Friday, May 27, 2016

Friday, May 27, 2016 — DT 28018

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28018
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, January 23, 2016
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28018 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28018 – 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.


After a very slow start, this puzzle actually fell into place quite readily with a sprint to the finish.

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   What makes crust // start to rise in pie? (6)

It took me quite a while to realize that the definition is not "pie".

Pasty[5] (also pastie) is a British term for a folded pastry case with a savoury filling, typically of seasoned meat and vegetables.

4a   English journalists will tuck in exceedingly /and/ drink (8)

9a   Place found in rickety pier /causing/ undulation (6)

10a   One car is overturned /in/ plan of action (8)

11a   Poet/'s/ house next to watercourse (6)

"house" = HO (show explanation )

Although not found in most of the dictionaries that I consulted, ho.[10] is the abbreviation for house.

hide explanation

Horace[5] (65-8 BC) was a Roman poet of the Augustan period; full name Quintus Horatius Flaccus. A notable satirist and literary critic, he is best known for his Odes, much imitated by later ages, especially by the poets of 17th-century England. His other works include Satires and Ars Poetica.

12a   Alan's suffering little sister following day's end // breakdown (8)

14a   Little time for sleep? (5,5)

This is a a cryptic definition which incorporates embedded wordplay in the form of a charade.

The small hours[1,2,3,4,5,10,11] are the early hours of the morning (immediately or just) after midnight (and before dawn).
There is some variance between — and even within — dictionaries as to what hours constitute the small hours. For some dictionaries, they are simply the early hours of the morning, others restrict them to the early hours of the morning immediately (or just) after midnight, while others extend the period to dawn. Collins English Dictionary actually defines the term in two different entries — the first time as the hours just after midnight and the second time as the early hours of the morning, after midnight and before dawn.
Perhaps due to my Scottish heritage, I would say "wee hours" rather than "small hours". Judging by dictionary entries, wee hours[3] would seem to be a North American expression as I failed to find it in a single British dictionary. The Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary shows small hours[11] as an alternative term for wee hours — seemingly without providing a definition for wee hours. Of course, there are also the wee small hours.

18a   Not drinking /as/ sailors can -- leading French in this? (10)

"sailors" = ABS (show explanation )

In the Royal Navy, according to Oxford Dictionaries, able seaman[5] (abbreviation AB[5]), is a rank of sailor above ordinary seaman and below leading seaman. On the other hand, Collins English Dictionary tells us that an able seaman[10] (also called able-bodied seaman) is an ordinary seaman, especially one in the merchant navy, who has been trained in certain skills.

hide explanation

In French, en[8] is a preposition meaning 'in' and ce[8] is a demonstrative adjective meaning 'this'.

22a   Squirts rush out when it's played on the lawn (8)

Hosepipe[5] is a British term for a hose that people use to water their gardens or wash their cars.

23a   'Nearly all.' -- 'Nearly all?' -- // 'Nearly ...' (6)

24a   Living with cook /as/ a temporary solution (5-3)

The quick[5] (plural noun) is an archaic term denoting those who are living ⇒ the quick and the dead.

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, gnomethang says with respect to "fix" being a synonym for "cook" an Americanism as far as I am concerned!.
I am not clear to which of the two words he is referring, but I could find nothing in my three British dictionaries to support his observation.

25a   Ollie's partner's spoken a // few lines (6)

Laurel and Hardy[5] were an American comedy duo consisting of Stan Laurel (born Arthur Stanley Jefferson) (1890–1965) and Oliver Hardy (1892–1957). British-born Stan Laurel played the scatterbrained and often tearful innocent, Oliver Hardy his pompous, overbearing, and frequently exasperated friend. They brought their distinctive slapstick comedy to many films from 1927 onwards.

Scratching the Surface
As the surface reading of the clue alludes, Oliver Hardy was the more verbose member of the pair.

26a   Old and sore -- // stretcher /required?/ (8)

The word "required" in the clue is equivalent to saying "the solution to this clue is a synonym for ...". As such, I do not see it as part of the definition, but rather what I think of as a piece of framework — akin in function to a link word or link phrase.

This point perhaps becomes more clear were one to rephrase the clue as:
  • Old and sore /requires/ stretcher (8)
27a   Game // groom's first to be hugged by future relative (6)

... but a relative only by marriage.


1d   Buy // tea bag on the way round (8)

Cha as well as chai are alternative spellings of char[5], an informal British name for tea.

2d   Prue's new chap /is/ one with great abilities (8)

Chap[3,4,11] is an informal term for a man or boy; a fellow. It is a shortened form of chapman[3,4,11], an archaic term for a trader, especially an itinerant pedlar.

Scratching the Surface
Prue[7] is a short form for the female given names Prudence or Prunella.

3d   Check of presents? (4-4)

5d   After short time, speed /becomes/ uninspiring (6-4)

6d   Cause long-term irritation /in/ right joint (6)

7d   Teacher misses motorway // pressure (6)

Mistress[5] is a British term for a female schoolteacher who teaches a particular subject ⇒ a Geography mistress.

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

8d   Old boy is to broadcast /as/ orchestra member (6)

"old boy" = OB (show explanation )

In Britain, an old boy[5] (abbreviation OB[2])  is:
  1. a former male student of a school or college ⇒an old boy of Banbury County School; or
  2. a former male member of a sports team or company ⇒ the White Hart Lane old boy squared the ball to present an easy chance from 12 yards.
It is also a chiefly British affectionate form of address to a boy or man ⇒ ‘Look here, old boy,’ he said.

hide explanation

13d   Award one fails to win (5,5)

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, gnamethang says I couldn’t get away from the Wooden Spoon for a while!.
Wooden spoon[5] is a British term for an imaginary prize said to be awarded to the person who is last in a race or other competition ⇒ they finished with the wooden spoon after losing a penalty shoot-out.

15d   Pump /provided by/ men in apartment above (8)

"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

In Britain, the term flat[5] is used for what would be called an apartment[5] in North America. The term apartment is used in Britain, but seemingly in a more restricted sense than in North America  applying to temporary or more classy accommodation. From the perspective of Oxford Dictionaries, apartment[5] is
  1. a British term for a flat, typically one that is well appointed or used for holidays ⇒ self-catering holiday apartments; or
  2. a North American term for any flat ⇒ the family lived in a rented apartment.
16d   Urged // United to support 27 opponents (8)

The numeral "27" is a cross reference indicator directing the solver to insert the solution to clue 27a in its place to complete the clue. The directional indicator is customarily omitted in situations such as this where only a single clue starts in the light* that is being referenced.
* light-coloured cell in the grid
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.

Scratching the Surface
In Britain, United[5] is a word commonly used in the names of soccer and other sports teams formed by amalgamation ⇒ Man U [Manchester United].

Perhaps the best known is Manchester United Football Club[7] (often referred to simply as United), an English professional football [soccer] club, based at Old Trafford [football stadium] in Old Trafford [district of Manchester], Greater Manchester, that plays in the Premier League (the top level in the English football league system).

17d   Eat with wife -- have outside /in/ warm spell (8)

19d   Verify said // money order (6)

Cheque[5] (US check) is an order to a bank to pay a stated sum from the drawer’s account, written on a specially printed form ⇒ fees are payable by cheque or postal order.
Note to British readers: this is one instance where we clearly use the British spelling in Canada. Of course, the US spelling is seen here in publications from the US but it would definitely be considered an error were it to appear in a Canadian publication.
The term money order[5] meaning a printed order for payment of a specified sum, issued by a bank or Post Office does appear to be used in Britain. Thus the use of the term "money order" in the clue as a definition for cheque would appear to be a bit of playful misdirection by the setter.

20d   Help // musician starting late (6)

21d   Declared // Scots know to get half of spoils beforehand (6)

Scots[10] denotes any of the English dialects spoken or written in Scotland.

Ken[5] is a Scottish and Northern English term meaning:
  1. know [in the sense of to be aware of] ⇒ d’ye ken anyone who can boast of that?; or
  2. recognize or identify ⇒ that’s him—d’ye ken him?.
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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