Friday, August 7, 2015

Friday, August 7, 2015 — DT 27730

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27730
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, February 20, 2015
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27730]
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


With Giovanni, one can always count on learning a new word or two. Today's puzzle made a larger contribution than usual to increasing my vocabulary.

The puzzle also has more than the usual number of religious references. We can always expect one or two of these from Giovanni, but he has been very liberal in his use of them today. His fondness for such clues can be attributed to the fact that Don Manley, as he is otherwise known, also serves as crossword editor of the Church Times (an independent Anglican weekly newspaper published in the UK).

On Big Dave's Crossword Blog the Brits are bemoaning the cricket results from New Zealand ("the land of the 2Kiwis") which the BBC reported as "England crushed by New Zealand in World Cup Pool A: England suffered a humiliating eight-wicket thrashing ...England blown away ... [New Zealand cricketer] Brendon McCullum then smashed an 18-ball half-century, the fastest in World Cup history ... Only when McCullum was bowled by Chris Woakes for a 25-ball 77 did England avoid the ignominy of being beaten before the scheduled tea interval".

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   Early music without instrumentation (4,6)

Dawn chorus[5] is a British term for the singing of a large number of birds before dawn each day, particularly during the breeding season ⇒ the dawn chorus woke Robyn at five.

6a   Early man // discovered across Dorset/Hampshire border (4)

In the Bible, Seth[10] is Adam's third son, given by God in place of the murdered Abel (Genesis 4:25).

Scratching the Surface
Dorset[5] is a county of southwestern England; county town, Dorchester. Dorset borders Hampshire to the east.[7]

Hampshire[5] is a county on the coast of southern England; county town, Winchester. It is bordered by Dorset to the west.[7]

10a   Suffering at the back of cold // entrance (5)

11a   Work that could get sewer functioning (9)

I eventually realized that STITCHING was a poor choice.

12a   Room seen through the French // window (7)

"the French" = LE (show explanation )

In French, the masculine singular form of the definite article is le[8].

hide explanation

A lattice[2] (also lattice window) is a window with small diamond-shaped panels of glass held in place with strips of lead.

13a   Feeble walker /is/ old, retd, drunk (7)

A toddler[1,3,11] is a person who toddles, especially [but, apparently, not necessarily] a young child learning to walk.

14a   Devil on street with nasty stare // kicks up a fuss (12)

18a   I phone darling, exuding love, naughtily // flirting (12)

21a   Billy may be so // foolish (7)

Billy[5] is short for billy goat.

Goat[5] is an informal British term for a stupid person or a fool ⇒ just for once, stop acting the goat.

23a   Girl's shout of surprise seen on reflection /as/ shout of praise (7)

Hosanna[5] (also hosannah) is a word used (especially in biblical, Judaic, and Christian use) to express adoration, praise, or joy ⇒ Hosanna, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

24a   Off-putting type /offers/ ridiculous rationale (9)

25a   American university map-maker passes over, // misses out (5)

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology[5] (abbreviation MIT) is a US institute of higher education, famous for scientific and technical research, founded in 1861 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

In the UK, OS[5] stands for Ordnance Survey[5], an official survey organization, originally under the Master of the Ordnance, preparing large-scale detailed maps of the whole country.

26a   Only part of play heard /or/ watched (4)

27a   Party very loud after food, /making one/ fed up (7,3)

"very loud" = FF (show explanation )

Fortissimo[5] (abbreviation ff[5]) is a direction used in music to mean either (as an adjective) very loud  or (as an adverb) very loudly.

hide explanation

The link phrase "making one" is equivalent to "creates for one (referring to the solver)".


1d   Under the doctor, upset priest /is/ easily managed (6)

In the Bible, Eli[5] is a priest who acted as a teacher to the prophet Samuel (1 Sam. 1-3).

2d   Presence /of/ this person beset by anger (6)

"this person" = I (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 substitute a first person pronoun (I or me) for whichever of these terms has been used in the clue.

hide explanation

3d   Some morticians trained /to offer/ expressions of sympathy (14)

4d   Not awfully inspiring person given promotion // as a commercial traveller? (2,3,4)

5d   Type of Christian // turning up in certain universities (5)

Uniat is an alternative spelling of Uniate[5], an adjective that means denoting or relating to any community of Christians in eastern Europe or the Near East that acknowledges papal supremacy but retains its own liturgy ⇒ the Uniate churches.

7d   Eat to get over awful toil -- having minimal energy, grow pale (8)

Etiolate[5] means to make (a plant) pale through lack of light ⇒ the seedling had been etiolated by having been grown in darkness.

8d   Multi-storey // school needing extra money (4-4)

High[5] is an informal, chiefly North American term for high school ⇒ I go to junior high.

Rise[5] is the British term for an increase in salary or wages ⇒ non-supervisory staff were given a 5 per cent rise [North American counterpart: raise[5]].

9d   Act as desperate woman maybe, /making/ terribly wooden response (6,4,4)

... desperately needing to use the facilities!

15d   It's swell having tea thrown in /for/ an extra amount (9)

Cha (or chai) are alternative spellings for char[5], an informal British name for tea.

16d   Short gypsy dancing, girl /revealed by/ telescope (8)

17d   Antioxidant /from/ plant -- the thing in the morning to be swallowed (7,1)

Vitamin E[5] is another term for tocopherol tocopherol[5] being any of several closely related compounds, found in wheatgerm oil, egg yolk, and leafy vegetables, which collectively constitute vitamin E. They are fat-soluble alcohols with antioxidant properties, important in the stabilization of cell membranes. [Note: Should you happen to feel — as I do — that these definitions are not entirely mutually consistent, please reserve your complaints for the editors at Oxford Dictionaries Online.]

19d   Colour // architect Jones used with encrusted diamonds (6)

Inigo Jones[5] (1573–1652) was an English architect and stage designer. He introduced the Palladian style to England; notable buildings include the Queen’s House at Greenwich (1616) and the Banqueting Hall at Whitehall (1619).

"diamonds" = D (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

20d   Church service with bread, one female /getting/ huge piece of crust (6)

Mass[5] is the celebration of the Eucharist, especially in the Roman Catholic Church — Eucharist[5] being the Christian service, ceremony, or sacrament commemorating the Last Supper, in which bread and wine are consecrated and consumed.

A massif[5] is a compact group of mountains ⇒ the rock massif of Scotland.

22d   Problem /is/ hard, leading to irritation (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


  1. Defeated by 2d and the first word of 1a. Disappointing, after cracking those lengthy anagrams and esoteric words.

    1. If I recall correctly, those clues were the last two holdouts for me as well. I also set the puzzle aside and returned to it several times before the penny finally dropped.