Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Tuesday, April 7, 2015 — DT 27622


Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27622
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Setter
RayT (Ray Terrell)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27622]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Falcon
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
The National Post has skipped DT 27620 and DT 27621 which were published in The Daily Telegraph on Tuesday, October 14, 2014 and Wednesday, October 15, 2014 respectively.

Introduction

The National Post did, in fact, adhere to its recent practice of skipping puzzles on days where it does not issue a print edition. However, readers of this blog enjoyed the opportunity to solve the skipped puzzles which appeared as Bonus Puzzles on Friday and Monday.

I blogged this RayT puzzle for Big Dave's blog when it appeared in The Daily Telegraph in October. Strangely, I may have found it more difficult the second time around, or perhaps I was overly stingy with stars when I rated the difficulty level back then.

Despite having previously solved — and blogged — the puzzle, it appeared for a considerable period of time that I would not be able to crack 20a. The solution finally came to me while I was in the shower. By the way, in case you are wondering, I did not run naked through the streets shouting "Eureka!".

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.

Across

7a   Sacred // Hearts authorised (8)

9a   Some learn education/'s/ merited (6)

10a   Study accommodating a // faculty head (4)

11a   Title /and/ group's sound endlessly reviewed (10)

12a   Beats // English in defeats (6)

14a   Lead /or/ backing say covering Eminem's music smash (8)

Marshall Bruce Mathers III, better known by his stage name Eminem[7] and by his alter ego Slim Shady, is an American rapper, record producer, songwriter, and actor. In addition to his solo career, Eminem is a member of the group D12, as well as one half of the hip hop duo Bad Meets Evil (alongside Royce da 5'9"). Eminem is the best-selling artist of the 2000s in the United States.

15a   Beaten /and/ stumped, confining runs (6)

On cricket scorecards [not to mention baseball scoreboards], the abbreviation R[5] denotes run(s).

17a   Puzzle // tester's ends should include enjoyment (6)

20a   Over in toilet are lots holding // stomach? (8)

Judging by the remarks in my review on Big Dave's blog, I also found this clue difficult on my first encounter with it — although I did select it as my Clue of the Day..

22a   Leave // Scotland's leader in government (6)

Behind the Illustration
Alex Salmond[7] is a Scottish politician who was the leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) for over twenty years and served as the First Minister of Scotland from 2007 to 2014.

He is one of the foremost proponents of Scottish independence, having repeatedly called for a referendum on the issue. On 19 September 2014, about one month before this puzzle was published in the UK and the day after the 2014 independence referendum at which a majority of the Scottish people voted to remain as part of the United Kingdom, Salmond announced his intention not to stand for re-election as leader of the SNP at the SNP National Conference in November, and to resign as First Minister thereafter.

23a   Criminal with bird in empty time // break (10)

24a   Old man about /to get/ trim (4)

25a   Concealed // curve -- advanced, taking two directions (6)

In the UK (with the exception of Scotland), A level[5] (advanced level[5]) is a qualification in a specific subject typically taken by school students aged 16-18, at a level above GCSE[5] (General Certificate of Secondary Education).

26a   Retired /with/ time sure to be wasted (8)

Down

1d   Starving // artist's love consumed by fabulous woman (8)

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.

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.

In Roman mythology, Venus[5] was a goddess, worshipped as the goddess of love in classical Rome though apparently a spirit of kitchen gardens in earlier times. Her equivalent in Greek mythology is Aphrodite.

2d   Addict eats large // tart (4)

3d   Whips // swab on board ship (6)

Recall that, in Crosswordland, a ship is almost invariably a steamship, the abbreviation for which is SS[10]. Thus "on board ship" is code for 'contained in SS'.

Whip[5] is an informal British term meaning to steal (something) ⇒ the escaper had whipped his overcoat.

4d   Power /of/ Atlas's heart always on decline (8)

Scratching the Surface
In Greek mythology, Atlas[5] was one of the Titans, who was punished for his part in their revolt against Zeus by being made to support the heavens. He became identified with the Atlas Mountains.

5d   Dodgy hip, so rests /getting/ replacement part? (10)

6d   Return of Queen left /for/ pop (6)

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.

8d   After party drop Ecstasy /in/ prescribed amount (6)

E[5] is an abbreviation for the drug Ecstasy or a tablet of Ecstasy ⇒ (i) people have died after taking E; (ii) being busted with three Es can lead to stiff penalties.

13d   Teeming // rain let loose under storm centre? (10)

16d   Drunk crashed a // party game (8)

18d   Stiff, // almost awake, embracing Frankenstein's helper (8)

Setting the Record Straight
Igor[7], or sometimes Ygor, is a stock character assistant to many types of Gothic villains, such as Count Dracula or Dr. Victor Frankenstein, familiar from many horror movies and horror movie parodies. Although Dr. Frankenstein had a hunchback assistant in the 1931 film Frankenstein, his name was Fritz.

19d   Go back on promise // arising in naive generosity (6)

21d   Gloomy surrounded by very big // smells (6)

The sizes of clothing that North Americans would describe as plus-size[7] (or often big and tall in the case of men's clothing) would be called outsize (abbreviation OS[5]) in Britain.

22d   Swam /seeing/ fish in so-called foreign sea (6)

Why has the setter chosen to use the rather verbose phrasing "so-called foreign sea"? Unlike the Mediterranean Sea which is commonly referred to as the Mediterranean — or, in the UK, as the Med, the name of the Red Sea is typically not shortened to Red. As Big Dave explains in a response to Comment #2 "Ray T is always very precise, and Red on its own is not a Sea – “so-called” tells you that it is an adjective which qualifies a sea".

24d   Prudish, // quietly covering skirt (4)

Piano[3,5] (abbreviation p[5]), is a musical direction meaning either (as an adjective) soft or quiet or (as an adverb) softly or quietly.
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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