Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 — DT 27628

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27628
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Petitjean (John Pidgeon)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27628]
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


Kath reports in her review that she "found this [puzzle] pretty tricky" and bestowed four stars for difficulty on it. There is definitely some tricky wordplay in the puzzle — not surprising given that it was set by Petitjean. However, I don't believe that I would put it in four star territory.

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   Sham // trial (5)

Dummy run[5,10] is a British term for a practice, rehearsal or trial run.

4a   Frank // reveals personal facts about writer without permission (9)

What did she say?
In her review, Kath writes you need a three letter word for a writer, maybe a biro.
In Britain, a biro[5] is a kind of ballpoint pen. Although it is a British trademark, the name is used generically (in the same way that kleenex has become a generic term for facial tissue). It is named after László József Bíró (1899–1985), the Hungarian inventor of the ballpoint pen.

9a   Beastly creatures // emerge in a cast (9)

10a   Unusual time Lawrence's initially spent /making/ bouquet (5)

The wordplay is OD[D H]OUR (unusual time) with DH (Lawrence ... initially) removed (is ... spent). Note how the final two elements of the wordplay are intertwined in the clue.

D. H. Lawrence[5] (1885–1930) was an English novelist, poet, and essayist; full name David Herbert Lawrence. His work is characterized by its condemnation of industrial society and by its frank exploration of sexual relationships, as in Lady Chatterley’s Lover, originally published in Italy in 1928, but not available in England in unexpurgated form until 1960. Other notable works: Sons and Lovers (1913) and Women in Love (1921).

What did he say?
In Comment #16 on Big Dave's blog, Steve_the_Beard writes writes I’d forgotten all about Mellors.
Oliver Mellors is the name of the gamekeeper in Lady Chatterley's Lover[7] with whom Lady Chatterley has her affair.

11a   A centre for Libyans in poor housing, /offering/ places of refuge (7)

12a   Particular // keys jamming lever (7)

13a   'Narcotic // composition,' I scoffed (6)

In music, Op.[5] (also op.) is an abbreviation meaning opus (work). It is used before a number given to each work [composition] of a particular composer, usually indicating the order of publication.

15a   Bouncer, perhaps, // quick to stand by dance (4,4)

No, this bouncer[5] is not the big guy controlling admission to a nightclub.

In cricket, a bouncer[5] is a ball bowled fast and short so as to rise high after pitching.

18a   Trout // teem by fronts of boats (8)

The rainbow trout[10] is a freshwater trout of North American origin, Salmo gairdneri, having a body marked with many black spots and two longitudinal red stripes.

20a   Stall interminable craving /for/ needle (6)

23a   Breaks apart /and/ becomes weepy (5,2)

24a   Note learner blocking ski slope /gets/ the message (7)

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.

26a   Forgot lines /and/ flopped getting to grips with Romeo (5)

Romeo[5] is a code word representing the letter R, used in radio communication.

Dry[5] is [British?] theatrical slang meaning to forget one’s lines ⇒ a colleague of mine once dried in the middle of a scene. The Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary (an American dictionary) defines dry up[11] as meaning, in acting, to forget one's lines or part.

27a   Nude photographs? (9)

I am afraid that I must take issue with Kath's classification of this clue as a double definition. I would label it a cryptic definition. The word "photographs" is a definition. However, the singular noun "nude" cannot be a definition for the plural noun "exposures". Rather, "nude" is an adjective that cryptically augments the definition.

"Photographs" are exposures in the technical sense; "nude photographs" are exposures in quite another sense.

Had the clue read:
  • Nude photograph? (8)
one might make a case for a double definition.

28a   Getting on, // sent scene with alternative endings (9)

29a   Bloodthirsty Sonny, boxing // champion once (5)

Once again, I will diverge slightly from Kath's explanation. Technically, the definition is "champion once" as the word "boxing" is part of the wordplay (being the hidden word indicator).

Mike Tyson[5] is an American boxer. He became undisputed world heavyweight champion in 1987, winning the WBA, WBC, and IBF titles. He was imprisoned in 1992 for rape; after his release in 1995 he reclaimed the WBC and WBA titles in the following year. His 1997 fight with Evander Holyfield ended when Tyson was disqualified for dining on Holyfield's ear.[7]

Scratching the Surface
Sonny Liston[5] (1932–1970) was an American boxer; born Charles Liston. In 1962 he became world heavyweight champion but in 1964 lost his title to Muhammad Ali (then Cassius Clay).


1d   English intend to put on austere // air (9)

The wordplay parses as {E (English) + MEAN (intend)} contained in (to put on; as you would a coat or jacket) DOUR (austere).

2d   One checking one's // finances (5)

3d   Hog roast held in tent /is/ a cultural production (7)

4d   Adjusted hours to secure new // career (6)

5d   Articles about singular sanctimonious // luvvie (8)

Grammatically speaking, s[5] is the abbreviation for singular.

Pi[5] is an informal British short form for pious. 

Luvvie[5] (also luvvy) is an informal British term (often derogatory) for an actor or actress, especially one who is particularly effusive or affected everyone is singing his praises—from the luvvies at Cannes to various political figures in the US.

6d   Take care of // deterioration in muscle temperature (7)

7d   Clever clogs // will endlessly talk on, sadly (4-2-3)

Clever Dick[5] (also clever clogs) is an informal British term for a person who is irritatingly and ostentatiously knowledgeable or intelligent she’s such a clever Dick—you can’t tell her anything.

8d   Sauce // bottle (5)

Sauce[5] is an informal, chiefly British term for impertinence or cheek ‘None of your sauce,’ said Aunt Edie — which, in North America, would be called sass[5].

Bottle[5] is an informal British term denoting the courage or confidence needed to do something difficult or dangerous I lost my bottle completely and ran.

14d   Mock // shortcoming Labour's leader's overlooked (9)

Scratching the Surface
The Labour Party[5] (abbreviation Lab.[5]) in Britain is a left-of-centre political party formed to represent the interests of ordinary working people that since the Second World War has been in power 1945–51, 1964–70, 1974-9, and 1997–2010. Arising from the trade union movement at the end of the 19th century, it replaced the Liberals as the country’s second party after the First World War.

16d   Pay attention -- stray // bugs! (7,2)

17d   Suit or suite? // We cope with it somehow (3-5)

Suite[5] is used in the sense of a set of coordinating furniture ⇒ there is plenty of space for a dining table and a three-piece suite. [The setter of today's puzzle was obviously thinking in terms of a more restricted living space.]

19d   Departs coming from where hospital visits take place // too (7)

21d   Fool assuming North, South and East /may make/ co-ordinates (7)

I would guess from the dictionary entries that the word "twit" may have a slightly different connotation in the UK than it does in North America.

British dictionaries define twit as an informal term meaning variously (1) a fool or idiot[2]; (2) a foolish or stupid person, an idiot[10]; and (3) a silly or foolish person[5]. Both Oxford Dictionaries Online and Collins English Dictionary characterize the term as being chiefly British.

American dictionaries, on the other hand, define twit as an informal term for (1) a foolishly annoying person[3]; or (2) an insignificant or bothersome person[11]. Thus the emphasis in North America seems to focus more on the fact that the person is a pest — as opposed to the intellectual capacity of the person.

Jumpers - Here and There
If you look up the word twinset[5] in a British dictionary, you will find it defined as a chiefly British term for a woman’s matching cardigan and jumper.

In Britain, a jumper[5] is a knitted garment typically with long sleeves, worn over the upper body (in North American terms, a sweater — and, it would seem, in particular, a pullover). What we call a jumper, the Brits would call a pinafore[5] (a collarless sleeveless dress worn over a blouse or [British] jumper [i.e., North American sweater]).

Thus, if a British lass were to wear a pinafore over her jumper and a North American gal were to wear a jumper over her sweater, they would be dressed identically.

The terms sweater and pullover would also appear to be in common use in the UK.

22d   This is spouted // to tape garbled (6)

23d   Also charged with marking on snooker table and small // disturbances (2-3)

The D[5] is a semicircle marked on a billiard table in the baulk area, with its diameter part of the baulk line, within which a player must place the cue ball when breaking off or restarting from hand. The baulk line (US balk line[5]) is a line parallel to one end of a billiard table, from behind which opening shots with the cue ball are made.

The Yankees are coming!
Oxford Dictionaries Online, having spelled baulk line in the British manner in the entry cited above, then uses the American spelling in its main entry for this term, balk line[5].

25d   Thug raps occasionally with singular // spirit (5)

Singular reprises its role from 5d.

Here, "occasionally" indicates that we are to select the odd letters — but this construct could equally well signify the even letters. A similar — and more precise — construct that we sometimes see is "off and on" or "on and off".

Turps[3,4] is short for turpentine. Although Collins English Dictionary characterizes it as a British term, it is also found in the American Heritage Dictionary. In Australia and New Zealand, turps[4] is any alcoholic drink, especially beer (especially in the phrase on the turps).
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

No comments:

Post a Comment