Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wednesday, May 20, 2015 — DT 27666

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27666
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, December 6, 2014
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27666 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27666 – Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave (Hints)
gnomethang (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
The National Post has skipped DT 27664 and DT 27665 which were published in The Daily Telegraph on Thursday, December 4, 2014 and Friday, December 5, 2014 respectively.
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 National Post has skipped a couple of puzzles. According to the biweekly rotation, I would have expected this one to have been set by Cephas (Peter Chamberlain). However, there is no information to confirm (or refute) this on Big Dave's blog.

Despite the two-star difficulty rating assigned by gnomethang, I found this puzzle quite challenging—especially the northwest quadrant (where I called in my electronic assistants for some backup).

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   Driving manoeuvre, // say doing a U-turn, with Gabriel getting clipped (4,6)

It would certainly have helped had I taken into account that Gabriel was no mere angel of ordinary rank.

In the Bible, Gabriel[5] is the archangel[5] (an angel of greater than ordinary rank) who foretold the birth of Jesus to the Virgin Mary (Luke 1:26-38), and who also appeared to Zacharias, father of John the Baptist, and to Daniel. In Islam, Gabriel is the archangel who revealed the Koran to the Prophet Muhammad.

6a   Sign of official correspondence /for/ electrical units (4)

OHMS[5] stands for On Her (or His) Majesty’s Service.

The ohm[5] is the SI unit of electrical resistance—SI being the abbreviation for the international system of units of measurement [from French Système International].

9a   Mafioso // trashed Rome around summer time (7)

BST[5] is the abbreviation for British Summer Time (the UK terminology for Daylight Saving Time).

10a   Match official // testimonial with no charge taken (7)

12a   Organised worker // intrudes into a struggle (5,8)

14a   She wrote // 'A Transatlantic Decade' (6)

... "transatlantic" from a British perspective.

Jane Austen[5] (1775–1817) was an English novelist. Her major novels are Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814), Emma (1815), Northanger Abbey (1818), and Persuasion (1818). They are notable for skilful characterization, dry wit, and penetrating social observation.

15a   Aid to understanding foreign films /being/ nuanced about it (8)

17a   Aggressive youth // had Nikes scuffed (8)

A skinhead[5] is a young man of a subculture characterized by close-cropped hair and heavy boots, often perceived as aggressive.

19a   Area west of New South Wales the Queen/'s/ come back to (6)

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   Amount of business done by electronics company /is/ sweet (5,8)

Apple Inc.[7] is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Cupertino, California, that designs, develops, and sells consumer electronics, computer software, online services, and personal computers.

Sweet[5] is the British term for a sweet dish forming a course of a meal; in other words, a pudding or dessert.

24a   See Kent all out // with extreme sharpness (7)

Scratching the Surface
Kent[5] is a county on the southeastern coast of England; county town, Maidstone.

25a   Time Foreign Office should intervene in riot // quickly (7)

I hadn't considered the solution to be an adverb—but I discover that it is.

Hotfoot[5] can mean in eager haste ⇒ he rushed hotfoot to the planning office to object.

26a   Provide comfort /and/ support mostly (4)

27a   Keep protection // with cutting through dreary escarpment (10)

A keep[5] is the strongest or central tower of a castle, acting as a final refuge.


1d   Like pheasant, e.g. // male having bright covering (4)

2d   A Roman assassin moving right up /in/ a tree (7)

Marcus Junius Brutus[5] (85-42 BC) was a Roman senator. With Cassius he led the conspirators who assassinated Julius Caesar in 44 BC. They were defeated by Caesar’s supporters, Antony and Octavian, at the battle of Philippi in 42 BC, after which Brutus committed suicide.

The arbutus[5] is an evergreen tree or shrub of a genus that includes the strawberry tree. Not to be confused with the trailing arbutus[5] (or mayflower), the floral emblem of both Nova Scotia and Massachusetts.

3d   Dairy product, // possible output of goat etc, it's said to make you smile (7,6)

4d   A vice /that's/ accepted (6)

5d   A bloomer // to stick around Eastern princess (8)

In oriental countries, especially India, a rani[10] (or ranee) is a queen or princess; the wife of a rajah.

7d   Musician // playing rap hits (7)

8d   Show passion and skill embracing wife /and/ lover (10)

11d   One is going from one party to another -- // got travel info somehow (8,5)

Floating voter[5] is a British term for a person who does not consistently vote for the same political party ⇒ the party leader stepped up his efforts to appeal to floating voters.

13d   Being madly made, // does it rise when sheep's angry? (10)

16d   Brag about amateur/'s/ support (8)

18d   What reporter announces /to create/ wow factor (7)

20d   Military leader /has/ news about half of army line (7)

It did spend a lot of time and effort trying to justify GENERAL based on it containing GEN (Briticism for information; or, in other words, news), RA (reversal (about) of half of ARmy) and L (line). It is only missing the second E.

21d   A Big Apple entertainment failing to start, in a haphazard way (6)

The Big Apple[5] is an informal name for New York City.

23d   One's sore, /getting/ left out of fashion (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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