Friday, March 11, 2016

Friday, March 11, 2016 — DT 27935

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27935
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, October 17, 2015
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27935 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27935 – Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Tilsit (Hints)
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
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.


In the UK, this was a typically fairly gentle "Saturday" puzzle.

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.


3a   Number touring notice pub, // shabby in appearance (10)

As a containment indicator, touring is used in the sense of travelling (i.e., going) around — with the emphasis on around.

8a   Nurse, not hot /in/ shady garden alcove (6)

"Nurse", as in nurse a grudge.

9a   Before end of truce, tries again // to go over (8)

"Tries", as in a court of law.

10a   Charm // one's way in (8)

11a   Football League initially probing Premier League club // complaint? (3,3)

Complaints in Crosswordland are usually of the medical variety.

The clue parses as FL (Football League initially; i.e., the initial letters of the words Football and League) contained in (probing) Man U (Premier League club).

Manchester United Football Club[7] (often referred to simply as United — and often as Man Utd or Man U) is an English professional football [soccer] club, based at Old Trafford [football stadium] in Old Trafford [district of Manchester], Greater Manchester, that plays in the Premier League (the top level in the English football league system).

Man flu[5,10] is an informal, humorous or derogatory term for a cold or similar minor ailment as experienced by a man who is regarded as exaggerating the severity of the symptoms ⇒ Greg was off sick with man flu, according to his wife.

Scratching the Surface
The Football League[7] is a league competition featuring professional association football [soccer] clubs from England and Wales. Founded in 1888, it is the oldest such competition in world football. It was the top-level football league in England from its foundation in the 19th century until 1992, when the top 22 clubs split away to form the Premier League.

Since 1995 it has had 72 clubs evenly divided into three divisions, which are known as the Championship, League One, and League Two, with 24 clubs in each division. Promotion and relegation between these divisions is a central feature of the League and is further extended to allow the top Championship clubs to exchange places with the lowest-placed clubs in the Premier League, and the bottom clubs of League Two to switch with the top clubs of the National League, thus integrating the League into the English football league system. Although primarily a competition for English clubs, several clubs from Wales also take part.

The Football League is also the name of the governing body of the league competition, and this body also organises two knock-out cup competitions, the Football League Cup and the Football League Trophy.

In November 2015, the league announced that it would rename itself as the English Football League (EFL) starting from the 2016–17 season.

12a   Exactly what's required, // fair article by commission (4,3,3)

A commission[5] is an order for something, especially a work of art, to be produced specially ⇒ Mozart at last received a commission to write an opera.

Just the job[5] is an informal British expression meaning exactly what is needed ⇒ (i) companionship from fellow walkers was just the job; (ii) it is just the job for getting rid of stains. Although I can not find it in any dictionary, I would say that the equivalent North American expression is just the thing.

14a   South American, extremely sensitive, explains barking // dog (6,7)

As an anagram indicator, barking[5] is used in an informal British sense meaning completely mad or demented ⇒ (i) we are all a bit barking; (ii) has she gone completely barking mad?.

The Sussex Spaniel[7] is a breed of dog first bred in 1795 in Hastings, East Sussex, England. They are now more popular in the United States than any other country and are recognised by all major kennel clubs. Notably, a Sussex Spaniel won the best in show in 2009 at the 133rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City.

20a   Awful baloney about one beheaded knight /and/ queen (4,6)

"knight" = N (show explanation )

A knight[5] is a chess piece, typically with its top shaped like a horse’s head, that moves by jumping to the opposite corner of a rectangle two squares by three. Each player starts the game with two knights.

N[5] is the abbreviation for knight used in recording moves in chess [representing the pronunciation of kn-, since the initial letter k- represents 'king'].

As an aside, it is interesting to note that the Chambers 21st Century Dictionary defines: 
  • K[2] as an abbreviation used in chess for knight. 
  • K[2] is a symbol used in chess to represent a king. 
  • N[2] is a symbol used in chess to represent a knight.
The dictionary fails to specify how one differentiates an abbreviation from a symbol.

On the other hand, both The Chambers Dictionary and the Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary list K or K.[1,11] as an abbreviation for knight without specifying the specific context in which this abbreviation is used. However, the context may well be in an honours list rather than in a game of chess. In the UK, for instance, KBE[5] stands for Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

hide explanation

Anne Boleyn[5] (1507–1536) was the second wife of Henry VIII and mother of Elizabeth I. Henry divorced Catherine of Aragon in order to marry Anne (1533), but she fell from favour when she failed to provide him with a male heir and was eventually executed on the grounds of alleged infidelities.

22a   Expert came across, over // for the time being (3,3)

23a   Face endless people /giving/ a torrent of abuse (8)

The face here is that of a watch.

24a   Prepared drainage /for/ shrub (8)

The gardenia[5] is any of several species of tree or shrub of warm climates, with large, fragrant white or yellow flowers.

25a   Prelude // to show at university (4-2)

Show[5] means to conduct or lead ⇒ show them in, please.

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

26a   Poor // speed by back (6-4)


1d   He and I, for example, // in favour of sisters keeping nothing (8)

2d   Likewise, Conservative admires // Greek philosopher (8)

Socrates[5] (469–399 BC) was a Greek philosopher. As represented in the writings of his disciple Plato, he engaged in dialogue with others in an attempt to define ethical concepts by exposing and dispelling error (the Socratic method). Charged with introducing strange gods and corrupting the young, Socrates was sentenced to death and died by drinking hemlock.

So[5] means similarly or also when referring back to something previously mentioned ⇒ times have changed and so have I.

Rate[5] is used in an informal [possibly British] sense meaning to have a high opinion of ⇒ Mike certainly rated her, goodness knows why.

3d   Freshwater fish crossing river // channel (6)

The tench[5] is a European freshwater fish (Tinca tinca) of the carp family, popular with anglers and widely introduced elsewhere.

4d   King with deformed ear, // seldom seen (4)

"king" = R (show explanation )

Rex[5] (abbreviation R[5]) [Latin for king] denotes the reigning king, used following a name (e.g. Georgius Rex, King George) or in the titles of lawsuits (e.g. Rex v. Jones, the Crown versus Jones — often shortened to R. v. Jones).

hide explanation

5d   Husband brought in a meek person to meet artist /in/ palace (8)

"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

The Alhambra[5] is a a fortified Moorish palace, the last stronghold of the Muslim kings of Granada, built between 1248 and 1354 near Granada in Spain.

6d   Smart, // supporter at home -- and away, ultimately (6)

7d   Outcome // in Ypres, ultimately (6)

Scratching the Surface
Ypres[5] is a town in northwestern Belgium, near the border with France, in the province of West Flanders; population 34,812 (2008). Ypres was the scene of some of the bitterest fighting of the First World War.

13d   Boy // appearing after James (5)

Jas.[5] is the abbreviation for James (in biblical references and generally).

15d   Inspected // fabric cut up (8)

16d   I will remedy // abuse (3-5)

17d   Idler // having answer in amateur contest (8)

18d   Sophisticated // former pope, last to pontificate (6)

Urban[7] was the name of eight popes who reigned at various times from the third century to the 17th century.

19d   Diligent American leaving /for/ workshop (6)

21d   Bird of prey following black // dog (6)

23d   Information -- // a little sent over (4)
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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