Friday, July 17, 2015

Friday, July 17, 2015 — DT 27714

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27714
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Monday, February 2, 2015
Rufus (Roger Squires)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27714]
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


Like the respite from the Ottawa heat wave, the string of gentle puzzles seems to have ended. I found at least a handful of clues in this puzzle more than a mite challenging. It fully deserves the three stars for difficulty that Miffypops has awarded it.

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   Better // order meal before I make speech (10)

9a   It's neckwear, say, /for/ the dandy (4)

I did seriously give LEIS a chance to fill this role.

Beau[5] is a dated term for (1) a boyfriend or male admirer or (2) a rich, fashionable young man; a dandy.

Unfortunately, I was familiar with the former but not the latter.

Who is he talking about?
In his review, Miffypops says The neckwear is as worn by Sir Robin Day ....
Sir Robin Day[7] (1923–2000) was a British political broadcaster and commentator. His heavy-rimmed spectacles and trademark bow tie made him an instantly recognisable and frequently impersonated figure over five decades.

10a   Understanding // why we need a compass (10)

Understanding[5] in the sense of sympathetic awareness or tolerance.

11a   Tearaway/'s/ con trick (3-3)

Scratching the Surface
Tearaway[5] is a British term for a person who behaves in a wild or reckless manner ⇒ some young tearaways set fire to the house.

12a   Scottish man going it alone; was he wise? (7)

A "man going it alone" might be described as a "solo man" which a Scot would commonly pronounce as "solo mon".

Despite being phrased as a question, we are meant to interpret the definition as though it were written as the statement "he was wise".

15a   Completed fitting /but/ not yet paid (7)

Due[5] denoting of the proper quality or extent driving without due care and attention.

16a   Pearl's mum /seen in/ Northern area (5)

17a   Badly delivered over // to knock about (4)

The answer to his prayer
In his review, Miffypops says This clue does not float my boat. I “knocked about” Coventry in my youth but I would not say I “roved”. We do have the song I’ve been a wild rover and I suppose he knocked about a bit. I do so wish I had a BRB.
 The Chambers Dictionary (aka the Big Red Book or BRB) defines knock about[1] (or knock around) as meaning to mistreat physically; to discuss informally; to saunter, loaf about; to be around in the area; to travel about, roughing it and having varied experiences; to be a casual friend of, associate with (with with).

18a   Circle /of/ musicians (4)

What did he say?
In his review, Miffypops says a third [definition] for the twitchers on here (Jane and Hanni) being [to] put a **** on (a bird) for identification.
Twitcher[5] is an informal British term for a birdwatcher whose main aim is to collect sightings of rare birds.

19a   Goddess /in/ chains reportedly (5)

In Roman mythology, Ceres[5] (pronounced 'series') is the goddess of agriculture. Her counterpart in Greek mythology is Demeter.

The wordplay (which eluded Miffypops) is sounds like (reportedly) SERIES (chains). Remember that the word series can be either singular or plural, so series (singular) means chain and series (plural) denotes chains.

21a   I shall and will /show/ hostility (3-4)

22a   Fifty-one line up endlessly on right /for/ a drink (7)

24a   They won't top the bill, in any form (6)

A bill could take a number of forms — a printed or written statement of the money owed for goods or services[5], a programme of entertainment at a theatre or cinema[5], or (bill of fare[5]) a menu [at a restaurant]. In none of these instances would one find extras at the top of the bill.

I will admit that I did initially try to force ENTREES into the grid only to find that there was insufficient room. My rationale was that an entrée is the main course in North America and a dish served between the first course and the main course in Britain. Thus it would it top the menu on either side of the pond.

27a   On the level? Yes /and/ no (8,2)

Read this as though it were written:
  • 27a   On the level? Yes /and/ [on the level] no (8,2)
28a   Quits // the day before new start is to be made (4)

Quits[5] means (of two people) on even terms, especially because a debt or score has been settled ⇒ I think we’re just about quits now, don’t you?.

29a   Fruit // that was loved by Churchill (10)

Clementine Ogilvy Spencer-Churchill, Baroness Spencer-Churchill[7] (1885–1977) was the wife of Sir Winston Churchill and a life peeress in her own right.

A clementine[5] is a tangerine of a deep orange-red North African variety which is grown around the Mediterranean and in South Africa.


2d   Where Armstrong stood /in/ crescent perhaps (4)

3d   I'd boil uncontrollably /in/ desire (6)

In his review, Miffypops writes "Uncontrollably serves as the indicator and also the first word of the definition". Not really. Libido[5] just means sexual desire — not necessarily uncontrollable sexual desire.

4d   Nothing to share /but/ words (7)

5d   Drug /found in/ a police department (4)

The Criminal Investigation Department (seemingly better known by its abbreviation CID[2]) is the detective branch of a British police force.

Acid[5] is an informal name for LSD[5], a synthetic crystalline compound, lysergic acid diethylamide, which is a powerful hallucinogenic drug.

6d   Impress deeply as an artist (7)

7d   Sixty to the minute? // Not so good (6-4)

8d   He won't catch you out in a silly position (10)

In cricket, similar to baseball, one way for a batsman to be dismissed is to be caught out[5], that is for a player on the opposing team to catch a ball that has been hit by the batsman before it touches the ground.

In cricket, the adjective silly[5] in the name of a fielding position denotes that the position is very close to the batsman [so-called because of the perceived danger of playing in such a position].The "silly" positions are silly point, silly mid off, and silly mid on.

The illustration shows a short leg [a position that somehow has avoided being labelled "silly"] and a silly point (the player with the more erect stance on the far side of the pitch) standing close to the batsmen on either side of the pitch. They are both wearing protective equipment (helmets and leg pads). The wicket keeper is 'standing up' to the stumps, and the square leg umpire is also visible in the foreground. The other two "silly" players (positioned out of the picture to the left) are seemingly a bit less silly. The silly mid off is positioned further away from the batsman on the same side of the pitch as the silly point while the silly mid on is positioned at a similar distance from the batsman on the same side of the pitch as the short leg.

In cricket, an outfielder[5] is a player positioned on the part of the field furthest from the wicket.

12d   Reinstated after review, // having financial difficulties (10)

In his review, Miffypops appears to question the solution. However, straitened[5] does mean characterized by poverty ⇒ they lived in straitened circumstances.

13d   O? (4,6)

Could one call this anything but a lovely clue?

"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

Technically I think one could regard this as an inverse cryptic definition (with the question mark being the indicator). The letter O would be the solution to the cryptic definition "love letter". Therefore, in this clue, the wordplay (a cryptic definition) is found in the solution and the result of executing the wordplay is found in the clue. This is the inverse situation to what one finds in a normal clue.

14d   Part of church left // for contemplation? (5)

One must read the definition as "[something] for contemplation".

15d   Gold that is left /for/ Oxford college (5)

"gold" = OR (show explanation )

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

In heraldry, a tincture[5] is any of the conventional colours (including the metals and stains, and often the furs) used in coats of arms.

hide explanation

Oriel College[7] is a constituent college of the University of Oxford in Oxford, England. Located in Oriel Square, the college has the distinction of being the oldest royal foundation in Oxford.

19d   Form shown by Olympic finalists /in/ big race (7)

In Britain, a form[5] is a class or year in a school, usually given a specifying number. Thus the fifth form would be the British linguistic counterpart (although not the academic equivalent) of the fifth grade in North America and Form One would be akin to saying Grade One.

In horse racing in Great Britain, the British Classics[7] are a series of five horse races run over the flat (i.e., without jumps) for thoroughbreds. Each classic is run once each year and is restricted to horses that are three years old. The races are the 2,000 Guineas Stakes[7] and the 1,000 Guineas Stakes[7] (both run at Newmarket), the Epsom Oaks[7] and the Epsom Derby[7] (both run at Epsom Downs), and the St. Leger Stakes[7] (run at Doncaster) [not St. Ledger as Miffypops spells it].

20d   This chapel // is inset elaborately (7)

The Sistine Chapel[5] is a chapel in the Vatican, built in the late 15th century by Pope Sixtus IV, containing a painted ceiling and fresco of the Last Judgement by Michelangelo and also frescoes by Botticelli.

23d   Result /is/ Leo leaving South Pole, devastated (6)

25d   The language // of Somerset (4)

Erse[5] is a dated name for the Scottish or Irish Gaelic language.

26d   Downfall /of/ bear without capital (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

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