Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tuesday, June 23, 2015 — DT 27693

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27693
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, January 8, 2015
RayT (Ray Terrell)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27693]
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 made good progress until I hit the last couple of clues. I delayed calling in the electronic reinforcements as long as possible but, in the end, concluded I had no choice.

This puzzle appeared in The Daily Telegraph on the day following the terrorist attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris, thus explaining the expressions of "Je suis Charlie" in the comments.The fact that Ray Terrell, the setter of the puzzle, happens to live in Paris made the situation a bit more poignant.

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.


7a   Craft // with single course facing empty seas (8)

I interpreted course[5] to be used in the sense of a continuous horizontal layer of brick, stone, or other material in a wall. In his review, pommers chooses to follow a different line of thought.

9a   Scoundrel's hit, /getting/ cane (6)

Scratching the Surface
Caning[7] is a form of corporal punishment consisting of a number of hits (known as "strokes" or "cuts") with a single cane usually made of rattan, generally applied to the offender's bare or clothed buttocks or palms of the hands.

The thin cane generally used for corporal punishment is not to be confused with a walking stick, sometimes also called (especially in American English) a "cane" but which is thicker and much more rigid, and more likely to be made of stronger wood than of cane.

In the UK, all corporal punishment in private schools was finally banned in 1999 for England and Wales, 2000 in Scotland, and 2003 in Northern Ireland.

10a   Progress /made by/ the old man's son (4)

11a   Terrible canteen's stocking American // food (10)

Draw Back the Curtains
As is often the case, a number of illustrations in pommers review are hidden. Let's draw back the curtains to reveal what they are hiding.

I guess it counts as sustenance.

12a   Bands /making/ collections for speakers (6)

14a   Spread // some caramel on gateau (8)

15a   Upset since originally trapped /in/ fly, perhaps (6)

17a   Explosive dissolved before detonator's top // fired (6)

"explosive" = HE (show explanation )

HE[5] is the abbreviation for high explosive.

hide explanation

20a   Cut // both sides of tree sheltering last animal (8)

Run[5] is used in the sense of to continue or be valid or operative for a particular period of time ⇒ (i) the course ran for two days; (ii) this particular debate will run and run.

22a   Continental appetiser nibbled at party events initially (6)

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.

This French appetiser might be nibbled at the beginning of a dinner party before sitting down to the meal. 

Delving Deeper
A canapé[5] is a small piece of bread or pastry with a savoury topping, served with drinks at receptions or formal parties.

A canapé[5] is also a decorative French antique sofa.

The name of the appetiser is a figurative extension of the sense 'sofa' (as a ‘couch’ on which to place toppings).

23a   Ran despite boils // on foot (10)

24a   Turn /using/ second gear (4)

A turn[3] is a brief theatrical act or stage appearance.

25a   Rows /from/ ship around lake (6)

"ship" = SS (show explanation )

In Crosswordland, a ship is rarely anything other than a steamship (abbreviation SS[5]).

hide explanation

26a   Sailor // one predicts sheltering at a distance (8)

Draw Back the Curtains
Ellen MacArthur - a real seafarer
Dame Ellen MacArthur[7] is a retired British sailor who in
2005 broke the world record for the fastest solo circumnavigation of the globe.


1d   Cook a lot topping Italy/'s/ pasta (8)

"Italy" = I (show explanation )

{The International Vehicle Registration (IVR) code for Italy is I[5] [from Italian Italia].

hide explanation

Draw Back the Curtains

Rigatoni Bolognese

2d   The man's small, /provoking/ jeer (4)

Scratching the Surface
How timely! Only yesterday on CBC radio's q, Shad interviewed the winner of the Smallest Penis in Brooklyn pageant.

3d   Lovers usually embracing, // playing (6)

4d   Caesar's heart found in morgue, horribly // macabre (8)

Scratching the Surface
Caesar[5] is a title of Roman emperors, especially those from Augustus to Hadrian.

The title is probably most commonly associated with the Roman general and statesman Gaius Julius Caesar[5] (100–44 BC).

5d   Get up // after shattering blows (10)

6d   Charm /of/ master's bed (6)

What did he say?
In his review, pommers refers to a cot as a baby's bed.
In Britain, a small bed with high barred sides for a baby or very young child is called a cot[5] rather than a crib[5] as it is known in North America.

8d   Is raised by practically strict // nun (6)

Draw Back the Curtains
Sister Act

13d   Refuse to leave the house? (10)

16d   Cold rush taking one's // discipline (8)

As pommers' hint might be seen to be slightly ambiguous, I will point out that the wordplay is C (cold) + HASTE (rush) containing (taking) {I (one) + S ('s)}.

18d   In need, // hurried to acquire record by Queen (8)

"record" = EP & "Queen" = R (show explanation )

An EP[5] (abbreviation for extended-play) is a record or CD that contains more than a single track (per side in the case of a record) but fewer than would be found on an LP[5] (abbreviation for long-playing).

Regina[5] (abbreviation R[5]) [Latin for queen] denotes the reigning queen, used following a name (e.g. Elizabetha Regina, Queen Elizabeth) or in the titles of lawsuits (e.g. Regina v. Jones, the Crown versus Jones — often shortened to R. v. Jones).

hide explanation

19d   Disguises // guts, lifting middle (6)

Draw Back the Curtains
Sometimes it may be better to leave the curtains drawn.

Splendid beer bellies

21d   Staggered // about dinghy's prow catching fish (6)

22d   Container vessel's docked, /and/ sails (6)

Draw Back the Curtains
Canvas made of Kevlar

24d   Beneath ocean is large // marine creature (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


  1. Very tough - Great surface clues, lots of blind alleys, and a great anagram at 23A - Left 3 for tomorrow. This ones a keeper

    1. I often find that solutions seem to pop out of nowhere after sleeping on a puzzle -- or even after a couple of hours away from it. People claim that the subconscious continues to process the clues in the background while we sleep or concentrate on other things.

    2. By the way, crypticsue (a regular at Big Dave's Crossword Blog) is a proponent of this approach and frequently advises people to cogitate. You should keep this word in mind. If it doesn't help with today's puzzle, it might help with tomorrow's.