Monday, August 3, 2015

Monday, August 3, 2015 — DT 27725 (Bonus Puzzle)


The National Post may be publishing on a reduced schedule for the summer. However, that doesn't mean you have to forgo your Monday puzzle. Here is DT 27725, the puzzle that I expect would have appeared had the presses run today.

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27725
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, February 14, 2015
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27725 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27725 – Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave (Hints)
crypticsue (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
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.


Attention pupils. Today's lesson covers the British road numbering scheme and the local property taxation system in the UK. Even the Brits — to whom the foregoing would presumably be well-known — seem to have found the puzzle more difficult than usual for a "Saturday" puzzle.

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.


4a   Steer round trouble on minor road /that's/ delayed traffic (8)

In Great Britain, B roads[7] are numbered local routes, which have lower traffic densities than the main trunk roads, or A roads. This classification has nothing to do with the width or quality of the physical road, and B roads can range from dual carriageways [divided highways] to single track roads with passing places.

Tailback[5] is a British term for a long queue [line] of stationary or slow-moving traffic extending back from a busy junction or similar obstruction on the road ⇒ tailbacks affected all roads into Leeds.

8a   Run // West perhaps astride horse (6)

Mae West[5] (1892–1980) was an American actress and dramatist. She made her name on Broadway in her own comedies Sex (1926) and Diamond Lil (1928), memorable for their spirited approach to sexual matters, before embarking on her successful Hollywood career in the 1930s.

9a   Cast net -- fish // to get caught up (8)

10a   Made a score // with aplomb (8)

11a   Posh sort, the French // aristocracy (6)

Nob[5] is an informal British term for a person of wealth or high social position ⇒ it was quite a do—all the nobs were there.

"the French" = LES (show explanation )

In French, the plural form of the definite article is les[8].

hide explanation

12a   Bring over // Whistler's new art that's revolutionary (8)

Scratching the Surface
The surface reading alludes to American painter James McNeill Whistler[5] (1834–1903) whose most notable work is Arrangement in Grey and Black: The Artist’s Mother (portrait, 1872) [popularly known as Whistler's Mother].

13a   Break // articles possessed by British Queen (8)

"Queen" = ER (show explanation )

The regnal ciphers (monograms) of British monarchs are initials formed from the Latin version of their first name followed by either Rex or Regina (Latin for king or queen, respectively). Thus, the regnal cipher of Queen Elizabeth is ER[5] — from the Latin Elizabetha Regina.
hide explanation

16a   Reptiles pushed back group of animals, 500 cut off /in/ very hot day (8)

19a   Hamlet character // needs endless noxious drink? (8)

Scratching the Surface
Undoubtedly, the setter intended to misdirect our attention to the theatre where a performance of Shakespeare's Hamlet is playing.

What did she say?
In her review, crypticsue refers to "lager" as a drink which our village landlord would definitely  describe as noxious!.
Landlord[5] is a British term for a man who keeps a pub. The reference is to Miffypops who — when not writing reviews of "Monday" puzzles — can be found tending to customers in his pub in the village of Long Itchington, Warwickshire, England. He is an outspoken supporter of CAMRA[5] (Campaign for Real Ale), a British consumer organisation promoting real ale, real cider and the traditional British pub. It is now the largest single-issue consumer group in the UK, and is a founding member of the European Beer Consumers Union (EBCU).

Real ale[7] is defined as "beer brewed from traditional ingredients, matured by secondary fermentation in the container from which it is dispensed, and served without the use of extraneous carbon dioxide".

The implication of crytpicsue's comment is that lager does not measure up to ale.

21a   Suitable // item for stage production -- American medical drama (6)

ER[7] is an American medical drama television series created by novelist and medical doctor Michael Crichton that aired on NBC from 1994 to 2009. ER follows the inner life of the emergency room (ER) of fictional County General Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, and various critical issues faced by the room's physicians and staff. The show ran for 15 seasons with a total of 331 episodes, becoming the longest-running primetime medical drama in American television history. It won 23 Emmy Awards, including the 1996 Outstanding Drama Series award, and received 124 Emmy nominations, which makes it the most nominated drama program in history.

23a   What footballer may damage /in/ match -- put dressing around it (8)

Lint[5] is a fabric, originally of linen, with a raised nap on one side, used for dressing wounds.

24a   What's sung around America /in/ revelry (8)

25a   Immature // farmyard animal eats everything (6)

26a   Superior // newspapers covering South American city (8)

Rio de Janeiro[5] (commonly known as Rio) is a city in eastern Brazil, on the Atlantic coast; population 6,093,472 (2007). The chief port of Brazil, it was the country’s capital from 1763 until 1960, when it was replaced by Brasilia.

A superior[5] is the head of a monastery or other religious institution. A Mother Superior[5] [mentioned by Big Dave in his hint for this clue] is the head of a female religious community.

A prioress[5] is (1) a woman who is head of a house of certain orders of nuns or (2) the woman who is next in rank below an abbess — an abbess[5] being a woman who is the head of an abbey of nuns.


1d   Arson's caused damage in my // brickwork (7)

In Comment #6 on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Rabbit Dave poses the question "Isn’t the ‘s in 1d unnecessary?". In the cryptic interpretation, as Badger replies, the 's is a contraction for 'is' and is very necessary. It is the word ARSON that is the fodder for the anagram so the damage must be inflicted on it. "ARSON is caused damage" is another way of saying "Damage is caused to ARSON". Were the clue to read "Arson caused damage ...", arson would be the cause of the damage rather than the target of the damage.

2d   Come in after fish /and/ chips (9)

"Chips" is a traditional nickname for a carpenter, especially aboard sailing vessels.

3d and 4d:   Heroine -- // lover left her, subsisted wretchedly (4,2)

Tess of the d'Urbervilles[7] (extended title: Tess of the d'Urbervilles: A Pure Woman Faithfully Presented) is a novel by English writer Thomas Hardy (1840–1928). It initially appeared in a censored and serialised version, published by the British illustrated newspaper The Graphic in 1891 and in book form in 1892. Though now considered a major nineteenth-century English novel and possibly Hardy's masterpiece, Tess of the d'Urbervilles received mixed reviews when it first appeared, in part because it challenged the sexual morals of late Victorian England.

4d   See 3d (3,1'11)

5d   One that's made contract, // one no-trump, defeated (8)

She or he has made a contract to become a bride or groom respectively.

6d   Low council tax /shown in/ pension? (1,3,1)

Council Tax[7] is the system of local property taxation that has been used in England, Scotland and Wales since 1993 to fund (in part) the services provided by local government. This system was never applied to Northern Ireland which continues to use an older system.

While implementation details vary among the three jurisdictions, the overall structure of the system remains similar. In England and Scotland, each dwelling is allocated to one of eight bands coded by the letters A to H on the basis of its assumed capital value as of 1 April 1991. In Wales, there are nine bands (labelled A to I) and the reference date is 1 April 2003.The highest value rate band is Band H (Band I in Wales) and the lowest value rate band is Band A. Band B is the second lowest rate band and thus pays a lower council tax than any rate band other than Band A.

A pension[5] is a small hotel or boarding house in France and other European countries. In contrast to bed and breakfasts, more usual in the United States, pensions[7] typically do not only offer breakfast, but also lunch, dinner and sometimes even tea. Rather than paying for the room and each meal separately, guests select a plan which either comprises overnight accommodation, breakfast, lunch and dinner (full pension) or the preceding minus the lunch (half pension).

7d   Where one learns // playing cello, e.g. (7)

14d   Time to study English philosopher -- // tedious work (9)

In Britain, to read[5] means to study (an academic subject) at a university ⇒ (i) I’m reading English at Cambridge; (ii) he went to Manchester to read for a BA in Economics.

John Stuart Mill[5] (1806–1873) was an English philosopher and economist. Mill is best known for his political and moral works, especially On Liberty (1859), which argued for the importance of individuality, and Utilitarianism (1861), which extensively developed this theory which had originally been proposed by English philosopher Jeremy Bentham.

15d   Giving false praise he /is/ a hypocritical type (8)

A Pharisee[5] is a member of an ancient Jewish sect, distinguished by strict observance of the traditional and written law, and commonly held to have pretensions to superior sanctity. The term has come to mean a self-righteous or hypocritical person.

17d   Ribald song heard /from/ pirate ship (7)

Corsair[5] is an archaic term for (1) a pirate; (2) a pirate ship; or (3) a privateer, especially one operating along the southern shore of the Mediterranean in the 16th-18th centuries.

18d   Lancashire Uni once holding // event for ex-students (7)

Scratching the Surface
Lancashire[5] is a county of northwestern England, on the Irish Sea; administrative centre, Preston.

Uni[5] is an informal [seemingly British] term for university he planned to go to uni.

20d   What's left, // say, with delicate trimming (6)

22d   Post Office stocks exciting // picture (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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