Thursday, March 10, 2016

Thursday, March 10, 2016 — DT 27934

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27934
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, October 16, 2015
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27934]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Deep Threat
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


For a Giovanni puzzle, this one is rather tame. However, as is customary, one or two obscure words make their appearance.

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   Fish /in/ position around island (6)

The plaice[5] is either of two species of North Atlantic flatfish which are commercially important food fish. The European Pleuronectes platessa is often found in very shallow water while the American Hippoglossoides platessoides is found in deeper waters.

4a   Stops // if shine's going off (8)

As an anagram indicator, off[10] is used in the sense (said of food or drink) of having gone bad, sour, etc (i.e., of having been transformed) ⇒ this milk is off.

9a   Attempt by friend // not worth considering (6)

10a   Wasted material /is/ soft -- dirt taking time to be put outside (8)

"soft" = P (show explanation )

Piano[3,5] (abbreviation p[5]), is a musical direction meaning either (as an adjective) soft or quiet or (as an adverb) softly or quietly.

hide explanation

11a   Door-to-door operator // is able to upset savers (9)

13a   Plant // festival beginning to take off (5)

The aster[10] is any plant of the genus Aster, having white, blue, purple, or pink daisy-like flowers.

14a   Cooked food /takes/ age with hob and griddle broken (4-6,3)

Scratching the Surface
Hob[5] is a British term for a cooking appliance, or the flat top part of a cooker [kitchen stove], with hotplates [heating elements of an electric range] or burners [of a gas range].

17a   Strong-willed behaviour /being/ slammed as severest sin (13)

21a   Gets rid of // Democrat, politician in America (5)

23a   Big drinker with enormous height, // as you might say (2,2,5)

"enormous" = OS (show explanation )

The sizes of clothing that North Americans would describe as plus-size[7] (or often big and tall in the case of men's clothing) would be called outsize (abbreviation OS[5]) in Britain.

hide explanation

24a   String attached to your new // material (8)

25a   Sealed // record containing name of old Queen (6)

Anne[7] (1665–1714) became Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland on 8 March 1702. On 1 May 1707, under the Acts of Union, two of her realms, the kingdoms of England and Scotland, united as a single sovereign state, the United Kingdom of Great Britain. She continued to reign as Queen of Great Britain and Ireland until her death.

26a   Significant star and mate ultimately // put into separate camps (8)

Polaris[5] is another name for the Pole Star[5] (also North Star), a fairly bright star located within one degree of the celestial north pole, in the constellation Ursa Minor. It is a triple star, the bright component of which is a cepheid variable.

27a   Unknown number meeting ahead of time // intimately (6)

The letter n[10] is used (especially in mathematics) as a symbol to represent an indefinite number (of) ⇒ there are n objects in a box.


1d   Clerical assistant moving quickly /in/ holy office (6)

Pacy[5] (also pacey) is a [seemingly British] term meaning moving or progressing quickly a pacy thriller.

2d   Tree /in/ trouble and stunted in this manner (9)

The ailanthus[5] is any of several species of tall large-leaved deciduous tree grown as an ornamental or shade tree (in particular the tree of heaven). Native to Asia and Australasia, it has been naturalized in North America and Europe.

3d   Gosh, gentleman is hugging a // pirate! (7)

Cor[5] is an informal British exclamation expressing surprise, excitement, admiration, or alarm ⇒ Cor! That‘s a beautiful black eye you’ve got!.

5d   Cheeky // troublemaker has abused internet (11)

6d   I am getting the thing put away /that's seen to be/ copy (7)

7d   Ace maybe /showing/ enthusiasm (5)

8d   'Cheap' accommodation // almost too expensive? Get angry! (8)

Steerage[5] is a historical term denoting the part of a ship providing the cheapest accommodation for passengers ⇒ poor emigrants in steerage.

12d   Presentations /of/ expeditions below the waves? (11)

15d   Head of empire, a more forbidding // Bostonian perhaps (9)

16d   Worker, one with something on head /in/ bar (8)

18d   Reserve copper has little hesitation /to be/ one helping hostages? (7)

The abbreviation for reserve is res.[2].

The symbol for the chemical element copper is Cu[5] (from late Latin cuprum).

19d   Name of man /in/ European Union taking position? Name's forgotten (7)

Eustace[7] is the rendition in English of two phonetically similar Greek given names. The equivalent in English is Eustice. Instances of the name:
  • Saint Eustace[7] (died 118 AD) was a Christian martyr who is venerated as a saint in the Anglican, Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches;
  • Eustace Clarence Scrubb[7] is a fictional character in British novelist C. S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia;
  • Dan Eustace[7] (born 1991), Literally the coolest person you will ever meet*.
* Yes, this latter entry actually exists in Wikipedia (or did at the time that I researched this review), although the article to which the link in the entry points has been removed from Wikipedia. It would appear that one Dan Eustace may have managed to sneak a bit of self-promotion into Wikipedia.

20d   Son, small child /appearing to be/ slippery (6)

Skiddy[3,11] means liable or tending to skid or cause skidding ⇒ (i) a light, skiddy car; (ii) skiddy roads.

22d   Initially master has spoken /in/ lesson (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

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