Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Wednesday, April 20, 2016 — DT 27975

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27975
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, December 3, 2015
Petitjean (John Pidgeon)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27975]
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


After a couple of days of rather gentle romps, today we are put through a more strenuous workout. As I put the finishing touches to the solution, my thought was that the puzzle had likely been set by Petitjean — and that call proved to be correct.

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   Crab? Auntie had ordered // steak (13)

Chateaubriand[5] is a thick fillet of beef steak, named after French writer and diplomat François-René, Vicomte de Chateaubriand (1768–1848), whose chef is said to have created the dish.

9a   Carpool's got lost taking one /to/ old citadel (9)

An acropolis[5] is a citadel or fortified part of an ancient Greek city, typically one built on a hill. The Acropolis[5] is the ancient citadel at Athens, containing the Parthenon and other notable buildings, mostly dating from the 5th century BC.

10a   Drive // old Hillman to centre of Ashby-de-la-Zouch (5)

Hillman[7] is a British automobile marque created by the Hillman Motor Car Company, founded in 1907. The company was based in Ryton-on-Dunsmore, near Coventry, England. Before 1907 the company had built bicycles. Although the Hillman company was acquired by Humber in 1929, Hillman was used as the primary marque of the Rootes Group from 1931, following its acquisition of Humber, until 1967, when Chrysler in turn took over Rootes. The marque continued to be used under Chrysler until 1976.

The Hillman Imp[7] is a small, rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive economy car made by the Rootes Group and its successor Chrysler Europe from 1963 until 1976. Arguably, it was considered advanced for the time with numerous innovative features and technical advantages over other cars. But reliability problems hampered its reputation, which led to the Rootes Group being taken over by Chrysler Europe in 1967. The Imp continued production until 1976, selling just under half a million units in 13 years.

Scratching the Surface
Ashby-de-la-Zouch[7], often shortened to Ashby, is a small market town and civil parish in North West Leicestershire, England.

11a   Grub /from/ a camper van in Hollywood? (5)

From a British perspective, RV[5] is an North American term for a recreational vehicle (especially a motorized caravan*).
* Caravan[5] is the British name for a trailer[5], a vehicle equipped for living in, typically towed by a car and used for holidays [vacation].
 Kath's lack of familiarity with the term "RV" is clear from the confusion evident in her review where she attempts to parse the clue as LA (Los Angeles) + RV A (an RV of class A — a concept she seems to have invented in a desperate attempt to explain the clue). Gazza straightens her out in Comment #2.

The use of this term seems to have driven the Brits to the metaphorical barricades to defend against the incursion of Americanisms.

Hollywood[7], (informally Tinseltown) is a neighborhood in the central region of Los Angeles, California. The neighborhood is notable for its place as the home of the U.S. film industry, including several of its historic studios. Its name has come to be a metonym for the motion picture industry of the United States.
Hollywood was a small community in 1870 and was incorporated as a municipality in 1903. It officially merged with the city of Los Angeles in 1910, and soon thereafter a prominent film industry began to emerge, eventually becoming the most recognizable film industry in the world.

12a   See 6 Down

13a   Slight case of pins and needles (4)

15a   Dull // rather like a mountain lake? (7)

A tarn[5] is a small mountain lake.

17a   Lost to Spurs /in/ staggering circumstances? (7)

Like Kath, I was initially attempting to work with the definition and anagram indicator reversed.

Scratching the Surface
Tottenham Hotspur Football Club[7] commonly referred to as Spurs, is an English professional football [soccer] club located in Tottenham, London, that plays in the Premier League (the top level in the English football league system).

18a   Train // voice (7)

20a   Does as a favour // cook big sole (7)

21a   University professor /or/ thick noodle? (4)

A don[10] is a member of the teaching staff at a university or college, especially at Oxford or Cambridge.

In Japanese cooking, udon[5] is wheat pasta made in thick strips ⇒ (i) [as modifier] add the udon noodles and cook until they are heated through; (ii) a bowl of udon.

22a   What harmonies do // in 'Gimme Shelter' (4)

"Gimme Shelter"[7] is a song by the Rolling Stones. It first appeared as the opening track on the band's 1969 album Let It Bleed. Although the first word was spelled "Gimmie" on that album, subsequent recordings by the band and other musicians have made "Gimme" the customary spelling.

23a   Soundly sited // to keep moist (5)

26a   Petty arguments /like/ these about ankles! (5)

A spat[5] (usually spats [as they are worn in pairs]) is a short cloth gaiter* covering the instep and ankle.
* A gaiter[5] is a protective covering of cloth or leather for the ankle and lower leg ⇒ gaiters to keep snow out of your boots.
27a   Sandwich for instance /makes/ turnover for retail part of chain (4,5)

The Royal St George's Golf Club[7] located in Sandwich, Kent, England is one of the premier golf clubs in the United Kingdom, and one of the courses on The Open Championship [British Open to the rest of the world] rotation.

28a   Measure taken for boot? (8,5)


1d   Surpisingly a lecture's short /and/ sweet (9,5)

Sweet[5] is a British term for a sweet dish forming a course of a meal; in other words, a pudding or dessert.

Charlotte russe[5] is a pudding consisting of custard enclosed in sponge cake or a casing of sponge fingers.

2d   Drier // Queen melody transposed (5)

"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

Airer[5] is a British term for a frame or stand for airing or drying clothes.

3d   Insists on // mince pies and mashes (10)

4d   Open // buffet at lunch (7)

As an anagram indicator, buffet[5] is used in the sense of to knock (someone) off course ⇒ he was buffeted from side to side.

5d   Refuses // Silk Cut during breaks (7)

The word "cut" indicates that we are to shorten the word "silk" — and, in this instance, to shorten it more so than is usually necessary.

Scratching the Surface
Silk Cut[7] is a brand of cigarettes produced by United Kingdom-based multinational tobacco company Gallaher Group, a division of Japanese multinational tobacco company Japan Tobacco.

The brand increased in popularity around the world throughout the 1970s and 1980s as the dangers of cigarette smoking became well known and consumers switched to a lower tar brand. At 5 mg tar, Silk Cut contained less than half the tar content of stronger brands such as Benson and Hedges or Marlboro. In the 1990s Silk Cut was the best selling brand in the UK, but sales have declined behind cheaper budget brands as tax on tobacco has increased.

Production company Gallaher held a Royal Warrant of Appointment for 122 years, until the warrant was revoked in 1999 by Queen Elizabeth II; the Prince of Wales' rigorous anti-smoking campaigning is thought to have been a major influence on that decision. Gallaher was allowed one year to remove the Royal Coat of Arms from the brand's packaging.

6d   and 12 Across: Time to interrupt most ill-natured // trial (4,4)

7d   Swim? Husband's put on G-string -- // it's two tones in one (9)

8d   Seafood taster perhaps swallows one /and/ he checks cover for cracks (6,8)

Cover[5] (in reference to insurance) means to protect against a liability, loss, or accident involving financial consequences ⇒ your contents are now covered against accidental loss or damage in transit. While the same verb form is used in Britain and North America, we use a different form of the noun on this side of the pond. In the UK, the word cover[5] is used to denote protection by insurance against a liability, loss, or accident ⇒ your policy provides cover against damage by subsidence. This is equivalent to the North American term coverage[5] meaning the amount of protection given by an insurance policy ⇒ your policy provides coverage against damage by subsidence.

Consequently, on this side of the pond, we would say "he checks coverage for cracks" which of course destroys the misdirection in the surface reading.

14d   Uproar /in/ eastern city with a second-rate potato found in curry (10)

Hull[5] is a city and port in northeastern England, situated at the junction of the Hull and Humber Rivers; population 263,000 (est. 2009). Official name Kingston upon Hull.

Aloo[5] (also spelled alu) is the Indian name for potato.

16d   Rogue // about to go over copy of will (9)

A probate[5] is a verified copy of a will with a certificate as handed to the executors ⇒ she has been granted a probate to execute her late father’s estate. Apparently, used as a verb, probate[5] is a North American term.

19d   Deceptive move /from/ second crew circling lake (7)

An eight[5] is an eight-oared rowing boat or its crew.

20d   Loves absorbing temperature where it’s hot /in/ general in Venice (7)

Othello[7] is the title character in The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice, a tragedy by English playwright William Shakespeare (1564–1616). This tightly constructed work revolves around four central characters: Othello, a Moorish general in the Venetian army; his beloved wife, Desdemona; his loyal lieutenant, Cassio; and his trusted but ultimately unfaithful ensign, Iago.

24d   Court // controversy? Noddy Holder? (5)

A synod[5] is a Presbyterian ecclesiastical court above the presbyteries and subject to the General Assembly.

Scratching the Surface
Noddy Holder[7] (born Neville John Holder) is an English musician and actor. He was the lead vocalist and guitarist of English glam rock band Slade, one of the UK's most successful acts of the 1970s. Holder co-wrote most of Slade's material with bassist Jim Lea.

25d   Basis of soda's it's flipping // bubbly (4)

I parsed the wordplay in the same manner as Kath, namely A (basis of sodA) + ('s; contraction for has) a reversal (is flipping) of ITS.

The phrase "basis of soda" is used to clue A, the final letter of sodA, as (being a down clue) the final letter forms the base on which all the other letters sit.

However, in a response to Comment #16, Tstrummer parses the wordplay as AS (basis of sodAS) + a reversal of IT. In this case, the second 's would act as a link word.

Not surprisingly, I prefer my approach.

Asti[7] (formerly known as Asti Spumante) is a sparkling white Italian wine that is produced throughout southeastern Piedmont but is particularly focused around the towns of Asti and Alba. Since 1993 the wine has been classified as a Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) and as of 2004 was Italy's largest producing appellation.
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

No comments:

Post a Comment