Monday, March 14, 2016

Monday, March 14, 2016 — DT 27937

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27937
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27937]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave
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 27936 which was published in The Daily Telegraph on Monday, October 19, 2015.


I found this puzzle to be a bit more of a challenge than Big Dave reports — and perhaps for that reason I also got a bit more enjoyment from it than he did.

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   Energy /from/ northern Germany consumed by outfit in the past (3-2-3-2)

"Germany" = D (show explanation )

The International Vehicle Registration (IVR) code for Germany is D[5] [from German Deutschland].

hide explanation

6a   Unrestrained // Irish wit's broadcast (4)

Oscar Wilde[5] (1854–1900) was an Irish dramatist, novelist, poet, and wit; full name Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde. His advocacy of ‘art for art’s sake’ is evident in his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890). As a dramatist he achieved success with the comedies Lady Windermere’s Fan (1892) and The Importance of Being Earnest (1895). Wilde was imprisoned (1895-7) for homosexual offences and died in exile.

9a   Immature // interviewer of PMs on the radio (5)

Obscurity of the day!

I was misled into thinking that "on the radio" must be a homophone indicator and therefore supposed that the second part of the clue is referring to someone whose surname sounds like Young — in all likelihood, Yonge.

However, that is not the case. The second part of the clue is literally the surname of a British radio personality. However, he is one of seemingly so little renown that he does not even rate a mention on the Wikipedia disambiguation page for persons having the surname of Young[7]. To add a further handicap to my research efforts, Sir Leslie Ronald Young goes by the nickname of Jimmy.

Sir Leslie Ronald "Jimmy" Young[7] is a British singer, disc jockey and radio interviewer. He developed a popular approach to current affairs interviewing and was closely associated with Margaret Thatcher. He interviewed every British prime minister from 1964 to 2010.

On Big Dave's Crossword Blog, one or two people have suggested that the clue might refer to Kirsty Young[7], a Scottish television and radio presenter who has anchored newscasts for several British television networks.

10a   Surmount // cranes positioned in front of town on new day (9)

This clue contravenes the convention for the use of "on" in an across clue. A purist would argue that "new day" is "on town" rather than "town" being "on new day". However, this is a convention that is increasingly being ignored by setters.

12a   Fitting // perhaps, golfer gets share at end of game (13)

Proportionate[5] is another term for proportional [which I initially tried to insert].

14a   A fellow clad in rope entering vehicle -- // disruption to peace? (3,2,3)

A tow[3,4,11] is a rope, cable, chain, metal bar, or other device used in towing.

15a   A regulation blocking route /in/ African country (6)

The M1[7] is a north–south motorway [controlled access, multi-lane divided highway] in England connecting London to Leeds.

Malawi[5] is a country of south central Africa, in the Great Rift Valley; population 15,028,800 (est. 2009); official languages, English and Nyanja; capital, Lilongwe.

Delving Deeper
As Nyasaland, Malawi was a British protectorate from 1891, and from 1953 to 1963 was a part of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. It became an independent Commonwealth state in 1964 and a republic in 1966 under Malawian statesman Hastings Banda (19061997) who was prime minister 1964-94 and the first president of the Republic of Malawi 1966–94.

17a   Special ability // in Oriental entertainer (6)

19a   Plan of action namely by woman taken with carnival venue (8)

The notation sc.[5] (abbreviation for scilicet[5]) means that is to say or namely (introducing a word to be supplied or an explanation of an ambiguity) ⇒ it [sc. gouache] was also popular in France.

Rio de Janeiro[5] (commonly known as Rio) is a city in eastern Brazil, on the Atlantic coast; population 6,093,472 (2007). The chief port of Brazil, it was the country’s capital from 1763 until 1960, when it was replaced by Brasilia.

The Carnival in Rio de Janeiro[7] is a world famous festival held before Lent every year and considered the biggest carnival in the world with two million people per day on the streets. The first festivals of Rio date back to 1723.

21a   Role of armchair general /in/ skirmish (7,6)

Is this clue a cryptic definition (dotted underline) and a straight definition (solid underline) or is the entire clue a cryptic definition (with an embedded straight definition)? One could likely make an argument for either interpretation.

24a   Break // rule in diet strangely I once ignored (9)

25a   Perfect // statement by one giving a hand? (5)

26a   Clip // weed /in/ wharf (4)

Dock[5] is a coarse weed of temperate regions, with inconspicuous greenish or reddish flowers. The leaves are used to relieve nettle stings.

27a   Secure a convenience /for/ those letting farms (4,6)

Convenience[5] is a British — or, at least, chiefly British[3] — term for a public toilet ⇒ the large council [municipal] car park next to the public conveniences.

The gents[5] is an informal British term for a men's public toilet.

Let[5] is a chiefly British term meaning to allow someone to have the use of (a room or property) in return for regular payments ⇒ (i) she let the flat [apartment] to a tenant; (ii) they’ve let out their house. [I doubt that this word is quite as British as Oxford Dictionaries would have us believe.[3,11]]

Land agent[5] is a British term for:
  1. a person employed to manage an estate on behalf of its owners; or
  2. a person who deals with the sale of land ⇒ the fraudulent land agent sold him a worthless plot.


1d   Artist // unknown in Indian territory (4)

"unknown" = Y (show explanation )

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.]

hide explanation

Goa[5] is a state on the west coast of India; capital, Panaji. Formerly a Portuguese territory, it was seized by India in 1961. It formed a Union Territory with Daman and Diu until 1987, when it was made a state.

Goya[5] (1746–1828) was a Spanish painter and etcher; full name Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes. He is famous for his works treating the French occupation of Spain (1808–14), including The Shootings of May 3rd 1808 (painting, 1814) and The Disasters of War (etchings, 1810–14), depicting the cruelty and horror of war.

2d   Make a big thing of // brass instrument (7)

3d   Homer might be among one's passions (6-7)

Scratching the Surface
I would surmise that the setter anticipates that we will fixate on a classicist.

Homer[5] (8th century BC) was a Greek epic poet. He is traditionally held to be the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, though modern scholarship has revealed the place of the Homeric poems in a preliterate oral tradition. In later antiquity Homer was regarded as the greatest poet, and his poems were constantly used as a model and source by others.

4d   No time left to tour Scottish island? /That's/ fanciful (8)

The use of the word "tour" as a containment indicator is predicated on it meaning 'to go around'.

Iona[5] is a small island in the Inner Hebrides, off the west coast [of the larger island] of Mull. It is the site of a monastery founded by St Columba in about 563.

Notional[5] denotes existing as or based on a suggestion, estimate, or theory; not existing in reality ⇒ notional budgets for hospital and community health services.

5d   Greek getting behind // corruption (5)

7d   Outlaw in Swedish company // Japanese art (7)

IKEA[7] is a multinational group of companies that designs and sells ready-to-assemble furniture (such as beds, chairs and desks), appliances, small motor vehicles and home accessories. Founded in Sweden in 1943, IKEA is now headquartered in Delft, The Netherlands.

Delving Deeper
Founded in Sweden in 1943 by then-17-year-old Ingvar Kamprad, who was listed as one of the world's richest people in 2013, the company's name is an acronym that consists of the initials of Ingvar Kamprad, Elmtaryd (the farm where he grew up), and Agunnaryd (his hometown in Småland, south Sweden).

As of January 2008, IKEA is the world's largest furniture retailer.  As of March 2016, IKEA owns and operates 381 stores in 47 countries. In fiscal year 2010, US$23.1 billion worth of goods were sold.

Ikebana[5] is the art of Japanese flower arrangement, with formal display according to strict rules.

8d   Instrument familiar to pre-Victorians? (10)

Victoria[5] is a state of southeastern Australia; population 5,313,823 (2008); capital, Melbourne. Originally a district of New South Wales, it became a separate colony in 1851 and was federated with the other states of Australia in 1901.

The didgeridoo[5] (also didjeridu) is an Australian Aboriginal wind instrument in the form of a long wooden tube, traditionally made from a hollow branch, which is blown to produce a deep, resonant sound, varied by rhythmic accents of timbre and volume.

11d   Act ruthlessly /with/ a nightspot not reforming (4,2,7)

13d   Quiz show/'s/ crooked strategist (10)

Mastermind[7] is a British television quiz show, well known for its challenging questions, intimidating setting and air of seriousness.

Devised by Bill Wright, the basic format of Mastermind has never changed—four and in later contests five or six contestants face two rounds, one on a specialised subject of the contestant's choice, the other a general knowledge round. Wright drew inspiration from his experiences of being interrogated by the Gestapo during World War II.

A mastermind[5] is a person who plans and directs an ingenious and complex scheme or enterprise ⇒ McAvoy was the mastermind of the robbery. From the usage examples — of which the foregoing is typical — found in virtually all the dictionaries that I consulted, one might think that these initiatives are solely criminal in nature.

16d   Some mutton, // cold, provided in fancy gardens (5-3)

Scrag-end[5] (or scrag end[10]) is a British term for the inferior end of a neck of mutton ⇒ scrag-end of mutton.

18d   Madman // in a cult that's crackers (7)

Crackers[5] is an informal British term meaning:
  1. insane ⇒ if Luke wasn’t here I’d go crackers; or
  2. extremely angry ⇒ when he saw the mess he went crackers.
20d   School // run by one heartless academic fellow (7)

"run" = R (show explanation )

On cricket scorecards [not to mention baseball scoreboards], the abbreviation R[5] denotes run(s).

In cricket, a run[5] is a unit of scoring achieved by hitting the ball so that both batsmen are able to run between the wickets, or awarded in some other circumstances.

hide explanation

Roedean[5] is an independent [private] boarding school for girls, on the south coast of England east of Brighton. It was founded in 1885.

22d   Where in France good lawyer consumes // cheese (5)

The French word for where is [8].

"good" = G (show explanation )

The abbreviation G[10] for good likely relates to its use in grading school assignments or tests.

hide explanation

In the US, a district attorney[5] (abbreviation DA) is a public official who acts as prosecutor for the state in a particular district.

23d   Leaders in ancillary locations are sacked // sadly (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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