Friday, May 22, 2015

Friday, May 22, 2015 — DT 27668


Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27668
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Setter
Unknown
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27668]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Gazza
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

Introduction

This is not a difficult puzzle but I suffered a mental block on 7d. I bashed my head against a brick wall till it hurt trying to solve the last remaining clue. I finally relented and called on my electronic assistants for help. When I saw the solution, I did further damage to myself with several stiff kicks.

If you have never perused the comments on Big Dave's blog, today might be the day to do so. There is some quite amusing banter going on.

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

1a   Impostor? // Nonsense (6)

Behind the Picture
Gazza illustrates his review of this clue with a picture of humbugs which he describes as a "minty sweet [candy]". According to British dictionaries, humbug[2,5,10] is a British term for a hard boiled sweet [candy], usually flavoured with peppermint and often having a striped pattern. As a candy, the term humbug[3,11] does not appear in the American dictionaries that I customarily consult.

Humbugs are available in Canada, but I certainly would not describe their taste as minty. I was unsuccessful in my attempts to identify what is used as a flavouring, although I did find references to licorice and maple flavoured humbugs in addition to the traditional ones, which one manufacturer simply describes as humbug-flavoured. I think that is undoubtedly the best description one could give.

5a   Disease, // nasty-sounding -- pets affected (4-4)

Fowl pest[5] is another name for (1) Newcastle disease[5], an acute infectious viral fever affecting birds, especially poultry or (2) fowl plague, an acute and often fatal infectious disease of birds, especially poultry, caused by certain strains of influenza virus.

9a   Honeymoon suite for them -- // grand bedroom, I suspect (5,3,5)

Although Gazza has interpreted this to be a semi-all-in-one clue, I am afraid that I don't see it that way. I think that "honeymoon suite for them" defines the solution quite satisfactorily—where the definition is interpreted to mean "persons who might occupy the honeymoon suite".

10a   Mate ringing a seabird /is/ taking protective interest (8)

In Britain, mate[5] is an informal term (1) for a friend or companion ⇒ my best mate Steve or (2) used as a friendly form of address between men or boys ⇒ ‘See you then, mate.’.

11a   French dramatist // elected to enter competition (6)

Jean Racine[5] (1639–1699) was a French dramatist, the principal tragedian of the French classical period. Central to most of his tragedies is a perception of the blind folly of human passion, continually enslaved and unsatisfied. Notable works: Andromaque (1667) and Phèdre (1677).

12a   Nothing about English version /in/ US state (6)

Nada[5] [from Spanish] is an informal North American term for nothing—as you might gather from skempie's remarks at Comment #4 as well as those of Beaver (and the ensuing discussion) at Comment #7 and SheilaP at Comment #17 on Big Dave's blog.

14a   Work in vile // Parisian prison (8)

The Bastille[5] was a fortress in Paris built in the 14th century and used in the 17th-18th centuries as a state prison. Its storming by the mob on 14 July 1789 marked the start of the French Revolution.

16a   A female, silver-tongued /and/ wealthy (8)

19a   Pop out after beer /in/ Syrian city (6)

Aleppo[5] is a city in northern Syria; population 1,693,800 (est. 2009).

21a   Foremost of players to speak /in/ golf club (6)

23a   Story // one cadet concocted (8)

25a   Guy at No.9, // best player on pitch? (3,2,3,5)

The numeral "9" is a cross reference indicator—but one with a twist. Usually a cross reference indicator directs the solver to insert the solution to the cross-referenced clue in its place to complete the clue.However, here the wordplay is telling us to extract some information from the cross-referenced clue to produce the solution to this clue.

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.

26a   In power replacing Liberal? Vote received /makes this/ likely (8)

Although Lib.[5] may be the more common abbreviation for the Liberal Party[5] in Britain—likely to distinguish it from the the Labour Party[5] (abbreviation Lab.[5])—Chambers 21st Century Dictionary indicates that L[2] may also be used.

In physics, P[10] is a symbol used to represent power (among other things).

27a   Untidy, dancing /in/ state of undress (6)

Down

2d   Drunken bum's ardour /causing/ offence (7)

3d   Carrot // bachelor covered with cheese (5)

B[2] is the abbreviation for Bachelor (in the sense of an academic degree).

4d   Novelist suppressing joke // -- it's fruity (9)

Graham Greene[5] (1904–1991) was an English novelist. The moral paradoxes he saw in his Roman Catholic faith underlie much of his work. Notable works: Brighton Rock (1938), The Power and the Glory (1940), and The Third Man (written as a screenplay, and filmed in 1949; novel 1950).

5d   Following suit, mostly to impress a new // group of admirers (3,4)

In publishing, f.[10] (plural ff.) is used to denote following (page).

6d   Bet // salary on first of runners (5)

7d   In favour of writer /exposing/ outlaw (9)

There would seem to be only two possible words which fit the checking letters. I thought of one on my own; unfortunately, it was the wrong one. However, my electronic assistants were able to come up with the other.

8d   Influential /in/ workshop, ignoring right line (7)

13d   Suddenly, // everyone agreed about carbon (3,2,4)

The symbol for the chemical element carbon is C[5].

15d   Political leaders // ordered means test (9)

17d   Perplex // loud clumsy person (7)

18d   Vandalised // paintings mounted in front of hut (7)

20d   Crack /in/ planter's recent (3,4)

22d   Fire damaged rear of boat, resulting in this? (5)

At 9a, I had a contrary view to Gazza—and here again.

I would say that this is a semi-all-in-one clue with the entire clue serving as the definition and the portion with the dashed underline being the wordplay.

24d   Old-fashioned // old man penning note (5)

In music, te[5] (or ti[2]) is the seventh note of the major scale in sol-fa notation. Judging by entries in American and British dictionaries, the only recognized spelling in the US would seem to be ti[3,4,11] whereas, in the UK, the principal spelling would appear to be te[2,3,4,11], with ti as an alternative spelling in some dictionaries. Oxford Dictionaries Online provides less leeway, giving the spelling as te[5] with ti shown as the North American spelling.
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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