Monday, January 4, 2016

Monday, January 4, 2016 — DT 27871

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27871
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27871]
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 27869 and DT 27870 which were published in The Daily Telegraph on Saturday, August 1, 2015 and Monday, August 3, 2015.


This was a Tuesday puzzle in the UK — set my one of the mystery setters. The puzzle contains a few North American expressions. Of course, I would never have known that they are North American expressions had Gazza not made note of the fact in his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog.

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   A second, so great // in itself (2,4)

Such[10] means so greatsuch a help.

4a   Piece of writing /found in/ small underground chapel, we're told (6)

I was not aware that a crypt could be a chapel as well as burial place. Judging by the dictionary entries, the former meaning  may be more of a British usage — or perhaps older usage.

The American Heritage Dictionary is in line with my understanding defining crypt[3] as an underground vault or chamber, especially one beneath a church that is used as a burial place. The Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary broadens the definition of crypt[11] slightly to a subterranean chamber or vault, especially one beneath the main floor of a church, used as a burial place, a location for secret meetings, etc.

Turning to the British dictionaries, Oxford Dictionaries Online defines crypt[5] as an underground room or vault beneath a church, used as a chapel or burial place while Collins English Dictionary has crypt[4,10] as a cellar, vault, or underground chamber, especially beneath a church, where it is often used as a chapel, burial place, etc.

It is interesting to compare the definitions found in the two Chambers dictionaries. The Chambers Dictionary defines crypt[1] as an underground cell or chapel while the Chambers 21st Century Dictionary has crypt[2] as an underground chamber or vault, especially one beneath a church, often used for burials.

8a   Against // modelling after work (8)

"work" = OP (show explanation )

In music, an opus[5] (plural opuses or opera) is a separate composition or set of compositions.

The abbreviation Op.[5] (also op.), denoting opus, is used before a number given to each work of a particular composer, usually indicating the order of publication. The plural form of Op. is Opp..

Opus[5] can also be used in a more general sense to mean an artistic work, especially one on a large scale ⇒ he was writing an opus on Mexico.

hide explanation

10a   One from Tripoli, perhaps // hidden in Tripoli by another (6)

Tripoli[5] is the capital and chief port of Libya, on the Mediterranean coast in the north-west of the country; population 1.065,400 (est. 2006). Founded by Phoenicians in the 7th century BC, its ancient name was Oea.

11a   Decorative bow // tie (4)

12a   Best place for a surfer, // out in the open (5-5)

Split (5,5), the solution describes where a surfer tries to stay.

13a   Be extremely logical after fight /evokes/ nursery rhyme (4,4,4)

Ding-dong[5] is an informal British term for a fierce argument or fight ⇒ they had a bit of a ding-dong.

"Ding Dong Bell"[7] (or "Ding Dong Dell") is a popular English language nursery rhyme.

What did he say?
In his review, Gazza remarks This is probably not the RSPCA’s favourite nursery rhyme..
RSCPCA[5] is the acronym for Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

The most common modern version of the poem Ding-Dong Bell is:
Ding, dong, bell,
Pussy’s in the well.
Who put her in?
Little Johnny Flynn.
Who pulled her out?
Little Tommy Stout.
What a naughty boy was that,
To try to drown poor pussy cat,
Who never did him any harm,
But killed all the mice in the farmer's barn.
However, in the original version the cat apparently dies.

16a   Ill-natured individual, // most cruel guy when upset (4,8)

Behind the Picture
The picture illustrating Gazza's review shows Eli Wallach in the role of Mexican bandit Tuco Ramirez ("The Ugly") in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly[7], a 1966 Italian epic Spaghetti Western film directed by Sergio Leone.

20a   /Seeing/ off rum, becomes // awkward (10)

I concur with Gazza's assessment of the role played by the word "seeing". I like to think of such words as providing a framework on which the functional elements of the clue (wordplay and definition) are hung. They most commonly take the form of a link word or link phrase found between the wordplay and definition, but occasionally they may be found elsewhere in the clue. I indicate such words in the clue by enclosing them within "/" characters.

21a   Clothes // son obtained in recession (4)

22a   Beeswax, for example, // from one of the EU countries (6)

23a   Excellent // Brazilian city toured by American caretaker (8)

Rio de Janeiro[5] (commonly known as Rio) is a city in eastern Brazil, on the Atlantic coast; population 6,093,472 (2007). The chief port of Brazil, it was the country’s capital from 1763 until 1960, when it was replaced by Brasilia.

Super is an informal short form of superintendent[2,3,4,5,10,11] or supervisor[4,10,11].

Superintendent[5] is a North American term for the caretaker of a building.

24a   Guess // shape (6)

Figure[5], in the informal sense of to think, consider, or expect to be the case, is a chiefly North American usage ⇒ (i) I figured that I didn’t have much of a chance; (ii) for years, teachers had figured him for a dullard.

25a   On purpose, /making/ motto (6)

In cricket, the leg[5] (also called leg side) is another name for the on[5] (also known as on side), the half of the field (as divided lengthways through the pitch) away from which the batsman’s feet are pointed when standing to receive the ball ⇒ he played a lucky stroke to leg. The other half of the field is known as the off[5] (also called off side).

A legend[5] is an inscription on a coin, medal or coat of arms.


1d   Supplementary material inserted // that may have to be taken out? (8)

2d   Curt // type round hospital (5)

3d   Elegant, a turn /in/ show (7)

Chicago[7] is a 1975 musical set in Prohibition-era Chicago that is based on a 1926 play of the same name by reporter Maurine Dallas Watkins about actual criminals and crimes she reported on. The story is a satire on corruption in the administration of criminal justice and the concept of the "celebrity criminal."

5d   Old king circling stage /in/ Worcester, perhaps (7)

"Old King Cole"[7] is a British nursery rhyme first attested in 1708. Though there is much speculation about the identity of King Cole, it is unlikely that he can be identified reliably as any historical figure. The poem describes a merry king who called for his pipe, bottle [?], bowl, and musicians, with the details varying among versions. Wherever did the author of the Wikipedia article find the bottle?

Worcester College[7] is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England. The college was founded in 1714 by the benefaction of Sir Thomas Cookes, a Worcestershire baronet, with the college gaining its name from the county of Worcestershire.

6d   Run out in big limo abroad /causes/ complicated situation (9)

In cricket, run out[7] (abbreviation ro[2]) denotes the dismissal of a batsman by hitting a wicket with the ball while the batsman is out of his ground[10] (the area from the popping crease back past the stumps, in which a batsman may legally stand).

7d   Samovar/'s/ odd nature (3,3)

9d   First in emergency to enter ravine over bridge /gets/ bravery award (6,5)

The George Cross[5] (abbreviation GC) is (in the UK and Commonwealth countries) a decoration for bravery awarded especially to civilians, instituted in 1940 by King George VI and taking precedence over all other medals and decorations except the Victoria Cross.

14d   Complaining, // leader of gang on unmasking (9)

Rumble[5] is an informal British expression meaning to discover (an illicit activity or its perpetrator) ⇒ it wouldn’t need a genius to rumble my little game.

15d   Potter // married suitable wife inside (8)

Josiah Wedgwood[7] (1730-1795) was an English potter who founded the Wedgwood company. He was perhaps the most famous potter of all time and is credited with the industrialisation of the manufacture of pottery.

17d   Dog /taken from/ pitch, about to be brought over (7)

Lurcher[5] is a British term for a cross-bred dog, typically a retriever, collie, or sheepdog crossed with a greyhound, of a kind originally used for hunting and by poachers for catching rabbits.

18d   Sheer, the Parisian // church tower (7)

"the French" = LE (show explanation )

In French, the masculine singular form of the definite article is le[8].

hide explanation

19d   Postpone // draw? About to (3,3)

21d   Short /in/ toaster's electrics (5)

Electrics[5] is a British term for the system of electric wiring and parts in a house or vehicle [or, presumably, appliance] ⇒ there’s something wrong with the electrics.
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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