Friday, February 5, 2016

Friday, February 5, 2016 — DT 27899

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27899
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, September 5, 2015
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27899 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27899 – 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.


I'm afraid that I am extremely late on parade today. As I was composing the review, I thought that no one would probably need it anyway. However, that was before I came to 19d — a clue that I had correctly solved but for which I did not understand the wordplay. A bit of research quickly showed that the clue involves a very tricky use of cricket terminology. I have tried my best to explain it. I just hope that I have gotten the idea across.

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   Pale in colour // after meeting the Spanish (6)

"the Spanish" = EL (show explanation )

In Spanish, the masculine singular form of the definite article is el[8].

hide explanation

5a   Send off // Desmond with Patricia Church (8)

Despatch[3,4] is a less common spelling of dispatch.

10a   It could be a grave sign of stress (6)

11a   Commercial broadcast idiot put before new // supplement (8)

12a   Hospital trip NHS organised /for/ benefactors (15)

Scratching the Surface
The National Health Service[5] (also National Health, abbreviation NHS) is a system of national medical care in the UK paid for mainly by taxation and started by the Labour government in 1948.

16a   Bulb in garden plot // diseased (8)

18a   One can fasten a garment // yet not in reflection (6)

20a   It's a hangover from freezing weather (6)

21a   Letitia moving around gathering in right // academic circles (8)

22a   Rang Bill about two, on the phone, /and/ demanded an explanation (6,2,7)

27a   Without a stitch in this suit? (8)

28a   Monstrous thing, /being/ last for ages (6)

29a   Avoid // team having overturned favourites (8)

"team" = SIDE (show explanation )

Side[5] is a British term for a sports team ⇒ there was a mixture of old and young players in their side. [Note that a player is "in a side" rather than "on a team" as one would say in North America]

In North America, the term side[3] is used in a very general fashion that can denote one of two or more opposing individuals, groups, teams, or sets of opinions. While this same general usage would seem to exist as well in the UK, the term side[5] is also used there in a much more specific sense to mean a sports team, as we can clearly see from the following usage examples ⇒ (i) Previous England rugby sides, and England teams in many other sports, would have crumbled under the weight of such errors.; (ii) They'll face better sides than this Monaco team, but you can only beat what's put in front of you.

hide explanation

30a   Agreement // to attempt to catch swallow (6)


2d   Supper with recklessly raised spirits? (9)

In the whimsical world of Crosswordland, a supper is one who sups.

As a verb, sup[5] is a dated or Northern English term meaning to take (drink or liquid food) by sips or spoonfuls ⇒ (i) she supped up her soup delightedly; (ii) he was supping straight from the bottle. As a noun, sup[5] means (1) a sip of liquid ⇒ he took another sup of wine or (2) in Northern England or Ireland, an alcoholic drink ⇒ the latest sup from those blokes at the brewery.

3d   Strangely ethical to keep old diary // of religious studies (11)

4d   Concede a goal // -- perhaps the French can (3,2)

"the French" = LE (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

Scratching the Surface
Although the setter was likely thinking of football [soccer],  the clue works equally well with hockey.

6d   Bush // senior in church (5)

The elder[5] is any of numerous species of small tree or shrub with pithy stems, white flowers, and bluish-black or red berries.

An elder[5] is an official in the early Christian Church, or of various Protestant Churches and sects ⇒ he left the Church of which he had been an elder.

Scratching the Surface
George Bush[5] is an American Republican statesman, 41st President of the US 1989–1993; full name George Herbert Walker Bush. He is the father of American Republican statesman George W. Bush[5], 43rd President of the US 2001–2009; full name George Walker Bush.

7d   Groom, // stiffly formal, accompanied by page (5)

The abbreviation for page is p[5]see p 784.

8d   Having flipped, a 50/50 call // follows (5)

9d   Worker's lad // personally involved (5-2)

The wordplay parses as HAND (worker) + ('s; contraction for has) SON (lad).

13d   Nobleman/'s/ gold hair mainly to be restored (7)

A hidalgo[10] is a member of the lower nobility in Spain.

14d   Go round // men's section (5)

"men" = 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

The 's plays precisely the same role here as it did in 9d.

15d   Misleadingly, perhaps, put in // policing organisation, getting knocked back (11)

Interpol[10] (acronym for International Criminal Police Organization) is an association of over 100 national police forces, devoted chiefly to fighting international crime.

Being familiar only with the mathematical meaning of the solution, I was surprised to discover that interpolate[5] can also mean to insert (words) in a book or other text, especially in order to give a false impression as to its date.

17d   Banker/'s/ material (5)

Banker is a whimsical Crosswordland term for a river — something that has banks.

The Tweed[5] is a river which rises in the Southern Uplands of Scotland and flows generally eastwards, crossing into northeastern England and entering the North Sea at Berwick-upon-Tweed. For part of its lower course it forms the border between Scotland and England.

19d   Definite // C&B (3-3-3)

On every level, this clue is about cricket. In the surface reading, c & b[10] is an abbreviation for caught and bowled (by) that appears on cricket scorecards indicating that a batsman has been caught out by the bowler. But wait, that is only one out. However, read on.

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).

In cricket, another way for a batsman to be dismissed is to be bowled. Bowl[5] can mean either:
  1. (also bowl someone out) to dismiss (a batsman) by knocking down the wicket with the ball which one has bowled ⇒ Stewart was bowled for 33; or
  2. (bowl a side out) get an entire team out ⇒ they bowled Lancashire out for 143.
On cricket scorecards, the abbreviation b.[2,10] or b[5] denotes bowled (by).

If we consider the abbreviations c and b individually they each represent an out in cricket — therefore "out and out". However, when considered collectively ("c & b"), they represent only a single out.

Delving Deeper
Here is my interpretation of cricket scoring:

In the case of a batsman who is caught out, a cricket scorecard might show ME Waugh c Lara b Walsh 19 indicating that batsman ME Waugh was caught out by fielder Lara on a ball bowled by Walsh after having scored 19 runs.

On the other hand, should the batsman be bowled out, the scorecard might show AC Hudson b Prasad 146[5] indicating that batsman AC Hudson was bowled out by bowler Prasad after having scored 146 runs.

However, in the first example, were ME Waugh to be caught out by bowler Walsh rather than by fielder Lara, the scorecard would read ME Waugh c & b Walsh 19.

20d   Cool copper seen on public transport, // sexy devil (7)

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

An incubus[5] is a male demon believed to have sexual intercourse with sleeping women.

23d   Was first to go round ancient city /being/ beguiled (5)

Ur[5] is an ancient Sumerian city formerly on the Euphrates, in southern Iraq. It was one of the oldest cities of Mesopotamia, dating from the 4th millennium BC, and reached its zenith in the late 3rd millennium BC. Ur[7] is considered by many to be the city of Ur Kasdim mentioned in the Book of Genesis as the birthplace of the Hebrew patriarch Abraham.

24d   Spirit // of those cycling? (5)

25d   Move quickly northwards, then east, /in/ traffic (5)

26d   Tom is shown round employment department /as/ trainee (5)

A tom[5] is the male of various animals, especially a domestic cat.

The Department for Employment[7] (abbreviation DE) was a department of the Government of the United Kingdom from 1970 to 1995. In 1995 it was merged with the Department for Education to make the Department for Education and Employment. In 2001 the employment functions were split off this and transferred to the Department for Work and Pensions.
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

1 comment:

  1. Figured C&B involved cricket, so I bunged in the obvious answer and had a nap. Dreamt that a nobleman almost stashed a vice president. And a devil sounding like he was lined up for the trolley. Must have been something I ate.