Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Tuesday, April 26, 2016 — DT 27981

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27981
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, December 10, 2015
RayT (Ray Terrell)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27981]
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 was about ready to throw in the towel on at least two occasions, but I persevered and eventually completed the puzzle without outside help.

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   Means // being enclosed in endless barrier (11)

Herewith[2] is a legal and formal term denoting enclosed or together with this letter.

9a   Fruit // variety with very big exterior (7)

"very big" = OS (show explanation )

The sizes of clothing that North Americans would describe as plus-size[7] (or often big and tall in the case of men's clothing) would be called outsize (abbreviation OS[5]) in Britain.

hide explanation

10a   Pirouette // gradually losing core speed (6)

12a   Sovereign // consumed by temper, originally (7)

13a   Pebbles // unbroken round end of beach (7)

14a   Light /seen from/ church on mountain (5)

A tor[7] is a large, free-standing rock outcrop that rises abruptly from the surrounding smooth and gentle slopes of a rounded hill summit or ridge crest. In the South West of England, the term is commonly also used for the hills themselves – particularly the high points of Dartmoor in Devon and Bodmin Moor in Cornwall.

Scratching the Surface
Although the meaning of torch that is familiar to North Americans works equally well, torch[10] is the British name for a flashlight.

15a   Chinese characters, say, /creating/ a grid some decrypted (9)

An ideogram[10] is a sign or symbol, used in such writing systems as those of China or Japan, that directly represents a concept, idea, or thing rather than a word or set of words for it.

17a   Thought // about love, inhibited about sex (9)

"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

Gate[5,10] is a British term meaning to confine or restrict (a pupil or student) to the school or college grounds as a punishment he was gated for the rest of term.

It[5] (usually written in quotation marks, "it") is an informal term for sexual intercourse or sex appeal ⇒ (i) the only thing I knew nothing about was ‘it’; (ii) they were caught doing ‘it’ in the back seat of his car.

20a   Fish // held on board ship (5)

"on board ship" = 'contained in SS' (show explanation )

In Crosswordland, you will find that a ship is almost invariably a steamship, the abbreviation for which is SS[10]. Thus phrases such as "aboard ship" or "on board ship" (or sometimes merely "on board") are Crosswordland code for 'contained in SS'.

hide explanation

The shad[5] is any of several species of herring-like fish that spends much of its life in the sea, typically entering rivers to spawn. It is an important food fish in many regions.

22a   Finding // time's flying (7)

24a   Fat // detective's gripped by a role (7)

"detective" = DI (show explanation )

A detective inspector (DI[5]) is a senior police officer in the UK. Within the British police, inspector[7] is the second supervisory rank. It is senior to that of sergeant, but junior to that of chief inspector. Plain-clothes detective inspectors are equal in rank to their uniformed counterparts, the prefix 'detective' identifying them as having been trained in criminal investigation and being part of or attached to their force's Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

hide explanation

25a   Flamboyant // men turning over palm (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

Coco[10] is short for coconut or coconut palm.

Rococo[5] is an adjective denoting furniture or architecture characterized by an elaborately ornamental late baroque style of decoration prevalent in 18th-century continental Europe, with asymmetrical patterns involving motifs and scrollwork.

26a   Natural gold and silver turned almost delicate (7)

"gold" = OR (show explanation )

Or[5] is gold or yellow, as a heraldic tincture.

hide explanation

The symbol for the chemical element silver is Ag[5] from Latin argentum.

27a   Sheer // pants aren't fashionable to have run in (11)

Scratching the Surface
In Britain, the word pants[5] does not mean trousers. Rather, it refers to underwear — specifically men's undershorts or women's panties (the latter otherwise known as knickers to the Brits).


2d   He painted // swine with deceit, ending with hospital (7)

William Hogarth[7] (1697–1764) was an English painter and engraver. Notable works include his series of engravings on ‘modern moral subjects’, such as A Rake’s Progress (1735), which satirized the vices of both high and low life in 18th-century England.

3d   Chains // break cut by file (9)

4d   What's actually gained earning salary initially (5)

This style of clue is becoming almost as much of a trademark of RayT as is an appearance by Her Majesty.

As I have marked it, a portion of the clue provides the definition while the entire clue serves as wordplay making this a semi-all-in-one clue. On the other hand, should you think that the entire clue can be considered to be the definition, it would become a true all-in-one clue.

5d   Shaping // metal around vase with top of gold (7)

6d   Giant iguanas covering // island (7)

Antigua[5] is one of the islands that make up the country of Antigua and Barbuda[5], a country consisting of three islands (Antigua, Barbuda, and Redonda) in the Leeward Islands in the Eastern Caribbean; population 85,600 (est. 2009); languages, English (official), Creole; capital, St John’s (on Antigua). Discovered in 1493 by Columbus and settled by the English in 1632, Antigua became a British colony with Barbuda as its dependency; the islands gained independence within the Commonwealth in 1981.

7d   Head express keeping in charge of // train (11)

"in charge of" = 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

8d   Beggar // you heard is wrapped in Telegraph? (6)

The Daily Telegraph[7] is a daily morning broadsheet newspaper, founded in 1855 as The Daily Telegraph and Courier, which is published in London and distributed throughout the United Kingdom and internationally [... and the newspaper in which this puzzle initially appeared].

11d   Unusually spine's erect /showing/ determination (11)

16d   Try /and/ goal always, we hear, follows (9)

Scratching the Surface
Could this clue, which effectively says try and you will achieve your goal, be a paraphrasing of an excerpt from the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 7:7–8):
7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye
shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh
findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

Behind the Picture
Inspector Endeavour Morse[7] is a fictional character in the eponymous series of detective novels by British author Colin Dexter, as well as the 33-episode 1987–2000 television drama Inspector Morse[7], with the character played by John Thaw. Morse is a senior CID (Criminal Investigation Department) officer with the Thames Valley Police force in Oxford, England.

18d   Allure // left French love after midnight (7)

The French word for love is amour[8].

"midnight" = G (show explanation )

In this clue, we encounter a not uncommon cryptic crossword construct, in which the word "midnight" is used to clue G, the middle letter (mid) of niGht.

hide explanation

19d   Undecided purchasing endlessly expensive // hat (7)

Behind the Picture
Poldark[7] is a series of historical novels by English author Winston Graham (1908–2003), published from 1945 to 1953 and continued from 1973 to 2002. The series comprises 12 novels: the first seven are set in the 18th century, concluding in Christmas 1799; the remaining five are concerned with the early years of the 19th century and the lives of the descendants of the previous novels' main characters. Graham wrote the first four Poldark books during the 1940s and 1950s. Following a long hiatus, he decided to resume the series and published The Black Moon in 1973.

The main character Ross Poldark is a British Army officer who returns to his home in Cornwall from the American Revolutionary War only to find that his fiancée Elizabeth Chynoweth believed him dead and is about to marry his cousin Francis Poldark. Ross attempts to restore his own fortunes by reopening one of the family's derelict tin mines. After several years, he marries Demelza Carne, a poor servant girl, and is gradually reconciled to the loss of Elizabeth's love.

The BBC has adapted the series for television twice: Poldark (1975 TV series) aired in 1975 and 1977, and a new version Poldark (2015 TV series) premiered in 2015.

20d   Fly in bridge partners /for/ a bit (7)

In the card game bridge, North[5] and South[5] comprise one partnership and play against East[5] and West[5] who form the other partnership.

21d   Trouble on Navy's // decks (6)

"Navy" = RN (show explanation )

The Royal Navy[5] (abbreviation RN) is the British navy. It was the most powerful navy in the world from the 17th century until the Second World War.

hide explanation

23d   Band // Queen in rise (5)

"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
Key to Reference Sources: 

[1]   - The Chambers Dictionary, 11th Edition
[2]   - Search Chambers - (Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)
[3]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (American Heritage Dictionary)
[4]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (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] - CollinsDictionary.com (Collins English Dictionary)
[11] - TheFreeDictionary.com (Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary)
Signing off for today — Falcon

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