Friday, February 26, 2016

Friday, February 26, 2016 — DT 27923

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27923
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, October 3, 2015
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27923 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27923 – Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave (Hints)
gnomethang (Review)
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 this was a Saturday "Prize Puzzle" in Britain, there are two entries related to it on Big Dave's Crossword Blog — the first, posted on the date of publication, contains hints for selected clues while the second is a full review issued following the entry deadline for the contest. The vast majority of reader comments will generally be found attached to the "hints" posting with a minimal number — if any — accompanying the full review.


No skipping today; the expected puzzle appears in the National Post. For those of you like myself who are fans of cryptic definitions, there are some nice ones in this puzzle. I especially enjoyed the "cross country runners meet" at 18a.

If you follow the comments on Big Dave's site to the end, you will see that the England rugby team met its doom at the hands of Australia.

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.


2a   Copy-editor number one upset by writing // fee (12)

Sub[5] is a British term for a subeditor ⇒ the chief sub would be responsible for the look of the paper.

8a   Large number have a complaint when it goes astray (4)

Contrary to gnomethang, I rather liked this semi-&lit. (semi-all-in-one) clue in which the entire clue is a a cryptic definition and a portion of the clue (indicated by the dashed underline) is the wordplay.

"large number" = M (show explanation )

In cryptic crosswords,  "a number" is very often a Roman numeral and, in particular, terms such as "(a) large number", "many" or "a great many" are frequently used  to indicate that a large Roman numeral — generally C (100), D (500), or M (1000) — is required.

hide explanation

9a   Disposed of what was left after liquidation (6,2)

10a   Greek character returning after short time /offers/ driving force (8)

Mu[5] is the twelfth letter of the Greek alphabet (Μ, μ).

11a   Went round -- no answer -- // went off (6)

Go off[5] is a British (or, at least, chiefly British[3]) term meaning (said of food or drink) to begin to decompose and become inedible ⇒ milk went off so quickly in hot weather.

12a   Posh tie, shy, dressed up /to make/ proposition (10)

13a   On holiday, with reserve /in/ place of business (6)

In his review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog, gnomethang offers one explanation for "reserve" being used to clue ICE. However, I submit that there is an alternative, at least equally valid choice.

Ice[5] means complete absence of friendliness or warmth in manner or expression ⇒ the ice in his voice was only to hide the pain.

16a   Outbuilding accommodating single // wee Scot? (5)

Bairn[5] is a chiefly Scottish and Northern English term for a child.

17a   Smart hat more than covering // Mary's sister (6)

In the New Testament, Martha[5] is the the sister of Lazarus and Mary and friend of Jesus (Luke 10:40).

Delving Deeper
In the bible story, Christ visited a home where two sisters, Mary and Martha, lived. Mary sat at the visitor's feet to listen to him while Martha raced about preparing and serving the meal.. After the meal, Mary poured expensive perfume on Jesus' feet and wiped them with her hair. Eventually, Martha's patience ran out, and she called on Mary to help her. Martha was chided for her mundane concerns, and told that "Mary has chosen what is better". This story has given rise to a Martha being a term for a woman who keeps herself very busy with domestic affairs.

18a   Study complaint in this French // place where cross-country runners meet (10)

In Crosswordland, complaints are commonly medical in nature.

Con[5] is an archaic term meaning to study attentively or learn by heart (a piece of writing)  ⇒ the girls conned their pages with a great show of industry.

In French, en[8] is a preposition meaning 'in'and ce[8] is a demonstrative adjective meaning 'this'.

21a   Rose // crazy to come back with invite (6)

Damask[5] is short for damask rose[5], a sweet-scented rose (Rosa damascena) of an old variety, having pink or light red velvety petals which are used to make attar*.

* A fragrant essential oil, typically made from rose petals.

23a   Subcontinental graduate's entered // ship (8)

Historically, an Indiaman[5] was a ship engaged in trade with India or the East or West Indies, especially an East Indiaman.

24a   Go to collect everything for each // one making rapid progress (8)

25a   Prepare to shoot // bird (4)

26a   Echoes of swan in flight // appear (4,4,4)


1d   Parrot circling an // overhanging shelter (6)

2d   Put off deciding // what to do with bed (5,2,2)

3d   Irregular discolouration left in // cowboy builder's work (6)

Cowboy[5] is an informal British term for a dishonest or careless person in business, especially an unqualified one ⇒ [as modifier] cowboy coach [bus] firms are alleged to have flouted safety rules.

4d   Percentage rise ordered to cover area // hotel employees (15)

Commissionaire[5] is a British term for a uniformed door attendant at a hotel, theatre, or other building.

5d   Trendy agent's shown up to meet lad // face to face (2,6)

6d   Pinching // the paper (5)

Pinching is a gerund which means it can fill the role of a noun.

The Financial Times[7] (abbreviation FT) is a British international business newspaper that is — as gnomethang alludes in his review — printed on conspicuous salmon pink newsprint.

7d   Lavishness /of/ couple rebuilding to house small unit for printing (8)

In printing, the en[5] is a unit of measurement equal to half an em and approximately the average width of typeset characters, used especially for estimating the total amount of space a text will require.

14d   Self-employed // fencer with ale being spilt (9)

15d   Staged a party /and/ gave it a go (3,1,4)

16d   Supports leg // movement achieved by some potters (8)

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.

19d   Affectedly superior // boy and girl (2-2-2)

La-di-da[5] (also lah-di-dah) is an informal term denoting pretentious or snobbish in manner or speech ⇒ do I really sound like a la-di-da society lawyer?.

20d   Dicey, // showing sign of hesitation leaving court (6)

In the UK, the Chancery[5] (or Chancery Division) denotes the Lord Chancellor’s court, a division of the High Court of Justice.

22d   Base silver starts // shining (5)

The symbol for the chemical element silver is Ag[5] from Latin argentum.
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

No comments:

Post a Comment