Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Wednesday, February 10, 2016 — DT 27903

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27903
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, September 10, 2015
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27903]
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


I found the workout today to be a bit on the gentle side.

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   Rummage // among model vegetables (5)

4a   Greek character detained by a drugs agent /is/ lawless (8)

Chi[5] is the twenty-second letter of the Greek alphabet (Χ, χ).

Narc[5] (also nark) is an informal, chiefly North American term for an official narcotics agent.

In her review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Kath refers to narc as a mainly US slang term for a drugs dealer.  As Dutch points out in Comment #7, I think we have a drugs cop rather than a drugs dealer. Furthermore, note the use of the British drugs dealer and drugs cop as compared to the North American drug dealer and drug cop.

10a   Endurance /in/ a short time shown among Southern volunteers (7)

"volunteers" = TA (show explanation )

In the UK, Territorial Army[5] (abbreviation TA[5]) was, at one time, the name of a volunteer force founded in 1908 to provide a reserve of trained and disciplined military personnel for use in an emergency. Since 2013, this organization has been called the Army Reserve.

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11a   Unforced // musical note (7)

In music, a natural[5] is a natural[5] note; that is, a note that is neither sharp nor flat.

12a   Learner getting in way of French // customary form (4)

"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.

hide explanation

The French word for street is rue[8].

13a   By the sound of it, considerable // item in fireplace (5)

14a   African country // takeaway? (4)

Takeaway[5] is a British term for takeout[5]:
  1. a restaurant or shop selling cooked food to be eaten elsewhere ⇒ (i) a fast-food takeaway; (ii) [as modifier] a takeaway pizza;
  2. a meal or dish bought from a shop or restaurant to be eaten elsewhere ⇒ (i) he phoned for a takeaway; (ii) he is happy to eat Chinese takeaway.
To go[5] is a chiefly North American term denoting (of food or drink from a restaurant or cafe) to be eaten or drunk off the premises ⇒ (i) one large cheese-and-peppers pizza, to go; (ii) (as adjective to-go) if possible, grab a to-go coffee and hit the road early.

I really can't imagine anyone using the term "to-go coffee". Rather, one would almost certainly say either   a takeout coffee or a coffee to go.

Togo[5] (official name Togolese Republic) is a country in West Africa with a short coastline on the Gulf of Guinea; population 6,031,800 (est. 2009); languages, French (official), West African languages; capital, Lomé. .

Delving Deeper
The region formerly known as Togoland lay between the military powers of Ashanti and Dahomey and became a centre of the slave trade. It was annexed by Germany in 1884 and divided between France and Britain after the First World War. The western, British section joined Ghana on the latter’s independence (1957). The remainder, administered by France under a UN mandate after the Second World War, became an independent republic with the name Togo in 1960.

17a   After folding, knot sheet maybe // in addition (2,3,4,5)

19a   Jack more than once /showing/ inconsistency (6,8)

22a   Note house /in/ bohemian London area (4)

In music, the term so, an alternate spelling of soh[5] (in the UK) and sol[3,11] (in the US), denotes:
  1. (in tonic sol-fa) the fifth note of a major scale; or
  2. the note G in the fixed-doh system of solmization.
Soho[7] is an area of the City of Westminster and part of the West End of London. Long established as an entertainment district, for much of the 20th century Soho had a reputation for sex shops as well as night life and film industry. Since the early 1980s, the area has undergone considerable transformation. It now is predominantly a fashionable district of upmarket restaurants and media offices, with only a small remnant of sex industry venues.

23a   Having overturned drink, discontented hubby /is/ aggressively forceful (5)

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.

24a   Musical group // regularly appearing in star limos (4)

27a   Free // film? (7)

28a   Plant // liable possibly to retain oxygen (7)

O[5] is the symbol for the chemical element oxygen.

Lobelia[5] is any of many species of a chiefly tropical or subtropical plant of the bellflower family, in particular an annual widely grown as a bedding plant. Some kinds are aquatic, and some grow as thick-trunked shrubs or trees on African mountains.

29a   Magnificence /in/ garden cultivated by old city (8)

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.

30a   Light brown // wagon not previously seen bridging Scottish river (5)

The Tay[5] is the longest river in Scotland, flowing 192 km (120 miles) eastwards through Loch Tay, entering the North Sea through the Firth of Tay.


1d   Bone in some French church /getting/ label (8)

In French, des[8] is a determiner[5] meaning 'some'.

"church" = CE (show explanation )

The Church of England[10] (abbreviation CE[10]) is the reformed established state Church in England, Catholic in order and basic doctrine, with the Sovereign as its temporal head.

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2d   Flier /in/ part of plane, perhaps, with permit (7)

The plane[5] (also plane tree) is a tall spreading tree of the genus Platanus of the northern hemisphere, with maple-like leaves and bark which peels in uneven patches.

3d   Arab ruler // in semi-retirement (4)

Emir[5] (also amir) is a title of various Muslim (mainly Arab) rulers ⇒ HRH the Emir of Kuwait.

5d   Source of relief at the end of a course? (10,4)

Nineteenth hole[5] is a humorous term for the bar in a golf clubhouse, as reached after a standard round of eighteen holes.

6d   Observance /that's/ hackneyed? Not at first (4)

7d   Chemical substance /in/ hospital no more deployed (7)

8d   Lines penned by leading business figure /for/ musical instrument (5)

9d   Organisation offering access to matches? (8,6)

Marriage bureau[5] is a dated British term for an establishment which arranges introductions between people who want to get married.

15d   In which local teams play /in/ Midlands city (5)

Derby[5] (or local derby) is a British term for a sports match between two rival teams from the same area.

Derby[5] is a city in the Midlands of England, on the River Derwent; population 244,700 (est. 2009).

16d   Cut /in/ knee, say (5)

Joint[5] is a British [or perhaps not so British[3,11]] term for a large piece of meat cooked whole or ready for cooking ⇒ a joint of ham.

18d   Pleading // woman blowing top around very old California college (8)

In official postal use, the abbreviation for California is CA[5].

"college" = C (show explanation )

According to The Chambers Dictionary, c[1] (or c.) is the abbreviation for college.

hide explanation

20d   Tragic heroine // excited hope before trouble mounts (7)

Ophelia[7] is a fictional character in the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare. She is a young noblewoman of Denmark, the daughter of Polonius, sister of Laertes, and potential wife of Prince Hamlet. Following the death of Polonius at the hands of Hamlet, Ophelia goes mad and drowns — in an apparent suicide — when she falls from a willow tree into a brook.

21d   First person entering exotic RAF base -- // it's passed by vehicle? (7)

Scratching the Surface
The Royal Air Force[5] (abbreviation RAF) is the British air force, formed in 1918 by amalgamation of the Royal Flying Corps (founded 1912) and the Royal Naval Air Service (founded 1914).

22d   Leap not new /for/ young person (5)

Sprig[5] is an archaic, chiefly derogatory term for a young man.

25d   Female attendant /is/ composed for audience (4)

26d   Support // Lincoln tipster principally (4)

Abraham Lincoln[5] (1809–1865) was an American Republican statesman, 16th President of the US 1861-5.
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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