Monday, April 18, 2016

Monday, April 18, 2016 — DT 27973

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27973
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Shamus (Philip Marlow)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27973]
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
The National Post has skipped DT 27971 and DT 27972 which were published in The Daily Telegraph on Saturday, November 28, 2015 and Monday, November 30, 2015.


The sudden emergence of spring seems to have put the editors at the National Post in an unusually frisky mood — they have a double skip in their step, jumping ahead two puzzles. While there are not a great number of Briticisms in the puzzle, the two long terms at 13a and 20a are new to me. Fortunately, my educated guesses paid off.

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.


8a   Some admired a lively // artist (4)

Salvador Dalí[5] (1904–1989) was a Spanish painter. A surrealist, he portrayed dream images with almost photographic realism against backgrounds of arid Catalan landscapes. Dalí also collaborated with Buñuel in the production of the film Un Chien andalou (1928). Notable works: The Persistence of Memory (1931).

9a   Contemplation after minute's gone /in/ exercise (3)

10a   Pass // drinks hidden in middle of beer (6)

11a   Opening? // It has developed around university (6)

12a   Object in collection, // remarkable type (8)

The second definition is merely the informal, humorous use of the word specimen[5] to refer to a person or animal ⇒ Carla could not help feeling a degree of reluctant admiration for this odd female specimen.

13a   Source of legitimacy in post? (8-7)

Franking machine[5] is the British name for a postage meter[5].

15a   Set of bars // showing good value (7)

"good" = G (show explanation )

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

hide explanation 

17a   Lie back /in/ park, beside path (7)

Rec[5] is an informal British term for a recreation ground whereas in North America it is used as a short form for recreation ⇒ the rec centre. Thus Brits may conduct their sporting activities at the rec while North Americans would pursue theirs at the rec centre.

20a   Devise block to berserk development finally /in/ well-to-do area (11,4)

Stockbroker belt[5] is a British term for an affluent residential area outside a large city.

23a   Scoundrel sick to get bill /for/ car (8)

25a   Swollen // gut? I'd fancy that's about right (6)

26a   One with barely seen family jewels? (6)

27a   Pair /from/ union in function (3)

In mathematics. U.[10] is the abbreviation for union[5], the set that comprises all the elements (and no others) contained in any of two or more given sets.

28a   Solicitor // disclosed after beginning of trial (4)

A tout[10] is a person who solicits business in a brazen way.


1d   Item that's thrust /from/ artist on jetty (6)

"artist" = RA (show explanation )

A Royal Academician (abbreviation RA[5]) is a member of the Royal Academy of Arts[5] (also Royal Academy; abbreviation also RA[5]), an institution established in London in 1768, whose purpose is to cultivate painting, sculpture, and architecture in Britain. 

hide explanation

2d   Duke with natural inclination to avoid North once? /That's/ clear (8)

"duke" = (show explanation )

A duke[5] (abbreviation D.[10]) is a male holding the highest hereditary title in the British and certain other peerages.

hide explanation

3d   Poser with talent, // suspect character (15)

4d   Dining area with time /for/ communication (7)

A mess[5] is a building or room providing meals and recreational facilities for members of the armed forces the sergeants' mess. 

5d   Occasion when crosses are placed countrywide? (7,8)

6d   District with church // that's roughly normal? (6)

7d   Dogs, maybe, /in/ section of supermarket heard (4)

The Isle of Dogs[7] is an area in the East End of London that is bounded on three sides (east, south and west) by one of the largest meanders in the River Thames.

14d   Sister, // not a person appearing in speech (3)

16d   One starts in regularly undertaken tasks (3)

As I see it, this is a semi-all-in-one clue. The entire clue is the definition while the portion with the dashed underline supplies the wordplay.

18d   Free // period in company supplying many lines in story (8)

BT Group plc* [7] (trading as BT) is a holding company which owns British Telecommunications plc, a British multinational telecommunications services company with head offices in London, United Kingdom. It has operations in around 170 countries. BT runs the telephone exchanges, trunk network and local loop connections for the vast majority of British fixed-line telephones. Currently BT is responsible for approximately 28 million telephone lines in Great Britain.
* plc (public limited company) is the British counterpart to the North American designation Ltd.
19d   Give up // trick with top player, we hear (7)

A seed[5] is any of a number of stronger competitors in a sports tournament who have been assigned a specified position in an ordered list with the aim of ensuring that they do not play each other in the early rounds he knocked the top seed out of the championships.

21d   Appeal lies in more than 50 per cent of sport /for/ reviewer (6)

"It"[7] is a term that has come to mean sex appeal - although, in its earliest manifestation, it seems that the term pertained more to personality than to glamorous looks. Although the term had been used as early as 1904 by Rudyard Kipling, it was popularized  in the 1927 film It starring Clara Bow (who became known as the It Girl).

22d   Ring, conceivably, /as/ bedridden? (4,2)

The good news, this was one of my first ones in. The bad news, I had it incorrect — which really impeded progress in the southeast quadrant. I thought SHUT IN fit the clue to a tee.

The correct solution is an inverse reversal. Treating the solution (LAID UP) as wordplay, we have a reversal (up in a down clue) of LAID giving us DIAL (which means to ring [on the telephone]).

You will see most commentators refer — as does Gazza — to this style of clue as "a reverse-type clue". My preference to call it an inverse wordplay clue likely arises from my background in mathematics and engineering as the structure is analogous to inverse functions found in those fields. This nomenclature is particularly apt for this clue as I think "inverse reversal" is a far more elegant term than "reverse reversal".

24d   Neighbour /with/ instrument in lift (4)

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Gazza comments I’m not too sure about ‘in lift’ because you can go down as well as up in a lift – what do you think?.
Gazza is thinking of an elevator — which the Brits call a lift. I thought of a "lift" as being a movement performed by a weightlifter.
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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