Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Wednesday, February 24, 2016 — DT 27919

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27919
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27919]
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 27918 which was published in The Daily Telegraph on Monday, September 28, 2015.


The review was ready to be posted early this morning. There was only one problem — the National Post did not publish the puzzle that I reviewed.

For once I recognized that the puzzle is a pangram (a puzzle in which every letter of the alphabet appears at least once in the solution). In fact, I had used all the letters even before I was halfway through the puzzle. However, I failed to noticed that it is a "double pangram" — with every letter being used at least twice.

In the introduction to his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog (which appeared on a Tuesday), Gazza enthuses "I’m still in a state of euphoria (and shock) after the magnificent performance by Wales on Saturday evening". The previous day, in his review of the puzzle that has been skipped, Miffypops had written "The hurt of Saturday night will surely pass". They are referring to England's 28-25 loss to Wales in a 2015 Rugby World Cup match. Middypops went on to say "On the plus side, we are still in The Rugby World Cup". Yes, but a fateful match with Australia is looming.

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.


7a   Major, OBE, lost // bottle (8)

A jeroboam[10] (also called double magnum)  is a wine bottle holding the equivalent of four normal bottles (approximately 104 ounces). The name is a  humorous allusion to Jeroboam, a king of Israel, described as a 'mighty man of valour' (I Kings 11:28) who 'made Israel to sin' (I Kings 14:16).

Scratching the Surface
OBE[5] is the abbreviation for Officer of the Order of the British Empirethe Order of the British Empire[5] being an order of knighthood instituted in 1917 and divided into five classes, each with military and civilian divisions. The classes are: Knight or Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE), Knight or Dame Commander (KBE/DBE), Commander (CBE), Officer (OBE), and Member (MBE). The two highest classes entail the awarding of a knighthood.

Bottle[5] is an informal British term denoting the courage or confidence needed to do something difficult or dangerous ⇒ I lost my bottle completely and ran.

9a   Used at sea to carry ten over /in/ mass migration (6)

"over" = O (show explanation )

On cricket scorecards, the abbreviation O[5] denotes over(s), an over[5] being a division of play consisting of a sequence of six balls bowled by a bowler from one end of the pitch, after which another bowler takes over from the other end.

hide explanation

10a   Ornamental stone // jardiniere initially manufactured, first off (4)

Scratching the Surface
A jardinière[5] is an ornamental pot or stand for the display of growing plants.

11a   Lorry can be deployed /to deliver/ grain (10)

A barleycorn[5] is a grain of barley.

Scratching the Surface
The vehicle known in North America as a truck[5] would commonly be called a lorry[5] in the UK [despite the fact that Oxford Dictionaries defines a lorry as being a truck and a truck as being a lorry].

12a   Fate /of/ king is settled (6)

"king" = K (show explanation )

K[5] is an abbreviation for king that is used especially in describing play in card games and recording moves in chess.

hide explanation

Kismet[5] (a word adopted from Turkish) means destiny or fate ⇒ what chance did I stand against kismet?

14a   Remove a restriction on // a French band on the radio (8)

"a French" = UN (show explanation )

In French, the masculine singular form of the indefinite article is un[8].

hide explanation

15a   Hold /and/ name the Spanish boy (6)

"the Spanish" = EL (show explanation )

In Spanish, the masculine singular form of the definite article is el[8].

hide explanation

A nelson[5] is a wrestling hold in which one arm is passed under the opponent’s arm from behind and the hand is applied to the neck (half nelson), or both arms and hands are applied (full nelson).

17a   Searches /for/ people who'll clean a chimney (6)

20a   /With/ group on Scottish river, // start on a journey (3,5)

As Gazza points out in his review, this clue contravenes the convention that A on B in an across clue produces the result BA.

22a   Get back // control across Georgia (6)

In official postal use, the abbreviation for Georgia is GA[5].

23a   Indication of disapproval mostly shown by one next to a // police van (5,5)

Black Maria[5] is an informal name for a police vehicle for transporting prisoners. Originally a US term, it is said to be named after a black woman, Maria Lee, who kept a boarding house in Boston and helped police in escorting drunk and disorderly customers to jail.

24a   Long // account by ambassador (4)

HE[2] is the abbreviation for His or Her Excellency, where Excellency[2] (usually His, Her or Your Excellency or Your or Their Excellencies) is a title of honour given to certain people of high rank, e.g. ambassadors.

25a   Deny any connection with // row about pig (6)

26a   General behaviour /in/ Manhattan thoroughfare (8)
Broadway[5] is a street* traversing the length of Manhattan, New York. It is famous for its theatres, and its name has become synonymous with show business.

* Although it runs in the direction of the avenues rather than the streets.


1d   Source of annoyance // to a vixen, possibly (8)

2d   Close to Cadiz, unique // area (4)

Scratching the Surface
Cadiz[5] is a city and port on the coast of southwestern Spain; population 127,200 (2008).

3d   Action // film doctor's got into (6)

"doctor" = MB (show explanation )

In Britain, the degree required to practice medicine is a Bachelor of Medicine[7] (MB, from Latin Medicinae Baccalaureus), which is equivalent to a North American Doctor of Medicine (MD, from Latin Medicinae Doctor). The degree of Doctor of Medicine also exists in Britain, but it is an advanced degree pursued by those who wish to go into medical research. Physicians in Britain are still addressed as Dr. despite not having a doctoral degree. 

hide explanation

4d   There's always hardly any after fine // plant (8)

"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

The feverfew[5] is a small bushy aromatic Eurasian plant of the daisy family (Tanacetum parthenium), with feathery leaves and daisy-like flowers, used in herbal medicine to treat headaches.

5d   Stole fish, say, before beginning to grill // something for breakfast, perhaps? (7,3)

6d   Mineral /and/ two pints, followed by unknown quantity (6)

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.]

8d   Make // most of large tent (6)

Marquee[5] is a chiefly British term for a large tent used for social or commercial functions. In North America, marquee[5] has quite a different meaning, namely a canopy projecting over the entrance to a theatre, hotel, or other building. This has given rise to marquee[5] being used as an adjective denoting leading or pre-eminent ⇒ a marquee player based on an allusion to the practice of billing the name of an entertainer on the canopy over the entrance to a theatre. I wonder what the Brits think when they hear the term "marquee player"? Do they envision an actor performing in a tent?

13d   Man in play perhaps trapping female // criminal (10)

16d   Daughter, after working over staff, /is/ held pending a hearing (2,6)

Over[5] is a preposition used in the sense of on the subject of ⇒ a long and heated debate over unemployment.

18d   Pelt nut, // anti-establishment type (8)

A skinhead[5] is a young man of a subculture characterized by close-cropped hair and heavy boots, often perceived as aggressive.

19d   Inexperienced reporter interrupted by that girl, // an angelic being (6)

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Gazza remarksThis [CHERUB] is obviously the word of the week – what are the odds that we’ll see it again tomorrow?.
As you might guess, the word CHERUB was the solution to a clue in the preceding puzzle, DT 27918 — which the National Post has skipped — where it was clued by Rufus as:
  • High-spirited child? (6)

21d   No time for article about // cake (6)

22d   Motive /in/ serious crime leader's denied (6)

24d   Assistant /in/ a team, no saint (4)

"saint" = S (show explanation )

S[5] (chiefly in Catholic use) is an abbreviation for SaintS Ignatius Loyola.

hide explanation

Side[5] is a British term for a sports team ⇒ there was a mixture of old and young players in their side. [Note that a player is "in a side" rather than "on a team" as one would say in North America]

Delving Deeper
In North America, the term side[3] is used in a very general fashion that can denote one of two or more opposing individuals, groups, teams, or sets of opinions. While this same general usage would seem to exist as well in the UK, the term side[5] is also used there in a much more specific sense to mean a sports team, as we can clearly see from the following usage examples ⇒ (i) Previous England rugby sides, and England teams in many other sports, would have crumbled under the weight of such errors.; (ii) They'll face better sides than this Monaco team, but you can only beat what's put in front of you.
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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