Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Wednesday, October 28, 2015 — DT 27806

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27806
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Jay (Jeremy Mutch)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27806]
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


Most of today's puzzle from Jay went in fairly smoothly, although I experienced a bit of a struggle in the southeast corner. I eventually threw in the towel and called in some electronic support.

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   What might be played /by/ graduates during tennis match? (6,4)

A double bass[5] is the largest and lowest-pitched instrument of the violin family, providing the bass line of the orchestral string section and also used in jazz and some country music.

On the other hand, in a British pub — as you can see from the illustration in Dutch's review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog — a double Bass might be two servings of English beer.

Delving Deeper
When it comes to beer, it is often hard to know what one is drinking, what with mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, licencing agreements, production arrangements, etc. The brand may be owned by one company but actually brewed by another company — even a competitor.

The Bass Brewery[7] was founded in 1777 by William Bass in Burton-upon-Trent, England. The main brand was Bass Pale Ale, once the highest selling beer in the UK. By 1877, Bass had become the largest brewery in the world, with an annual output of one million barrels. Its pale ale was exported throughout the British Empire, and the company's distinctive red triangle became the UK's first registered trademark.

Bass took control of a number of other large breweries in the early 20th century, and in the 1960s merged with Charrington United Breweries to become the largest UK brewing company, Bass Charrington.

The brewing operations of the company were sold to Belgian brewer Interbrew (now Anheuser-Busch InBev) in 2000, with the remaining retail side (hotel and pub holdings) being renamed Six Continents plc. The UK government's Competition Commission was concerned about the monopoly implications arising from the deal, and instructed Interbrew to dispose of the brewery and certain brands (Carling and Worthington ) to Coors (now Molson Coors Brewing Company), but allowed Interbrew to retain the rights to the Bass Pale Ale brand.

After acquiring the brewery, Coors produced Bass beer under licence from Interbrew until 2005 when its licence came to an end.

Draught Bass (4.4% ABV) has been brewed under contract in Burton by British brewer Marston's (formerly Wolverhampton and Dudley Breweries plc) for AB-InBev since 2005. Bottled and keg Bass products sold outside the UK have a higher alcohol content (5% ABV) and are brewed at AB-InBev's own brewery in Samlesbury, except for those sold in the United States and Belgium, where Bass is brewed locally. In  the US, Bass products are now produced by Anheuser-Busch at a Baldwinsville, New York, facility.

Bass Ale is a top ten premium canned ale in the UK, with 16,080 hectolitres sold in 2010.

Check your can or bottle to see where your Bass Ale was produced — and by whom. Or better yet, patronize your local craft brewer.

6a   Keeps still, stifling // attention-seeker (4)

10a   Check around the front of son/'s/ gum (5)

11a   Critical point /for/ lake to the west of Slough (9)

Scratching the Surface
In the surface reading, Slough[7] is a town in Berkshire, England, about 20 miles (30 kilometres) west of central London. In 2011, the population of Slough was 140,200 and the most ethnically diverse outside London in the United Kingdom with the highest proportion of religious adherents in England. Historically part of Buckinghamshire, Slough is home to the Slough Trading Estate, the largest industrial estate [industrial park] in single private ownership in Europe.

12a   Paper with price increase, // daily that's seen in the East (7)

The Sun[7] is a daily tabloid newspaper published in the United Kingdom and Ireland by a division of News UK, a wholly owned subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

13a   Energy put into saying everything /is for/ defence, in the main (3,4)

"energy" = E (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

The main[5] is an archaic or literary term for the open ocean.

14a   Spare weights must be set // aside (5,7)

18a   Potentially all decent -- bar // this stage performer! (6,6)

21a   Gatwick // Express -- best going back across river (7)

The wordplay became clear once I discarded the idea that "best" might be clueing 'AI' (A1).

Gatwick Airport[7] (also known as London Gatwick), located in Crawley, West Sussex, 29.5 miles (47.5 km) south of Central London, is London's second-largest international airport and the second-busiest (by total passenger traffic) in the United Kingdom (after Heathrow). Gatwick has the world's busiest single-use runway, with a maximum of 55 aircraft movements per hour [virtually one plane every minute].

23a   Managed to find // 'Tigon', say, in large dictionary (7)

A tigon[5] (also tiglon) is the hybrid offspring of a male tiger and a lioness.

OED[5] is the abbreviation for the Oxford English Dictionary.

Delving Deeper
The Oxford English Dictionary[7] (OED), published by the Oxford University Press, is a descriptive (as opposed to prescriptive) dictionary of the English language. As well as describing English usage in its many variations throughout the world, it traces the historical development of the language, providing a comprehensive resource to scholars and academic researchers. The second edition, published in 1989, came to 21,728 pages in 20 volumes.

The OED should not be confused with the Oxford Dictionary of English (ODE). In 1998 the New Oxford Dictionary of English (NODE) was published. Having as its aim to cover current English only, without the historical focus, NODE was not based on the OED. Instead, it was an entirely new dictionary produced with the aid of corpus linguistics [the study of language as expressed in corpora (samples) of "real world" text]. NODE (under the new title of the Oxford Dictionary of English, or ODE) continues to be the principal source for Oxford's product line of current-English dictionaries, including the Concise Oxford Dictionary and New Oxford American Dictionary, with the OED now only serving as the basis for scholarly historical dictionaries.

The online version of Oxford Dictionaries on which I rely heavily is based on the ODE.

What did he say?
In his review, Dutch refers to a 3-letter abbreviation of a dictionary (not BRB).
The BRB (Big Red Book) is a nickname frequently used on Big Dave's Crossword Blog to refer to The Chambers Dictionary.

24a   Dark beers /for/ these fliers? (9)

Jar[5] is an informal British term for a glass of beer ⇒ let’s have a jar.

The nightjar[5] is any of many species of a nocturnal insectivorous bird with grey-brown camouflaged plumage, large eyes and gape, and a distinctive call. The nightjar family also includes the nighthawks, pauraques, poorwills, whippoorwills, and chuck-will’s-widow. The name apparently arises from the fact that the bird is active at night and possesses a jarring cry.

25a   Still // at the office? Finishes to leave for appointment ... (5)

26a   ... appointment // delayed, left to bunk off for day (4)

Bunk off[5] is an informal British expression meaning to abscond or play truant from school or work he bunked off school all week.

The wordplay is LATE (delayed) with L (left) removed (to bunk off) and replaced with (for) D (day).

27a   Bulletin // putting four points in front of landlord (10)

A letter is someone who lets property.

Let[5] is a chiefly British term meaning to allow someone to have the use of (a room or property) in return for regular payments ⇒ (i) she let the flat to a tenant; (ii) they’ve let out their house. [I'm not sure that this word is as British as Oxford Dictionaries would have us believe.]


1d   Pressure /from/ unionist wearing frock (6)

A Unionist[5] (abbreviation U[10]) is:
  1. A person, especially a member of a Northern Ireland political party, who is in favour of the union of Northern Ireland with Great Britain; or
  2. Historically, a member of a British political party formed in 1886 which supported maintenance of the parliamentary union between Great Britain and Ireland.
2d   Take some detours in expectation // of bears (6)

3d   Hen night lot? Too drunk, /and/ old (4,2,3,5)

Scratching the Surface
Hen night[5] is an informal British term for a celebration held for a woman who is about to get married, attended only by women.

4d   With bended knees, // pleaded giving sanctuary to bird (3-6)

These knees are bended not in the sense one might first think.

5d   Positions // after listening to views (5)

7d   Sleeps soundly after school // drink (8)

Schnapps[5] is a strong alcoholic drink resembling gin ⇒ (i) he had drunk schnapps in Paris; (ii) relax with a schnapps and a sandwich.

8d   Time line accepted by stranger with small // children (8)

9d   Stupidly misreading core // activity of the Mafia (9,5)

15d   North-East is inclined to support Central London // drink menus (4,5)

The setter uses "Central London" to clue WI, employing the W1 postcode area[7] as a metonym for the area which it serves [postcode being the British counterpart of the Canadian postal code or American zip code]. However, I am not convinced that this is a very close match as the boundaries of the W1 postcode area coincide closely with those of the West End of London[7] (more commonly referred to as simply the West End) which — by any definition — would surely constitute no more than a portion of Central London.

Central London[7] is the innermost part of London, England. There is no official definition of its area, but its characteristics are understood to include a high density built environment, high land values, an elevated daytime population and a concentration of regionally, nationally and internationally significant organisations and facilities. Over time a number of definitions have been used to define the scope of central London for statistics, urban planning and local government.

16d   Got // into a bed, drunk (8)

17d   Settle, covering both sides // fine (3,5)

19d   Bond, maybe, // relating to urban culture? (6)

Bond Street[7] is a street in the West End of London, connecting Piccadilly in the south to Oxford Street in the north. The street has been a popular shopping area since the 18th century and is the home of many fashion outlets that sell prestigious and expensive items. [Note that it is located within the W1 postcode area (see discussion at 15d).]

Used as a modifier, street[5] denotes relating to the outlook, values, or lifestyle of those young people who are perceived as composing a fashionable urban subculture ⇒ London street style.

20d   Times boss // travelled up across centre of city (6)

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 division of News UK, a wholly owned subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

22d   Angry speech, losing one // deal (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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