Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tuesday, June 30, 2015 — DT 27699

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27699
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, January 15, 2015
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27699]
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


At Big Dave's blog, someone describes this puzzle as middle-of-the-road. I suppose that sums it up as well as anything.

Tomorrow being Canada Day, the National Post will not publish an edition. However, if you find yourself longing for your morning fix, stop by the blog.

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   Somewhat inferior // new Manchester United whizz kid? (6-4)

I initially thought that Manchester United might possibly have a new prospect with the surname Best? However, I believe the reference is meant in the sense that any superbly talented new player would be compared to George Best in the same way that outstanding young hockey players in Canada might be referred to as "The next Great One" or "The next Sid the Kid".

George Best[7] (1946–2005) was a Northern Irish footballer [soccer player] who played as a winger for Manchester United and the Northern Ireland national team. In 1968 he won the European Cup with United, and was named the European Footballer of the Year and the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year as the best player in English football. He is described by the Irish Football Association as the "greatest player to ever pull on the green shirt of Northern Ireland".

Such was Best's talent and charisma that he became one of the first celebrity footballers, but his subsequent extravagant lifestyle led to various problems, most notably alcoholism. He often said of his career that "I spent a lot of money on booze, birds [women] and fast cars – the rest I just squandered". He died in 2005, age 59, due to complications from the immunosuppressive drugs he needed to take after receiving a liver transplant in 2002.

9a   Make // a record (4)

Form[5] is an informal British term for a criminal record ⇒ they both had form.

10a   Assesses // pans -- /for/ roasts? (10)

I recognized this as a triple definition — a clue type that I normally fail to see.

11a   Tantrum /shown by/ office worker about over (6)

No cricket is being played here. However, cricket fans, be patient. You haven't been forgotten.

12a   Shoots // the messengers? (7)

A runner[5] is a messenger, collector, or agent for a bank, bookmaker, or similar.

What did she say?
In her review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Kath describes runners as people working in theatres who fetch and carry things.
I found numerous job postings for positions as runners in British broadcasting, film, video and theatre. Of these, this job description provides the most comprehensive description of what such a job entails. It would appear to be what is commonly referred to as a gofer[5].

15a   Upper-class original Bond girl having taken top off /is/ déshabillé (7)

"upper-class" = U (show explanation )

U[5] is used informally as an adjective (in respect to language or social behaviour) meaning characteristic of or appropriate to the upper social classes ⇒ U manners. The term, an abbreviation of  upper class, was coined in 1954 by Alan S. C. Ross, professor of linguistics, and popularized by its use in Nancy Mitford's Noblesse Oblige (1956). In Crosswordland, it is frequently clued by words denoting "characteristic of the upper class" (such as posh or superior) or "appropriate to the upper class" (such as acceptable).

hide explanation

Ursula Andress[7] is a Swiss actress and sex symbol. She is best known for her role as Bond girl Honey Ryder in the first James Bond film, Dr. No, for which she won a Golden Globe.

It seems that the French past participle déshabillé has been adopted into the English language as a noun. As jean-luc cheval explains in his reply to Comment #29, this is far from being an unusual occurrence.

Déshabillé[5] (also dishabille) is a noun which denotes the state of being only partly or scantily clothed  the paintings of Venus all shared the same state of déshabillé.

Undress[5] as a noun denotes the state of being naked or only partially clothed  women in various states of undress.

16a   Wildebeest sent back after good man/'s/ bitten (5)

The gnu[5] (also called wildebeest) is either of two species of large dark antelope with a long head, a beard and mane, and a sloping back.

17a   As many as // before (2,2)

18a   Resoundingly proud // streak (4)

19a   One having meal /in/ American restaurant (5)

Diner[5] is a North American term for a small roadside restaurant with a long counter and booths.

21a   Umpire /in/ crucial match? (7)

22a   Cast altered /and/ recounted (7)

24a   Some pop a question / that's/ hard to understand (6)

27a   No resistance to cavalry getting uniform replacement -- // it sends a warning (10)

"resistance" = R (show explanation )

In physics, the symbol R[5] is used to represent electrical resistance.

hide explanation

Uniform[5] is a code word representing the letter U, used in radio communication.

The term light horse[10] denotes lightly armed and highly mobile cavalry.

28a   India's Dravid initially at short leg // with nothing to do (4)

Contrary to Kath's explanation on Big Dave's blog, I believe the indicator "initially" applies only to "Dravid". The use of "India" to code the letter I relates to India[5] being a code word representing the letter I, used in radio communication. 

Scratching the Surface
The surface reading of this clue is all about cricket.

Rahul Dravid[7] is a former Indian cricketer and captain, widely regarded as one of the greatest batsmen in the history of cricket.

In cricket, short leg[10] refers to (1) a fielding position on the leg side (show explanation ) near the batsman's wicket or (2) a fielder in this position.

Leg[5] (also known as leg side) is the half of the field (as divided lengthways through the pitch) away from which the batsman's feet are pointed when standing to receive the ball ⇒ he played a lucky stroke to leg.

hide explanation

29a   Propel canoe /or/ larger craft (6,4)


2d   Organs // appearing during rehearsals (4)

3d   Take possession of // renegade bastion without head of security (6)

4d   Cooks /for/ consultants (7)

Cooks ... as in cooks the books.

What did she say?
In her review at Big Dave's site, Kath describes "cook" as a verb that means to fiddle something.
Fiddle[5] is an informal, chiefly British term meaning to falsify (figures, data, or records), typically in order to gain money ⇒ everyone is fiddling their expenses [... a reference to the Senate, perchance?].

Consultant[5] is a British term for a hospital doctor of senior rank within a specific field ⇒ a consultant paediatrician.

5d   Stand for work, not getting left /in/ comfort (4)

6d   Lawrence: smart /but/ tiresome (7)

T. E. Lawrence[5] (1888–1935) was a British soldier and writer; full name Thomas Edward Lawrence; known as Lawrence of Arabia. From 1916 onwards he helped to organize the Arab revolt against the Turks in the Middle East, contributing to General Allenby’s eventual victory in Palestine in 1918. Lawrence described this period in The Seven Pillars of Wisdom (1926).

7d   Companion // ticket that's free allowed people to come in (10)

According to Oxford Dictionaries Online, comp[5] is a North American term [cue howls of protest!] for a complimentary ticket or voucher.

... and it certainly didn't take long for the howls to arise! ... however, they seem to have been rather quickly squelched.

8d   Put away // demon fiddle rosined (10)

12d   Plump bird // that's become part of Christmas for some (5,5)

A round robin[10] is a a letter that is copied and sent to a number of different people. Collins English Dictionary is the only source in which I found this definition — and then only in the more recent edition.

13d   Dancing albeit once /is/ impressive (10)

14d   Step /in which/ Fred shows no limits (5)

Fred Astaire[5] (1899–1987) was an American dancer, singer, and actor; born Frederick Austerlitz. He is famous for starring in a number of film musicals, including Top Hat (1935), in a successful partnership with Ginger Rogers.

15d   Milk producer without a dairy originally -- insert name // below (5)

19d   Five found in river by dock /making/ progress (7)

The Dee[5] is a river in northeastern Scotland, which rises in the Grampian Mountains and flows eastwards past Balmoral Castle to the North Sea at Aberdeen. Another river of the same name rises in North Wales and flows past Chester and on into the Irish Sea.

20d   Article about // concert (7)

23d   Understand // brother's degree is rescinded (6)

25d   Old // artist coming up short (4)

Edgar Degas[5] (1834–1917) was a French painter and sculptor. An impressionist painter, Degas is best known for his paintings of ballet dancers.

26d   Warship now and then confronts a // whole continent (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 comment:

  1. Egads! It's Degas again.

    Managed with no help -- out in the garden with a cup of tea and no electronic devices -- but I should have done a bit more work on 18a, as I bunged in KEEN. No idea why.

    Do you remember that G W Bush used to describe himself as The Decider? Must have sounded even stranger to the Brits who appear to use this word in the world of sports.