Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Wednesday, October 21, 2015 — DT 27801

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27801
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, May 14, 2015
RayT (Ray Terrell)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27801]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
The Four K's (Kath, Kitty & the 2Kiwis)
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


Apart from pinching a behind, RayT keeps things pretty tame today. It's an enjoyable solve and not overly difficult.

By the way, should you happen to watch The Two Ronnies video posted by Shropshirelad in the thread attached to Comment #27 on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, you may be left — as I was — totally at a loss as to the closing joke. A Google search on the Internet reveals that we are not alone. Here is an explanation, hidden so you can avoid reading it before you watch the video. (show explanation )

At the end of the Four Candles sketch, the shopkeeper, having had enough, snatches the shopping list the customer has been holding to complete the order without any confusions. However, he then seems to take offence at something written on the list. He decides he cannot tolerate the customer any longer and calls his assistant from the back to complete the order. The assistant reveals that the request was for billhooks. The audience is intended to infer that the shopkeeper misread it as bollocks or pillocks.

 A billhook[5] is a tool having a sickle-shaped blade with a sharp inner edge, used for pruning or lopping branches or other vegetation.

Bollocks [5] (also ballocks) is vulgar British slang for the testicles. It also used in the sense of nonsense or rubbish (to express contempt or disagreement, or as an exclamation of annoyance) — similar to the usage of Balls! or Nuts!.

Pillock[5] is an informal British term for a stupid person ⇒ a complete pillock!. The word comes from the archaic word "pillicock" meaning 'penis', the early sense of pillock in northern English. Thus, it is not unlike calling someone a 'dick' or a 'dickhead'.

Barker later rewrote the ending of the sketch, citing the reason as dissatisfaction with the obscurity and coarseness of the bill-hooks reference. He revealed in the last episode of The Two Ronnies Sketchbook in 2005 that, instead of another male shop assistant coming out and replacing Corbett, a large lady would come out and say "Right then young man, what kind of knockers do you want?"

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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   Fan/'s/ total thrills in the Centre Court (6)

"court" = CT (show explanation )

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

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Scratching the Surface
Centre Court[7] is a generic British term for the main court at any tennis complex.

In particular, Centre Court refers to the main court at the Wimbledon Championship, the third annual Grand Slam event of the tennis calendar. It is considered the world's most famous tennis court. It incorporates the clubhouse of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. Its only regular use for play is during the two weeks a year that the Championships take place. Centre Court has a premier box for use by the Royal Family and other distinguished guests, and is also known by its postcode SW19.

A retractable roof was installed in 2009, enabling play to continue during rain and into the night up until a council-imposed curfew of 11 pm. Centre Court, along with No. 1 Court and No. 2 Court, was also host to the tennis competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

4a   Marriage // plan with suit ordered (8)

9a   Thrilled // editor's about overdue (6)

10a   Paid /for/ cold dish, oddly ruined inside (8)

12a   Sabbath performance capturing new // support (8)

"Sabbath" = S (show explanation )

S[2] is the abbreviation for Sabbath.

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13a   Belief // is embraced by those people (6)

15a   Throttling, // flashing a signal to turn (13)

As an anagram indicator, the setter may be using flash[10] in the sense of to move very fast ⇒ he flashed by on his bicycle. However, its usage in Information Technology — in the sense of to erase and rewrite computer memory with new information ⇒ flash a BIOS — would also be very appropriate.

18a   Resistant // antibodies run amok (13)

22a   Sly // call, pinching behind (6)

24a   Fawning // succeeding in case of flunkey (8)

26a   Wild cat, lithe /and/ powerful (8)

27a   Obliquely // like the French, not without love (6)

"the French" = LA (show explanation )

In French, the feminine singular form of the definite article is la[8].

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28a   Possibly one employed by cathedral ... (8)

This clue is at least a semi-&lit. (semi-all-in-one) and possibly a full &lit. (all-in-one). Without the word "possibly", there would be no doubt — it would be a full &lit.

Minster[5] is a British term for a large or important church, typically one of cathedral status in the north of England that was built as part of a monastery ⇒ York Minster.

29a   ... Church officer in charge, // sort of cross (6)

"church" = CE (show explanation )

The Church of England[10] (abbreviation CE[10]) is the reformed established state Church in England, Catholic in order and basic doctrine, with the Sovereign as its temporal head.

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"in charge" = IC (show explanation )

The abbreviation i/c[5] can be short for either
  1. (especially in military contexts) in charge of ⇒ the Quartermaster General is i/c rations; or
  2. in command ⇒ 2 i/c = second in command.
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A Celtic cross[5] is a Latin cross with a circle round the centre. A Latin cross[5] is a plain cross in which the vertical part below the horizontal is longer than the other three parts.


1d   Swears with energy /becoming/ hostile (6)

"energy" = E (show explanation )

In physics, E[5] is a symbol used to represent energy.

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2d   Agonised missing sweetheart changing one's // opinion (9)

3d   He fiddles /with/ cold radiator (7)

5d   Stetson perhaps raised supporting United // States? Just one (4)

In the names of sports clubs, U[5] is the abbreviation for UnitedMan U [Manchester United].

6d   Pain in mouth not closing // windpipe (7)

7d   Excuse // to hold old-style party in first-class (5)

"first class" = A1 (show explanation )

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.

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The Liberal Party[5] (abbreviation Lib.[5] or L[2]) in Britain emerged in the 1860s from the old Whig Party and until the First World War was one of the two major parties in Britain. In 1988 the party regrouped with elements of the Social Democratic Party to form the Social and Liberal Democrats, now known as the Liberal Democrats. However, a small Liberal Party still exists.

The Liberals may be "old-style" in the UK but they are certainly au courant in Canada.

8d   Deposit // posted containing bit of money (8)

This would be a "a bit of [North American] money".

11d   Mill // located by railway (7)

14d   Making sound // car, unevenly bolted below (7)

Audi AG[7] is a German automobile manufacturer that has been a subsidiary of Volkswagen Group since 1966. The company name is based on the Latin translation of the surname of the founder, August Horch. "Horch", meaning "listen" in German, becomes "audi" in Latin. The four rings of the Audi logo each represent one of four car companies that banded together to create Audi's predecessor company, Auto Union.

16d   Divine leg? Antony keeps it hidden -- // unlike Cleopatra? (9)

17d   Reject // record hit penning single (8)

19d   Disturbs // rest under banyan initially (7)

20d   Performer // in part is televised (7)

21d   Cryptic // compiler's above endless criticism (6)

"compiler's" = MY (show explanation )

It is a common cryptic crossword convention for the creator of the puzzle to use terms such as (the) compiler, (the) setter, (this) author, (this) writer, or this person to refer to himself or herself. To solve such a clue, one must generally substitute a first person pronoun (I or me) for whichever of these terms has been used in the clue.

Today, the setter has made the scenario slightly more complicated by combining "compiler" with the possessive s producing "compiler's" which must be replaced by "my" (a possessive pronoun).

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Stick[5] is an informal British term meaning severe criticism or treatment  ⇒ I took a lot of stick from the press.

Of course, the 4K's hint should read "... without its final letter ..."

23d   Article about female /getting/ livid (5)

The Chambers Dictionary defines livid[1] as an adjective meaning black and blue; of a lead colour; discoloured; pale, ashen; extremely angry (informal).

25d   Queen provided rising // excitement (4)

"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.

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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. Found this more difficult than you did. I'd concur with the 3-star rating on the BD blog. Ray T's obscure synonyms sent me to the thesaurus and the lengthy anagrams took some time, as well.

    Yes, our old-style party is back, with a new-style leader. Should be entertaining, if he doesn't bankrupt us.