Monday, April 13, 2015

Monday, April 13, 2015 — DT 27627

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27627
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Jay (Jeremy Mutch)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27627]
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


It seems that I was not mentally alert when I solved this puzzle. I came up with an incorrect solution to one clue and spent an inordinate amount of time trying to justify it.

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   Agent in pursuit of man /is/ a criminal (10)

6a   A touch /of/ style (4)

10a   Business tycoon/'s/ doctor glumly sacking regulars (5)

The setter uses the phrase "regulars" to indicate that a regular sequence of letters is required. This virtually always denotes every second letter, although I do seem to recall having seen — on at least one occasion — the required sequence be every third letter. Furthermore, as is customarily the case, the setter does not specify whether we need the odd sequence or the even sequence — which we must figure out by trial and error.

I have observed that some bloggers (today's bloggers not necessarily included) seem to believe that "regular" means the even sequence and "irregular" means the odd sequence. However, both the even sequence and the odd sequence are regular in that the letters are evenly spaced and setters do use the term "regular" to indicate both sequences.

This misconception likely arises because setters also use the term "irregular" to denote an odd sequence of letters, based on irregular meaning 'peculiar' or 'odd'.

Therefore, solvers must be aware that "irregular" always denotes an odd sequence but "regular" can denote either an even sequence or an odd sequence. 

11a   Wild dog rose at // the rear entrance (5,4)

12a   Strange fancy /from/ member of academy on strike (7)

A Royal Academician (abbreviation RA[5]) is a member of the Royal Academy of Arts[5], an institution established in London in 1768, whose purpose is to cultivate painting, sculpture, and architecture in Britain.

What did they say?
In their review, the 2Kiwis describe CHIME as "What Big Ben might do on the hour".
Big Ben[5] is a name given to the great clock tower of the Houses of Parliament in London and its bell.

In Greek mythology, a chimera[5] is a fire-breathing female monster with a lion’s head, a goat’s body, and a serpent’s tail.

13a   Notable // source of wealth in hospital department (7)

In the Crosswordland Hospital, patients rarely — if ever — find themselves anywhere but in the ear, nose and throat (ENT[2]) department.

14a   Clearing one's mind? (12)

18a   Succeeded /and/ gathered nuts after brewing mead (4,3,5)

21a   How a lady might contain her shock? (7)

Behind the Picture
Ena Sharples[7] is one of the original characters from the British soap opera Coronation Street, appearing in the series for 20 years between 1960 and 1980. She was the caretaker of the mission hall, and spent much of her time criticising the activities of the street's other inhabitants. One of the main characters during the 1960s, she was featured less regularly in the 1970s due to the declining health of actress Violet Carson who played the part, and was written out in 1980.

23a   Look in after shifting // flexible worker (7)

Lo[5] is an archaic exclamation used to draw attention to an interesting or amazing event and lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them.

Floater[5] is a North American term for a worker who is required to do a variety of tasks as the need for each arises. The Chambers Dictionary is slightly less definitive, characterising the term as "especially North American". [Cue howls of British outrage.]

24a   Wrote off about constituency // car (3-6)

25a   A wash /gets you/ mentally alert (5)

Here "gets you" is equivalent to 'produces for you [the solver]'.

I quickly wrote in AWARE and then seemingly searched for donkey's years[5] in a fruitless effort to figure out why "wash" and "ware" might be synonyms.

26a   Sap /from/ lettuce hearts (4)

Cos (or cos lettuce)[5,10] is a [chiefly] British name for a variety of lettuce with a long slender head and crisp leaves (usual US and Canadian name: romaine). Although Oxford Dictionaries Online characterises this as a British term, it is found in both The American Heritage Dictionary and the Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary — although it is clearly not the preferred term in North America.

Hearts[2]) (abbreviation H) is one of the four suits of playing-cards.

Sap[5] is an informal North American term for a bludgeon or club. [Cue another chorus of British outrage.]

Cosh[5] is an informal British term for a thick, heavy stick or bar used as a weapon ⇒ the defendants deny having a self-loading pistol and a telescopic cosh. While The American Heritage Dictionary and the Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary both agree with Oxford Dictionaries Online that the term is chiefly British, they describe a cosh[3,11] seemingly quite differently, as a weighted weapon similar to a blackjack [a leather-covered bludgeon with a short, flexible shaft or strap, used as a hand weapon].

27a   Both sides of dispute produce // decline (10)


1d   Operatic heroine's pinching carbon // copies (6)

Mimi is the tragic heroine of the opera La bohème[7] by Italian composer Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924).

The symbol for the chemical element carbon is C[5].

2d   Commonly permitted by law to adopt son, /but/ scarpers (4,2)

Scarper[5] is an informal British term meaning to run away ⇒ they left the stuff where it was and scarpered.

Leg it[5] is an informal British term meaning to (1) travel by foot or walk ⇒ I am part of a team legging it around London or (2) run away ⇒ he legged it after someone shouted at him.

3d   Feels respect -- an awful // deception (5,9)

4d   Discard // a team supporting actors (4,5)

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..

5d   Speak, /though/ angry, having love for Italy (5)

In tennis, squash, and some other sports, love[5] is a score of zero or nil ⇒ love fifteen. The resemblance of a zero written as a numeral (0) to the letter O leads to the cryptic crossword convention of the word "love" being used to clue this letter.

The International Vehicle Registration (IVR) code for Italy is I[5].

7d   Salon special not protected repeatedly /for/ loss of hair (8)

Alopecia[5] is a medical term for baldness.

8d   Tradition /of/ Russian museum losing millions (8)

The Hermitage[5] is a major art museum in St Petersburg, Russia, containing among its collections those begun by Catherine the Great. [Named with reference to the ‘retreat’ in which the empress displayed her treasures to her friends.]

9d   Argumentative type // was up, unhappy with vote about accountant (6,8)

The abbreviation CA[5] for Chartered Accountant  is used in Scotland — and was formerly employed in Canada. However, as of January 2013, Canadian CA's have adopted the CPA (Chartered Professional Accountant) designation. In England and Wales, the designatory letters are ACA or FCA while in Ireland (including Northern Ireland) the acronym CAI is used.[7]

15d   Go on behalf of church // employees (9)

The wordplay can be broken down further than what the 2Kiwis show. It is WORK (go; I can't get the car to go) + FOR (on behalf of) + CE (church).

The Church of England[10] (abbreviation CE[10]) is the reformed established state Church in England, Catholic in order and basic doctrine, with the Sovereign as its temporal head.

16d   Forceful // energy and speed at one hundred (8)

17d   Consultants // notice face-saving devices (8)

19d   Mostly remain to welcome rising skill // levels (6)

20d   Bit of wind /makes for/ an easy task (6)

22d   Forget it! Leeds taking // the championship? (5)

Scratching the Surface
Leeds[5] is an industrial city in West Yorkshire, northern England; population 441,100 (est. 2009). It developed as a wool town in the Middle Ages, becoming a centre of the clothing trade in the Industrial Revolution.

Leeds United Football Club[7] is an English football [soccer] club based in Leeds, West Yorkshire that plays in the Championship League (the second tier in the English football league system).

I would not be surprised that were Miffypops writing this blog, he would pick a different Leeds sports team to mention. Yorkshire Carnegie[7] is an English rugby union club, based in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England, currently playing in the RFU (Rugby Football Union) Championship, the second tier of the English rugby union league system.
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


  1. I think "sacking regulars" means removing the even numbered letters. So there.

    1. Yes, in this puzzle, "sacking regulars" does mean to remove the even numbered letters. But be aware that the odd numbered letters also form a "regular" (evenly spaced) sequence and setters do not shy away from using "regular" in that manner.