Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Wednesday, August 26, 2015 — DT 27749

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27749
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, March 14, 2015
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27749 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27749 – 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.


In her review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog, crypticsue rated this puzzle as worthy of two stars for difficulty. I would say that it was well-deserving of two stars. For the life of me, I could not remember the second word in the name of Jane Austen's book — despite having both checking letters. How unbelievable is that?

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   Firebrands // stirred up maturer blokes (13)

Scratching the Surface
Bloke[5] is an informal British term for a man ⇒ he’s a nice bloke. [Surely few North Americans would be unfamiliar with this term.]

9a   Goes down fast /with/ a lack of calming drugs, not having a temperature (9)

The word "with" serves as a link (expressing causality) between the definition and wordplay. The preposition with[5] may be used to indicate the cause of a condition ⇒ he was trembling with fear. Used in this sense, the word "with" essentially means "resulting from".

10a   One stuffing daily // post in university (5)

Daily[5] (also daily help) is a dated British term for a woman who is employed to clean someone else’s house each day.

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

11a   Extremist // caught in awful tragedy (5)

12a   Release unauthorised information on radio -- // one of five a day? (4)

5 A Day[5] is any of various national campaigns in countries such as the USA, the United Kingdom and Germany, to encourage the consumption of at least five portions of fruit and vegetables each day, following a recommendation by the World Health Organization that individuals consume "a minimum of 400g of fruit and vegetables per day (excluding potatoes and other starchy tubers).

13a   People get Euston's second // fare list (4)

Scratching the Surface
Your Choices from Today's Menu

Euston[7] is a village and civil parish in Suffolk in eastern England whose population, in 2005, was 130.

Euston Road[7] is an important thoroughfare in central London, England. It was originally the central section of the New Road from Paddington to Islington, opened in 1756, London's first bypass, through the fields to the north of London, now generally regarded as being in central London.

Euston railway station[7] or London Euston is a central London railway terminus. It is the sixth busiest railway station in the UK.

Euston[7] is a London Underground [subway] station served by the Victoria line and both branches of the Northern line. It directly connects with the Euston railway station above it.

Euston Square[7] is a London Underground station on the Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines located within walking distance of Euston railway station. It should not be confused with the nearby Euston tube station for the Northern and Victoria lines.

15a   Inadvertently reveal // the French doctor in Jersey perhaps (3,4)

"the French" = LE (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

Scratching the Surface
The setter has deceivingly capitalized the word "Jersey" to deflect our attention away from the garment and make us think of the island.

Jersey[5] is the largest of the Channel Islands (show explanation ); population 91,900 (est. 2009); capital, St Helier.

The Channel Islands[5] are a group of islands in the English Channel off the northwestern coast of France, of which the largest are Jersey, Guernsey, and Alderney. Formerly part of the dukedom of Normandy, they have owed allegiance to England since the Norman Conquest in 1066, and are now classed as Crown dependencies

hide explanation

17a   It will build body -- // heavenly one if given a start (7)

If the letter A (from the clue) were to be added to the start of the solution, the result would be a heavenly body.

18a   Leaves // chaps in revolt (7)

Scratching the Surface
Chap[5] is an informal British term for a man or a boy he sounded like a nice, caring sort of chap. [I would think this chap is even more familiar to North Americans than is the bloke above]

20a   Old car // journey hard without acceptable motorway (7)

"hard" = H (show explanation )

H[5] is an abbreviation for hard, as used in describing grades of pencil lead ⇒ a 2H pencil.

hide explanation

"acceptable" = U (show explanation )

In Britain, U[5] is used informally as an adjective (in respect to language or social behaviour) meaning characteristic of or appropriate to the upper social classes ⇒ U manners.

The term, an abbreviation of  upper class, was coined in 1954 by Alan S. C. Ross, professor of linguistics, and popularized by its use in Nancy Mitford's Noblesse Oblige (1956).

In Crosswordland, the letter U is frequently clued by words denoting "characteristic of the upper class" (such as posh or superior) or "appropriate to the upper class" (such as acceptable). 

hide explanation

"motorway" = M (show explanation )

Motorway[2] (abbreviation M[5]) is a British, Australian, and New Zealand term for a major road for fast-moving traffic, especially one with three lanes per carriageway [direction of travel] and limited access and exit points.

hide explanation

The Triumph Motor Company[7] was a British car and motor manufacturing company. The Triumph marque (trade-name) is owned currently by BMW.

Delving Deeper
The marque had its origins in 1885 when Siegfried Bettmann (1863–1951) of Nuremberg formed S. Bettmann & Co and started importing bicycles from Europe and selling them under his own trade name in London. The trade name became "Triumph" the following year, and in 1887 Bettmann was joined by a partner, Moritz (Maurice) Schulte, also from Germany. In 1889 the businessmen started producing their own bicycles in Coventry, England.

The company was renamed the Triumph Cycle Co. Ltd. in 1897. In 1902, they began producing Triumph motorcycles. By 1918, Triumph — with a boost from wartime production for the British army — had become Britain's largest manufacturer of motorcycles.

In 1921, Triumph acquired the assets and premises of the Dawson Car Company and started producing cars.

The company encountered financial problems however, and in 1936 the Triumph bicycle and motorcycle businesses were sold. In 1939 the Triumph Motor Company itself went into receivership and was sold. The Second World War stopped the production of cars and the plant was completely destroyed by bombing in 1940.

In 1944, Triumph was bought by the Standard Motor Company which in turn was acquired by Leyland Motors, Ltd. in 1960.

The last Triumph model was the Acclaim, introduced in 1981 and essentially a rebadged Honda Ballade built under licence from Japanese company Honda. The Triumph name disappeared in 1984, when the Acclaim was replaced by the Rover 200, a rebadged version of Honda's next generation Civic/Ballade model. The British Leyland car division was by then named Austin Rover Group which also ended the Morris marque as well as Triumph.

The trademark is owned currently by BMW, which acquired Triumph when it bought the Rover Group in 1994. When it sold Rover, it kept the Triumph marque.

21a   I was in charge of // country (4)

22a   TV award endlessly given to a // work by Austen (4)

In the US, the Emmy[5] is a statuette awarded annually to an outstanding television programme or performer. [The name is said to originate from Immy, short for image orthicon tube (a kind of television camera tube).]

Emma[7] is a novel by English writer Jane Austen (1775–1817) that was first published in December 1815.

23a   Subject // for photograph (5)

The words "to" and "for" may be synonyms in a couple of cases.
  • To[10] is a preposition used to indicate equality ⇒ 16 ounces to the pound and for[10] is a preposition denoting direct equivalence ⇒ (i) word for word: (ii) weight for weight.
  • To[10] is a preposition used to indicate the destination of the subject or object of an action heading to the border and for[10] is a preposition denoting in the direction of heading for the border.
26a   Steaks, etc, /make/ old king poorly (5)

The regnal ciphers (monograms) of British monarchs are initials formed from the Latin version of their first name followed by either Rex or Regina (Latin for king or queen, respectively). Thus, the regnal cipher of King George is GR[5] — from the Latin Georgius Rex.

Poorly[5] is a chiefly British term meaning unwell she looked poorly. While North Americans might use this word to mean 'in poor health', we would do so only in a statement such as I am feeling poorly today. On the other hand, Oxford Dictionaries Online provides the following examples of British usage: (i) I didn't manage too many lengths today but I haven't been for 2 weeks since being poorly sick.; (ii) Zoe Bird, 26, was forced to walk for an hour to reach her home with poorly toddler son Ryan after they were forced to leave the car.; (iii) Jakey on the other hand is poorly due to having an injection.

27a   Compose neat prose /in/ synthetic language (9)

Esperanto[5] is an artificial language devised in 1887 as an international medium of communication, based on roots from the chief European languages. It retains the structure of these languages and has the advantage of grammatical regularity and ease of pronunciation.

28a   Austen's work /is/ subject of study taken in by male and female novelist (9,4)

Dame Muriel Spark[5] (1918–2006) was a Scottish novelist. Notable works: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961) and The Mandelbaum Gate (1965).

Mansfield Park[7] is the third novel by English writer Jane Austen (1775–1817). It was published in 1814 by Thomas Egerton, who published her two earlier novels, Sense and Sensibility (1811) and Pride and Prejudice (1813). When the novel reached a second edition in 1816, its publication was taken over by John Murray, who also published its successor, Emma (1815).

The lego pieces fit together in a slightly more complex pattern than the 1-2-3 progression that one might infer from crypticsue's explanation. The wordplay is FIELD (subject of study) contained in (taken in by) {MAN (male) + (and) SPARK (female novelist)}.


1d   Reprimands // French perhaps helping in a big way (6-8)

Lashings[5] is an informal British term for a copious amount of something, especially food or drink ⇒ chocolate cake with lashings of cream.

2d   Start // working at Pinewood? (5)

Pinewood Studios[7] is a British film studio and television studio situated in Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire, England, approximately 20 miles (32 km) west of central London. The studios have been the base for many productions over the years from big-budget films to television shows, commercials and pop promos and is well known as the home of the James Bond, Harry Potter, Superman, and Carry On film series.

3d   Inauspicious occasion when one has a terrible shock (3,4,3)

4d   Pen love letters in order // to cover up (7)

5d   Spot // sailors taking ship round church (7)

"sailors" = ABS (show explanation )

In the Royal Navy, according to Oxford Dictionaries Online, able seaman[5] (abbreviation AB[5]), is a rank of sailor above ordinary seaman and below leading seaman. On the other hand, Collins English Dictionary tells us that an able seaman[10] (also called able-bodied seaman) is an ordinary seaman, especially one in the merchant navy, who has been trained in certain skills. 

hide explanation

"ship" = SS (show explanation )

In Crosswordland, a ship is rarely anything other than a steamship (abbreviation SS[5]).

hide explanation

"church" = CE (show explanation )

The Church of England[10] (abbreviation CE[10]) is the reformed established state Church in England, Catholic in order and basic doctrine, with the Sovereign as its temporal head.

hide explanation

6d   Eat out // and so on with husband (4)

7d   Modern sculptor's turning up collecting junk // somewhere in palace (9)

Henry Moore[5] (1898–1986) was an English sculptor and draughtsman. His work is characterized by semi-abstract reclining forms, large upright figures, and family groups, which Moore intended to be viewed in the open air.

Three Way Piece No. 2 (The Archer)
The Henry Moore Sculpture Centre[7] in the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, opened in 1974. It comprises the world's largest public collection of Moore's work, most of it donated by him between 1971 and 1974. Moore's Three Way Piece No. 2 (The Archer) has also been on display in Nathan Phillips Square at Toronto City Hall since 1966.

Tat[5] is an informal British term for tasteless or shoddy clothes, jewellery, or ornaments ⇒ the place was decorated with all manner of gaudy tat.

A stateroom[5] is a large room in a palace or public building, for use on formal occasions.

8d   Whipped chocolate drunk // all day long (6,3,5)

14d   Recorded // terrible dirge without record player mostly (10)

16d   Asian island's in good condition // making use of traditional customs (9)

Bali[5] is a mountainous island of Indonesia, to the east of Java; chief city, Denpasar; population 3,470,700 (est. 2009).

19d   That man personally /makes/ songs, little being articulated (7)

In her review, crypticsue indicates that she feels the homophone indicator is misplaced. Her objections could be alleviated by phrasing the clue as:
  • 19d   That man personally /makes/ songs, articulated by little being (7)
While this would place the homophone indicator where she thinks it should be, the misdirection associated with "little being" would be lost.

Personally, I did not have a problem with the clue as I interpreted the homophone to be the two words taken together with HYMNS ELF sounding like (being articulated) HIMSELF.

20d   Walk wearily /from/ wild parties (7)

24d   Bear // father's letters? (5)

I saw the solution early on from the definition but did not write it in as I could not fathom the wordplay. Finally, I broke down and put pencil to paper. Eureka! As soon as I saw the letters before me in black and white, the wordplay jumped out at me.

25d   Sweet // enthusiast scoffing last of caramel (4)

Sweet[5] is the British term for a sweet dish forming a course of a meal; in other words, a pudding or dessert.

In Britain, a flan[2] is an open pastry or sponge case with a savoury or fruit filling, usually round in shape. In North America, in addition to this meaning, flan[3,11] is also an alternative name for crème caramel, a custard that is baked in a caramel-lined mold and served chilled with the caramel side up. However, it would appear that the latter usage does not occur in Britain, so the reference to caramel in the clue may well have nothing to do with this meaning of the word.
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. Thanks for the comprehensive write-up, which I needed today, as I bunged in a few answers -- including 28, I'm afraid.

    Never owned a Triumph anything, but my first trip to Europe in 1968, I bought a BSA Bantam off a lot in High Holburn and road it all the way to Greece.

  2. I also found this a struggle and needed assistance. Love the anagram at 8d - had to do the pen and paper elimination to nail it down and was still surprised by the answer. 1d is a new definition (2nd half). Got fooled by the capital "J" trick (nasty by setter). rate 3.5/3