Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Wednesday, June 24, 2015 — DT 27694

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27694
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, January 9, 2015
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27694]
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


I didn't need electronic help to complete the puzzle — but I did need it to verify that several of the solutions that I constructed were, in fact, actual words. One can always count on Giovanni to expand one's vocabulary.

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.


9a   It sounds like you and I /will/ change direction (5)

10a   Supply required by French department /to achieve/ balance (9)

Oise[7] is a department [the most senior of the three levels of government in France below the national level] in the north of France. It is named after the river Oise.

As a noun, equipoise[5] denotes (1) a balance of forces or interests ⇒ this temporary equipoise of power or (2) a counterbalance or balancing force ⇒ capital flows act as an equipoise to international imbalances in savings. As a verb, equipoise[5] means to balance or counterbalance (something) ⇒ as a piece of language it is as delicately equipoised as any.

What did he say?
In his review, Deep Threat describes equip as "a verb meaning to supply kit".
A North American would be far more likely say "to supply gear". However, remember the term — you will shortly encounter it again in Deep Threat's comment at 14a.

11a   Expert /presenting/ some art in a new way (7)

12a   Charge // rent that's ridiculous on superior street (7)

"superior" = U (show explanation )

In Britain, 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

13a   Fighting unit /of/ the Engineers led by baddie (5)

"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

Cad[5,10] is a dated informal British term for a man who behaves dishonourably, especially towards a woman her adulterous cad of a husband.

14a   One offers drink /with/ buffet at ball thrown on green (9)

A bowl[5] is a wooden or hard rubber ball, slightly asymmetrical so that it runs on a curved course, used in the game of bowls.

Bowls[5] (known in North America as lawn bowling[5]) is a game played with heavy bowls, the object of which is to propel one’s bowl so that it comes to rest as close as possible to a previously bowled small ball (the jack). Bowls is played chiefly out of doors (though indoor bowls is also popular) on a closely trimmed lawn called a green.

16a   Scientists /in/ bars, egoistic lot getting sozzled (15)

19a   Just having a part of hospital // to one side (9)

21a   Venomous type, // more insane, putting maiden off (5)

"maiden" = M (show explanation )

In cricket, a maiden[5], also known as a maiden over, (abbreviation M)[5] is an over in which no runs are scored. An over[5] is a division of play consisting of a sequence of six balls bowled by a bowler from one end of the pitch, after which another bowler takes over from the other end.

hide explanation

The adder[5] (also called viper) is a small venomous Eurasian snake (Vipera berus) which has a dark zigzag pattern on its back and bears live young. It is the only poisonous snake in Britain. The name is also applied to other snakes that are similar or related to the adder.

23a   Problem in road // Rod found around front of the house (7)

I thought of rod and pole as being synonyms is the common everyday sense. However, in his review, Deep Threat has put forward a different interpretation.

A rod[5] (another name for perch) is a historical unit of measure that was once used in Britain. A perch[5] (also called pole or rod) is a measure of length, especially for land, equal to a quarter of a [surveyor's] chain  or 5½ yards. To further confuse matters, a perch (also known as a square perch, pole, square pole, rod, or square rod) is a measure of area, especially for land, equal to 160th of an acre or 30¼ square yards.

25a   Word meaning 'charges' // in concise dictionaries (7)

Yes, dict.[5] is the abbreviation for dictionary.

27a   Vessel /getting/ lacerated they emptied when reaching island (5,4)

Sark[5] is one of the Channel Islands, a small island lying to the east of Guernsey.

The Cutty Sark[5] is the only survivor of the British tea clippers [fast sailing ships used in the tea trade], launched in 1869 and now preserved as a museum ship at Greenwich, London.

28a   Indian /offering/ love, a man of wisdom (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

The Osage[5] are an American Indian people formerly inhabiting the Osage River valley in Missouri.


1d   Son with stomach upset // was dizzy (4)

The Chambers Dictionary defines maw[1] as the jaws or gullet of a voracious animal or (facetious) person; an insatiable gulf or ever-open mouth (figurative); the stomach, especially (and now only) that of an animal; inclination, appetite (Milton); the craw of a bird (obsolete); the fourth stomach in ruminants; any other internal organ (now rare).

2d   Member to finish /as/ an extremely famous person? (6)

3d   Greeting /in/ a couple of lines ancient city got finally (3,3,4)

Thebes[5] is the name of two ancient cities.
  • It was the Greek name for an ancient city of Upper Egypt, whose ruins are situated on the Nile about 675 km (420 miles) south of Cairo. It was the capital of ancient Egypt under the 18th dynasty (circa 1550–1290 BC) and is the site of the major temples of Luxor and Karnak.
  • It is the name of a city that was situated in Greece, in Boeotia, north-west of Athens. This Thebes became a major military power in Greece following the defeat of the Spartans at the battle of Leuctra in 371 BC. It was destroyed by Alexander the Great in 336 BC.
4d   Firm in Peru in trouble /gets/ to recover (6)

5d   High-level // plan sure to work out (8)

Supernal[5] is a literary term meaning relating to the sky or the heavens; in other words, celestial.

What did he say?
In his review, Deep Threat characterizes the use of the word supernal as being the Slightly late appearance of a a word most familiar from a Christmas carol.
The "slightly late appearance" alludes to the fact that the puzzle was published in the UK barely more than two weeks after Christmas. The Christmas carol — not one with which I am familiar — is Unto Us is Born a Son[7], the first verse of which is:
Unto us is born a son,
King of choirs supernal:
See on earth his life begun,
Of lords the Lord eternal.

6d   See // game with minimal runs scored (4)

Although I interpreted the wordplay slightly differently than did Deep Threat, we both arrived at the same destination. However, I do believe his interpretation to be superior to mine.

I supposed that "minimal runs scored" indicated 'no runs' [after all, you can't get more minimal than that] making the wordplay SPO[R]T (game) with R removed (no runs). In this interpretation, R is implicitly clued as the recognized abbreviation for "runs".

Deep Threat shows the wordplay as SPO[R]T (game) with R {abbreviation (minimal) of R(uns)} removed (scored). Here score[5] (also score something out or score something through) means to delete text by drawing a line through it. Under this interpretation, R is explicitly clued as an abbreviation for "runs" by the use of the indicator "minimal".

7d   One in B&B joined by university yobs wasting time // as boozers (8)

Yob[5] (back slang for boy) is an informal British term for a rude, noisy, and aggressive youth.

8d   Aid to farmer -- // if sterile ground is to get right (10)

As an anagram indicator, ground is the past tense or past participle of the verb grind[5]. An anagram indicator is a word that denotes movement or transformation. Grind denotes transformation in the sense of wheat being ground into flour.

13d   What could make PC be scary? Ultimately the // whole virtual environment (10)

15d   Like varieties of churchmanship // everywhere (4,3,3)

High Church[5] denotes a tradition within the Anglican Church emphasizing ritual, priestly authority, sacraments, and historical continuity with Catholic Christianity.

On the other hand, Low Church[5] denotes a tradition within the Anglican Church (and some other denominations) which is Protestant in outlook and gives relatively little emphasis to ritual, sacraments, and the authority of the clergy.

17d   Think // about nothing, then stir to depose leader (8)

"about" = C (show explanation )

The preposition circa[5] (abbreviation c or c.[5]), often used preceding a date, means approximately or about  ⇒ the church was built circa 1860.

hide explanation

18d   It is likely /that/ Ray's idea wlll be seen as daft (1,4,3)

Did you notice the typo in the clue? My spellchecker did. (show explanation )

The word "will" contains a third "l" in place of the "i". The error was also present when the puzzle originally appeared in the UK.

hide explanation

20d   Doctor coming with coloured fluids -- // they are to be swallowed (6)

22d   Country houses /in/ south of Ireland Bill possesses (6)

A dacha[5] (also datcha) is a country house or cottage in Russia, typically used as a second or holiday home.

24d   Animal /getting/ over railway and crossroads? (4)

"over" = O (show explanation )

In cricket, an over[5] (abbreviation O[5]) is a division of play consisting of a sequence of six balls bowled by a bowler from one end of the pitch, after which another bowler takes over from the other end.

hide explanation

According to Deep Threat, the wordplay is O (over) + RY ([abbreviation for] railway) + X ([the symbol seen on a road sign indicating a] crossroads). Well, from what I have been able to discover, this would be true in Italy at least. Below are shown the signs used to indicate a crossroads in North America, Italy and the UK respectively. Perhaps there is some other British road sign that I failed to uncover.

The oryx[5] is any of three species of large antelope living in arid regions of Africa and Arabia, having dark markings on the face and long horns.

26d   Observe daughter, // one with potential to grow up? (4)
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 comment:

  1. Quite a variety of responses on BD's blog -- everything from despair to delight. The mark of a good puzzle, I think, in that there's some serendipity involved.

    Like you, I managed without help, just needing to check 5d in the dictionary.