Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Tuesday, August 25, 2015 — DT 27748

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27748
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, March 13, 2015
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27748]
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 27746 and DT 27747 which were published in The Daily Telegraph on Wednesday, March 11, 2015 and Thursday, March 12, 2015.


Deep Threat rates the difficulty level of this puzzle as two stars. However, I would place it more in the mid-three star range. Despite completing it without needing to call in my electronic assistants, I found the puzzle to be definitely at the upper limit of my solving ability. My first read through of the across clues produced exactly zero solutions. I got a few of the down clues and was then slowly and painstakingly able to build on those footholds. It was a stiff mental workout — but a very satisfying one.

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   New student may be given that // coat (6)

5a   Powder in lotion /or/ resin seen around a pit (8)

Calamine[5] is a pink powder consisting of zinc carbonate and ferric oxide, used to make a soothing lotion or ointment.

9a   Male and one female by back of the depot /for/ demonstration (13)

10a   US city /in/ desert with one personality (3,5)

San Diego[5] is an industrial city and naval port on the Pacific coast of southern California, just north of the border with Mexico; population 1,279,329 (est. 2008).

11a   Fox? // Has got into hospital -- bother! (6)

Fox Talbot[5] (1800–1877) was an English pioneer of photography; full name William Henry Fox Talbot. He produced the first photograph on paper in 1835. Five years later he discovered a process for producing a negative from which multiple positive prints could be made, though the independently developed daguerreotype proved to be superior.

A number of his works are held in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada.

12a   What's near fire? /It's/ hot soil (6)

14a   Castle // quickly established by promontory (8)

Ness[5] (a term usually found in place names) means a headland or promontory Orford Ness.

The wordplay is FAST (quickly) + (established by) NESS (promontory).

A fastness[10] is a stronghold or fortress.

16a   Got // reminder about remedial treatment (8)

19a   A bishop in the present time /seen as/ bigoted (6)

Right Reverend[5] (abbreviation RR[2]) is a title given to a bishop, especially in the Anglican Church ⇒ the Right Reverend David Jenkins, Bishop of Durham.

21a   Verses of song /in/ bars (6)

A stave[11] is a verse or stanza of a poem or song.

A stave[5] is a strong wooden stick or iron pole used as a weapon.

23a   Attempts to get worker joining in // songs (8)

Shy[5] is a dated term meaning, as a noun, an act of flinging or throwing something at a target and, as a verb, to fling or throw (something) at a target ⇒ he tore the spectacles off and shied them at her.

The phrase have a shy at[5] means to try to hit something, especially with a ball or stone. This expression also has an archaic sense meaning to attempt to do or obtain something ⇒ have a shy at putting the case to me.

"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

A shanty[5] (British also sea shanty; archaic or US chantey or chanty) is a song with alternating solo and chorus, of a kind originally sung by sailors while performing physical labour together. [the term originated in the mid 19th century, probably from French chantez! 'sing!', imperative plural of chanter]

25a   English gentleman -- // bow-tie sort 'ere possibly (6,7)

Bertie Wooster[7] is a recurring fictional character in the Jeeves novels of British author P. G. Wodehouse (1881–1975). An English gentleman, one of the "idle rich" and a member of the Drones Club, he appears alongside his valet, Jeeves, whose genius manages to extricate Bertie or one of his friends from numerous awkward situations.

26a   Taunt directed at saints /is/ uncalled for (8)

"saint" = S (show explanation )

S[5] (chiefly in Catholic use) is an abbreviation for SaintS Ignatius Loyola.

hide explanation

27a   Author // without much experience, we hear (6)

Graham Greene[5] (1904–1991) was an English novelist. The moral paradoxes he saw in his Roman Catholic faith underlie much of his work. Notable works: Brighton Rock (1938), The Power and the Glory (1940), and The Third Man (written as a screenplay, and filmed in 1949; novel 1950).


2d   Servant goes after farm animal /that's/ run amok (7)

Historically, a page[5] is a man or boy employed as the personal attendant of a person of rank.

3d   Like coal maybe, /as/ material brought to surface (5)

In his review, Deep Threat states "When I first solved this clue I thought it was a rather weak cryptic definition. I only spotted the wordplay while writing this blog." I could almost say "Ditto" to describe my experience, except I failed to spot the wordplay until it was pointed out by Deep Threat.

4d   Sort of course /in/ Religious Education given to new student (9)

In the UK, religious education[10] (abbreviation RE[5]) is a subject taught in schools which educates about the different religions of the world.

Fresher[5] is an informal British term for freshman.

5d   Discarded // actors start to object very loudly (4,3)

Fortissimo[5] (abbreviation ff[5]) is a direction used in music to mean either (as an adjective) very loud  or (as an adverb) very loudly.

6d   Certainly not the most // exciting tales (5)

7d   Drug addict /in/ sea ship (9)

The main[5] is an archaic or literary term for the open ocean.

Mainline[5] (noun mainliner) is an informal term meaning to inject (a drug) intravenously ⇒ (i) Mariella mainlines cocaine five times a day: (ii) he started mainlining on heroin.

8d   Soldiers /of/ Mons once coming to premature end, terribly (3-4)

Non-com[5] is an informal military term for a non-commissioned officer.

What did he say?
In his review, Deep Threat refers to the solution as an abbreviated form of a term for senior other ranks.
In the British armed forces, the term other ranks[5] (abbreviation OR[5]) refers to all those who are not commissioned officers.

Scratching the Surface
Mons[5] is a town in southern Belgium, capital of the province of Hainaut; population 91,152 (2008). It was the scene in August 1914 of the first major battle of the First World War between British and German forces.

13d   Dog seen around Fleet Street area journalist // rescued (9)

Fleet Street[7] is a street in the City of London named after the River Fleet, London's largest underground river. It was the home of British national newspapers until the 1980s. Even though the last major British news office, Reuters, left in 2005, the term Fleet Street continues to be used as a metonym for the British national press.

Do not confuse the City of London with the city of London (show explanation ).

The City of London[7] is a city and ceremonial county within London. It constituted most of London from its settlement by the Romans in the 1st century AD to the Middle Ages, but the conurbation has since grown far beyond the City's borders. The City is now only a tiny part of the metropolis of London, though it remains a notable part of central London. It is one of two districts of London to hold city status, the other being the adjacent City of Westminster.

It is widely referred to simply as the City (often written as just "City" and differentiated from the phrase "the city of London" by capitalising "City") and is also colloquially known as the Square Mile, as it is 1.12 sq mi (2.90 km2), in area. Both of these terms are also often used as metonyms for the United Kingdom's trading and financial services industries, which continue a notable history of being largely based in the City. This is analogous to the use of the terms Wall Street and Bay Street to refer to the financial institutions located in New York and Toronto respectively.

hide explanation

The EC postcode serves the City of London [postcode being the British counterpart of the Canadian postal code or American zip code]. The EC (Eastern Central) postcode area[7] (also known as the London EC postcode area) is a group of postcode districts in central London, England. It includes almost all of the City of London as well as parts of several other London boroughs.

Deep Threat may have been a bit loose in his terminology when he referred to EC as "the London postal district which contains Fleet Street". I believe that a more precise description would be that Fleet Street lies in the EC4 postcode district (see photo above) which is found in the EC postcode area.

15d   Evil girl and one almost good /in/ musical event (9)

"good" = G (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

17d   Artist having item of furniture /that/ can be valued (7)

"artist" = RA (show explanation )

A Royal Academician (abbreviation RA[5]) is a member of the Royal Academy of Arts[5], an institution established in London in 1768, whose purpose is to cultivate painting, sculpture, and architecture in Britain. 

hide explanation

18d   The infernal world has possession of // rejects (7)

In Roman mythology, Dis[10] is:
  1. (also called Orcus or Pluto) the god of the underworld; or
  2. the abode of the dead or underworld.
The equivalent in Greek mythology is Hades[10].

20d   Two terms of cricket // go on too long (7)

In cricket, an over[5] is a division of play consisting of a sequence of six balls bowled by a bowler from one end of the pitch, after which another bowler takes over from the other end.

In cricket, a run[5] is a unit of scoring achieved by hitting the ball so that both batsmen are able to run between the wickets, or awarded in some other circumstances.

22d   Horse // let out after first hint of sunshine (5)

Let[5] is a chiefly British term meaning to allow someone to have the use of (a room or property) in return for regular payments ⇒ (i) she let the flat to a tenant; (ii) they’ve let out their house. [I would think that this is one of those British terms that is familiar enough to most North Americans that they would readily understand it even though they likely wouldn't use it.]

Hire[10] can mean to acquire the temporary use of (a thing) or the services of (a person) in exchange for payment. However, it can also mean precisely the opposite, namely (often followed by out) to provide (something) or the services of (oneself or others) for an agreed payment, usually for an agreed period. Here, it is used in the latter sense.

Shire[10] is short for shire horse[10], a large heavy breed of carthorse with long hair on the fetlocks.

24d   Miss maybe /in/ hat crossing end of street (5)

Tile[10] is old-fashioned British slang for a hat. Apparently the expression arises from the fact that "it’s something that goes over-head" — alluding to roofing tiles.
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


  1. Took a few minutes to gain a foothold in this puzzle, I agree. But 17d and 25a magically came to mind and then it was clear sailing. A low 2 for difficulty, imho.

    My 14th summer was spent on a farm in the Fraser Valley, picking fruit. One day, I gorged on too many raspberries and had to be slathered in calamine lotion. Yummy.

    1. As they say "Horses for courses". Clearly I was the wrong horse for this course as I set no speed records today -- but I did eventually finish.