Monday, January 18, 2016

Monday, January 18, 2016 — DT 27883

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27883
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27883]
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 27882 which was published in The Daily Telegraph on Monday, August 17, 2015.


The mystery " Tuesday" setter (Tuesday being the day on which this puzzle appeared in the UK) gives us a fairly gentle workout today.

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   One enters this dirty // city, only to come back (7)

Bath[5] is a spa town in southwestern England; population 81,600 (est. 2009). The town was founded by the Romans, who called it Aquae Sulis, and was a fashionable spa in the 18th and early 19th centuries.

5a   Husband in game met by wounding remark? // Nonsense (7)

Rugby union[10] (abbreviation RU[5]) is a form of rugby football played between teams of 15 players (in contrast to rugby league[5], which is played in teams of thirteen).

Rhubarb[5] is an informal British term meaning either:
  1. the noise made by a group of actors to give the impression of indistinct background conversation, especially by the random repetition of the word ‘rhubarb’; or
  2. nonsense ⇒ it was all rhubarb, about me, about her daughter, about art.
Rhubarb[5], in the sense of a heated dispute, is a North American term.

9a   Sob quietly and tremble -- /it's/ this crossword! (7)

"quietly" = P (show explanation )

Piano[3,5] (abbreviation p[5]), is a musical direction meaning either (as an adjective) soft or quiet or (as an adverb) softly or quietly.

hide explanation

10a   Strike by head of governors hurt // school (7)

Grammar school[3] is a chiefly British term for a secondary or preparatory school.

11a   Ravel -- // put in a grave next to the French church (9)

"the French" = LA (show explanation )

In French, the feminine singular form of the definite article is la[8].

hide explanation

"church" = CE (show explanation )

The Church of England[10] (abbreviation CE[10]) is the reformed established state Church in England, Catholic in order and basic doctrine, with the Sovereign as its temporal head.

hide explanation

Ravel[10] can mean either:
  1. to tangle (threads, fibres, etc) or (of threads, fibres, etc) to become entangled;
  2. (often followed by out) to tease or draw out (the fibres of a fabric or garment) or (of a garment or fabric) to fray out in loose ends; unravel.
Thus the word can have essentially diametrically opposite meanings. Therefore, it should hardly be surprising to discover that ravel has an archaic sense of to make or become confused or complicated. Of course, ravel can also mean (usually followed by out) to disentangle or resolve to ravel out a complicated story. Although he was writing on another subject, the words of Sir Walter Scott come to mind, Oh, what a tangled web we weave.

12a   Arab maybe // right about stockings? On the contrary (5)

13a   Information concerned with // style (5)

Gen[5] is an informal British term for information ⇒ you’ve got more gen on him than we have.

15a   Passing // me her pale pants (9)

As an anagram indicator, pants[5] is an informal British term meaning rubbish or nonsense ⇒ he thought we were going to be absolute pants.

17a   Tommy about // to keep going (7,2)

The word tommy[5,10] (also Tommy or Tommy Atkins) is an informal British term for a private in the British Army. The term originates from the use of the name Thomas Atkins in specimens of completed official forms in the British army during the 19th century.

19a   United over unknown // god (5)

In mathematics (algebra, in particular), an unknown[10] is a variable, or the quantity it represents, the value of which is to be discovered by solving an equation ⇒ 3y = 4x + 5 is an equation in two unknowns. [Unknowns are customarily represented symbolically by the letters x, y and z.]

22a   Put up with // a bass (fish) (5)

In music, the abbreviation for bass is B[2].

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.

23a   Speaker // woe for us, unfortunately -- keeping Bercow initially (9)

Scratching the Surface
John Bercow[7] is a British politician who has been the Speaker of the British House of Commons since June 2009. As Gazza informs us in his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, he has been in the news a lot both for his marital difficulties and his extravagant expense claims.

25a   Renovated street around university -- // one might be in charge of all the property (7)

26a   Flower /from/ South America with fine leaf, practically (7)

"fine" = F (show explanation )

F[5] is an abbreviation for fine, as used in describing grades of pencil lead [a usage that Oxford Dictionaries surprisingly characterizes as British].

hide explanation

Behind the Picture
Gazza illustrates his explanation of this clue with a picture of British-American actress Saffron Burrows[7] who, in addition to appearances in a long list of films, has had starring roles in the American television series Boston Legal, My Own Worst Enemy and Law & Order: Criminal Intent.

27a   Shy creature/'s/ eggs expensive, we hear (3,4)

28a   Roman emperor imprisoning five, getting us // apprehensive (7)

Nero[5] (AD 37-68) was Roman emperor 54-68; full name Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus. Infamous for his cruelty, he wantonly executed leading Romans. His reign witnessed a fire which destroyed half of Rome in 64.


1d   Trams will become smart after this // support (7)

2d   What one should do in tailor's -- // be audacious (3,2,2)

Try it on[5] is an informal British expression meaning:
  1. to attempt to deceive or seduce someone ⇒ he was trying it on with my wife;
  2. to deliberately test someone’s patience to see how much one can get away with.
3d   Teacher/'s/ exclamation of impatience for missing opening (5)

4d   Criminal can be cured? Not quite: // one robs in the main (9)

The main[5] is an archaic or literary term for the open ocean.

5d   Rake pins tail of long // rat (5)

6d   Brazen // editor goes after United Nations with a hoax (9)

7d   Harry married // fan (7)

8d   Fish on line -- // it builds arm muscles (7)

The barbel[5] is a large European freshwater fish (Barbus barbus) of the carp family, which has barbels hanging from the mouth.

14d   Impressive hospital department note /showing/ where the shakes first occurred? (9)

"hospital department" = ENT (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

In music — specifically, in tonic sol-fa — re is the second note of a major scale. In Britain, where the more common spelling is ray[5], re[5] is seen as a variant [or even worse, American] spelling.

16d   Worker's holding top half of baby /in/ sink (4,5)

17d   South -- they're oddly following sailor/'s/ course (7)

Starter[5] is a chiefly British term [according to Oxford Dictionaries, but certainly a term that is not entirely foreign to Canada] meaning the first course of a meal.

18d   Time off // that is left over? Yes (7)

20d   In plant, oxygen /creates/ huge fire (7)

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

21d   Female right to wear Tony's tight // underwear (1-6)

Y-fronts[5] is a British trademark for men’s or boys' underpants with a branching seam at the front in the shape of an upside-down Y.

23d   Box containing Eastern // weapon (5)

24d   Attempt // to remove clubs from chest (5)

"clubs" = C (show explanation )

Clubs[2]) (abbreviation C[1]) is one of the four suits of playing-cards.

hide explanation

Offer[5] means to make an attempt at or show one’s readiness for (violence or resistance) ⇒ he had to offer some resistance to her tirade.
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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