Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 — DT 27617

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27617
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, October 10, 2014
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27617]
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


As is his custom, Giovanni throws a new word or two at us. However, I was able to work them out without calling in the electronic reinforcements.

At Comment #13 on Big Dave's blog, Rick sums up the puzzle by saying "as I was solving this I couldn’t get out of my mind how ‘old school’ it felt. There is nothing in the language or subject matter that would have fazed a fifth former [grader] at a 1960s grammar school – indeed nothing at all to suggest that the last forty years had ever happened! Rather like Mr Miliband [Ed Miliband, leader of the British Labour Party], the Don [a reference to Giovanni, the setter of the puzzle] was very much targeting his core constituency and, from the comments, successfully."

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   Substantial food // male chewed after nine? (6,4)

6a   Medicine /from/ doctor that gets you recovering finally (4)

Rightly or wrongly, I interpreted "finally" as indicating the final letters of the two words "yoU recoverinG". However, Deep Threat has a different explanation.

9a   Little sirs appearing // evenings Monday to Friday (10)

10a   Military supplies // carried by team mostly (4)

13a   Doomed rich man embraces trendy // theologians (7)

The parable of the rich man and Lazarus[7] (also called the parable of Dives and Lazarus or Lazarus and Dives) is a well-known parable of Jesus appearing in the Gospel of Luke.

The Gospel of Luke (Luke 16:19–31) tells of the relationship, in life and in death, between an unnamed rich man and a poor beggar named Lazarus. The traditional name, Dives, is not actually a name, but instead a Latin word meaning "rich man" used in the text of the Latin Bible, the Vulgate.

By the way, the beggar is not to be confused with the more famous biblical figure Lazarus of Bethany, also known as Lazarus of the Four Days, who is the subject of a prominent miracle attributed to Jesus in the Gospel of John, in which Jesus resurrects him four days after his death.

Divine[5] is a dated term for a cleric or theologian.

15a   Lecturer /providing/ book of exercises (6)

Reader[5] is a British term for a university lecturer of the highest grade below professor ⇒ Dr Gardiner is Reader in Mathematics.

16a   Dull little boy/'s/ nurse (6)

According to Oxford Dictionaries Online, mat[5] is the US spelling of matt[5] (or matte), an adjective used to describe a surface or colour which is dull and flat or without a shine (i) prints are available on matt or glossy paper; (ii) a matt black. I am only familiar with the spelling matte.

Matron[5] is a British term for the woman in charge of the nursing in a hospital (the official term is now senior nursing officershe had been matron of a Belgian Hospital.

Behind the Video
The video shows Hattie Jacques as the Matron and Kenneth Williams as Dr. Tinkle in a scene from the 1967 British comedy Carry on Doctor[7], the fifteenth in the series of Carry On films.

17a   Time // of nourishment I'd arranged (6,9)

The fourth dimension[5] is time regarded as analogous to linear dimensions.

18a   Frank // performed after John (6)

20a   Trifling // trickery from what we hear (6)

21a   Fearless // Tory without gold going after money (7)

Or[5] is gold or yellow, as a heraldic tincture.

Doughty[5] is an archaic or humorous term meaning brave and persistent ⇒ his doughty spirit kept him going.

22a   Facing notice say // a mild oath (4)

25a   Lacking a burden, // travelling light for picnic? (10)

26a   Big plant /in/ thoroughfare pruned at edges (4)

27a   Affluent // Italian duke meets American (10)

Prospero[7] is a fictional character and the protagonist of William Shakespeare's play The Tempest. He is the rightful Duke of Milan, whose title has been usurped by his brother, Antonio, twelve years before the play begins.


1d   Broadcast // offered to viewers, hard to miss (4)

H[5] is an abbreviation for hard, as used in describing grades of pencil lead ⇒ a 2H pencil.

2d   Exercised /and/ entertained, but not in the morning (4)

3d   Artist // starts to receive eulogies -- number one, right? (6)

Auguste Renoir[5] (1841–1919) was a French painter. An early impressionist, he developed a style characterized by light, fresh colours and indistinct, subtle outlines. Notable works: Les Grandes baigneuses (1884-7).

4d   Solution to a problem with troublesome little characters? (10,5)

5d   Two articles on musician's original // piece for church choir (6)

An anthem[5] is a musical setting of a religious text to be sung by a choir during a church service, especially in Anglican or Protestant Churches.

7d   Second match /is/ rarer game, I fancy (10)

8d   Items of food /supplied by/ sporting venue not at all sensible (10)

Ground[5] denotes an area of land, often with associated buildings, used for a particular sport (i) a football ground; (ii) Liverpool’s new ground is nearing completion.

Delving Deeper
Although the dictionaries do not identify this as a British usage, I would say that it likely is when applied specifically to sports venues.

Used in its more general sense of an area of land or sea used for a specified purpose, North Americans would certainly use terms such as "burial ground", "parade ground" or "fishing grounds".

Despite the word "grounds" appearing in the name of least one Canadian sports venue — the Wanderers Grounds[7] in Halifax — I am confident that one would typically not hear the term ground used in North America to refer to a sports stadium.

In Britain and the South Atlantic US, groundnut[3,5,11] is another name for peanut [thus explaining the illustration in Deep Threat's review].

More generally, the term groundnut[3,5,11] means (1) any of several species of climbing vine of the genus Apios in the pea (or legume) family having clusters of fragrant brownish flowers, and small edible tubers; (2) any of several other plants having edible underground tubers or nutlike parts; or (3) the tuber or nutlike part of such a plant.

11d   Technically sound -- // if not, price must be adjusted (10)

12d   Misconstrue me a lunatic -- // smear! (10)

Calumniate[5] is a formal term meaning to make false and defamatory statements about ⇒ he has been calumniating the Crown and all the conservative decencies.

13d   I toddle -- dislocated // muscle (7)

14d   Like a fox, inwardly isn't // very good (7)

19d   Antipathy // that destroys wonder (6)

The Chambers Dictionary [alone amongst those to which I regularly turn] defines downer[1] as meaning a feeling of prejudice or dislike, antipathy.

20d   Devon town has barn set aside /for/ basic food (6)

Barnstaple[7] is the main town of North Devon, England, and possibly the oldest borough in the United Kingdom. It is a former river-port, located at the lowest crossing-point of the River Taw, flowing into the Bristol Channel.

Delving Deeper
The Cape Cod town of Barnstable, Massachusetts[7] takes its name from Barnstaple. However, somewhere along the line, the "p" has morphed into a "b".

23d   Body that gets leader deposed // roughly (2,2)

24d   Teams heading off /for/ a day in Rome (4)

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 would seem to exist as well in the UK, the term side[5] is also used there in a much more specific sense to mean a sports team ⇒ (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..

In the ancient Roman calendar, ides[5] was a day falling roughly in the middle of each month (the 15th day of March, May, July, and October, and the 13th of other months. In Shakespeare's play The Tragedy of Julius Caesar[7], a soothsayer warns Caesar to "beware the Ides of March", which he ignores, culminating in his assassination on that day by a group of conspirators.
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. 13a is another victory for the bung-it-in brigade, the Vulgate Bible not seeing much use in the last 400 years. There are so many other possible word-plays for "divines" that the real puzzle is why Giovanni would resort to such an absurd clue.

    1. One can expect at least one religiously themed clue in every Giovanni puzzle. Under his real name, Don Manley is crossword editor for the Church Times, an independent Anglican weekly newspaper published in the UK.

    2. Oh, and by the way, I did bung it in before embarking on a research expedition to determine why it was correct.