Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Wednesday, May 13, 2015 — DT 27659

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27659
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, November 28, 2014
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27659]
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


I made good progress until I became mired in the lower reaches of the puzzle. For a couple of clues, I didn't need much of a push to extricate myself. However, for the third, even though I had the correct solution, I needed to look at Deep Threat's explanation to understand the wordplay.

One clue (19a) was modified on the Telegraph website during the course of the day of publication in the UK. You will understand why when you read the review. As is customary, we have been presented with the original version of the clue which appeared in the print edition of The Daily Telegraph. However, I have included both clues in my review.

Phil McNeill, the Telegraph Crossword Editor, provides an overview of the puzzle production process in a response to Comment #17 on Big Dave's blog. To this I would add that, based on my experience, it would appear the syndicated version of the puzzle is released prior to the date of publication in the UK — which explains why last minute changes are not reflected in the puzzle carried by the National Post. Although there is currently a five and a half month delay between the publication of the puzzle in the UK and its appearance in Canada, many papers around the world print it much earlier. I believe some even carry the puzzle on the same day as it is published in the UK.

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   The deal now being negotiated /is/ shabby (4-2-4)

British dictionaries spell this term variously as either down-at-heel[2,10] or down at heel[5,10] while American dictionaries have it as down-at-heel or down-at-the-heel[3] or, alternatively, down-at-heel(s) or down-at-the-heel(s)[11]. The Chambers Dictionary lists the term twice — with different spellings. Under the entry for down, it is spelled down-at-heel while under the entry for heel, it is spelled down at heel.

6a   One put in grave, // as already mentioned (4)

9a   Seductive type // to come in, wanting one caught, trapped (7)

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

10a   Goes round // a hill to the west with group returning (7)

12a   Pastor Michael could be // up in the clouds maybe? (13)

14a   Chemical /in/ Italian river and lake occupied by bird (6)

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.

15a   Unwelcome visitors // disturbed maidservant putting out mat (8)

17a   Moves to another country abandoning good // Arab lands (8)

An emirate[10] is the government, jurisdiction, or territory of an emir[5], a title of various Muslim (mainly Arab) rulers.

19a   Nasty cricket delivery /to get/ one smiling (6)

Through an ironic and unfortunate coincidence, this clue appeared in The Daily Telegraph on the day following the death of Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes[7] from injuries he sustained when hit by a bowled ball in a cricket match in Sydney, Australia two days earlier. The fact that it was a bouncer that struck him, rather than a beamer, makes the incident no less tragic.

A bouncer[5] is a ball bowled fast and short so as to rise high after pitching.

A beamer[5] is a ball bowled directly at a batsman’s head or upper body without bouncing (regarded as unsporting [or "not cricket"?]).

On the Telegraph web site, the clue was later replaced by the following clue:
  • 19a   Ray's meeting the Queen -- /that should get/ one smiling (6)
For those in the know, the substitute clue is outstanding.

Ray Terrell (who goes by the alias RayT at Big Dave's site) sets cryptic crosswords for The Daily Telegraph (in fact, he set the puzzle which appeared in the National Post yesterday). In addition to setting the daily Cryptic Crossword on alternate Thursdays in the UK, he is also one of the setters of Toughie puzzles — a second, more difficult, cryptic crossword that appears in The Daily Telegraph — which he does under the pseudonym Beam. A trademark in his daily Cryptic Crossword puzzles is a reference to the Queen [supposedly actually a tribute to his favourite rock band, Queen].

Thus one could interpret "ray" to be merely be a synonym for 'beam' or "Ray" could be a reference to Mr. Terrell's alter ego, Beam.

The regnal ciphers (monograms) of British monarchs are initials formed from the Latin version of their first name followed by either Rex or Regina (Latin for king or queen, respectively). Thus, the regnal cipher of Queen Elizabeth is ER[5] — from the Latin Elizabetha Regina.

22a   Determined /to be/ famous (13)

24a   Extra notes // about South Africa strewn across a study (7)

The International Vehicle Registration (IVR) code for South Africa is ZA[5] [from Dutch Zuid Afrika].

A cadenza[5] is a virtuoso solo passage inserted into a movement in a concerto or other musical work, typically near the end.

25a   Imitate // bird having got out of office (7)

Apparently, in addition to meaning dead, the term late[3] can mean having recently occupied a position or place the company's late president gave the address. Nevertheless, were I to see or hear this statement, I would certainly envision a message from beyond the grave!

26a   Kind of game not to be played gently (4)

Piano[3,5] (abbreviation p[5]), is a musical direction meaning either (as an adjective) soft or quiet or (as an adverb) softly or quietly.

27a   Getting rid of debt /in/ colony (10)

My body is black and blue from self-inflicted injuries after kicking myself for failing to solve this clue unaided.


1d   Pass away before time -- if this is bad? (4)

I would say that the entire clue constitutes the definition.

2d   A person who does not drink into money /and/ power (7)

TT[5] is the abbreviation for teetotal or teetotaller.

Delving Deeper
Teetotal[5] means choosing or characterized by abstinence from alcohol ⇒ a teetotal lifestyle. The term is an emphatic extension of total, apparently first used by Richard Turner, a worker from Preston [England], in a speech (1833) urging total abstinence from all alcohol, rather than mere abstinence from spirits, as advocated by some early temperance reformers.

Wattage[5] is an amount of electrical power expressed in watts.

3d   The homeless may be looking for this // compromise (13)

4d   A right idiot undermining hospital /creates/ worry (6)

5d   US marshal needs to get sharper // piece of audio equipment (8)

Wyatt Earp[5] (1848–1929) was an American gambler and marshal. He is famous for the gunfight at the OK Corral (1881), in which Wyatt with his brothers and his friend Doc Holliday fought the Clanton brothers at Tombstone, Arizona.

7d   For example, a // leader? (7)

Deep Threat appears not to have recognized this clue as a double definition.

Grammatically, "a" is an example of an indefinite article.

Leader[5] is a British term for a leading article in a newspaper.

8d   Party line being held with certain // release of information (10)

In Britain, disco[5] — in addition to being a style of music or dancing or a club at which such music is performed — can also refer to a party at which people dance to such music.

11d   What may offer 3 in a row (8,5)

The numeral "3" is a cross reference indicator directing the solver to insert the solution to clue 3d 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.

Terraced house[10] is a British term for a house that is part of a row of houses, usually identical and having common dividing walls [US and Canadian names: row house, town house].

13d   Extra bits of written material // I'd pen with space free (10)

16d   Be left standing /in/ capital city (8)

Belgrade[5] is the capital of Serbia and formerly of Yugoslavia, situated on the River Danube; population 1,119,000 (est. 2008).

18d   Pub drink, did you say? // I know things others don't (7)

20d   Chum protecting journalist, one // to act as a go-between (7)

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.’.

21d   Strip // bar on Little Street (6)

23d   Food // kept in home -- atrocious! (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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