Monday, July 13, 2015

Monday, July 13, 2015 — DT 27710 (Bonus Puzzle)


The National Post may be publishing on a reduced schedule for the summer. However, that shouldn't mean you have to forgo your Monday puzzle. Here is DT 27710, the puzzle that I expect would have appeared had the presses run today.

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27710
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Jay (Jeremy Mutch)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27710]
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


Today, Jay gives us a workout that is a bit on the gentle side compared to some that we have experienced recently. This puzzle appeared in the UK on a very auspicious day for Big Dave's Crossword Blog — the sixth anniversary of its inception.

By the way, how many managed to spell the solution to 4d "correctly"?

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   Sticky stuff covering lettuce /is/ sugar (7)

Cos (or cos lettuce)[5,10] is a British name for a variety of lettuce with a long slender head and crisp leaves (usual US and Canadian name: romaine).
Note: Oxford Dictionaries Online explicitly characterizes this as a British term while Collins English Dictionary would seem to imply that to be the case. However, cos[3,11] is found in both The American Heritage Dictionary and the Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary — although it is clearly not the preferred term in North America.
9a   Shoot a scene, initially in favourite // city (8)

Budapest[5] is the capital of Hungary; population 1,712,210 (2009). The city was formed in 1873 by the union of the hilly city of Buda on the right bank of the River Danube with the low-lying city of Pest on the left.

10a   Wind /and/ fog really throws regulars (7)

A mistral[5] is a strong cold north-westerly wind that blows through the Rhône valley and southern France towards the Mediterranean, mainly in winter.

I loved the wordplay here which is MIST (fog) + RAL {really throws regulars; R[e]A[l]L[y] with a regular series of letters discarded (thrown)}.

11a   Good area with weak // source of illumination (8)

"good" = G (show explanation )

The abbreviation G[10] for good likely relates to its use in grading school assignments or tests.

hide explanation

A gaslight[5] is a type of lamp in which an incandescent mantle is heated by a jet of burning gas ⇒ an era of gaslights and horse-drawn carriages.

12a   Unlikely // way of learning about return of the setter (6)

"the setter" = ME (show explanation )

It is a common cryptic crossword convention for the creator of the puzzle to use terms such as (the) compiler, (the) setter, (this) author, (this) writer, or this person to refer to himself or herself. To solve such a clue, one must generally substitute a first person pronoun (I or me) for whichever of these terms has been used in the clue.

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13a   Make no progress in the main (5,5)

The main[5] is an archaic or literary term for the open ocean.

15a   Knee pain? Oddly, /it's/ the cap! (4)

A kepi[5] is a French military cap with a horizontal peak.

16a   Lease must be vacated after long-standing // account (9)

21a   One in four /gets/ a bike of sorts (4)

Quad[5] is an informal short form for a quadruplet.

Quad[5] is an informal short form for quad bike[4], an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) with four wheels.

22a   Gear /that makes/ son utter obscenities about Liverpool, say (10)

Liverpool[5] is a city and seaport in northwest England, situated at the east side of the mouth of the River Mersey; population 454,700 (est. 2009).

24a   Astonished -- // a day to go round part of Hampton Court (6)

Hampton Court[5] is a palace on the north bank of the Thames in the borough of Richmond-upon-Thames, London, a favourite royal residence until the reign of George II. Its gardens contain a well-known maze.

25a   Not available to film // new branch (8)

27a   Understand one story mostly // showing numerical information (7)

28a   Pretentious air true // of the stars? (8)

Side[5] is an informal British term for a boastful or pretentious manner or attitude ⇒ there was absolutely no side to him.

29a   Any line crossed // in a daft way (7)


2d   Retire, worried by look /from/ this layabout (8)

"look" = LO (show explanation )

Lo[5] is an archaic exclamation used to draw attention to an interesting or amazing event and lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them.

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3d   Christian /who's/ new to chalice (not European) (8)

Scratching the Surface
A chalice[5] is the wine cup used in the Christian Eucharist.

Eucharist[5] is the Christian service, ceremony, or sacrament commemorating the Last Supper, in which bread and wine are consecrated and consumed. The service of worship is also called Holy Communion or (chiefly in the Protestant tradition) the Lord’s Supper or (chiefly in the Catholic tradition) the Mass. Having been raised in a Baptist family, I recall it being referred to simply as Communion and being celebrated once a month following the conclusion of the regular church service.

4d   Corporate excesses? (5,5)

Corporation[3,4,5,11] is a dated humorous term for a large paunch or pot belly.

Spare tyre[5] (North American spare tire) is an informal term for a roll of fat round a person’s waist.

Being a British puzzle, the "official" solution will undoubtedly be spelled TYRES rather than TIRES.

5d   Atmosphere /in/ university welcomed by a Royal Academician (4)

"Royal Academician" = RA (show explanation )

A Royal Academician (abbreviation RA[5]) is a member of the Royal Academy of Arts[5], an institution established in London in 1768, whose purpose is to cultivate painting, sculpture, and architecture in Britain. 

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6d   Everybody on board tug /is/ fat (6)

7d   Women crews // use these for training (7)

An eight[5] is an eight-oared rowing boat or its crew.

8d   Standing, // look around trade union (7)

"trade union" = TU (show explanation )

TU[3,4,11] is the abbreviation for Trade Union.

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11d   Welcome must include note -- the Spanish // land outside city (5,4)

"note" = NB (show explanation )

NB[5] is the abbreviation for nota bene, a Latin phrase meaning take special note.

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"the Spanish" = EL (show explanation )

In Spanish, the masculine singular form of the definite article is el[8].

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14d   Limit availability after design style // award (10)

Deco[5] is short for art deco[5], the predominant decorative art style of the 1920s and 1930s, characterized by precise and boldly delineated geometric shapes and strong colours and used most notably in household objects and in architecture.

17d   E=mc2, say // -- quite a different case of omission (8)

Correctly written, the definition would be E=mc2.

18d   Foundation students covering graduate // game (8)

"student" = L (show explanation )

The cryptic crossword convention of L meaning learner or student arises from the L-plate[7], a square plate bearing a sans-serif letter L, for learner, which must be affixed to the front and back of a vehicle in various countries (including the UK) if its driver is a learner under instruction.

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NB: the clue indicates the presence of more than one student.

19d   European husband/'s/ embrace (7)

20d   Company gets fined for breaking // trust (7)

23d   Straight out without a good // top! (1-5)

Good reprises its role from 11a. In fact, the two missing letters may just have removed themselves from here to there.

26d   State // occasion's beginning with lots unfinished (4)

I did make a valiant attempt to somehow justify OHIO but eventually realized that it was just not in the cards.

Oman[7], officially the Sultanate of Oman, is an Arab country in the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula.
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. Thanks for providing the puzzle and thanks, as always, for your erudite commentary. Having said that, I shouldn't complain, but it's not the easiest format for printing,

    Managed to solve this, but felt like a bit of a slog. Last in won't surprise you, I bet. I'd never heard of the British term for pretentious air or the star word.

  2. PS: Tomorrow is our wedding anniversary. Just made dinner reservations here: A short walk from our house, as well, so no problem getting home in one piece. Cheers, Falcon.