Thursday, April 14, 2016

Thursday, April 14, 2016 — DT 27969

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27969
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, November 26, 2015
RayT (Ray Terrell)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27969]
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 would have finished today's puzzle much sooner had I not spent so much time cruising the wrong European river.

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   Discharge // exploding so deep (6)

4a   Grand // Canyon, American, split by Colorado's right bank (8)

More Than Just Scratching the Surface
The Grand Canyon[5] is a deep gorge in Arizona, formed by the Colorado River. It is about 440 km (277 miles) long, 8 to 24 km (5 to 15 miles) wide, and, in places, 1,800 m (6,000 ft) deep. The area was designated a national park in 1919.

9a   That man is after the old lady's // pounds (6)

Mash[3] means to convert into a soft pulpy mass by pounding or crushing.

10a   Perchance story will include // old relative (8)

12a   European capital housing churchman's backed // eternally (8)

13a   Issued digital record, keeping single // off (6)

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, pommers comments I think this is a case of Thesuritis. In my thesaurus the word you need is not a synonym of issue nor vice versa but they do have synonyms in common.
Maple sap collection bucket and tap.
I had no difficulty accepting "ran" as a synonym of "issued". Among its many meanings, run[10] can mean (of liquids) to flow, especially in a manner specified (i) water ran from the broken pipe; (ii) the well has run dry; or apropos to the season here in Canada (iii) the sap is running.

However, Patski in the thread at Comment #37 on Big Dave's Crossword Blog thinks they are synonyms in a publishing context.

15a   Choking /from/ lungs' atria not working (13)

Scratching the Surface
The surface reading is a bit of an anatomical absurdity in the real world but fair game in Crosswordland.

Atrium[5] (plural atria) is the name given to each of the two upper cavities of the heart from which blood is passed to the ventricles. The right atrium receives deoxygenated blood from the veins of the body, the left atrium oxygenated blood from the pulmonary vein. Also called auricle.

18a   Inanely grinned at nudes losing sweetheart/'s/ sympathy (13)

"sweetheart" = E (show explanation )

Here we encounter a common cryptic crossword device, in which the word "sweetheart" is used to clue E, the middle letter (heart) of swEet.

hide explanation

22a   Frank // Capra did this (6)

Frank Capra[5] (1897–1991) was an Italian-born American film director. He is known for comedies such as It Happened One Night (1934), Arsenic and Old Lace (1944), and It’s a Wonderful Life (1946). He won six Oscars.

24a   Charge // headed over English wicket (8)

A wicket[5] (also wicket door or wicket gate) is a small door or gate, especially one beside or in a larger one.

By the way, wicket[5] in the sense of an opening in a door or wall, often fitted with glass or a grille and used for selling tickets or a similar purpose is a North American usage.

26a   Single // ladies to split up (8)

This was one of my last ones in, stymied by having the wrong river at 23d.

Moreover, I find "split up" to be rather suspect as an anagram indicator. I would think that it merely denotes breaking the fodder into separate pieces but carries no connotation of reassembling the resulting pieces in a different order.

27a   Character /of/ country house reportedly (6)

A manor[5] (also manor house) is a large country house with lands ⇒ a Tudor manor house in the English countryside.

28a   It delays travelling // round the clock (8)

29a   Somewhat tedious or dull generating yawns initially (6)

This is a style of clue that frequently appears in RayT puzzles. You decide whether the word "initially" is part of the definition (making the clue an all-in-one) or, as pommers has shown, merely participates in the wordplay (making the clue a semi-all-in-one). I have chosen to show the former — just to be contrarian.


1d   Check // wall on compound (6)

2d   Crazed // mob suspend on and off (9)

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, pommers characterizes a posse as a mob, of lawmen in the Old West perhaps.
The members of a posse were not lawmen, but merely ordinary citizens conscripted by a sheriff to assist him in keeping the peace or to pursue and arrest a felon.

Known officially as posse comitatus[7] (Latin for 'power or force of the county'), the concept arose in English common law and was codified in the UK by the Sheriffs Act 1887 and repealed by the Criminal Law Act 1967.

The posse is particularly associated with the American west as it figures frequently in the plots of Western movies.

In the United States, the posse comitatus power continues to exist in those common law states that have not expressly repealed it by statute.

Furthermore, a US federal statute known as the Posse Comitatus Act forbids the use of the United States Army, and through it, its offspring, the United States Air Force, as a posse comitatus or for law enforcement purposes. A directive from the Secretary of Defense prohibits the use of the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps for law enforcement. No such limitation exists on the United States Coast Guard, which can be used for all law enforcement purposes except when, as during WWII, a part of the Coast Guard is placed under the command of the Navy. This part would then fall under the regulations governing the Navy in this matter, rather than those concerning the Coast Guard. The limitation also does not apply to the National Guard when activated by a state's governor and operating in accordance with Title 32 of the U.S. Code. Conversely, the limitation would apply to the National Guard when activated by the President and operating in accordance with Title 10 of the U.S. Code.

The Lattimer Massacre[7] of 1897 illustrated the danger of such groups, and thus ended their use in situations of civil unrest. The Lattimer massacre was the violent deaths of 19 unarmed striking immigrant anthracite coal miners at the Lattimer mine near Hazleton, Pennsylvania, on September 10, 1897. The miners, mostly of Polish, Slovak, Lithuanian and German ethnicity, were shot and killed by a Luzerne County sheriff's posse. Scores more workers were wounded.

3d   Ship/'s/ crew in endless ocean run (7)

"run" = R (show explanation )

On cricket scorecards [not to mention baseball scoreboards], the abbreviation R[5] denotes run(s).

In cricket, a run[5] is a unit of scoring achieved by hitting the ball so that both batsmen are able to run between the wickets, or awarded in some other circumstances.

hide explanation

5d   Has // planted first of seeds to appear last (4)

6d   State /of/ danger possibly covering area (7)

Grenada[5] is a country in the Caribbean, consisting of the island of Grenada (the southernmost of the Windward Islands) and the southern Grenadine Islands; population 90,700 (est. 2009); languages, English (official), English Creole; capital, St George’s.

7d   Work on twitch // of the eye (5)

"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

Behind the Picture
Not all optics are 'of the eye'! — pommers
Optic[5] is a British trademark for a device fastened to the neck of an inverted bottle for measuring out spirits.

8d   Walk on edges of narrowest // grating (8)

11d   Stone // fire support keeping cool back (7)

Having read the clue at 8d, the "fire support" here should have popped readily to mind.

14d   Group // still to engage name tenor (7)

In music, t.[10] is the abbreviation for tenor.

As pointed out in the thread starting at Comment #4 at Big Dave's Crossword Blog, the parsing shown by pommers in his review is incorrect. The correct parsing is QUIET (still) containing (to engage) {N (name) + T (tenor)}. The T that is provided by "tenor" is the one in the interior of the solution rather than the one at the end as pommers has indicated in his hint.

Scratching the Surface
In the surface reading, a "name[5] tenor" would be a well-known tenor — one guaranteed to draw a large audience.

16d   In driving rain edifice /is/ immovable (9)

17d   Tabloid declines to carry right // cheap articles (8)

The Sun[7] is a daily tabloid newspaper published in the United Kingdom and Ireland by a division of News UK, a wholly owned subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

19d   Queen in charge with powerful // King, say (7)

"Queen" = R (show explanation )

Regina[5] (abbreviation R[5]) [Latin for queen] denotes the reigning queen, used following a name (e.g. Elizabetha Regina, Queen Elizabeth) or in the titles of lawsuits (e.g. Regina v. Jones, the Crown versus Jones — often shortened to R. v. Jones).

Thus Queen Elizabeth signs her name as 'Elizabeth R' as seen here on Canada's paint-stained constitution.

hide explanation

"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

Richard[5] is the name of three kings of England:
  • Richard I (1157–1199), son of Henry II, reigned 1189–99; known as Richard Coeur de Lion or Richard the Lionheart. He led the Third Crusade, defeating Saladin at Arsuf (1191) but failing to capture Jerusalem. Returning home, he was held hostage by the Holy Roman emperor Henry VI until being released in 1194 on payment of a huge ransom.
  • Richard II (1367–1400), son of the Black Prince, reigned 1377–99. Following his minority, he executed or banished most of his former opponents. His confiscation of his uncle John of Gaunt’s estate on the latter’s death provoked Henry Bolingbroke’s return from exile to overthrow him.
  • Richard III (1452–1485), brother of Edward IV, reigned 1483-5. He served as Protector to his nephew Edward V, who, after two months, was declared illegitimate and subsequently disappeared. Richard’s brief rule ended at Bosworth Field, where he was defeated by Henry Tudor and killed.
20d   Current performance, embracing former wife, /is/ not true (7)

21d   Almost // new in the morning (6)

23d   River's height regarding eastern // river (5)

Seizing upon in[1] having the meaning concerned or involved with, I arrived at a German river rather than a French one. This proved most unhelpful in my attempts to solve 26a.

The Rhône[5] is a river in southwestern Europe which rises in the Swiss Alps and flows 812 km (505 miles), through Lake Geneva into France, then to Lyons, Avignon, and the Mediterranean west of Marseilles, where it forms a wide delta that includes the Camargue.

The Rhine[5] is a river in western Europe which rises in the Swiss Alps and flows for 1,320 km (820 miles) to the North Sea. It forms the border between Germany and Switzerland in the south, then Germany and France, before flowing north through Germany and westwards through the Netherlands to empty into the North Sea near Rotterdam.

25d   Performing animal /seen in/ impressive ring? (4)

A seal[10] is:
  1. a device* impressed on a piece of wax, moist clay, etc, fixed to a letter, document, etc, as a mark of authentication; or
  2. a stamp, ring, etc, engraved with a device* to form such an impression.
*  A device[5] is an emblematic or heraldic design ⇒ their shields bear the device of the Blazing Sun.
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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