Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Wednesday, April 15, 2015 — DT 27629

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27629
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, October 24, 2014
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27629]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Deep Threat
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


Today's puzzle is surprisingly gentle, given that it was set by Giovanni.

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.


7a   Bad weather is restricting team playing -- // very unwelcome message (8)

9a   A part of the face beginning to glow, // in pain (6)

If you accept that aching can be a noun (which most dictionaries do not), then the definition could be merely "pain" with the word "in" serving as a link between the wordplay and definition.

The only reference source that I found which considers aching to be a noun is the WordNet Thesaurus. Well, to that short list, I suppose I could add Led Zeppelin who sing of "Going to California with an aching in my heart".

10a   Film actress opposite H. Keel in 1953, // significant time (1-3)

Calamity Jane[7] is  a 1953 film that explores an alleged romance between Calamity Jane (played by Doris Day) and Wild Bill Hickok (played by Howard Keel).

11a   Violent duo out /to get/ a transfer of power (10)

12a   Still /and/ quiet lake with chemical harmful to it? (6)

14a   Appearing before the photographer again /or/ taking a rest? (8)

A double definition, the first of which is rather whimsical.

15a and 17a   Clue to a padre /being seen here in/ military area (6,6)

I prefer to call this an inverse anagram while Deep Threat uses the term reverse anagram. The solution to this clue could be a clue to the phrase "A PADRE". That is, an anagram (ground) of PARADE would produce the result A PADRE. In a normal clue, the anagram indicator and fodder would be found in the clue with the result appearing in the solution. Here we have the inverse situation, where the anagram indicator and fodder appear in the solution with the result being found in the clue itself.

17a   See 15a

20a   Mother or saint // in a position to honour the dead (4,4)

I arrived at the correct solution despite using a line of reasoning that clearly defies rational explanation (it had to do with MA being half of MAMA). It was definitely not well thought through, in fact no real thought went into it at all — more gut instinct than intellectual exercise.

As Deep Threat explains, MA (mother) is half of MAST (the first half) and ST (abbreviation for saint) is also half of MAST (the second half). Thus, either "mother or saint" could be used to clue HALF MAST.

22a   See shelter inside, // wanting to have a rest (6)

23a   Like many foreign goods, // I can be brought in as hand luggage? (10)

24a   Little son, depressed /and/ not reacting quickly (4)

25a   River /gets/ any number cut off initially (6)

The letter n[10] is used (especially in mathematics) as a symbol to represent an indefinite number (of) ⇒ there are n objects in a box.

The Severn[5] is a river of southwestern Britain. Rising in central Wales, it flows north-east then south in a broad curve for some 290 km (180 miles) to its mouth on the Bristol Channel.

26a   Animals // ascend, running over hill, half hidden (8)

The echidna[5] (also called spiny anteater) is a spiny insectivorous egg-laying mammal with a long snout and claws, native to Australia and New Guinea.


1d   Hot and cold drink /will get/ sign of approval (8)

2d   Lots of people gathering together // drink audibly (4)

Bevvy[5] is an informal British term for an alcoholic drink ⇒ we popped into the Prince of Wales for a few bevvies.

A bevy[2,3,4,5,11] is a large group of people or things of a particular kind, especially and originally a group of women or girls ⇒ (i) a bevy of beauties; (ii) he was surrounded by a bevy of beautiful girls. It is interesting that the Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary takes a contrarian approach with its usage example ⇒ a bevy of sailors [or, perhaps, they are Wrens[7]].

In zoology, bevy[2,3,4,5,11] can denote (1) a flock of birds, especially larks, quails or swans or (2) a group of roedeer.

3d   Stood by after king // attacked (6)

Rex[5] (abbreviation R[5]) [Latin for king] denotes the reigning king, used following a name (e.g. Georgius Rex, King George) or in the titles of lawsuits (e.g. Rex v. Jones, the Crown versus Jones — often shortened to R. v. Jones).

Note the vastly different connotation of the phrase "stood by" in the following sentences ⇒ (i) he stood by and did nothing; (ii) she stood by him through thick and thin.

4d   Girl one with long slow strides? // Much quicker mover (8)

5d   I chew suet, a smashing // addition to ham? (5,5)

White sauce[5] is a sauce of flour, melted butter, and milk or cream that is apparently a traditional British accompaniment to ham — or, then again maybe not, if one is to judge by some of the comments on Big Dave's blog.

6d   Congenital // pest speaking endlessly in pub (6)

8d and 19d   Building with special horses, // 51, most unlikely to collapse (6,6)

Most[5] is used as an adverb meaning extremely or very ⇒ (i) it was most kind of you; (ii) that is most probably correct.

13d   Plant // some powdery stuff in 5, as one might say? (10)

The numeral "5" is a cross reference indicator directing the solver to insert the solution to clue 5d in its place to complete the clue. The directional indicator is often omitted in situations such as this where only a single clue starts in the square that is being referenced.

Cornflour[5] (known in North America as cornstarch[5]) is a British term for finely ground maize [corn] flour, used for thickening sauces.

The word "corn" has quite a different meaning in Britain than it does in North America — although, strangely, the term cornflour would seem to allign more with North American usage. The plant known in North America (as well as Australia and New Zealand) as corn[5], is called maize[5] in the UK. In Britain, corn refers to the chief cereal crop of a district, especially (in England) wheat or (in Scotland) oats.

16d   Designing // buoyant structure with sound cladding (8)

What did he say?
In his review, Deep Threat describes a raft as a floating structure, such as Kon Tiki.
Kon-Tiki[5] is the name of the raft made of balsa logs in which Norwegian anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl sailed from the western coast of Peru to the islands of Polynesia in 1947.

18d   I'd set up plan to engage the old woman -- /I'm/ a tactful type (8)

Deep Threat and I came to slightly different interpretations of this clue. I would not say that one is right and one is wrong — or even that one is more correct than the other. They are merely different.

Deep Threat indicates that the definition is "I'm a tactful type" — an interpretation which is analogous to 21d.

On the other hand, I saw the word "I'm" as playing the role of a link word. It effectively denotes 'the solution is'. The nounal phrase "a tactful type" could well describe a diplomat. In fact, the clue could have read:
  • I'd set up plan to engage the old woman -- // a tactful type (8)
where the diplomat becomes the old woman rather than the speaker, but the wordplay and the solution remain the same.

19d   See 8d

21d   Stars, about a thousand -- // they may be fighting each other (6)

While the structure of this clue is superficially similar to that of 18d, there is an important difference. We cannot assign the role of link phrase to "they may be" as the phrase "fighting each other" does not stand on its own as a definition of ARMIES.

However, were we to rephrase the clue along the lines of:
  • Stars, about a thousand -- /they may be/ groups fighting each other (6)
we could then consider the definition to be "groups fighting each other" with the phrase "they may be" acting as a link.

In astronomy, Aries[5] is a small constellation (the Ram), said to represent the ram in Greek mythology whose Golden Fleece was sought by Jason and the Argonauts.

22d   What NE river is rising, /revealing/ froth? (6)

Canadian solvers will certainly be familiar with the interjection required here, although likely in a somewhat different context. In Canada, eh[3] is primarily used to to ascertain or reinforce a listener's interest or agreement rather than in asking a question or in seeking repetition or confirmation of a statement.

The Tees[5] is a river of northeastern England which rises in Cumbria and flows 128 km (80 miles) generally south-eastwards to the North Sea at Middlesbrough.

24d   Buried under piece of grass is a // chemical (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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