical bat. Gameplay centres on a number of innings, in which teams alternate at batting and fielding. A maximum of nine players are allowed to field at any time. Points (known as 'rounders') are scored by the batting team when one of their players completes a circuit past four bases arranged in the shape of a diamond without being put 'out'. The game is popular among Irish and British school children. [Sound at all familiar?]

Delving Deeper
The game of rounders[7] has been played in England since Tudor times, with the earliest reference being in 1744 in A Little Pretty Pocket-Book where it was called "base-ball" by John Newbery. In 1828, William Clarke in London published the second edition of The Boy's Own Book, which included the rules of rounders and which contained the first printed description in English of a bat and ball base-running game played on a diamond. The following year, the book was published in Boston, Massachusetts.

Rounders is played under slightly different rules in Britain and Ireland.

Both the 'New York game' [from which modern baseball evolved] and the now-defunct 'Massachusetts game' versions of baseball, as well as softball, share the same historical roots as rounders and bear a resemblance to the Irish version of the game.

20a   Bread is crumbled /for/ gannet, say (7)

21a   Former deed, // correct in every detail (5)

23a   Make a song and dance about points, // being old-fashioned (9)

The solution is a noun. Therefore, the definition must be "being old-fashioned" rather than merely "old-fashioned" [as indicated by gnomethang in his review].

25a   Contrasting, // random pairs in age (9)

26a   Long // period of time before end of season (5)

28a   Arguments /in/ queues (4)

Queue[5] is a chiefly British term meaning a line or sequence of people or vehicles awaiting their turn to be attended to or to proceed. The usual US and Canadian term is line.[10]

29a   US city // architect meeting trouble in heart of Provence (9)

John Nash[5] (1752–1835) was an English town planner and architect. He planned the layout of Regent’s Park (1811–25), Trafalgar Square (1826-circa 1835), and many other parts of London, and designed the Marble Arch.

Oh dear! Although Big Dave has it correct in his hint, gnomethang certainly garbles the wordplay of this clue in his review. The wordplay should be NASH ([English] architect) + {ILL (trouble) contained in (in) VE (heart [middle two letters] of ProVEnce)}

Scratching the Surface
Provence[5] is a former province of southeastern France, on the Mediterranean coast east of the Rhône. Settled by the Greeks in the 6th century BC, the area around Marseilles became, in the 1st century BC, part of the Roman colony of Gaul. It was united with France in 1481 and is now part of the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur.


1d   Cracker's content, /having/ married German chap (5)

A cracker[5] is a decorated paper cylinder which, when pulled apart, makes a sharp noise and releases a small toy or other novelty ⇒ a Christmas cracker. Typically the contents of a cracker[7] are a coloured paper hat; a small toy, small plastic model or other trinket and a motto, a joke, a riddle or piece of trivia on a small strip of paper.

Scratching the Surface
A cracker[5] is an attractive person, especially a woman ⇒ you look a cracker.

2d   Tabloid /in/ Prague? (3)

Scratching the Surface
Prague[5] is the capital of the Czech Republic, in the north-east on the River Vltava; population 1,196,454 (2007).

3d   Up /for/ a big band song (2,3,4)

I do not believe that "for" is part of the definition [as shown in gnomethang's review]. If one is "up for" an activity, they are "in the mood for" it.

"In the Mood"[7] is a big band-era #1 hit recorded by American bandleader Glenn Miller. It topped the charts for 13 straight weeks in 1940 in the U.S.

4d   Favour // girl, teetotaller, with energy (7)

TT[5] is the abbreviation for teetotal or teetotaller.

Delving Deeper
Teetotal[5] means choosing or characterized by abstinence from alcohol ⇒ a teetotal lifestyle. The term is an emphatic extension of total, apparently first used by Richard Turner, a worker from Preston [England], in a speech (1833) urging total abstinence from all alcohol, rather than mere abstinence from spirits, as advocated by some early temperance reformers.

A favour[2] is a knot of ribbons worn as a badge of support for a particular team, political party, etc., although Oxford Dictionaries Online characterises this usage of favour[5] as archaic.

A rosette[5] is a rose-shaped decoration, typically made of ribbon, worn by supporters of a sports team or political party or awarded as a prize ⇒ the showjumping rosettes Samantha had accumulated.

In Britain, it is a common practice to wear a rosette to show one's allegiance to a sports team or political party.

5d   Charge for warehousing // gold, in part (/and/ silver in reserve?) (7)

This clue consists of a definition followed by two sets of wordplay.

Wordplay #1: OR ([heraldic term for] gold) contained in (in) STAGE (part)

Wordplay #2: AG ([symbol for the chemical element] silver) contained in (in) STORE (reserve)

7d   Unfolding US magazine // when boozer kicks off? (7,4)

Time[7] (often written in all-caps as TIME) is an American weekly news magazine that was founded in 1923.

Boozer[5] is a British term for a pub or bar. [or — as gnomethang points out — it could also refer to the toper therein]

Opening time[5] is a British term denoting the time at which public houses [pubs] may legally open for custom [business].

Custom[5] is a British term denoting regular dealings with a shop or business by customers [what would be known in North America as 'business'] ⇒ if you keep me waiting, I will take my custom elsewhere.

8d   Affected // rep treated and nursed (9)

9d   Work on a large // gem (4)

In music, Op.[5] (also op.) is an abbreviation meaning opus (work). It is used before a number given to each work of a particular composer, usually indicating the order of publication.

13d   Flier saying // something that's sharp (8,3)

15d   Save young // local worker (9)

Local[5] is an informal British term for a pub convenient to a person’s home ⇒ a pint in the local.

17d   Broadcast of extremely theatrical variety? (7,1,1)

19d   Give up // French article during check (7)

Not a "French article" but an abbreviation for French followed by an indefinite article.

20d   I stress out // nuns (7)

22d   Young child handling adult // perfectly! (2,1,1)

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.

24d   One-way ticket left out /for/ char (5)

Single[5] is a British term denoting that a ticket is valid for an outward journey only, not for the return ⇒ a first-class single ticket.

Scratching the Surface
Char[5], another name for a charwoman[5], is a dated British term for a woman employed as a cleaner in a house or office.

27d   What could be boring? // Everything, it's said (3)
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


  1. I thought Provence was settled by Peter Mayle in the 1980's.

    Needed online help for 17d. The penny refused to drop.

    1. Needed online help for your comment regarding Peter Mayle. I'm afraid his works are not to be found in my library.