Friday, May 8, 2015

Friday, May 8, 2015 — DT 27656

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27656
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27656]
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


For the second day in a row, the setters have taken pity on me and allowed me to ease back into the world of cryptic crosswords.

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.


5a   Old king/'s/ reasonable line in speech (7)

7a   After hour, girl returned // hair dye (5)

9a   Endless talk about // flat circular object (6)

10a   French daily swallowing a // fizzy drink (8)

Le Monde[7] (English: The World) is a French daily evening newspaper continuously published in Paris since its first edition in December 1944. It is one of two French newspapers of record — the other being Le Figaro.

11a   Source of easy money /earned by/ English poet penning verse on coach (5,5)

Thomas Gray[5] (1716–1771) was an English poet, best known for ‘Elegy Written in a Country Church-Yard’ (1751).

13a   Male chasing female // Ark passenger (4)

Ark[5] is an archaic name for a ship or boat. The best known example is undoubtedly Noah's ark[5], the ship in which Noah, his family, and the animals were saved from the Flood, according to the biblical account (Gen. 6-8).

In the Bible, Shem[5] is a son of Noah (Gen. 10:21), traditional ancestor of the Semites.

14a   Medal // winner, one on the other side (8,5)

A rather timely clue, given that we have only just observed the 70th Anniversary of Victory in Europe Day — and I have only just returned from touring European battlefields.

The Victoria Cross[5] is a decoration awarded for conspicuous bravery in the Commonwealth armed services, instituted by Queen Victoria in 1856.

16a   Beat backs /in/ game (4)

What did he say?
In his review, Gazza writes... we are in the chestnut season ...
 Keep in mind that he penned this last November.

17a   Plant, // iris, adapts to change (10)

An aspidistra[5] is a bulbous plant of the lily family with broad tapering leaves, native to eastern Asia and widely grown as a houseplant.

19a   Gradually overcome // blue on river (4,4)

The River Wear[7] (pronounced WEER) in North East England rises in the Pennines and flows eastwards, mostly through County Durham to the North Sea in the City of Sunderland. At 60 mi (97 km) long, it is one of the region's longest rivers.

Scratching the Surface
The surface reading of the clue may allude to university rowers.

The Boat Race[7] is an annual rowing race between the Oxford University Boat Club and the Cambridge University Boat Club, rowed between competing eights on the River Thames in London, England. It usually takes place on the last weekend of March or the first weekend of April.

In Britain, a blue[5] is a person who has represented Cambridge University (a Cambridge blue) or Oxford University (an Oxford blue) at a particular sport in a match between the two universities ⇒ a flyweight boxing blue. This usage almost certainly arises from the colours associated with these universities — and hence the colour of the uniforms worn by their athletes. Cambridge blue[5] is a pale blue colour, while Oxford blue[5] is a dark blue, typically with a purple tinge.

20a   Excuse /made by/ the Parisian to fine female (3,3)

The definition is a verb.

In French, the masculine singular form of the definite article is le[8]

F[5] is an abbreviation for fine, as used in describing grades of pencil lead [a usage that Oxford Dictionaries Online surprisingly characterizes as British].

22a   Suspension of fighting /in/ East -- short, on reflection (5)

23a   Former spouse given enough // warning (7)

Example in the sense of to make an example of[5] meaning to punish as a warning or deterrent to others ⇒ he had been imprisoned so that the air force could make an example of him.


1d   Mineral // used in dental clinics (4)

2d   Raised voice /in/ argy-bargy following short trip (8)

Argy-bargy[5] is an informal, chiefly British term for noisy quarrelling or wrangling ⇒ (i) a bit of argy-bargy between actor and director; (ii) an argy-bargy over the price.

3d   Article supporting bogus // priest (6)

4d   Alert, // notes noose loose (2,4,4)

5d   Former // abbot's deputy (5)

An abbot[5] is a man who is the head of an abbey of monks.

A prior[5] is the male head of a house or group of houses of certain religious orders, in particular the man next in rank below an abbot or the head of a house of friars.

6d   Musical based on 'The Threepenny Opera'? (4,1,8)

Note: The quotation marks do not appear in the clue as printed in the National Post.

The Threepenny Opera[7] (German: Die Dreigroschenoper) is a play with musical elements by German dramatist Bertolt Brecht and composer Kurt Weill, in collaboration with translator Elisabeth Hauptmann and set designer Caspar Neher. It was adapted from an 18th-century English ballad opera, John Gay's The Beggar's Opera, and offers a Socialist critique of the capitalist world. It opened on 31 August 1928 at Berlin's Theater am Schiffbauerdamm.

By 1933, when Brecht and Weill were forced to leave Germany by Hitler's Machtergreifung, the play had been translated into 18 languages and performed more than 10,000 times on European stages. Songs from The Threepenny Opera have been widely covered and become standards, most notably "Die Moritat von Mackie Messer" ("The Ballad of Mack the Knife") and "Seeräuberjenny" ("Pirate Jenny").

Half a Sixpence[7] is a musical comedy written as a vehicle for British pop star Tommy Steele which opened in London's West End in 1963 and on Broadway in 1965. A film adaptation was released in 1967. It is based on H.G. Wells's novel Kipps: The Story of a Simple Soul. Steele plays Arthur Kipps, an orphan who unexpectedly inherits a fortune, and climbs the social ladder before losing everything and realizing that you just can't buy happiness.

8d   Notice groom /making/ speech (7)

12d   Noisy /and/ very ferocious bats (10)

14d   Wild // flower seen across North (7)

15d   Caught by commercial, I phone up /for/ a car (8)

On cricket scorecards, the abbreviation c.[2,10] or c[5] denotes caught or caught by.

17d   Held dear // socialist, say, after a party (6)

18d   Cap removed from toy // firearm (5)

21d   Recording // -- first to take copy (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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