Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Tuesday, August 4, 2015 — DT 27727

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27727
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27727]
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 has skipped DT 27725 which was published in The Daily Telegraph on Saturday, February 14, 2015 and which appeared on this blog yesterday as a Bonus Puzzle as well as DT 27726 which was published in The Daily Telegraph on Monday, February 16, 2015.


This puzzle should provide a fairly quick solve. Not only are the clues reasonably easy, but there are relatively few Briticisms (aside from the heavy dose of cricket at 5d) and it contains only 26 clues — being, to the best of my knowledge, the smallest number that is ever seen in a puzzle.

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.


5a   Straighten out // Charlie, humorist at university (5,2)

"Charlie" = C (show explanation )

Charlie[5] is a code word representing the letter C, used in radio communication.

hide explanation

Edward Lear[5] (1812–88) was an English humorist and illustrator. He wrote A Book of Nonsense (1845) and Laughable Lyrics (1877). He also published illustrations of birds and of his travels around the Mediterranean.

"at university" = UP (show explanation )

In Britain, up[5] means at or to a university, especially Oxford or Cambridge ⇒ they were up at Cambridge about the same time.

hide explanation

7a   Article about bishop assigned to a // Scottish island (5)

"bishop" = RR (show explanation )

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.

hide explanation

Arran[5] is an island in the Firth of Clyde, in the west of Scotland.

9a   Lets off steam following English // results (6)

Event[10] is used in the sense of the actual or final outcome or result (especially in the phrases in the event and after the event).

10a   Heading for blue reptile heard /in/ snowstorm (8)

In his review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Gazza observes The surface doesn’t mean a lot — a sentiment that I endorse.

11a   Houses // decent couples (10)

13a   Pressure /in/ eliminating round (4)

14a   There may be rhyme but no reason in it (8,5)

16a   Board // express crossing heart of Austria (4)

Board[5] is used in the sense of to live and receive regular meals in a house in return for payment or services.

17a   Bad luck /in/ firm going to Cheshire? (4,6)

Scratching the Surface
Cheshire[5] is a county of west central England; county town, Chester.

Cheshire[5] is a kind of firm crumbly cheese, originally made in Cheshire.

Hard cheese[5] is an informal British phrase used to express sympathy over a petty matter ⇒ jolly hard cheese, better luck next time!.

19a   So long, // some essay on a rainforest (8)

Sayonara[5] is an informal, chiefly US exclamation [of Japanese origin] meaning goodbye ⇒ the beautiful Diana was twenty-one when she said sayonara.

20a   Bloody stupid // former pupil (3,3)

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.

Scratching the Surface
Bloody[5] is an informal, chiefly British term used to express anger, annoyance, or shock, or simply for emphasis  ⇒ (i) you took your bloody time; (ii) bloody Hell!—what was that?; (iii) it’s bloody cold outside.

22a   Diet round fifth of September, /then/ wine and dine (5)

23a   Hat // ripped to show most of costly lining (7)


1d   Bird/'s/ tail, not small (4)

2d   Keep // drop of plonk on ice (8)

3d   Tooth decay /in/ canine, showing the first sign (6)

In his review, Gazza parses this clue as:
  • C (canine; abbreviation in dentistry [found in The Chambers Dictionary]) + (showing) ARIES (the first sign [of the zodiac])
My interpretation was slightly different:
  • C (canine, showing the first; first letter of Canine) + ARIES (sign [of the zodiac])
I'm afraid that I can't fully buy into Gazza's explanation as I am somewhat uncomfortable with "showing" as a charade indicator.

In astrology, Aries[10] (also called the Ram) is the first sign of the zodiac, symbol ♈, having a cardinal fire classification, ruled by the planet Mars. The sun is in this sign between about March 21 and April 19.

4d   Chief // unbalanced atop mount? (5,5)

Crazy Horse[5] (circa 1849–1877) was a Sioux chief; Sioux name Ta-Sunko-Witko. A leading figure in the resistance to white settlement on American Indian land, he was at the centre of the confederation that defeated General Custer at Little Bighorn (1876). He surrendered in 1877 and was killed in custody.

5d   Fielder // caught six balls, one after the other (5)

"caught" = C (show explanation )

On cricket scorecards, the abbreviation c.[2,10] or c[5] denotes caught or caught by.

In cricket, similar to baseball, one way for a batsman to be dismissed is to be caught out[5], that is for a player on the opposing team to catch a ball that has been hit by the batsman before it touches the ground.

hide explanation

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

In cricket, the pitch[5] is the strip of ground between the two sets of stumps ⇒ both batsmen were stranded in the middle of the pitch

hide explanation

In cricket, cover[5] (short for cover point[5]) denotes (1) a fielding position a little in front of the batsman on the off side (show explanation ) and halfway to the boundary (show explanation ) or (2) a fielder at cover point ⇒ an easy catch by Hick at cover.

In cricket, the off[5]  (also called off side) is the half of the field (as divided lengthways through the pitch) towards which the batsman's feet are pointed when standing to receive the ball.  The other half of the field is known as either the leg[5] (also called leg side) or on[5] (also called on side) ⇒ he played a lucky stroke to leg.

hide explanation

In cricket, the term boundary[10] refers to (1) the marked limit of the playing area, (2) a stroke that hits the ball beyond this limit, or (3) the four or six runs scored with such a stroke. If the ball touches the ground before crossing the boundary (similar to a ground rule double in baseball), four runs are scored. However, if the ball crosses the boundary without touching the ground (similar to a home run in baseball), six runs are scored.

hide explanation

6d   VIP can bluster, maddening // government employee (6,7)

8d   Raced over to judge // to tell a story (7)

12d   Mint // coin -- sovereign, perhaps (10)

In Britain's current decimal currency system, a penny[5] is a bronze coin and monetary unit equal to one hundredth of a pound.

The pennyroyal[5] is either of two small-leaved plants of the mint family, used in herbal medicine. They are a creeping Eurasian plant (Mentha pulegium) and American pennyroyal (Hedeoma pulegioides).

14d   Rather // less than fifty per cent (3,4)

Not half[5] is an informal British expression meaning to an extreme degree or very much so she didn’t half flare up! [meaning that she flared up up to an extreme degree (she was not merely "half upset" but fully upset) or, in other words, she hit the roof].

15d   Winner rejected first-class // carriage (8)

"first class" = AI (show explanation )

A1[4][5] or A-one[3] meaning first class or excellent comes from a classification for ships in The Lloyd's Register of Shipping where it means equipped to the highest standard or first-class.

hide explanation

Historically, a victoria[5] (named after Queen Victoria) was a light four-wheeled horse-drawn carriage with a collapsible hood, seats for two passengers, and an elevated driver’s seat in front ⇒ Atlanta 's finest could promenade in phaetons, victorias and tallyhos pulled by gleaming horses.

17d   Try on extremely tasteless // suit (6)

18d   Demonstrated // how to fill tin (5)

"tin" = SN (show explanation )

The symbol for the chemical element tin is Sn[5] (from late Latin stannum).

hide explanation

21d   Crucifix put up /in/ entrance (4)

A rood[5] is a crucifix, especially one positioned above the rood screen of a church or on a beam over the entrance to the chancel.
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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