Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Tuesday, September 1, 2015 — DT 27755

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27755
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, March 21, 2015
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27755 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27755 – Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave (Hints)
gnomethang (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
The National Post has skipped DT 27753 and DT 27754 which were published in The Daily Telegraph on Thursday, March 19, 2015 and Friday, March 20, 2015.
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.


Today we are presented with an enjoyable — but not too difficult — exercise.

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   Copper, special originally, eating something done /that's/ succulent (6)

"copper" = CU (show explanation )

The symbol for the chemical element copper is Cu[5] (from late Latin cuprum).

hide explanation

5a   Mineral springs help? // Yes, indeed (4,4)

9a   Music-maker /and/ I sang carol in resort (3,7)

A cor anglais[5] (also called English horn) is an alto woodwind instrument of the oboe family, having a bulbous bell and sounding a fifth lower than the oboe.

10a   Informant keeping head of precinct // spellbound (4)

11a   Adverse reaction // feared by galley slave? (8)

12a   Released // the Parisian solicitor (3,3)

"the Parisian" = LE (show explanation )

In Paris (as well as the rest of France — not to mention Québec), the masculine singular form of the definite article is le[8].

hide explanation

A tout[10] is a person who solicits business in a brazen way.

What did he say?
In his hints, Big Dave refers to a tout as someone who solicits for business, maybe to sell tickets on the black-market..
The latter part of Big Dave's comment alludes to the fact that the word tout[5] (also ticket tout) also happens to be the British term for a scalper[5], a person who buys up tickets for an event to resell them at a profit.

13a   Saying said by Eastern // biblical character (4)

In the Bible, Esau[10] is the son of Isaac and Rebecca and twin brother of Jacob, to whom he sold his birthright (Genesis 25).

The charade indicator "by" works similar to "on". The construct "A by B" clues BA since, in order to place A by B, B must already be in place (and therefore precede A — after all, English is written left to right).

15a   Substitute Dopey, initially, /for/ Bashful? (8)

Scratching the Surface

Dopey and Bashful are two of the seven dwarfs in Walt Disney's 1937 animated musical fantasy film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs[7] based on a German fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. The story had earlier been made into a Broadway play that debuted in 1912. The dwarfs are not given names in the fairy tale. In the 1912 production, they were named Blick, Flick, Glick, Snick, Plick, Whick and Quee. Disney renamed them Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy, and Dopey.

18a   Way // to pay for course (8)

19a   Opening // in yoga, teaching (4)

21a   Neat // wood (6)

23a   Old maid /in/ flap, rigid almost (8)

It took considerable detective work to link flap to spin. Spin[10] is another term for flat spin[5,10], an informal British expression meaning a state of agitation, confusion, or panic a scandal has put the university into a flat spin.

25a   Nothing else /in/ lake (4)

Mere[5] is a chiefly literary, British term for a lake or pond ⇒ the stream widens into a mere where hundreds of geese gather. Those of us in Ottawa should be familiar with the word as the Mackenzie King Estate (the country estate of Canada’s 10th and longest-serving prime minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King) is located just across the river in Kingsmere, Quebec, on the shores of Kingsmere Lake (a name which surely amounts to King's Lake Lake).

26a   Unintended exchange of early letters /with/ old golf club by wretched miser (10)

Spoon[5] is a dated term for a golf club with a slightly concave wooden head.

A spoonerism[5] is a verbal error in which a speaker accidentally transposes the initial sounds or letters of two or more words, often to humorous effect, as in the sentence you have hissed the mystery lectures. It is named after the Reverend W. A. Spooner (1844–1930), an English scholar who reputedly made such errors in speaking.

27a   Refused to abandon one's belief /in/ organised company (4,4)

Hold[5] is used in the sense of to arrange and take part in (a meeting or conversation) ⇒ a meeting was held at the church.

28a   Politician, // English, before University frolic (4-2)

A Euro-MP[5] is a member of the European Parliament ⇒ the Euro-MP for Cleveland and Yorkshire North.


2d   A city in Italy locally known /for/ perfume (5)

Rome is known to Italians as Roma[5].

3d   What an athlete may wear /in/ line with action (9)

The line is one that trains run on.

4d   Remarkable // gesture (6)

Signal[5] as an adjective means striking in extent, seriousness, or importance; outstanding ⇒ he attacked the government for their signal failure of leadership.

5d   Her thermostat adjusted after we // pull through (7,3,5)

6d   Lacking energy, /and/ unprepared at the supermarket? (8)

7d   Fish // traps at sea (5)

The sprat[3,4]is a small marine food fish, Clupea sprattus, of the northeast Atlantic Ocean and North Sea that is eaten fresh or smoked and is often canned in oil as a sardine; also called brisling.

8d   Unwise /being/ disrespectful about king (9)

"king" = R (show explanation )

Rex[5] (abbreviation R[5]) [Latin for king] denotes the reigning king, used following a name (e.g. Georgius Rex, King George) or in the titles of lawsuits (e.g. Rex v. Jones, the Crown versus Jones — often shortened to R. v. Jones).

hide explanation

14d   Who's working still, we hear, /to create/ the best exhibit? (9)

16d   Hospital doctor // pressing substance right into bottom (9)

In Britain and New Zealand, a registrar[10] is a hospital doctor senior to a houseman[5] [hospital intern] but junior to a consultant[5] [hospital doctor of senior rank within a specific field], specializing in either medicine (medical registrar) or surgery (surgical registrar).

17d   To take part in boating sport, // risk a wet undoing? (5-3)

20d   One knight to leave money, /as/ intended (6)

"knight" = N (show explanation )

N[5] is the abbreviation for knight used in recording moves in chess [representing the pronunciation of kn-, since the initial letter k- represents 'king'].

hide explanation

22d   Greatly affect // winning margin (2-3)

Upend (up-end or upend[1]; up-end[2]) means to affect or upset drastically[4]; to affect drastically or radically, as tastes, opinions, or reputations[11]; to invalidate, destroy, or change completely; overthrow upended a popular legend[3].

Margin[5] is used in the sense of the furthest limit of possibility, success, etc. ⇒ the lighting is brighter than before but is still at the margins of acceptability.

End[5] denotes a a specified extreme of a scale ⇒ homebuyers at the lower end of the market.

24d   Course // record, very good over mile (5)

"record" = EP (show explanation )

An EP[5] (abbreviation for extended-play) is a record or CD that contains more than a single track (per side in the case of a record) but fewer than would be found on an LP[5] (abbreviation for long-playing).

hide explanation

The expression very good[5] (a dated variant of very well) is used to express agreement or consent very good, sir, will that be all?. 

So[5] is a conjunction that can be used to introduce a question (so, what did you do today?) especially one following on from what was said previously (so what did he do about it?).

One can certainly imagine an English butler saying Very good, sir, will that be all?, while someone a bit less refined might express this same idea as "So, will that be all?".

Epsom Downs[7] [which most certainly would be referred to informally simply as Epsom] is a Grade 1 racecourse near Epsom, Surrey, England. The "downs" referred to in the name are part of the North Downs, a ridge of chalk hills in south east England. The course is best known for hosting the Epsom Derby, the United Kingdom's premier thoroughbred horse race for three-year-old colts and fillies, over a mile and a half (2400m). It also hosts the Epsom Oaks for three-year-old fillies and the Coronation Cup for all ages over the same distance.
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


  1. Totally agree -- enjoyable and not too difficult. A few Briticisms and clunky legos provided most of the challenge. Only needed to check a crossword dictionary for 9a, as I'd never heard of such an animal.

    Thanks for the commentary.

    1. Re: 9a

      I have always seen or heard it as "card shark". However, that term is found in only one of my American dictionaries, while cardsharp is in all my British and American dictionaries. This leads me to suspect that "card shark" may well be a corruption of "cardsharp".