Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday, August 28, 2015 — DT 27752

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27752
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Jay (Jeremy Mutch)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27752]
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 2Kiwis rated this puzzle as being deserving of four stars for difficulty, while I thought it was not more than two stars. I must have been tuned into the setter's frequency 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   March /will be/ heaven -- one's going away! (6)

4a   Supplied // last of tableware, cracked (8)

10a   Snappy technique /from/ corrupt email pest (4-5)

11a   Picture // young lad hides at home? (3-2)

12a   Quick -- // a couple of lines, say, with rope cut in half (7)

The musical direction allegro[5] means at a brisk speed.

13a   Huge // credit almost taking in Italian article (7)

Tick[5] (used in the phrase on tick) is an informal British term meaning credit ⇒ the printer agreed to send the brochures out on tick. The term apparently originates as a short form for ticket in the phrase on the ticket, referring to an IOU or promise to pay.

"Italian" = IT (show explanation )

A couple of explanations are possible:
  • It.[10] is an abbreviation for Italian or Italy.

  • Italian[10] is another name for Italian vermouth. It[5] is an informal, dated British term for Italian vermouth ⇒ he poured a gin and it.
hide explanation

14a   America, determined, arrests // soldier in training (5)

15a   Elementary variants // to posies after arrangement (8)

In chemistry, an isotope[5] is each of two or more forms of the same element that contain equal numbers of protons but different numbers of neutrons in their nuclei, and hence differ in relative atomic mass but not in chemical properties; in particular, a radioactive form of an element ⇒ (i) some elements have only one stable isotope: (ii) radioactive isotopes of caesium, strontium, and plutonium.

18a   Fantasise // mother is about ready with changes (8)

20a   They must lose regulars, and not // drift (5)

Tenor[5] denotes the general meaning, sense, or content of something ⇒ the general tenor of the debate.

23a   Plain // laminate with a core of gum (7)

25a   Drinking // game's beginning after son gets 11 tipsy (7)

The numeral "11" is a cross reference indicator directing the solver to insert the solution to clue 11a in its place to complete the clue. The directional indicator is often omitted in situations such as this where only a single clue starts in the square that is being referenced.

As a verb, sup[5] is a dated or Northern English term meaning to take (drink or liquid food) by sips or spoonfuls ⇒ (i) she supped up her soup delightedly; (ii) he was supping straight from the bottle. As a noun, sup[5] means (1) a sip of liquid ⇒ he took another sup of wine or (2) in Northern England or Ireland, an alcoholic drink ⇒ the latest sup from those blokes at the brewery.

26a   Shocking -- // very nearly draw one day (5)

27a   Analyse // collapse (9)

28a   Grave robber's first love /gets/ a hat (8)

"love" = O (show explanation )

In tennis, squash, and some other sports, love[5] is a score of zero or nil ⇒ love fifteen. The resemblance of a zero written as a numeral (0) to the letter O leads to the cryptic crossword convention of the word "love" being used to clue this letter.

Although folk etymology has connected the word with French l'oeuf 'egg', from the resemblance in shape between an egg and a zero, the term apparently comes from the phrase play for love (i.e. the love of the game, not for money).

hide explanation

29a   Girl with a Latin // temper (6)


1d   Inadequate payment /for/ bread once with no end of aggro (8)

Scratching the Surface
Aggro[5] (abbreviation of aggravation or aggression) is an informal British term for (1) aggressive, violent behaviour ⇒ they do not usually become involved in aggro or (2) problems and difficulties ⇒ he didn’t have to deal with aggro from the desk clerk.

2d   Discovered the truth /and/ growled (7)

Rumble[5] is an informal British expression meaning to discover (an illicit activity or its perpetrator) ⇒ it wouldn’t need a genius to rumble my little game.

3d   Pleased /with/ action taken to include illumination (9)

5d   Times Square not for posing? // He's the king of posers! (8,6)

Question master[5] is a British term for a person who presides over a quiz or panel game.

Scratching the Surface
Times Square[5] is a focal point of Manhattan in New York City, around the intersection of Broadway and 42nd Street.

Behind the Picture
The illustration used by the 2Kiwis in their review is of British question master Stephen Fry on the set of the British television programme QI.
QI[7] (Quite Interesting) is a British comedy panel game television quiz show created and co-produced by John Lloyd, hosted by Stephen Fry, and featuring permanent panellist Alan Davies. Most of the questions are extremely obscure, making it unlikely that the correct answer will be given. To compensate, points are awarded not only for right answers, but also for interesting ones, regardless of whether they are right or even relate to the original question. Conversely, points are deducted from a panellist who gives "answers which are not only wrong, but pathetically obvious," typically answers that are generally believed to be true but in fact are misconceptions, or for obvious joke answers. These answers are known as forfeits, usually indicated by a loud siren, flashing lights, and the incorrect answer being displayed on screen. In addition, bonus points may be awarded or deducted for various challenges or incorrect references to a certain thing or place, varying from show to show.

6d   Data // is not proven under trial, for starters (5)

7d   Writer to risk ignoring church // act of atonement (7)

It took some time to realize that "church" was not clueing the final two letters of the solution.

8d   Show // disheartened Dane and old Scot (6)

A Pict[5] is a member of an ancient people inhabiting northern Scotland in Roman times.

9d   Counterpart // to Pope is converted, supported by cardinal (8,6)

Cardinal[2,3,4,10,11] is another term for cardinal number.

16d   Blunt // stunned -- small fine in prison! (9)

A North American is most likely to solve this clue by recognizing that pen as a shortened version of penitentiary, but note that this is almost certainly not the way the Brits would see it. The word penitentiary is not used in the UK in the sense of a prison; this usage being characterised as North American by Chambers 21st Century Dictionary[2], Collins English Dictionary[10] and  Oxford Dictionaries Online[5]. The Brits would presumably equate PEN to "prison" simply based on pen[5] meaning any small enclosure in which someone or something can be confined.

17d   Novel // railing violently against love (8)

Of this we can be sure, "love" is constant — it has the same meaning here as it did in 28a.

19d   Possibly posted to depots as an example (7)

"Possibly posted to depots" is an example of a construct used in every cryptic crossword that I have ever solved. DEPOTS is an anagram (possibly) of POSTED.

21d   Offensive // racket around the heart of home (7)

22d   Periods /of/ magic? (6)

24d   English looking shamefaced, turned over after one /gets a/ duck (5)

The eider[5,10] (or eider duck) is any of several sea ducks of the genus Somateria, especially S. mollissima, and related genera, which occur in the northern hemisphere. The male has black and white plumage with a coloured head. The female is brown and is the source of eiderdown.

Scratching the Surface
The surface reading is likely an allusion to cricket, where a duck[5] is a batsman’s score of nought [zero] ⇒ he was out for a duck. This is similar to the North American expression goose egg[5] meaning a zero score in a game. In British puzzles, duck is used to indicate the letter "O" based on the resemblance of the digit "0" to this letter.
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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