Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Wednesday, April 1, 2015 — DT 27618

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27618
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, October 11, 2014
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27618 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27618 – Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave (Hints)
gnomethang (Review)
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 this was a Saturday "Prize Puzzle" in Britain, there are two entries related to it on Big Dave's Crossword Blog — the first, posted on the date of publication, contains hints for selected clues while the second is a full review issued following the entry deadline for the contest. The vast majority of reader comments will generally be found attached to the "hints" posting with a minimal number — if any — accompanying the full review.


For no discernible reason, I became hung up on 16a. This was rather disconcerting given that gnomethang rated the puzzle as merely a single star for difficulty.

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   Curt comedian abandoned // without popular support (12)

As an anagram indicator, abandoned[10] is used as an adjective meaning unrestrained or uninhibited ⇒ wild, abandoned dancing.

9a   Woman who's left // Nazi without resentment (7)

Rudolf Hess[5] (1894–1987) was a German Nazi politician, deputy leader of the Nazi Party 1934–41. In 1941, secretly and on his own initiative, he parachuted into Scotland to negotiate peace with Britain. He was imprisoned for the duration of the war and, at the Nuremberg war trials, sentenced to life imprisonment in Spandau prison, Berlin, where he died.

10a   Fashionable costumier, // poet is dressed by me (7)

Modiste[5] is a dated term for a fashionable milliner or dressmaker.

11a   Support protecting single // innovator (7)

12a   Had too much of // composer in regressive act (7)

Giuseppe Verdi[5] (1813–1901) was an Italian composer. His many operas, such as La Traviata (1853), Aida (1871), and Otello (1887), emphasize the dramatic element, treating personal stories on a heroic scale and often against backgrounds that reflect his political interests. Verdi is also famous for his Requiem (1874).

13a   Surrealist /shows/ seabirds with head on wrong end (5)

Max Ernst[5] (1891–1976) was a German artist. He was a leader of the Dada movement and developed the techniques of collage, photomontage, and frottage. He is probably best known for surrealist paintings such as L’Eléphant de Célèbes (1921).

14a   Most insist on tucking into French cheese -- here? (9)

As gnomethang points out in his review, this is a semi all-in-one clue — although you wouldn't be able to tell that from the way he has marked the clue.

The entire clue is a definition of an establishment where one could indulge in some French cheese.

A brasserie[5] is a restaurant in France or in a French style.

16a   Ban // girl coming out with topless dress (9)

I suffered a total mental block here. I saw the wordplay; I recognized the girl; but, for the life of me, I could not come up with the dress. However, only a very gentle nudge from my electronic assistants was needed to reveal everything.

19a   Graduate turned equipment /to make/ dyed cloth (5)

21a   Old man does up // grand buildings (7)

23a   Saddle // hurtful with one aboard little horse endlessly (7)

24a   Tailor lent tie /to give/ style (7)

Style[5] is used in the sense of to designate with a particular name, description, or title ⇒ the official is styled principal and vice chancellor of the university.

25a   Boy keeps tumbling down // mountain (7)

Snowdon[5] is a mountain in northwestern Wales. Rising to 1,085 m (3,560 ft), it is the highest mountain in Wales.

26a   Bribe with £500 // someone to fix things (6,6)

Monkey[5] is an informal British term for a sum of £500.


1d   Northern Ireland company aboard vessel /finding/ mythical beast (7)

2d   Least shallow // river -- nuisance going under (7)

The Dee[5] is a river in northeastern Scotland, which rises in the Grampian Mountains and flows eastwards past Balmoral Castle to the North Sea at Aberdeen. Another river of the same name rises in North Wales and flows past Chester and on into the Irish Sea.

3d   Skinflint fit /to be/ unhappy (9)

4d   Appeared ordinary /in/ small role (5)

In the UK (with the exception of Scotland), O level[5] (ordinary level)[5] is a qualification in a specific subject formerly taken by school students aged 14-16, at a level below A level. It was replaced in 1988 by the  GCSE[5] (General Certificate of Secondary Education).

5d   Mini maybe parked by a daughter/'s/ home (7)

Scratching the Surface
In the surface reading,  Mini[7] is an automobile brand, currently owned by BMW, but originally introduced as a model under the Austin and Morris marques by the British Motor Corporation (BMC).

6d   One shoddily rinsed // one's privy (7)

Scratching the Surface
In the surface reading, privy[5] is used in the sense of a toilet located in a small shed outside a house or other building. 

7d   MI5 after tender // meat dishes (9,4)

The Security Service, commonly known as MI5[5] (Military Intelligence, Section 5), is the United Kingdom's domestic counter-intelligence and security agency and is part of its intelligence machinery alongside the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS; also known as MI6) focused on foreign threats, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and Defence Intelligence (DI).

8d   Locating ship's position // accounting for fatalities? (4-9)

15d   What could be turned into tapas? (9)

Although gnomethang identifies this clue as an &lit. (all-in-one), I don't believe that to be the case. Instead, I think it is a semi-&lit. (semi-all-in-one). The entire clue does serve as the definition, but only part of the clue (that portion having the dashed underlining) provides the wordplay which is an anagram (turned) of INTO TAPAS.

Tapas[2] are light savoury snacks or appetizers, especially those based on Spanish foods and cooking techniques and served with drinks. Oxford Dictionaries Online explains the etymology as Spanish tapa, literally 'cover, lid' (because the dishes were given free with the drink, served on a dish balanced on, therefore ‘covering’, the glass).[5]

In Italian cookery, antipasto[5] (plural antipasti) denotes an hors d'oeuvre.

17d   Horse that runs away, perhaps, carrying son/'s/ padded support (7)

18d   Sample of apricot tart /and/ soft cheese (7)

Ricotta[2] is a soft white unsalted Italian curd cheese made from sheep's or cow's milk and often used in sauces for ravioli, lasagne, etc.

19d   Steer // three characters from Istanbul to join Yale, say (7)

Yale[7] is an American lock manufacturer owned by Swedish lock manufacturer Assa Abloy. The business was founded as the Yale Lock Manufacturing Co. in Stamford, Connecticut in 1868 by Linus Yale, Jr., the inventor of the pin tumbler lock (sic), and Henry R. Towne.

Delving Deeper
Yale established a British operation by acquiring the business of H&T Vaughan, a long-established lock manufacturer in Wood Street, Willenhall, the historic centre of the British lock industry, and became the major employer in the town. "Yale locks" became the generic term in the UK for pin-tumbler household locks and keys.

Unlocking the Truth
If Linus Yale, Jr. did indeed invent the pin tumbler lock then he must have done it in a previous incarnation. Basic principles of the pin tumbler lock[7] may date as far back as 4000 BC in Egypt.

Behind the Name
Only yesterday, I saw a truck with the name Assa Abloy on it and wondered what sort of business it might be in. What a strange coincidence to run across it again.

The Assa Abloy Group was formed when Swedish lock manufacturer Assa AB acquired Finnish lock manufacturer Abloy Oy (AB means Ltd. in Swedish and Oy means Ltd. in Finnish).

The name Assa comes from August Stenman Stenman August (I would guess that August Stenman was the name of the company founder). The name Abloy comes from  AB Låsfabriken/Lukkotehdas Oy which breaks down as AB (Ltd. in Swedish) + L (for Låsfabriken [lock factory in Swedish] and Lukkotehdas [lock factory in Finnish]) + Oy (Ltd. in Finnish).

And, no, this is not an April Fool's joke.

20d   Half of them drily cooked, // as French hens appear at Christmas? (7)

In the English Christmas carol "The Twelve Days of Christmas"[7], three French hens are first presented on the third day of Christmas.

22d   Kid // persuaded by speech (5)

Kid[3] is leather made from the skin of a young goat; kidskin.

Suede[11] is kid or other leather finished with a soft, napped surface.
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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