Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Tuesday, December 8, 2015 — DT 27841

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27841
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27841]
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


We are experiencing one of those rare weeks when the puzzles appear in the National Post on the same day of the week on which they were published in the UK. Thus I can say without fear of causing confusion that this is a fairly gentle puzzle from one of the unknown Tuesday setters.

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   Love // dispute about method of transport (7)

5a   Chickenfeed /with/ vegetable? Crazy! (7)

9a   It could turn into toad and leap, skipping area (7)

Although Gazza calls this a semi-all-in-one, I rather fancy it as a full all-in-one. Clearly the entire clue constitutes the wordplay, so I expect that he must see the definition as being merely "It could turn into toad". However, I think it would not be unreasonable to take the entire clue as the definition of a creature that could turn into a toad and, once having done so, would then possess the ability to leap and consequently would be able to skip (leave) the area where it came into existence — something it could not do before undergoing the change.

10a   Agreeing /to/ hire (7)

This is a double definition. However, neither of the usages sound natural to my ear. Perhaps they involve a British turn of phrase.

In his review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Gazza parses the clue as:
  • 10a   Agreeing to // hire (7)
I tried very diligently to justify this parsing.

Agree[10] is a verb meaning to consent or to give assent which can be either transitive or intransitive. When intransitive, it is often followed by to.

Let[10] is a transitive verb meaning to permit or allow.

While I accept that "let" and "agree to" do seem to be somewhat related, I cannot think of a single instance where one could directly substitute "letting" in place of "agreeing to". This may well be due to the former being a transitive verb and the latter being an intransitive verb.

At this point, I went back to the drawing board and concluded that the first definition must be merely "agreeing" (rather than "agreeing to") with the word "to" serving as a link word.

While I still have not been able to think of a compelling usage example, I feel that one is more likely to exist in this case than in the first case discussed. For instance, one might say "I am agreeing that you have a point ..." or "I am allowing that you have a point ...". However, would one say "I am letting that you have a point ..."?

As for the second part of the double definition, hire[5] is used as a noun meaning the action of hiring someone or something ⇒ car hire is recommended. As Gazza explains in his review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog, letting is "a gerund meaning hire or rental". I am sure that I would only ever use the term "car rental" — never "car hire" and most certainly not "car letting".

11a   Essex vice? Possibly /getting/ high (9)

Scratching the Surface
Essex[5] is a county of southeastern England; county town, Chelmsford.

12a   Love's put on dreary // perfume (5)

"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).

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13a   Small fish's // edges (5)

Ide[5] is another name for the orfe[5], a silvery freshwater fish (Leuciscus idus) of the carp family, which is fished commercially in eastern Europe.

15a   Former lover put in a demand /and/ shouted (9)

17a   One fish caught by this Parisian // -- it's likely to be smoked (9)

Gar[5] is another name for the freshwater garfish of North America. Garfish[5] is a name given to a number of long, slender saltwater and freshwater fish with elongated beak-like jaws containing sharply pointed teeth.

In French, cette[8] is a demonstrative adjective meaning this.

19a   Head of Intelligence taken in by the female // burglar (5)

22a   Startle // a learner driver with injury leaving hospital (5)

"learner driver" = L (show explanation )

The cryptic crossword convention of L meaning learner or student arises from the L-plate[7], a square plate bearing a sans-serif letter L, for learner, which must be affixed to the front and back of a vehicle in various countries (including the UK) if its driver is a learner under instruction.

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23a   Blind // drunk, now in giggles to an extent (9)

25a   Son's put down /as/ expert (7)

The wordplay parses as S (son; abbrev.) + ('s; contraction for 'has') KILLED (put down).

26a   Mean, // to say 'mature' (7)

27a   Narrow // lens distorted reflection of colour (7)

28a   European allowed to restrict chaps /for/ water, maybe (7)

"chaps" = MEN (show explanation )

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

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In this case, element[5] is used in the sense of any of the four substances (earth, water, air, and fire) regarded as the fundamental constituents of the world in ancient and medieval philosophy.

What did he say?
In his review, Gazza tells us that the contained entity is another word for chaps or blokes.
Bloke[5] is another informal British term for a man ⇒ he’s a nice bloke.


1d   Spectator/'s/ wife is sent off (7)

2d   Thinned /and/ thickened (7)

In the second case, reduce[5] means to boil (a sauce or other liquid) in cooking so that it becomes thicker and more concentrated ⇒ increase the heat and reduce the liquid.

3d   Traps // vibrated, top to bottom (5)

What did he say?
In his review, Gazza suggests that we start with a verb meaning vibrated or juddered ....
Judder[5] is a chiefly British term meaning (especially of something mechanical) to shake and vibrate rapidly and with force ⇒ the steering wheel juddered in his hand.

4d   Ford perhaps /needs/ parking by hotel guest (9)

Gerald Ford[5] (1913–2006) was an American Republican statesman, 38th President of the US 1974-7. He became President on the resignation of Richard Nixon in the wake of the Watergate affair.

5d   Pound /wanted for/ lentils or beans (5)

Pulse[5] is the edible seed of a leguminous plant, for example a chickpea, lentil, or bean ⇒ use pulses such as peas and lentils to eke out meat dishes.

6d   Prepared tuna or a bit of salad -- with time, // one might get in rocket (9)

Scratching the Surface
Despite the surface reading being a bit rough, I think rocket[5] (also garden rocket or salad rocket) is likely the British name for an edible Mediterranean plant (Eruca vesicaria sativa) of the cabbage family, whose leaves are eaten in salads. In North America, this plant is known as arugula[10].

7d   The same outfit // for male after university (7)

Uni[5] is an informal (originally Australian) term for university he planned to go to uni.

8d   Cook argued after shortbread's first // made sweeter (7)

Behind the Image
Gazza illustrates his review with a photo of  Lord Sugar — Britain's answer to Donald Trump.

Alan Sugar, Baron Sugar[7] is an English business magnate, media personality, and political advisor. Sugar appears in the BBC TV series The Apprentice, which has been broadcast annually since 2005 and is based upon the popular US television show of the same name, featuring the American entrepreneur Donald Trump.

It would seem that he holds many of the same political views as his American counterpart and is similarly adept at courting controversy.

14d   Initially, Steve Cram ran /and/ ran (9)

Scratching the Surface
Steve Cram[7] is a British retired track and field athlete. Along with fellow Britons Sebastian Coe and Steve Ovett, he was one of the world's dominant middle distance runners during the 1980s.

16d   Ship's officer supports inspection, /and that's/ the last word across the board (9)

A mate[3,4,11] (short for first mate[3,4,11]) is an officer second in command to the captain of a merchant ship.

In chess, checkmate[5] is a position in which a player’s king is directly attacked by an opponent’s piece or pawn and has no possible move to escape the check. The attacking player thus wins the game.

17d   Lessons /for/ college girls (7)

"college" = C (show explanation )

According to The Chambers Dictionary, c[1] (or c.) is the abbreviation for college.

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Lass[5] is a chiefly Scottish and Northern English term [although one that is certainly extremely well-known in Canada] for a girl or young woman ⇒ (i) he married a lass from Yorkshire; (ii) village lasses.

18d   Rock -- // new one kept in jar (7)

20d   Parrot -- // one pal holds it (7)

In Britain, mate[5] is:
  1. an informal term for a friend or companion ⇒ my best mate Steve; or
  2. a friendly form of address between men or boys ⇒ ‘See you then, mate.’.
21d   Figure millions comes before hospital department/'s/ invention (7)

"hospital department" = ENT (show explanation )

Should you not have noticed, the ear, nose and throat (ENT[2]) department is the busiest section, by far, in the Crosswordland Hospital.

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23d   By the authority of // two foreign articles (5)

"foreign article" = UN (show explanation )

In French, the masculine singular form of the indefinite article is un[8].

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"foreign article" = DER (show explanation )

In German, der[8] is one of the several forms that the definite article may assume.

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24d   Orders we must lose weight if this? (5)

"order" = OBE (show explanation )

OBE[5] is the abbreviation for Officer of the Order of the British Empire.

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire[7] is the "order of chivalry of British democracy", rewarding contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations and public service outside the Civil Service. It was established in 1917 by King George V, and comprises five classes, in civil and military divisions, the most senior two of which make the recipient either a knight if male, or dame if female. There is also the related British Empire Medal, whose recipients are affiliated with, but not members of, the order.

The classes are: Knight or Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE), Knight or Dame Commander (KBE/DBE), Commander (CBE), Officer (OBE), and Member (MBE).

Appointments to the Order of the British Empire were at first made on the nomination of the self-governing Dominions of the Empire, the Viceroy of India, and the colonial governors, as well as on nominations from within the United Kingdom. As the Empire evolved into the Commonwealth, nominations continued to come from the Commonwealth realms, in which the monarch remained head of state. These overseas nominations have been discontinued in realms which have established their own Orders, such as the Order of Australia, the Order of Canada, and the New Zealand Order of Merit, but members of the Order are still appointed in the British Overseas Territories.

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"weight" = W (show explanation )

The abbreviation for weight is w[2].

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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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