Thursday, April 2, 2015

Thursday, April 2, 2015 — DT 27619

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27619
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Monday, October 13, 2014
Rufus (Roger Squires)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27619]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave
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 always from Rufus, a fun puzzle that is not overly taxing — although there are a couple of Briticisms that up the ante for those of us on this side of the pond.

Tomorrow being Good Friday, the National Post will not publish — but this blog will. Stop by for something to fill the void

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   Making a comeback just the same (11)

9a   When to make me smile at cook? (9)

I am afraid that I must take issue with Big Dave on the anagram indicator. Unless the word "cook" forms at least part of the anagram indicator, it serves no purpose. Therefore, I would parse the wordplay as an anagram (to make ... cook) of ME SMILE AT. Alternatively, I suppose one might consider the anagram indicator to be merely "cook".

10a   Servants /will give/ help in writing (5)

11a   Relaxation, // for example, about a moral slip (6)

12a   I'd backed secret reforms, /being/ detached (8)

13a   Car // presently has a learner inside (6)

The cryptic crossword convention of L meaning learner or student arises from the L-plate[7], a square plate bearing a sans-serif letter L, for learner, which must be affixed to the front and back of a vehicle in various countries (including the UK) if its driver is a learner under instruction.

Saloon[5] (also saloon car) is a British term for a car [known in Canada, the US, and New Zealand as a sedan[10]] having a closed body and a closed boot [trunk] separated from the part in which the driver and passengers sit ⇒ a four-door saloon.

15a   Cricket side and ground // not in harmony (3-5)

In cricket, the off[5]  (also called off side) is the half of the field (as divided lengthways through the pitch) towards which the batsman's feet are pointed when standing to receive the ball.  The other half of the field is known as either the leg[5] (also called leg side) or on[5] (also called on side)he played a lucky stroke to leg

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. While this is not an entirely British usage, the term is likely used there more often and applied to a wider range of sports facilities than would be the case in North America. For instance, I can't imagine a stadium in Canada being referred to as a 'ground'.
 In Britain, pitch[5] is another term for field[5] in the sense of an area of ground marked out or used for play in an outdoor team game ⇒ a football pitch.

In cricket, however, the pitch[5] is strictly the strip of ground between the two sets of stumps ⇒ both batsmen were stranded in the middle of the pitch.

18a   Skilfully holding back confusion /in/ meeting (8)

19a   In the morning will take exam, // not bothered whether it's right (6)

21a   Don't stand so close, // pets! (4,4)

The wordplay here is an inverse reversal. It is inverse in that the solution can be interpreted as wordplay which produces a result that occurs in the clue (which is the inverse of the normal situation where the wordplay in the clue produces a result in the solution). The solution is STEP BACK which can be interpreted as a reversal (back) of STEP to give the result PETS (found in the clue). The setter uses the exclamation mark to signal that something unusual is happening in the clue.

23a   Friend is back with pet -- // a pampered one (6)

26a   Stand /and/ refuse to go forward (5)

27a   Agreeing // to study issue with worker (9)

Con[5] is an archaic term meaning to study attentively or learn by heart (a piece of writing)  ⇒ the girls conned their pages with a great show of industry.

28a   Right // pocket (11)


1d   Pets // publications coming out around the first of May (7)

Pet[5] is a [seemingly chiefly British] term meaning to treat (someone) with affection or favouritism; in other words, pamper ⇒ I was cosseted and petted and never shouted at.

2d   Hops, // skips /and/ jumps? (5)

This has to be numbered among the least cryptic clues that I have ever seen. I was certain that I must have overlooked something. But, it seems, I did not.

I presume that the cryptic aspect of the clue is a play on the expression "hop, skip, and jump"[5].

... or maybe not!
When I wrote the above, I was thinking of  the expression hop, skip, and jump[5] in the sense of an informal term for a short distance it’s just a hop, skip, and jump from my home town.

However, there may be a better explanation.
In a response to Comment #17 on Big Dave's blog, Rabbit Dave writes "It is a triple definition, and the surface reading is particularly Rufus-like in that “hop, skip and jump” is an alternative term (albeit I think not much used nowadays) for the athletics event the Triple Jump. A triple definition for a clue about Triple Jumps – very nice!".
Hop, skip, and jump[5] (or hop, step, and jump) is an old-fashioned term for triple jump[5], an athletic event in which competitors attempt to jump as far as possible by performing a hop, a step, and a jump from a running start.

3d   Out of nick, like a truant (3,2,4)

In ____ nick[5] is an informal British expression meaning in a specified condition ⇒ you’ve kept the car in good nick. Thus if someone is not in shape, the Brits might describe them as being ⇒ out of nick.

A Growing Collection
I can now add this meaning to a host of other meanings for nick — which certainly seems to be a very versatile word in the UK.
Nick[5] is an informal British name for a prison ⇒ he’ll end up in the nick for the rest of his life.

Nick[5] is an informal British name for a police station ⇒ he was being fingerprinted in the nick.

Nick[5] is an informal British term meaning to arrest (someone) ⇒ Stuart and Dan got nicked for burglary.

Nick[5] is an informal British term meaning to steal ⇒ she nicked fivers from the till.

In Britain, a form[5] is a class or year in a school, usually given a specifying number. Thus the fifth form would be the British linguistic counterpart (although not the academic equivalent) of the fifth grade in North America and Form One would be akin to saying Grade One.

Delving Deeper
A form[7] is normally identified by a number such as "first form" or "sixth form". A form number may be used for two year groups and differentiated by the terms upper and lower. The sixth form is the senior form of a school, and is usually divided into two year groups: the lower sixth and upper sixth. If there is more than one form for each year group they will normally be differentiated by letters, e.g., "upper four B", "lower two Y". Schools do not follow a consistent pattern in naming forms.

4d   City of three million, // possibly more (4)

Rome[5] is the capital of Italy and of the Lazio region, situated on the River Tiber about 25 km (16 miles) inland; population 2,724,347 (2008) [In his review, Big Dave gives a 2010 population figure from Wikipedia. Subsequent to that posting, Wikipedia has updated its entry and currently shows Rome having a population of 2,869,461 (2014)[7]].

5d   Mother's pets? // Dogs (8)

6d   Publication /for/ an entertainer? (5)

7d   Beg /for/ quarter in the wood (7)

This was my last one in as I got lost in a stand of ash until I eventually stumbled upon a beech.

8d   His coaching ability is brought into play (8)

14d   Star embraced by girl // entertainment centre (3,5)

Vega[5] is the fifth-brightest star in the sky, and the brightest in the constellation Lyra, overhead in summer to observers in the northern hemisphere.

16d   Splendour pursued by a grim // French mistress (9)

The Marquise de Pompadour[5] (1721–64) was a French noblewoman; known as Madame de Pompadour; born Jeanne Antoinette Poisson. In 1744 she became the mistress of Louis XV, gaining considerable influence at court, but she later became unpopular as a result of her interference in political affairs.

17d   Bird of ill omen to old criminal? (8)

The blackcap[5] is a mainly European warbler (Sylvia atricapilla) with a black cap in the male and a reddish-brown one in the female.

In English law, the black cap[7] was worn by a judge when passing a sentence of death. Although it is called a "cap", it is not made to fit the head like a typical cap does; instead it is a simple plain square made of black fabric. It was based on Tudor Court headgear. When worn, it is placed on the head on top of the judicial wig, with one of the four corners of the black fabric facing outward.

The death penalty has now been abolished in England and Wales, but the black cap is still part of a judge's official regalia, and as such it is still carried into the High Court by each sitting judge when full ceremonial dress is called for. It is worn every year on 9 November when the new Lord Mayor of the City of London is presented to the Law Courts.

18d   After getting behind in the US, doctor sits /and/ helps (7)

This clue brought a chuckle. Rufus cheekily uses "behind in the US" to clue ASS. The term used in the UK for this part of the anatomy is arse.

20d   He gets what's left -- // it's consumed in wild glee (7)

22d   Brought up a block /of/ wood (5)

24d   Play // maiden in RADA cast (5)

In cricket, a maiden[5], also known as a maiden over, (abbreviation M)[5] is an over in which no runs are scored. An over[5] is a division of play consisting of a sequence of six balls bowled by a bowler from one end of the pitch, after which another bowler takes over from the other end.

Scratching the Surface
The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art[7] (abbreviation RADA) is a drama school located in London, England. It is one of the oldest drama schools in the United Kingdom, founded in 1904.

25d   News cut short (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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