Thursday, March 31, 2016

Thursday, March 31, 2016 — DT 27955

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27955
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27955]
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


After yesterday's uncharacteristically stiff workout from Rufus, we are given a very gentle test today from one of the "Tuesday" mystery setters.

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   A listening device brought into school /in/ sling (8)

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Gazza characterizes the listening device as illegally attached.
I might add that this description would not apply were the said listening device to be installed by the police pursuant to a court order.

5a   Fleet // member with palindromic name (6)

10a   They had significant effect, benefiting Kingsley's Tom? (8,7)

Charles Kingsley[5] (1819–1875) was an English novelist and clergyman. He is remembered for his historical novel Westward Ho! (1855) and for his classic children’s story The Water-Babies (1863).

The Water-Babies, A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby[7] is a children's novel by the Reverend Charles Kingsley. Written in 1862–63 as a serial for Macmillan's Magazine, it was first published in its entirety in 1863. It was written as part satire in support of Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species. The book was extremely popular in England, and was a mainstay of British children's literature for many decades, but eventually fell out of favour in part due to its prejudices (common at the time) against Irish, Jews, Americans, and the poor.

The protagonist of the story is Tom, a young chimney sweep, who falls into a river after encountering an upper-class girl named Ellie and being chased out of her house. There he drowns and is transformed into a "water-baby", as he is told by a caddisfly—an insect that sheds its skin—and begins his moral education. The story is thematically concerned with Christian redemption, though Kingsley also uses the book to argue that England treats its poor badly, and to question child labour, among other themes.

11a   Seaman, unaccompanied, /finds/ shellfish (7)

"seaman" = AB (show explanation )

In the Royal Navy, according to Oxford Dictionaries, able seaman[5] (abbreviation AB[5]), is a rank of sailor above ordinary seaman and below leading seaman. On the other hand, Collins English Dictionary tells us that an able seaman[10] (also called able-bodied seaman) is an ordinary seaman, especially one in the merchant navy, who has been trained in certain skills.

hide explanation

12a   Finished ride /in/ storm (7)

... as in storm the barricades.

13a   Cheerful working /in/ coastal resort (8)

Brighton[5] is a resort on the south coast of England, in East Sussex; population 127,700 (est. 2009).

15a   Band receiving millions /for/ very successful hit (5)

18a   Plus point // when fixed (5)

20a   Shield // quickly attached to vehicle (8)

23a   Not on strike? /That's/ unusual! (7)

25a   Offer // in favour of model (7)

26a   Follower of news? (7,8)

27a   Go round // gallery after run out (6)

"gallery" = TATE (show explanation )

In cricket, run out[7] (abbreviation ro[2]) denotes the dismissal of a batsman by hitting a wicket with the ball while the batsman is out of his ground* while running. Should this occur while the batsman is out of his ground for any reason other than running, the batsman would be said to have been stumped rather than run out.
* Ground[10] denotes the area of the cricket pitch from the popping crease back past the stumps, in which a batsman may legally stand.
28a   Try to listen to // words of approval (4,4)


1d   One about to leave Central American country // to top the bill with someone else (2-4)

2d   Reference book // he's taken into house (9)

In astrology, a house[10] is any any of the 12 divisions of the zodiac.

In astrology, Taurus[10] (also called the Bull) is the second sign of the zodiac, symbol , having a fixed earth classification and ruled by the planet Venus. The sun is in this sign between about April 20 and May 20.

3d   The old man's performing -– good // hit record, perhaps (3,4)

"good" = G (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

4d   Fabric wrapped round knight/'s/ weapon (5)

"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

6d   Lecturer's // books (7)

I hate to quibble with Gazza, but I would argue that — technically speaking — the first part of the clue is a charade rather than a definition; the wordplay being READER (lecturer) + S ('s).

Reader[5] is a British term for a university lecturer of the highest grade below professor ⇒ Dr Gardiner is Reader in Mathematics.

7d   Park officer blowing top /in/ rage (5)

8d   Article supporting a bishop's popular // drink (8)

"bishop" = B (show explanation )

B[5] is an abbreviation for bishop that is used in recording moves in chess.

hide explanation

Absinthe[5,7,10] (also absinth) is a potent green aniseed-flavoured alcoholic drink, technically a gin, originally made with the shrub wormwood. For most of the twentieth century, absinthe was banned in the United States and much of Europe.

9d   Glass // sailing ship (8)

14d   Unforthcoming, // soldiers about one revolution (8)

"soldiers" = TA (show explanation )

In the UK, Territorial Army[5] (abbreviation TA[5]) was, at one time, the name of a volunteer force founded in 1908 to provide a reserve of trained and disciplined military personnel for use in an emergency. Since 2013, this organization has been called the Army Reserve.

hide explanation

16d   A new job, loading a galleon initially, /in/ port (9)

17d   Armed vessel /from/ afar, now scuttled after onset of mutiny (3-2-3)

19d   Small house in River Terrace, originally // Drive? (3,4)

"small house" = HO (show explanation )

Although not found in most of the dictionaries that I consulted, ho.[10] is the abbreviation (indicated by the word "small") for house.

hide explanation

The Tees[5] is a river of northeastern England which rises in Cumbria and flows 128 km (80 miles) generally south-eastwards to the North Sea at Middlesbrough.

21d   One ushered in support /for/ early settler (7)

22d   Stagger up gripping teetotal // character (6)

"teetotal" = TT (show explanation )

Teetotal[5] (abbreviation TT[5]) means choosing or characterized by abstinence from alcohol ⇒ a teetotal lifestyle.

A teetotaller[5] (US teetotalerabbreviation TT[5]) is a person who never drinks alcohol.

The term teetotal is an emphatic extension of total, apparently first used by Richard Turner, a worker from Preston [England], in a speech (1833) urging total abstinence from all alcohol, rather than mere abstinence from spirits, as advocated by some early temperance reformers.

hide explanation

24d   Fine quarter /for/ banquet (5)

"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

25d   Examine // advertising order (5)

"order" = OBE (show explanation )

OBE[5] is the abbreviation for Officer of the Order of the British Empire.

The Order of the British Empire[5] is an order of knighthood applicable to the United Kingdom and certain Commonwealth realms which was instituted in 1917 and is 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.

hide explanation
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

No comments:

Post a Comment