Monday, November 30, 2015

Monday, November 30, 2015 — DT 27835

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27835
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Unknown — but quite possibly Petitjean (John Pidgeon)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27835]
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 27833 and DT 27834 which were published in The Daily Telegraph on Saturday, June 20, 2015 and Monday, June 22, 2015.


The Diversions page editor at the National Post has done it again, skipping a couple of puzzles. Will I ever learn? Of course, if I were to skip a couple of puzzles next week, you can be assured that none would be skipped in the paper.

Today's puzzle is surely the stiffest challenge we have faced in a long, long time. Even Gazza has awarded it four stars for difficulty. While the setter has not been positively identified, the consensus choice is Petitjean (John Pidgeon). He is known for setting clues that require a great deal of lateral thinking — or, in Gazza's turn of phrase "we need a slightly mad hat on to solve the puzzle". This is a phrase that one frequently sees being applied to Petitjean on Big Dave's Crossword Blog. Gazza has interpreted clue 25d as an acknowledging of this by the setter.

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.


5a   For instance, going about a quiet // walk in a showy way (6)

8a   Rosy /is/ sober having downed half of stout (8)

Guinness[7] is an Irish dry stout that originated in the brewery of Arthur Guinness (1725–1803) at St. James's Gate, Dublin. Not only is it the best-selling alcoholic drink in Ireland, it is brewed in almost 60 countries worldwide and is available in over 120. Despite its close association with Ireland, the company's headquarters has been located in London since 1932. In 1997, it merged with Grand Metropolitan to form the multinational alcoholic drinks producer Diageo.

9a   Chorale needs arrangement // that's extremely infectious (7)

10a   Celebrate // making it out of Essex to Lancashire (5)

Scratching the Surface
Essex[5] is a county of southeastern England; county town, Chelmsford.

Lancashire[5] is a county of northwestern England, on the Irish Sea; administrative centre, Preston.

11a   Ideas came free /in/ places of learning (9)

13a   Spanish red wine poured over bit of cereal -- // attack with vigour (4,4)

Tinto[5] is Spanish or Portuguese red wine.

14a   Wail /for/ guys being muscle-bound (6)

In bodybuilding, lat[5] (usually lats) is an informal term for a latissimus muscle [a large muscle in the lower back] ⇒ the proper exercises for developing the lats.

17a   Old man is missing by // centre (3)

19a   Dismiss the odds of friend /becoming/ communist (3)

20a   Beginnings /of/ Rolling Stones (6)

Scratching the Surface
The Rolling Stones[5] are an English rock group featuring singer Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards. Originally a rhythm-and-blues band, they became successful with a much-imitated rebel image, and are known for songs such as ‘Satisfaction’ (1965) and ‘Jumping Jack Flash’ (1968).

23a   I am explosive, with discontented night // approaching (8)

26a   Prince briefly holding back-to-back recordings -- on one /there's/ hot stuff (9)

"recording" = EP (show explanation )

EP[10] (abbreviation for extended-play) is one of the formats in which music is sold, usually comprising four or five tracks.

hide explanation

28a   Message, small, delivered in double time (5)

Wee[5] is a chiefly Scottish adjective meaning little ⇒ (i) when I was just a wee bairn; (ii) the lyrics are a wee bit too sweet and sentimental. The word may be of Scottish origin but, like the Scots themselves, the word has migrated around the world.

29a   Third-rank rugby players // bet on racket (4,3)

(Click to enlarge)
The positions on a rugby team[7] are divided into forwards and backs.The forwards are further divided into a front row, a second row and a back row.

30a   Farah to increase // power (8)

Mo Farah[5] is a British long-distance runner, born in Somalia; full name Mohamed Farah. He won the Olympic gold medal for both the 5,000 metres and the 10,000 metres in 2012.

31a   Nice pad // -- downsized chez Lynam? (3,3)

Des res[5] is an informal British term for a desirable residence (used as a humorous allusion to the language used in housing advertisements) ⇒ they are converting a Victorian schoolhouse into a des res.

Des Lynam[7] is an Irish-born British television and radio presenter [announcer or host] based in the UK. In a broadcasting career spanning more than 40 years, he has hosted television coverage of many of the world's major sporting events as well as presenting other non-sporting programmes. He also presented programmes on BBC Radio.

Scratching the Surface
The clue is clearly intended to direct the solver's attention to an abode in Nice[5], a resort city on the French Riviera, near the border with Italy; population 348,721 (2007).

What did he say?
In his review, Gazza refers to ... estate agents' jargon ....
Estate agent[5] is the British term for real estate agent[5].


1d   Lock up after a // protest (6)

Protest[5] is used in the sense of to declare (something) firmly and emphatically in response to doubt or accusation ⇒ (i) ‘I’m not being coy!’ Lucy protested; (ii) she has always protested her innocence.

2d   Rather // badly stained (7)

3d   Controversial engagement event one might expect in Birmingham shopping centre? (9)

The Bull Ring[7] is a major commercial area of Birmingham [England]. It has been an important feature of Birmingham since the Middle Ages, when its market was first held. Two shopping centres have been built in the area; in the 1960s, and then in 2003; the latter is styled as one word, Bullring.

4d   Throw // buns -- eating the majority (6)

5d   Some say 'Scrap Christmas // programming' (8)

To some, the solution sounds like (say) SHED (scrap) + YULE (Christmas). However, for those who pronounce the 'c' in "schedule", not so much.

6d   Males tormented // witches once here (5)

Salem[5] is a city and port in northeastern Massachusetts, on the Atlantic coast north of Boston; population 41,256 (est. 2008). First settled in 1626, it was the scene in 1692 of a notorious series of witchcraft trials.

7d   On the same wavelength -- /and/ about to be accepted by getting on (8)

You must be tuned to a British wavelength for this clue to work. Use the British spelling ageing[5] rather than the US spelling aging.

12d   Demure // lure of French is absent (3)

"of French" = DE (show explanation )

In French, de[8] is a preposition meaning 'of'' or 'from'.

hide explanation

15d   Reckoning guards caught // habit (9)

"caught" = C (show explanation )

In cricket, similar to baseball, one way for a batsman to be dismissed is to be caught out[5], that is for a player on the opposing team to catch a ball that has been hit by the batsman before it touches the ground.

On cricket scorecards, the abbreviation c.[2,10] or c[5] denotes caught or caught by.

hide explanation

16d   Too young /to be/ pinching booty, ignoring personal boundaries (5-3)

18d   Mercenary // Conservative avoids American questioning (8)

"Conservative" = C (show explanation )

The abbreviation for Conservative may be either C.[10] or Con.[10].

hide explanation

21d   Eat interminably, /making/ loud noise (3)

22d   With slight disorder, been getting healthy -- /that's/ a perk (7)

24d   Daily // Echo (6)

The Daily Mirror[7] (informally The Mirror) is a British national daily tabloid newspaper which was founded in 1903.

Scratching the Surface
The Daily Echo[7] is the name of two daily tabloid newspapers in southern England:
  • the Bournemouth Daily Echo covers south-east Dorset;
  • the Southern Daily Echo covers Southampton and Hampshire, excluding Portsmouth.

25d   Hat -- no tat! (6)

I would classify this clue as a cryptic definition of the type in which a straight definition (hat) is accompanied by a bit of cryptic elaboration (the portion of the clue with the dashed underline).

Titfer[5] [abbreviation of rhyming slang tit for tat] is an informal British term for a hat.

Delving Deeper
Rhyming slang[5] is a type of slang that replaces words with rhyming words or phrases, typically with the rhyming element omitted. For example butcher’s, short for butcher’s hook, means ‘look’ in Cockney rhyming slang.

Scratching the Surface
Tat[5] is an informal British term for tasteless or shoddy clothes, jewellery, or ornaments ⇒ the place was decorated with all manner of gaudy tat.

27d   Ashes could be reinvigorated with this // game (5)

Scratching the Surface
The surface reading is designed to draw the solver's attention to cricket — of course, presuming that the solver is knowledgeable about cricket.

The Ashes[10] is a cremated cricket stump in a pottery urn now preserved at Lord's [a cricket ground in London, England]. Victory or defeat in Test matches (show explanation ) between England and Australia is referred to as winning, losing, or retaining the Ashes.

A Test match[5] is an international cricket or rugby match, typically one of a series, played between teams representing two different countries ⇒ the Test match between Pakistan and the West Indies.

hide explanation

The concept of The Ashes originated in a satirical obituary published in a British newspaper, The Sporting Times, immediately after Australia's 1882 victory at The Oval [a cricket ground in London, England], their first Test win on English soil. The obituary stated that English cricket had died, and the body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia.

The mythical ashes immediately became associated with the 1882–83 series played in Australia, before which the English captain Ivo Bligh had vowed to "regain those ashes". The English media therefore dubbed the tour the quest to regain the Ashes.
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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