Thursday, August 6, 2015

Thursday, August 6, 2015 — DT 27729

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27729
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, February 19, 2015
RayT (Ray Terrell)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27729]
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


Her Majesty is AWOL from this not-too-taxing puzzle from RayT.

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   Planted one's plant // OK (12)

8a   Scruffs // sleep best without cover (5)

Scratching the Surface
In the surface reading, scruff[5] is an informal British term for a person with a dirty or untidy appearance.

9a   Dogged mongrel's first /to get/ docked (9)

11a   Epoch or so possibly /to create/ stars (9)

12a   Angles /for/ fish on board ship (5)

Ide[5] is another name for the orfe[5], a silvery freshwater fish (Leuciscus idus) of the carp family, which is fished commercially in eastern Europe.

"on board ship" = 'contained in SS' (show explanation )

In Crosswordland, you will find that a ship is almost invariably a steamship, the abbreviation for which is SS[10]. Thus "on board ship" (or sometimes merely "on board") is code for 'contained in SS'.

hide explanation

Geometrically speaking, angles and sides are not the same thing at all, yet the phrase "examine something from all angles" means exactly the same thing as "examine something from all sides".

13a   Place set out around clubs /for/ performance (9)

16a   Home, // a chap's castle ultimately (5)

Chap[5] is an informal British term for a man or a boy.

Bod[3] is chiefly British slang for a person.

What did he say?
In his review, pommers comments Presumably this chap is an Englishman.
A British proverb states an Englishman's home is his castle[5].

18a   Swears // a volume with expressions of pain (5)

19a   Performers // about flipped before 'Hair' (9)

"about" = CA (show explanation )

The preposition circa[5] (abbreviation c or c.[5] or ca[5]), often used preceding a date or an amount, means approximately or about  ⇒ (i) the church was built circa 1860; (ii) he was born ca 1400.

hide explanation

Scratching the Surface
Hair[7] (extended title: Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical) is a 1967 rock musical with a book and lyrics by James Rado and Gerome Ragni and music by Galt MacDermot. A product of the hippie counter-culture and sexual revolution of the 1960s, several of its songs became anthems of the anti-Vietnam War peace movement. The musical's profanity, its depiction of the use of illegal drugs, its treatment of sexuality, its irreverence for the American flag, and its nude scene caused much comment and controversy. The musical broke new ground in musical theatre by defining the genre of "rock musical", using a racially integrated cast, and inviting the audience onstage for a "Be-In" finale.

20a   Handle // the continental bird to start (5)

"the continental" = LE (show explanation )

In French, the masculine singular form of the definite article is le[8].

hide explanation

The tits, chickadees, and titmice[7] constitute the Paridae, a large family of small passerine birds which occur in the northern hemisphere and Africa. These birds are called either "chickadees" or "titmice" in North America, and just "tits" in the rest of the English-speaking world.

Scratching the Surface
Might bird[5] have been used in the informal British sense of a young woman or a man’s girlfriend.

22a   Outgoing // former husband sober embracing pet? (9)

"sober" = TT (show explanation )

Teetotal[5] (abbreviation TT[5]) means choosing or characterized by abstinence from alcohol ⇒ a teetotal lifestyle.

The term is an emphatic extension of total, apparently first used by Richard Turner, a worker from Preston [England], in a speech (1833) urging total abstinence from all alcohol, rather than mere abstinence from spirits, as advocated by some early temperance reformers.

hide explanation

25a   Extremely cerebral peak // of superlative brilliance (9)

Note that since the solution is an adjective, the word "of" must be part of the definition.

Mount Everest[5] is a mountain in the Himalayas, on the border between Nepal and Tibet. Rising to 8,848 m (29,028 ft), it is the highest mountain in the world; it was first climbed in 1953 by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay.

26a   Maradona, say, /with/ pass after pass (5)

Diego Maradona[7] is a retired Argentine professional footballer [soccer player]. Regarded by many to be the greatest football player of all time, he was joint FIFA Player of the 20th Century with retired Brazilian professional footballer Pelé[7] who is also widely regarded to be the greatest player of all time.

27a   Feeling // quietly hurt taking in Independent (12)

"quietly" = P (show explanation )

Piano[3,5] (abbreviation p[5]), is a musical direction meaning either (as an adjective) soft or quiet or (as an adverb) softly or quietly.

hide explanation

"Independent" = I (show explanation )

I[1] is the abbreviation for independent, likely in the context of a politician with no party affiliation. 

hide explanation


1d   Fantastic character // turning round our sphere? (9)

2d   Demands to support Tory leader/'s/ charges (5)

3d   Painting /of/ dry French commmanding officer (5)

This "commmanding officer" seems to have over-indulged on m&m's.

In French, sec[8] is an adjective meaning dry.

Secco[5] (also fresco secco) is the technique of painting on dry plaster with pigments mixed in water.

4d   A salute keeping soldiers /in/ conformity (9)

5d   Time went slow catching second // shift (9)

6d   Regretted admitting Left // governed (5)

7d   Eager /to see/ thin, sauciest pants (12)

As an anagram indicator, pants[5] is used in an informal British sense meaning rubbish or nonsense ⇒ he thought we were going to be absolute pants.

Behind the picture
In his review, pommers includes a photo of a pair of pants. In Britain, the word pants[5] does not mean trousers. Rather, it refers to underwear — specifically men's undershorts or women's panties (the latter otherwise known as knickers to the Brits). Thus if I were to take off my pants in the UK, I would be far more exposed than if I were to do so in North America!

10d   Pansies don't flourish outside current // allotment (12)

"current" = I (show explanation )

In physics, I[5] is the symbol for electric current

hide explanation

Scratching the Surface
In the surface reading, allotment[5] is used in a British sense meaning a plot of land rented by an individual for growing vegetables or flowers. This term is also used in Canada — at least in Ottawa — although one would be more apt to hear the longer version of the name, allotment garden[7].

14d   Bland // mousse? Let's attempt to eat it up (9)

15d   Fickle person/'s/ home with clean guttering (9)

As an anagram indicator, gutter[5] is used in the sense (of a candle or flame) to flicker and burn unsteadily.

Used figuratively, chameleon[5] denotes a person who changes their opinions or behaviour according to the situation ⇒ voters have misgivings about his performance as a political chameleon.

17d   Dirtiest // old boy's oddly clean bedsit (9)

"old boy" = OB (show explanation )

In Britain, an old boy[5] (abbreviation OB[2])  is (1) a former male student of a school or college ⇒an old boy of Banbury County School or (2) a former male member of a sports team or company ⇒the White Hart Lane old boy squared the ball to present an easy chance from 12 yards. It is also a chiefly British affectionate form of address to a boy or man ⇒ ‘Look here, old boy,’ he said.

hide explanation

Scratching the Surface
Bedsit[5] (also bedsitter or bed-sitting room) is a British term for a one-roomed unit of accommodation typically consisting of combined bedroom and sitting room with cooking facilities.

21d   The Conservatives possibly including 'one // of them' (5)

23d   All players /show/ disapproving expression by half-time (5)

In music, tutti[5] is a direction indicating that a passage is to be performed with all voices or instruments together.

24d   Love died in fiction /of/ classic film perhaps (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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