Thursday, July 30, 2015

Thursday, July 30, 2015 — DT 27723

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27723
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, February 12, 2015
Shamus (Philip Marlow)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27723]
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


My lack of familiarity with early twentieth century British broadcasting executives proved to be a stumbling block today.

A debate rages on Big Dave's Crossword Blog concerning the word appearing in the clue at 8a. It not only pits Northerner against Southerner but Lancastrian against Yorkshireman.

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   A prisoner released with greeting inside /for/ church member (11)

7a   Dispose of // actor lastly in cast (5)

8a   Busy at work? (9)

Busy[5] (also bizzy) is an informal British term for a police officer ⇒ I was picked up by the busies for possession.

There is a great deal of disagreement on Big Dave's Crossword Blog about the term busy. To begin with, many people believe it should be spelled bizzy. There is also a suggestion of it being a term peculiar to Liverpool that applies to a uniformed officer rather than a detective. Others cite sources to show that the term generally refers to a detective and not to a uniformed officer.

What did she say?
In comment #21 on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, fran says I see the scousers have a completely different vocabulary to the rest of us ; better stay away from the Liverpool Echo.
Scouser[5] is an informal British term for a person from Liverpool.

The Liverpool Echo[7] is Liverpool's daily newspaper.

10a   Devise // trick before cold short month? (7)

11a   Fruit // grew in front of joint (7)

12a   Remove // antique Victorian bottles (5)

13a   Lead a number with a very revolutionary // dance (5,4)

Bossa nova[5] is (1) a style of Brazilian music derived from samba but placing more emphasis on melody and less on percussion or (2) a dance to this music.

16a   Many aimed, we're told, /for/ growing area? (9)

Allotment[5] is a British term for a plot of land rented by an individual for growing vegetables or flowers. This term is also used in Canada — at least in Ottawa — although one would be more apt to hear the longer version of the name, allotment garden[7].

18a   Rule // backed in part usually (5)

Sutra[5] denotes a rule or aphorism in Sanskrit literature, or a set of these on a technical subject. The most well-known is undoubtedly the Kama Sutra[5], an ancient Sanskrit treatise on the art of love and sexual technique.

19a   One found in a Latin setting? (7)

This is an &lit. (all-in-one) clue, a type of clue in which the the entire clue serves as both the definition and the wordplay — under different interpretations, of course.

22a   Learner in step with old student recalled // part of experiment (7)

"learner" = 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.

hide explanation

"old student" = OB (show explanation )

In Britain, an old boy[5] (abbreviation OB[2])  is (1) a former male student of a school or college ⇒an old boy of Banbury County School or (2) a former male member of a sports team or company ⇒the White Hart Lane old boy squared the ball to present an easy chance from 12 yards. It is also a chiefly British affectionate form of address to a boy or man ⇒ ‘Look here, old boy,’ he said.

hide explanation

23a   Peer on river /for/ sporting event (4,5)

The River Test[7] is a river in Hampshire, England. It has a total length of 40 miles (64 km) and it flows through downland from its source near Ashe to the sea at the head of Southampton Water. In its upper reaches it is a chalk stream, and is used for fly fishing for trout. The river plays a significant part in Richard Adams' novel Watership Down.

A Test match[5] is an international cricket or rugby match, typically one of a series, played between teams representing two different countries ⇒ the Test match between Pakistan and the West Indies.

24a   White // trailer carrying soldiers (5)

"soldiers" = OR (show explanation )

In the British armed forces, the term other ranks[5] (abbreviation OR[5]) refers to all those who are not commissioned officers.

hide explanation

25a   Commercial arena // creating ample racket (11)


1d   Plan Irene devised /is/ never failing (9)

2d   Entertainment organiser // getting wine before film (7)

Redcoat[5] is a British term for an organizer and entertainer at a Butlin's holiday camp.

Butlins[7] (also Butlin's) is a chain of large holiday camps in the United Kingdom. Holiday camp[5] is a British term for a site for holidaymakers [vacationers] with accommodation, entertainment, and leisure facilities.

3d   Best deal I arranged /for/ furniture item (4,5)

4d   Place in ground /for/ Italian team? (5)

Football Club Internazionale Milano S.p.A., commonly referred to as Internazionale or simply Inter, and colloquially known as Inter Milan[7] outside of Italy, is a professional Italian football [soccer] club based in Milan, Lombardy, Italy that plays in Serie A, the top flight of Italian football.

5d   Capital /of/ three islands in North America (7)

Cos is an alternative spelling of Kos[5], a Greek island in the southeastern Aegean, one of the Dodecanese group. It is the home of cos lettuce[5] (known to North Americans as romaine[5]).

Nicosia[5] is the capital of Cyprus; population 233,000 (est. 2007). Since 1974 it has been divided into Greek and Turkish sectors.

6d   Bouquet in hearing /for/ BBC bigwig (5)

In the UK, the clue that appeared in the printed edition of The Daily Telegraph differed from that which was used on The Telegraph website indicating that the clue was changed after the paper had gone to production. Not surprisingly, the syndicated puzzle carried by the National Post has used the former version. The version on The Telegraph website is:
  • 6d   Bouquet in hearing /for/ BBC DG (5)
The fact that I had never heard of the British broadcasting executive made this clue more than a little challenging. I got off on the wrong foot supposing that "bouquet" was referring to a smell. After an initial (and incorrect) guess that the name we are looking for could be Reich — which I surmised might conceivably be pronounced "reek" (a decidedly unappealing "bouquet") — Mr. Google came to my rescue.

John Reith[5], 1st Baron Reith (1889–1971) was a British broadcasting executive who established the tradition of independent public service broadcasting in the United Kingdom. The first Director-General (DG) of the British Broadcasting Corporation — from the establishment of the public broadcaster in 1927 until 1938, his concept of broadcasting as a way of educating the masses marked for a long time the BBC and similar organisations around the world.

7d   Body once dictated to? (11)

A secretariat[10] is a body of secretaries.

9d   Old scheme supported by a right-winger /is/ illustrative (11)

14d   Group rises before spring // to begin operations (3,2,4)

I took a bit of contemplation for me to realize that "rises and falls" are alternatively "ups and downs".

15d   Exactly in America // characteristic of glasses? (2,3,4)

On the nose[5] is an informal, chiefly North American expression denoting precisely ⇒ at ten on the nose the van pulled up

17d   More clean-cut // person of dubious loyalties (7)

A trimmer[5] is a a person who adapts their views to the prevailing political trends for personal advancement : he is a clever trimmer, a closet federalist unchanged at heart.

18d   Good man with morning in area /showing/ resilience (7)

20d   Leaves to get in hot water /in/ Asian area? (5)

Assam[5] is a state in northeastern India; capital, Dispur. Most of the state lies in the valley of the Brahmaputra River; it is noted for the production of tea.

21d   Fool about /to get/ explosive (5)

Nitre[5] (US niter) is an alternative name for saltpetre[5] (US saltpeter) which, in turn, is an alternative name for potassium nitrate[5], a white crystalline salt which is used in preserving meat and as a constituent of gunpowder.
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. This crossword would appeal to those who tuned into the BBC in the 1920's and holidayed in Butlin camps. Managed, with some googling, but I found myself rooting for the hordes of migrants trying to storm the chunnel.

  2. Some huge laughs from Miffypops on that blog. In case you missed it, she defines a Yorkshireman as "a Scotsman with the generosity beaten out of him".

    Then, further down, she greets a new member Martin56 with questions: "Now are you 56 years old or were you born in 1956 (nearly the same) or have been friendly with 56 women? We need to know." OMG, some Brits are so witty.

    1. I do find Miffypops' comments to be most enjoyable. However, I must correct you on one point. Miffypops is a man, the proprietor of a pub in Long Itchington, Warwickshire, England. You can have a look at the pub here and see a picture of Miffypops here. The picture was taken at a party held to mark the sixth anniversary of Big Dave's Crossword Blog. The young lady with him in the photo is Kitty.