Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Wednesday, August 5, 2015 — DT 27728

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27728
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Jay (Jeremy Mutch)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27728]
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


Yesterday, the game was cricket. Today, it is rugby — with a bit of soccer corruption thrown in for good measure.

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   Minor damage with vehicle shunted at rear /is/ a form of lottery (11)

As a verb, shunt[2,10] is an informal British term meaning to crash (a car), especially one in the back of another and, as a noun, shunt[2,5,10] denotes a minor motor vehicle accident, especially a collision of vehicles travelling one close behind the other ⇒ a lorry [truck] shed [spilled] its load, causing an eight-vehicle shunt.

9a   Head back after sailor/'s/ major win (7)

"sailor" = jack (show explanation )

The entry for jack in The Chambers Dictionary would fill a page if it were not spread over parts of two pages. Among the definitions, one finds jack[1] defined as (often with capital) a sailor.

hide explanation

10a   A time trial // witness (6)

12a   Go on // about horse (7)

"about" = C (show explanation )

The preposition circa[5] (abbreviation c or c.[5]), often used preceding a date, means approximately or about  ⇒ the church was built circa 1860.

hide explanation

Chunter[5] is an informal British term meaning to talk or grumble monotonously ⇒ she chuntered on about her problems.

13a   Posh type importing pot /is/ to stop operating (4,3)

Toff[5] is an informal, derogatory British term for a rich or upper-class person.

14a   Characters in panto use lewdness, /getting/ the bird (5)

Ousel is an alternative spelling of ouzel[5], a bird that resembles the blackbird.

Scratching the Surface
Panto[5] is an informal British short form for pantomime (show explanation ).

A pantomime[5] is a traditional British theatrical entertainment, mainly for children, which involves music, topical jokes, and slapstick comedy and is based on a fairy tale or nursery story, usually produced around Christmas.

hide explanation

15a   Flier/'s/ surprisingly great pride curtailed (9)

17a   Any sadist must be worried /in/ religious occasion (6,3)

A saint's day[5] is a day on which a saint is particularly commemorated in the Christian Church.

20a   Television given to engineers /may be/ adjusted (5)

"engineers" = RE (show explanation )

The Corps of Royal Engineers[7], usually just called the Royal Engineers (abbreviation RE), and commonly known as the Sappers[7], is a corps of the British Army that provides military engineering and other technical support to the British Armed Forces.

hide explanation

22a   Line adopted by FIFA fixed court // trouble (7)

"court" = CT (show explanation )

Ct[2] is the abbreviation for Court in street addresses — and possibly in other contexts as well.

hide explanation

Scratching the Surface
FIFA[5] (acronym from French Fédération Internationale de Football Association) is the international governing body of soccer [known in much of the world as "association football"], formed in 1904 and based in Zurich, Switzerland.

Apparently the fix referred to in the clue was not a lasting one. Following the February appearance of this clue in the UK, the US Justice department in May indicted fourteen current and former FIFA officials[7], charging them with a variety of offences including wire fraud, racketeering, and money laundering.

24a   Unhappy tale about pixie going back /for/ flier (7)

25a   Stops // to invest £1000 in Scottish banks (6)

"£1000" = K (show explanation )

K[5] (or k) is an informal representation of thousand (used chiefly in expressing salaries or other sums of money) ⇒ he earns about £50K a year.

hide explanation

Brae[5] is Scottish for a steep bank or hillside.

26a   Complaint // left university doctor with a turn (7)

In Crosswordland, a complaint is often medical in nature.

"doctor" = MB (show explanation )

In Britain, the degree required to practice medicine is a Bachelor of Medicine[7] (MB, from Latin Medicinae Baccalaureus), which is equivalent to a North American Doctor of Medicine (MD, from Latin Medicinae Doctor). The degree of Doctor of Medicine also exists in Britain, but it is an advanced degree pursued by those who wish to go into medical research. Physicians in Britain are still addressed as Dr. despite not having a doctoral degree. 

hide explanation

27a   Disagreement /from/ centre to new Members of Parliament (11)


2d   Limit put on Italian (old, but unfinished) // government building (7)

"Italian" = IT (show explanation )

There are a couple of ways to explain this coding:

  • It.[10] is an abbreviation for Italian or Italy.
  • Italian[10] is another name for Italian vermouth. It[5] is an informal, dated British term for Italian vermouth ⇒ he poured a gin and it.
hide explanation

In the US, a capitol[5] is a building housing a legislative assembly ⇒ the work is on display at the Utah state capitol. The Capitol[5] is the seat of the US Congress in Washington, DC.

3d   Invertebrate // rook oddly found in new hardtop (9)

Scratching the Surface
One has to dig deep to attribute any meaningful context to the surface reading of this clue.

As an adjective, invertebrate[2] denotes having no strength of character.

Rook[10] is a slang term for a swindler or cheat, especially one who cheats at cards.

Therefore, we find a cheat with no backbone in an auto with a detachable roof.

An arthropod[4] is any invertebrate of the phylum Arthropoda, having jointed limbs, a segmented body, and an exoskeleton made of chitin. The group includes the crustaceans, insects, arachnids, and centipedes.

4d   Plan // talk about source of Rhine (5)

Scratching the Surface
The Rhine[5] is a river in western Europe which rises in the Swiss Alps and flows for 1,320 km (820 miles) to the North Sea. It forms the border between Germany and Switzerland in the south, then Germany and France, before flowing north through Germany and westwards through the Netherlands to empty into the North Sea near Rotterdam.

5d   Supplier of food /for/ three queens? (7)

A queen[5] is an adult female cat that has not been spayed.

"queen" = ER (show explanation )

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 Queen Elizabeth is ER[5] — from the Latin Elizabetha Regina.

hide explanation

6d   Answer /from/ soldiers on South Atlantic (7)

These soldiers make their second appearance today.

"soldiers" = RE (show explanation )

The Corps of Royal Engineers[7], usually just called the Royal Engineers (abbreviation RE), and commonly known as the Sappers[7], is a corps of the British Army that provides military engineering and other technical support to the British Armed Forces.

hide explanation

The pond[5] is a humorous way to refer to the Atlantic Ocean ⇒ he’s relatively unknown on this side of the pond.

7d   Flying jet, so create // a form of escape (7,4)

On the question of ejector seat versus ejection seat, my British dictionaries appear to be divided. According to Oxford Dictionaries Online and Collins English Dictionary, ejector seat[5,10] is an alternative term for ejection seat[5,10]. On the other hand, The Chambers Dictionary and Chambers 21st Century Dictionary both show ejection seat as being the US term for ejector seat[1,2].

Both of my American dictionaries — the American Heritage® Dictionary and the Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary — list only the ejection seat version of the name.

8d   Packs // amounts needed to cover credit (6)

The definition here might refer specifically to rugby or it may have been intended in a more general sense.

In rugby, pack[10] denotes the the forwards of a team or both teams collectively, as in a scrum or in rucking (show explanation ).

A ruck[10] is a loose scrum that forms around the ball when it is on the ground. As a verb, ruck[10] denotes the action of trying to win the ball by advancing over it when it is on the ground, driving opponents backwards in the process.

hide explanation

In rugby, a scrum[5] is the act or method of restarting play after an infringement when the two opposing packs of forwards group together with heads down and arms interlocked and push to gain ground while the scrum half throws the ball in and the hookers attempt to scoop it out to their own team. A scrum is usually called by the referee (set scrum) but may be formed spontaneously (loose scrum [or ruck]).

In a more general sense, scrum[5] is an informal British term for a disorderly crowd of people or things ⇒ there was quite a scrum of people at the bar.

A pack[5] may be (1) a group of wild animals, especially wolves, living and hunting together or (2) a group of hounds kept and used for hunting. Although not specifically shown in the dictionaries that I consulted, presumably these uses can be extended to figuratively refer to a group of people who behave like animals.

In Canada, impromptu press conferences in which politicians face packs of reporters in the corridor outside the House of Commons are called media scrums.

11d   Deliberate pretence /of/ kindness, embracing volunteers (11)

"volunteers" = TA (show explanation )

In the UK, Territorial Army[5] (abbreviation TA[5]) at one time was the name of a volunteer force founded in 1908 to provide a reserve of trained and disciplined military personnel for use in an emergency. Since 2013, it has been called the Army Reserve.

hide explanation

16d   Athletic prince at university? (5,4)

The clue is a play on the term royal blue[5] which is a deep, vivid blue.

In Britain, a blue[5] is a person who has represented Cambridge University (a Cambridge blue) or Oxford University (an Oxford blue) at a particular sport in a match between the two universities ⇒ a flyweight boxing blue. This usage almost certainly arises from the colours associated with these universities — and hence the colour of the uniforms worn by their athletes. Cambridge blue[5] is a pale blue colour, while Oxford blue[5] is a dark blue, typically with a purple tinge.

Thus, a member of the royal family who happens to participate in such a sport could be termed a "royal blue".

18d   Gather refusal /means/ hell (7)

Inferno[5] is another word for  Hell (with reference to Dante’s Divine Comedy).

19d   Wood/'s/ parking fine outside hospital? (7)

20d   Plan // to redraft top drama tons rejected (4,3)

21d   Unfortunately up in the morning /for/ a greeting (6)

Salaam[5] is a common greeting in many Arabic-speaking and Muslim countries.

23d   Agreement as Telegraph shows // discrimination? (5)

Scratching the Surface
The Daily Telegraph is a daily morning UK English language broadsheet newspaper, published in London by Telegraph Media Group and distributed throughout the United Kingdom and internationally. The newspaper was founded by Arthur B. Sleigh in June 1855 as The Daily Telegraph and Courier, and since 2004 has been owned by David and Frederick Barclay (who acquired it from Conrad Black's Hollinger Inc.).

The Daily Telegraph has a sister paper, The Sunday Telegraph. The two printed papers are run separately with different editorial staff, but there is some cross-usage of stories. News articles published in either, plus online Telegraph articles, may also be published on the Telegraph Media Group's website, all under The Telegraph title.

The Daily Telegraph, of course, is the paper in which this puzzle first appeared. At one time, the National Post and The Daily Telegraph were both owned by Conrad Black.
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

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