Monday, August 24, 2015

Monday, August 24, 2015 — DT 27740 (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 27740, one of the two puzzles that the National Post skipped on Tuesday, August 18, 2015.

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27740
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Jay (Jeremy Mutch)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27740]
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 skipped this puzzle on Tuesday, August 18, 2015.


I can't argue with the assessment of the 2Kiwis on this puzzle — although my performance is hardly indicative of a two-star level of difficulty.

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   Plot // swindles and breach of copyright (10)

6a   Shrewd // to ignore right of course (4)

Obviously the 2Kiwis were not the only ones for whom this clue was an 11a. Among those having difficulty with this clue, one would number myself and virtually everyone leaving a comment on Big Dave's Crossword Blog.

Cute[2,10] can mean clever, cunning or shrewd.

Delving Deeper
Cute[2] was originally a shortened form of acute in the sense "keenly perceptive or discerning, shrewd." In this sense cute is first recorded in a dictionary published in 1731. Probably cute came to be used as a term of approbation for things demonstrating acuteness or ingenious design, and so it went on to develop its own sense of "pretty, fetching."

Cut[5] is an informal term meaning to ignore or refuse to recognize (someone) ⇒ they cut her in public.

10a   Performance scheduled /for/ part of London (5)

Acton[5] is a large area within the London Borough of Ealing in west London, England, 6.1 miles (10 km) west of Charing Cross [considered to mark the centre of London].

11a   Gamble on Eire developing // a particular pet hate (4,5)

Scratching the Surface
Eire[5] is the Gaelic name for Ireland, the official name of the Republic of Ireland from 1937 to 1949.

12a   Steal, /but/ lawyers win (7)

13a   Draw out // professional student working with force of gravity (7)

"student" = L (show explanation )

The cryptic crossword convention of L meaning learner or student arises from the L-plate[7], a square plate bearing a sans-serif letter L, for learner, which must be affixed to the front and back of a vehicle in various countries (including the UK) if its driver is a learner under instruction.

hide explanation

"force of gravity" = G (show explanation )

G[5] is the abbreviation for a unit of acceleration equal to that produced by the earth’s gravitational field ⇒ I was pinned to the floor by six Gs!.

hide explanation

14a   Not a sad visit arranged /for/ especially talented people (5,7)

Idiot savant[2] (plural idiot savants or idiots savants) is a term used in psychology meaning someone with a mental disability who nevertheless shows a remarkable talent in some specific respect, such as memorizing or rapid calculation. The expression comes from French where it literally means 'clever idiot'. While either version of the plural is acceptable in English, only the latter is grammatically correct in French.

18a   Almost certain -- putting a coat on /and/ giving up (12)

Behind the Picture
The photo, taken in Louisville, Kentucky on April 28, 2011, shows Art Hoffman waving what is purported to be the "Largest White Flag Waved in Surrender". He waved the flag (which measured 93 inches by 68 inches) in surrender to the flooding of the Ohio River that devastated the town of Louisville.

21a   Locked up right // person with secret information (7)

23a   Those people must accept charge /for/ treatment (7)

24a   Travel essential // for hire, including one catch (6,3)

Let[5] is a chiefly British term meaning to allow someone to have the use of (a room or property) in return for regular payments ⇒ (i) she let the flat to a tenant; (ii) they’ve let out their house. [I'm not sure that this word is as British as Oxford Dictionaries Online would have us believe.]

Toilet bag[5] is a British term for a waterproof bag for holding toothpaste, soap, and other bathroom items when travelling [North American toiletry bag].

25a   The links /or/ the range? (5)

Neither a golf course nor a driving range.

26a   Couple // about to give birth stay without influence (4)

27a   Excited stars model /for/ great artists (3,7)

An old master[5] is (1) a great artist of former times, especially of the 13th-17th century in Europe ⇒ the Dutch old masters or (2) a painting by a great artist of former times ⇒ a large collection of old masters.


1d   Irritable // taxi driver having to cross river (6)

2d   Temperament /shown by/ angry EU rant? (6)

3d   Cause of hold-ups at the couturier /is/ a sensation (4,3,7)

4d   Archer/'s/ fleece -- popular with gangster? (5,4)

5d   Overtake dangerously /when/ upset (3,2)

In their review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog, the 2Kiwis say The first definition seems to be a North American usage. (We, and probably most of you, would use IN for the second word.).

I think I can safely say that they are dead wrong on this point. "Cut up" is very clearly a British term. We North Americans — like our New Zealand friends — would certainly say "cut in".

In Britain, as in Canada, cut in[10] means (of a driver, motor vehicle, etc) to draw in front of another vehicle leaving too little space while cut up[10] is an informal term that denotes (of a driver) to overtake or pull in front of (another driver) in a dangerous manner. Thus the latter term would seem to cover a broader range of dangerous manoeuvres than the former term.

Cut up[10] is an informal [presumably British] term meaning to affect the feelings of deeply.

7d   Creatures // shown by navy netted by cousin at sea (8)

"navy" = RN (show explanation )

The Royal Navy[5] (abbreviation RN) is the British navy. It was the most powerful navy in the world from the 17th century until the Second World War.

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8d   Perk up, // seeing her dressed up leaving hotel (8)

Without help from my electronic assistants, I failed to see the anagram here.

"hotel" = H (show explanation )

Hotel[5] is a code word representing the letter H, used in radio communication.

hide explanation

9d   Minor problems // at home with ladies? (14)

The ladies[5] is a British term for a women’s public toilet.

Convenience[5] is a British — or, at least, chiefly British[3] — term for a public toilet ⇒ the large council [municipal] car park next to the public conveniences.

15d   Plan /to/ put treasure under layers of rock (9)

16d   Lent a hand // when changing sides takes time (8)

17d   Long to take in topless joint -- /it's/ spotless (8)

19d   Delayed by father/'s/ sense of taste (6)

20d   Extremely happy and rational over // such mammals (6)

While not strictly necessary for the purpose of the definition, the word "such" does serve to emphasize that we a looking for a specific kind of mammal and not mammals in general. Of course, its main purpose is to enhance the surface reading.

22d   Non-conformist // bishop in dance (5)

"bishop" = B (show explanation )

B[5] is an abbreviation for bishop that is used in recording moves in chess.

hide explanation

Behind the Picture
James Dean[7] (1931–1955) was an American actor. He is a cultural icon of teenage disillusionment and social estrangement, as expressed in the title of his most celebrated film, Rebel Without a Cause (1955), in which he starred as troubled teenager Jim Stark. The other two roles that defined his stardom were loner Cal Trask in East of Eden (1955) and surly ranch hand Jett Rink in Giant (1956). Dean's enduring fame and popularity rest on his performances in only these three films, in two of which he is the leading actor.

Dean's premature death in a car crash cemented his legendary status. He became the first actor to receive a posthumous Academy Award nomination for Best Actor, and remains the only actor to have had two posthumous acting nominations. In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked him the 18th best male movie star on their AFI's 100 Years...100 Stars list.
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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