Friday, April 8, 2016

Thursday, April 7, 2016 — DT 27962

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27962
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Jay (Jeremy Mutch)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27962]
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


Not only was this puzzle a challenge to solve, it was even more challenging to review. On top of that, I had a very full schedule yesterday with events occupying my time morning, afternoon and evening. So the review arrives a bit late. Now off to look at today's offering in the National Post.

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   An early tea is arranged by head of press // box (7,4)

In soccer [football to the Brits], the penalty area[5] is the rectangular area marked out in front of each goal, within which a foul by a defender involves the award of a penalty kick and outside which the goalkeeper is not allowed to handle the ball.

9a   Work, and note state // of light (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

In music, te[5] (also ti[2]) is the seventh note of the major scale in tonic sol-fa. Judging by a perusal of entries in American and British dictionaries, the only recognized spelling in the US would seem to be ti[3,4,11] whereas, in the UK, the principal — or only — spelling would appear to be te[2,3,4,11], with ti given as an alternative spelling in some dictionaries. Oxford Dictionaries is more emphatic, giving the spelling as te[5] with ti shown as the North American spelling.

Of course, the spelling definitely would be ti in the state that completes the wordplay.

10a   Rationale /of/ 'About a Boy' (6)

Scratching the Surface
About a Boy[7] is a 1998 coming of age novel written by British writer Nick Hornby which has sold over a million copies. The novel was later adapted into a feature film (British-American-French) in 2002 and an American television series (NBC) in 2014.

12a   Peak // time with virtually all following surgical procedure (7)

Op[5] is an informal term for a surgical operation ⇒ a minor op.

13a   Dog with no tail snaffling new // meat dish (7)

Snaffle[5] is an informal British term meaning to take (something) for oneself, typically quickly or without permission ⇒ shall we snaffle some of Bernard’s sherry?.

A terrine[5] is a meat, fish, or vegetable mixture that has been cooked or otherwise prepared in advance and allowed to cool or set in its container, typically served in slices ⇒ (i) a salmon terrine; (ii) wedges of terrine.

14a   Ale, but not Bass -- that is // strange (5)

In music, the abbreviation for bass is B[2].

Scratching the Surface
The Bass Brewery[7] was founded in 1777 by William Bass in Burton-upon-Trent, England. The main brand was Bass Pale Ale, once the highest selling beer in the UK. By 1877, Bass had become the largest brewery in the world, with an annual output of one million barrels. Its pale ale was exported throughout the British Empire, and the company's distinctive red triangle became the UK's first registered trademark.

The Bass brand is now owned by the Belgian-based multi-national brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev). Draught Bass (4.4% ABV) is brewed under contract in Burton by British brewer Marston's. Bottled and keg products are brewed at AB-InBev's own brewery in Samlesbury, Lancashire for export, except in the United States and Belgium, where Bass is brewed locally.

15a   Corrupt cop names head of smuggling // ring (9)

17a   Sublime dish that's unfinished /is/ site of disturbance (9)

Sublime[5] means producing an overwhelming sense of awe or other high emotion through being vast or grand.

20a   A step up // in enterprise, really (5)

22a   Splitting hairs? (7)

What did they say?
In their review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, the 2Kiwis refer to "parting" as what you might form when you comb your hair.
Parting[5] is the British term for a part[5] in the hair ⇒ his hair was dark, with a side parting.

24a   Sun's set and sailors // thus open bottles (7)

25a   Daughter wearing ring, meeting over // pleasure boat (6)

"over" = O (show explanation )

On cricket scorecards, the abbreviation O[5] denotes over(s), an over[5] being a division of play consisting of a sequence of six balls bowled by a bowler from one end of the pitch, after which another bowler takes over from the other end.

hide explanation

Pedalo[5] is a British term for a small pedal-operated pleasure boat.

26a   Form /found in/ old alcohol-free sultanate (7)

"alcohol-free" = TT (show explanation )

Teetotal[5] (abbreviation TT[5]) means choosing or characterized by abstinence from alcohol ⇒ a teetotal lifestyle.

A teetotaller[5] (US teetotalerabbreviation TT[5]) is a person who never drinks alcohol.

The term teetotal is an emphatic extension of total, apparently first used by Richard Turner, a worker from Preston [England], in a speech (1833) urging total abstinence from all alcohol, rather than mere abstinence from spirits, as advocated by some early temperance reformers.

hide explanation

Oman[7], officially the Sultanate of Oman, is an Arab country in the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula.

Hudson Fabric Storage Ottoman Bench, Ivory
Long ottoman
Form[10] is a British term for a bench, especially one that is long, low, and backless. An ottoman would seem to fulfill at least two of these three criteria — and, I discover, long ottomans do exist.

27a   Mean /and/ squiffy female diets randomly (5-6)

Squiffy[5] is an informal British term meaning:
  1. slightly drunk ⇒ I feel quite squiffy; or
  2. askew or awry ⇒ the graphics make your eyes go squiffy.


2d   Include // contents of menu and lock up (7)

3d   Share beds here? (9)

Allotment[5] is a British term for a plot of land rented by an individual for growing vegetables or flowers. This term is also used in Canada — at least in Ottawa — although one would be more apt to hear the longer version of the name, allotment garden[7].

4d   Bitter about love /for/ these cards (5)

"love" = O (show explanation )

In tennis, squash, and some other sports, love[5] is a score of zero or nil ⇒ love fifteen. The resemblance of a zero written as a numeral (0) to the letter O leads to the cryptic crossword convention of the word "love" being used to clue this letter.

Although folk etymology has connected the word with French l'oeuf 'egg', from the resemblance in shape between an egg and a zero, the term apparently comes from the phrase play for love (i.e. the love of the game, not for money).

hide explanation

5d   Cone as once modified, for instance (7)

6d   Foreign articles // each containing toxic plastic (7)

7d   Tempers fraying after prisoner gets time /for/ skirmish (11)

8d   Dazed state /of/ man of God leading men (6)

"men" = 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

11d   Aftershock unexpectedly divided // Madeira, say (7,4)

Afters[5] is an informal British term for the sweet course following the main course of a meal; or, in British parlance, pudding*there was apple pie for afters.
* Whereas in North America, the term pudding[5] denotes specifically a dessert with a soft or creamy consistency, in Britain the term pudding[5] refers to either:
  1. [seemingly any] cooked sweet dish served after the main course of a meal; or
  2. the dessert course of a meal ⇒ what’s for pudding?.
Thus the terms dessert, pudding and afters would appear to be synonymous in Britain. The response to What’s for pudding? seemingly could be Apple pie.
Hock[5] is a British term for a dry white wine from the German Rhineland.

Madeira[5] is a fortified wine from the island of Madeira.

16d   One found in nave may be so described (9)

This clue generated comments from a goodly number of visitors to Big Dave's Crossword Blog — and flummoxed many of them. There were two versions of the clue in the UK, one in the newspaper (the version above which also appears in the National Post) and one on the Telegraph Puzzles website, where the clue was changed to read:
  • 16d   Believer's // description of one found in nave? (9)

Parsed as I have shown, the second part of the latter version is merely a rephrasing of the former version. The difference then is the addition of the definition "believer's" to the clue which we must interpret as "[what a] believer is" (answer: a believer is [someone who is] credulous).

As for the original clue (which is also the second part of the modified clue), the phrase "may be so described" (or "description of") would seem to direct us to find a synonym for the word formed by the containment operation specified in the wordplay. As Dutch puts it at Comment #15 on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, "description of" (or "may be so described") to be read as "another way of saying". Thus the wordplay would be I ([Roman numeral for] one) contained in (found in) NAVE produces NAIVE — a synonym for which is CREDULOUS.

Others (including the 2Kiwis in their review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog) have suggested that the clue should be parsed as:
  • 16d   Believer's description /of/ one found in nave? (9)
However, at Comment #15 on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Dutch discounts this proposition "You can’t have wordplay leading to a synonym (where would we be!)".

18d   Begin, for example /seeing/ former PM ignoring leader (7)

Benjamin Disraeli[5], 1st Earl of Beaconsfield (1804–1881) was a British Conservative statesman; Prime Minister 1868 and 1874–80. He was largely responsible for the introduction of the second Reform Act (1867). He also ensured that Britain bought a controlling interest in the Suez Canal (1875) and made Queen Victoria Empress of India.

Menachem Begin[5] (1913–1992) was an Israeli statesman, Prime Minister 1977–83. His hard line on Arab-Israeli relations softened in a series of meetings with President Sadat of Egypt, which led to a peace treaty between the countries. Nobel Peace Prize (1978, shared with Sadat).

19d   In snake pit a pharaoh's inscribed // a message (7)

20d   Method of learning about place /for/ award (7)

A rosette[5] is a rose-shaped decoration, typically made of ribbon, worn by supporters of a sports team or political party or awarded as a prize ⇒ the showjumping rosettes Samantha had accumulated.

In Britain, it is a common practice to wear a rosette to show one's allegiance to a sports team or political party.

21d   Save // son, and curl up tightly (6)

23d   Turn /and/ explode (2,3)

Off[11] is used in the sense of affected by spoilage or bad ⇒ The cream is a bit off.
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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