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
Setter
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
┌────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┐
███████████████████████████████████
└────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┘
Legend:
- 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

Introduction

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.

Across

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.
hide explanation

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.

Down

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.

hide explanation

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]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (American Heritage Dictionary)
[4]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (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] - CollinsDictionary.com (Collins English Dictionary)
[11] - TheFreeDictionary.com (Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary)
Signing off for today — Falcon

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