Friday, May 13, 2016

Friday, May 13, 2016 — DT 28000

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28000
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, January 2, 2016
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28000 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28000 – Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave (Hints)
gnomethang (Review)
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
As this was a Saturday "Prize Puzzle" in Britain, there are two entries related to it on Big Dave's Crossword Blog — the first, posted on the date of publication, contains hints for selected clues while the second is a full review issued following the entry deadline for the contest. The vast majority of reader comments will generally be found attached to the "hints" posting with a minimal number — if any — accompanying the full review.


I thought this puzzle was more enjoyable than the typical "Saturday" puzzle and judging by gnomethang's rating, he would seem to agree.

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   Enthusiast thanks old country endlessly /for/ classic cartoon (8)

Ta[5] is an informal British exclamation signifying thank you ‘Ta,’ said Willie gratefully.

 Siam[5] was the former name (until 1939) for Thailand.

Fantasia[7] is a 1940 American animated film produced by Walt Disney. The film consists of eight animated segments set to pieces of classical music conducted by Leopold Stokowski, seven of which are performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra.

9a   War cry /makes/ less important European retreat in turn (8)

Geronimo[5] (circa 1829–1909) was an Apache chief (Apache name Goyathlay) who led his people in raids on settlers and US troops before surrendering in 1886. As an exclamation, "Geronimo!"[10] is a shout given by US paratroopers as they jump into battle.

10a   Fierce reptile // injured person, we hear (4)

According to The Chambers Dictionary, crock[1] is an informal term for a broken down or decrepit person or thing. However, in Chambers 21st Century Dictionary the meaning has changed and we find that crock[2] is a colloquial term for an old, decrepit person, vehicle, etc. There wouldn't be a touch of ageism in evidence here, would there?

11a   Trouble of our sloshed // legislators (5,2,5)

In the UK, the House of Lords[5] is the higher chamber of Parliament, composed of peers and bishops.

13a   Superior // newspapers featuring South American city (8)

Rio de Janeiro[5] (commonly known as Rio) is a city in eastern Brazil, on the Atlantic coast; population 6,093,472 (2007). The chief port of Brazil, it was the country’s capital from 1763 until 1960, when it was replaced by Brasilia.

 A superior[5] is the head of a monastery or other religious institution. A Mother Superior[5] is the head of a female religious community.

A prioress[5] is
  1. a woman who is head of a house of certain orders of nuns; or
  2. the woman who is next in rank below an abbess — an abbess[5] being a woman who is the head of an abbey of nuns.
15a   Old city fellow/'s/ emergency (6)

In the cryptic analysis, "emergency" is an adjective.

Ur[5] is an ancient Sumerian city formerly on the Euphrates, in southern Iraq. It was one of the oldest cities of Mesopotamia, dating from the 4th millennium BC, and reached its zenith in the late 3rd millennium BC. Ur[7] is considered by many to be the city of Ur Kasdim mentioned in the Book of Genesis as the birthplace of the Hebrew patriarch Abraham.

16a   The woman's love? Probably (4)

Understandably, women do tend to go for this type.

17a   Communist after military intelligence, /getting/ bogged down (5)

The abbreviation MI[5] is a historical British term signifying Military Intelligence.

In the UK, MI5[5] (Military Intelligence section 5) was the governmental agency responsible for dealing with internal security and counter-intelligence on British territory. Formed in 1909, the agency was officially named the Security Service in 1964, but the name MI5 remains in popular use.

In the UK, MI6[5] was the governmental agency responsible for dealing with matters of internal security and counter-intelligence overseas. Formed in 1912, the agency was officially named the Secret Intelligence Service in 1964, but the name MI6 remains in popular use.

18a   Doh or ray, me or fah, soh or lah, but ...? (4)

Dueling Notes
In music, tonic sol-fa[3] (or sol-fa[10]) is a system of notation that is based on relationships between tones in a key and that replaces the usual staff notation with solmization syllables or their abbreviations.

In the US, the set of syllables used to represent the tones of the scale in sol-fa[3] are generally spelled do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, and ti.

In the UK, on the other hand, the syllables are known as doh (or do), ray (or re), mi (or me), fah (or fa), soh (or so or sol), lah (or la), and te (or ti) [all citations for UK usage are taken from Collins English Dictionary; where more than one spelling is shown, the first is the primary — and presumably more common spelling — and the others are variant spellings].

20a   Charge again -- // reason for linesman to take over (6)

The setter likely had football [soccer] in mind when he or she composed the clue. However, the clue would work equally well if applied to hockey.

At most organised levels of football the match officiating crew consists of the referee and two assistant referees, with one assistant referee assigned to each touchline. Prior to 1996, an assistant referee was known as a linesman or lineswoman. At higher levels of play the referee is also assisted by a fourth official. Depending on the local match rules, the fourth official may replace the referee or one of the assistant referees if they are unable to continue. Of course, in games with only three officials it would fall to one of the assistant referees to replace the referee.[7]

21a   Motorway dash -- // a mistake, literally (8)

The M1[7] is a north–south motorway [controlled access, multi-lane divided highway] in England connecting London to Leeds.

A literal[5,10] (also called literal error) is a British printing term denoting a misprint or misspelling in a text.

23a   Complaint // in favour of Victoria perhaps taking note (12)

The missing note from 18a finally makes an appearance.

London Victoria station[7], generally known as Victoria, is a central London railway terminus and London Underground [subway] complex named after nearby Victoria Street the latter being named after Queen Victoria. London Victoria is the second-busiest terminus in London (and the UK) after London Waterloo.

26a   Cooks // deer (4)

27a   Act Shakespeare informally -- // it's seen outside theatre (8)

28a   Condemn // level of pay for directors? (8)


2d   Working on Barrie /and/ how we usually see Peter Pan? (8)

Scratching the Surface
Sir J. M. Barrie[5] (1860–1937) was a Scottish dramatist and novelist; full name James Matthew Barrie. Barrie’s most famous play is Peter Pan (1904), a fantasy for children about a boy who did not grow up.

3d   Coolest thing about // engineer (12)

4d   Well-dressed // timber (6)

5d   Fit // time around university (4)

6d   Seriously intellectual // teacher on course missing start (8)

Round[5] is a chiefly British term denoting a journey along a fixed route delivering goods as part of one’s job or a job involving such journeys ⇒ I did a newspaper round.

7d   One who's restraining // row (4)

8d   I laid in money /for/ piece of meat (8)

Note[5] is the British term for a banknote ⇒ a ten-pound note whereas in North America a banknote would more likely be called a bill[5]a ten-dollar bill.

A noisette[5] is a small round piece of meat, especially lamb.

12d   Street musician // ranging freely needs to be in proper condition (5-7)

14d   Clear off // rival of S Coe (5)

Sebastian Coe[7] is a British politician and former track and field athlete. As a middle-distance runner, Coe won four Olympic medals, including the 1500 metres gold medal at the Olympic Games in 1980 and 1984. He set eight outdoor and three indoor world records in middle-distance track events. Coe's rivalries with fellow Britons Steve Ovett and Steve Cram dominated middle-distance racing for much of the 1980s.

16d   Piece of music /needing/ two instruments (8)

17d   Material /provided by/ spy's family (8)

Moleskin is:
  1. the skin or prepared fur of a mole ⇒ rich artisans in jackets of rabbit and moleskin; or
  2. a thick, strong cotton fabric with a shaved pile surface ⇒ [as modifier] moleskin trousers.
19d   Apartment /where you'll find/ servants, in principle (8)

In Britain, the word tenement seems not to carry the negative connotation that it does in North America. In Britain, a tenement[4] is merely a room or flat [apartment] for rent or (also called tenement building) a large building divided into separate flats [apartments], whereas in North America, a tenement[3,11] is generally regarded as a rundown, low-rental apartment building — often overcrowded and located in a poor section of a large city — whose facilities and maintenance barely meet minimum standards.

22d   Suppress // mischievous little fellow -- that thing's upsetting (6)

24d   Test // taking turns in four-ball (4)

Four-ball[5] is a game of golf in in which two pairs of players compete, with the better score of each pair counting as the pair’s score at each hole.

25d   Competent // bishop hampered by drink (4)

"bishop" = B (show explanation )

B[5] is an abbreviation for bishop that is used in recording moves in chess.

hide explanation
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


  1. A quick and enjoyable solve. Even Brian liked it. Only difficulty was 22d, because I got an imp in my head and he didn't want to leave.