Friday, January 8, 2016

Friday, January 8, 2016 — DT 27875

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27875
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, August 8, 2015
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27875 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27875 – 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
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.


While crypticsue may have found this puzzle to be a walk in the park — well, actually, a day at the beach — I found it a bit more challenging, as it seems was the case for at least a few of the Brits as well.

I invite you to leave a comment to let us know how you fared with the puzzle.

The Ashes

Should you happen to read the comments on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, you will see that the Brits are elated over the performance of England in the Ashes.

The 2015 Ashes[7] was a series of Test cricket matches played between England and Australia for The Ashes. The venues were Sophia Gardens (Cardiff), Lord's (London), Edgbaston (Birmingham), Trent Bridge (Nottingham), and The Oval (London). Australia were the defending holders of the Ashes going into the series, having won in 2013–14. England won the series 3–2, regaining the Ashes after taking an unassailable lead with victory in the fourth Test.

This puzzle was published in the UK on Day 3 of the fourth Test match. While a cricket match can lasts up to 5 days, England took this match on Day 3..

By the way, despite England being up 3 matches to 1 after the fourth Test match, the teams went on to play a fifth Test match. This seems to me like playing the seventh game of the Stanley Cup finals after one of the teams has won four of the first six games!

The Ashes[10] is a cremated cricket stump in a pottery urn now preserved at Lord's [a cricket ground in London, England]. Victory or defeat in Test matches (show explanation ) between England and Australia is referred to as winning, losing, or retaining the Ashes.

A Test match[5] is an international cricket or rugby match, typically one of a series, played between teams representing two different countries the Test match between Pakistan and the West Indies.

hide explanation

The concept of The Ashes originated in a satirical obituary published in a British newspaper, The Sporting Times, immediately after Australia's 1882 victory at The Oval [a cricket ground in London, England], their first Test win on English soil. The obituary stated that English cricket had died, and the body will be cremated and the ashes taken to Australia.

The mythical ashes immediately became associated with the 1882–83 series played in Australia, before which the English captain Ivo Bligh had vowed to "regain those ashes". The English media therefore dubbed the tour the quest to regain the Ashes.

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.


6a   Awfully wet, raw now -- hide /for/ time when the elements are more favourable (7,6)

A weather window[10] is a limited interval when weather conditions can be expected to be suitable for a particular project, such as laying offshore pipelines, reaching a high mountain summit, launching a satellite, etc.

8a   A way ham is carved /leading to/ complaint (6)

In Crosswordland, a complaint is usually medical in nature.

9a   Press and TV ignoring a gallery/'s/ muse (8)

The Tate Gallery[5] (commonly known simply as the Tate) is a national museum of art in London, England founded in 1897 by the sugar manufacturer Sir Henry Tate (1819–1899) to house his collection of modern British paintings, as a nucleus for a permanent national collection of modern art. It was renamed Tate Britain in 2000, when the new Tate Modern gallery opened. [I would surmise that by that time the original collection could no longer be considered "modern".]

10a   In favour of // short concert being curtailed (3)

I believe this clue deserves a bit more explanation than crypticsue has provided in her review. A short concert is a PROM (short for promenade concert) which is further shortened (being curtailed) to produce PRO.

The term prom[5] (or Prom) is short for promenade concert[5], 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 is the annual BBC Promenade Concerts (known as the Proms), instituted by Sir Henry Wood in 1895.

11a   Go very pale, // have to leave northern port (6)

Whitehaven[7]  is a small town and port on the coast of Cumbria, England. It is located outside the Lake District National Park with its major industry being the nearby Sellafield nuclear complex, with which a large proportion of the population has links.

12a   Bird/'s/ come down by train (8)

Landrail[5] is another term for corncrake[5] (Crex crex), a secretive Eurasian crake inhabiting coarse grasslands, with mainly brown streaked plumage and a distinctive double rasping call. Due to changes in agricultural practices it is now much rarer in the British Isles than formerly. The crake[5] is a bird of the rail family with a short bill, such as the corncrake.

14a   Gem of an isle? (7)

Emerald Isle[5] is a name for Ireland.

16a   Am in control /to bring about/ vessel (7)

20a   Grow // in line (8)

Crease can mean line in several senses:
  1. a crease[5] is line or ridge produced on paper or cloth by folding, pressing, or crushing ⇒ khaki trousers with knife-edge creases;
  2. a crease[5] is a wrinkle or furrow [aka line] in the skin, especially of the face, caused by age or a particular facial expression ⇒ stubble lines the creases of his face;
  3. in cricket, a crease[10] is any of three lines (bowling crease, popping crease, or return crease) near each wicket marking positions for the bowler or batsman.
Note that in cricket, a crease is a line — not an area as it is in hockey and lacrosse.

23a   Recompense /for/ fighting whilst overdrawn? (6)

Another term for overdrawn is "in the red". Thus the clue can be expanded to:
  • Recompense /for/ fighting whilst in the red (6)
The question mark in the original clue is a subtle signal from the setter to be on the lookout for something a bit out of the ordinary in the clue.

24a   Part of Okefenokee // Swamp (3)

Okefenoke Swamp[5] is an area of swampland in southeastern Georgia and northeastern Florida.

Delving Deeper
The Okefenoke Swamp was the setting for the long-running (1948-1975) daily comic strip, Pogo[5], created by American cartoonist Walt Kelly (1913–1973). The strip often engaged in social and political satire through the adventures of its anthropomorphic funny animal characters, led by the title character Pogo Possum.

25a   Phaetons, unsteady // transport (8)

Historically, a stanhope[5] was a light, open horse-drawn carriage for one person, with two or four wheels. It was named after Fitzroy Stanhope (1787–1864), an English clergyman for whom the first one was made.

Scratching the Surface
Historically, a phaeton[5] was a light, open four-wheeled horse-drawn carriage.

26a   Forceful /yet/ feeble boxing companion (6)

I tried to justify the latter part of the clue as being a definition for punchy[5], in the sense of another term (chiefly North American according to Oxford Dictionaries) for punch-drunk.

A Companion of Honour (abbreviation CH) is a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour[7], an order of the Commonwealth realms[7] founded by King George V in June 1917 as a reward for outstanding achievements in the arts, literature, music, science, politics, industry or religion.

Punchy[5] is an adjective meaning having an immediate impact; in other words, forceful ⇒ his style is journalistic, with short punchy sentences.

27a   Right pickle // to follow small first bite (4,9)

Right[5] is an informal British expression (used for emphasis) meaning complete or absolute I felt a right idiot.

A dog's dinner[5] (or a dog's breakfast) is an informal British expression for a poor piece of work or, in other words, a mess we made a real dog’s breakfast of it. I would say that the latter version of the expression is common in North America; the former not so much.


1d   Trace the damaged // tube (8)

2d   Fallout from bombshell // ruined her plans (8)

3d   Effect of quavers on the score (7)

This is either not a very profound clue or it is so profound that I have missed the point. [However, to get the point of this clue, it may help to be British!] My best interpretation is that quavers in a singer's voice would produce a tremolo effect when performing.

The score[5] is a written representation of a musical composition showing all the vocal and instrumental parts arranged one below the other.

From a cryptic perspective, a quaver[5] is a shake or tremble in a person’s voice ⇒ it was impossible to hide the slight quaver in her voice.

In music, tremolo[5] denotes a wavering effect in a musical tone, produced either by rapid reiteration of a note, by rapid repeated slight variation in the pitch of a note, or by sounding two notes of slightly different pitches to produce prominent overtones.

Scratching the Surface
I suspect that we are expected to be misled by the meaning of quaver in British music terminology.

In music, a quaver[5] is a chiefly British term for a note having the time value of an eighth of a semibreve [whole note] or half a crotchet [quarter note], represented by a large dot with a hooked stem. Also called eighth note [the name by which it is known in North America[10]].

4d   Concealed // layer swallows did for building (6)

A layer[5] is a person or thing that lays something ⇒ the majority of fish are egg-layers.

However, the layer that we are looking for is not a fish!

5d   One runs daily or perhaps weekly (6)

Runs is used in the sense of manages.

6d   The new stadium designed /for/ the team (4,3,6)

West Ham United Football Club[7] is an English professional football [soccer] club based in Upton Park, East London, England who play in the Premier League, England's top tier of football. The club was founded in 1895 as Thames Ironworks and reformed in 1900 as West Ham United. Because of the original "works team" roots and links (still represented upon the club badge), they are still known as 'the Irons' or 'the Hammers' amongst fans and the media.

Scratching the Surface
For those in the know, this is a rather clever clue. West Ham United have played in Boleyn Ground stadium since 1904. However, starting with the 2016-17 season, the club will move to the Olympic Stadium (built for the 2012 London Summer Olympics).

The decision to make West Ham United the main tenants of Olympic was a controversial one with the negotiation process[7] stretching over a period of at least three years and involving a saga of deals, lawsuits, collapsed deals, and more deals before a conclusion was reached.

7d   /It's/ audible /although/ surprisingly I won’t hear this (6,7)

In my opinion (although crypticsue shows it differently), for the definition to match the solution, we must consider the word "it's" to be "framework" in the clue (the same as in 22d) rather than part of the definition. We read the word "it's" as 'the solution is'.

13d   Most of musical act // expected to arrive (3)

15d   Drink, // light, with no head (3)

17d   Go and fish /in/ way that costs money (8)

Although the term turnpike is very much in current use in the US, it would apparently be viewed as a historical term by readers across the pond. In the UK, between the mid-16th and late 19th centuries, a turnpike[4] was (1) gates or some other barrier set across a road to prevent passage until a toll had been paid or (2) a road on which a turnpike was operated.

18d   A bird with mother // somewhere in Egypt (5,3)

Aswan[5] is a city on the Nile in southern Egypt, 16 km (10 miles) north of Lake Nasser; population 266,000 (est. 2006). Two dams across the Nile have been built nearby. The controlled release of water from Lake Nasser behind the High Dam produces the greater part of Egypt’s electricity.

The initial Aswan Dam[7] (now known as the Aswan Low Dam) is an embankment dam built across the Nile at Aswan, Egypt between 1898 and 1902. Since the 1960s, the name Aswan Dam commonly refers to the Aswan High Dam. Construction of the High Dam became a key objective of the Egyptian Government following the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, as the ability to control floods, provide water for irrigation, and generate hydroelectricity were seen as pivotal to Egypt's industrialization. The High Dam was constructed between 1960 and 1970, and has had a significant effect on the economy and culture of Egypt.

19d   Allude to note duplicated /for/ judge (7)

The wordplay is REFER (allude) + (to) {E + E ([musical] note duplicated)}

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".

21d   Renounce // Frenchman, say, that's put inside (6)

It would seem that most Frenchmen in Crossworldland are named René.

22d   I love Latin -- with English graduate, /it's/ an elementary thing (6)

Again, I would consider "it's" to constitute "framework" in the clue (as in 7d). However, here it occupies a more customary position, placed between the wordplay and definition.

The first person singular of the Latin verb amare (to love) in the indicative mood of the active voice is amo (I love).
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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