Thursday, September 3, 2015

Thursday, September 3, 2015 — DT 27757

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27757
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27757]
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


This proved to be a very gentle workout — and also one with a rather minimal number of Briticisms. Even the obscure British violinist did not impose much of an impediment.

Did anyone else note that there were a rather large number of "instances" in today's 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.


1a   Be little affected by // island in break (6)

4a   Time left in decrepit flat // despite everything (5,3)

10a   Spell over probing unusually rude // conduct (9)

"over" = O (show explanation )

On cricket scorecards, the abbreviation O[5] denotes over(s), an over[5] being 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.

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11a   Precise // legislation from the past? (5)

12a   Sprawling tree blocking vehicle /for/ food source (7)

13a   Old retired volunteers with tea, say, /being/ pale brown (7)

"For instance" number 1.

"volunteers" = TA (show explanation )

In the UK, Territorial Army[5] (abbreviation TA[5]) was, at one time, 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, this organization has been called the Army Reserve.

hide explanation

"tea" = MEAL (show explanation )

Tea may be either a drink or a meal, especially in Britain.

The British distinguish between afternoon tea and high tea, although both may be referred to simply as tea[10]. Afternoon tea[2,5,7,10] (or Low Tea) is a light afternoon meal, typically eaten between 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm, at which tea, sandwiches, biscuits [British term for cookies or crackers] and cakes are served.

High tea[7] (also known as meat tea) is the evening meal or dinner of the working class, typically eaten between 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm. It typically consists of a hot dish such as fish and chips, shepherd's pie, or macaroni cheese [macaroni and cheese to North Americans], followed by cakes and bread, butter and jam. Occasionally there would be cold cuts of meat, such as ham salad. Traditionally high tea was eaten by middle to upper class children (whose parents would have a more formal dinner later) or by labourers, miners and the like when they came home from work. The term was first used around 1825 and high is used in the sense of well-advanced (like high noon, for example) to signify that it was taken later in the day.

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14a   Abandon // period off duty (5)

15a   Shot behind river /showing/ shipbuilding, perhaps (8)

"For instance" number 2.

The Indus[5] is a river of southern Asia, about 2,900 km (1,800 miles) in length, flowing from Tibet through Kashmir and Pakistan to the Arabian Sea. Along its valley an early civilization flourished from circa 2600 to 1760 BC.

18a   Introduction // first character's forgotten in role group played (8)

20a   Place of relief /offering/ nothing in current state (5)

23a   A lot among police turning // forceful? (7)

The Criminal Investigation Department (seemingly better known by its abbreviation CID[2]) is the detective branch of a British police force.

25a   Timeless part soon devised /for/ singer (7)

26a   Go along the edge of // feminine garment (5)

27a   Cruciverbalists // love ruses in cryptic form (9)

Gazza was not alone in trying to work SOLVER into the solution.

A cruciverbalist[5] is a person who enjoys or is skilled at solving crosswords.

28a   Complaint about teachers' union? // It's hard to crack (8)

Yesterday, we had a clue (1a) where it was merely helpful to read the wordplay as a phrase — but here it is essential.

In the UK, NUT[5] stands for the National Union of Teachers [much to the delight of their students, I am sure].

Thus a "complaint about teachers' union" might be "NUT's hell".

29a   Old-fashioned // fellow orchestrating a duel (6)

"fellow" = F (show explanation )

F[2] is the abbreviation for Fellow (of a society, etc). For instance, it is found in professional designations such as FRAIC (Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada).

hide explanation


1d   Dictator once caught breaking law /getting/ derision (8)

Idi Amin Dada[7] (c. 1925–2003) was the third President of Uganda, ruling from 1971 to 1979. As commander of the Ugandan Army, he led a military coup in January 1971 that deposed Milton Obote.

Amin's rule was characterized by human rights abuses, political repression, ethnic persecution, extrajudicial killings, nepotism, corruption, and gross economic mismanagement. The number of people killed as a result of his regime is estimated by international observers and human rights groups to range from 100,000 to 500,000.

2d   Trauma's convulsed // Asian island (7)

Sumatra[5] is a large island of Indonesia, situated to the south-west of the Malay Peninsula, from which it is separated by the Strait of Malacca; chief city, Medan.

3d   Look hard, we're told, and skilfully /for/ flight location (9)

5d   Sentimentality in car, touching hand, say, // as an extra element? (3,4,7)

"For instance" number 3.

A hand[5] is a a unit of measurement of a horse’s height, equal to 4 inches (10.16 cm).

6d   First woman not lacking heart /in/ race, say (5)

"For instance" number 4.

"first woman" = EVE (show explanation )

In the Bible, Eve[5] is the first woman, companion of Adam and mother of Cain and Abel. [What about Seth and their other sons and daughters].[Gen 5:4]

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7d   A way to finish game, game taken up // without expertise? (7)

The question mark flags to us that the definition may be rather questionable. Although as a adjective, AMATEUR generally denotes a lack of expertise, an amateur may indeed display a great deal of expertise.

In chess, mate[5] is short for checkmate[5], a position in which a player’s king is directly attacked by an opponent’s piece or pawn and has no possible move to escape the check. The attacking player thus wins the game.

Rugby union[10] (abbreviation RU[5]) is a form of rugby football played between teams of 15 players (in contrast to rugby league[5], which is played in teams of thirteen).

What did he say?
In his review, Gazza alludes to rugby being a game of which we had a feast last Saturday – well done, Ireland!.
Gazza is referring to the outcome of the 2015 Six Nations Championship[7], an annual international rugby union competition involving six European sides: England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales. The final matches in this competition took place on March 21, 2015 (the Saturday prior to the publication of this puzzle in The Daily Telegraph).

Ireland are the 2015 champions, having finished on equal table points with Wales and England but winning the trophy by virtue of achieving a higher match points difference [differential between points for and against].

Given that Ireland and Wales finished with identical 4-1 records and Wales was the only team to defeat Ireland during the series, one might think that Wales deserved the championship. But that is not the basis on which the tie was broken.

8d   Young // female violinist (6)

Tasmin Little[7] is an English classical violinist. She is best known and widely acclaimed as a concerto soloist, and also performs as a recitalist and chamber musician. She has released multiple albums, winning the Critics Award at the Classic Brit Awards in 2011 for her recording of Elgar's Violin Concerto.

9d   Getting on train /in/ Harrow, for instance (8,6)

"For instance" number 5.

Harrow School[5] (informally Harrow) is a boys' public school in northwest London, founded under Queen Elizabeth I in 1571.

In the UK, a public school[5] is a private fee-paying secondary school, especially one for boarders ⇒ his precise English public-school accent. [Note: In Britain, "public schools" are a special class of private school; what North Americans would call public schools are referred to in Britain as state schools.]

16d   Prove knight maybe /is/ a fine specimen (9)

"For instance" number 6.

17d   Support // Poles organised around America (8)

19d   Act wildly /with/ stunted creature touring carnival venue (3,4)

As a containment indicator, touring is used in the sense of travelling or going around — with the emphasis on around.

Rio de Janeiro[5] (commonly known as Rio) is a city in eastern Brazil, on the Atlantic coast; population 6,093,472 (2007). The chief port of Brazil, it was the country’s capital from 1763 until 1960, when it was replaced by Brasilia.

The Carnival in Rio de Janeiro[7] is a world famous festival held before Lent every year and considered the biggest carnival in the world with two million people per day on the streets. The first festivals of Rio date back to 1723.

21d   Desperately lacking in cheer? (7)

Cheer[5] is food and drink provided for a festive occasion ⇒ they had partaken heartily of the Christmas cheer.

22d   Peculiar family member // more than likely (4,2)

24d   Equal // striker /in/ game (5)

Scratching the Surface
In soccer, striker[10] is an informal term for an attacking player, especially one who generally positions himself or herself near the opponent's goal in the hope of scoring.

In cricket, a striker[10] is the batsman who is about to play a ball. [Remember that although there are always two batsmen (positioned at either end of the pitch), only one of them is the striker on any given delivery.]
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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