Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wednesday, July 22, 2015 — DT 27717

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27717
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, February 5, 2015
RayT (Ray Terrell)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27717]
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


A bit of time passed between solving this puzzle and writing the blog. As I recall, the puzzle was not overly difficult — although I did experience a "solver's block" at 25a.

As a note to readers, please be aware that should you attempt to follow links to entries at Oxford Dictionaries Online (in particular in previous blog postings), you may arrive at the wrong entry. For some reason, the website has revamped its id tags such that many entries now have an id that has a value that is one less than it was previously. While I attempt to repair the links in new posts, I may sometimes neglect to do so. Of course, links in historical posts will now be incorrect. If you happen to arrive at the incorrect destination, try scrolling up one entry and you should find what you are looking for [at least until such time as the editors at Oxford next rearrange the furniture].

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   Show // fanatical holy man before judge (11)

9a   Attend lessons, some // boring (7)

10a   Outdo // former wife with children, say (6)

12a   Ferocious female defending her pride? (7)

13a   Spirit /of/ honour about to end (7)

I heartily concur with pommers' comment Easy to fill in the answer but it took a while for the penny to drop on how it works. Even after getting the correct solution from the definition and checking letters, I spent nearly as much time deciphering the wordplay in this clue as I did solving the entire puzzle.

14a   Direction in musical /for/ groups of actors (5)

CATS[7] is a musical by English composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by American-born British writer T. S. Eliot (1888–1965) and produced by British theatrical producer Cameron Mackintosh. It premiered in London in 1981 and on Broadway in 1982.

15a   Fakes // the compiler's blog contributors (9)

"the compiler'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 "the compiler" with the verb "to be" producing "the compiler's" (contraction for "the compiler is") which must be replaced by "I'm" (I am).

hide explanation

17a   Fluid mechanics /causing/ accident (9)

Scratching the Surface
As an engineering student many decades ago, I studied fluid mechanics[5] — the study of forces and flow within fluids.

20a   Pile of stones // roughly hard, not round (5)

The wordplay is CA (roughly; circa [abbrev.]) + IR[O]N (hard) with the O (round [letter]) removed (not).

22a   Fantasise mentally, embracing return of // vengeance (7)

Followers of the banter on Big Dave's Crossword Blog may recognize this clue as a salute by the setter to Brian who always characterizes the setter as the solution to the clue.

24a   Do maiden over in length of material? (7)

This is an &lit. (or all-in-one) clue. The entire clue (when read one way) is the definition and when read another way is the wordplay.

The surface reading suggests the length of material is fabric. However, it is actually something like fishing line or telecommunications or electrical cable.

"maiden" = M (show explanation )

In cricket, a maiden[5], also known as a maiden over, (abbreviation M)[5] is an over in which no runs are scored.

In cricket, an over[5] is a division of play consisting of a sequence of six balls bowled by a bowler from one end of the pitch, after which another bowler takes over from the other end. 

hide explanation

25a   Clubs set out /for/ Open (6)

It seems that I could not get away from thinking of "set out" in the sense of laying something out.

Scratching the Surface
This turned out to be a rather timely clue, with the British Open concluding on Monday — a day later than planned due to some horrendous weather in Scotland.

While to the rest of the world this golf tournament is the British Open, in typical British fashion, it is known in the UK as simply The Open[7].

26a   After a second awake, practically // lustful (7)

Mo[5] (abbreviation for moment) is an informal, chiefly British term for a short period of time ⇒ hang on a mo!.

27a   Remained top, affected // to be superior (11)


2d   Quits purchasing gutless League // teams (7)

Here is a term we last encountered very recently.

Quits[5] means (of two people) on even terms, especially because a debt or score has been settled ⇒ I think we’re just about quits now, don’t you?.

Eleven[5] is the number of players on a cricket[7] side or an Association football[7] [soccer] team — and is often used as a metonym for such a team ⇒ at cricket I played in the first eleven.

3d   Phobia /of/ old boy going to meeting (9)

"old boy" = 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

4d   Small domestic animals brought up // stairs (5)

5d   Disease // caught off insects (7)

"caught" = C (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

6d   In that place, catching a tragedy's opening? (7)

This is another &lit. clue (see 24a). The clue defines a place where one would watch the opening performance of a dramatic work.

7d   Queen record left brilliant players time /for/ 'Substitute' (11)

"queen" = R (show explanation )

Regina[5] (abbreviation R[5]) [Latin for queen] denotes the reigning queen, used following a name (e.g. Elizabetha Regina, Queen Elizabeth) or in the titles of lawsuits (e.g. Regina v. Jones, the Crown versus Jones — often shortened to R. v. Jones).

hide explanation

"record" = EP (show explanation )

An EP[5] (abbreviation for extended-play) is a record or CD that contains more than a single track (per side in the case of a record) but fewer than would be found on an LP[5] (abbreviation for long-playing).

hide explanation

Scratching the Surface
"Substitute"[7] is a song by The Who written by Pete Townshend. It was released as a single in March 1966, when it reached number 5 in the UK, and was later included on the compilation album Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy in 1971. It became a UK top ten hit again when re-issued in 1976, reaching number 7.

8d   Featuring old lino, pub's oddly // unpleasant (6)

What did he say?
In his review, pommers comments I sincerely hope this [the clue] isn’t alluding to “The Green Man”!.
The Green Man is a pub in Long Itchington, England owned by Miffypops whom you might recognize as the regular reviewer of puzzles published in The Daily Telegraph on Monday.

11d   Make one's own // series on lap dancing (11)

16d   De Niro part almost recast /for/ 'Doom' (9)

Scratching the Surface
Robert De Niro[7] is an American actor and producer who has starred in over 90 films.

Doom[7] is a 2005 science fiction action film loosely based on the video game series of the same name. It did not feature Robert De Niro.

18d   Start to sew more extensive // piece of embroidery (7)

19d   Consort /with/ hard American group (7)

20d   Satisfaction // from varying in bed (7)

What did he say?
In his review, pommers refers to a cot as a child’s bed.
In Britain, a small bed with high barred sides for a baby or very young child is called a cot[5] rather than a crib[5] as it is known in North America.

21d   Raised in brood, nightjar's // covered (6)

Scratching the Surface
When I encounter an unfamiliar word, I like to guess its meaning. In this instance, I supposed that nightjar might be a British term for chamber pot. How wrong could I be!

The nightjar[5] is any of many species of a nocturnal insectivorous bird with grey-brown camouflaged plumage, large eyes and gape, and a distinctive call. The nightjar family also includes the nighthawks, pauraques, poorwills, whippoorwills, and chuck-will’s-widow. The name apparently arises from the fact that the bird is active at night and possesses a jarring cry.

23d   Second squad /showing/ enthusiasm (5)
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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