Friday, April 8, 2016

Friday, April 8, 2016 — DT 27963

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27963
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, November 19, 2015
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27963]
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 was well into this puzzle before I realized that the growing sense of déjà vu that I was experiencing was due to having solved the puzzle before.

Despite an appearance by the Queen, the puzzle was not compiled by RayT. The setter even has the cheek to give us a glimpse of Her Majesty in the shower to which her reaction — as suggested by 9a — would undoubtedly be We are not amused.

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   Spy /in/ factory (5)

4a   Passing criticism // about West I despise being broadcast (9)

A sideswipe[5] is a passing critical remark about someone or something ⇒ the book was chiefly an attack on the literary work of Rossetti, but it also took a few sideswipes at Swinburne.

In the sense of a glancing blow from or on the side of something, especially a motor vehicle, sideswipe[5] is a chiefly North American expression.

A Note on Versions
At least three versions of the puzzle appear in the UK. There is the one that appears in the printed edition of The Daily Telegraph (which is virtually always the version that is carried by the National Post). There is a version that appears on the Telegraph Puzzles website which may contain changes and corrections that are made after the printed edition of the paper goes to production. Finally, there is an app version for smart phones and tablets. As is the case with today's puzzle, this version may sometimes differ from the others.

9a   Tedious // first person among royals is entering a capital (9)

10a   Teachers totally discontented? /That's/ mad (5)

In the UK, the National Union of Teachers is commonly known by the acronym NUT[5] [much to the delight of their students, I am sure].

11a   Energy shown by men milling around a ship // as a body (2,5)

"ship" = SS (show explanation )

In Crosswordland, a ship is almost invariably a steamship, the abbreviation for which is SS[5]the SS Canberra.

hide explanation

12a   Perhaps French or English // artist represents it (7)

13a   Martial art /in which/ thousand charge around area (6)

15a   Peers fall in one such category? (3,5)

Scratching the Surface
In the surface reading, the setter intends us to think of a peer[5]as being a member of the nobility in Britain or Ireland — a trap more likely to be effective in the UK than it is here.

18a   Reveal widely // board game with local left in charge (2,6)

Go[7] is a board game for two players that originated in China more than 2,500 years ago (from whence it spread, first to Korea and Japan, and then worldwide). The game is noted for being rich in strategy despite its relatively simple rules. According to chess master Edward Lasker: "The rules of Go are so elegant, organic, and rigorously logical that if intelligent life forms exist elsewhere in the universe, they almost certainly play Go." The name Go is derived from the Japanese name of the  game "igo".

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

"in charge" = IC (show explanation )

The abbreviation i/c[5] can be short for either
  1. (especially in military contexts) in charge of ⇒ the Quartermaster General is i/c rations; or
  2. in command ⇒ 2 i/c = second in command.
hide explanation

20a   Daze // sets back men in service (6)

"soldiers" = OR (show explanation )

In the British armed forces, the term other ranks[5] (abbreviation OR[5]) refers to all those who are not commissioned officers.

hide explanation

23a   Piece penned by college journalist // showing contortion (7)

A rook[5] is a chess piece, typically with its top in the shape of a battlement, that can move in any direction along a rank or file on which it stands. Each player starts the game with two rooks at opposite ends of the first rank.

"college" = C (show explanation )

According to The Chambers Dictionary, c[1] (or c.) is the abbreviation for college.

hide explanation

24a   Bear down on // work with papers (7)

"work" = OP (show explanation )

In music, an opus[5] (plural opuses or opera) is a separate composition or set of compositions.

The abbreviation Op.[5] (also op.), denoting opus, is used before a number given to each work of a particular composer, usually indicating the order of publication. The plural form of Op. is Opp..

Opus[5] can also be used in a more general sense to mean an artistic work, especially one on a large scale ⇒ he was writing an opus on Mexico.

hide explanation

26a   Emotional situation // in team ardently backed (5)

27a   In which to get view of organ? (9)

An organ[5] is a newspaper or periodical which promotes the views of a political party or movement ⇒ he repositioned the journal as a leading organ of neoconservatism.

28a   Mournful work about six-footer, liberal // with graceful style (9)

Although Lib.[5] may be the more common abbreviation for the Liberal Party in Britain—likely to distinguish it from the the Labour Party[5] (abbreviation Lab.[5])—Chambers 21st Century Dictionary indicates that L[2] may also be used.

What did I say?
In my review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, I referred to a Liberal as a politician (of a type that is an endangered species in the UK, however thriving in Canada).
The Liberal Party[5] (abbreviation Lib.[5] or L[2]) in Britain emerged in the 1860s from the old Whig Party and until the First World War was one of the two major parties in Britain. In 1988 the party regrouped with elements of the Social Democratic Party to form the Social and Liberal Democrats, now known as the Liberal Democrats. However, a small Liberal Party still exists.

This puzzle appeared one month to the day after the Canadian federal election in which the Harper Conservatives were turfed in favour of the Trudeau Liberals.

29a   Turn away // a Green in Strasbourg (5)

Strasbourg[5] is a city in northeastern France, the capital of Alsace, close to the border with Germany; population 276,867 (2006). Annexed by Germany in 1870, it was returned to France after the First World War. It is the headquarters of the Council of Europe and of the European Parliament.

The masculine singular form of the French word meaning green is vert[8].


1d   Duke in authority over king, say -- // potentially explosive situation (6,3)

"king" = K (show explanation )

K[5] is an abbreviation for king that is used especially in describing play in card games and recording moves in chess.

hide explanation

2d   Fear // infusing colonial army (5)

3d   Matching clothing, // it's new possibly on first of toddlers (7)

A twinset[3] is a sweater set consisting of a cardigan and a shell or pullover that match and are worn together.

Unravelling British Sweaters
If you look up the word twinset[5] in a British dictionary, you will find it defined as a chiefly British term for a woman’s matching cardigan and jumper.

In Britain, a jumper[5] is a knitted garment typically with long sleeves, worn over the upper body (in North American parlance, a sweater — in particular, a pullover).

What those of us in North America would call a jumper, the Brits would call a pinafore[5] (a collarless sleeveless dress worn over a blouse or [British] jumper [i.e., North American sweater]).

Thus, if a British lass were to wear a pinafore over her jumper and a North American gal were to wear a jumper over her sweater, they would be dressed identically.

The terms sweater[5] and pullover[5] would also appear to be in common use in the UK. Although the definitions given for sweater in British dictionaries would seem to imply that the term applies only to a pullover, Collins English Dictionary defines a cardigan[10] to be a knitted jacket or sweater with buttons up the front.

4d   Demand of fervent monarchist maybe /for/ washing facility (6)

The regnal ciphers (monograms) of British monarchs are initials formed from the Latin version of their first name followed by either Rex or Regina (Latin for king or queen, respectively). Thus, the regnal cipher of Queen Elizabeth is ER[5] — from the Latin Elizabetha Regina.

A fervent monarchist (or a fan of cryptic crossword setter RayT who virtually always incorporates a reference to Queen in his puzzles) might demand an appearance by Her Majesty — or, in other words, exclaim "SHOW ER".

5d   Outfit on time /for/ equestrian event (8)

Dressage[5] is the art of riding and training a horse in a manner that develops obedience, flexibility, and balance ⇒ (i) she was learning dressage on a black mare; (ii) [as modifier] Britain 's top dressage rider.

6d   Moulded band in sink // that prevents flooding (7)

7d   Hut is open irregularly // suffering trouble (2,3,4)

In the soup[3,4,11] is an informal expression meaning in trouble or having difficulties.

8d   Exotic type touring grand // country (5)

Grand[5] is an informal term for a thousand dollars or pounds he gets thirty-five grand a year. While the term "grand" itself would seem to be commonly used in the UK, the informal abbreviation G[5] meaning grand appears to be regarded as a North American usage I was up nine Gs on the blackjack tables.

14d   Note means to access estate /for/ scoundrel (9)

In music — specifically, in tonic sol-fa — re is the second note of a major scale. In Britain, where the more common spelling is ray[5], re[5] is seen as a variant [or even worse, American] spelling.

16d   Cheese // left with short acknowledgment (4,5)

Port Salut[5] is a pale, mild type of cheese named after the Trappist monastery in France where it was first produced.

17d   Lawless US region // revealed in stew? (4,4)

This is an inverse anagram; the solution to the clue (WILD WEST) consists of the anagram indicator (WILD) and anagram fodder (WEST) that would produce the result (STEW) found in the wordplay. I call this an inverse anagram because having the anagram indicator and fodder in the solution is the inverse of the normal situation in which these elements would be found in the clue.

19d   Cook finally chopped fiery material /in/ pastry (7)

Baklava[5] is a dessert originating in the Middle East made of filo pastry filled with chopped nuts and soaked in honey.

21d   A firm one Irishman raised /producing/ pudding (7)

Most of the Irishmen whom one encounters in Crosswordland seem to be named Pat.

22d   I'm bowled over during sacred // sermon (6)

23d   Daughter put in charge /in/ tight-knit group (5)

25d   Banish /from/ Spain team associated with the French (5)

"Spain" = E (show explanation

The International Vehicle Registration (IVR) code for Spain is E[5] [from Spanish España].

hide explanation

Eleven[5] is the number of players on a cricket[7] side or an Association football[7] [soccer] team — and is often used as a metonym for such a team ⇒ at cricket I played in the first eleven.

"the French" = LE (show explanation )

In French, the masculine singular form of the definite article is le[8].

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

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