Monday, March 28, 2016

Monday, March 28, 2016 — DT 27918 (Bonus Puzzle)


It being Easter Monday, the National Post has not published an edition today. However, here is a little something (DT 27918) for those of you suffering from an overdose of chocolate and a lack of crosswords.

It being Monday, what could be more appropriate than a puzzle from Rufus whose puzzles appear in the UK on Mondays. This puzzle was skipped by the National Post on February 24, 2016.

It's been quite a while since we've seen a Rufus puzzle in the National Post. In fact, the previous one appeared on December 7, 2015 (although I did manage to sneak one into the blog on Christmas Day as a bonus puzzle). This one is not very difficult, and I always get a great deal of enjoyment from his puzzles.

By the way, Roger Squires (aka Rufus) is recognized by Guinness World Records as being the compiler having set  the "most crosswords in a lifetime".
Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27918
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Monday, September 28, 2015
Rufus (Roger Squires)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27918]
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 skipped this puzzle on Wednesday, February 24, 2016.


In the closing remarks to his review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Miffypops writes "The hurt of Saturday night will surely pass". He is referring to England's 28-25 loss to Wales in a 2015 Rugby World Cup match. He goes 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.


1a   Sit and canoodle, forming // bond together (11)

As an anagram indicator, the word forming[5] could be used in a the sense of gradually appearing or developing ⇒ a thick mist was forming all around.

9a   Such trees are barely recognisable in winter (9)

10a   Indeed, all the odd bits /will be/ perfect (5)

11a   High-spirited child? (6)

A spirit[3] is a supernatural being which, according to The American Heritage Dictionary, can be an angel or demon.

12a   A fashion editor's // heavenly body (8)

13a   Deposit covers new bid /that's/ reserved (4,2)

Lay by[1] (past laid by) means to keep for future use.

Mentioned in Passing
In Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, lay-by[1,5,10] is a system of payment whereby a buyer pays a deposit on an article, which is reserved until he or she has paid the full price(i) you could secure it by lay-by; (ii) they take credit cards and lay-bys. The equivalent North American term is layaway[5].

15a   I was told off /for/ youthful indiscretions (4,4)

18a   Not the same // as put into proper order (8)

19a   Bids /for/ chests without a number (6)

"a number" = C (show explanation )

In cryptic crosswords,  "a number" is very often a Roman numeral and, in particular, terms such as "a large number", "many" or "a great many" are frequently used  to indicate that a large Roman numeral — generally C (100), D (500), or M (1000) — is required.

hide explanation

21a   Theatre attendant (4-4)

Scratching the Surface
I had supposed that the misdirection in this clue involved the solver being expected to think of an usher in a theatre. However, the Brits gravitated to a medical scenario — an operating theatre. British and American dictionaries both define an orderly[1,2,3,4,5,10,11] along the lines of an attendant, usually without medical training, who performs various routine, nonmedical duties in a hospital, such as moving patients. Britain's National Health Service publishes a pamphlet entitled Training and duties of operating theatre attendants.

23a   Where most are bent on entering? (6)

In Britain, the word bent[5] has the same connotation (dishonest or corrupt) as does the word crooked[5] in North America. [It would appear that the British use both bent and crooked in this sense].

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Miffypops refers to British prisons as one of Her Majesties three star hotels.
Her Majesty's Prison Service[7] is a part of the National Offender Management Service of Her Majesty's Government tasked with managing most of the prisons within England and Wales. (Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own prison services: the Scottish Prison Service and the Northern Ireland Prison Service, respectively.)

The names of British prisons begin with the prefix HMP (Her Majesty's Prison) in a manner similar to the names of ships in the British navy which begin with the prefix HMS (Her Majesty's Ship). For example, HMP Dartmoor[7] is is a men's prison, located in Princetown, high on Dartmoor in the English county of Devon.

26a   Fashionable racecourse /for/ a northerner (5)

In England, even those from Lancashire and Yorkshire are considered to be northerners. Thus today's northerners are truly from the far north.

Ascot Racecourse[7] is a British racecourse, located in Ascot, Berkshire, England, which is used for thoroughbred horse racing. It is one of the leading racecourses in the United Kingdom, hosting nine of the Britain's 32* annual Group 1 horse races. The course enjoys close associations with the British Royal Family, being approximately six miles from Windsor Castle.

* In another article, Wikipedia lists 35 Group 1 races in Great Britain[7].

The Royal Ascot[7], held each year in June at Ascot Racecourse in England, comprises a series of horse races spread over a period of five days. Dating back to 1711 when it was founded by Queen Anne, it is a major event in the British social calendar, and press coverage of the attendees and what they are wearing often exceeds coverage of the actual racing. Day three (Thursday) is known colloquially (but not officially) as Ladies' Day.

The most prestigious viewing area is the Royal Enclosure which has a strictly enforced dress code. For women, only a day dress with a hat is acceptable, with rules applying to the length and style of the dress. In addition, women must not show bare midriffs or shoulders. For men, black or grey morning dress with top hat is required.

27a   Chant // a simple ditty (9)

Plainsong[7] (also known as plainchant) is a body of chants used in the liturgies of the Western Church.

Delving Deeper
Though the Eastern Orthodox churches and the Western Church did not split until long after the origin of plainsong, Byzantine chants are generally not classified as plainsong.

Plainsong is monophonic, consisting of a single, unaccompanied melodic line. Its rhythm is generally freer than the metered rhythm of later Western music.

Plainsong developed during the earliest centuries of Christianity, influenced possibly by the music of the Jewish synagogue and certainly by the Greek modal system. It has its own system of notation, employing a stave of four lines instead of five.

Gregorian chant is a variety of plainsong named after Pope Gregory I (6th century A.D.). For several centuries, different plainchant styles existed concurrently. Standardization on Gregorian chant was not completed, even in Italy, until the 12th century.

In the late 1980s, plainchant achieved a certain vogue as music for relaxation, and several recordings of plainchant became "classical-chart hits".

28a   Merit good treatment, // as hard-working oil-drillers do? (7,4)

The phrase deserve well of[5] (or deserve ill of) means to be worthy of good (or bad) treatment at the hands of.


1d   A willing rider (7)

2d   Panic, heading round // concealed corner (5)

I think the definition includes a bit more than what Miffypops has indicated in his review.

3d   It's not even considered mathematically (3,6)

4d   I'd look up /to/ this hero (4)

"look" = LO (show explanation )

Lo[5] is an archaic exclamation used to draw attention to an interesting or amazing event and lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them.

hide explanation

5d   He'll kill // animals in the end (8)

6d   No longer lie about /being/ an outcast (5)

7d   Deceives // daughter and flees (7)

Although I don't consider elude and flee to be synonymous, Collins English Dictionary does. Well, to be precise, it shows flee to be a synonym of elude[10] but not elude as a synonym of flee[10]. Go figure.

8d   Go off, // taking girlfriend around school (8)

"school" = ETON (show explanation )

Eton College[7], often informally referred to simply as Eton, is an English independent [private] boarding school for boys located in Eton, Berkshire, near Windsor. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as "The King's College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor". It is one of ten English schools, commonly referred to as "public schools", regulated by the Public Schools Act of 1868. [Note: In Britain, "public schools" are a special class of private school; what North Americans would call public schools are referred to in Britain as state schools.]

hide explanation

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Miffypops asksIs Berkshire Crosswordland?.
I presume the question is prompted by the appearance of two institutions from Berkshire in the puzzle — Eton College and Ascot Racecourse (26a).

14d   Dissect an insect, /for/ example (8)

16d   Respect // some hesitation in one's excuses, perhaps ... (9)

17d   ... respect I fancy // they will show one's paid (8)

18d   A couple of pages to praise /and/ praise (7)

20d   Country // seen differently by upset convict (7)

Lag[5] is an informal British term for a person who has been frequently convicted and sent to prison ⇒ both old lags were sentenced to ten years' imprisonment.

Senegal[5] is a country on the coast of West Africa; population 13,711,600 (est. 2009); languages, French (official), Wolof, and other West African languages; capital, Dakar.

22d   Attendance down, at first, // restricted to college (5)

Gate[5,10] is a British term meaning to confine or restrict (a pupil or student) to the school or college grounds as a punishment he was gated for the rest of term.

24d   An account to settle? (5)

Some of the Brits seemed to have a hard time getting their heads around this clue.

I see it as a cryptic definition (the entire clue) in which a straight definition is embedded (the portion with the solid underline).

Historically, a score[5] was a running account kept by marks against a customer’s name, typically in a public house.

The entire clue alludes to the expression "a score to settle". To settle a score[5] (or pay a score) is to take revenge on someone for something damaging that they have done in the past ⇒ his 957-page book also appears to be a chance to settle old scores.

25d   Lovely // article in wood (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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