Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Tuesday, February 16, 2016 — DT 27910

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27910
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, September 18, 2015
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27910]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Deep Threat
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 27908 and DT 27909 which were published in The Daily Telegraph on Wednesday, September 16, 2015 and Thursday, September 17, 2015.


Today finds Giovanni in a very whimsical mood. In spots, I thought the puzzle seemed to have notes of a Rufus creation. As it was for Deep Threat, 14a was also the last one in for me.

On first read through, I thought that this puzzle was going to be horrendously challenging. As I recall, I didn't solve a single clue on that first pass. On the second read through, I got the solutions to a few clues and then managed to make steady progress — finishing in a typical solving time.

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   Fluid duct drained, // fixed in advance (3,3,5)

7a   Form of advertisement // bad, put in rubbish container, not much good (7)

8a   Police department brings in lots -- all about /to become/ vigorous (7)

The Criminal Investigation Department (seemingly better known by its abbreviation CID[2]) is the detective branch of a British police force.

10a   Pick out some in bunch as terrorists, // immoral (8)

11a   Soft corrosion on // something tiny (6)

"soft" = 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

13a   Periods /of/ hold-ups with elevated railroad sealed off (4)

Note that the setter gives us a hint that a US term is needed by using the US term "railroad" in the clue rather than the British term "railway".

The El[5] is a US term for:
  1. an elevated railroad (especially that in Chicago); or
  2. a train running on an elevated railroad.
 [Although this definition comes from a British dictionary, I thought it would be apropos to replace the British railway with the US railroad.]

14a   Pole swinging close by flower? (7-3)

Flower is used in the whimsical cryptic crossword sense of something that flows — in other words, a river.

16a   Teacher comes to fancy hotel -- // a place for buns (6,4)

Bun[1] is a playful name for a rabbit or a squirrel.

18a   Get // a divining rod (4)

21a   Latest report // to give time when Oxford term will start? (6)

In Britain, up[5] means at or to a university, especially Oxford or Cambridge ⇒ they were up at Cambridge about the same time.

22a   Coffee // offering energy, thus crowd's imbibed (8)

"energy" = E (show explanation )

In physics, E[5] is a symbol used to represent energy.

hide explanation

24a   Men on street taking time /to find/ safe accommodation (7)

"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

25a   Fashionable to have very limited language? // The opposite (7)

Erse[5] is a dated term for the Scottish or Irish Gaelic language.

26a   Awfully tired intellectual /becomes/ harmful (11)


1d   Reticent to swallow drop of liquid? /It’s/ producing flatulence (7)

Lick[5] is an informal [seemingly especially British] term for a light coating or quick application of something, especially paint ⇒ she needed to give the kitchen a lick of paint.

In North America, on the other hand, the word lick[5] is used to indicate an extremely small amount of something abstract ⇒ (i) there’s not a lick of suspense in the entire plot; (ii) he hasn't got a lick of common sense[3]; (iii) I haven't done a lick of work all week[11].

2d   Time to get foul-mouthed briefly, // being in the clan (6)

3d   Man on board reportedly not heavy -- // a wicked type in the dark? (5-5)

4d   Daughter hugged by proper // dandy (4)

5d   Uneducated // drunk ranting about nothing (8)

6d   Goddess encountered in grass, rolling over (7)

In Greek mythology, Demeter[10] is the goddess of agricultural fertility and protector of marriage and women.

7d   Mistake over kiss? // One would have been shot! (11)

I was surprised to see that the word buss seemed to be unfamiliar to the Brits.

Buss[5] is an archaic or informal North American term for (as a noun) a kiss or (as a verb) to kiss.

This is likely one of those words brought to the New World by English settlers which has since fallen out of use in the UK but has survived here.

9d   Is lady able to travel round and see tailless // bird? (6,5)

This should be a familiar bird.

12d   Little fellow with one stone in battle ultimately accounting for him? (10)

The stone[5] (abbreviation st[5]) is a British unit of weight equal to 14 lb (6.35 kg) ⇒ I weighed 10 stone.

In the Bible, Goliath[5] was a Philistine giant, according to one tradition slain by David (1 Sam. 17), but according to another slain by Elhanan (2 Sam. 21:19).

A Philistine[5] was a member of a non-Semitic people of ancient southern Palestine, who came into conflict with the Israelites during the 12th and 11th centuries BC. The Philistines, from whom the country of Palestine took its name, were one of the Sea Peoples who, according to the Bible, came from Crete and settled the southern coastal plain of Canaan in the 12th century BC.

15d   Divert // a short distance round overturned vehicle (8)

I was held up momentarily trying to use CAR as the "vehicle".

17d   English town // has plot to get car manufacturer (7)

Bedford[5] is a town in south central England, on the River Ouse, the county town of Bedfordshire; population 83,400 (est. 2009).

19d   Walter's terrible // idler (7)

20d   Cold artist against a tie -- that is unwanted // item of neckwear (6)

"artist" = RA (show explanation )

A Royal Academician (abbreviation RA[5]) is a member of the Royal Academy of Arts[5] (also Royal Academy; abbreviation also RA[5]), an institution established in London in 1768, whose purpose is to cultivate painting, sculpture, and architecture in Britain. 

hide explanation

23d   One in street sharing something with a neighbour (4)
Key to Reference Sources: 

[1]   - The Chambers Dictionary, 11th Edition
[2]   - Search Chambers - (Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)
[3]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (American Heritage Dictionary)
[4]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (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] - CollinsDictionary.com (Collins English Dictionary)
[11] - TheFreeDictionary.com (Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary)
Signing off for today — Falcon

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