Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Tuesday, June 2, 2015 — DT 27675

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27675
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Jay (Jeremy Mutch)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27675]
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


I fully concur with the 2Kiwis that this puzzle is worthy of three stars for difficulty and four stars for enjoyment. For me, it was 1a which was the last to fall. Even then, I got the solution largely from the pattern of the checking letters—then had to sort out the wordplay. I thought it was an outstanding clue, and—hands down—my favourite.

Reading Brian's comments on Big Dave's blog today would almost make one suspect that he has undergone a "road to Damascus" experience.

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   Not at all // amused, reply angrily dismissing daughter (2,8)

6a   Measure of a ruler/'s/ progress? (4)

9a   Civilisation /finds/ remedy imprisoning Unionist officer (7)

A Unionist[5] (abbreviation U[10]) is (1) a person, especially a member of a Northern Ireland political party, who is in favour of the union of Northern Ireland with Great Britain or (2) historically, a member of a British political party formed in 1886 which supported maintenance of the parliamentary union between Great Britain and Ireland.

10a   The charms of West Africa must include Italian // cocktails (7)

"Italian" = IT (show explanation)

A couple of explanations are available:
  • It.[10] is an abbreviation for Italian or Italy.

  • Italian[10] is another name for Italian vermouth. It[5] is an informal, dated British term for Italian vermouth ⇒ he poured a gin and it.

hide explanation

Mojo[10] is US slang of West African origin for an amulet, charm, or magic spell.

A mojito[5] is a cocktail consisting of white rum, lime or lemon juice, sugar, mint, ice, and carbonated or soda water.

12a   Earth/'s/ revised opinion? (6,2,5)

This is an inverse anagram (or, as the 2Kiwis call it in their review, a reverse anagram). (show explanation)

In a regular anagram, an anagram indicator operates on the anagram fodder (both of which are found in the clue) to produce a result (which is found in the solution).

Thus, if one were to encounter "change of heart" in a clue, one would decipher it as an anagram of (change of) HEART producing EARTH with the anagram indicator being "change of", the anagram fodder being "heart", and the result being "EARTH".

In an inverse anagram, on the other hand, the solver is presented with the result of an anagram operation and is required to find the anagram indicator and anagram fodder that would produce that result. That is, the result is found in the clue and the anagram indicator and anagram fodder are found in the solution. In the present instance, "Earth" (found in the clue) could be the result of an anagram operation in which the anagram indicator is "change of" and the anagram fodder is "heart".

Often, as today, there is no explicit indication of the existence of an inverse anagram apart from the "?" at the end of the clue.

Besides inverse anagrams, one may also encounter other types of inverse wordplay, such as inverse reversals.

By the way, I prefer to use the term inverse wordplay rather than reverse wordplay as the workings of this clue type is very much analogous to that of an inverse function in mathematics. Thus the term appeals to my engineering and mathematical background. Besides, I think the terminology inverse reversal is much preferable to the awkward phraseology reverse reversal.

hide explanation

14a   New honesty boxes left // in a sneaky way (2,3,3)

15a   Emphasise // a little money in Europe captures carbon (6)

A cent[5] is a monetary unit in various countries[10], equal to one hundredth of a dollar, euro, or other decimal currency unit. However, in Britain — despite having adopted a decimal currency system — one hundredth of a pound is known as a penny rather than a cent.

17a   Edge that projects, // initially from different angle (6)

19a   Almost get wind of a venue for carnival // setting (8)

The 2Kiwis have omitted the middle element of the charade in their explanation. The wordplay is {SCEN[T] (get wind of) with the final letter removed (almost)} + A (from the clue) + RIO (venue for carnival).

21a   Rather alert, possibly grabbing gold // eventually (6,2,5)

"gold" = OR (show explanation)

Or[5] is gold or yellow, as a heraldic tincture.

hide explanation

24a   Worker // engaged in heart-to-heart is antagonistic (7)

25a   Round of applause given to fish // expert (3,4)

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

Dab hand[5] is an informal British term for a person who is an expert at a particular activity ⇒ Liam is a dab hand at golf.

26a   Positive response by European // viewers (4)

27a   Annoys son unloading lorry // for no reason (10)

Lorry[5] is a British term for a truck.


1d   Illegal scheme set up /to get/ coats (4)

Mac[5] is an informal name for a mackintosh[5], a British term for a full-length waterproof coat.

2d   European hypocrisy dismissing new // mammal (7)

Have you noticed that Poles seem to be turning up everywhere in Crosswordland recently.

A polecat[5] is a weasel-like Eurasian mammal with mainly dark brown fur and a darker mask across the eyes, noted for its fetid smell. There are three species, in particular the European polecat (Mustela putorius) which is the probable ancestor of the domestic ferret. In North America [although only in the US, as far as I know], the name is also applied to the skunk.

3d   Hazard of university? (8,5)

Likely an allusion to the expression "hazard a guess".

4d   One mesmerises // subjects ultimately leaving in a confused state (8)

A Svengali[5] is a person who exercises a controlling or mesmeric influence on another, especially for a sinister purpose. The term comes from the name of a musician in George du Maurier's novel Trilby (1894), who controls Trilby's stage singing hypnotically.

5d   Casanova/'s/ city love (5)

"love" = O (show explanation)

In tennis, squash, and some other sports, love[5] is a score of zero or nil ⇒ love fifteen. The resemblance of a zero written as a numeral (0) to the letter O leads to the cryptic crossword convention of the word "love" being used to clue this letter.

hide explanation

7d   Compound // charge applied to idiot (7)

Nit[5] is an informal British term for a foolish person ⇒ you stupid nit!.

8d   Indecision /of/ the man with one in position (10)

11d   Policeman chasing Gospel // artist (4,9)

What did they say?
In their review, the 2Kiwis describe the policeman as a bobby that you used to see walking the beat.
In Britain, bobby[5] is an informal name for a police officer. The name comes from a nickname for Robert, the given name of Sir Robert Peel[5] (1788–1850), British Prime Minister 1834-5 and 1841-6, who as Home Secretary (1828–30) established the Metropolitan Police [perhaps better known as Scotland Yard].

John Constable[5] (1776–1837) was an English painter. Among his best-known works are early paintings such as Flatford Mill (1817) and The Hay Wain (1821), inspired by the landscape of his native Suffolk.

13d   Seize // dissident factions in church (10)

"church" = CE (show explanation)

The Church of England[10] (abbreviation CE[10]) is the reformed established state Church in England, Catholic in order and basic doctrine, with the Sovereign as its temporal head.

hide explanation

16d   Sort of weather front // Dec could set right (8)

In the field of meteorology, an occluded front[5] is a composite front produced by occlusion[5], a process by which the cold front of a rotating low-pressure system catches up the warm front, so that the warm air between them is forced upwards off the earth’s surface between wedges of cold air.

18d   Trouble with private English // child under one's wing (7)

20d   Has another look at sentence // concerning engineers and adverts (7)

"engineers" = RE (show explanation)

The Corps of Royal Engineers[7], usually just called the Royal Engineers (abbreviation RE), and commonly known as the Sappers[7], is a corps of the British Army that provides military engineering and other technical support to the British Armed Forces.

hide explanation

22d   Weight // when university's given acceptance? (5)

23d   Starts to eat and drink, getting you // nervous (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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