Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Wednesday, February 17, 2016 — DT 27911

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27911
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, September 19, 2015
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27911 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27911 – Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave (Hints)
crypticsue (Review)
BD Rating
Difficulty - 0.5★ 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.


While I concur with crypticsue that this puzzle was not very difficult, I don't think I would go so far as to award it a mere half of a star for difficulty.

I have to admit that I failed to recognize it as a pangram (a puzzle in which every letter of the alphabet appears at least once in the solution).

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   English girl after fine // felt hat (6)

"fine" = F (show explanation )

F[5] is an abbreviation for fine, as used in describing grades of pencil lead [a usage that Oxford Dictionaries surprisingly characterizes as British].

hide explanation

5a   Choose randomly /from/ all the players, a great many (4,4)

9a   Arrived a short time ago with patient, // as a precaution (4,2,4)

10a   Departs with peculiar // revolving cylinder (4)

"departs" = D (show explanation )

In travel timetables, departs is indicated by the abbreviation d[5]Plymouth d 0721.

hide explanation

Rum[5] is a dated informal British term meaning odd or peculiar ⇒ it’s a rum business, certainly.

11a   One inhibited by noisy // petitioner (8)

A new word to me, clamant[3,4,11] means noisy.

12a   German writer // leaves short article (6)

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe[5] (1749–1832) was a German poet, dramatist, and scholar. Involved at first with the Sturm und Drang movement, Goethe changed to a more measured and classical style, as in the ‘Wilhelm Meister’ novels (1796–1829). Notable dramas: Götz von Berlichingen (1773), Tasso (1790), and Faust (1808–32).

13a   Strength of character // seen in Educating Rita (4)

Scratching the Surface
Educating Rita[7] is a 1980 stage comedy by British playwright Willy Russell that was the basis of a 1983 Academy Award winning film featuring Michael Caine and Julie Walters.

15a   Granddaughter, perhaps, // beginning to read? Joy (8)

18a   Cicero, unexpectedly concerned with // government by force (8)

Scratching the Surface
Marcus Tullius Cicero[5] (106–43 BC) was a Roman statesman, orator, and writer. As an orator and writer Cicero established a model for Latin prose; his surviving works include speeches, treatises on rhetoric, philosophical works, and letters. A supporter of Pompey against Julius Caesar, in the Philippics (43 BC) he attacked Mark Antony, who had him put to death.

19a   Cross about new // flirtatious woman (4)

21a   Provoke // pointer (6)

23a   Explosive // article penned by unbalanced evil lot (8)

25a   Element // unknown in Cape (4)

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.]

C.[5,10] is an abbreviation for Cape used on maps as part of a name ⇒ C. Hatteras.

26a   A brown rat scuttled across old // vessel (10)

Narrowboat[5] is a British term for a canal boat less than 7 ft (2.1 metres) wide with a maximum length of 70 ft (21.3 metres) and steered with a tiller rather than a wheel.

27a   Commercial during flight /conveys/ adventure (8)

28a   Deal with adversary, ultimately /making/ pact (6)


2d   Peer /in/ uniform (5)

3d   Clothing supplier // elsewhere more suitable (9)

4d   Regular publication /by/ university breaking record (6)

5d   Servant preached, possibly giving one this? (7,3,5)

I take the entire clue to be the definition with the portion with the dashed underline providing the wordplay.

The phrase chapter and verse[5] denotes an exact reference or authority ⇒ she can give chapter and verse on current legislation.

I did look to see if the expression might possibly also carry the connotation of a lecture or scolding — but that does not seem to be the case. Therefore, I think the clue is merely alluding to a preacher quoting biblical chapter and verse in his sermon. Still, it does seem a bit strange that a servant is doing the preaching.

6d   Son leaving out du Maurier character (8)

We need George du Maurier rather than his granddaughter Daphne du Maurier.

George du Maurier[5] (1834–1896) was a French-born novelist, cartoonist, and illustrator who is chiefly remembered for his novel Trilby (1894), which included the character Svengali and gave rise to the word Svengali for a person with a hypnotic influence on another.

A Svengali[5] is a person who exercises a controlling or mesmeric influence on another, especially for a sinister purpose. The term comes from the name of a musician in George du Maurier's novel Trilby (1894), who controls Trilby's stage singing hypnotically.

Dame Daphne du Maurier[5] (1907–1989) was an English novelist, granddaughter of George du Maurier. Many of her popular novels and period romances are set in the West Country of England, where she spent most of her life. Notable works: Jamaica Inn (1936) and Rebecca (1938).

7d   Shelf /where there's/ incomplete book of accounts (5)

8d   Try // to land (9)

In rugby, a try[5] is an act of touching the ball down behind the opposing goal line, scoring points and entitling the scoring side to a kick at goal.

In rugby, a touchdown[5] is an act of touching the ground with the ball behind the opponents' goal line, scoring a try ⇒ he scored two touchdowns.

14d   Castles surrounding lake // where birds nest (9)

16d   Programme // I came across in piece of furniture (9)

17d   Hot part of Europe, including Northern // Ireland once? (8)

Iberia[10] is another name — and, according to Oxford Dictionaries, the ancient name[5] — for the Iberian Peninsula.

 Hibernia[10] was the Roman name for Ireland.

20d   Capone has greatest following? // Not quite (6)

Al Capone[5] (1899–1947) was an American gangster of Italian descent. He dominated organized crime in Chicago in the 1920s and was indirectly responsible for many murders, including the St Valentine’s Day Massacre.

22d   Holiday home /in/ Grenada, charming (5)

Scratching the Surface
Grenada[5] is a country in the Caribbean, consisting of the island of Grenada (the southernmost of the Windward Islands) and the southern Grenadine Islands; population 90,700 (est. 2009); languages, English (official), English Creole; capital, St George’s.

24d   Smallest // tail of mice put in at the end (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

No comments:

Post a Comment