Thursday, August 20, 2015

Thursday, August 20, 2015 — DT 27744

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27744
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Monday, March 9, 2015
Rufus (Roger Squires)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27744]
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


I was totally stymied by the northwest quadrant of this puzzle. The rest of the grid was completed and this remained virgin territory. However, it did eventually succumb — with considerable help from my electronic assistants.

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   Cloud cover /is/ right in position (7)

I thought of clouds which both fit and had an R — unfortunately CIRRUS had an R but didn't fit and CUMULUS fit but didn't have an R.

5a   Let // everybody marry with love at heart (7)

"love" = O (show explanation )

In tennis, squash, and some other sports, love[5] is a score of zero or nil ⇒ love fifteen. The resemblance of a zero written as a numeral (0) to the letter O leads to the cryptic crossword convention of the word "love" being used to clue this letter.

Although folk etymology has connected the word with French l'oeuf 'egg', from the resemblance in shape between an egg and a zero, the term apparently comes from the phrase play for love (i.e. the love of the game, not for money).

hide explanation

9a   It's quite rough and ready, as a rule (5)

Rough and ready[5] denotes crude but effective ⇒ a rough-and-ready estimating method.

A rule of thumb[5] is a broadly accurate guide or principle, based on practice rather than theory ⇒ a useful rule of thumb is that about ten hours will be needed to analyse each hour of recorded data.

Knowledge of the above was sufficient information for me to solve the clue — given enough checking letters. However, in his review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Miffypops gives us a lesson on the origin of the expression "rule of thumb" that perhaps adds another dimension to at least the "rough" aspect of the clue.

10a   Openings /for/ super rate of exchange (9)

11a   One taking part in an emergency (10)

12a   Stop // article by TV doctor (4)

Doctor Who[7] is a British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC which has had widespread distribution in North America. The programme depicts the adventures of a time-travelling humanoid alien known as the Doctor who explores the universe in a sentient time machine called the TARDIS that flies through time and space, whose exterior appears as a blue police box.

14a   Inevitable // comment on hopeless case (4,2,6)

I feel like a "hopeless case" after coming up dry here. Both I and my electronic assistants were fooled by the missing apostrophe in the numeration which could have been displayed as (3'1,2,6). There seems not to be a hard and fast rule when it comes to including apostrophes in the enumeration — sometimes they are shown, sometimes they are not.

18a   Matches /to be made/ if three girls go wild (12)

21a   Appear // to observe many (4)

No, no, no, Miffypops. M is not an abbreviation for "many" but the Roman numeral for one thousand. Terms such as "a number", "a large number", "many" or "a great many" are often used in cryptic crosswords as indicators that a Roman numeral is required. I'm surprised that no one on Big Dave's blog picked up on this point.

22a   Boat // train being derailed (10)

A brigantine[5] is a two-masted sailing ship with a square-rigged foremast and a mainmast rigged fore and aft.

25a   Make a sorry speech? (9)

I hope everyone remembered to spell APOLOGISE "properly".

26a   Breathe one's last during a university // farewell (5)

Adieu[5] is a chiefly literary term that may be used (1) as an exclamation meaning goodbye or (2) as a noun meaning a goodbye ⇒ he whispered a fond adieu [from French: 'goodbye' or 'farewell'].

What did he say?
In his review, Miffypops says Last week at 11ac we inserted a word that meant to fade away completely until all life is extinct into the name of an American general. Will we get a hat trick next week?.
Miffypops is referring to DT 27738, a puzzle which the National Post skipped last Friday. The clue in question was:
  • 11a   Inclination to fade away, in general (8)

27a   Mouthful of water (7)

28a   Objects about the French // not finishing (7)

"the French" = LES (show explanation )

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

hide explanation


1d   Begs // to put off retirement? (4,2)

2d   They're made by those who deliver // ammunition (6)

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.

3d   A celebrant seen around // a place of worship (10)

4d   Is able in a way, /but/ limited (5)

5d   Troops appearing twice in a Daily Telegraph -- initially // it makes a change (9)

Scratching the Surface
The Daily Telegraph[7] is a daily morning broadsheet newspaper, founded in 1855 as The Daily Telegraph and Courier, which is published in London and distributed throughout the United Kingdom and internationally [... and the newspaper in which this puzzle initially appeared].

6d   Departed // after time (4)

7d   The fighters' craft (8)

Remember that the word "craft" may be either singular or plural.

8d   Drops from one's hand (8)

13d   It makes sound sense to those in need (7,3)

15d   Presumably it shouldn't have the lion's share of the bed (5,4)

Oxford Dictionaries Online tells us that the tiger lily[5] is is a tall Asian lily, Lilium lancifolium or Lilium tigrinum, which has orange flowers spotted with black or purple while Collins English Dictionary says that the tiger lily[10] is (1) a lily plant, Lilium tigrinum, of China and Japan, cultivated for its flowers, which have black-spotted orange reflexed petals or (2) any of various similar lilies.

Why the confusion on the scientific name? Let's see what we can discover.

Delving Deeper
Lilium lancifolium[7] (syn. L. tigrinum) is an Asian species of lily, native to China, Japan, Korea, and the Russian Far East. It is widely planted as an ornamental because of its showy orange-and-black flowers, and has become naturalized in numerous scattered locations in eastern North America (particularly in New England).

It is one of several species of lily to which the common name tiger lily is applied, and some regard this to be the correct species to which the name should be applied. Botanists for many years considered L. tigrinum to be the correct scientific name until it was determined that the older name L. lancifolium refers to the same species. Under the rules of international botanical nomenclature, the older name takes precedence.

16d   Geoff sat out // in the wings (3-5)

The wings[5] are the sides of a theatre stage out of view of the audience.

What did he say?
In his review, Miffypops comments Possibly Geoffrey Palmer. I am sure he has sat in the wings more than once.
Geoffrey Palmer[7] is an English actor known for his roles in British television sitcoms.

As for sitting in the wings, the Wikipedia article shows him as having appeared in only a single stage production in his entire career. Perhaps he has been sitting in the wings waiting for another chance.

17d   There's no duty here /and/ no charge for wine (4,4)

The latter part of the clue could be seen to be either a charade or a double definition. Of these options, I choose the first while Miffypops opts for the second. As a charade, it would parse as FREE (no charge for) + PORT (wine).

19d   Guess // what the poet Donne was by profession (6)

Divine[5] means to discover (something) by guesswork or intuition ⇒ (i) mum had divined my state of mind: (ii) they had divined that he was a fake.

John Donne[5] (1572–1631) was an English poet and preacher. A metaphysical poet, he is most famous for his Satires and Elegies (circa 1590-9) and his love poems. He also wrote religious poems and, as dean of St Paul’s from 1621, was one of the most celebrated preachers of his age.

Divine[5] is a dated term for a cleric or theologian.

20d   Verbal critical reports /of/ shows (6)

23d   Gosh! Southern European // birds! (5)

24d   British isle shortly to join a // state of America? (4)

The Isle of Wight[5] (abbreviation IOW[5]) is an island off the south coast of England, a county since 1974; population 131,700 (est. 2009); administrative centre, Newport. It lies at the entrance to Southampton Water and is separated from the mainland by the Solent and Spithead.
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. Difficulty ratings are all over the map for this puzzle. Relatively few anagrams, as MP points out. And many cryptic and double definitions -- fourteen, by my count. Like Brian, I happened to be on Rufus's wavelength and there's no accounting for why that sometimes happens.

    My only on-line help was reading a lengthy Wikipedia article about John Donne.

    1. It sounds like you definitely fared better on this puzzle than I was able to manage.

      Rufus is known as the master of the cryptic definition and there is always a liberal dosage of them in his puzzles -- which is fine by me as I enjoy that style of clue. The only issue with them is that if you fail to see the solution, there is no second route as a backup.

      On the same wavelength as Brian -- now there's a scary scenario ; )

  2. I had great fun with this - some issues in the bottom right corner, esp with 19d, not knowing Donne. Also did misspell 25a (I blame the public school system. Rate 2.5/4 - favoured 11a. On your advice, read Miffypops history of the 9aa rule - kinda wish I didn't......

    1. If you read through the comments at Big Dave's Crossword Blog (especially the thread starting with Kitty's contribution at Comment #34 you will find that the veracity of Miffypops version of the story is seriously in doubt. But he seems like the sort of chap who would never let the truth get in the way of a good story.