Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tuesday, July 28, 2015 — DT 27721

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27721
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, February 10, 2015
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27721]
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 National Post has skipped DT 27720 which was published in The Daily Telegraph on Monday, February 9, 2015 and which appeared on this blog yesterday as a Bonus Puzzle.


This puzzle should certainly not cause you to work up much of a sweat — which is just as well on a hot day like today.

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   Time lag's got /to be/ extended (7)

In British slang, a lag[5] is a person who has been frequently convicted and sent to prison ⇒ both old lags were sentenced to ten years' imprisonment.

5a   Flesh is cut -- /that's/ mean (7)

Like Chris at Comment #21 on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, I initially questioned the use of cut as an anagram indicator. The best explanation I can offer is that cut[5] is likely being used in the sense of to mix (an illegal drug) with another substance speed cut with rat poison.

9a   Ordinary // American university next to Alabama (5)

"Alabama" = AL (show explanation )

In official postal use, AL[5] is the abbreviation for Alabama.

hide explanation

10a   Greedy, // getting stung by debts (9)

I have misgivings concerning the wordplay that are similar to those expressed by Gazza.

11a   Peculiar // person (10)

12a   Mother's temperature // -- it rises on board a ship (4)

14a   Criminal man's honest? It /creates/ confusion (12)

18a   Crazily invest more to secure MP/'s/ changes for the better (12)

21a   Cheat has no right /to get/ sign of approval from teacher (4)

22a   Without a thought, // recluse lays ground to ignore what's proper (10)

"what's proper" = U (show explanation )

In Britain, U[5] is used informally as an adjective (in respect to language or social behaviour) meaning characteristic of or appropriate to the upper social classes ⇒ U manners.

The term, an abbreviation of  upper class, was coined in 1954 by Alan S. C. Ross, professor of linguistics, and popularized by its use in Nancy Mitford's Noblesse Oblige (1956).

In Crosswordland, the letter U is frequently clued by words denoting "characteristic of the upper class" (such as posh or superior) or "appropriate to the upper class" (such as acceptable) — or, as today, by "what's proper".

hide explanation

25a   Staying // much absorbed, initially, in what carriage driver is doing? (9)

26a   Fish with a line? // Perfect (5)

Ide[5] is another name for the orfe[5], a silvery freshwater fish (Leuciscus idus) of the carp family, which is fished commercially in eastern Europe.

27a   Orchestral performance has new ending -- /that's/ a worry (7)

28a   Groan -- Edward's // spotted (7)

We need the longer short form for Edward. Think of Senator Kennedy.


1d   Where one might find artists // hard-working? Not us! (6)

2d   Skirts // no good in gardens (6)

"good" = G (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

In Britain, a garden[10] is an area of land, usually planted with grass, trees, flowerbeds, etc, adjoining a house — what would be known in Canada and the US as a yard.

3d   I've let son out to purchase one // box set (10)

4d   Picked up // king, perhaps, to capture rook (5)

"rook" = R (show explanation )

R[5] is an abbreviation for rook that is used in recording moves in chess.

hide explanation

5d   Military vessel? It's not seen in the main (9)

The phrase "in the main"[5] can be read as meaning either 'on the whole' or 'on the open ocean'.

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

6d   Behind time, // with others turning up (4)

7d   Remote // island with very old diamonds (8)

"diamonds" = D (show explanation )

Diamonds[2] (abbreviation D[2]) is one of the four suits of playing-cards.

hide explanation

So[5] is an adverb (used for emphasis) meaning extremely or very much ⇒ she looked so pretty.

Old is used in the sense of former. In addition to meaning dead, the term late[3] can mean having recently occupied a position or place the company's late president gave the address. [Notwithstanding this usage being in the dictionary, were I to see or hear this statement, I would certainly envision a message from beyond the grave!]

8d   Stall // he has that is containing junk (8)

Tat[5] is an informal British term for tasteless or shoddy clothes, jewellery, or ornaments ⇒ the place was decorated with all manner of gaudy tat.

13d   Caught mad character in government, // babbling (10)

"caught" = C (show explanation )

On cricket scorecards, the abbreviation c.[2,10] or c[5] denotes caught or caught by.

hide explanation

"government" = G (show explanation )

G[1] is the abbreviation for Government as in G-man (Government man), a US term for an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

hide explanation

The Hatter[7] (called Hatta in Through the Looking-Glass) is a fictional character in English writer Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and the story's sequel Through the Looking-Glass (1871). He is often referred to as the Mad Hatter, though this term was never used by Carroll. The phrase "mad as a hatter" pre-dates Carroll's works and the characters the Hatter and the March Hare are initially referred to as "both mad" by the Cheshire Cat, with both first appearing in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, in the seventh chapter titled "A Mad Tea-Party".

15d   Where one might hear music transformed into // action (9)

To fully accord with the clue, Gazza might better have phrased his hint as "a venue for a musical performance is followed by an anagram (transformed) of INTO".

16d   Mash is, to Richard, somewhat // remarkable (8)

17d   Small rodents returning in animal enclosure, /for/ example (8)

19d   Approve // climb, we hear? (6)

20d   Went round // cricket club -- was first unknown to be welcomed in (6)

"cricket club" = CC (show explanation )

CC[5] is the abbreviation for Cricket Club.

hide explanation

"unknown" = Y (show explanation )

In mathematics (algebra, in particular), an unknown[10] is a variable, or the quantity it represents, the value of which is to be discovered by solving an equation ⇒ 3y = 4x + 5 is an equation in two unknowns. [Unknowns are customarily represented symbolically by the letters x, y and z.]

hide explanation

23d   Slowly moves // insect, top to bottom (5)

The sedge[1] (also sedge fly) is any of several mayflies or caddis flies, common along rivers. It has a very restricted range, being found only in the vicinity of page 1412 of certain editions of The Chambers Dictionary.

This insect was the subject of an interesting exchange in the thread starting at Comment #7 on Big Dave's Crossword Blog.

24d   The man maintaining I would // go to ground (4)

The phrase go to ground[5] means (1) of a fox or other animal, to enter its earth or burrow ⇒ rabbits evicted from one set of burrows will go to ground elsewhere or (2) of a person, to hide or become inaccessible, especially for a long time ⇒ he went to ground following the presidential coup.
Key to Reference Sources: 

[1]   - The Chambers Dictionary, 11th Edition
[2]   - Search Chambers - (Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)
[3]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (American Heritage Dictionary)
[4]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (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] - CollinsDictionary.com (Collins English Dictionary)
[11] - TheFreeDictionary.com (Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary)
Signing off for today — Falcon


  1. I am getting stung = I am bit

    Don't see the problem. Unless one is a pedant, which is a problem but one that is easily ignored.

    1. Richard,

      I would agree that "I am getting stung" could equate to "I am bit". However, there is no "am" in the clue. Therefore, "I getting stung" must equate to "I am bit". I suppose there exist people who do talk like that.

      Perhaps the clue would have been better from a grammatical perspective had it been worded:

      "Greedy, am getting stung by debts"

      However, I am sure the setter was doing everything possible to avoid using "am" in the clue -- even if that meant making the clue rather ungrammatical.