Monday, August 17, 2015

Monday, August 17, 2015 — DT 27737 (Bonus Puzzle)


The National Post may be publishing on a reduced schedule for the summer. However, that doesn't mean you have to break your Monday puzzle habit. Here is DT 27737, one of the two puzzles that the National Post skipped on Friday.
Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27737
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, February 28, 2015
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27737 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27737 – Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave (Hints)
gnomethang (Review)
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 skipped this puzzle on Friday, August 14, 2015.

As this was a Saturday "Prize Puzzle" in Britain, there are two entries related to it on Big Dave's Crossword Blog — the first, posted on the date of publication, contains hints for selected clues while the second is a full review issued following the entry deadline for the contest. The vast majority of reader comments will generally be found attached to the "hints" posting with a minimal number — if any — accompanying the full review.


This puzzle appears to have a bit of an American flavour to it. Will that raise an outcry from the Brits?

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   Extra lavish meal /is/ customary (10)

In cricket, an extra[5] is a run scored other than from a hit with the bat, credited to the batting side rather than to a batsman.

In cricket, a wide[5] (also wide ball) is a ball that is judged to be too wide of the stumps for the batsman to play, for which an extra is awarded to the batting side. 

What did he say?
In his review, gnomethang refers to a lavish meal last witnessed by the Famous Five.
The Famous Five[7] is the name of a series of children's adventure novels written by English author Enid Blyton. The first book, Five on a Treasure Island, was published in 1942. The novels feature the adventures of a group of young children – Julian, Dick, Anne and Georgina (George) – and their dog Timmy.

The settings for the stories are almost always rural and enable the children to discover the simple joys of cottages, islands, the English and Welsh countryside and sea shores, as well as an outdoor life of picnics, lemonade, bicycle trips and swimming. This reference to picnics may explain gnomethang's comment.

6a   Fight // Pole (4)

9a   Good-looking girl fit to seduce the Italian // with scanty clothing (10)

"the Italian" = IL (show explanation )

In Italian, the masculine singular form of the definite article is il[8].

hide explanation

10a   Song // beginning missed by girl in West Side Story (4)

Maria[7] is the leading female character in the film and theatrical version of West Side Story, the award winning adaptation of William Shakespeare's romantic tragedy Romeo and Juliet.

12a   In Berlin Germans // hang around (6)

13a   Somehow liaises engaging good // Spanish singer (8)

"good" = G (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

Julio Iglesias[7] is a Grammy Award-winning Spanish singer and songwriter who has sold 120–300 million records worldwide in 14 languages and released more than 80 albums, and more than 2,600 gold and platinum records certified, making him one of the best selling artists of all time.

Julio Iglesias, Jr.[7] is a Spanish singer and the son of Julio Iglesias.

15a   Some Christians // surreally portrayed by artist in rain (12)

A Trinitarian[5] is a person who believes in the Trinity[5], the Christian doctrine of the union of three persons, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in one God.

18a   Round of applause for every managing body /giving/ signal for action (12)

A clapperboard[5] is a pair of hinged boards that are struck together at the beginning of filming to synchronize the starting of picture and sound machinery.

21a   Those hearing // poet keeping one in church (8)

W. H. Auden[5] (1907–1973) was a British-born poet, resident in America from 1939; full name Wystan Hugh Auden. Look, Stranger! (1936) and Spain (1937, on the Civil War) secured his position as a leading left-wing poet. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for The Age of Anxiety (1947).

"church" = CE (show explanation )

The Church of England[10] (abbreviation CE[10]) is the reformed established state Church in England, Catholic in order and basic doctrine, with the Sovereign as its temporal head.

hide explanation

22a   Book regularly produced // answer in reverse (6)

24a   Bill // the schoolmaster (4)

Beak[2] is dated British slang for a headmaster, judge or magistrate.

25a   Desired win, fired // missile (10)

The sidewinder[10] is a US air-to-air missile using infrared homing aids in seeking its target.

26a   Yet // later in the day (4)

Even[5] is an archaic or literary term for the end of the day or evening ⇒ bring it to my house this even.

27a   At home son meets pressure, /causing/ rebellion (10)


1d   Silly walk /makes/ wife go off (6)

2d   Request to confess // providing drugs (6)

3d   Farmer /has/ accident under blade of plough (12)

Cropper[5] is an informal [British] term for a fall. Come a cropper[5] is an informal British expression meaning to fall heavily ⇒ he came the most appalling cropper—I think he knocked himself out.

Share[5] is short for ploughshare[5], the main cutting blade of a plough, behind the coulter (show explanation ).

A coulter[5] is a vertical cutting blade fixed in front of a ploughshare.

hide explanation

Sharecropper[10] is a mainly US term for a farmer, especially a tenant farmer, who pays over a proportion of a crop or crops as rent.

4d   Bar // bird (4)

The rail[10] is any of various small wading birds of the genus Rallus and related genera having short wings, long legs, and dark plumage.

5d   Charge // a liberal group of diplomats (10)

"liberal" = L (show explanation )

Although Lib.[5] may be the more common abbreviation for the Liberal Party[5] in Britain—likely to distinguish it from the the Labour Party[5] (abbreviation Lab.[5])—Chambers 21st Century Dictionary indicates that L[2] may also be used.

hide explanation

7d   Guerrilla fighter // aspirant to revolt (8)

8d   Judge again /makes/ notes about fools (8)

In music (specifically, in tonic sol-fa), re[5] is the second note of a major scale. In Britain, where the most common spelling is ray[5], this is seen as an alternate spelling.

11d   Try becoming popular on social media -- /it's/ agonising (5-7)

14d   Breaking // resistance getting into trendy group (10)

16d   One of S Coe's rivals breathed heavily not finishing // disorderly race (8)

Sebastian Coe[5] is a British politician and former track and field athlete. As a middle-distance runner, Coe won four Olympic medals, including the 1500 metres gold medal at the Olympic Games in 1980 and 1984. He set eight outdoor and three indoor world records in middle-distance track events. Coe's rivalries with fellow Britons Steve Ovett and Steve Cram dominated middle-distance racing for much of the 1980s.

17d   Person died -- search thoroughly /for/ poisonous plant (8)

Mandrake[5] is a Mediterranean plant (Mandragora officinarum) of the nightshade family, with a forked fleshy root which supposedly resembles the human form and which was formerly used in herbal medicine and magic; it was alleged to shriek when pulled from the ground.

19d   One's carried // part of song (6)

Burden[5] is an archaic name for the refrain or chorus of a song.

20d   Sudden gust // in full pelt round lake (6)

23d   Boyfriend/'s/ spoken of Cockney area (4)

A cockney[5] is a native of East London [specifically that part of East London known as the East End], traditionally one born within hearing of Bow Bells (the bells of St Mary-le-Bow[7] church).

Bow[7] is a district in east London, England, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. It is built-up and mostly residential, and 4.6 miles (7.4 km) east of Charing Cross [considered to mark the centre London].

It is often said that to be a true Cockney you need to be born within earshot of the sound of Bow Bells which many take to be the bells of Bow Church in the heart of Bow. However, the saying actually refers to St Mary-le-Bow, which is approximately three miles west on Cheapside, in the City of London.
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. Thanks for posting the puzzle and review. Bit of work-out for me, but managed with a little on-line help.

  2. This was a toughie for me - file under incomplete 4/2 rated. Enjoyed Tuesday much better - rated 3/3.5 - some very ingenious clues - 25A got a big chuckle.

  3. Btw, I've heard that many people consider WSS to be an opera, so 10a is a very clever clue indeed.