Thursday, June 25, 2015

Thursday, June 25, 2015 — DT 27696

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27696
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Monday, January 12, 2015
Rufus (Roger Squires)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27696]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
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 27695 which was published in The Daily Telegraph on Saturday, January 10, 2015.


The editor at the National Post threw me a curve ball today, skipping the puzzle that I had expected to be published — and for which I had the review all ready to go.

Instead of the "Saturday" puzzle that would have appeared, we get a "Monday" Rufus puzzle instead. At Big Dave's Crossword Blog, the duty blogger is Miffypops — whose reviews are always interesting, even if occasionally found to be lacking in precision.

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   Rocks // King in mixed doubles (8)

"king" = R (show explanation )

Rex[5] (abbreviation R[5]) [Latin for king] denotes the reigning king, used following a name (e.g. Georgius Rex, King George) or in the titles of lawsuits (e.g. Rex v. Jones, the Crown versus Jones — often shortened to R. v. Jones).

hide explanation

Scratching the Surface
Billie Jean King[7] is an American former World No. 1 professional tennis player. King won 39 Grand Slam titles, including 12 singles, 16 women's doubles, and 11 mixed doubles titles.

6a   Use of it may weaken the spirit (6)

A siphon[2] (or syphon), in full soda siphon (or soda syphon), is a bottle from which a liquid, especially soda water, is forced by pressure of gas. It is also known (especially in the US) as a siphon bottle[10].

9a   On the surface, // a delivery vehicle (6)

Float[5,10] is a British term for a small delivery vehicle, especially one powered by batteries a milk float.

10a   Quietly object /when getting/ a tiny portion (8)

"quietly" = P (show explanation )

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.

hide explanation

In his review, Miffypops likely meant to say something along the lines of "Take our usual abbreviation for quietly and add another word for [object to give] a tiny or minute portion of matter.".

11a   See if lab hybrid /is/ likely to work (8)

12a   Often repaired, /but it's/ irregular (6)

The wordplay is a whimsical definition — that is, one that has been invented by the setter. You won't find this definition in the dictionary; but, then, the setter did warn us that "it's irregular".

13a   A suitable sucker? (7,5)

A tailor's dummy[10] is a mannequin used to help tailor or fit clothes.

16a   Surprisingly, her best sally/'s/ showing lack of inspiration (12)

In his review, Miffypops comes up a bit short in identifying the definition. The solution is an adverb; thus the word "showing" must be included in the definition.

19a   Annoy /by/ leaving on purpose (6)

Part of the wordplay may be clarified by this exchange, Are you leaving now? Yes, I'm off.

21a   Training // that every prisoner should have (8)

In clues of this structure (in which the wordplay begins with the word "that"), mentally insert the word "something" (or "someone", if appropriate) before the word "that" in the definition.

23a   Daughter abandons flirtation /for/ marriage (8)

24a   Controlled by banks, this divides capital in the UK (6)

London[5] is the capital of the United Kingdom, situated in southeastern England on the River Thames; population (Greater London) 7,619,800 (est. 2008).

25a   First name /for/ Australian port (6)

Sydney[5] is the capital of New South Wales in southeastern Australia; population 4,399,722 (2008). It was the first British settlement in Australia and is the country’s largest city and chief port — having been blessed with a fine natural harbour.

26a   Order insisted -- // good order (8)


2d   Cricket side's opener // played badly (3-3)

"cricket side" = OFF (show explanation )

In cricket, the off[5]  (also called off side) is the half of the field (as divided lengthways through the pitch) towards which the batsman's feet are pointed when standing to receive the ball.  The other half of the field is known as either the leg[5] (also called leg side) or on[5] (also called on side)he played a lucky stroke to leg.

hide explanation

3d   Steals // -- lifting a seat (5)

Miffypops might have better phrased his hint as "a reversal of this form of seating without a back or arms gives a verb meaning engages in a form of stealing".

4d   Found // habit less unsettling (9)

5d   C-in-C // starts to drink, gets more drunk (7)

As a verb, sup[5] is a dated or Northern English term meaning to take (drink or liquid food) by sips or spoonfuls ⇒ (i) she supped up her soup delightedly; (ii) he was supping straight from the bottle. As a noun, sup[5] means (1) a sip of liquid ⇒ he took another sup of wine or (2) in Northern England or Ireland, an alcoholic drink ⇒ the latest sup from those blokes at the brewery.

C-in-C[2] (or C in C[10] or C.-in-C.[5,10]) is the abbreviation for Commander-in-Chief.

Supremo[5] is an informal British term meaning (1) a person in overall charge of an organization or activity ⇒ the Channel Four supremo or (2) a person with great authority or skill in a certain area ⇒ an interior by design supremo Kelly .

6d   Abandon // fight (5)

7d   To indicate what one should do /is/ a job for the police (5,4)

Point duty[5] is a British term denoting the duties of a police officer or other official stationed at a junction to control traffic ⇒ if necessary extra officers would be placed on point duty.

8d   It's OK to use an abbreviation (8)

The US Postal Service abbreviation for the state of Oklahoma[7] is OK.

13d   Actor /gives/ reading at new production (9)

To be precise, the wordplay is an anagram (new production) of READING AT.

14d   New speed cuts // thought likely (9)

15d   Paintings entirely // in ingenious style (8)

To be precise, the definition (being an adverb) is "in ingenious style".

17d   Singular ingredient of the weather (7)

The weather is often referred to as "the elements". Thus one component of the weather must be "an element", n'est-ce pas?

18d   A second TV's // property worth having (6)

20d   First-rate // comic, 1937-2012 (5)

The Dandy[7] was a long-running children's comic published in the United Kingdom from 1937 to 2012, at which time The Dandy relaunched as an online comic, The Digital Dandy. The digital relaunch was not successful and the comic folded just six months later.

Behind the Picture
The illustration in Miffypop's review shows Desperate Dan[7], a wild west character in the British comic The Dandy. He first appeared in its first issue, dated 4 December 1937. He is reputed to be the world's strongest man, able to lift a cow with one hand. Even his beard is so tough he has to shave with a blowtorch. Among his favourite foods is "cow pie" — which apparently is a whole cow baked in a pie, and not a "meadow muffin".

22d   A measure /of/ restraint (5)

A chain[3,4] is a unit of length — in fact, either of two units of length. To a surveyor, it is a unit of 66 feet (Gunter's chain) while, to an engineer, it is a unit of 100 feet (engineer's chain).

What did he say?
In his review, Miffypop's refers to a chain as the "measure of a cricket pitch".
In the game of cricket, the cricket pitch[7] consists of the central strip of the cricket field between the wickets — 1 chain or 22 yards (20.12 m) long and 10 feet (3.05 m) wide.
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


  1. Whew, a break from the toughies of the last couple of days - had some trouble with the SW corner, until 16D fell in place, which gave 23A for a finish. Clever wordplays and enough anagrams to make it solvable. 3/3. Liked 10A, 13D

    1. Yes, it was comparatively easy in relation to recent puzzles. On the other hand, it was comparatively difficult in comparison to a "normal" Rufus puzzle.

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