Friday, November 20, 2015

Thursday, November 19, 2015 — DT 27826

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27826
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, June 12, 2015
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27826]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Deep Threat
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


For Giovanni, this is rather gentle. Of course, it would not be Giovanni if there were not a new word or two to add to one's vocabulary.

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   Naughty nude lay outside party // with no sense of shame (11)

8a   John in Scotland, after pain and deprivation, /is/ naively optimistic (11)

Ian[7] (also Iain) is a name of Scottish Gaelic origin, corresponding to English/Hebrew John.

The adjective Panglossian comes from Pangloss[5], a term for a person who is optimistic regardless of the circumstances [from the name of the tutor and philosopher in Voltaire's Candide (1759)].

11a   Bring up // what is brought up last (4)

12a   Nameless devil /in/ short protest (4)

Demo[5] is a chiefly British term for a public meeting or march protesting against something or expressing views on a political issue ⇒ a peace demo.

13a   Chaperons // expected when two knights enter (7)

"knight" = N (show explanation )

N[5] is the abbreviation for knight used in recording moves in chess [representing the pronunciation of kn-, since the initial letter k- represents 'king'].

As an aside, it is interesting to note that the Chambers 21st Century Dictionary defines: 
  • K[2] as an abbreviation used in chess for knight. 
  • K[2] is a symbol used in chess to represent a king. 
  • N[2] is a symbol used in chess to represent a knight.
The dictionary fails to specify how one differentiates an abbreviation from a symbol.

hide explanation

A duenna[5] is an older woman acting as a governess and companion in charge of girls, especially in a Spanish family; a chaperone.

15a   Birds /and/ what they catch when aboard old ship (7)

"ship" = SS (show explanation )

In Crosswordland, a ship is almost invariably a steamship, the abbreviation for which is SS[5]the SS Canberra.

hide explanation

The osprey[5] is a a large fish-eating bird of prey (Pandion haliaetus) with long, narrow wings and a white underside and crown, found throughout the world. Also called fish hawk.

16a   /It's/ within the law // to hurry on foot (5)

Leg it[5] is an informal British term meaning to:
  1. travel by foot or walk ⇒ I am part of a team legging it around London; or
  2. run away ⇒ he legged it after someone shouted at him.

Trick of the Trade
Sometimes the setter uses a complex clue structure for cryptic effect. In such clues, it is often difficult to identify the elements of the clue. I find it helps to rephrase the clue with a simpler structure. While this usually results in the destruction of the surface reading, it clarifies the cryptic interpretation.

In the present clue, despite appearing at the beginning of the clue, the word "it's" is a link word. This can be seen more clearly if we replace the complex sentence structure of the clue with a simpler one:
  • To hurry on foot /is/ within the law  (5)

17a   Hour of prayer /for/ nobody (4)

None[5] (also nones) is a service forming part of the Divine Office of the Western Christian Church, traditionally said (or chanted) at the ninth hour of the day (3 p.m.).

18a   That's a ruler -- // the ruler // hiding there! (4)

In this clue, the definition appears in a middle position rather than in one of the end positions. As discussed at 16a, it is easier to identify the elements of the clue if we simplify the structure of the clue:
  • The ruler // hiding in that's a ruler (4)
19a   Challenges // are embraced by daughter and son (5)

21a   Permit one operating /to show/ high emotion (7)

22a   Held up // legal document that contains poem (7)

A lay[5] is a short lyric or narrative poem meant to be sung ⇒ a minstrel recited a series of lays.

23a   Check // part of plant (4)

26a   Gentlemen /in/ states of agitation when losing time (4)

27a   Common soldiers // row one way and another (4,3,4)

The rank and file[5] are the ordinary members of an organization as opposed to its leaders ⇒ (i) the rank and file of the Labour Party; (ii) rank-and-file members. [referring to the ‘ranks’ and ‘files’ into which privates and non-commissioned officers form on parade]

28a   Nasty death drew on, /making one/ dejected (11)


2d   Some fine area // not a million miles away (4)

3d   Large place in Kent? // I don't think it's that wonderful! (3,4)

Deal[7] is a town in Kent, England (population 30,085 at 2011 census) which lies on the English Channel, eight miles north-east of Dover. It is a former fishing, mining and garrison town. Close to Deal is Walmer, a possible location for Julius Caesar's first arrival in Britain. Deal became a 'limb port' of the Cinque Ports in 1278 and grew into the busiest port in England; today it is a seaside resort, its quaint streets and houses the only reminder of its history. The coast of France is approximately twenty-five miles from the town and is visible on clear days.

4d   Member of family admits love // willingly (4)

"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

Soon[2] can mean readily or willingly.

5d   Start of evening and sloppy seat is // most comfortable (7)

6d   See commercial notice /giving/ charge (4)

"see" = LO (show explanation )

Lo[5] is an archaic exclamation used to draw attention to an interesting or amazing event and lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them.

hide explanation

7d   Grand spot -- it will be redeveloped /for/ a store (7,4)

8d   Treat person in trouble, /offering/ a lift (11)

In the Roman Catholic Church, the term paternoster[5] denotes:
  1. the Lord’s Prayer, especially in Latin; or
  2. any of a number of special beads occurring at regular intervals in a rosary, indicating that the Lord’s Prayer is to be recited.
A paternoster[5] (also paternoster lift) is a lift [elevator] consisting of a series of linked compartments moving continuously on an endless belt. One might guess that the name comes from the resemblance of the compartments on the belt to the beads on a rosary. On the other hand, given that one has to jump on and off the device while it is moving, the name may relate to the prayer said by passengers as they do so.

9d   Don’t give up -- /and/ don’t tell someone else to give up? (5,3,3)

10d   Sauce // maybe Arab artist put on food (11)

"artist" = RA (show explanation )

A Royal Academician (abbreviation RA[5]) is a member of the Royal Academy of Arts[5] (also Royal Academy), an institution established in London in 1768, whose purpose is to cultivate painting, sculpture, and architecture in Britain. 

hide explanation

14d   An old-fashioned thing that could get one carried away (5)

Historically, a sedan[5] (also sedan chair) was an enclosed chair for conveying one person, carried between horizontal poles by two porters.

15d   Tipsy /but/ well able to move around? (5)

19d   Cloth // suffices, sort without hem (7)

A hem is the bottom edge, so "without hem" denotes "without its bottom edge" or final letter in a down clue.

20d   Ordered // Spanish gentleman to keep feet up (4,3)

Señor[5] is a title or form of address used of or to a Spanish-speaking man, corresponding to Mr or sir ⇒ he is certain his information is correct, Señor.

24d   Thirty-one days round // part of the Emerald Isle (4)

Emerald Isle[5] is a name for Ireland.

Mayo[5] is a county in the Republic of Ireland, in the north-west in the province of Connacht; county town, Castlebar.

25d   Money put down // had to include note (4)

26d   Lose rotten // fruit (4)

Sloe[5] is:
  1. another name for the blackthorn[5], a thorny Eurasian shrub (Prunus spinosa) which bears white flowers before the leaves appear; as well as
  2. the name of the small bluish-black fruit of this plant, with a sharp sour taste. 
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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