Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Tuesday, December 15, 2015 — DT 27851

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27851
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, July 11, 2015
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27851 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27851 – Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave (Hints)
gnomethang (Review)
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
As this was a Saturday "Prize Puzzle" in Britain, there are two entries related to it on Big Dave's Crossword Blog — the first, posted on the date of publication, contains hints for selected clues while the second is a full review issued following the entry deadline for the contest. The vast majority of reader comments will generally be found attached to the "hints" posting with a minimal number — if any — accompanying the full review.


A bit of time has passed since I solved this puzzle. When I sat down to compose the review, I discovered that a couple of clues had not been solved and there was a big question mark against a third. The two unsolved clues fell almost immediately. It is amazing how often obstacles to solving melt away when one sets the puzzle aside for a while. The question mark was a reminder to myself to verify the existence of the British railway station whose name I had dreamed up. As I discovered, the name really was an invention as neither of the variations that I had concocted actually exist. Oh well, back to the drawing board for another stab at the solution — which proved more fruitful.

For a change, I did notice it was a pangram (a puzzle in which every letter of the alphabet appears at least once in the solutions to the clues). In fact, about three quarters of the way through the solve all letters had already made an appearance.

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   Equip pal to create // ornamental work (8)

9a   Ardent // male meeting me in passage (8)

10a   Prophet: // 'Before noon you will return amazingly' (4)

The prophet foresees that you will successfully solve this clue, foretelling that you will start with AM (before noon) and then you will reverse (you will return) SO (amazingly; Hmm! This pie is so good.).

What did he say?
In his review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog, gnomethang elaborates on the clue with the phrase Soooo Graham Norton!.
Graham William Walker, better known by the stage name Graham Norton[7], is an Irish television and radio presenter [host, emcee, commentator, announcer, or newsreader], comedian, and actor based in the United Kingdom. Norton is known for his innuendo-laden dialogue and flamboyant presentation style. In 2012, he sold his production company, So Television, to ITV (Independent Television, a British television network).

I would guess that the word "so" figures prominently in his vocabulary. Not only did he name his production company So Television, he hosted a chat show called So Graham Norton[7] from 1998 to 2002.

11a   Secretly, // trendy needs self-assurance (2,10)

I believe that gnomethang should have written "CONFIDENCE for self-assurance".

13a   Lasses returning to big pile // refuse to get dropped by mine (4,4)

Oh dear! I see that gnomethang has rather messed up his explanation of this clue.

The correct parsing is a reversal (returning) of GALS (lasses) + (to) HEAP (big pile).

As a charade indicator, the word "to" is used in the sense of "pressed against"—as in expressions such as "shoulder to the wheel" or "nose to the grindstone".

While "refuse" masquerades as a verb in the surface reading, it reveals its true identity as a noun in the cryptic reading.

15a   Small canine -- // greyhound perhaps? (6)

Split the solution (3,3) to see how a greyhound might be described. This clue does not qualify as a double definition as the numeration for the latter part does not match that given in the clue.

16a   It's hot and smoky at times // in Vietnam (4)

Mount Etna[5] is a volcano in eastern Sicily, rising to 3,323 m (10,902 ft). It is the highest and most active volcano in Europe.

17a   Bill avoids bird -- one's given a close shave? (5)

The definition expands to "one has given a close shave" — not "one is given a close shave".

The razorbill[5] (Alca torda) is a black-and-white auk (seabird) with a deep bill that is said to resemble a cut-throat razor, found in the North Atlantic and Baltic Sea.

18a   Foolhardy /in/ spots (4)

20a   School sandwiches used to be cut in half /in/ station (6)

The wordplay parses as ETON (school) containing (sandwiches) the first half of US[ED] (USED to be cut in half).

While the overall structure of the wordplay was evident, one of the components was not so obvious. I initially took "used to be" to mean WERE giving me E(WE)TON or E(RE)TON depending on whether I used the first of second half of WERE {WERE (used to be) cut in half}. Failing to find any stations with either of these names sent me back to the drawing board.

Eton College[7], often referred to simply as Eton, is a British independent [private] school for boys aged 13 to 18. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as "The King's College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor". It is located in Eton, near Windsor in England, and is one of the original nine English public schools as defined by the Public Schools Act 1868. [Note: In Britain, "public schools" are a special class of private school; what North Americans would call public schools are referred to in Britain as state schools.]

This station could very well be any of three London stations:
  • Euston railway station[7] or London Euston is a central London railway terminus. It is the sixth busiest railway station in the UK.
  • Euston[7] is a London Underground [subway] station served by the Victoria line and both branches of the Northern line. It directly connects with the Euston railway station above it.
  • Euston Square[7] is a London Underground [subway] station on the Circle, Hammersmith & City and Metropolitan lines located within walking distance of Euston railway station. It should not be confused with the nearby Euston tube station for the Northern and Victoria lines. 
All three stations are located on Euston Road[7], an important thoroughfare in central London, England. It was originally the central section of the New Road from Paddington to Islington, opened in 1756, London's first bypass, through the fields to the north of London, now generally regarded as being in central London.

21a   Lasting three months // beyond the prime? (8)

23a   Make fewer complaints about // practical demonstration (6,6)

26a   Fox in Scotland trapping a // small creature (4)

Tod[10] is a Scot and northern English dialect word for a fox.

Tod is also the name of the fox in The Fox and the Hound[7], a 1967 novel written by American novelist Daniel P. Mannix on which the 1981 Walt Disney animated film of the same name is loosely based.

27a   Heather, after twelve months, /gets/ young animal (8)

Ling[5] is another name for the common heather (Calluna vulgaris), a purple-flowered Eurasian heath that grows abundantly on moorland and heathland.

28a   See April disentangling // trellis (8)

An espalier[3] is:
  1. a tree or shrub that is trained to grow in a flat plane against a wall or trellis, often in a symmetrical pattern; or
  2. a trellis or other framework on which an espalier is grown.


2d   It is not bound to appeal to readers (8)

A PAMPHLET is a publication that is "not bound" and is often an "appeal to readers" for sales, donations or support for a political or other cause.

3d   Logs in to play -- action /that's/ a hopeless endeavour! (6,6)

4d   Flan /made by/ French who put by Argentinian red (6)

"French who" = QUI (show explanation )

In French, qui[8] is either a relative pronoun or an interrogative pronoun meaning 'who'.

hide explanation

Che Guevara[7] (1928–1967) was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, guerrilla leader, diplomat, and military theorist. A major figure of the Cuban Revolution, his stylized visage has become a ubiquitous countercultural symbol of rebellion and global insignia within popular culture.

5d   Not once coming up, bypassing right // flat (4)

6d   Sensational story /giving/ tingle to that female Cockney (8)

A cockney[5] is a native of East London [specifically that part of East London known as the East End], traditionally one born within hearing of Bow Bells (the bells of St Mary-le-Bow[7] church). Cockney is also the name of the dialect or accent typical of cockneys, which is characterised by dropping the H from the beginning of words and the use of rhyming slang.

7d   Eager // Nan's left cotton cloth (4)

Nankeen[5] is a yellowish cotton cloth ⇒ a waistcoat and knee breeches of nankeen [from the name of the city of Nanking (also Nanjing) where it was first made].

8d   Full complement /of/ grit (8)

12d   Old fairytale being intellectual? // Not yet fully proved (12)

In Persian mythology, a peri[5] is a mythical superhuman being, originally represented as evil but subsequently as a good or graceful genie or fairy.

What did he say?
In his review, gnomethang refers to a peri as a being (character) from A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
I was not able to find a reference which indicates that the fairies (Oberon, Titania, Puck, et al) from William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream[7] are actually peris.

14d   Not a square meal for Italians (5)

I have no doubt that square pizza is an abhorrent American invention.

Big Dave has come up with a rather more elegant interpretation of the clue in which there is a bit of embedded wordplay, namely PI[A]ZZA (Italian word for square, an open space in a town) with the A removed (not A).

16d   How agreement could be made // across bridge (3,2,3)

See eye to eye[5] means to be in full agreement ⇒ the boss and I do not always see eye to eye.

After considerable contemplation, I have concluded that the latter part of the clue qualifies as a second definition. The measurement "across [the] bridge" of one's nose is the distance "eye to eye".

Big Dave had a different take on the clue, supposing that bridge referred to the bridge of ship and an agreement made there would be AYE TO AYE (which sounds like EYE TO EYE). However, as he admits in his review there really is no homophone indicator present in the clue.

17d   Like a lemur, // trailing badly (4-4)

A lemur[5] is any of a number of species of arboreal primate with a pointed snout and typically a long tail, found only in Madagascar.

Ring-tailed lemur
The ring-tailed lemur[7] (Lemur catta) is a large strepsirrhine primate and the most recognized lemur due to its long, black and white ringed tail. It belongs to Lemuridae, one of five lemur families, and is the only member of the Lemur genus. Like all lemurs it is endemic to the island of Madagascar.

19d   Ankle was dislocated /in/ ballet (4,4)

Swan Lake[7] is a ballet composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in 1875–76. Despite its initial failure, it is now one of the most popular of all ballets. The scenario, initially in two acts, was fashioned from Russian folk tales and tells the story of Odette, a princess turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer's curse.

22d   Raise money -- /it's/ a risk either way (4-2)

Here "raise money" refers to what the referee does before a football game.

24d   Jack round with a new // woman (4)

"jack" = J (show explanation )

J[5] is an abbreviation for Jack that is used in describing play in card games.

hide explanation 

25d   Advantage // of four-speed gears (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 comment:

  1. Words containing "Out"

    There are Total 1858 words containing this word. List of all words Containing Out are listed below categorized upon number of words.

    Example : Outsizes, Outshone, Outright, Outglare

    Containing words..