Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Tuesday, January 5, 2016 — DT 27872

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27872
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Wednesday, August 5, 2015
Jay (Jeremy Mutch)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27872]
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


I found today's puzzle from Jay to be slightly to the lower end of the difficulty scale from his usual standard. However, the enjoyment level was well up to par.

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   Bon mot // from student boxed in by country-folk (10)

"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.

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6a   To leave without finishing /is/ a mistake (4)

10a   Vital transporter // held back by that roadblock (5)

11a   Rose disheartened, with daughter taken in by carpenter/'s/ response (9)

12a   Animal/'s/ hide can upset (7)

The echidna[5] (also called spiny anteater) is either of two species of spiny insectivorous egg-laying mammal with a long snout and claws, native to Australia and New Guinea.

13a   A theologian trapped by endless logic // is depressing (7)

Doctor of Divinity[7] (abbreviation D.D. or DD, Divinitatis Doctor in Latin) is an advanced academic degree in divinity. Historically, it identified one who had been licensed by a university to teach Christian theology or related religious subjects. In the United Kingdom, Doctor of Divinity has traditionally been the highest doctorate granted by universities, usually conferred upon a religious scholar of standing and distinction. In the United States, the Doctor of Divinity is usually awarded as an honorary degree.

14a   What snooker coach does /for/ an anorak? (12)

In billiards and snooker, pot[5] means to strike (a ball) into a pocket ⇒ he failed to pot a red at close range. Thus, a potter is someone who plays billiards or snooker. Since I failed to find the term potter defined in this sense in any of my dictionaries, this usage may merely be a cryptic crossword convention — similar to the word flower (something that flows) being used to define a river. [Those who read the comments section of Big Dave's Crossword Blog yesterday, may recall that Hrothgar remarked in Comment #10 that "in 15d, was racking my brain for a well-known snooker player" when what he really needed was the 18th century potter Josiah Wedgwood.]

An anorak[5] is a waterproof jacket, typically with a hood, of a kind originally used in polar regions.

In Britain, anorak[5] is an informal, derogatory term for a studious or obsessive person with unfashionable and largely solitary interests ⇒ with his thick specs, shabby shoes, and grey suit, he looks a bit of an anorak. The term derives from the anoraks worn by trainspotters (see below), regarded as typifying this kind of person.

Trainspotter[5] is a British term for a person who collects train or locomotive numbers as a hobby. The name is also often used in a derogatory sense to refer to a person who obsessively studies the minutiae of any minority interest or specialized hobby ⇒ the idea is to make the music really really collectable so the trainspotters will buy it in their pathetic thousands.

18a   Easter Day // picnic? (7,5)

A movable feast[5] is a religious feast day (show explanation ) that does not occur on the same calendar date each year, in particular Easter Day and other Christian holy days whose dates are related to it.

A feast day is a day on which a celebration, especially an annual Christian one, is held ⇒ (i) on feast days a High Mass was sung; (ii) the feast day of Saint Mark.

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21a   Demand by engineers /for/ salvage (7)

"engineers" = RE (show explanation )

The Corps of Royal Engineers[7], usually just called the Royal Engineers (abbreviation RE), and commonly known as the Sappers[7], is a corps of the British Army that provides military engineering and other technical support to the British Armed Forces.

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23a   Cold approach after Germany and Spain // deteriorate (7)

"Germany" = D (show explanation )

The International Vehicle Registration (IVR) code for Germany is D[5] [from German Deutschland].

hide explanation

"Spain" = E (show explanation )

The International Vehicle Registration (IVR) code for Spain is E[5] [from Spanish España].

hide explanation

24a   During exercises, learnt about energy /and/ growth (5,4)

"exercises" = PE (show explanation )

PE[5] is the abbreviation for physical education [or Phys Ed, as it was known in my school days]. 

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"energy" = E (show explanation )

In physics, E[5] is a symbol used to represent energy.

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In cryptic crosswords, growth often denotes a plant.

The plane[5] (also plane tree) is a tall spreading tree of the genus Platanus of the northern hemisphere, with maple-like leaves and bark which peels in uneven patches.

25a   Quick // answer -- and survive! (5)

The quick[5] (plural noun) is an archaic term denoting those who are living ⇒ the quick and the dead.

26a   Regrets // deception on the radio (4)

27a   A listener worried about name // game (4,6)

Real tennis[5] is the original form of tennis, played with a solid ball on an enclosed court divided into equal but dissimilar halves, the service side (from which service is always delivered) and the hazard side (on which service is received). A similar game was played in monastery cloisters in the 11th century.

Scratching the Surface
Tennis[5] is a game in which two or four players strike a ball with rackets over a net stretched across a court. The usual form (originally called lawn tennis) is played with a felt-covered hollow rubber ball on a grass, clay, or artificial surface.


1d   Appeal /offering/ little hope? (6)

Prayer[10] is slang meaning a chance or hope she doesn't have a prayer of getting married.
This expression is most often encountered in the negative as shown in the usage example. However, I would think that it could be used in the positive in which case it might be defined as a faint chance or dim hope she has but a prayer of getting married.
2d   Slightest chance to have no end of alcohol, /being/ bawdy (6)

My initial reaction was that earthly is an adjective rather than a noun. Well, I was to discover that this is not the case in Britain — where adjectives seem to have a propensity to metamorphose into nouns.

Not stand (or have) an earthly[5] is an informal British expression meaning to have no chance at all she wouldn’t stand an earthly if she tried to outrun him.

3d   Prominent leader /in/ arrears -- and debt to be rescheduled (8-6)

A standard-bearer[5] is a soldier who is responsible for carrying the distinctive flag of a unit, regiment, or army; hence, a leading figure in a cause or movement ⇒ the announcement made her a standard-bearer for gay rights.

4d   River rodent found in childish // chronicle (9)

5d   Princes /must be/ almost foolhardy, arresting a judge (5)

"judge" = J (show explanation )

J[2] (plural JJ) is the abbreviation for judge.

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Historically, a raja[5] (also rajah) was an Indian king or prince.

7d   Sundry items /from/ strange fellows on way up (8)

8d   Scientific study /of/ second test after warning (8)

Fore[5] is an exclamation called out as a warning to people in the path of a golf ball.

9d   Do legacies show off // this fruitless pursuit? (4-5,5)

15d   Plant // rush before spring (9)

Speedwell[5] is any of several species of of small creeping herbaceous plant of north temperate regions, with small blue or pink flowers.

16d   Him topless? Thoroughly // inappropriate! (8)

Proper[5] is an informal British or dialect term meaning thoroughly he blotted his copybook good and proper.

17d   Clear // EU caveat to be broadcast (8)

Scratching the Surface
The European Union[5] (abbreviation EU) is an economic and political association of certain European countries as a unit with internal free trade and common external tariffs.

The European Union consists of 28[7] member states, 19[7] of which use the common currency unit, the euro although the membership of Greece has been hanging by a thread for some time.

Note: Since the last time that I used this reference, Oxford Dictionaries has updated its figure for the number of members states but not the number of states that use the euro which it continues to show as being 16.

19d   Target set up, locked in by evil // primate (6)

What did they say?
In their review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog, the 2Kiwis remark [t]he evil could be any one of the seven deadlies.
In Christian tradition, the sins of pride, covetousness, lust, anger, gluttony, envy, and sloth are known as the seven deadly sins[5].

20d   Refuses to conform /and/ staggers around back of pub (6)

22d   Mrs Simpson/'s/ horse swallowing George's crown! (5)

The Simpsons[7] is an American family animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical depiction of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its family of the same name, which consists of parents Homer and Marge and their children Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield and parodies American culture, society, television, and many aspects of the human condition.
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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