Friday, April 3, 2015

Friday, April 3, 2015 — DT 27620 (Bonus Puzzle)


Prologue

It being Good Friday, there is no edition of the National Post today. Here is DT 27620, the puzzle that would have appeared had there been a paper.

The puzzle is rather on the gentler side, so it should not hold you back from whatever other activities you may have planned for today.

Enjoy the puzzle and have a Happy Easter.

As always, I invite you to leave a comment to let us know how you fared with the puzzle.

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27620
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Setter
Unknown
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27620]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Gazza
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★ Enjoyment - ★★
Falcon's Experience
┌────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┐
███████████████████████████████████
└────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┘
Legend:
- 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
Notes
I am expecting the National Post to skip this puzzle which was published in The Daily Telegraph on Tuesday, October 14, 2014.

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.

Across

1a   Swell dance // skirt (8)

A puffball[5] (also puffball skirt[2]) is a short full skirt gathered around the hemline to produce a soft puffy shape ⇒ she chose a multicolour puffball creation for her wedding.

5a   Two articles about spymaster with // girl (6)

I had a slightly different explanation of the clue. However, I have adopted Gazza's interpretation which I believe is superior to mine.

As Gazza interprets the clue, the word "with" is part of the wordplay which parses as:
  • {A ([first] article) + A ([second] article)} containing (about) {M (spymaster) + AND (with)}
According to my original interpretation of the clue, the word "with" would have been a link word with the wordplay parsing as:
  • {A AND A} (two articles) containing (about) {M (spymaster)}
We sometimes see the word "with" used as a link word, in which case it may be used in the sense of characterized by or having ⇒ a person with intelligence and initiative[11] or it may be used to indicate the cause of a condition ⇒ he was trembling with fear[5]. Used in this latter sense, the word "with" essentially means "resulting from". However, in either of these cases, the clue would work better — or, perhaps, would work only — if the elements in the clue were inverted. That is, if the clue were phrased:
  • Girl with two articles about spymaster (6)
M[7] is a fictional character in Ian Fleming's James Bond books; the character is the Head of Secret Intelligence Service—also known as MI6.

Behind the Photo
Amanda Redman[7] is an English actress [of seemingly little renown outside the UK].

9a   Learning // game in publication (9)

Rugby union[10] (abbreviation RU[5]) is a form of rugby football played between teams of 15 players (in contrast to rugby league[5], which is played in teams of thirteen).

11a   I must enter remainder // to take exam again (5)

The surface reading of this clue seems rather odd — and I initially read it as "reminder" rather than "remainder".

Resit[5] is a British term which, as a verb, means to take (an examination) again after failing it  ⇒ she is resitting her maths GCSE [General Certificate of Secondary Education] and, as a noun, denotes an examination that is resat ⇒ the system allows the office to timetable all resits in a single block.

12a   Spinner, bowler, maybe /seen in/ film (3,3)

Bowler[5] (also bowler hat) is a chiefly British name for a man’s hard felt hat with a round dome-shaped crown. In North America, such a hat is known as a derby[5] — the name said to arise from American demand for a hat of the type worn at the Epsom Derby [an English horse racing event].

Top Hat[7] is a 1935 screwball musical comedy film in which Fred Astaire plays an American dancer named Jerry Travers, who comes to London to star in a show produced by Horace Hardwick (Edward Everett Horton). He meets and attempts to impress Dale Tremont (Ginger Rogers) to win her affection. The songs were written by Irving Berlin. "Top Hat, White Tie and Tails" and "Cheek to Cheek" have become American song classics. Top Hat — Astaire's second most successful picture after Easter Parade — was the most successful picture of Astaire and Rogers' partnership and remains, to this day, the partnership's best-known work.

Scratching the Surface
In the sport of cricket, bowling[7] is the action of propelling the ball toward the wicket defended by a batsman.

There are different types of bowlers ranging from fast bowlers, whose primary weapon is pace, through swing and seam bowlers who try to make the ball deviate in its course through the air or when it bounces, to slow bowlers, who will attempt to deceive the batsmen with a variety of flight and spin.

A spin bowler [or spinner] usually delivers the ball quite slowly and puts spin on the ball causing it to bounce at an angle off the pitch.

13a   Start // to play the part of Evita abroad (8)

It took me a while to sort out this clue. I initially thought that "start to play" must surely be clueing ACT I.

The wordplay parses as ACT (to play the part of) + an anagram (abroad) of EVITA.

Scratching the Surface
Evita[7] is a musical with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice. It concentrates on the life of Argentine political leader Eva Perón [known familiarly as Evita], the second wife of Argentine president Juan Perón. The story follows Evita's early life, rise to power, charity work, and eventual death.

15a   Showing off // magnificent still (13)

18a   Get nothing wrong? // Don't be deceived into thinking otherwise (4,2,7)

I have not marked this as a double definition, although Gazza has done so in his review. My rationale is that, while the solution does literally mean "get nothing wrong", I'm sure you won't find it defined thus in a dictionary.

22a   Protest about informer /being/ party member (8)

The party being a US political party.

Demo[5] is a chiefly British term for a public meeting or march protesting against something or expressing views on a political issue ⇒ a peace demo.

23a   Complete failure // hidden by Mafia's cover-up (6)

26a   Opening bars /of/ 8? Take it away (5)

The numeral "8" is a cross reference indicator directing the solver to insert the solution to clue 8d in its place to complete the clue. The directional indicator is customarily omitted in situations like this where only a single clue starts in square 8.

In 8d, anthem[5] is used in the sense of a national anthem, a solemn patriotic song officially adopted by a country as an expression of national identity.

However, in a cross reference, only the word is carried over — not necessarily the meaning. Thus, in the present clue, anthem[5] is used in the sense of a musical setting of a religious text to be sung by a choir during a church service, especially in Anglican or Protestant Churches.
In the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England, an introit[10] is a short prayer said or sung as the celebrant is entering the sanctuary to celebrate Mass or Holy Communion.

27a   Total /made by/ county fair (9)

Down[5] is one of the Six Counties of Northern Ireland, since 1973 an administrative district; chief town, Downpatrick.

28a   List of charges /resulting from/ squabble when crossing a river (6)

29a   This, in wet areas, possibly (8)

Down

1d   Standing // pier gets demolished (8)

2d   Dowdy woman/'s/ fine bottom (5)

F[5] is an abbreviation for fine, as used in describing grades of pencil lead [a usage that Oxford Dictionaries Online surprisingly characterizes as British].

3d   Armed thief /in/ prison also (7)

4d   Den // left warm and dry (4)

6d   Swallow last of Chianti, // an Italian drink (7)

A martin[5] is any of numerous species of swift-flying insectivorous songbird of the swallow family, typically having a less strongly forked tail than a swallow.

Martini[5] (trademark) is a type of vermouth produced in Italy.

Scratching the Surface
Chianti[5] is a dry red Italian wine produced in Tuscany named after the Chianti Mountains, Italy.

7d   Sat in gaol, distraught, // longing for the past (9)

Scratching the Surface
Gaol[5] is an alternative British spelling of jail.

8d   Patriotic song /from/ worker on border (6)

10d   Old Harry, perhaps? (8)

Old Harry[10] is an informal jocular name for Satan.

Old Nick[10] is an informal jocular name for Satan.

14d   Flag/'s/ pattern (8)

16d   Mother in reform // school (4,5)

17d   One may get a story // about drink with the Queen (8)

The regnal ciphers (monograms) of British monarchs are initials formed from the Latin version of their first name followed by either Rex or Regina (Latin for king or queen, respectively). Thus, the regnal cipher of Queen Elizabeth is ER[5] — from the Latin Elizabetha Regina.

19d   Start // to stop out (4,3)

20d   Small child by bank /in/ squalid quarter (4,3)

21d   A meaning /that's/ lost (6)

24d   Wonder // most of the soldiers returned (5)

A GI[5] is a private soldier in the US army ⇒ she went off with a GI during the war. Contrary to popular belief, the term apparently is not an abbreviation for general infantryman, but rather derives from the term government (or general) issue (originally denoting equipment supplied to US forces).

25d   Detailed message, // precious (4)

The setter uses "detailed" in a whimsical cryptic crossword sense meaning having the tail removed — based on an analogy with words such as deflowered or defrocked.

A tweet[5] is a posting made on the social media website Twitter ⇒ he started posting tweets via his mobile phone to let his parents know he was safe.

Twee[5] is a British term meaning excessively or affectedly quaint, pretty, or sentimental ⇒ although the film’s a bit twee, it’s watchable.
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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