Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Tuesday, January 12, 2016 — DT 27878

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27878
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
Jay (Jeremy Mutch)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27878]
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


Once again Jay delivers his customary entertaining fare.

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   Increase // favouring prisoner with a case of these (11)

9a   In the chair, // begging with leader to be dismissed (7)

Given the solution, I am a bit surprised to find the word "leader" in the clue.

10a   Fall on east side of the pond? (6)

Cross Pond Differences

A slightly different version of this clue appeared across the pond:
  • Fall over the pond? (6)
Given that there are no reports on Big Dave's Crossword Blog of any difference between the clue which was published in the newspaper and that which appeared on the website in the UK, I would guess that the clue appearing in the National Post today was the original version of the clue with the change being made subsequent to the syndicated puzzle having been distributed but prior to the publication of the newspaper.

Thank you to Peter for pointing out the discrepancy.

The pond[5] is a humorous name for the Atlantic Ocean ⇒ he’s relatively unknown on this side of the pond.

According to Oxford Dictionaries, fall[5] (also Fall) is the North American term for autumn while Collins English Dictionary characterizes fall[10] as a mainly US term for autumn.

The word fall[7] actually came to North America from England. Before the 16th century, harvest was the term usually used to refer to the season, as is common in other West Germanic languages to this day (cf. Dutch herfst and German Herbst). However, as more people gradually moved from working the land to living in towns (especially those who could read and write, the only people whose use of language we now know), the word harvest lost its reference to the time of year and came to refer only to the actual activity of reaping, and autumn, as well as fall, began to replace it as a reference to the season.

The term fall came to denote the season in 16th century England. During the 17th century, English emigration to the British colonies in North America was at its peak, and the new settlers took the English language with them. While the term fall gradually became obsolete in Britain, it became the more common term in North America.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, I would think that in Canada the terms fall and autumn are used interchangeably and with roughly equal frequency.

12a   Person getting on /from/ Dorset, moving across West of Liskeard (7)

Scratching the Surface
Dorset[5] is a county of southwestern England; county town, Dorchester.

Liskeard[7] is an ancient stannary [site of a tin mine] and market town and civil parish in south east Cornwall, England.

I have no idea why the word "West" is capitalized. I surmised that there might possibly be a community by the name of West of Liskeard, but it was not to be found.

13a   Low returns on rent /for/ drinking establishment (7)

In this drinking establishment, one imbibes brews of different sort.

14a   One entering King George /is/ one doomed (5)

The regnal ciphers (monograms) of British monarchs are initials formed from the Latin version of their first name followed by either Rex or Regina (Latin for king or queen, respectively). Thus, the regnal cipher of King George is GR[5] — from the Latin Georgius Rex.

15a   Bearer of fruit // to relieve poor (5,4)

17a   Half seen prior to bar // meeting (9)

20a   English surrounded in worst // attack on all sides (5)

Worst[5] is used as a verb meaning to get the better of or defeat ⇒ this was not the time for a deep discussion—she was tired and she would be worsted. Ironically, in this sense worst is a synonym of best[5] which, as a verb, means to outwit or get the better of (someone) ⇒ she refused to allow herself to be bested.

22a   Problem /for/ one with BO (7)

24a   Pressure // working on site with nitrogen (7)

The symbol for the chemical element nitrogen is N[5].

25a   Beer fans will be back on time, // landing here (6)

The Campaign for Real Ale[7] (CAMRA) is an independent voluntary consumer organisation headquartered in St Albans, England, which promotes real ale, real cider and the traditional British pub. It is now the largest single-issue consumer group in the UK, and is a founding member of the European Beer Consumers Union (EBCU).

Delving Deeper
Real ale[7] is the name coined by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) in 1973 for a type of beer defined as "beer brewed from traditional ingredients, matured by secondary fermentation in the container from which it is dispensed, and served without the use of extraneous carbon dioxide". The heart of the definition is the maturation requirements. If the beer is unfiltered, unpasteurised and still active on the yeast, it is a real ale; it is irrelevant whether the container is a cask or a bottle.

CAMRA does not support the promotion and sale of keg based craft beer in the UK. CAMRA's Internal Policy document states that real ale can only be served from cask without the use of additional carbonation. This policy means that "any beer brand which is produced in both cask and keg versions" is not admitted to CAMRA festivals or supported by CAMRA.[7]

26a   Gift incorporating a ship/'s/ instrument (7)

"ship" = SS (show explanation )

In Crosswordland, a ship is almost invariably a steamship, the abbreviation for which is SS[5]the SS Canberra.

hide explanation

27a   Presence /of/ poet set girl off (11)


2d   Celebrate wildly, /seeing/ Independent in list of names (7)

"independent" = I (show explanation )

I[1] is the abbreviation for independent, likely in the context of a politician with no party affiliation.

hide explanation

3d   Convict to rule over // boozer (5,4)

Lag[5] is an informal British term for a person who has been frequently convicted and sent to prison ⇒ both old lags were sentenced to ten years' imprisonment.

Lager lout[5] is an informal British term for a young man who behaves in an unpleasant or violent way as a result of excessive drinking police said he acted like a lager lout and hit an officer.

4d   Last of Marmite used in quick // spread (5)

Scratching the Surface
Marmite[5] is a British trademark for a dark savoury spread made from yeast extract and vegetable extract.

5d   Artists copy // daily routine (3,4)

"artists" = 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

6d   What might be played // dancing to rumba? (7)

Tambour[5] is a historical term for a small drum.

7d   Lubrication needed after joint effort? (5-6)

8d   Forgive // what? (6)

11d   Rude // material suppressed by films regularly (11)

16d   Short-tempered // Blairite worried about right (9)

A Blairite[10] is a supporter of the modernizing policies of Tony Blair[5], British Labour statesman who was Prime Minister 1997–2007.

18d   Smart answer -- leave // city! (7)

19d   Scruffy /and/ chaotic mate (punk) abandoning area (7)

Scratching the Surface
In Britain, mate[5] — in addition to being a person’s husband, wife, or other sexual partner — is an informal term for a friend or companion ⇒ my best mate Steve.

20d   Advantages /of/ working in public transport? (7)

21d   Diamonds, say, and gold might win him his girl! (6)

"gold" = OR (show explanation )

Or[5] is gold or yellow, as a heraldic tincture.

hide explanation

23d   Expert in an expensive car? Possibly (5)

The monogram RR appears on the grill of a Rolls Royce automobile.

Key to Reference Sources: 

[1]   - The Chambers Dictionary, 11th Edition
[2]   - Search Chambers - (Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)
[3]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (American Heritage Dictionary)
[4]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (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] - CollinsDictionary.com (Collins English Dictionary)
[11] - TheFreeDictionary.com (Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary)
Signing off for today — Falcon


  1. Hi Falcon,

    The National Post version of this puzzle contains a somewhat different clue for 10a. It is: "Fall over east side of the pond". When I figured out the answer I thought the clue must be mistaken. It should be the "west side of the pond" - from the UK, that is.

    By the way, I noticed that you have not changed the year to 2016 in your blog.

    Hope all is well.


    1. Hi Peter,

      Thank you for pointing out the discrepancy in 10a. I have adjusted the wording of the clue in the blog to match the wording found in the National Post.

      I think that the construction of the clue is open to interpretation. You obviously read the clue as if it should have been "Autumn is [known as] Fall on west side of the pond". However, one could argue that it means "Fall, on the east side of the pond, is [known as] autumn". Remember that punctuation can be inserted and removed at will.

      Thank you also for pointing out that I was still stuck in 2015. I see that I did get the year correct for the first couple of days of the new year but then lapsed.

    2. Yes, you are right of course. That alternative way of reading the clue does save it. And I think you are also right in saying that in Canada the two terms are used interchangeably although I do think the term "fall" is more commonly used.