Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Tuesday, March 7, 2016 — DT 27932

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27932
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Jay (Jeremy Mutch)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27932]
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


While overall not too difficult, the puzzle does contain one British expression that had me diving for dictionary.

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   Deteriorates, /but/ manages to understand before doctor starts (4,2,4)

Run to seed (a variant of go to seed[5]) denotes (of a plant) to cease flowering as the seeds develop ⇒ the latest varieties to be introduced are inclined to bolt and run to seed. The term is used figuratively to mean deteriorate, especially through neglect ⇒ Mark knows he has allowed himself to go to seed.

6a   One fashionable old // star of the silver screen (4)

10a   Chop? That is // a dish (5)

11a   Gathered // vets must be worried -- hurried around (9)

Hare[5] is a British expression meaning to run with great speed ⇒ he hared off between the trees.

12a   Get rid of // rotting cargo (7)

13a   Joint // league leaders? (7)

"league leaders" = TOP SIDE (show explanation )

Side[5] is a British term for a sports team ⇒ there was a mixture of old and young players in their side. [Note that a player is "in a side" rather than "on a team" as one would say in North America]

In North America, the term side[3] is used in a very general fashion that can denote one of two or more opposing individuals, groups, teams, or sets of opinions. While this same general usage would seem to exist as well in the UK, the term side[5] is also used there in a much more specific sense to mean a sports team, as we can clearly see from the following usage examples ⇒ (i) Previous England rugby sides, and England teams in many other sports, would have crumbled under the weight of such errors.; (ii) They'll face better sides than this Monaco team, but you can only beat what's put in front of you.

hide explanation

Joint[5] is a British [or perhaps not so British[3,11]] term for a large piece of meat cooked whole or ready for cooking ⇒ a joint of ham.

Topside[5] is a British term for the outer side of a round of beef ⇒ roast topside.

14a   Little air covering for // the earth? (5,7)

The earth[5] is a British expression denoting a very large amount ⇒ her hat cost the earth.

18a   Earnings /of/ men working with Eurotrain (12)

Scratching the Surface
While Euro- is prefixed to a long list of words, from Eurobond to Eurozone, the word Eurotrain seems to be rarely — if ever — used. The word is not in any of my dictionaries and although it did turn up in some Google search results, when I actually visited the pages it was not to be found.

21a   Fellow anticipating full-scale // quarrel (4,3)

"fellow" = F (show explanation )

F[2] is the abbreviation for Fellow (of a society, etc). For instance, it is found in professional designations such as FRAIC (Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada).

hide explanation

23a   Note to meet international organisation after writing // piece (7)

"international organisation" = UN (show explanation )

The United Nations[5] (abbreviation UN) is an international organization of countries set up in 1945, in succession to the League of Nations, to promote international peace, security, and cooperation.

hide explanation

Hand[5] denotes a person's handwriting he inscribed the statement in a bold hand.

Piece[5] is an informal, chiefly North American term for a firearm.

24a   Journalist in fracas /gets/ cut (9)

A ruction[3,4,11] is described variously as an uproar; a riotous, noisy or quarrelsome disturbance; a noisy quarrel; or row.

25a   Period /of/ lost hope encompassing century (5)

The abbreviation for century or centuries is c.[5] a watch case, 19th c. [I note that Oxford Dictionaries shows the abbreviation as including a period and then fails to include the period in the usage example.]

26a   In despair, in retreat, /find/ space for altar (4)

An apse[5] is a large semicircular or polygonal recess in a church, arched or with a domed roof and typically at the church’s eastern end.

27a   Soldiers advanced without /being/ persistent (10)

"soldiers" = RE (show explanation )

The Corps of Royal Engineers[7], usually just called the Royal Engineers (abbreviation RE), and commonly known as the Sappers[7], is a corps of the British Army that provides military engineering and other technical support to the British Armed Forces.

hide explanation


1d   Minister/'s/ time invested in incomplete log (6)

"minister" = RECTOR (show explanation )

A rector[5] is a member of the clergy, although the meaning of the term varies among religious denominations. The term denotes:
  • in the the Church of England, an incumbent of a parish where all tithes formerly passed to the incumbent,
  • in other Anglican Churches, a member of the clergy who has charge of a parish;
  • in the Roman Catholic Church, a priest in charge of a church or of a religious institution.
hide explanation

2d   Advise // on it, possibly fairly heartlessly (6)

3d   Article on green skill /and/ ability to empathise (3,6,5)

4d   Wild cheers engulf mostly boring // planner (9)

5d   Winter generally sees // this bird // going west (5)

For the sake of the surface reading, the definition gets pushed into the middle of the clue.

7d   Motor City, America, rejects old // rubbish (8)

Motor City[5] is an informal (originally US) term for the city of Detroit, Michigan.

Rubbish[5] (characterized by Oxford Dictionaries as being a chiefly British term) is the British term for garbage[5] (characterized by Oxford Dictionaries as being a chiefly North American term).

8d   Guided around snake, // ran (8)

The adder[5] (also called viper) is a small venomous Eurasian snake (Vipera berus) which has a dark zigzag pattern on its back and bears live young. It is the only poisonous snake in Britain.

In Britain, a vertical strip of unravelled fabric in tights or stockings is called a ladder[5] ⇒ one of Sally’s stockings developed a ladder. As a verb, ladder[5] (with reference to tights or stockings) means to develop or cause to develop a ladder ⇒ (i) (as adjective laddered) her tights were always laddered; (ii) they laddered the minute I put them on.

9d   Go through my name and split // cost of accommodation (10,4)

The 2Kiwis parsed the clue as:
  • PEP (go) + PER (through) + COR (my) + N (name) + (and) RENT (split)
I, on the other hand, parsed it as:
  • PEPPER (go through; four-letter words pepper the script) + COR (my) + N (name) + (and) RENT (split)
Pepper[5] (usually be peppered with) means to cover or fill with a liberal amount of scattered items the script is peppered with four-letter words.

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

Peppercorn rent[5] is a British expression denoting a very low or nominal rent the houses were let for a peppercorn rent. [From the (formerly common) practice of stipulating the payment of a peppercorn as a nominal rent.]

15d   Remote possibility /to get/ drunk -- fetch a can! (3,6)

16d   Invoice // from a poorly expert taking precedence (3,5)

As an adjective, pro forma[5] denotes a standard document or form, especially an invoice sent in advance of or with goods supplied a pro forma invoice. As a noun, pro forma[5] is another term for a pro forma document or form please return the enclosed pro forma.

Scratching the Surface
Poorly[5] is a chiefly British term meaning unwell she looked poorly. While North Americans might use the word to mean 'in poor health', we would do so in a statement such as I am feeling poorly today. On the other hand, Oxford Dictionaries provides the following examples of British usage: (i) I didn't manage too many lengths today but I haven't been for 2 weeks since being poorly sick.; (ii) Zoe Bird, 26, was forced to walk for an hour to reach her home with poorly toddler son Ryan after they were forced to leave the car.; (iii) Jakey on the other hand is poorly due to having an injection.

17d   Simple and modest without guards, /but/ collapses (8)

19d   Independent Nationalist covered in blood /is/ cut (6)

"independent" = I (show explanation )

I[1] is the abbreviation for independent, likely in the context of a politician with no party affiliation.

hide explanation

N[2] is the abbreviation for Nationalist[5], a person who advocates political independence for a country a Scottish nationalist.

Cut[3] means to refuse to speak to or recognize; in other words, to snub cut me dead at the party.

20d   Makes slow progress // since changes around hotel (6)

Hotel[5] is a code word representing the letter H, used in radio communication.

22d   String // quartet's last to get drink (5)
Key to Reference Sources: 

[1]   - The Chambers Dictionary, 11th Edition
[2]   - Search Chambers - (Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)
[3]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (American Heritage Dictionary)
[4]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (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] - CollinsDictionary.com (Collins English Dictionary)
[11] - TheFreeDictionary.com (Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary)
Signing off for today — Falcon

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