Friday, February 19, 2016

Friday, February 19, 2016 — DT 27914

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27914
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Jay (Jeremy Mutch)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27914]
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


It is a not-too-testing but very enjoyable puzzle from Jay 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   Remedies protecting against // snakes (6)

5a   Mouths off about heartless guys /in/ rogues' gallery (8)

9a   Panic, /seeing/ stars forgetting lines replaced by sailors (13)

"sailors" = RN (show explanation )

The Royal Navy[5] (abbreviation RN) is the British navy. It was the most powerful navy in the world from the 17th century until the Second World War.

hide explanation

10a   Creature, // male, by river shrouded in mist (8)

11a   The girl adopted by father /is/ frustrated (6)

12a   Look // thus, if lost (6)

This was my last one in. While I managed to work out the correct solution based on the wordplay and checking letters, I had to look it up in the dictionary before I was convinced that it is actually a real word.

Shufti[5] is an informal British term meaning a look or reconnoitre, especially a quick one ⇒ I’ll take a shufti round the wood while I’m about it.

14a   Put up with // the French charge on heads of tourist office (8)

"the French" = LE (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

16a   Cavalier // lacking means of transport to cross East (8)

19a   Caught many a poor // reptile (6)

"caught" = C (show explanation )

In cricket, one way for a batsman to be dismissed is to be caught out[5], that is for a player on the opposing team to catch a ball that has been hit by the batsman before it touches the ground.

On cricket scorecards, the abbreviation c.[2,10] or c[5] denotes caught (by).

hide explanation

Cayman is an alternative spelling of caiman[5], any of three species of semiaquatic reptile similar to the alligator but with a heavily armoured belly, native to tropical America.

21a   Not on film location // to provide a counterbalance (6)

The above markup considers the solution to be a verb. Should you prefer to think of the solution as a noun, then the markup would be:
  • 21a   Not on film location /to provide/ a counterbalance (6)
I initially wrote in OFFLOT but very quickly determined that to be unlikely.

23a   Issue a statement // giving little weight to girl (8)

25a   Fancy a blonde type? He /is/ unacceptable! (6,3,4)

The phrase beyond the pale[5] denotes outside the bounds of acceptable behaviour ⇒ the language my father used was beyond the pale.

Delving Deeper
In their review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, the 2Kiwis pictorially relate the expression beyond the pale to an area of eastern Ireland known as the Pale.

The Pale[7], or the English Pale, was the part of Ireland that was directly under the control of the English government in the late Middle Ages. It had been reduced by the late 15th century to an area along the east coast of Ireland.

The Norman invasion of Ireland, beginning in 1169, brought much of Ireland briefly under the theoretical control of the Plantagenet Kings of England. From the 13th century onwards, the Hiberno-Norman occupation in the rest of Ireland at first faltered, then waned. The Lordship actually controlled by the English king shrank accordingly, and as parts of its perimeter in counties Meath and Kildare were fenced or ditched, it became known as the Pale, deriving from the Latin word palus, a stake, or, synecdochically, a fence. By the late 15th century, the Pale became the only part of Ireland that remained subject to the English king, with most of the island paying only token recognition of the overlordship of the English crown.

The word pale derives ultimately from the Latin word pālus, meaning stake, specifically a stake used to support a fence. From this came the figurative meaning of boundary and eventually the phrase beyond the pale, as something outside the boundary. Also derived from the "boundary" concept was the idea of a pale as an area within which local laws were valid. The term was used not only for the Pale in Ireland but also for various other English colonial settlements, notably English Calais.

26a   Apologist // to give way, accepting conclusion (8)

27a   Gets wind of // ship carrying cargo of American cash (6)

In Crosswordland, you will find that a ship is almost invariably a steamship, the abbreviation for which is SS[10]. Thus phrases such as "aboard ship" or "on board ship" (or sometimes merely "on board") is Crosswordland code for 'contained in SS'. Here we encounter a variation on this theme where the phrase "ship carry cargo of" is used in a similar manner.


2d   Vulgar, like diamonds might be full of love and hearts (7)

"love" = O (show explanation )

In tennis, squash, and some other sports, love[5] is a score of zero or nil ⇒ love fifteen. The resemblance of a zero written as a numeral (0) to the letter O leads to the cryptic crossword convention of the word "love" being used to clue this letter.

Although folk etymology has connected the word with French l'oeuf 'egg', from the resemblance in shape between an egg and a zero, the term apparently comes from the phrase play for love (i.e. the love of the game, not for money).

hide explanation

"hearts" = H (show explanation )

Hearts[2]) (abbreviation H) is one of the four suits of playing-cards.

hide explanation

3d   Meat injected with nitrogen /is/ corrupt (5)

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

4d   Gloomy // pioneer regularly associated with planet (9)

Scratching the Surface
Here I may well be overreaching in an attempt to find significance in the clue.

Pioneer 11[7] (also known as Pioneer G) is a robotic space probe launched by NASA on April 6, 1973 to study the asteroid belt, the environment around Jupiter and Saturn, solar wind, cosmic rays, and eventually the far reaches of the Solar System and heliosphere. It was the first probe to encounter Saturn and the second to fly through the asteroid belt and by Jupiter. Due to power constraints and the vast distance to the probe, last contact with the spacecraft was on September 30, 1995.

5d   Special man /with/ clout to impound car (2,5)

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

6d   Good boy given new // organ (5)

"good" = G (show explanation )

The abbreviation G[10] for good likely relates to its use in grading school assignments or tests.

hide explanation

7d   Setter aiming for the top? (9)

8d   Cosmopolitan gentleman taking // the Circle Line (7)

A tangent[10] is a geometric line, curve, plane, or curved surface that touches another curve or surface at one point but does not intersect it.

Scratching the Surface
The Circle line[7] is a London Underground [subway] service. At one time, the line formed a closed loop around the centre of London on the north side of the River Thames. However with the opening of an extension to Hammersmith in December 2009, the line assumed a spiral shape.

13d   Crawl to the finish in such an event (9)

Freestyle[7] is a category of swimming competition, defined by the rules of the International Swimming Federation (FINA), in which competitors are subject to only limited restrictions on their swimming stroke. (In other words, they have great freedom with respect to their swimming style.) Freestyle races are the most common of all swimming styles, with distances reaching 1500m or 1650 yards. The stroke used almost universally in freestyle races is the front crawl, as this style is generally the fastest. For this reason, the term freestyle is sometimes incorrectly used as a synonym for front crawl when in fact it means you are mostly free to choose your style hence the word freestyle.

15d   Harassed client with no time understands // publicans (9)

Publican[5] is a British term for a person who owns or manages a pub.

A licensee[4] is a person who holds a licence, especially one to sell alcoholic drink.

17d   A strong story with a moral, // showing good humour (7)

"strong" = F (show explanation )

Forte[5] (abbreviation f[5]) is a musical direction meaning (as an adjective) loud or (as an adverb) loudly [or, in other words, strong or strongly].

hide explanation 

18d   Shilling, milliner, /shows/ dash (7)

In the British currency system used prior to the introduction of the current decimal currency system, a shilling[5] (abbreviation s[5]) was a coin and monetary unit equal to one twentieth of a pound or twelve pence.

Scratching the Surface
David Shilling[7] is an English milliner, sculpturer, fashion and interior designer synonymous with designing extravagant hats and clothing displayed on Ladies' Day at Royal Ascot.

The Royal Ascot[7], held each year in June at Ascot Racecourse in England, comprises a series of horse races spread over a period of five days. Dating back to 1711 when it was founded by Queen Anne, it is a major event in the British social calendar, and press coverage of the attendees and what they are wearing often exceeds coverage of the actual racing. Day three (Thursday) is known colloquially (but not officially) as Ladies' Day.

The most prestigious viewing area is the Royal Enclosure which has a strictly enforced dress code. For women, only a day dress with a hat is acceptable, with rules applying to the length and style of the dress. In addition, women must not show bare midriffs or shoulders. For men, black or grey morning dress with top hat is required.

20d   Nice changes in a religious tome // dating from long ago (7)

22d   Superbly muscled, /but/ somewhat put on edge (5)

24d   Maturity shown with American // custom (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

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