Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 — DT 27613

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27613
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Monday, October 6, 2014
Rufus (Roger Squires)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27613]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
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


This is a fairly typical Rufus offering — a very entertaining exercise that is unlikely to overtax one.

The expressions of sympathy on Big Dave's blog are offered to Miffypops whose sister-in-law passed away on the day prior to the publication of this puzzle in the UK.

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   Determined to get result of hunt put in // pot (7)

In Britain, unlike North America, skillet[5] does not refer to a frying pan; rather, it is a historical term for a small metal cooking pot with a long handle, typically having legs.

5a   Income /from/ flat in Parisian street (7)

The French word for street is rue[8].

9a   Get ecstatic with Northern // bird (5)

10a   An off-break (4,5)

Although the surface reading alludes to cricket, the clue is really a cryptic definition of an absence from work or school due to illness.

Off[5] is an informal British term meaning unwell ⇒ I felt decidedly off.

Scratching the Surface
In cricket, off-break[2] (also called off-spin) refers to (1) deviation in the direction of a ball inwards from the offside spin with which it is bowled or (2) a ball bowled so as to have such a deviation.

What are they talking about?
In Comment #14 on Big Dave's blog, Brian mentions "the world's greatest game" which later in the thread is identified (facetiously) by Hanni as "conkers".
Brian's idea of "the world's greatest game" is almost certainly cricket (see "Scratching the Surface" above). In Britain, conker[5] is a name given to the hard, shiny dark brown nut of a horse chestnut tree and conkers[5] is a children’s game in which each has a conker on the end of a string and takes turns in trying to break another’s with it.
Hanni concludes the thread by commenting it’s somewhat unrepeatable what the other half said when I mentioned conkers!.
I think we can all easily imagine what part of the male anatomy might have featured in her husband's comment.

11a   Convincing // vice-consul is complicated (10)

12a   Name has to be changed? // So be it (4)

14a   Untimely errors // made by chairman's son (12)

Anachronism[5] can refer to the action of attributing something to a period to which it does not belong ⇒ it is anachronism to suppose that the official morality of the age was mere window dressing. [thus an "untimely error" in attributing the characteristics of one period of time to another era]

18a   A treat for spectators -- // no support being required (4-8)

Numerated as (4,8) this would denote complimentary admission to a sports event. A British sports stadium, especially a soccer ground, apparently would typically have an area known as the terraces[5], a flight of wide, shallow steps providing standing room for spectators.

21a   One's QC // material (4)

In Britain, silk[5] is an informal term for a Queen’s (or King’s) Counsel [so named because of the right accorded to wear a gown made of silk]. A Queen's Counsel[5] (abbreviation QC) or, during the reign of a king, a King's Counsel[5] (abbreviation KC) is a senior barrister appointed on the recommendation of the Lord Chancellor[5], the highest officer of the Crown, responsible for the efficient functioning and independence of the courts.

22a   Female supporter at the match (10)

25a   Insulting // attack (9)

26a   Consumers /requiring/ faultless service in United States (5)

What did he say?
In his review, Miffypops says One of the seven deadly sins makes an appearance albeit well hidden.
Did you find it? I have to say that I didn't. In fact, Miffypops is actually referring to "vice" — but I'm afraid that did not make the list with which I am familiar.

In theology, the seven deadly sins[10] are pride, covetousness, lust, envy, gluttony, anger, and sloth.

27a   Everyone is in to try /for/ the highest qualification (7)

"The highest qualification" is an adjective (qualification) that could be applied to one who stands head and shoulders above the rest.

28a   Stand up, showing refinement -- // one has to receive the sweep (7)

Scratching the Surface
The surface reading may be an allusion to cricket, where sweep[10] means a shot in which the ball is hit more or less square on the leg side from a half-kneeling position with the bat held nearly horizontal.

On the other hand, the clue may be a reference to a host receiving guests at a social function to which the chimney sweep drops in.


1d   Smart // deal (6)

In Britain, deal[5] means (1) fir or pine [or, apparently spruce] wood as a building material or (2) a plank made of fir or pine [or, apparently, spruce] wood [what we in North America would commonly refer to as lumber]. Apparently, this meaning of deal[3,11] also exists (or once existed) in North America, but I would think that it is very rarely used now — especially by the general public.

Delving Deeper
In Britain, lumber[5] has a totally different meaning than it does in North America, being articles of furniture or other household items that are no longer useful and inconveniently take up storage space.

2d   In a hole? // Use your ingenuity (6)

3d   One illness to suffer /in/ isolation (10)

I think Miffypops has overextended the definition.

4d   There's initial demand to get second // jobs (5)

5d   Well, now (9)

6d   Goodbye // depression! (4)

Vale[5] is an archaic exclamation meaning farewell.

He said what?
In his review, Miffypops says [Vale] is used more commonly in The USA than it is here in The UK.
I must say that I have yet to hear that expression south of the border. I do like Big Dave's comment though.

7d   Narrow escape /from/ mean girl (4,4)

Mean[5] is a chiefly British term denoting unwilling to give or share things, especially money; not generous ⇒ (i) she felt mean not giving a tip; (ii) they’re not mean with the garlic.

Scratching the Surface
In the surface reading, mean[5] likely denotes unkind, spiteful, or unfair ⇒ I was mean to them over the festive season.

Mean[5], as an adjective denoting vicious or aggressive in behaviour, is a North Americanism ⇒ the dogs were considered mean, vicious, and a threat.

Near[5] is an archaic term denoting mean [stingy] or miserly.

8d   All the same, head /makes/ a regular appearance (8)

I would appear that Miffypops has misplaced his underlining.

The wordplay is EVEN (all the same) + NESS (head)

Usually found in place names, ness[5] means a headland or promontory Orford Ness.

13d   Where coffees are served /and/ drunk (2,4,4)

In one's cups[3,5] is an informal expression (dating from the early 1600s) meaning drunk ⇒ (i) he became mellow and humorous when in his cups; (ii) You can't believe anything he says when he's in his cups.

15d   What skiers may need to reach their peak (9)

16d   Branch /is/ not on fire (8)

What did he say?
In his review, Miffypops describes shoot as a term used in oikball meaning to kick a ball with intent to score a goal.
Oik[5] (also oick) is an informal British term for an uncouth or obnoxious person or, as Cambridge Dictionaries Online puts it, an oik is a rude and unpleasant man from a low social class In his latest film he plays a racist oik from the East End of London.

Although I have never found a formal definition for the term, oikball appears to be a derogatory term for football [soccer] used primarily by rugby fans — among whom Miffypops has clearly identified himself on numerous occasions.

An old British adage states "Football is a gentleman's game played by ruffians, and rugby is a ruffian's game played by gentlemen."

This saying cleverly contrasts football (or soccer) with rugby. "Ruffian" is an old-fashioned word meaning a tough, violent, possibly criminal person. The saying shows the irony of the fact that a rough and dangerous game like rugby was played by polite, well-educated "gentlemen", while the much gentler and safer game of football was played by tough, lower-class men with a reputation for violence. Even today rugby players might seem to be very polite gentlemen when compared to many footballers, especially those seen swearing at referees and angrily abusing them when a decision goes against them. Some people might even say that this old British saying still applies today.

17d   Appetite satisfied? // One's more than enough! (8)

I have marked this clue as a double definition (although, in doing so, I am diverging from Miffypops' indication). Both definitions lean toward the cryptic end of the spectrum — and the setter has appropriately flagged them with a question mark and an exclamation mark respectively.

Have a bellyful[5] (or have one's bellyful) is an informal expression meaning to become intolerant of someone or something after lengthy or repeated contact ⇒ he had had his bellyful of hospitals.

19d   Compensate /with/ cosmetics? (4-2)

For technical reasons, I doubt that this can be considered to be a double definition (although Miffypops has marked it as such) since the numeration, in the case of the first definition, would be (4,2).

20d   Inventor // is done for misrepresentation (6)

Thomas Edison[5] (1847–1931) was an American inventor. He took out the first of more than a thousand patents at the age of 21. His inventions include automatic telegraph systems, the carbon microphone for telephones, the phonograph, and the carbon filament lamp.

23d   Daily leader studied /in/ awe (5)

In Britain, to read[5] means to study (an academic subject) at a university ⇒ (i) I’m reading English at Cambridge; (ii) he went to Manchester to read for a BA in Economics.

24d   Part of link needing // a joint (4)
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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