Monday, December 14, 2015

Monday, December 14, 2015 — DT 27850

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27850
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, July 10, 2015
Setter
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27850]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Deep Threat
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★ Enjoyment - ★★★
Falcon's Experience
┌────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┐
██████████████████████████████████
└────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┘
Legend:
- 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
Notes
The National Post has skipped DT 27849 which was published in The Daily Telegraph on Thursday, July 9, 2015.

Introduction

I filled in all the lights (the light-coloured cells in the grid) in this puzzle but ended up with one incorrect solution.

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.

Across

1a   Gone With the Wind? /It gets one/ enthralled (5,2,5)

9a   Governor of fortress // imprisons woman in metal container (9)

Castellan[5] is a historical term for the governor of a castle.

10a   Girl/'s/ plants (5)

11a   First of exams -- fail /or/ pass? (6)

12a   Exaggerate, /making/ point and lie naughtily (4,2,2)

Pile it on[5] is an informal expression meaning to exaggerate the seriousness of a situation for effect.

13a   Element /of/ Society given blame (6)

Sodium[5] (symbol Na) is the chemical element of atomic number 11, a soft silver-white reactive metal of the alkali-metal group.

For a musical run through of the periodic table, check out the video in Deep Threat's review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog.

15a   Concert is to be attended by the Queen -- // I give guarantee (8)

Promenade concert[5] (prom[5] or Prom for short) is a British term for a concert of classical music at which a part of the audience stands in an area without seating, for which tickets are sold at a reduced price. The most famous series of such concerts [to which Deep Threat alludes in his review] is the annual BBC Promenade Concerts (known as the Proms), instituted by Sir Henry Wood in 1895.

"the Queen" = ER (show explanation )

The regnal ciphers (monograms) of British monarchs are initials formed from the Latin version of their first name followed by either Rex or Regina (Latin for king or queen, respectively). Thus, the regnal cipher of Queen Elizabeth is ER[5] — from the Latin Elizabetha Regina.

hide explanation

18a   Infatuated /with/ best man, harbouring love (8)

"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

19a   Gangster, old man, 100, and a // beast (6)

Al Capone[5] (1899–1947) was an American gangster of Italian descent. He dominated organized crime in Chicago in the 1920s and was indirectly responsible for many murders, including the St Valentine’s Day Massacre.

21a   Loose change // somehow helps a neighbour totally emptied out (8)

As a solution, I had STRIPPED which could mean "totally emptied out" such as an apartment stripped of furnishings.

Of course, I had absolutely no idea how to explain the wordplay. But, then again, nothing else seemed even remotely plausible.

Shrapnel[1,5] is an informal [British, by any chance?] term for loose change or small change ⇒ little more than a few pounds [British currency] and a handful of shrapnel.

23a   Socialist joining a party /is/ idolised (6)

26a   Doctor, female ending /in/ robe? (5)

27a   Provider of treatment -- // his patter is phoney (9)

28a   A craftsperson of excellent character (12)

Down

1d   Maybe watches // teachers marking good homework? (7)

2d   Cereal /that's been/ put in sink -- a shame! (5)

Kasha[5] (from Russian) means
  1. (in Russia and Poland) porridge made from cooked buckwheat or similar grain; or
  2. uncooked buckwheat groats.
3d   Requires grape juice for fermentation? /That's/ unavoidable (5,4)

Must[5] is grape juice before or during fermentation.

Needs[5] is an archaic term denoting 'of necessity' as in the phrases:
  1. must needs (or needs must) do something meaning cannot avoid or cannot help doing something ⇒ they must needs depart;
  2. needs must meaning it is or was necessary or unavoidable ⇒ if needs must, they will eat any food; or
  3. needs must when the Devil drives, a proverb meaning sometimes you have to do something you would rather not.
4d   You will // shout (4)

5d   African city // spicier with sun going down (8)

Tangiers is an alternative name for Tangier[5], a seaport on the northern coast of Morocco, on the Strait of Gibraltar commanding the western entrance to the Mediterranean; population 762,583 (2004). Portuguese from the end of the 15th century, Tangier was ruled by the sultan of Morocco 1684–1904, when it came under international control; it passed to the newly independent monarchy of Morocco in 1956.

6d   Search /for/ weapon (5)

7d   Foreign lady // to study an old-fashioned savings scheme (8)

Con[5] is an archaic term meaning to study attentively or learn by heart (a piece of writing)  ⇒ the girls conned their pages with a great show of industry.

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 (show explanation ) 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]).

Building society[5] is a British term for a financial organization which pays interest on investments by its members and lends capital for the purchase or improvement of houses.

Building societies originally developed as non-profit-making cooperative societies from friendly societies (see below). Since 1986 changes in legislation have allowed them to offer banking and other facilities, and some have become public limited companies.

In the UK, a friendly society[5] is a mutual association providing sickness benefits, life assurance, and pensions. The term was originally the name of a particular fire-insurance company operating circa 1700.

hide explanation

A contessa[5] is an Italian countess.

Delving Deeper
A countess[5] is:
  1. the wife or widow of a count [foreign (to a Brit) nobleman] or earl [British nobleman]; or
  2. a woman holding the rank of count or earl in her own right.
A count[5] is a foreign [from a British perspective] nobleman whose rank corresponds to that of an earl.

An earl[5] is a British nobleman ranking above a viscount and below a marquess [the third highest of the five ranks of British nobility — duke, marquess, earl, viscount, and baron].

8d   The way // police district gets reported (6)

Manor[5] (one's manor) is an informal British term denoting the district covered by a police station ⇒ they were the undisputed rulers of their manor.

14d   Rest stupidly in activity, /getting/ left behind (8)

16d   Play /that could have/ maiden alarmed, terribly, about nothing (9)

"maiden"  = M (show explanation )

In cricket, a maiden[5], also known as a maiden over and denoted on cricket scorecards by the abbreviation M[5], is an over in which no runs are scored.

In cricket, an over[5] is a division of play consisting of a sequence of six balls bowled by a bowler from one end of the pitch, after which another bowler takes over from the other end. On cricket scorecards, the abbreviation O[5] denotes over(s).

hide explanation

17d   Support // exercise that gets good person into business arrangement (8)

"exercise" = PE (show explanation )

PE[5] is the abbreviation for physical education [or Phys Ed, as it was known in my school days]. 

hide explanation

18d   Against // second XI, by the sound of it? (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.

B[1] is a designation indicating lesser importance, secondary billing, etc such as the B-side of a record or a B -movie [or the B side of a sports club].

Delving Deeper
Side[5] is a British term for a sports team ⇒ there was a mixture of old and young players in their side. [Note that a player is "in a side" rather than "on a team" as one would say in North America]

In North America, the term side[3] is used in a very general fashion that can denote one of two or more opposing individuals, groups, teams, or sets of opinions. While this same general usage would seem to exist as well in the UK, the term side[5] is also used there in a much more specific sense to mean a sports team, as we can clearly see from the following usage examples ⇒ (i) Previous England rugby sides, and England teams in many other sports, would have crumbled under the weight of such errors.; (ii) They'll face better sides than this Monaco team, but you can only beat what's put in front of you.

20d   Accountant /gets/ old penny, it being edged with gold? Gold! (7)

"gold" = AU (show explanation )

The symbol for the chemical element gold is Au[5] (from Latin aurum).

hide explanation

"gold" = OR (show explanation )

Or[5] is gold or yellow, as a heraldic tincture.

hide explanation

In the British currency system used prior to Decimal Day[7] (February 15, 1971 [the date on which Britain converted to a decimal currency system]), a penny[5] was equal to one twelfth of a shilling or 240th of a pound (and was abbreviated d, for denarius).

22d   Food /from/ yesteryear on middle of plate (5)

PAST could be clued by either "yesteryear" (if considered to be a noun) or "from yesteryear" (if deemed to be an adjective).

24d   State of Germany // contributed to by murderer Eichmann (5)

Reich[5] (German for empire) is the former German state, most often used to refer to the Third Reich, the Nazi regime from 1933 to 1945. The First Reich was considered to be the Holy Roman Empire, 962–1806, and the Second Reich the German Empire, 1871–1918, but neither of these terms is part of normal historical terminology.

Scratching the Surface
Adolf Eichmann[5] (1906–1962) was a German Nazi administrator who was responsible for administering the concentration camps. In 1960 he was traced by Israeli agents and executed after trial in Israel.

25d   Composer /offers/ something very cold (4)

Alban Berg[5] (1885–1935) was an Austrian composer, a leading exponent of twelve-note composition. Notable works: the operas Wozzeck (1914–21) and Lulu (1928–35) and his violin concerto (1935).
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

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