Thursday, February 18, 2016

Thursday, February 18, 2016 — DT 27913

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27913
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27913]
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
The National Post has skipped DT 27912 which was published in The Daily Telegraph on Monday, September 21, 2015.


{Placeholder Text}

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.


6a   A cod that's cooked with a plain // drink (4,6)

A pina colada[5] is a cocktail made with rum, pineapple juice, and coconut.

8a   Fail /in/ old US college (4)

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology[5] (abbreviation MIT) is a US institute of higher education, famous for scientific and technical research, founded in 1861 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

9a   My // time in Fez, say (5,4)

A fez[5] is a flat-topped conical red hat with a black tassel on top, worn by men in some Muslim countries (formerly the Turkish national headdress).

Scratching the Surface
Fez[5] (also Fès) is a city in northern Morocco, founded in 808; population 977,946 (2004).

11a   Mention of Fenland place /being/ devious (4)

Eely[10] means to act in an evasive or untrustworthy manner.

A fen[5] is a low and marshy or frequently flooded area of land.

The Fenland[5] is another name for to the Fens[5], the flat low-lying areas of eastern England, mainly in Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, and Norfolk, formerly marshland but largely drained for agriculture since the 17th century.

Ely[5] (pronounced EE-lee) is a cathedral city in the fenland of Cambridgeshire, eastern England, on the River Ouse; population 15,600 (est. 2009).

12a   Stray // right in US hospital facility (3)

ER[5] (emergency room) is the North American term for what is known in the UK as A & E[5] (accident and emergency).

13a   Defensive type around court // brewed beers in LA (9)

In lawn tennis, a baseliner[5] is a player who strikes the ball from the baseline.

16a   [Some unweighable men principally facing ring -- in this? (4)

Sumo[5] (also sumo wrestling) is a Japanese form of heavyweight wrestling, in which a wrestler wins a bout by forcing his opponent outside a marked circle or by making him touch the ground with any part of his body except the soles of his feet.

17a   It's like a top golfer // to withdraw from competition (7)

Scratch[5] is an adjective meaning (with reference to a sports competitor or event) with no handicap given ⇒ he was a scratch player at many courses.

In golf, scratch[5] denotes a handicap of zero, indicating that a player is good enough to achieve par on a course ⇒ he plays off scratch in University golf.

18a   Damage by number of spectators /in/ Kent resort (7)

Margate[7] is a seaside town in East Kent, England. For at least 250 years, Margate has been a leading seaside resort in the UK, drawing Londoners to its beaches, Margate Sands.

20a   Clot, we're told, /getting/ to work with needles (4)

Clot[5] is an informal British term for a foolish or clumsy person ⇒ Watch where you’re going, you clot!.

Nit[5] is an informal British term for a foolish person ⇒ you stupid nit!

21a   A route retired name follows, /being/ indifferent (9)

23a   Tom, perhaps, /and/ son excluded by players (3)

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

24a   Award for TV programme unknown eclipsed by a // book (4)

In the US, the Emmy[5] is a statuette awarded annually to an outstanding television programme or performer. [The name is said to originate from Immy, short for image orthicon tube (a kind of television camera tube).]

In mathematics (algebra, in particular), an unknown[10] is a variable, or the quantity it represents, the value of which is to be discovered by solving an equation ⇒ 3y = 4x + 5 is an equation in two unknowns. [Unknowns are customarily represented symbolically by the letters x, y and z.]

Emma[7] is a novel by English writer Jane Austen (1775–1817) that was first published in December 1815.

Behind the Picture
Gazza illustrates his hint with a photo of English actress Kate Beckinsale in the role of Emma.

Jane Austen's Emma[7] is an adaptation of the 1815 novel of the same name. It was adapted for the British television network ITV in 1996, the same year as Miramax's film adaptation of Emma starring Gwyneth Paltrow. The ITV production, which stars Kate Beckinsale as the titular character, received generally positive reviews from critics, who believed it to be superior to the Miramax film. Most focused on Beckinsale's performance as a positive highlight.

25a   Learner I must follow entering big room that's messy // tangle (9)

"learner" = 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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29a   Bishop with complete // stoop (4)

"bishop" = B (show explanation )

B[5] is an abbreviation for bishop that is used in recording moves in chess.

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30a   Old Cuban free to wander without fellow /in/ high spirits (10)


1d   Litigant not clear /in/ minor quarrel (4)

2d   Unpleasant feeling /from/ French bread (4)

The French word for bread is pain[8].

3d   Thin // lad consuming prime bit of nutrition (4)

4d   Police operation // staff making contact with racing driver once (7)

James Hunt[7] (1947–1993) was a British racing driver who won the Formula One World Championship in 1976. After retiring from racing in 1979, Hunt became a media commentator and businessman. Hunt died from a heart attack aged 45.

5d   Like a skilful negotiator, // I calm top delinquent confronted by inspector (10)

A detective inspector (DI[5]) is a senior police officer in the UK. Within the British police, inspector[7] is the second supervisory rank. It is senior to that of sergeant, but junior to that of chief inspector. Plain-clothes detective inspectors are equal in rank to their uniformed counterparts, the prefix 'detective' identifying them as having been trained in criminal investigation and being part of or attached to their force's Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

7d   Period in a substantial hospital /producing/ consequences (9)

8d   Mistake /shown in/ management? (9)

10d   Hint /coming from/ line, we hear (3)

Queue[5] is a chiefly British term meaning a line or sequence of people or vehicles awaiting their turn to be attended to or to proceed. The usual US and Canadian term is line.[10]

13d   Old newspaper // to make Net, conceivably (4,6)

I failed to decipher the wordplay and have Gazza to thank for his explanation. If you reverse (back) the number TEN, you get (make) NET. The word "conceivably" indicates that this is but one of several possibilities. As Gazza points out in his review, were you to start with a different number, you could obtain OWT — or, for that matter, XIS or ENO.

Back number[5] is a British term [so sayeth Oxford Dictionaries] denoting an issue of a periodical earlier than the current one. While the term does not sound entirely foreign to my ear, I suppose we would be more likely to say back issue[5] in North America.

14d   Second character covering selling area /in/ anti-fraud device (5,4)

15d   Rewarding // development of vital cure (9)

19d   Here's first retreat among trees /providing/ sanctuary (7)

22d   Shelling may reveal one's yellow inside (3)

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Gazza tells us that the solution is a cryptic definition of what soldiers are an essential accompaniment for.
Soldier[5] is an informal British term for a strip of bread or toast, used for dipping into a soft-boiled egg.

26d   Unrestricted // shop entrepreneur screens (4)

27d   Disclose without permission // national symbol, we hear (4)

The leek[5] is a plant (Allium porrum) related to the onion, with flat overlapping leaves forming an elongated cylindrical bulb which together with the leaf bases is eaten as a vegetable. It is used as a Welsh national emblem.

28d   Individual getting caught inside // formerly (4)

"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).

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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. Just about the right balance of difficulty and enjoyment. 9a was a brilliantly devious clue.

    There's a terrific 2013 film (Rush, directed by Ron Howard) about the James Hunt - Niki Lauda rivalry. Two colourful and contrasting personalities. And the race scenes are gripping.