Monday, August 31, 2015

Monday, August 31, 2015 — DT 27733 (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 27733, one of three puzzles that the National Post skipped on Tuesday, August 11, 2015.
Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27733
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Shamus (Philip Marlow)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27733]
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 11, 2015.


I found today's puzzle to be the most difficult that I have encountered in a while. While three stars for difficulty is probably correct, I would put it near the upper end of the three star range.

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   Border cut off in fog that swirls? /It's/ ominous (10)

6a   Crawling // son, small (4)

Crawling ... like traffic during Queensway (show explanation ) construction.

The Queensway is the backbone of the transportation system in Ottawa. It comprises the portion of Ontario Highway 417 from Highway 7 in the west to the Highway 417/Highway 174 split and Highway 174 from the split to Trim Road in the east.

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9a   Aggression /of/ copper facing short man, interrupting suspension of hostilities (10)

"copper" = CU (show explanation )

The symbol for the chemical element copper is Cu[5] (from late Latin cuprum).

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10a   Part of boom anticipated /in/ ME state (4)

ME is the abbreviation for Middle East[11] — rather than Maine[3,4,11] or Montenegro (internet domain name)[4].

12a   Aspect of sea recalled? /That's/ correct (4)

13a   A port that's dilapidated with new decline /in/ custom (9)

Custom[5] is a British term for regular dealings with a shop or business by customers ⇒ if you keep me waiting, I will take my custom elsewhere.

15a   Mobile accessory in county /is/ precious item (8)

Mobile[5] is a British term for a mobile phone [North American cell phone[5]] ⇒ we telephoned from our mobile to theirs.

In the field of computing, an app[5] (short for application) is an an application, especially as downloaded by a user to a mobile device ⇒ apparently there are these new apps that will actually read your emails to you.

Shire[5] is a British term for a county, especially in England.

16a   Call for // dog to follow directions (6)

18a   Smooth // day leaving SA city to east (6)

SA is the abbreviation for South Africa[3,4,11], rather than South America[3,4,11], South Australia[4,11] or Saudi Arabia (International Vehicle Registration symbol and internet domain name)[4].

I spent far too much time on the wrong continent.

Durban[7] is A seaport and resort in South Africa, on the coast of KwaZulu-Natal; population 3,409,100 (est. 2009). Former name (until 1835) Port Natal.

20a   Aquatic creature // wrongly put, say, behind empty pool (8)

The platypus[5] is a semiaquatic egg-laying mammal (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) which frequents lakes and streams in eastern Australia. It has a sensitive pliable bill shaped like that of a duck, webbed feet with venomous spurs, and dense fur. Also called duckbill or duck-billed platypus.

23a   People in general who succeed? (9)

24a   Work painstakingly  -- /is it/ 'PC'? (4)

Before reading Gazza's review, I had no explanation for the second definition.

PC[5] is a British term for a police constablePC Bartholomew made his report.

Plod[5] (also PC Plod) is an informal British term for a police officer ⇒ a bunch of plods arrived, offering me a lift to the cop shop. The term is an allusion to Mr Plod the Policeman in the Noddy stories for children by English children's writer Enid Blyton[7] (1897–1968).

26a   Instant judge barred // suspect (4)

"judge" = J (show explanation )

J[2] (plural JJ) is the abbreviation for judge.

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27a   European wearing sequins as fashionable? // Uncomfortable feeling (10)

28a   A German returns to cross lake /and/ river (4)

"a German" = EIN (show explanation )

In German, the masculine singular form of the indefinite article is ein[8].

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The Nile[5] is a river in eastern Africa, the longest river in the world, which rises in east central Africa near Lake Victoria and flows 6,695 km (4,160 miles) generally northwards through Uganda, South Sudan, Sudan, and Egypt to empty through a large delta into the Mediterranean.

29a   Lovely // daughter with quality needed for a popular party (10)


1d   Thick English // lot (4)

2d   Series of calls ahead /for/ collection of data (5-2)

Although I did have the correct solution, I had very little confidence in it being right.

Round[5] is a chiefly British term meaning a journey along a fixed route delivering goods as part of one’s job or a job involving such journeys ⇒ I did a newspaper round.

A round-up[5] is a summary of facts or events ⇒ a news round-up every fifteen minutes.

3d   Mercenary lawman /in/ mutinous ship, on watch (6,6)

HMS Bounty[5] was a ship of the British navy on which in 1789 part of the crew, led by Fletcher Christian, mutinied against their commander, William Bligh, and set him adrift in an open boat with eighteen companions.

A hunter[5] is a watch with a hinged cover protecting the glass.

A bounty hunter[5] is a person who pursues a criminal for whom a reward is offered.

4d   Does might dominate in this area? (4-4)

A deer park[5] is a large enclosed area of ground attached to a country house, in which deer are kept.

5d   Finesse // diamonds in no trumps play finally (6)

"no trumps" = NT (show explanation )

In the card game bridge, NT[5] is the abbreviation for no trump(s).

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7d   Greek character hosting a // dance (7)

Lambda[5] is the eleventh letter of the Greek alphabet (Λ, λ).

The lambada[5] is a fast erotic Brazilian dance which couples perform in close physical contact.

8d   It shows with roaming around lands? True (10)

This is a semi-&lit. (semi-all-in-one) clue. The entire clue is the definition, while the portion with the dashed underline is the wordplay.

11d   Precise moment to indicate // cross-country event (5-2-5)

Point-to-point[5] is a British term for an amateur steeplechase for horses used in hunting, over a set cross-country course ⇒ a point-to-point meeting.

14d   Claim /in/ Catholic feast (10)

The Assumption[5] is (1) the reception of the Virgin Mary bodily into heaven (formally declared a doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church in 1950) or (2) the feast in honour of the Assumption, celebrated on 15 August.

17d   False pay suspected? // Act cautiously (4,4)

19d   Party almost packed /for/ one among celebrated seven (7)

I went way off track here, thinking that the "celebrated seven" might be referring to the Seven Hills of Rome[5].

Bashful is one of the seven dwarfs in Walt Disney's 1937 animated musical fantasy film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs[7] based on a German fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. The story had earlier been made into a Broadway play that debuted in 1912. The dwarfs are not given names in the fairy tale. In the 1912 production, they were named Blick, Flick, Glick, Snick, Plick, Whick and Quee. Disney renamed them Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy, and Dopey.

21d   Saw // car in lead (7)

"lead" = PB (show explanation )

The symbol for the chemical element lead is Pb[5] (from Latin plumbum).

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Rover[7] was a British automotive marque used between 1904 and 2005. It was launched as a bicycle maker called Rover Company in 1878, before manufacturing cars in 1904. From 1967 onward, ownership of the marque changed many times as the result of a series of corporate takeovers, mergers, nationalisation, and de-mergers. In April 2005, Rover branded cars ceased to be produced when the MG Rover Group became insolvent.

22d   Very little /in/ official memorandum (6)

It was a doh! moment for me when the penny finally dropped.

25d   Man perhaps // deceived having left tips (4)

"Man" = ISLE (show explanation )

The Isle of Man[5] is an island in the Irish Sea which is a British Crown dependency having home rule, with its own legislature (the Tynwald) and judicial system. The island was part of the Norse kingdom of the Hebrides in the Middle Ages, passing into Scottish hands in 1266 for a time, until the English gained control in the early 15th century. Its ancient language, Manx, is still occasionally used for ceremonial purposes.

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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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