Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 — DT 27812

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27812
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Jay (Jeremy Mutch)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27812]
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


This puzzle put up more resistance than I would expect from one with a two-star rating. However, I did very much enjoy the struggle.

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   Besieged by left of centre, // cowered (7)

5a   Companies that perform // use port for processing (7)

9a   An unsociable person // like this must welcome a couple of daughters (5)

Here "like this" means "so" as in ⇒ you will never satisfy her unless you do it just so.

Saddo[5] is an informal British term for a person perceived as contemptible or pathetically inadequate ⇒ girly mags were for middle-aged saddos, not for right-on young men.

10a   Drinks with chief // parliamentarian? (9)

A Roundhead[5] was a member or supporter of the Parliamentary party in the English Civil War (the war between Charles I and his Parliamentary opponents, 1642-9). They were so named because of the short-cropped hairstyle of the Puritans, who formed an important element in the party.

11a   Rise includes state benefit /for/ juvenile (10)

12a   Crowns /for/ men with no teeth at last! (4)

Chap[5] is an informal British [although well-travelled, I would say] term for a man or a boy he sounded like a nice, caring sort of chap.

14a   The best // unemployed ringside assistant? (6-2-4)

A second[5] is an assistant, in particular an attendant assisting a combatant in a duel or boxing match.

18a   Is clothed simply /in/ petticoats? (12)

Although the 2Kiwis do not show it as such, I would say that this is definitely a double definition with underdress[10] being a synonym for underclothing.

21a   How to attach // collar? (4)

22a   Beryl/'s/ answer as member of the army at sea (10)

The conjunction qua[5] means in the capacity of or as being ⇒ shareholders qua members may be under obligations to the company.

The Royal Marines[5] (abbreviation RM)[5] is a British armed service (part of the Royal Navy) founded in 1664, trained for service at sea, or on land under specific circumstances.

Beryl[5] is a transparent pale green, blue, or yellow mineral consisting of a silicate of beryllium and aluminium, sometimes used as a gemstone.

Aquamarine[5] is a precious stone consisting of a light bluish-green variety of beryl.

The clue parses as A (answer) + QUA (as) + MARINE (member of the army at sea).

25a   Lacking purpose, // so slept around, ringing home (9)

26a   Fool mostly getting millions /for/ a turn of phrase (5)

27a   When /to get/ working in miserly environment? (7)

The word "when" is nothing but an indeterminate point in time. As the 2Kiwis say in their review, there are "myriad possible answers to the question ‘When?’". Your quest is to find the single needle in the haystack that satisfies the wordplay.

28a   Stress // is reversed in joint projection (7)

A tenon[5] is a projecting piece of wood made for insertion into a mortise in another piece ⇒ a mortise and tenon joint.


1d   Accidental // case of toxicity rejected by A&E (6)

A & E[5] (accident and emergency) is the British term for the Emergency Department in a hospital ⇒ (i) a nurse at work told me I should go to A & E; (ii) an A & E department.

2d   Popular affair with men // over the threshold (6)

"men" = 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.

hide explanation

I suppose "over the threshold" could refer to either entering or leaving an abode. However, I relate the term to the manner in which a groom traditionally introduces his bride to their new home by carrying her across (or over) the threshold. This is an act of coming indoors, not going outdoors.

3d   Bush -- // a person not wanted by lovers (10)

Gooseberry[5] is an informal British term for a third person in the company of two people, especially lovers, who would prefer to be alone ⇒ they didn’t want me playing gooseberry on their first date. The term comes from gooseberry-picker, referring to an activity used as a pretext for the lovers to be together.

4d   Greek // party on right in charge? (5)

"in charge" = IC (show explanation )

The abbreviation i/c[5] can be short for either
  1. (especially in military contexts) in charge of ⇒ the Quartermaster General is i/c rations; or
  2. in command ⇒ 2 i/c = second in command.
hide explanation

The adjective Doric[5] means relating to the ancient Greek dialect of the Dorians.

Behind the Picture
In their review, the 2Kiwis illustrate the clue with a picture of  the second Temple of Hera[7] in Paestrum, Italy highlighting its Doric columns.

As an architectural term, Doric[5] means relating to or denoting a classical order of architecture characterized by a sturdy fluted column and a thick square abacus resting on a rounded moulding.

5d   Beef dish // done badly during trips? (9)

A tournedos[5] is a small round thick cut from a fillet of beef.

6d   The likelihood /of/ finding double D in outsize? (4)

"outsize" = OS (show explanation )

The sizes of clothing that North Americans would describe as plus-size[7] (or often big and tall in the case of men's clothing) would be called outsize (abbreviation OS[5]) in Britain.

hide explanation

7d   Carry on raising a sound of disapproval /for/ game (8)

Keep[5] means to continue or cause to continue in a specified condition, position, course, etc. ⇒ keep left along the wall.

8d   Slow to lose depression, despite changing // skirt (8)

13d   Self-control /of/ Government department on European limit (10)

In the UK, MOD[5] is the abbreviation for Ministry of Defence.

15d   Countries regularly suppressing mission // when needed (2,7)

16d   How to get tips, evidently, /for/ cooker on fire? (8)

The wordplay is a bit of inverse wordplay — to be precise, an inverse reversal. The solution to the clue when split (4,4) could be a reversal (turn) of SPIT producing "tips" which appears in the clue itself. That is, to get TIPS, you turn (reverse) SPIT. Many observers call such a construction reverse wordplay. However, I prefer the term inverse wordplay (which parallels the concept of inverse functions in mathematics). I think the term inverse is especially appropriate today, as "inverse reversal" is a far more elegant term than "reverse reversal".

A turnspit[10] is:
  1. (historically) a servant or small dog whose job was to turn the spit on which meat, poultry, etc, was roasting; or
  2. a spit that can be so turned.
17d   Dependence with no source of codeine // supplement (8)

19d   Book on family wearing football team // gear for beach (6)

Eleven[5] is the number of players on a cricket[7] side or an Association football[7] [soccer] team — and is often used as a metonym for such a team ⇒ at cricket I played in the first eleven.

20d   Reporter/'s/ line, for example, on staff (3-3)

Legman[3,4,5,10,11] (or leg-man[1,2]) is a North American term for a reporter whose job it is to gather information about news stories at the scene of the event or from an original source.

23d   Agree dropping name /is/ a plus (5)

24d   Tourist agency must cover // such a party (4)
Key to Reference Sources: 

[1]   - The Chambers Dictionary, 11th Edition
[2]   - Search Chambers - (Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)
[3]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (American Heritage Dictionary)
[4]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (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] - CollinsDictionary.com (Collins English Dictionary)
[11] - TheFreeDictionary.com (Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary)
Signing off for today — Falcon


  1. 3 1/2 stars difficulty for me, due to the many obscure Briticisms.

    Agree that 18a is a double -def, but only if you add "ed" to your solution and underline "in" along with "petticoats. In other words, "in petticoats" could mean "underdressed".

    1. Yes, "in petticoats" could mean "underdressed", but then the first definition fails to hold. "Underdressed" would be merely "clothed simply" -- not "is clothed simply". Besides, underdresses are underclothing -- which is what petticoats are.