Monday, April 4, 2016

Monday, April 4, 2016 — DT 27958

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27958
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, November 13, 2015
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27958]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Deep Threat
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 27957 which was published in The Daily Telegraph on Thursday, November 12, 2015.


I would have to say that this was a tad more than two star difficulty for me as I resorted to calling in the reserves with two clues remaining unsolved.

This puzzle appeared in The Daily Telegraph on the day of the November 2015 Paris terrorist attacks. In Comment #33 at Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Tstrummer gives an account of how the events of the day affected him as a working journalist in London.

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   Dirty game with one vehicle leading another /is/ a seaside attraction (9,5)

Blackpool[5] is a seaside resort in Lancashire, northwestern England; population 142,600 (est. 2009).

The Blackpool Tower[7] is a tourist attraction in Blackpool, Lancashire, England, which was opened to the public in 1894. Inspired by the Eiffel Tower in Paris, it is 158 metres (518 feet) tall and is the 103rd tallest freestanding tower in the world.

10a   Elegance /of/ ten saints in new guise (9)

11a   Desires // to move briskly ahead, first to last (5)

12a   Agent with hat /is/ a treacherous person (7)

Tile[10] is old-fashioned British slang for a hat. Apparently the expression arises from the fact that "it’s something that goes over-head" — alluding to roofing tiles.

13a   Old money /for/ a man who got to hide (6)

Tanner[5] is a historical informal British name for a sixpence ⇒ a tanner for a packet of ten cigarettes.

Delving Deeper
The sixpence[7] (6d), sometimes known as a tanner or sixpenny bit, was a coin worth one-fortieth of a pound sterling, or six pence. It was first minted in the reign (1547–1553) of Edward VI and circulated until 1980. Following decimalisation in 1971 it had a value of 2 12 new pence. The coin was made from silver from its introduction in 1551 to 1947, and thereafter in cupronickel.

Despite Deep Threat's characterization of it as "pre-decimal coinage", it would actually appear to have survived for quite some time beyond decimalisation.

15a   Think // to entertain, bringing out article (4)

17a   Visionary // cities laid out (10)

18a   Mother meeting request, got up /in/ something pink and fragrant (6,4)

The damask rose[5] is a sweet-scented rose (Rosa damascena) of an old variety, having pink or light red velvety petals which are used to make attar*.

* A fragrant essential oil, typically made from rose petals.

20a   Yield /from/ what gardener puts down being reported (4)

... you want the other thing that gardeners spread!

22a   Capital city /getting/ hit -- what river floods it? (6)

Tehran[5] is the capital of Iran, situated in the foothills of the Elburz Mountains; population 7,088,287 (2006). It replaced Isfahan as capital of Persia in 1788.

23a   A moggy set about eating very good old // starchy food (7)

Moggie[5] (or moggy) is an informal British term for a cat, typically one that is does not have a pedigree or is otherwise unremarkable ⇒ I have three other cats (two moggies and one Bengal/Tonkinese cross).

Pi[5] is an informal British short form for pious.

26a   Medicine /is/ key (5)

In music, a key[10] is the tonic of a major or minor scale.

In music, a tonic[10] is:
  1. the first degree of a major or minor scale and the tonal centre of a piece composed in a particular key; or
    a key or chord based on this.
27a   Odious // administrator with competence to restrict worker ultimately (9)

28a   This addict -- he, we suspect, // lives very dangerously (5,4,5)

Dice[10] means to to take a chance or risk (especially in the phrase dice with death).


2d   Accommodation costing more? Respite /wanted/ (3-2)

Due to the rather unusual construction of this clue, the word "wanted" (which serves a role equivalent to that of a link word) comes at the end of the clue.

Let[5] is a British term for:
  1. a period during which a room or property is rented ⇒ I’ve taken a month’s let on the flat; or
  2. a property available for rent ⇒ an unfurnished let.
Despite failing to find the meaning in any of the several dictionaries that I consulted, the solution to the clue would suggest that let can also mean the charge levied.

3d   Upset Catholic is repeatedly /creating/ emergency (6)

4d   Insincere folk // sore when grabbed by newspaper folk endlessly (10)

5d   River // to flow gently, as one might say (4)

The River Ouse[5] (rhymes with booze rather than mouse) is a river of northeastern England, formed at the confluence of the Ure and Swale in North Yorkshire and flowing 92 km (57 miles) south-eastwards through York to the Humber estuary. There are also several other rivers in England having the same name or minor variations thereof, namely:
  1. a river of southeastern England, which rises in the Weald of West Sussex and flows 48 km (30 miles) south-eastwards to the English Channel;
  2. (also Great Ouse) a river of eastern England, which rises in Northamptonshire and flows 257 km (160 miles) eastwards then northwards through East Anglia to the Wash near King’s Lynn; or
  3. (also Little Ouse) a river of East Anglia, which forms a tributary of the Great Ouse.
6d   Start of the warm weather and friend abroad /is in/ natural disaster (7)

Ami[8] (plural amis) is the masculine form of the French word meaning friend.

A tsunami[5] is a long, high sea wave caused by an earthquake or other disturbance ⇒ the loss of human lives from this latest tsunami is staggering.

7d   Small vehicle // engineer has travelled in last to arrive (9)

James Watt[5] (1736–1819) was a Scottish engineer. Among his many innovations he greatly improved the efficiency of the Newcomen steam engine, which was then adopted for a variety of purposes. He also introduced the term horsepower.

A wagonette[5] (British also waggonette) is a four-wheeled horse-drawn pleasure vehicle, typically open, with facing side seats and one or two seats arranged crosswise in front.

8d   Delaware always has this // zone of limited access (10,4)

9d   A nude permitted to roam // without prior consideration (14)

14d   Fleet deployed with haste -- // such must come out at night (5,5)

16d   Like some music? // My, Chopin's fantastic! (9)

Scratching the Surface
Frédéric Chopin[5] (1810–1849) was a Polish-born French composer and pianist. Writing almost exclusively for the piano, he composed numerous mazurkas and polonaises inspired by Polish folk music, as well as nocturnes, preludes, and two piano concertos (1829; 1830).

19d   Positions /of/ saints placed on the outside of brown church (7)

"saint" = S (show explanation )

S[5] (chiefly in Catholic use) is an abbreviation for SaintS Ignatius Loyola.

hide explanation

"church" = CE (show explanation )

The Church of England[10] (abbreviation CE[10]) is the reformed established state Church in England, Catholic in order and basic doctrine, with the Sovereign as its temporal head.

hide explanation

21d   Plant /in/ soil initially clean (6)

Spurge[5] is any of numerous species of herbaceous plant or shrub with milky latex and very small, typically greenish, flowers. Many kinds are cultivated as ornamentals and some are of commercial importance.

24d   Soldiers on a little // path that goes round (5)

"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

25d   One sort of queen /or/ another entertained by character in Athens (4)

"another [queen]" = ER (show explanation )

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.

hide explanation

There are several comments on Big Dave's Crossword Blog from people who regarded the link between queen and peri as tenuous at best. Glad that I am not the only one to have this thought.

Pi[5] is the sixteenth letter of the Greek alphabet (Π, π).

A peri[4], in Persian folklore, is a member of a race of beautiful supernatural beings. However, in European myth and legend, the name is used for any beautiful fairy-like creature.

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Deep Threat says in reference to a peri The Fairy Queen in Iolanthe is one of these.
Iolanthe; or, The Peer and the Peri[7] is a comic opera with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert. Iolanthe is a fairy (or peri) who has been banished from fairyland because she married a mortal an act forbidden by fairy law.

Twenty-five years before the beginning of the opera, the fairy Iolanthe committed the capital crime (under fairy law) of marrying a mortal human. The Queen of the fairies commuted Iolanthe's sentence of death to banishment for life on the condition that Iolanthe left her husband and never communicated with him again. After the passage of 25 years, the fairies, still missing Iolanthe deeply, plead with their Queen to pardon Iolanthe and to restore her place in fairyland.
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 comment:

  1. This puzzle was spoiled by several terribly clunky clues. 22a and 25d being perhaps the worst of the lot.