Thursday, May 28, 2015

Thursday, May 28, 2015 — DT 27672

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27672
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, December 13, 2014
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27672 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27672 – Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave (Hints)
crypticsue (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.


The puzzle may be easy but that is no guarantee that one won't stumble—as I did at 14d.

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   Attendant's needed after petticoat // sliding (8)

Taking a closer look
Not being shy to explore a woman's undergarments, I had a look at the definition of petticoat and found that it seems to vary somewhat between American and British dictionaries. The American Heritage Dictionary defines petticoat[3] as a girl's or woman's undergarment, worn under a dress or skirt, that is often full and trimmed with ruffles or lace. This would appear to be a fancier garment than that described by the British dictionaries. Typical is Oxford Dictionaries Online which defines petticoat[5] as a woman’s light, loose undergarment hanging from the shoulders or the waist, worn under a skirt or dress—exactly what I would call a slip.

9a   Minute device // one could go off after a while (4,4)

The use of the word "device" to clue BOMB would seem to be exceedingly weak. The best explanation that I could find is that a bomb[5] is a thing resembling a bomb in shape, in particular ... a pear-shaped weight used to anchor a fishing line to the bottom.

10a   Not favouring // some indignant individuals (4)

11a   Colour /that's/ vulgar after a time (8,4)

13a   Close shave going over the top? (5,3)

A close shave, really? A razor cut appears to be neither a shaved head nor even a buzz cut. Depending on the dictionary one chooses to look at, a razor cut is either a short or tapered haircut effected with a razor[5], or a fluffy hairstyle, usually tapering at the neck, trimmed by a razor[10]. I did not find the term razor cut in either of the American dictionaries that I regularly consult.

15a   Flower planted in sediment /is/ ruined (6)

"Flower" = PO (show explanation)

Flower is used in the whimsical cryptic crossword sense of something that flows — in other words, a river.

The Po[7] is a river that arises in the Cottian Alps and flows eastward across northern Italy entering the Adriatic Sea through a delta near Venice.

hide explanation

What did she say?
In her review on Big Dave's blog, crypticsue says I am going to be kind to my fellow blogger   and just say that the Italian river PO ....
On December 31, 2010 in a review of DT 26437, gnomethang described the Po as a Chinese river—a faux pas he has never managed to live down.

16a   Curtain // evidentially drawn out at intervals (4)

17a   Where one learns // one's social status? (5)

18a   Mammoth /seen in/ press reaching Estonia's capital (4)

20a   Works to get across independent // statement of grievance (6)

"independent"= I (show explanation)

I[1] is the abbreviation for independent, likely in the context of a politician with no party affiliation. 

hide explanation

21a   Heavenly // ale -- three drunk (8)

23a   Unintended consequence /of/ engineers striking (12)

"engineers" = RE (show explanation)

The Corps of Royal Engineers[7], usually just called the Royal Engineers (abbreviation RE), and commonly known as the Sappers[7], is a corps of the British Army that provides military engineering and other technical support to the British Armed Forces.

hide explanation

26a   Its passengers don't take flight (4)

Lift[5] is the British term for an elevator[5].

27a   Lameness bothered // representatives (8)

28a   Kindness // to pass over diamonds given by final bequest (8)

Go means to pass in the sense of As time goes by.

"over" = O and "diamonds" = D (show explanation)

In cricket, an over[5] (abbreviation O[5]) is a division of play consisting of a sequence of six balls bowled by a bowler from one end of the pitch, after which another bowler takes over from the other end.

Diamonds[2] (abbreviation D[2]) is one of the four suits of playing-cards.

hide explanation


2d   Polish // one's speech? (8)

3d   Hull's high-water mark (8,4)

A Plimsoll line[5] is a marking on a ship’s side showing the limit of legal submersion when loaded with cargo under various sea conditions — named after Samuel Plimsoll (1824–1898), the English politician whose agitation in the 1870s resulted in the Merchant Shipping Act of 1876, ending the practice of sending to sea overloaded and heavily insured old ships, from which the owners profited if they sank.

What did she say?
In her review on Big Dave's blog, crypticsue says "The canvas shoes we wore for school PE are apparently called Plimsolls because ...".
Plimsoll[5] (also plimsole) is a British name for a light rubber-soled canvas shoe, worn especially for sports. One would guess that the alternate spelling derives from a confusion with the word "sole". As crypticsue informs us, the name is believed to come from the resemblance of the side of the sole to the Plimsoll line on the side of a ship.

Scratching the Surface
In the surface reading, we are likely expected to to interpret Hull as either the river or the city.

The River Hull[7] is a navigable river in Yorkshire in the north of England. It rises from a series of springs to the west of Driffield, and enters the Humber estuary at Kingston upon Hull.

Hull[5] is a city and port in northeastern England, situated at the junction of the Hull and Humber Rivers; population 263,000 (est. 2009). Official name Kingston upon Hull.

4d   Bill I had put on in charge, // that leaves a bitter taste (6)

I believe the definition to be "that leaves a bitter taste", a postpositive adjectival phrase that is equivalent to the adjective "acidic". One would say  Lemon juice is an acidic substance or  Lemon juice is a substance that leaves a bitter taste.

"in charge" = IC (show explanation)

The abbreviation i/c[5,10] (especially in military contexts) is short for in charge (of) ⇒ the Quartermaster General is i/c rations.

hide explanation

5d   Case for the sewer (4)

6d   Same ship suffering // stress (8)

7d   Object // to delay, nothing's to be held up (4)

8d   Sailor dispatched over limitless reef // one's failed to show up (8)

"Sailor" = AB (show explanation)

In the Royal Navy, according to Oxford Dictionaries Online, able seaman[5] (abbreviation AB[5]), is a rank of sailor above ordinary seaman and below leading seaman. On the other hand, Collins English Dictionary tells us that an able seaman[10] (also called able-bodied seaman) is an ordinary seaman, especially one in the merchant navy, who has been trained in certain skills. 

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12d   Born with real worries /in/ relation to partner (7-2-3)

14d   Business // pace has two characters rising at another's expense (5)

I never did figure out the wordplay on my own and needed crypticsue's explanation. I was trying desperately to make something out of "pace" = RATE.

Tread[5] is used in the sense of walk on or along ⇒ shoppers will soon be treading the floors of the new shopping mall. Actors are said to tread the boards while expectant fathers once paced the floor.

16d   Turn to mist /and/ spray over Pisa (8)

17d   Roman underground terminus? (8)

19d   Appreciative /for/ quantity of coal (8)

Grateful (in reference to the coal) would seem to be a term invented by the setter patterned after words such as mouthful, bellyful and barrelful.

22d   Style // set around one ring (6)

24d   European // flag-bearer (4)

The second salute to Poland today.

25d   Chorus // starts to serenade in noisy group (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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