Monday, November 23, 2015

Monday, November 23, 2015 — DT 27828

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27828
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Monday, June 15, 2015
Rufus (Roger Squires)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27828]
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 Diversions page editor at the National Post has reverted to his fast ball, electing not to skip any puzzles today.

Today's offering is a typically gentle Rufus creation.

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   Rose // taken from the garden? (3,3,2,3)

9a   Type that's rarely in bar seat (9)

10a   Chap goes to base /for/ permit (5)

11a   Home brewing accessory (6)

12a   Happy-go-lucky // benefit of the welfare state? (8)

13a   Bold // prosecutor takes on cartel (6)

In the US, a district attorney[5] (abbreviation DA) is a public official who acts as prosecutor for the state in a particular district.

15a   Elgar's composed finish is about /to be/ made bigger (8)

Scratching the Surface
Sir Edward Elgar[5] (1857–1934) was an English composer who is known particularly for the Enigma Variations (1899), the oratorio The Dream of Gerontius (1900), and for patriotic pieces such as the five Pomp and Circumstance marches (1901–30).

18a   A domestic potboiler? (8)

19a   A personage of good address (6)

21a   Needles /for/ decoration on artificial silks (8)

"order" = OBE (show explanation )

OBE[5] is the abbreviation for Officer of the Order of the British Empire.

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire[7] is the "order of chivalry of British democracy", rewarding contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations and public service outside the Civil Service. It was established in 1917 by King George V, and comprises five classes, in civil and military divisions, the most senior two of which make the recipient either a knight if male, or dame if female. There is also the related British Empire Medal, whose recipients are affiliated with, but not members of, the order.

The classes are: Knight or Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE), Knight or Dame Commander (KBE/DBE), Commander (CBE), Officer (OBE), and Member (MBE).

Appointments to the Order of the British Empire were at first made on the nomination of the self-governing Dominions of the Empire, the Viceroy of India, and the colonial governors, as well as on nominations from within the United Kingdom. As the Empire evolved into the Commonwealth, nominations continued to come from the Commonwealth realms, in which the monarch remained head of state. These overseas nominations have been discontinued in realms which have established their own Orders, such as the Order of Australia, the Order of Canada, and the New Zealand Order of Merit, but members of the Order are still appointed in the British Overseas Territories.

hide explanation

23a   When to tell all? (6)

According to Oxford Dictionaries, tell[5] is an archaic term meaning to count (the members of a group) ⇒ the shepherd had told all his sheep. Collins English Dictionary reveals that tell[10] can mean to count (votes). From The American Heritage Dictionary and the Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, we learn that tell[3,11] can mean to enumerate or count ⇒ (i) telling one's blessings; (ii) 16 windows, all told.

And, of course, as the 2Kiwis point out in Comment #4 on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, the most common usage that remains today is surely bank employees whose job it is to count money.

26a   It was in the church's interest (5)

27a   No longer with the directors, // taken to drink? (9)

The wordplay parses as OVER (no longer) + (with) BOARD (the directors).

28a   Watches // conductors (11)


1d   Gifted, // admittedly (7)

2d   Savings scheme /gives/ rising financial advantage (5)

In the UK, the acronym TESSA[5] (also Tessa) denotes a Tax-Exempt Special Saving Account allowing savers to invest a certain amount in a bank or building society with no tax to pay on the interest, provided that the capital remained in the account for five years (replaced in 1999 by the ISA [Individual Savings Account]).

3d   Dressed or nude and // natural (9)

4d   Has // grown strangely partial (4)

5d   Cheap items // don't allow profits (8)

6d   Sea-going duck (5)

Sir Francis Drake[5] (circa 1540–1596) was an English sailor and explorer. He was the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe (1577–80), in his ship the Golden Hind. He played an important part in the defeat of the Spanish Armada.

7d   Neat attendant (7)

Neat[5] is an archaic term for a bovine animal or, as a mass noun, cattle.

I initially plumped for RANCHER which caused me all kinds of difficulties in the northeast corner until I discovered my error.

8d   Perfect exam performance -- /or/ just fair? (3,5)

14d   Gambling game /using/ rent in the course of journey (8)

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 [apartment] to a tenant; (ii) they’ve let out their house. [I doubt this word is as British as Oxford Dictionaries would have us believe.]

16d   Willing? /That's/ nice (9)

17d   Devourer of knowledge (8)

18d   One of the toasts that may be offered with a meal (7)

The clue specifies "one of the toasts" since a hostess would almost certainly never offer only one to a guest.

20d   Lives /in/ dress -- i.e. being slovenly (7)

22d   It holds the unloved Emperor // motionless (5)

"The unloved Emperor" is "the Emperor without love".

Nero[5] (AD 37-68) was Roman emperor 54-68; full name Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus. Infamous for his cruelty, he wantonly executed leading Romans. His reign witnessed a fire which destroyed half of Rome in 64.

"love" = O (show explanation )

In tennis, squash, and some other sports, love[5] is a score of zero or nil ⇒ love fifteen. The resemblance of a zero written as a numeral (0) to the letter O leads to the cryptic crossword convention of the word "love" being used to clue this letter.

Although folk etymology has connected the word with French l'oeuf 'egg', from the resemblance in shape between an egg and a zero, the term apparently comes from the phrase play for love (i.e. the love of the game, not for money).

hide explanation

24d   What most men have to do /in/ quiet way (5)

25d   Yank // that's involved in weightlifting (4)

In weightlifting, the term jerk[5] denotes the raising of a barbell above the head from shoulder level by an abrupt straightening of the arms and legs, typically as the second part of a clean and jerk.

The clean and jerk[5] is a weightlifting exercise in which a weight is raised above the head following an initial lift to shoulder level.
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. Thanks for the explications. I thought "jerk" referred to the dumbbells lifting barbells.

    Upper reaches of two stars and loads of fun. I love Rufus's cryptic definitions.

    1. Cryptic definitions happen to be my favourite type of clue and Rufus is the acknowledged master of that genre. I am always disappointed when the National Post decides to skip the "Monday" puzzle.