Thursday, April 21, 2016

Thursday, April 21, 2016 — DT 27976

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27976
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, December 4, 2015
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27976]
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


In terms of difficulty, this puzzle is likely fairly typical of Giovanni. However, it is rather heavy on the religious references. For those who don't know, Don Manley — in addition to setting puzzles for The Daily Telegraph and other British papers — also serves as crossword editor of the Church Times (an independent Anglican weekly newspaper published in the UK).

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   Yellowish-brown saint placed at the back of church // rooms (8)

"saint" = S (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

5a   Demanding // activity for HMRC (6)

In the UK, HRMC[5] stands for Her or His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, the government department responsible for assessing and collecting taxes.

9a   A fish heading back around little // island (8)

Dominica[5] is a mountainous island in the Caribbean, the loftiest of the Lesser Antilles and the northernmost and largest of the Windward Islands; population 72,700 (est. 2009); languages, English (official), Creole; capital, Roseau. The island came into British possession at the end of the 18th century, becoming an independent republic within the Commonwealth in 1978. The island was named by Christopher Columbus, who discovered it on a Sunday (Latin dies dominica 'the Lord's day') in 1493.

10a   Spot // politician in tall building (6)

"politician" = MP (show explanation )

In Britain (as in Canada), a politician elected to the House of Commons is known as a Member of Parliament[10] (or MP[5] for short).

hide explanation

A pile[2,3,4,5,10,11] is a lofty or large building or group of buildings ⇒ the noble pile of Windsor Castle. Although this is not a term with which I was familiar before encountering it in a previous puzzle, it is apparently not a Briticism as this meaning of the word is found in American as well as British dictionaries. I have chosen to use the definition from the Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary as it adds the additional category "lofty building" to the "large imposing building or group of buildings" found in the other dictionaries.

12a   Songs /for which/ prominent violinist provides the sound (6)

A lied[5] (plural lieder) is a type of German song, especially of the Romantic period, typically for solo voice with piano accompaniment.

Leader[5] is the British term for the principal first violinist in an orchestra. In North America, this musician is known as the concertmaster[5].

13a   Man at the head of order (8)

This is an &lit.[7] (all-in-one) clue. The entire clue, as Deep Threat puts it, is a "[c]ryptic definition of the man who founded a monastic order, and whose Rule is followed by many other monastic orders". The entire clue can also be interpreted as wordplay which parses as BEN (man) + (at the head of) EDICT (order).

An order[5] (also Order) is a society of monks, nuns, or friars living under the same religious, moral, and social regulations and discipline ⇒ the Franciscan Order [or the Benedictine Order].

St Benedict[5] (circa 480-circa 550) was an Italian hermit. He established a monastery at Monte Cassino and his Regula Monachorum (known as the Rule of St Benedict) formed the basis of Western monasticism.

A Benedictine[5] is a monk or nun of a Christian religious order following the rule of St Benedict and established circa 540.

15a   Deer // can't jump without tail sadly (7)

The muntjac[5] (also called barking deer) is any of several species of small southeast Asian deer, the male of which has tusks, small antlers, and a doglike bark. The Chinese muntjac (Muntiacus reevesi) has been naturalized into England and France.

16a   Vessel /with/ French wine passed around table finally (4)

The French word for wine is vin[8].

20a   Bill and Henry completely gutted, // feeling pain (4)

21a   Country /needs/ someone clever with a grasp of modern technology (7)

IT[5] is the abbreviation for information technology.

25a   Is queen in parliament /showing/ anxiety? (8)

Diet[2] is is the name of the legislative assembly of certain countries, e.g. Japan.

26a   One offering cryptic clues // to sift (6)

A riddle[5] is a large coarse sieve, especially one used for separating ashes from cinders or sand from gravel. As a verb, riddle[5] means to pass (a substance) through a large coarse sieve ⇒ for final potting, the soil mixture is not riddled.

28a   Eve, terribly embarrassed, // turned away (6)

29a   Sins executed with zeal -- different from this one? (8)

The entire clue provides the definition which we could rephrase as "A sin that is not executed with zeal". The portion of the clue with the dashed underline also serves as the wordplay.

30a   Carol harbours a yen /for/ making a statement (6)

"yen" = Y (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

31a   Miss // goes quickly around, severe no end (8)

When solving this clue, I casually parsed it in my head as SPINS (goes quickly around) + STER {STER[N] (severe) with the final letter removed (no end)}. It was only while writing the review that I noticed that I had an extra "S". Deep Threat provides the correct parsing in his review.


1d   Old king accommodating theologian /and/ cook (6)

"Old King Cole"[7] is a British nursery rhyme first attested in 1708. Though there is much speculation about the identity of King Cole, it is unlikely that he can be identified reliably as any historical figure. The poem describes a merry king who called for his pipe, bowl, and musicians, with the details varying among versions.

"theologian" = DD (show explanation )

Doctor of Divinity[7] (abbreviation D.D. or DD, Divinitatis Doctor in Latin) is an advanced academic degree in divinity.

Historically, the degree of Doctor of Divinity identified one who had been licensed by a university to teach Christian theology or related religious subjects. In the United Kingdom, Doctor of Divinity has traditionally been the highest doctorate granted by universities, usually conferred upon a religious scholar of standing and distinction. In the United States, the Doctor of Divinity is usually awarded as an honorary degree.

hide explanation

2d   Stars entertaining thousand // groups of soldiers (6)

In astronomy, Aries[5] is a small constellation (the Ram), said to represent the ram in Greek mythology whose Golden Fleece was sought by Jason and the Argonauts.

In astrology, Aries[10] (also called the Ram) is the first sign of the zodiac, symbol , having a cardinal fire classification, ruled by the planet Mars. The sun is in this sign between about March 21 and April 19.

3d   They cover hair // and will get in the way of lovers (8)

A bandeau[5] is a narrow band worn round the head to hold the hair in position.

4d   Cut of meat /in/ a sort of bar (4)

6d   Chemicals /containing/ arsenic dumped outside tunnel (6)

The symbol for the chemical element arsenic is As[5].

In chemistry, an amine[5] is an organic compound derived from ammonia by replacement of one or more hydrogen atoms by organic groups.

7d   Diminished // politician's explanation for abstaining (8)

Pair[5] means to give (a member of a legislative assembly) another member as a pair, to allow both to absent themselves from a vote without affecting the result ⇒ arrangements are usually made between the party whips for an absent member on one side to be paired with an absentee on the other.

8d   What star visitor is doing /in/ gig -- tunes newly arranged (8)

As a verb, guest[5] is an informal term meaning to appear as a temporary or visiting performer or participant in a television or radio programme or other entertainment ⇒ he guested on the show two weeks ago.

11d   In reality, // disorderly two-faced wife will be sent packing! (2,5)

14d   First item on menu? // It could be horse! (7)

Starter[5] is a chiefly British term [according to Oxford Dictionaries, but certainly a term that is by no means foreign to Canada] meaning the first course of a meal.

17d   Beat up rich man /in/ island republic (8)

The parable of the rich man and Lazarus[7] (also called the parable of Dives and Lazarus or Lazarus and Dives) is a well-known parable of Jesus appearing in the Gospel of Luke.

The Gospel of Luke (Luke 16:19–31) tells of the relationship, in life and in death, between an unnamed rich man and a poor beggar named Lazarus. The traditional name, Dives, is not actually a name, but instead a Latin word meaning "rich man" used in the text of the Latin Bible, the Vulgate.

By the way, the beggar is not to be confused with the more famous biblical figure Lazarus of Bethany, also known as Lazarus of the Four Days, who is the subject of a prominent miracle attributed to Jesus in the Gospel of John, in which Jesus resurrects him four days after his death.

The Maldives[5] (also Maldive Islands) is a country consisting of a chain of coral islands in the Indian Ocean south-west of Sri Lanka; population 396,300 (est. 2009); official language, Maldivian; capital, Male.

The islands were probably first settled from southern India and Sri Lanka, but later came under Arab influence. A British protectorate from 1887, the Maldives became independent within the Commonwealth under the rule of a sultan in 1965 and then a republic in 1968.

18d   Unshaven // king drowning in Irish drink (8)

"king" = R (show explanation )

Rex[5] (abbreviation R[5]) [Latin for king] denotes the reigning king, used following a name (e.g. Georgius Rex, King George) or in the titles of lawsuits (e.g. Rex v. Jones, the Crown versus Jones — often shortened to R. v. Jones).

hide explanation

Whiskey is the Irish and US spelling of whisky[5].

19d   Mathematical process /in/ class (8)

22d   Go with internal energy doubled, /as/ one full of soup? (6)

23d   Notice opening // time for Christmas shopping? (6)

Advent[5] is the first season of the Church year, leading up to Christmas and including the four preceding Sundays.

24d   Something with burning contents // official examiner reported (6)

A censer[5] is a container in which incense is burnt during a religious ceremony.

27d   Theatrical // place enjoyed by holidaymakers? (4)

Holidaymaker[5] is a British term for a person on holiday [vacation] away from home.

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Deep Threat describes a camp as perhaps one of Sir Billy Butlin’s establishments.
Butlins[7] (also Butlin's) is a chain of large holiday camps* in the United Kingdom.
* Holiday camp[5] is a British term for a site for holidaymakers [vacationers] with accommodation, entertainment, and leisure facilities.
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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