Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Tuesday, January 19, 2016 — DT 27884

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27884
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Jay (Jeremy Mutch)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27884]
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


As we have come to expect, Jay provides us with a very enjoyable 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   Draw on this // to make a reservation on second boat (10)

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.

6a   Northern type/'s/ place with charge initially for parking (4)

This is a Northerner from a British perspective.

10a   Bug // contained by regular vaccination? (5)

11a   Badger in a woolly // coat (9)

Gabardine is a (chiefly North American) alternate spelling of gaberdine[5], which is:
  1. a smooth, durable twill-woven worsted or cotton cloth; or
  2. a British term for a raincoat made of gaberdine ⇒ Willie hung his gaberdine and cap on his peg.
The Brits seemed to love this clue with many picking it as their favourite — and nary a complaint about the North American spelling.

12a   Drunk restricts working // when stars are out (7)

13a   Time short with favourite // instrument (7)

Short[5] is a British term for a drink of spirits served in a small measure [a container of standard capacity used for taking fixed amounts of a substance] or, as Collins English Dictionary puts it, a short[10] is a drink of spirits as opposed to a long drink such as beer.

14a   Screens // student in predicament, swamped by waves (12)

"student" = L (show explanation )

The cryptic crossword convention of L meaning learner or student arises from the L-plate[7], a square plate bearing a sans-serif letter L, for learner, which must be affixed to the front and back of a vehicle in various countries (including the UK) if its driver is a learner under instruction.

hide explanation

A rollerblind[1] (or roller blind[5,10]) is a window screen on a roller — and a British term according to Collins English Dictionary. I would presume that The Chambers Dictionary is using screen in the sense of something which shields one from view and not something to keep the bugs out. In their definitions, Oxford Dictionaries and Collins English Dictionary both refer to a roller blind as a window blind.

18a   Symbol /of/ latecomers changing ship? (7,5)

A Maltese cross[5] is a with arms of equal length which broaden from the centre and have their ends indented in a shallow V-shape. It is so named because the cross was formerly worn by the Knights Hospitaller, who were based in Malta 1530–1798.

21a   Revolutionary American runs out // looking pale (7)

"runs" = R (show explanation )

On cricket scorecards [not to mention baseball scoreboards], the abbreviation R[5] denotes run(s).

In cricket, a run[5] is a unit of scoring achieved by hitting the ball so that both batsmen are able to run between the wickets, or awarded in some other circumstances.

hide explanation

23a   European reticent to accept record /for/ environmental matters (7)

24a   One tells /of /cut on rear going bad (9)

25a   Tax incorporating right // to fish (5)

26a   Appointment /that's/ kept in pied-a-terre? (4)

Scratching the Surface
A pied-à-terre[5] is a small flat [apartment], house, or room kept for occasional use.

27a   Prepared // volunteers returning with people embracing study (2,3,5)

"volunteers" = TA (show explanation )

In the UK, Territorial Army[5] (abbreviation TA[5]) was, at one time, the name of a volunteer force founded in 1908 to provide a reserve of trained and disciplined military personnel for use in an emergency. Since 2013, this organization has been called the Army Reserve.

hide explanation

In Britain, to read[5] means to study (an academic subject) at a university ⇒ (i) I’m reading English at Cambridge; (ii) he went to Manchester to read for a BA in Economics.


1d   Greeting // the start of summer on a musical instrument (6)

A lute[5] is a plucked stringed instrument with a long neck bearing frets and a rounded body with a flat front, rather like a halved egg in shape.

2d   Currency needed to support the Queen/'s/ mission (6)

The rand[5] is the basic monetary unit of South Africa, equal to 100 cents.

"the Queen" = ER (show explanation )

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 Queen Elizabeth is ER[5] — from the Latin Elizabetha Regina.

hide explanation

3d   Revise decision // on denims, possibly? (6,4,4)

The wordplay in this clue is an inverse anagram. The solution to the clue consists of an anagram indicator and its fodder (the letters on which the anagram indicator operate), with the result of the anagram operation being found in the clue itself.

The solution to the clue is CHANGE ONE'S MIND (revise decision) which could function (possibly) as wordplay for an anagram (change) of ONES MIND giving the result ON DENIMS that is found in the clue itself.

Having the anagram indicator and fodder in the solution and the result in the clue is the inverse of the normal situation in which the indicator and fodder would be found in the clue with the result in the solution.

4d   Reserve a counter mainly /for/ a game in the pub (9)

Bag[5] means to succeed in securing (something) ⇒ get there early to bag a seat in the front row.

A teller[5] is a person appointed to count votes, especially in a parliament. Oxford Dictionaries tells us that in the sense of a person employed to deal with customers' transactions in a bank, teller is a chiefly North American term. Apparently, the Brits would be more likely to use terms like bank clerk or cashier.

Delving Deeper
According to Oxford Dictionaries, tell[5] is an archaic term meaning to count (the members of a group) ⇒ the shepherd had told all his sheep. Collins English Dictionary reveals that tell[10] can mean to count (votes). From The American Heritage Dictionary and the Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, we learn that tell[3,11] can mean to enumerate or count ⇒ (i) telling one's blessings; (ii) 16 windows, all told.

Bagatelle can refer to either of two games. The 2Kiwis have chosen to identify bagatelle[5,10] as a form of pinball, a game in which small balls are hit and then allowed to roll down a sloping board on which there are holes, each numbered with the score achieved if a ball goes into it, with pins acting as obstructions.

However, I thought it might refer to a different game. Bagatelle[10] is another name for bar billiards[10], a British term for a table game in pubs, etc, in which short cues are used to pocket balls into holes scoring various points and guarded by wooden pegs that incur penalties if they are knocked over.

5d   Compass /of/ soldiers on part of drill (5)

"soldiers" = OR (show explanation )

In the British armed forces, the term other ranks[5] (abbreviation OR[5]) refers to all those who are not commissioned officers.

hide explanation

7d   Prioritising economy, dismissing son /and/ making waves (8)

I rather doubt that the implement shown by the 2Kiwis is intended for "making waves".

8d   Written study /of/ peace accords ultimately promoted (8)

9d   Fixer /who's/ corrupt to others protecting currency? (14)

The rouble[5] (also chiefly North American ruble) is the basic monetary unit of Russia and some other former republics of the USSR, equal to 100 kopeks.

15d   Little-known planet /producing/ oxide (4,5)

Rare earth[1] is an oxide of a rare-earth element, any of a group of metallic elements (some of them rare) closely similar in chemical properties and very difficult to separate. The term is now more usually used for the rare-earth element itself than for the oxide. In addition to the spelling discrepancy, Oxford Dictionaries contradicts The Chambers Dictionary claiming that rare earth elements[5] (or rare earth metals) "are not especially rare".

16d   I've got a twin /that's/ spoilt (8)

17d   Easy to understand // character in tragedy with copper in court (5-3)

King Lear[7] is a tragedy by English playwright William Shakespeare (1564-1616). The title character descends into madness after disposing of his estate between two of his three daughters based on their flattery, bringing tragic consequences for all.

The symbol for the chemical element copper is Cu[5] (from late Latin cuprum).

"court" = CT (show explanation )

Ct[2] is the abbreviation for Court in street addresses — and possibly in other contexts as well.

hide explanation

19d   Taboo developing about end of working // capital (6)

Bogotá[5] is the capital of Colombia, situated in the eastern Andes at about 2,610 m (8,560 ft); population 6,778,691 (2005). It was founded by the Spanish in 1538 on the site of a pre-Columbian centre of the Chibcha culture. Official name Santa Fé de Bogotá.

20d   Times remuneration includes pound /for/ subordinate action (2-4)

"pound" = L (show explanation )

The pound[5] (also pound sterling) is the basic monetary unit of the UK, equal to 100 pence. While the symbol for pound is £, it is often written as L[10].

The Chambers Dictionary defines the upper case L[1] as the abbreviation for pound sterling (usually written £) and the lower case l[1] as the abbreviation for pound weight (usually written lb) — both deriving from the Latin word libra.

In ancient Rome, the libra[5] was a unit of weight, equivalent to 12 ounces (0.34 kg). It was the forerunner of the pound.

hide explanation

22d   Split /in/ Conservative wets? (5)

Wet[5] is an informal British term for a person lacking forcefulness or strength of character ⇒ there are sorts who look like gangsters and sorts who look like wets.

In British political circles, the name wet[5] is applied to a Conservative with liberal tendencies ⇒ the wets favoured a change in economic policy. It was a term frequently used by former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher for those to the left of her in the British Conservative Party [which must have been just about everyone].
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

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