Monday, December 21, 2015

Monday, December 21, 2015 — DT 27859

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27859
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27859]
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 27858 which was published in The Daily Telegraph on Monday, July 20, 2015.


I didn't find this quite the walk in the park that Gazza reports as his experience. The lower half fell into place quite quickly once I arrived there. I then had to exercise the grey matter a bit on the upper half.

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   Row /as/ spaceship advanced for oxygen (6)

"advanced: = A (show explanation )

In the UK (with the exception of Scotland), A level[5] (advanced level[5]) is a qualification in a specific subject typically taken by school students aged 16-18, at a level above GCSE[5] (General Certificate of Secondary Education).

hide explanation

O[5] is the symbol for the chemical element oxygen.

4a   Page in small book /shows/ butter knife, for example (8)

9a   Shrewd to include an // early king of England (6)

Canute[5] (also Cnut or Knut) (D.1035) was a Danish king of England 1017–35, Denmark 1018–35, and Norway 1028–35, son of Sweyn I. He is remembered for demonstrating to fawning courtiers his inability to stop the rising tide; this has become distorted in folklore to suggest that Canute really expected to turn back the tide.

10a   Sprang up to deliver // receptacle for flowers, as trophy? (8)

In cricket, bowl[5] means (for a bowler) to propel [or deliver] (the ball) with a straight arm towards the batsman, typically in such a way that the ball bounces once.

A rosebowl[1,10] (or rose bowl[5]) is a decorative bowl for displaying roses.

I thought that trophy might be a second definition — similar to 6d where I think we may have two definitions. However, I could find no evidence of a rosebowl (or even a rose bowl) being given as a trophy in any major event (although I suspect that somewhere, sometime, someone has likely received a rosebowl as a trophy). As for the Rose Bowl college football game played every New Year's Day in Pasadena, California, the name refers to the stadium and not to the trophy (which is shown to the right). Besides, as Gazza has pointed out, the spelling does not match the numeration in the clue.

Perhaps "trophy" refers to the roses as cut flowers which are displayed in much the same way that a big game hunter or angler would mount and display a prized specimen.

11a   Chap, one I transported across island /in/ ancient land (9)

Phoenicia[5] was an ancient country on the shores of the eastern Mediterranean, corresponding to modern Lebanon and the coastal plains of Syria. It consisted of a number of city states, including Tyre and Sidon, and was a flourishing centre of Mediterranean trade and colonization during the early part of the 1st millennium BC.

Scratching the Surface
Chap[5] is a [well-travelled] informal British term for a man or a boy he sounded like a nice, caring sort of chap.

13a   Correspond /with/ supporter after end of test (5)

14a   Put off speech about one /in/ decline (13)

17a   Learn about what is going on round a track /and/ avoid being caught (3,4,4,2)

21a   Some from a hallowed // place in Nebraska (5)

Omaha[5] is a city in eastern Nebraska, on the Missouri River; population 438,646 (est. 2008).

23a   Ran estate in eccentric way /breeding/ aardvarks, say (9)

The aardvark[5] (Orycteropus afer) is a nocturnal badger-sized burrowing mammal of Africa, with long ears, a tubular snout, and a long extensible tongue, feeding on ants and termites. Also called antbear.

As a link word, breeding[5] has the sense of producing or leading to (something) over a period of time ⇒ success had bred a certain arrogance.

24a   One who judges // animals, tailless kind (8)

25a   Put a stop to // hoax? Endless nonsense (6)

26a   Wall hanging // records trial (8)

27a   Free Turkish commander back in Moroccan port (6)

In the Ottoman Empire, aga[10] (or agha) could have been either (1) a title of respect, often used with the title of a senior position or (2) a military commander.


1d   Instructions: /put/ boiled rice on edges of plate (6)

2d   A leader in Turkey supporting deception over line /in/ pact (9)

A concordat[5] is an agreement or treaty, especially one between the Vatican and a secular government relating to matters of mutual interest ⇒ Napoleon I’s concordat with the papacy.

3d   Put out // mischievous text about elected Conservative (7)

"Conservative" = C (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

Extinct[5] is used in the sense of no longer alight ⇒ his now extinct pipe.

5d   Leading player // waving to organist after start of pastorale (11)

A protagonist[5] is the leading character or one of the major characters in a play, film, novel, etc. ⇒ (i) the novel’s main protagonist is an American intelligence officer; (ii) the hard-boiled protagonist of the movie Blade Runner.

Scratching the Surface
In music, a pastorale[5] is:
  1. a slow instrumental composition in compound time, usually with drone notes in the bass ⇒ the pastorales in Handel’s Messiah and Corelli’s Christmas Concerto; or
  2. a simple musical play with a rural subject ⇒ these two short pastorales are considered the earliest true operas in French.

6d   Choose artist /to portray/ complex // Greek girl (7)

I believe one could interpret "complex Greek girl" to be a cryptic definition (as Gazza has shown in his review) or possibly as a double definition (as I have chose to do — just to be different).

In Greek mythology, Electra[5] is the daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra. She persuaded her brother Orestes to kill Clytemnestra and Aegisthus (their mother’s lover) in revenge for the murder of Agamemnon.

In psychoanalysis, Electra complex[5] is an old-fashioned term for the Oedipus complex (show explanation ) as manifested in young girls.

In psychoanalysis, the term Oedipus complex[5] refers in Freudian theory to the complex of emotions aroused in a young child, typically around the age of four, by an unconscious sexual desire for the parent of the opposite sex and wish to exclude the parent of the same sex. (The term was originally applied to boys, the equivalent in girls being called the Electra complex.)

hide explanation

7d   Funny // turn after onset of dizziness (5)

A turn[5] is a short performance, especially one of a number given by different performers in succession ⇒ (i) Lewis gave her best ever comic turn; (ii) he was asked to do a turn at a children’s party.

8d   Broadcasting // about egg production? (8)

12d   Ingratiate oneself // to groom with act of kindness (5,6)

15d   Up /for/ a swing instrumental? (2,3,4)

"In the Mood"[7] is a big band-era #1 hit recorded by American bandleader Glenn Miller. It topped the charts for 13 straight weeks in 1940 in the U.S. and one year later was featured in the movie Sun Valley Serenade.

16d   Rating on manoeuvres // in the dark (8)

18d   Swears violently catching second // fish (7)

The wrasse[5] (plural wrasse or wrasses) is any of numerous species of marine fish with thick lips and strong teeth, typically brightly coloured with marked differences between the male and female.[The name comes from a Cornish word meaning 'old woman'.]

Generally one uses the plural form "fish" when speaking of more than one member of the same species and "fishes" when speaking of multiple species. I presume that the plural "wrasses" can be used since the term wrasse encompasses numerous species.

19d   Male circle welcoming a // trial (7)

20d   Queen of Persia // protected by Xerxes there (6)

In the Bible, Esther[5] is a woman chosen on account of her beauty by the Persian king Ahasuerus (generally supposed to be Xerxes I) to be his queen. She used her influence with him to save the Israelites in captivity from persecution.

Scratching the Surface
Xerxes I[5] (circa 519–465 BC), son of Darius I, was king of Persia 486–465. His invasion of Greece achieved victories in 480 at Artemisium and Thermopylae, but defeats at Salamis (480) and Plataea (479) forced him to withdraw.

22d   Old author // a model set up (5)

Aesop[10] (?620–564 BC) was a Greek author of fables in which animals are given human characters and used to satirize human failings.
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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