Thursday, July 23, 2015

Thursday, July 23, 2015 — DT 27718

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27718
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, February 6, 2015
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27718]
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


My experience with this puzzle certainly did not mirror that of Deep Threat. I became seriously mired and needed a bit of help from my electronic assistants to get me back on track. As you can see from Comment #1 — not to mention a good many others — on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, I am far from being the only one to find the puzzle difficult.

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.


7a   View /of/ professional put on record (7)

8a   Order // fellow to be brought into company doctor (7)

10a   Think after short break /provides/ one with the answer (9)

11a   Watery fluid // the man's put into alcoholic drink (5)

I would have to say that the image conjured up by this clue is anything but pleasant.

12a   Austrian composer /makes/ little girl keep very quiet (5)

"very quiet" = PP (show explanation )

Pianissimo[5,10] (abbreviation pp[5,10]) is a direction used in music to mean either (as an adjective) very soft or very quiet or (as an adverb) very softly or very quietly.

hide explanation

Franz von Suppé[7] or Francesco Suppé Demelli (1819–1895) was an Austrian composer of light operas who is notable for his four dozen operettas.

13a   Eddy /gets/ left in some tram that's broken down (9)

Had I spelled the solution correctly, I would have avoided some grief at 14d.

15a   Regarding // message on hospital sign? (7)

17a   Not in favour of having article in vessel/'s/ hold (7)

18a   Story // lasting a long time -- false story I avoided (9)

20a   Butterfly // that may make someone speaking pause (5)

The comma[5] (also comma butterfly) is a widespread butterfly (Polygonia c-album) that has orange and brown wings with ragged edges, and a white comma-shaped mark on the underside of the hindwing.

This comma ranges across Europe and temperate Asia to Japan and south to Morocco. It is is one of the more familiar butterflies in Southern England, and is also resident in Scotland and in North Wales.

21a   Frontier // this writer's established in literature (5)

"this writer's" = IM (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. Today, the setter has made the scenario slightly more complicated by combining "this writer" with the verb "to be" producing "this writer's" (a contraction of "this writer is") which must be replaced by "I'm" (I am).

hide explanation

23a   Females getting into row (9)

I would have crossed the finish line sooner had I spelled the solution to 9d correctly.

24a   Shelter at back of yard, // showing sign of tiredness? (7)

What did he say?
In his review, Deep Threat refers to an awning as the sort of shelter erected on a boat or caravan to protect the occupants ....
Caravan[5] is the British name for a trailer[5], a vehicle equipped for living in, typically towed by a car and used for holidays [vacation].

25a   Go wrong and start to spoil // jobs (7)


1d   Measure of an Arab's capacity for work? (10)

2d   Aerial // I had set up on post (6)

A dipole[10] (also called dipole aerial) is a directional radio or television aerial (or, chiefly North American or technical, antenna[5]) consisting of two equal lengths of metal wire or rods, with a connecting wire fixed between them in the form of a T.

3d   Old women // left deranged, upset, with stingers around (8)

Beldame[5] is an archaic term for an old woman.

4d   Deficient // Conservative in panic (6)

"Conservative" = C (show explanation )

The abbreviation for Conservative may be either C.[10] or Con.[10].

The Conservative Party[5] (abbreviation C.[10])  is a a major British political party that emerged from the old Tory Party under Sir Robert Peel in the 1830s and 1840s. Since the Second World War, it has been in power 1951–64, 1970-4, and 1979–97. It governed in a coalition with the Liberal Democrats from 2010 until the general election held in May of this year, in which it was returned with a majority. 

hide explanation

5d   Lock up // mischief-maker, revolutionary Irish boy (8)

6d   Servant/'s/ contribution to book? (4)

Historically, a page[5] is a man or boy employed as the personal attendant of a person of rank.

7d   Soldier to brood with one cold fellow- soldier // as a hanger-on (13)

Para[4,11] (short for paratrooper) is a soldier in an airborne unit.

9d   Loose women // said to mingle with monied men (4-9)

A demi-mondaine[5] is a woman considered to belong to the demi-monde[5] which (in 19th-century France) was a class of women considered to be of doubtful social standing and morality.

It may have expedited progress at 20a had I spelled it correctly.

14d   Back with soldiers in dull // initiative to prepare for war again? (10)

According to Oxford Dictionaries Online, mat[5] is the US spelling of matt[5] (or matte), an adjective used to describe a surface or colour which is dull and flat or without a shine (i) prints are available on matt or glossy paper; (ii) a matt black. I am only familiar with the spelling matte.

Misspelling 13a caused havoc here until the mistake was sorted out.

16d   Sort of cat // trailing around (8)

A ringtail[5] is a ring-tailed cat or lemur[5], any of a number of species of arboreal primate with a pointed snout and typically a long tail, found only in Madagascar.

This clue possibly also works on another level. If a cat had a ring for a tail, it might be said to be trailing a round.

17d   Fruit /that may be/ dear in France starts to ripen in early summer (8)

The French word for dear is cher[8].

19d   Bird // we hear make a puffing sound (6)

The chough[5] (pronounced 'chuff') is (1) any of three species of black Eurasian and North African bird of the crow family, with a downcurved bill and broad, rounded wings, typically frequenting mountains and sea cliffs or (2), also known as the white-winged chough, a black and white Australian bird (Corcorax melanorhamphos) of the mud-nester family.

Chuff[5] (said of a steam engine) means to move with a regular sharp puffing sound ⇒ the train was chuffing out of the station.

20d   Theatrical fellow // who would shy away from difficulties? (6)

Sir Noël Coward (1899–1973) was an English dramatist, actor, and composer. He is remembered for witty, satirical plays, such as Hay Fever (1925) and Private Lives (1930), as well as revues and musicals featuring songs such as ‘Mad Dogs and Englishmen’ (1932).

22d   Cut /makes one/ grumble audibly (4)

The link phrase "makes one" is intended in the sense 'produces for the solver'.
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. Managed without resorting to anagram or crossword solvers. But it certainly took more time than usual and I needed to check several words in the dictionary -- 3d, 9d, 19d, 12a and 20a. Indeed, I can't remember using the dictionary that much before. In the end, an enjoyable exercise, but at least three stars.

    Interesting that Brian was first to post on the BD blog, but managed only four answers. Do you think he sometimes throws in the towel too early?

    1. Does Brian throw in the towel too early? Perhaps in some cases. However, Giovanni is his favourite setter so I suspect he gave the puzzle a fair chance before calling it quits.

      Maybe this is one more phenomenon that we can blame on global warming, which seems to be the culprit whenever things happen in a bizarre fashion. Compare his comment today to what he had to say yesterday "Well I finished a Ray T today and on the whole thoroughly enjoyed it.".

  2. I knew early on it was a Giavanni - he gives me trouble. 3d, 9d and 19d are unfilled with all checkers-in. An equestrian would scream foul at 1D, while 12a is obscure to say the least. Given that, some terrific clues and wordplay. 4/2.5

    1. One can always count on Giovanni to throw in one or two obscure words. However, today he has outdone himself.

      Herr Suppé has appeared before — in DT 27439, a Rufus puzzle which appeared in the National Post almost one year ago on July 30, 2014. The clue then was:
      Musician wants a meal right away (5)