Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Wednesday, March 16, 2016 — DT 27939

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27939
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, October 22, 2015
Petitjean (John Pidgeon)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27939]
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


I found this puzzle very difficult when I first encountered it last October. Fortunately, in a rare occurrence, this time around I recognized quite quickly that I had seen it before. And, rarer still, many of the more obscure solutions came back to me — mind you, not immediately, but they slowly percolated to the surface of my consciousness as I worked through the puzzle. I needed no outside help the second time around, unlike my first visit with the puzzle.

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   Pub's daily // hours in this part of the world? (5,5)

Local[5] is an informal British term for a pub convenient to a person’s home ⇒ a pint in the local.

The Times[7] is a British daily national newspaper based in London. The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times are published by Times Newspapers, since 1981 a division of News UK, a wholly owned subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

Local time[5] is:
  1. time as reckoned in a particular region or time zone ⇒ the polls will open at 6 a.m. local time, which is three hours later in California than in New York; or
  2. time at a particular place as measured from the sun’s transit over the meridian at that place, defined as noon.
6a   Caught with joint /in/ nick (4)

"caught" = C (show explanation )

In cricket, one way for a batsman to be dismissed is to be caught out[5], that is for a player on the opposing team to catch a ball that has been hit by the batsman before it touches the ground.

On cricket scorecards, the abbreviation c.[2,10] or c[5] denotes caught (by).

hide explanation

Nick has a multitude of slang meanings in Britain. However, none of them are applicable in this clue.

10a   Showing contempt for losing out /in/ short-lived affair (5)

11a   Edna anonymously appearing in Cornish resort /to get/ tranquillisers (9)

St Ives[7] is a seaside town and port in Cornwall, England. St Ives is well known from the nursery rhyme and riddle "As I was going to St Ives", although it is not clear whether the rhyme refers to the Cornish town or one of several other places called St Ives.

12a   Shock about family/'s/ use of cosmetics etc (8)

13a   Note Greek ship /or/ what it could carry (5)

In Greek mythology, the Argo[10] was the ship in which Jason sailed in search of the Golden Fleece.

15a   Most violent // end (7)

17a   Magazine welcomed by senior /as/ part of the breakfast ritual? (7)

The Oldie[7] is a British monthly magazine that carries general-interest articles, humour and cartoons. It is sometimes regarded as a haven for "grumpy old men and women"—an image it has played up to over the years with such slogans as "The Oldie: Buy it before you snuff it*", and its lampooning of youth subculture and what it sees as the absurdities of modern life.

* Snuff it[5] is an informal British expression meaning to die ⇒ the old girl’s snuffed it.

Soldier[5] is an informal British term for a strip of bread or toast, used for dipping into a soft-boiled egg.

19a   That woman frequents bar // where footballers may be found in Hackney (7)

Mars[7] (also Mars bar) is a candy bar manufactured by American chocolate company Mars, Incorporated.

Delving Deeper
In 1932, Forrest Mars, son of American candy maker Frank C. Mars, rented a factory in Slough, Berkshire, England and began manufacturing a chocolate bar consisting of nougat and caramel covered in milk chocolate, modelled after his father's Milky Way bar, which was already popular in the US. Today the basic recipe is unaltered but the size of the bar and the proportions of the main components have changed over the years. With minor variations, this version is sold worldwide, except for the US, and is packaged in a black wrapper with red gold-edged lettering.

Mars bars have long been available in Canada. Because of Canada's higher chocolate standards, the Canadian "Mars" is not considered a "chocolate bar" and is labelled instead as a "candy bar". In fact, unlike the American version, which labels the bar as "milk chocolate," the Canadian version makes no mention of chocolate on the front of the wrapper.

The worldwide Mars bar differs from what was sold in the US. The American version, which featured nougat, almonds, and a milk chocolate coating, was discontinued in 2002 and replaced with the slightly different Snickers Almond (which also contains caramel). The US version of the Mars bar was relaunched in January 2010 and was once again discontinued at the end of 2011.

The British and Canadian Mars bars are very similar to the United States Milky Way bar, which Mars, Inc. produced (not to be confused with the European version of Milky Way, which is similar to the United States' 3 Musketeers).

Hackney Marshes[7] is an area of grassland on the western bank of the River Lea in the London Borough of Hackney.

Delving Deeper
Hackney Marshes is one of the largest areas of common land in Greater London, with 136.01 hectares (336.1 acres) of protected commons. It was originally a true marsh, but was extensively drained from Medieval times, and rubble was dumped here from buildings damaged by air raids during World War II.

Today the marshes provide many pleasant walks, in reach of the inner city, but the most famous use of Hackney Marshes is for Sunday league football [soccer], with 88 full-size football pitches marked out. On a typical Sunday, over 100 matches are played by amateur teams in several local leagues.

Part of the London Olympic park for the Summer Olympics of 2012 was built on Hackney Marshes.

21a   Poles holding unruly rogue // who is handy with a knife (7)

22a   News about variable look /for/ material (5)

"variable" = Y (show explanation )

In mathematics, a variable[5] is a quantity which during a calculation is assumed to vary or be capable of varying in value.

In mathematical formulae, variables are typically represented symbolically by the letters x, y and z.

hide explanation

"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

24a   Left on grumpy donkey, abandoning yen for quiet // sheltered beach (3,5)

"yen" = Y (show explanation )

The yen[5] (abbreviation Y[5])  is the basic monetary unit of Japan.

hide explanation 

Eeyore[7] is a character in the Winnie-the-Pooh books by A. A. Milne. He is generally characterized as a pessimistic, gloomy, depressed, anhedonic, old grey stuffed donkey who is a friend of the title character, Winnie-the-Pooh.

As I noted in my review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, the nautical term lee shore[5] does not denote a sheltered beach but rather a shore lying on the leeward side of a ship (and on to which a ship could be blown in foul weather).

27a   Cause of misery -- // troops lurking between hills ... (9)

A tor[7] is a large, free-standing rock outcrop that rises abruptly from the surrounding smooth and gentle slopes of a rounded hill summit or ridge crest. In the South West of England, the term is commonly also used for the hills themselves – particularly the high points of Dartmoor in Devon and Bodmin Moor in Cornwall.

28a   ... still suppressing a small // source of uprising (5)

29a   One’s got out of bed to go on the roof (4)

Thatch[5] is a roof covering of straw, reeds, palm leaves, or a similar material.

A reed bed[5] is an area of water or marshland dominated by reeds.

30a   Classic vehicle driver, // fancy hot racer touring Italy and then Europe (10)

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


1d   Roof space: // length 0-12" (4)

2d   Stein in Crete whisked up // batter? (9)

Rick Stein[7] is an English celebrity chef, restaurateur and television presenter [host]. He is Head Chef and co-owner of "Rick Stein at Bannisters" at Mollymook, New South Wales, Australia, and owns four restaurants in Padstow [Cornwall], a fish and chip shop in Falmouth, Cornwall and a fish and chip shop in Newquay, Cornwall. He has written a number of cookery books and has presented a number of television programmes.

Scratching the Surface
Crete[5] is a Greek island in the eastern Mediterranean; population 630,000 (est. 2009); capital, Heraklion. It is noted for the remains of the Minoan civilization which flourished there in the 2nd millennium BC. It fell to Rome in 67 BC and was subsequently ruled by Byzantines, Venetians, and Turks. Crete played an important role in the Greek struggle for independence from the Turks in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, becoming administratively part of an independent Greece in 1913.

3d   Record playing /that can provide/ a way in (3-2)

From time to time, I am known to differ with the reviewer on Big Dave's Crossword Blog — even when I am that reviewer. Such is the case here, where (on second look) I view the definition to be merely "a way in" with the words "that can provide" being a link phrase.

4d   Fit // in untidy heaps (2,5)

5d   Constant // as Douglas's cats? (7)

Douglas[5] is the capital of the Isle of Man[5], an island in the Irish Sea which is a British Crown dependency having home rule, with its own legislature (the Tynwald) and judicial system.

The Manx cat[10] is a short-haired tailless variety of cat, believed to originate on the Isle of Man[5].

7d   Hang around // shack eventually changing hands (5)

8d   Pressure is on in Herts town /to supply/ engine part (6,4)

"pressure" = P (show explanation )

In physics, the symbol p[5] is used to represent pressure.

hide explanation

Herts.[5] is the abbreviation for Hertfordshire[5] , a county of southeastern England, one of the Home Counties; county town, Hertford.

Tring[7] is a small market town and civil parish in the Borough of Dacorum, Hertfordshire, England.

Delving Deeper
Tring is situated in a gap passing through the Chiltern Hills, classed as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, 30 miles (48 km) north-west of London. As of 2013, Tring has a population of 11,730.

Settlements in Tring date back to Prehistoric times and it was mentioned in the Domesday Book. Tring received its market town charter in 1315. Tring is now largely a commuter town within the London commuter belt.

9d   Pedant // succeeded with puzzle (8)

The abbreviation s[5] stands for succeeded, in the sense of to have taken over a throne, office, or other position from ⇒ he succeeded Hawke as Prime Minister. It might be seen, for instance, it charts of royal lineages.

Tickler[4] is an informal, chiefly British term for a a difficult or delicate problem.

14d   Iron matter turned into // cyborg (10)

The Terminator[7] series is an American science fiction franchise created by James Cameron and Gale Anne Hurd. It encompasses a series of films, comics, novels, and additional media concerning battles between Skynet's synthetic intelligent machine network, and John Connor's Resistance forces and the rest of the human race. Skynet's most well-known products in its genocidal goals are the various terminator models, such as the T-800, who was portrayed by Arnold Schwarzenegger from the first film, and similar units he also portrayed in the later films.

16d   Risked cold being replaced by extremes of emotion /and/ brought about an improvement (8)

18d   Stylish runny brie scoffed, /being/ drunk (9)

20d   Southern chipotle cooked after cutting the end and top of it /could make/ mess (7)

21d   Former striker, // he's rare wanting work (7)

In soccer, a forward or attacking player is known as a striker[5].

Alan Shearer[7] is a retired English footballer [soccer player]. He played as a striker in the top level of English league football for Southampton, Blackburn Rovers, Newcastle United and for the England national team.

Delving Deeper
He was widely regarded as one of the world's best strikers, being both Newcastle's and the Premier League's* record goalscorer. Since retiring as a player in 2006, Shearer has worked as a television pundit for the BBC. In 2009, he briefly left his BBC role to become Newcastle United's manager in the last eight games of their 2008–09 season, in an unsuccessful attempt to save them from relegation [demotion to a lower league].

* The Premier League[5] is the top division of professional soccer in England and Wales.

23d   Lighter top going for pound /which is/ generous (5)

A lighter[5] is a flat-bottomed barge or other unpowered boat used to transfer goods to and from ships in harbour.

The pound[5] (also pound sterling) is the basic monetary unit of the UK, equal to 100 pence. While the symbol for pound is £, it is often written as L[10].

25d   Statement of resignation // they hope provides a case (3-2)

Hey-ho[10] (or heigh-ho) is an exclamation of weariness, disappointment, surprise, or happiness.

What did I say?
In my review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, I wrote Kath will be pleased to learn that this lurker successfully hid itself until the bitter end.
On Big Dave's Crossword Blog, "lurker" is a commonly-used term for a hidden word. Kath, my fellow blogger there, frequently bemoans her inability to spot them.

26d   Porridge /can make you/ churn (4)

Porridge is an informal British expression for either:
  1. jail[1]; or
  2. time spent in prison[5] I’m sweating it out doing porridge.
Stir[5] is an informal term for prison [on both sides of the Atlantic] ⇒ I’ve spent twenty-eight years in stir.

Behind the Picture
Porridge[7] is a British situation comedy broadcast on the BBC from 1974 to 1977. Widely considered to be one of the greatest British sitcoms of all time, the show's protagonists are inmates at the fictional HMP [Her Majesty's Prison] Slade in Cumberland. The show spawned a 1979 feature film also titled Porridge (released under the title Doing Time in North America) and a 1978 television sequel, Going Straight.
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


  1. Whew! Managed to fill it in correctly, with plenty of googling and on-line assistance. Not a 9d, so bunged a few in.

    Thanks for your commentaries -- both of them -- as there is much to ponder in this puzzle. So many odd Briticisms.

    I always enjoy your solves on BD's blog, particularly as, on that site, you often respond to people's posts, which contributes to the friendly atmosphere.

  2. Hi Richard,

    Always appreciate hearing from you.

    Lately, it seems, only about half of the puzzles that I review on Big Dave's blog find their way into the pages of the National Post. The puzzles that I reviewed in July and September were skipped, the latter when the Post did not publish on Family Day in February.

    I appear on Big Dave's blog today reviewing a puzzle that readers of the Post might get to see in August.

  3. Was feeling quite good about my increasing skill at doing these crosswords and then I hit a brick wall with this one. I shall persevere.

    1. Welcome, Puzzler

      This puzzle was certainly above average in difficulty as can be seen from many of the comments on Big Dave's site. Petitjean (John Pidgeon) definitely forces one to think outside the box.

  4. Hi Puzzler! This was a difficult cryptic, so don't despair. Hope you will post when you have time, as Falcon and I feel a bit lonely some days.