Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Tuesday, June 16, 2015 — DT 27688

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27688
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, January 2, 2015
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27688]
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
The National Post has skipped DT 27685 through DT 27687 which were published in The Daily Telegraph from Tuesday, December 30, 2014 to Thursday, January 1, 2015.


Happy New Year! The National Post has skipped ahead a few puzzles and we are now beginning to see puzzles that appeared in The Daily Telegraph in 2015.

I used a fair bit of electronic help on this puzzle due to the pressure of the (self-imposed) blog deadline. I likely would have been able to progress further on my own had I been able to set it aside for a few hours. I find that my subconscious continues to process in the background and when I return to the puzzle, clues that totally confounded me the first time around often magically fall into place.

For the benefit of new readers, note that explanations for frequently encountered terms are hidden. You can reveal the explanation by clicking on (show explanation ).

Congratulations! You got it.

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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.


4a   The cream // to play against Wolves (4,4)

The wordplay is FACE (to play against) + PACK (Wolves)

Face pack[5] is a British term for a cosmetic preparation spread over the face and left for some time to cleanse and improve the condition of the skin ⇒ (i) she was applying a face pack; (ii) weekly face packs are beneficial.

Scratching the Surface
As Deep Threat alludes to in his review, the surface reading is intended to suggest that the best players (cream) will play against the Wolves.

Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club[7] (commonly referred to as the Wolves) is an English professional football [soccer] club that represents the city of Wolverhampton in the West Midlands. They currently compete in the Football League Championship, the second highest tier of English football.

8a   Duck beyond river grabbed by some // other bird (6)

"duck" = O (show explanation )

In cricket, a duck[5] is a batsman’s score of nought [zero] ⇒ he was out for a duck. This is similar to the North American expression goose egg[5] meaning a zero score in a game. In British puzzles, duck is used to indicate the letter "O" based on the resemblance of the digit "0" to this letter.

hide explanation

9a   Symbols /in/ old books stored in country (8)

"old books" = OT (show explanation )

In Crosswordland, the word "books" is often used to clue either the Old Testament (OT) or the New Testament (NT). Often the clue does not specify whether the reference is to the former or the latter. However, today's setter is very precise.

hide explanation

10a   Conservative getting found out // fell apart (8)

"Conservative" = C (show explanation )

The Conservative Party[5] (abbreviation C.[10])  is a a major British political party that emerged from the old Tory Party under Sir Robert Peel in the 1830s and 1840s. Since the Second World War, it has been in power 1951–64, 1970-4, and 1979–97. It governed in a coalition with the Liberal Democrats from 2010 until the general election held in May of this year, in which it was returned with a majority.

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Rumble[5] is an informal British expression meaning to discover (an illicit activity or its perpetrator) ⇒ it wouldn’t need a genius to rumble my little game.

11a   Payment // covered by parent always (6)

12a   One in sheltered accommodation's in // Chinese city (8)

Tientsin is a variant spelling of Tianjin[5], a port in northeastern China, in Hebei province; population 5,332,100 (est. 2006).

13a   Joker concealing name /is/ a criminal (8)

16a   Urge fellow /to be/ a correspondent? (8)

Pressman[5] is a chiefly British term for a journalist.

19a   Removes // portions of text (8)

EXCERPTS may almost fit the bill — but it is not what the setter had in mind.

21a   Cards shown round front of club to get such initially? (6)

This style of clue is known as an &lit.[7] (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.

23a   Rural communities full of anger -- // they can kill people (8)

24a   Josh /revealed as/ wicked in time (8)

25a   Man /in/ street unruffled (6)

For (more than) a hint, hover your cursor over the picture in Deep Threat's review.

26a   Thy meat's going off -- // it's purple! (8)


1d   Bend // that may be seen in locks (7)

This is a double definition in which the latter one is cryptic. Read the latter one as "[something] that may be seen in locks".

2d   Amount of muck // one found in ghastly loch (9)

Loch Ness[5] is a deep lake in northwestern Scotland, in the Great Glen. Forming part of the Caledonian Canal, it is 38 km (24 miles) long, with a maximum depth of 230 m (755 ft).

3d   Photos /of/ work aboard ship (6)

"aboard ship" = contained in SS (show explanation )

In Crosswordland, a ship is almost invariably a steamship, the abbreviation for which is SS[10]. Thus "aboard ship" is code for 'contained in SS'.

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4d   Getting established -- // it can be harder for someone with a big corporation (7,4,4)

Corporation[3,4,5,11] is a dated humorous term for a large paunch or pot belly.

5d   Worrying about the heartless // activity at event (8)

6d   What mountaineer requires /is/ hint when ascending -- to get on (5)

7d   Men having beer after church -- /where/ this is sung? (7)

"men" = OR (show explanation )

In the British armed forces, the term other ranks[5] (abbreviation OR[5]) refers to all those who are not commissioned officers.

hide explanation

14d   Animals brought up and graded // in different cages? (9)

The question mark indicates that this is an instance of "definition by example".

15d   One sent // before time, left to go to collect girl (8)

17d   Recover /as result of/ fantastic miracle (7)

18d   Out on the field, // puzzled? (7)

In cricket, stump[5,10] means for a fielder, especially a wicketkeeper, to dismiss a batsman by breaking his wicket with the ball or with the ball in the hand while the batsman is out of the crease but not running.

20d   Bird // that is half hidden sitting on water plant (6)

A thrush[5] is any of numerous species of small or medium-sized songbird belonging to the family Turdidae (the thrush family), typically having a brown back, spotted breast, and loud song. The thrush family also includes the chats, robins, blackbirds, nightingales, redstarts, and wheatears.

22d   Be // established as transporter of football team? (5)

Eleven[5] is the number of players on a cricket[7] side or an Association football[7] [soccer] team — and is often used as a metonym for such a team ⇒ at cricket I played in the first eleven.
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


  1. Came a cropper. 18d in the NW corner. Four stars difficulty and not much fun. Needed your hints today.

    1. Am I wrong or are you sounding a bit "Brianish"?

    2. Hahaha !!! There were a few grumpy comments on BD's blog. But I will admit that today's puzzle restored my sympathy for poor Brian. Misery loves company.