Monday, February 15, 2016

Monday, Febuary 15, 2016 — DT 27905 (Bonus Puzzle)


It being a holiday in many parts of the country, the National Post did not publish today. Nevertheless, as I know that many of my readers do not like to miss their daily crossword fix, here as a bonus puzzle is DT 27905 to occupy your time today. It is the first of two puzzles that the National Post skipped this Friday past.
Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27905
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, September 12, 2015
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27905 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27905 – 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.


Overall, the puzzle was not too difficult. However, I did completely and utterly fall for the football misdirection in 3d and needed a gentle nudge from my electronic helpers to set me straight.

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   Politicians being moderate left // party having upset comrades -- about time? (6,9)

9a   Mobile accommodation // for one following motorway in Irish county (6,3)

Motorway[2] (abbreviation M[5]) is a British, Australian, and New Zealand term for a major road for fast-moving traffic, especially one with three lanes per carriageway [direction of travel] and limited access and exit points.

Cavan[5] is a county of the Republic of Ireland, part of the old province of Ulster.

10a   Second tea /or/ coffee (5)

"second" = MO (show explanation )

Mo[5] (abbreviation for moment) is an informal, chiefly British term for a short period of time ⇒ hang on a mo!.

hide explanation

Cha (or chai) are alternative spellings for char[5], an informal British name for tea.

11a   Round in shape, // wearing ceremonial dress with a small alteration (5)

12a   Performer of church ritual, // mostly bombastic in inclination (9)

13a   Devotee of Mao // argued furiously with revolutionary doctor (3,5)

Mao Zedong[5] (also Mao Tse-tung and commonly referred to as simply Mao) (1893–1976) was a Chinese statesman; chairman of the Communist Party of the Chinese People’s Republic 1949–76; head of state 1949–59. A cofounder of the Chinese Communist Party in 1921 and its effective leader from the time of the Long March (1934–35), he eventually defeated both the occupying Japanese and rival Kuomintang nationalist forces to create the People’s Republic of China in 1949, becoming its first head of state.

Red Guard[5] denotes any of various radical or socialist groups, in particular an organized detachment of workers during the Russian Revolution of 1917 and a militant youth movement in China (1966–76) which carried out attacks on intellectuals and other disfavoured groups as part of Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution.

14a   Get by with railway // company uniform (6)

Livery[5] is:
  1. a special uniform worn by a servant, an official, or a member of a City Company(i) yeomen of the guard wearing a royal red and gold livery; (ii) pageboys in scarlet and green livery; or
  2. a special design and colour scheme used on the vehicles, aircraft, or products of a particular company ⇒ the city’s trams are painted in a red and white livery.
City Company[5] is a British term for a corporation descended from an ancient trade guild of London.

16a   One may have a crush on this // old Brazilian footballer around street (6)

Pelé[5] is a retired Brazilian professional footballer [soccer player]; born Edson Arantes do Nascimento. Regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, he appeared 111 times for Brazil and is credited with over 1,200 goals in first-class soccer.

As you can see from the discussion on Big Dave's Crossword Blog (Comment #2 and Comment #7 and ensuing thread), I am not the only one to think that the setter is using his mortar and pestle the wrong way around. One uses a pestle to crust something on a mortar.

18a   Honoured woman /has/ quick drinks in pubs (8)

One[5] is an informal term for an alcoholic drink ⇒ a cool one after a day on the water. [It is quick in comparison to a couple or three.]

A baroness[5] is:
  1. the wife or widow of a baron. Baroness is not used as a form of address, baronesses usually being referred to as ‘Lady’.
  2. a woman holding the rank of baron either as a life peerage or as a hereditary rank.
22a   Checks gallery // to carry out restoration (9)

The Tate Gallery[5] (commonly known simply as the Tate) is a national museum of art in London, England founded in 1897 by the sugar manufacturer Sir Henry Tate (1819–1899) to house his collection of modern British paintings, as a nucleus for a permanent national collection of modern art. It was renamed Tate Britain in 2000, when the new Tate Modern gallery opened. [I would surmise that by that time the original collection could no longer be considered "modern".]

23a   Control mechanism // reduced user voltage (5)

Servo[5] is short for servomechanism or servomotor(i) the servos should faithfully follow the input commands; (ii) if the reservoir is holed then the remote brake servo will not be working.

Delving Deeper
A servomechanism[5] is a powered mechanism producing motion or forces at a higher level of energy than the input level, e.g. in the brakes and steering of large motor vehicles, especially where feedback is employed to make the control automatic.

A servomotor[5] is the motive element in a servomechanism.

24a   One of 1 Across perhaps // to fix end of boxing match (5)

25a   Has meal entertained by sailors, // being late (9)

26a   Imbecile threatened every // rider in competition (5-3,7)

A three-day eventer[10] is a rider or horse that takes part in three-day eventing[10], a showjumping term denoting participation in a three day equestrian competition consisting of dressage, cross-country jumping, and stadium jumping.


1d   Give comfort to // one easily fooled, we hear (7)

2d   Somewhere to sleep on holiday // around sea, taking lead (4-3)

The Med[5] is an informal, chiefly British name for the Mediterranean Sea.

 The symbol for the chemical element lead is Pb[5] (from Latin plumbum).

3d   Historic Premier // League clash -- mood changed (4,7-4)

Outside of Australia and Canada, the term Premier[5] refers to a Prime Minister or other head of government. In Australia and Canada, a Premier[5] is the chief minister of a government of a state or province.

Sir Alec Douglas-Home[5], Baron Home of the Hirsel of Coldstream (1903–1995) was a British Conservative statesman, Prime Minister 1963-4. When Douglas-Home became Prime Minister he relinquished his hereditary peerage.

Scratching the Surface
The Premier League[5] is the top division of professional soccer in England and Wales.

4d   Ireland's President // Dave, real fashionable (2,6)

Eamon de Valera[5] (1882–1975) was an American-born Irish statesman, Taoiseach (Prime Minister) 1937–48, 1951-4, and 1957-9 and President of the Republic of Ireland 1959–73. He was the leader of Sinn Fein 1917–26 and the founder of the Fianna Fáil Party in 1926. As President of the Irish Free State from 1932, de Valera was largely responsible for the new constitution of 1937 which created the state of Éire [the Gaelic name for Ireland, and the Irish name of the Republic of Ireland].

5d   Very short // record (6)

6d   What can give mariner cohesion // under any conditions (4,4,2,5)

7d   Store // a herb around back of larder (7)

8d   Dark-coloured // blemish one's reluctant to talk about (7)

15d   Caught a heartless sports official // in a good mood (8)

16d   Airborne troop's favourite // high place (7)

Para[4,11] (short for paratrooper) is a soldier in an airborne unit. In his review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog, gnomethang seems to have inadvertently shortened the soldier.

17d   Bowler -- // bad one keeping quiet (7)

"quiet" = P (show explanation )

Piano[3,5] (abbreviation p[5]), is a musical direction meaning either (as an adjective) soft or quiet or (as an adverb) softly or quietly.

hide explanation

In cricket, a spinner[5] is a bowler who is expert in spinning the ball.

19d   Serious // attention given to living space (7)

20d   Trail takes opposite directions // back (7)

21d   Oriental chant -- // part of Ottoman tradition (6)

Scratching the Surface
The Ottoman Empire[5] was the Turkish empire, established in northern Anatolia by Osman I at the end of the 13th century and expanded by his successors to include all of Asia Minor and much of southeastern Europe. After setbacks caused by the invasion of the Mongol ruler Tamerlane in 1402, Constantinople was captured in 1453. The empire reached its zenith under Suleiman in the mid 16th century; it had greatly declined by the 19th century and collapsed after the First World War.
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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