Monday, July 27, 2015

Monday, July 27, 2015 — DT 27720 (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 27720, the puzzle that I expect would have appeared had the presses run today.

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27720
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Monday, February 9, 2015
Rufus (Roger Squires)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27720]
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


The planets have once again aligned and for this week — barring unforeseen behaviour by the editors of the National Post — we should see the puzzles on the same day of the week as they appeared in The Daily Telegraph last February.

The review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog says the puzzle is rated "Difficulty *** — Enjoyment ***". However, given that it was Miffypops who reviewed the puzzle, I would take that with a large grain of salt. He has acknowledged that he frequently does not bother to assign a rating — and merely leaves the stars at the default *** / *** setting.

I had one incorrect solution. It was close to being correct, but as they say close only counts in horseshoes.

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   Special band for the match (7,4)

9a   Accounts /for/ all members of the family (9)

10a   Humble // sailor confronts rough sea (5)

As the definition, humble is a verb.

"sailor" AB (show explanation )

In the Royal Navy, according to Oxford Dictionaries Online, able seaman[5] (abbreviation AB[5]), is a rank of sailor above ordinary seaman and below leading seaman. On the other hand, Collins English Dictionary tells us that an able seaman[10] (also called able-bodied seaman) is an ordinary seaman, especially one in the merchant navy, who has been trained in certain skills. 

hide explanation

11a   Broken hearts /may lead to/ lovers' converse (6)

Miffypops has declared this to be a cryptic definition. While I don't necessarily see it as such, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

Scratching the Surface
If the surface reading seems a bit rough to you, it is likely because you — like myself — were not familiar with the meaning of converse that is apparently being used.

Converse[5] is an archaic term for conversation ⇒ (i) his converse at such seasons was always elevating; (ii) it will be difficult in these converses not to talk of secular matter.

12a   Sure /to be/ a song by drunk (8)

13a   Pack up // quietly and clear out (6)

"quietly" = P (show explanation )

Piano[3,5] (abbreviation p[5]), is a musical direction meaning either (as an adjective) soft or quiet or (as an adverb) softly or quietly.

hide explanation

15a   Clears off // temporary settler on board (8)

"on board" = contained in SS (show explanation )

In Crosswordland, you will find that a ship is almost invariably a steamship, the abbreviation for which is SS[10]. Thus "on board ship" (or merely "on board") is code for 'contained in SS'.

hide explanation

18a   The rest of the players (4-4)

The players could be football players — but not hockey players.

19a   Notice opening /in/ time (6)

Advent[5] is used in the sense of the arrival of a notable person or thing the advent of television. Thus one might say before the advent of television or, equally,  before the time (or era) of television.

21a   What's more /it's/ a sincere reforming (8)

23a   Outrageous articles about Western // capital (6)

Did anyone fail to identify this capital?

OTT[5] (short for over the top) is an informal British expression denoting excessive or exaggerated ⇒ presenting him as a goalscoring Superman seems a bit OTT.

26a   Accept // an inviting suggestion (5)

I would say that this is a double definition. One presses "Enter" on a computer keyboard to accept what has been typed. One says "Enter" to invite someone into a room.

27a   Surliness // I shall moderate (3,6)

28a   Supplementary benefit for workers lacking security (6,5)

This I would call a cryptic definition. The first portion is a straight definition and the latter portion (with the dashed underline) adds a bit of cryptic elaboration.

Danger money[5] is the British term for danger pay.


1d   Line up on vessel /for/ religious service (7)

2d   Money comes in handy /in/ China (5)

The setter deceptively capitalizes "China" for the sake of the surface reading.

"money" = L (show explanation )

The pound[5] (also pound sterling) is the basic monetary unit of the UK, equal to 100 pence. While the symbol for pound is £, it is often written as L[10]

hide explanation

China[5] is (1) a fine white or translucent vitrified ceramic material ⇒ (i) a plate made of china; (ii) a china cup or (2) household tableware or other objects made from china or a similar material ⇒ she had begun to remove the breakfast china.

Delft[10] is (1) a town in the southwestern Netherlands, in South Holland province; (2) also called delftware, tin-glazed earthenware made in Delft since the 17th century, typically having blue decoration on a white ground; or (3) a similar earthenware made in England.

3d   Divide into parts /and/ bury division (9)

4d   Get a larger size (4)

This clue may appear to refer to returning a pair of tight-fitting shoes, but it is actually just the opposite — the process by which your feet fill a pair that is too large.

5d   Natural aptitude /you'll need/ this month in court (8)

Instant[5] (abbreviation inst.[5]) is a dated expression once used in business letters. It is a postpositive adjective meaning of the current month ⇒ (i) your letter of the 6th instant; (ii) we are pleased to acknowledge receipt of your letter of 14 inst.

"court" = CT (show explanation )

Ct[2] is the abbreviation for Court in street addresses — and possibly in other contexts as well.

hide explanation

6d   Enormous // soldier -- a six-footer (5)

"soldier" = GI (show explanation )

A GI[5] is a private soldier in the US army ⇒ she went off with a GI during the war. Contrary to popular belief, the term apparently is not an abbreviation for general infantryman, but rather derives from the term government (or general) issue (originally denoting equipment supplied to US forces).

hide explanation

7d   You need inspiration to draw them (7)

8d   Mortification /of/ girl attached to criminal band (8)

Mortification[2,10] is an obsolete (old use) term for gangrene.

The girl's name should really be spelled Renée, but I have to acknowledge that American actress Rene Russo[5] uses the masculine spelling.

What did he say?
In his review, Miffypops refers to ... a girl who often crops up in crosswordland as a Frenchman (Allo Allo) ....
'Allo 'Allo! is a BBC television sitcom broadcast from 1982 to 1992. Set in a small town in Nazi-occupied France during World War II, 'Allo 'Allo! tells the story of café owner René Artois. (expand explanation )

Réné, whilst trying to remain impartial, has been dragged into the war by both sides. The Germans are threatening to shoot him if he does not secretly hide stolen valuables; the Résistance is using his café as a safe-house for shot-down British airmen; and on top of that, he is trying to keep his passionate love affairs with the café waitresses secret from his wife. Whenever his wife Edith catches him in the arms of another woman, René invariably responds with the phrase "You stupid woman! Can you not see that..." followed by a convoluted explanation, which Edith always believes, leading to an apology from her.

hide explanation

14d   Engineers commanding officer returned amid recent move to new area (8)

"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

16d   The farthest one will be from a bank (9)

17d   Oriental girl that's charged -- // it gets thrown out (8)

Presuming that O might be a recognized abbreviation for "oriental" (which it apparently is not), I wrote in OMISSION. Well, surely an omission can be something that is thrown out.

As Miffypops states in his review In crosswordland Oriental usually indicates the E of E(astern) or the word Eastern itself. The former is the case here. Indirect anagrams are not permitted in puzzles, but apparently indirect abbreviations are fair game.

The wordplay is E (Oriental; abbreviation of Eastern) + MISS (girl) + ION ([something] that's charged).

18d   She is expected to succeed (7)

20d   A treaty involved /with/ food transport (3,4)

22d   Under redirection some of those letters // went astray (5)

Contrary to what Miffypops states in his review, the hidden word is actually indicated by the phrase "some of those letters".

24d   Tree /in/ a small enclosure (5)

The aspen[5] is a poplar tree with small rounded long-stalked leaves that tremble in the breeze. Several species exist, in particular the European Populus tremula and the North American quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides).

25d   Escape /and/ feel different (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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