Thursday, January 14, 2016

Thursday, January 14, 2016 — DT 27880

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27880
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, August 14, 2015
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27880]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Deep Threat
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


For some reason, I found today's puzzle — especially the southwest quadrant — to be far more difficult than yesterday's. However, that does not seem to be the general view from across the pond. Having written the review, I really can't see why I had so much trouble with it. I guess it is case of the picture being far clearer in the rear view mirror.

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.


4a   Boring // period in which to get sore troubled (8)

Scratching the Surface
Sore[10] is an adverb used in the archaic sense of direly or sorely (now only in such phrases as sore pressed, sore afraid).

8a   Huff and puff about editor /being/ a dogmatic person? (6)

9a   Small number entertained by English comedian /being/ cheap (8)

10a   Element /that's/ faulty in lamp unit (8)

Platinum[5] (symbol Pt) is a precious silvery-white metal, the chemical element of atomic number 78. It was first encountered by the Spanish in South America in the 16th century, and is used in jewellery, electrical contacts, laboratory equipment, and industrial catalysts.

11a   Mildness /of/ one in austere period beginning to yield (6)

Lenity[5] is the quality of being kind or gentle ⇒ a smile crossed her face, but this unexpected lenity was short-lived.

12a   Thief has grabbed second // dog (8)

The pinscher[5] is:
  1. a breed of well-muscled, smooth-coated terrier in which the tail is customarily docked;
  2. a breed of miniature terrier outwardly resembling the Dobermann pinscher, having a distinctive gait said to resemble that of a carriage horse;
  3. a dog of either of these breeds.
13a   One helps get a horse strapped // and bones will be broken (8)

A noseband[5] is the strap of a bridle or head collar, which passes over the horse’s nose and under its chin.

16a   Number I catch -- even /or/ odd number? (8)

19a   Grower /finds/ sources of delight everywhere in harvest (8)

21a   Distance travelled at sea /creates/ bond (6)

A league[2] is a nautical measure equal to 3 international nautical miles (3.456 statute miles or 5.556 km).

League[5] is an archaic term for an agreement or alliance.

23a   Supporter on bench // following proper style (8)

Form[5] is a British term for a long bench without a back.

24a   One participates in matches with divided loyalties (8)

25a   Draw // boat by sea's edge (6)

A ketch[5] is a two-masted, fore-and-aft rigged sailing boat with a mizzenmast stepped forward of the rudder and smaller than its foremast.

26a   One may help someone who finds it hard to hear // gun (8)

A repeater[5] is a firearm which fires several shots without reloading ⇒ a fast-fire repeater.


1d   Give a talk: // 'Medical changes' (7)

2d   Discarded // actors leading a faction (4,5)

I initially entered CAST APART here — which caused no end of difficulties at 12a and 16a until I eventually saw the error of my ways.

3d   Number in school /creating/ a stink (6)

I spent far too long trying to make the number be N.

4d   What's threatening from having got drunk? (3,7,5)

I solved this clue but totally missed the anagram, thinking it was simply a cryptic definition.

5d   Unsettled // pigs relatively well fed will do this? (8)

6d   His ultimately old-fashioned stuff /brings/ derision (5)

7d   Nasty mist with one /getting/ damp (7)

Although I would day dampen, apparently damp means the same thing.

Damp[5] is a verb meaning to make (something) slightly wet ⇒ damp a small area with water.

14d   Last character in pub always -- long time /needed for/ drinks (9)

15d   Edward gets upset about historical object /being/ abandoned (8)

17d   Some contrary names I met in // list (7)

18d   Substitute // one type of material with another (7)

Rep[5] (also repp) is a fabric with a ribbed surface, used in curtains and upholstery.

20d   Most unusual // member of academy needing support (6)

"member of academy" = RA (show explanation )

A Royal Academician (abbreviation RA[5]) is a member of the Royal Academy of Arts[5] (also Royal Academy; abbreviation also RA[5]), an institution established in London in 1768, whose purpose is to cultivate painting, sculpture, and architecture in Britain. 

hide explanation

22d   Kind of pit /with/ small stones left for removal (5)
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


  1. Hi Falcon,

    I found the southeast quadrant to be the toughest. I did not know that "form" can mean "bench". And I did not know that "rep" is a type of fabric. So while I had the right answers I did not fully parse 23a and 18d.

    I also had a bit of trouble with 6d (didn't know that "corn" could mean "old-fashioned stuff") and with 11a which was a new word for me.

    I did think 8a was funny.

    All in all it was an enjoyable puzzle which I would place at a middling level of difficulty.

    Thanks again for the blog.


    1. Re: 11a

      Also a new word to me. I pieced it together from the wordplay but nearly dismissed it as improbable -- however, I've learned from past mistakes not to be too quick to cast aside an unlikely candidate.