Friday, November 6, 2015

Friday, November 6, 2015 — DT 27815

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27815
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, May 30, 2015
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27815 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27815 – Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave (Hints)
crypticsue (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
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.


Although I didn't find this puzzle overly difficult, it would appear that it was even less of a chore across the pond.

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   Uncensored // clip circulated during leave (8)

5a   Class mostly argue, /giving one/ grief (6)

10a   Valets have first orders /in/ service (7,8)

A harvest festival[5] is a celebration of the annual harvest, especially (in Britain) one held in schools and as a service in Christian churches, to which gifts of food are brought for the poor ⇒ an old dark church, full of leftovers from the harvest festival.

11a   Dish /is/ too much in centre of St-Tropez (7)

OTT[5] (short for over the top) is an informal British expression denoting excessive or exaggerated ⇒ presenting him as a goalscoring Superman seems a bit OTT.

Risotto[5] is an Italian dish of rice cooked in stock with ingredients such as vegetables and meat or seafood.

Scratching the Surface
St-Tropez[5] is a fishing port and resort on the Mediterranean coast of southern France, south-west of Cannes; population 5,690 (2006).

12a   Long letter /from/ learner having entered English course (7)

"learner" = L (show explanation )

The cryptic crossword convention of L meaning learner or student arises from the L-plate[7], a square plate bearing a sans-serif letter L, for learner, which must be affixed to the front and back of a vehicle in various countries (including the UK) if its driver is a learner under instruction.

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A piste[1] is a beaten track, especially a ski trail in the snow.

13a   Detergent // son used inside daily (8)

Daily[5] (also daily help) is a dated British term for a woman who is employed to clean someone else’s house each day.

15a   Alacrity /shown by/ the man crossing a street (5)

It may be somewhat of a stretch to equate alacrity with haste. Most dictionaries define alacrity[2] along the lines of quick and cheerful enthusiasm although some broaden the definition of alacrity[1] to be briskness, cheerful readiness, or promptness.

18a   A great number outside uranium // plant (5)

The symbol for the chemical element uranium is U[5].

The lotus[5] is either of two large water lilies:
  1. (also called sacred lotus) a red-flowered Asian lily (Nelumbo nucifera) regarded as sacred in Asia;
  2. (also called Egyptian lotus) a lily regarded as sacred in ancient Egypt (the white-flowered Nymphaea lotus and the blue-flowered Nymphaea caerulea).
20a   At university, have stimulated a liberal // revolution (8)

In Britain, up[5] means at or to a university, especially Oxford or Cambridge ⇒ they were up at Cambridge about the same time.

"liberal" = L (show explanation )

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.

Although Lib. may be the more common abbreviation for the Liberal Party in Britain—likely to distinguish it from the the Labour Party[5] (abbreviation Lab.[5])—Chambers 21st Century Dictionary indicates that L[2] may also be used.

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23a   New leader, // fiery type (7)

25a   Attend service // with other ranks on liner, perhaps (7)

"other ranks" = OR (show explanation )

In the British armed forces, the term other ranks[5] (abbreviation OR[5]) refers to all those who are not commissioned officers.

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26a   Plain /and/ pistachio nuts ordered by editor (15)

27a   Starving /in/ country area disregarded (6)

28a   Poet, // more humorous, capturing hearts (8)

John Greenleaf Whittier[5] (1807–1892) was an American poet and abolitionist. He is best known for his poems on rural themes, especially ‘Snow-Bound’ (1866).


1d   Strongly advise // her to, if upset about kiss (6)

The letter "X"[5] is commonly used in a letter or message to symbolize a kiss.

2d   Cheese /and/ wine celebration cut short (4,5)

Port Salut[5] is a pale, mild type of cheese named after the Trappist monastery in France where it was first produced.

3d   Lethargy // in a tie arranged round end of year (7)

4d   Opening bars // from Barbarin, trombonist (5)

Scratching the Surface
Lucien Barbarin[5] is an American trombone player from New Orleans, Louisiana who tours internationally with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and with Harry Connick, Jr.

6d   East German -- wealthy // person who refuses to recognise reality (7)

Ost[8] is the German word for east.

7d   Bolt, // foremost of runners I check out (5)

Scratching the Surface
Usain Bolt[5] is a Jamaican sprinter. At the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing he won gold medals in the 100 metre and 200 metre races, setting a new world record time for each. He defended his Olympic titles in 2012, winning gold in the 100 metre and 200 metre races.

8d   Irish writer, the old dramatist, initially // staring in a demented way (4-4)

Oscar Wilde[5] (1854–1900) was an Irish dramatist, novelist, poet, and wit; full name Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde. His advocacy of ‘art for art’s sake’ is evident in his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890). As a dramatist he achieved success with the comedies Lady Windermere’s Fan (1892) and The Importance of Being Earnest (1895). Wilde was imprisoned (1895-7) for homosexual offences and died in exile.

9d   Inquiry // about small new care home's beginning (8)

14d   Private // side subtly restricts one sibling in four (8)

Squaddie[5] (also squaddy) is an informal British term for a private soldier.

As an anagram indicator, subtle[5] [with the adverbial form, subtly, being used in this case] likely denotes arranged in an ingenious and elaborate way.

16d   What one may wind up eating? (9)

You wind it up on a fork — often in the bowl of a spoon — to eat it.

17d   Notwithstanding // some original thoughts (8)

19d   Night train // agent, inactive (7)

A sleeper[5] is a train carrying sleeping cars ⇒ (i) we were waiting for the Inverness-London sleeper; (ii) a sleeper train.

A sleeper[5] (also sleeper agent) is a secret agent who remains inactive for a long period while establishing a secure position ⇒ a KGB plot to uncover his sleepers.

21d   Fruit // pair stupidly put on bed (7)

22d   Spinner // quietly stopping team getting runs (6)

"quiet" = P (show explanation )

Piano[3,5] (abbreviation p[5]), is a musical direction meaning either (as an adjective) soft or quiet or (as an adverb) softly or quietly.

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"runs" = R (show explanation )

On cricket scorecards [not to mention baseball scoreboards], the abbreviation R[5] denotes run(s).

In cricket, a run[5] is a unit of scoring achieved by hitting the ball so that both batsmen are able to run between the wickets, or awarded in some other circumstances.

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24d   Heartless Teddy boy /becomes/ boxing champ (5)

Teddy boy[5] is a British term originally applied to a young man belonging to a subculture in 1950s Britain characterized by a style of dress based on Edwardian fashion (typically with drainpipe trousers, bootlace tie, and hair slicked up in a quiff (show explanation ) and a liking for rock-and-roll music.The name comes from from Teddy, pet form of the given name Edward (with reference to Edward VII's reign). Judging by the entry in the Chambers 21st Century Dictionary, it would appear that the term Teddy boy[2] is now applied to any unruly or rowdy adolescent male.

Quiff[3,4] is a chiefly British term for a prominent tuft of hair, especially one brushed up above the forehead.

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Mike Tyson[5] is an American boxer. He became undisputed world heavyweight champion in 1987, winning the WBA, WBC, and IBF titles. He was imprisoned in 1992 for rape; after his release in 1995 he reclaimed the WBC and WBA titles in the following year. His 1997 fight with Evander Holyfield ended when Tyson was disqualified for dining on Holyfield's ear.[7]

25d   Keep an eye on // wife at church (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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