Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Wednesday, September 2, 2015 — DT 27756

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27756
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Monday, March 23, 2015
Rufus (Roger Squires)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27756]
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


Often the clue that holds out to the end gets my vote as my favourite clue. Today, the honour goes to 14d. It seemingly took forever for the penny to drop, but it produced a hearty chuckle when it finally did.

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   Drunken flirting /in/ game? (11)

Tiddly[5] is an informal, chiefly British term meaning slightly drunk.

For full effect, read the wordplay as a phrase "drunken flirting" which equates to "tiddly winks".

9a   One can't be trusted after a deal is made (4-5)

10a   Pot // plant (5)

11a   Make a mistake and throw out // the drink (6)

Shy[5] is a dated term meaning, as a noun, an act of flinging or throwing something at a target and, as a verb, to fling or throw (something) at a target ⇒ he tore the spectacles off and shied them at her.

12a   Hamper holding spare // garments (8)

13a   Fine quality // diamonds worn with a shirt in New York (6)

Miffypops appears to see nicety[5] as denoting a detail or aspect of polite social behaviour ⇒ we were brought up to observe the niceties.

I thought of nicety[5] meaning a fine or subtle detail or distinction legal niceties are wasted on him.

15a   Mad party guest going to pot // used room to spruce up (8)

The March Hare and the Hatter put
 the Dormouse's head in a teapot.
Illustration by John Tenniel.
The Dormouse[7] is a character in "A Mad Tea-Party"[7], Chapter VII from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) by English writer Lewis Carroll (1832–1898). In the story, Alice becomes a guest at a "mad" tea party along with the March Hare, the Hatter, and a very tired Dormouse who falls asleep frequently, only to be violently woken up moments later by the March Hare and the Hatter.

18a   It's an indication for drivers, by the way (4,4)

19a   Could be // a good laugh /or/ cry (6)

21a   Believe gold might satisfy him? (8)

"gold" = OR (show explanation )

Or[5] is gold or yellow, as a heraldic tincture.

hide explanation

23a   Models /must be/ fashionable ladies (6)

26a   Call up // a woman, a case for approval (5)

27a   Cat seen in various // residences (9)

28a   Confidential sign // which executives employ (11)

"sign" = ARIES (show explanation )

In astrology, Aries[10] (also called the Ram) is the first sign of the zodiac, symbol ♈, having a cardinal fire classification, ruled by the planet Mars. The sun is in this sign between about March 21 and April 19.

hide explanation


1d   Friar's at home /and/ eats heartily (5,2)

Friar Tuck[7] is a companion to Robin Hood in the legends about that character.

2d   An air of sadness (5)

3d   Cobbler's farewell ceremony? (4,5)

A last[5] is a shoemaker’s model [of the foot] for shaping or repairing a shoe or boot. [I was surprised to see the number of people on Big Dave's site who had no idea what a last is.]

In the Christian Church, the last rites[5] are rites administered to a person who is about to die ⇒ a priest came to give her the Last Rites.

This clue seems to have left many Brits scratching their heads and Miffypops clearly struggled to understand it. I see it similar to dutch at Comment #5 on Big Dave's Crossword Blog. A rite is a ceremony. The last rites are a "farewell ceremony" for someone about to depart this life. A cobbler uses a last in his work — to which the setter attempts to draw a tortuous link. I believe the clue works if one does not overthink it. However, the more one ponders it, the less sense it seems to make.

4d   Northern river // sport (4)

The River Wear[7] (pronounced WEER) in North East England rises in the Pennines and flows eastwards, mostly through County Durham to the North Sea in the City of Sunderland. At 60 mi (97 km) long, it is one of the region's longest rivers.

5d   French leader // turned an East European on (8)

Napoleon I[5] (1769–1821) was emperor of France 1804–14 and 1815; full name Napoleon Bonaparte; known as Napoleon. In 1799 Napoleon joined a conspiracy which overthrew the Directory, becoming the supreme ruler of France. He declared himself emperor in 1804, and established an empire stretching from Spain to Poland. After defeats at Trafalgar (1805) and in Russia (1812), he abdicated and was exiled to the island of Elba (1814). He returned to power in 1815, but was defeated at Waterloo and exiled to the island of St Helena.

There were also two other rulers of France named Napoleon. Napoleon II[7], the son of Napoleon I, was emperor for about two weeks when he was four years old and Napoleon III, a nephew of Napoleon I.

6d   Location in sound /and/ vision (5)

7d   Turn gas up in a way, /making/ pasta (7)

Lasagne[3,4] is the preferred British spelling of the Italian dish that we would more likely spell as lasagna. It would appear that, in Britain, lasagna is an alternative spelling of lasagne while, in North America, lasagne is an alternative spelling of lasagna. Of course, in Italy lasagna is the plural of lasagne[8].

8d   Treatment that is always on hand (8)

14d   Female guard of honour (8)

16d   Staff professor, first class, brought up /in/ old country (9)

A don[10] is a member of the teaching staff at a university or college, especially at Oxford or Cambridge.

 A1[4][5] or A-one[3] meaning first class or excellent comes from a classification for ships in The Lloyd's Register of Shipping where it means equipped to the highest standard or first-class.

Macedonia[5] was an ancient country in southeastern Europe, at the northern end of the Greek peninsula. In classical times it was a kingdom which under Philip II and Alexander the Great became a world power. The region is now divided between Greece, Bulgaria, and the republic of Macedonia.

The name continues to exist in the form of:
  1. the Republic of Macedonia, a landlocked republic in the Balkans; population 2,066,700 (est. 2009); official language, Macedonian; capital, Skopje. Formerly a constituent republic of Yugoslavia, Macedonia became independent after a referendum in 1991; and
  2. a region in the north-east of modern Greece; capital, ThessalonĂ­ki.
17d   One doesn't believe /in/ coasting freely (8)

18d   Frauds // seen in court or in the press (7)

The setter has employed a bit of cryptic licence here as one would customarily say "on court". Despite this, I did recognize to what sort of court the setter is alluding. However, I did not realize what sort of press was needed until I saw the illustration in Miffypops' review.

20d   Broods about one's // exploits (7)

22d   Articles in the Telegraph /or/ Times possibly (5)

The Daily Telegraph[7] is a daily morning UK broadsheet newspaper. It is, of course, the paper in which this puzzle first appeared. At one time, the National Post and The Daily Telegraph were both owned by Conrad Black.

Scratching the Surface
The Times[7] is a British daily national newspaper based in London.

24d   Excuse for being absent (5)

At times, Rufus produces clues that verge on being non-cryptic. In this respect, he seems to have outdone himself with this one.

25d   Payment before // ascent of mountain (4)
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 comment:

  1. Struggled a bit with the legos, as usual, and needed to employ a crossword dictionary in the SW corner. Aside from that, a pleasant slog. Yes, 14d is a cleverly cryptic definition.

    Played this course the other day:
    Nicely walkable, but more water hazards than is typical of links-style courses. And I didn't have my a-game, so I contributed a few balls to the ponds.