Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Wednesday, August 19, 2015 — DT 27743

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27743
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, March 7, 2015
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27743 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27743 – Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave (Hints)
crypticsue (Review)
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
As this was a Saturday "Prize Puzzle" in Britain, there are two entries related to it on Big Dave's Crossword Blog — the first, posted on the date of publication, contains hints for selected clues while the second is a full review issued following the entry deadline for the contest. The vast majority of reader comments will generally be found attached to the "hints" posting with a minimal number — if any — accompanying the full review.


The National Post's recent erratic choice of which puzzles to publish has played havoc with my blogging schedule. However, I am slowly starting to get caught up — though no doubt another wave is about to hit.

Overall, I found today's puzzle to be fairly gentle. However, I did need help from my electronic assistants to get the second word of the British plumbing fixture (a word that is extraneous in North America) as well as the old-fashioned "one for the road". And it goes without saying that the cricket term stumped me.

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   Searched // for somewhere to spend the night (6)

9a   Exhaust resources /in/ practice session (3-7)

10a   Mole/'s/ holiday by river? (10)

The question mark indicates that a river is but one example of what is needed.

A mole[3] is:
  1. A massive, usually stone wall constructed in the sea, used as a breakwater and built to enclose or protect an anchorage or a harbor.
  2. The anchorage or harbor enclosed by a mole.
11a   New regulation ahead /for/ fine linen (4)

Lawn[3] is a fine linen or cotton fabric used for making clothes ⇒ a white lawn shirt.

12a   Nurse regularly meeting journalist, /which is/ enjoyed (4)

14a   Sort of verb /taken from/ passage, I have to conclude (10)

17a   Secure part /that's/ appealing (7)

18a   Guarantee /to get/ organised after conflict, with time (7)

20a   Free port erects // a position to examine one's past (10)

21a   Successive notes // delayed (4)

In music, lah[5] (also la) is (1) the sixth note of a major scale in tonic sol-fa. Judging by a perusal of entries in American and British dictionaries, both spellings would appear to be used in Britain with the former predominating, while only the latter spelling seems to be used in the US.

In music, te[5] (also ti[2]) is the seventh note of the major scale in tonic sol-fa. Judging by a perusal of entries in American and British dictionaries, the only recognized spelling in the US would seem to be ti[3,4,11] whereas, in the UK, the principal spelling would appear to be te[2,3,4,11], with ti as an alternative spelling in some dictionaries. Oxford Dictionaries Online provides less leeway, giving the spelling as te[5] with ti shown as the North American spelling.

22a   Lover // to live with a Unionist (4)

"Unionist" = U (show explanation )

A Unionist[5] (abbreviation U[10]) is:
  1. A person, especially a member of a Northern Ireland political party, who is in favour of the union of Northern Ireland with Great Britain; or
  2. Historically, a member of a British political party formed in 1886 which supported maintenance of the parliamentary union between Great Britain and Ireland.
hide explanation

23a   Drink up (7,3)

A stirrup cup[5] is a cup of wine or other alcoholic drink offered to a person on horseback who is about to depart on a journey.

25a   Dry // goods will be carried here? (2,3,5)

26a   Dodgy legality when two learners go // merrymaking (6)

"learner" = L (show explanation )

The cryptic crossword convention of L meaning learner or student arises from the L-plate[7], a square plate bearing a sans-serif letter L, for learner, which must be affixed to the front and back of a vehicle in various countries (including the UK) if its driver is a learner under instruction.

hide explanation


2d   Salesman revises orders, /being/ dictatorial (10)

3d   Gamble on a // foreign character (4)

Beta[5] is the second letter of the Greek alphabet (Β, β).

4d   At end of play they do this // sketch on puzzles (4,6)

In cricket, draw stumps[5] means to take the stumps out of the ground at close of play ⇒ I drew stumps swearing to myself I’d never umpire again.

5d   Set loose // in Paris, one parts heading north (7)

"in Paris, one" = UN (show explanation )

In French, the masculine singular form of the indefinite article is un[8].

hide explanation

6d   Having no end of attractiveness, // one cleans up (4)

Char[5], another name for a charwoman[5], is a dated British term for a woman employed as a cleaner in a house or office.

7d   Security // pass on the side (10)

8d   Risk // fortune (6)

13d   Deeply agitated, // first to get wrapped up in breeze (10)

15d   Superficial understanding /shown by/ second of concern? (10)

16d   Folly one/'s revealed in/ fancy plumbing fixture (6,4)

Vanity[1] can mean (according to The Chambers Dictionary) folly or futility.

Vanity unit[10] is a [seemingly British term] for a hand basin built into a wooden Formica-covered or tiled top, usually with a built-in cupboard below it. Collins English Dictionary notes that in New Zealand the name is shortened to simply vanity[10]. However, there is no recognition that this is also the case in North America.

19d   Crowd round // honey-maker welcoming Spaniards' positive reaction, for example (7)

"Spaniards' positive reaction" = SI (show explanation )

The Spanish word for yes is si[8].

hide explanation

20d   Band/'s/ award (6)

23d   Stitched // four ways (4)

24d   Little being // put together for each one (4)

The wordplay is PER (for each) + (put together) I ([Roman numeral for] one)

In Persian mythology, a peri[5] is a mythical superhuman being, originally represented as evil but subsequently as a good or graceful genie or fairy.
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. A real tester today - never had 17A, never heard of 23A, although derived the answer with a non - spirited guess. 20A seems to be setters best trick - hiding the anagram indicator making the clue tough to parse. Was playing cards at 4d, drawing trumps as taught. loved 21A. 3.5/3 rated for me

    1. I, too, might have gone down the DRAW TRUMPS path if it hadn't been precluded by already having solved 14a.