Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Wednesday, December 09, 2015 — DT 27845

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27845
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, July 4, 2015
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27845 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27845 – Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave (Hints)
crypticsue (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
The National Post has skipped DT 27842 through DT 27844 which were published in The Daily Telegraph from Wednesday, July 1, 2015 to Friday, July 3, 2015.
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.


I am convinced that the Diversions page editor at the National Post is playing head games with me. Having not skipped a puzzle on Monday, he (or she) has made up for it by skipping three puzzles today.

Well, crypticsue may have found this easy but that does not seem to be the consensus on Big Dave's site. I align myself with those who found it a bit tricky.

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   For instance horse running round pound // got much bigger (10)

"pound" = L (show explanation )

The pound[5] (also pound sterling) is the basic monetary unit of the UK, equal to 100 pence. While the symbol for pound is £, it is often written as L[10].

The Chambers Dictionary defines the upper case L[1] as the abbreviation for pound sterling (usually written £) and the lower case l[1] as the abbreviation for pound weight (usually written lb) — both deriving from the Latin word libra.

In ancient Rome, the libra[5] was a unit of weight, equivalent to 12 ounces (0.34 kg). It was the forerunner of the pound.

hide explanation

6a   Nothing more than // a lake (4)

Mere[5] is a chiefly literary, British term for a lake or pond ⇒ the stream widens into a mere where hundreds of geese gather. Those of us in Ottawa should be familiar with the word as the Mackenzie King Estate (the country estate of Canada’s 10th and longest-serving prime minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King) is located just across the river in Kingsmere, Quebec, on the shores of Kingsmere Lake (a name which surely amounts to King's Lake Lake).

9a   Fashionable novels, when about fifty, /can be/ an imposition (10)

10a   Inclination /to use/ jargon (4)

12a   Sportsman at university /is/ dirty (4)

In Britain, a blue[5] is a person who has represented Cambridge University (a Cambridge blue) or Oxford University (an Oxford blue) at a particular sport in a match between the two universities ⇒ a flyweight boxing blue. This usage almost certainly arises from the colours associated with these universities — and hence the colour of the uniforms worn by their athletes. Cambridge blue[5] is a pale blue colour, while Oxford blue[5] is a dark blue, typically with a purple tinge.

In her review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog, crypticsue adds a couple of additional academic institutions to the list.

13a   Company playing // to Archers fans (9)

As an anagram indicator, I would presume that fan[10] is used in the sense of to agitate or move (air, smoke, etc) with or as if with a fan.

Scratching the Surface
The Archers[7] is a long-running British radio soap opera broadcast on the BBC's main spoken-word channel, Radio 4. Originally billed as "an everyday story of country folk", it is now described as "contemporary drama in a rural setting". With over 17,800 episodes, it is the world's longest-running radio soap opera production.

The Archers, which debuted on 1 January 1951 (with the pilot premiering in 1950), is the most listened to Radio 4 non-news programme, with over five million listeners, and, with over one million listeners via the Internet, the programme holds that BBC Radio record.

15a   Husband gripped by pagan // bird on moor (5-3)

Heath hen[10] (or heath-hen[1]) is another name for greyhen[10], the female of the black grouse[7] (Tetrao tetrix), a large game bird in the grouse family. It is a sedentary species, breeding across northern Eurasia in moorland and bog areas near to woodland, mostly boreal.

16a   One starting to develop // sacked by Rome (6)

18a   Rule /of/ legislator in Irish Republic (6)

Eire[5] is the Gaelic name for Ireland, the official name of the Republic of Ireland from 1937 to 1949.

Empire[5] is used in the sense of supreme political power over several countries when exercised by a single authority ⇒ he encouraged the Greeks in their dream of empire in Asia Minor.

20a   Good-looking // things added in house (8)

In her review, crypticsue appears to have gotten carried away with inserting things and has forced far too many letters into the container in this clue. The wordplay parses as ANDS (things added) contained in (in) HOME (house).

An and[10] (usually plural) is an additional matter or problem ⇒ ifs, ands, or buts.

23a   Is cabinet minister engaged by Mr Cameron finally // to rule badly? (9)

Michael Gove[7] is a British Conservative Party politician and Member of Parliament (MP). He currently holds the offices of Lord Chancellor [Great Officer of State responsible for the efficient functioning and independence of the courts] and Secretary of State for Justice in the cabinet of British Prime Minister David Cameron[7].

24a   Stay /in/ Sunset Blvd maybe (4)

Sunset Boulevard[7] is a boulevard in the central and western part of Los Angeles County, California that stretches from Figueroa Street in Downtown Los Angeles to the Pacific Coast Highway at the Pacific Ocean.

26a   Time to embrace // hooligan (4)

27a   Resentment /of/ female marsh bird apparently (10)

If a female lion is a lioness and a female tiger is a tigress, then could a female bittern be anything other than a ...

28a   Team // was exultant (4)

Crew[10] could refer specifically to a rowing team or, more generally, it might merely be an informal term for a gang, company, or crowd.

29a   Live with migraine possibly /on/ high cliff (6,4)

Beachy Head[7] is a chalk headland in East Sussex, England. The cliff is the highest chalk sea cliff in Britain, rising to 162 metres (531 ft) above sea level. Its height has made it one of the most notorious suicide spots in the world.


1d   Leave // fairly shortly (4)

2d   Fodder // area covered by an 'ole, conceivably (7)

What did she say?
In his review, crypticsue comments If you  look at this clue you laugh and then think, hang on a minute, two halves actually make a WHOLE so the clue doesn’t really work  I did have one thought, however, that a golfer  can score ‘half a hole’ in a golf match, in which case  two ‘alfs might make a ‘ole.
She is referring to match play in golf, in which a point is awarded to the golfer who wins a hole. Should the competitors tie a hole, each would be awarded half a point (commonly referred to as half a hole).

However, I don't see why we need to go to such lengths to justify the clue. Surely a Cockney would pronounce the words whole and hole both as 'ole.

3d   Create a commotion // to make building taller (5,3,4)

4d   See, coming up amid turmoil, // underground explorer (8)

"see" = LO (show explanation )

Lo[5] is an archaic exclamation used to draw attention to an interesting or amazing event and lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them.

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A pothole[5] is a deep natural underground cave formed by the erosion of rock, especially by the action of water. Naturally, a potholer is someone who explores such formations.

5d   A heart is lifted taking in one // piece by Beethoven (6)

Symphony No. 3[7] in E-flat major, Opus 55 (also Italian Sinfonia Eroica, Heroic Symphony) is a structurally rigorous composition which marked the beginning of the creative middle-period of the composer Ludwig van Beethoven.

7d   One demands payment // directly from member of the cast (7)

Ex[5] is a British term meaning (in reference to goods) sold direct from ⇒ carpet tiles offered at a special price, ex stock.

8d   Fielder, wide perhaps, caught series of balls (5,5)

Surely, one would be hard-pressed to cram more cricket jargon into a single clue than the setter has managed to do here.

In cricket, an extra[5] is a run scored other than from a hit with the bat, credited (in most cases) to the batting side rather than to a batsman. The types of extra[7] are no ball, wide, bye, leg-bye, and penalty runs.

In cricket, a wide[5] (also wide ball) is a ball that is judged to be too wide of the stumps for the batsman to play, for which an extra is awarded to the batting side. 

"caught" = C (show explanation )

In cricket, similar to baseball, one way for a batsman to be dismissed is to be caught out[5], that is for a player on the opposing team to catch a ball that has been hit by the batsman before it touches the ground.

On cricket scorecards, the abbreviation c.[2,10] or c[5] denotes caught or caught by.

hide explanation

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.

In cricket, extra cover[5] denotes a fielding position between cover point and mid-off but further from the wicket or a fielder at this position.

11d   Cromwell's force making mark in terrible war with old enemy (3,5,4)

"mark" = M (show explanation )

M[10] is the symbol for mark(s).

Until the introduction of the euro in 2002, the mark[5] (also called Deutschmark[5] or Deutsche Mark [from German deutsche Mark 'German mark']) was the basic monetary unit of Germany, equal to 100 pfennig Germany spent billions of marks to save the French franc from speculators.

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The New Model Army[5] was an army created in 1645 by Oliver Cromwell to fight for the Parliamentary cause in the English Civil War. Led by Thomas Fairfax, it was a disciplined and well-trained army which later came to possess considerable political influence.

14d   Precarious plight came // without emotion (10)

17d   Having a spell without web /is/ attractive (8)

19d   Grassland // beyond river (7)

The River Ure[7] is a stream in North Yorkshire, England, approximately 74 miles (119 km) long from its source to the point where it changes name to the River Ouse.

21d   Old boy's place, // filthy (7)

"old boy" = OB (show explanation )

In Britain, an old boy[5] (abbreviation OB[2])  is:
  1. a former male student of a school or college ⇒an old boy of Banbury County School; or
  2. a former male member of a sports team or company ⇒ the White Hart Lane old boy squared the ball to present an easy chance from 12 yards.
It is also a chiefly British affectionate form of address to a boy or man ⇒ ‘Look here, old boy,’ he said.

hide explanation 

22d   Live // on the edge (6)

25d   American pressman // not new (4)

Pressman[5] is a chiefly British term for a journalist.
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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