Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Tuesday, August 18, 2015 — DT 27742

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27742
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, March 6, 2015
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27742]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Deep Threat
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 has skipped DT 27740 and DT 27741 which were published in The Daily Telegraph on Wednesday, March 4, 2015 and Thursday, March 5, 2015.


I would agree with Deep Threat's assessment of three-star difficulty for this puzzle, but would place it toward the lower 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   Published plan // for parking inside school presented to us (10)

6a   Biblical father /in/ group (4)

In the New Testament, Abba means God as father ⇒ Abba, Father,’ he said, ‘all things are possible to you.

Abba[5] is a Swedish pop group which became popular in the 1970s with catchy, well-crafted songs such as ‘Waterloo’ (1974) and ‘Knowing Me Knowing You’ (1977).

Is there a message here?
The link to the entry dealing with Abba at Oxford Dictionaries Online is http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/orwellian#Orwellian. Is that weird or not?

Of course, should Oxford ever repair the link, it will lead one to an entry dealing with the writings of George Orwell and I will look rather foolish, won't I?

9a   Worker, one probing ingenious // mechanical device (10)

"worker" = ANT (show explanation )

A worker[5] is a neuter or undeveloped female bee, wasp, ant, or other social insect, large numbers of which do the basic work of the colony.

In crossword puzzles, "worker" will most frequently be used to clue ANT and occasionally BEE but I have yet to see it used to clue WASP. Of course, "worker" is sometimes also used to clue HAND or MAN.

hide explanation

10a   Emperor // in fine robes (4)

Nero[5] (AD 37-68) was Roman emperor 54-68; full name Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus. Infamous for his cruelty, he wantonly executed leading Romans. His reign witnessed a fire which destroyed half of Rome in 64.

13a   Document // dear in France includes drawings maybe (7)

"dear in France" = CHER (show explanation )

The French word for dear is cher[8].

hide explanation

15a   Sadly maybe one dumped fortified wine /and/ strong beer (6)

"Sadly maybe one dumped" is a rather verbose rendition of "former lover".

"fortified wine" = PORT (show explanation )

Port[5] is a strong, sweet dark red (occasionally brown or white) fortified wine, originally from Portugal, typically drunk as a dessert wine.

hide explanation

Export[1] is a type of strong brown beer.

16a   Group of students with each admitting a // feeling of disgust (6)

NUS[5] is the abbreviation for the National Union of Students[7], a confederation of students’ unions in the United Kingdom.

17a   Author, // when wild with enmity, rages (6,9)

Ernest Hemingway[5] (1899–1961) was an American novelist, short-story writer, and journalist. He achieved success with The Sun Also Rises (1926), which reflected the disillusionment of the post-war ‘lost generation’. Other notable works: A Farewell to Arms (1929), For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940), and The Old Man and the Sea (1952, Pulitzer Prize 1953). He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954.

18a   Thief /in/ small room starts to take everything regardless (6)

"small room" = LOO (show explanation )

Loo[5] is an informal British term for a toilet.

hide explanation

What did he say?
In his review, Deep Threat says A small (indeed the smallest) room ....
The smallest room[10] is an old-fashioned, humorous and euphemistic way of referring to the lavatory [the room, not the fixture] In our opinion, the smallest room can provide you with the greatest interior design challenge.

20a   Temptations? // Any number are to be found aboard ship (6)

"any number" = N (show explanation )

The letter n[10] is used (especially in mathematics) as a symbol to represent an indefinite number (of) ⇒ there are n objects in a box.

hide explanation

"aboard 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 "aboard ship" or "on board ship" (or sometimes merely "on board") is code for 'contained in SS'.

hide explanation

21a   Piece of cloth // unusually garish presented to duke (7)

"duke" = D (show explanation )

A duke[5] (abbreviation D.[10]) is a male holding the highest hereditary title in the British and certain other peerages.

hide explanation

22a   Nannies maybe doing without good // breakfast food? (4)

"good" = G (show explanation )

The abbreviation G[10] for good likely relates to its use in grading school assignments or tests.

hide explanation

25a   What trainspotter looks for? // Crazy reason! (10)

Trainspotter[5] is a British term for a person who collects train or locomotive numbers as a hobby. It is also often used in a derogatory sense to refer to a person who obsessively studies the minutiae of any minority interest or specialized hobby ⇒ the idea is to make the music really really collectable so the trainspotters will buy it in their pathetic thousands.

According to at least two British dictionaries, loco[1,10] is US slang — or, at least, mainly US slang — meaning insane.

26a   Safe // old city in Home Counties (4)

"old city" = UR (show explanation )

Ur[5] is an ancient Sumerian city formerly on the Euphrates, in southern Iraq. It was one of the oldest cities of Mesopotamia, dating from the 4th millennium BC, and reached its zenith in the late 3rd millennium BC. Ur[7] is considered by many to be the city of Ur Kasdim mentioned in the Book of Genesis as the birthplace of the Hebrew patriarch Abraham.

hide explanation

"Home Counties" = SE (show explanation )

The Home Counties[5] are the counties surrounding London in southeast (SE) England, into which London has extended.

However, no exact definition of the term exists and the composition of the home counties remains a matter of debate. Oxford Dictionaries Online restrictively lists them as being chiefly Essex, Kent, Surrey, and Hertfordshire.

On the other hand, Wikipedia tells us that the Home Counties[7] are generally considered to include Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Surrey and Sussex (although Sussex does not border London).

Other counties more distant from London, such as Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Dorset, Hampshire and Oxfordshire are also sometimes included in the list due to their close proximity to the capital and their connection to the London regional economy.

hide explanation

27a   Capital /of/ Latvia bars drunk (10)

Bratislava[5] is the capital of Slovakia, a port on the Danube; population 426,927 (2007). From 1526 to 1784 it was the capital of Hungary.


1d   Speed /with which/ fifty will leave location (4)

2d   Squeal /from/ duck floating on black liquid maybe (4)

"duck" = O (show explanation )

In cricket, a duck[5] is a batsman’s score of nought [zero] ⇒ he was out for a duck. This is similar to the North American expression goose egg[5] meaning a zero score in a game. In British puzzles, duck is used to indicate the letter "O" based on the resemblance of the digit "0" to this letter.

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3d   Pledge /in/ difficult situation (6)

Plight[5] is an archaic term meaning to pledge or solemnly promise (one’s faith or loyalty) ⇒ men to plighted vows were faithful.

Delving Deeper
The expression be plighted to[5] means to be engaged to be married to and plight one's troth[5] means to make a solemn pledge of commitment or loyalty, especially in marriage — troth[5] being an archaic or formal term for faith or loyalty when pledged in a solemn agreement or undertaking ⇒ a token of troth.

4d   Saloon chatterer having a break // to prepare for further conversation? (5,4,6)

I'm afraid that CATCH ONE'S BREATH did not advance my cause today.

I believe that "having a break" when used as an anagram indicator is alluding to billiards, pool, or snooker, where the verb break[5] means to make the first stroke at the beginning of a game and the noun break[5] means a player’s turn to make the opening shot of a game ⇒ whose break is it?. This results in the balls being scattered, forming a new pattern.

5d   Like a bumpy road /that's/ odd (6)

7d   What a cosmetic surgeon may do /to offer/ a sort of defence (10)

Smile of the day.

A breastwork[5] is a low temporary defence or parapet.

8d   Disclosure /from/ devious spy, a place with nothing hidden (10)

The Apocalypse is another name for the Book of Revelation[7] in the New Testament. An apocalypse[7] (Ancient Greek: apokálypsis, meaning "uncovering"), translated literally from Greek, is a disclosure of knowledge, i.e., a lifting of the veil or revelation. In religious contexts it is usually a disclosure of something hidden.

11d   Problem about 'orrible place -- I love /being/ defiant (10)

The clue incorporates a bit of cockney dialect. A cockney[5] is a native of East London [specifically that part of East London known as the East End], traditionally one born within hearing of Bow Bells (the bells of St Mary-le-Bow[7] church). Cockney is also the name of the dialect or accent typical of cockneys, which is characterised by dropping the H from the beginning of words and the use of rhyming slang[5].

"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).

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12d   PR person /wants/ drop in cost organised (4,6)

13d   Ruined // vintage got rid of (7)

I thought that vintage referred to when the grapes were grown and cru to where they were grown. However, according to The Chambers Dictionary:
  • cru[1] (French) noun a vinyard or group of vinyards; a vintage.
14d   Coming down // as a monarch, we hear, (7)

19d   Equipment needs our // scrupulous attention (6)

20d   Disciple's bearing a cross /for/ German people (6)

Son[5] is used in the sense of a man regarded as the product of a particular person, influence, or environment ⇒ sons of the church.

The Saxons[5] were a people that inhabited parts of central and northern Germany from Roman times, many of whom conquered and settled in much of southern England in the 5th-6th centuries.

23d   Utterance of prophet? // It's usually transparent (4)

In the Bible, Micah[5] is a Hebrew minor prophet. The book of the Bible bearing his name foretells the destruction of Samaria and of Jerusalem.

Mica[2,3,4,5,11] is a shiny silicate mineral with a layered structure, that separates readily into thin, tough, flexible, often transparent sheets. Because of its resistance to electricity and heat, it is used as a thermal or electrical insulator, dialectric, etc.

24d   Queen // came ahead of others, leading character (4)

In Greek mythology, Leda[5] is the wife of Tyndareus, king of Sparta. She was loved by Zeus, who visited her in the form of a swan; among her children were the Dioscuri, Helen, and Clytemnestra.
Key to Reference Sources: 

[1]   - The Chambers Dictionary, 11th Edition
[2]   - Search Chambers - (Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)
[3]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (American Heritage Dictionary)
[4]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (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] - CollinsDictionary.com (Collins English Dictionary)
[11] - TheFreeDictionary.com (Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary)
Signing off for today — Falcon

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