Thursday, June 11, 2015

Thursday, June 11, 2015 — DT 27682

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27682
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, December 26, 2014
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27682]
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


Today we find Giovanni still in a mellow mood on the day after Christmas festivities 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   Company with limited employee system // finished business for the day? (6,4)

Closed shop[5] denotes a place of work where all employees must belong to an agreed trade union.

9a   Beside mountain pass there's a // tree (4)

The cola[5] (also kola) is any of several species of small evergreen African tree which is cultivated in the tropics for its seeds (cola nuts).

10a   Real Madrid excited -- // one put in the net? (3,7)

The red admiral[5] is any of several species of migratory butterfly which has dark wings marked with red bands and white spots.

Scratching the Surface
Real Madrid Club de Fútbol[7] (Royal Madrid Football Club), commonly known as Real Madrid, or simply as Real, is a professional football [soccer] club based in Madrid, Spain.

11a   Everyone in group /provided with/ helmet (6)

Historically, a sallet[5] is a light helmet with an outward curve extending over the back of the neck, worn as part of medieval armour.

12a   Graduates returning to university /for/ a day of rest (7)

The University of Bath[7] is a campus university located in Bath, United Kingdom. Several surveys have rated it as the best university in the UK on various counts (see details).

  • According to the 2014 National Student Survey (NSS) the University of Bath was ranked 1st for student satisfaction out of more than 150 UK higher education institutions. 
  • The Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2015 ranked Bath as the best university in the UK for student experience. 
  •  In The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2014 the University was awarded the title of "Best Campus University in Britain". 
  • Bath was awarded the title of ‘University of the Year 2011/12’. 
  • In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework, 32% of Bath's submitted research activity achieved the highest possible classification of 4*, defined as world-leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour. 87% was graded 4*/3*, defined as world-leading/internationally excellent.
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15a   Good person having complete // problem with speech (7)

16a   To the west Mediterranean island's // black (5)

Elba[5] is a small island off the west coast of Italy, famous as the place of Napoleon’s first exile (1814–15).

Sable[5] is a literary or heraldic term for black.

17a   Row /produced by/ short communication (4)

18a   A test // for all except outsiders (4)

19a   Use foil maybe /for/ guard (5)

21a   Demon // among demons -- terrifying (7)

22a   Merlin wanders round behind king /in/ citadel (7)

"king" = K (show explanation)

K[5] is an abbreviation for king that is used especially in describing play in card games and recording moves in chess.

hide explanation

A kremlin[5] is a citadel within a Russian town. The Kremlin[5] is the citadel in Moscow.

Scratching the Surface
In Arthurian legend, Merlin[5] is a magician who aided and supported King Arthur.

24a   /It's/ mad /and/ stupid, imprisoning saint (6)

S[5] (chiefly in Catholic use) is an abbreviation for SaintS Ignatius Loyola.

27a   Returning home, chum entering study /is/ invigorated again (10)

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.’.

In Britain, to read[5] means to study (an academic subject) at a university ⇒ (i) I’m reading English at Cambridge; (ii) he went to Manchester to read for a BA in Economics.

28a   Lover no longer wanted is sent to it? (4)

This is an &lit.[7] clue (sometimes called an all-in-one clue). The entire clue (when read one way) is the definition, but under a different interpretation takes on the role of wordplay. The wordplay parses as EX (lover no longer wanted) + (is sent to) IT (from the clue).

29a   Girl's state of anxiety -- // result of overeating? (10)

Di, a diminutive for Diana, is — without doubt — the most popular girl's name in Crosswordland.


2d   Song // was first number one to be included (4)

A lied[5] (plural lieder) is a type of German song, especially of the Romantic period, typically for solo voice with piano accompaniment.

3d   Mark on a black // beetle (6)

The scarab[5] (also sacred scarab) is a large dung beetle (Scarabaeus sacer) of the eastern Mediterranean area, regarded as sacred in ancient Egypt.

4d   Silly people // swim, I'd fancy, around end of boat (7)

5d   Fast mover // rescues maiden from women's group (4)

"maiden" = M (show explanation)

In cricket, a maiden[5], also known as a maiden over, (abbreviation M)[5] is an over in which no runs are scored. An over[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.

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In former times, a harem[5] was (1) the separate part of a Muslim household reserved for wives, concubines, and female servants or (2) the women occupying a harem; the wives (or concubines) of a polygamous man.

6d   Last of cops up late pounding // beat (7)

7d   Change to 'all clear' /bringing/ security (10)

8d   Plant place within fellow/'s/ grand design (6,4)

An aster[5] is any plant of the genus Aster, having white, blue, purple, or pink daisy-like flowers.

"place" = PL (show explanation)

Pl.[5] (also pl.) is the abbreviation for Place (in street addresses) ⇒ 3 Palmerston Pl., Edinburgh.

hide explanation

12d   One's smiled awkwardly, // with formal dignity (10)

13d   Yellow peril? (6,4)

14d   Show hesitation -- // that sometimes leads to sack! (5)

Haver[5] is a British term meaning to act in a vacillating or indecisive manner ⇒ she was exasperated by all this havering.

A haversack[5] is a small, strong bag carried on the back or over the shoulder, used especially by soldiers and walkers. The term ultimately derives from an obsolete German word Habersack, denoting a bag used by soldiers to carry oats as horse feed, from dialect Haber 'oats' + Sack 'sack, bag'.

What are they talking about?
In Comment #3 on Big Dave's blog, Rick says "I got 14d from the lyrics to the Proclaimers’ ‘500 Miles’." to which Rabbit Dave replies that he "had assumed it was an item of a Scottish dialect".
Well, on this point, I would say that Rabbit Dave is more likely to be correct than Rick.

The lyrics to The Proclaimers' "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" include the lines:
"And if I haver, hey, I know I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be the man who's havering to you"
In Scottish dialect, haver[5] is a verb meaning to talk foolishly or babble as well as a noun (also havers) meaning foolish talk or nonsense.

15d   Smart // little son sitting on lap (5)

19d   Excited // always when entertained by US agent (7)

Fed[5] is a US term for a federal agent or official, especially a member of the FBI ⇒ I don’t think he has any friends since he grassed to the Feds.

I found the usage example from Oxford Dictionaries Online (shown above) to be rather bizarre. I cannot imagine a US gangster uttering such a statement.

Grass is an informal British term meaning (1) as a noun, a police informer[5] and (2) as a verb, to inform the police of someone’s criminal activities or plans[5]someone had grassed on the thieves. This expression may derive from rhyming slang (grasshopper 'copper').

A US hood would be more likely to say I don’t think he has any friends since he ratted to the Feds.

20d   Learned // head of English impolite about use of computers, etc (7)

IT[5] is the abbreviation for information technology.

23d   Busybodies said to /get/ awards (6)

According to The Chambers Dictionary, busybody[1] is a verb meaning to behave like a busybody. [Note: this is yet another instance of a meaning that Chambers has so far managed to keep secret from the publishers of other dictionaries.]

25d   Fish // experts -- // they give evidence to police (4)

As the British would say, I was chuffed (show explanation) to have recognized that this clue is a triple definition — something that usually eludes me.

Chuffed[5] is an informal British term meaning very pleased ⇒ I’m dead chuffed to have won.

hide explanation

Dab[5] is a name given to any of several species of  small, commercially important flatfish found chiefly in the North Atlantic.

Dab[10] is another name for dab hand[10], an informal British term for a person who is particularly skilled at something or, in other words, an expert a dab hand at chess.

Dab[5,10] (often plural) is British slang for fingerprint the catalogue is being dusted for your dabs.

26d   Godlike fellow /giving/ the lady a ring (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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