Thursday, September 10, 2015

Wednesday, September 9, 2015 — DT 27763

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27763
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27763]
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
The National Post has skipped DT 27762 which was published in The Daily Telegraph on Monday, March 30, 2015.


I am still struggling to catch up with the blog following a few days away over the long weekend — and not at all helped by the editors at the National Post who persist in putting sticks in my spokes in the form of unexpected missing puzzles.

Today I was slowed down appreciably by one cricket reference and stumped by another.

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   Inexpensive // pile acquired by company (6)

4a   Guide unhappy /in/ moment of truth (8)

10a   Materials used to portray // pond plant (5-4)

Mare's-tail[10] is an erect cosmopolitan pond plant, Hippuris vulgaris, with minute flowers and crowded whorls of narrow leaves.

11a   Greek character faithfully reproduced // songs? (5)

Mu[5] is the twelfth letter of the Greek alphabet (Μ, μ).

12a   Hellish // poorly? No end, having caught a sunburn (7)

13a   To cool food, // such may be blown (7)

14a   Understood // tense account given by Italian (5)

"tense" = T (show explanation )

Grammatically speaking, t.[10] is the abbreviation for tense.

hide explanation

"Italian" = IT (show explanation )

A couple of explanations are available:

  • 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

15a   In document, called // mad (8)

18a   Sweet // spot at the centre? (5-3)

Sweet[5] is the British term for a piece of candy[5]a bag of sweets.

A bull's-eye[10] is a peppermint-flavoured, usually striped, boiled sweet.

20a   'Twelfth Night' character // explosive? Not half, involving leader in Illyria (5)

Viola[7] is the heroine and protagonist of the play Twelfth Night, written by William Shakespeare.

Scratching the Surface
Illyria[5], the setting for Twelfth Night[7] , was an ancient region along the east coast of the Adriatic Sea, including Dalmatia and what is now Montenegro and northern Albania.

23a   Employed by national paper? // Now and then (2,5)

The Times[7] is a British daily national newspaper based in London. The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers, since 1981 a subsidiary of News UK, itself wholly owned by the News Corp group headed by Rupert Murdoch.

25a   Writer // cast lots in play (7)

Count Leo Tolstoy[5] (1828–1910) was a Russian writer. He is best known for the novels War and Peace (1863-9), an epic tale of the Napoleonic invasion, and Anna Karenina (1873-7).

26a   Ear, perhaps, /for/ what's played in church (5)

27a   US artifacts // ace airman transported (9)

As Gazza points out in his review, artifact[5] is the US spelling (the British spelling being artefact[5]).

28a   Behind everyone else, // in spite of everything (5,3)

29a   Rise // when clubs close (6)

"clubs" = C (show explanation )

C[1] is the abbreviation for clubs, a suit in a deck of cards.

hide explanation


1d   Many a holidaymaker here // affected by said vision? (8)

2d   Odd // quote about a bishop keeling over (7)

Right Reverend[5] (abbreviation RR[2]) is a title given to a bishop, especially in the Anglican Church ⇒ the Right Reverend David Jenkins, Bishop of Durham.

3d   After giving birth, // plan a tot's needs to have development (9)

5d   Agony over boundary reportedly hit very hard /and/ extremely fast (4,3,7)

In cricket, the term boundary[10] can refer to:
  1. the marked limit of the playing area;
  2. a stroke that hits the ball beyond this limit; or
  3. the four or six runs scored with such a stroke.
If the ball touches the ground before crossing the boundary (similar to a ground rule double in baseball), four runs are scored. However, if the ball crosses the boundary without touching the ground (similar to a home run in baseball), six runs are scored.

In cricket, a four[5] is a hit that reaches the boundary after first striking the ground, scoring four runs ⇒ he hit a six and seven fours.

The British expression hell for leather[5] means as fast as possible ⇒ I tore hell for leather out of my garage.

Across the Pond
Hell-bent for leather[*] means moving recklessly fast, as in Out the door she went, hell-bent for leather. The use of hell-bent in the sense of "recklessly determined" dates from the first half of the 1800s. Leather alludes to a horse's saddle and to riding on horseback; this colloquial expression may be an American version of the earlier British army jargon hell for leather, first recorded in 1889.

* The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer

6d   Female /has/ week visiting country (5)

Oman[7], officially the Sultanate of Oman, is an Arab country in the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula.

7d   Performing /in/ two legs (2,5)

I failed to recognize the cricket reference in "two legs".

In cricket, the on[5] (also known as on side) is another name for the leg[5] (also called leg side), the half of the field (as divided lengthways through the pitch) away from which the batsman’s feet are pointed when standing to receive the ball ⇒ he played a lucky stroke to leg. The other half of the field is known as the off[5] (also called off side).

8d   Steal the Spanish // piece (6)

Piece refers to a piece of North American currency.

Nick[5] is an informal British term meaning to steal ⇒ she nicked fivers from the till.

"the Spanish" = EL (show explanation )

In Spanish, the masculine singular form of the definite article is el[8].

hide explanation

9d   'Masquerade: // class band', flyer broadcast (5,5,4)

16d   What a stall on the pier may sell // -- book matches? (9)

The primary definition of pier[5] found at Oxford Dictionaries Online is a platform on pillars projecting from the shore into the sea, typically incorporating entertainment arcades and places to eat. The meaning that first comes to mind for me, a structure projecting from the shore into a river, lake, or the sea, used as a landing stage for boats, is shown as a subsidiary definition.

"Match" and "tie" might be considered to be synonyms (meaning equal) when used as verbs as in ⇒ In his final run, the driver was able to match the best time posted so far in the competition. However, it certainly did not surprise me that Gazza sees these words as being nouns — in a particular British usage.

Tie[5] is a British term meaning a sports match between two or more players or teams in which the winners proceed to the next round of the competition Swindon Town have gained themselves a third round tie against Oldham.

The foregoing usage example does not mean — as a North American might presume — that Swindon Town and Oldham played to a draw in the third round. Rather, it means that Swindon Town defeated their opponent in the second round and will move on to face Oldham in the third round.

17d   Arrive after month crossing heart of large // US state (8)

19d   Out of bed, drunk /is/ on edge (7)

21d   Eccentric hoarding silver? // Shock horror! (7)

"silver" = AG (show explanation )

The symbol for the chemical element silver is Ag[5] from Latin argentum.

hide explanation

Shock-horror[5] is an informal British term meaning causing great public outrage ⇒ a shock-horror TV advertising campaign.

22d   Savoury /from/ Greek island area (6)

Samos[5] is a Greek island in the Aegean, situated close to the coast of western Turkey.

In Indian cookery, a samosa[5] is a triangular savoury pastry fried in ghee or oil, containing spiced vegetables or meat.

24d   Landed estate/'s/ custom, we hear (5)
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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