Monday, May 9, 2016

Monday, May 9, 2016 — DT 27996

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27996
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27996]
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
The National Post has skipped DT 27993 through DT 27995 which were published in The Daily Telegraph on Thursday, December 24, 2015, Saturday, December 26, 2015 and Monday, December 28, 2015.


The National Post has done a hop, skip and a jump today, leaping over the puzzles published on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day as well as — not surprisingly — the Monday puzzle from Rufus.

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.


8a   A lilac jug missing top represented // emperor (8)

Caligula[5] (AD 12-41) was Roman emperor 37-41; born Gaius Julius Caesar Germanicus. His reign was notorious for its tyrannical excesses.

9a   Traded item with European instead of old // specialist (6)

10a   Energetic figure discussed // part of India (3)

The word "goer", when pronounced in a non-rhotic (show explanation ) British accent ("go-ah"), sounds like "Goa".

Non-rhotic accents omit the sound < r > in certain situations, while rhotic accents generally pronounce < r > in all contexts. Among the several dozen British English accents which exist, many are non-rhotic while American English (US and Canadian) is mainly rhotic. This is, however, a generalization, as there are areas of Britain that are rhotic, and areas of America that are non-rhotic. For more information, see this guide to pronouncing < r > in British English.

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Goa[5] is a state on the west coast of India; capital, Panaji. Formerly a Portuguese territory, it was seized by India in 1961. It formed a Union Territory with Daman and Diu until 1987, when it was made a state.

11a   Source of heat /in/ a cold run when struggling (8)

12a   Withdraw // wine close to unpalatable around church (6)

"church" = CE (show explanation )

The Church of England[10] (abbreviation CE[10]) is the reformed established state Church in England, Catholic in order and basic doctrine, with the Sovereign as its temporal head.

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13a   Bland // description of traffic island? (6-2-3-4)

15a   Celebratory gathering // one might see in dens? (4-3)

This clue is a reverse anagram . The solution (SEND-OFF) can be viewed as an anagram (OFF) of SEND producing the word "dens" which appears in the clue.

In a 'normal' clue, the wordplay appears in the clue and the result arising from the execution of the wordplay is found in the solution. For instance, in a clue of the anagram type, the anagram indicator (operator) and anagram fodder (the material on which the indicator operates) would appear in the clue and the result of performing the anagram operation would be found in the solution.

On the other hand, in a 'reverse anagram', this situation is reversed. The anagram indicator and fodder are found in the solution and the result of executing the anagram operation appears in the clue. This is not unlike the premise of the TV game show Jeopardy — where contestants are given the answer and must respond with a question. Here the solver is given the result of the anagram operation and must find the anagram indicator and fodder which would produce it.

Personally, I would much prefer to use the term 'inverse anagram' rather than 'reverse anagram' as this type of construct is analogous to the concept of inverse functions in mathematics. However, I realize that my point of view is unlikely to find traction.

18a   Accidentally repeated delivery /from/ good man with tool in East End (7)

The cockney dialect spoken in the East End of London is characterized by dropping H from the beginning of words and the use of rhyming slang[5]. A cockney[5] is a native of East London [specifically that part of East London known as the East End[5]], traditionally one born within hearing of Bow Bells (the bells of St Mary-le-Bow[7] church).

21a   Safe device // I used after brush with people getting forward (11,4)

For this clue to work, one must accept that brush and comb are the same thing.

In rugby, a lock[5] (also called lock forward) is a player in the second row of a scrum.

24a   The Italian's after fast // food for vegetarian (6)

In Italian, the masculine singular form of the definite article is il[8].

25a   Batting, what batsman adopts /as/ illustration (8)

In cricket, a player who is batting is said to be in[5]. Conversely, a player who is fielding is said to be out[5]. (explanation of cricket for a foreigner )

You have two sides, one out in the field and one in. Each man that's in the side that's in goes out, and when he's out he comes in and the next man goes in until he's out. When they are all out, the side that's out comes in and the side that's been in goes out and tries to get those coming in, out. Sometimes you get men still in and not out.

When a man goes out to go in, the men who are out try to get him out, and when he is out he goes in and the next man in goes out and goes in. There are two men called umpires who stay out all the time and they decide when the men who are in are out. When both sides have been in and all the men have been out, and both sides have been out twice after all the men have been in, including those who are not out, that is the end of the game.

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What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Gazza describes the second part of the charade as the position a batsman adopts at the crease.
In cricket, a crease[10] is any of three lines (bowling crease, popping crease, or return crease) near each wicket marking positions for the bowler or batsman.

Note that in cricket, a crease is a line — not an area as it is in hockey and lacrosse. Thus a batsman is positioned "at the crease" — not "in the crease" as one would say of a hockey goaltender. 

26a   Type // lawyer initially ignored (3)

In Britain, silk[5] is an informal term for a Queen’s (or King’s) Counsel [so named because of the right accorded to wear a gown made of silk]. A Queen's Counsel[5] (abbreviation QC) or, during the reign of a king, a King's Counsel[5] (abbreviation KC) is a senior barrister appointed on the recommendation of the Lord Chancellor[5], the highest officer of the Crown, who is responsible for the efficient functioning and independence of the courts.

27a   Daughter detained by drinks /in/ Cheshire town (6)

Widnes[7] is an industrial town on the northern bank of the River Mersey in the ceremonial county of Cheshire in Northwest England. In 2011 it had a population of 60,221.

At Comment #30 on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, KiwiColin (one half of the 2Kiwis blogging duo) comments that 27a is "one of those clues where the thousands of solvers around the world who do these puzzles either online or in their local papers have no option other than searching through lists in Wikipedia to find a town they almost certainly have never heard of". He goes on to say "In this case there are other words that would fit the checkers so no need to have used this answer." Later, following a round of golf, he returns to offer an alternative clue to which Gazza and jean-luc cheval respond with clues of their own. Here are the alternative clues (with the solutions hidden so as not to spoil your enjoyment should you wish to test your solving skills).

27a   6 plus a bridge partner for food (6) (show explanation )

27a   6 plus a bridge partner /for/ food (6)

VI|AND|S — VI ([Roman numeral for] 6) + AND (plus) +S (bridge partner; south)

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27a   2p or two grand (6) (show explanation )

27a   2p /or/ two grand (6)

PIANOS — double definition; piano (abbreviation p) is a musical direction meaning soft or softly; a grand is a type of piano

In the surface reading, "2p" is the abbreviation for 2 pence and "two grand" is a sum of two thousand pounds sterling (or, should you prefer, two thousand dollars).

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27a   Watch measures as “51” is for you French to drink in good number (6) (show explanation )

27a   Watch measures /as/ “51” is for you French to drink in good number (6)

LI(G|N)ES — {LI ([Roman numeral for] 51) + ES (is for you French)*} containing (to drink in) {G (good) + N (number)}

* Es is the second person singular [denoted by the use of "you" in the clue] of the present indicative mood of the verb être (to be) which conjugates as je suis, tu es, il/elle/on est, etc.

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28a   Loner unexpectedly was first // on a course? (8)


1d   Seasoned meat? // It gets left with friend in bistro (6)

"It"[7] (written in quotation marks) is a term that has come to mean sex appeal — although, in its earliest manifestation, it seems that the term pertained more to personality than to glamorous looks. Despite having been used as early as 1904 by Rudyard Kipling, the term was popularized  in the 1927 film It starring Clara Bow (who became known as the "It Girl").

SA[5] is an informal, dated abbreviation for sex appeal.

A bistro[5] — a word which comes from French — is a small bar or informal restaurant.

Ami[8] is the masculine form of the French word meaning 'friend'.

2d   Man, perhaps, blocking executive // given wrong information (6)

The Isle of Man[5] is an island in the Irish Sea which is a British Crown dependency having home rule, with its own legislature (the Tynwald) and judicial system.

In Britain, MD[5] is the abbreviation for Managing Director ⇒ the MD of a small airline.

3d   Iraq unit falters after mobilising, // one of eight in field (7-8)

4d   Enlarge // publication provided in US city (7)

5d   Be dominant in union? (4,3,8)

Gazza clearly uses a North American illustration in his review.

What's Under Your Pants?
If someone from North America were to ask a Brit to remove their pants, they might get more of eyeful than they expected!

The following is how Collins COBUILD English Usage explains the difference between British and North American clothing terminology:
In British English, pants are a piece of clothing worn by men, women, or children under their other clothes — in other words, underwear.

Men's pants are sometimes referred to as underpants. Women's pants are sometimes referred to as panties or knickers.

In American English, a piece of clothing like this for men is usually referred to as shorts or underpants. For women, they are usually called panties.

In American English, the word pants is used to refer to men's or women's trousers.

6d   Colourful range /in/ toasted crumpets (8)

A crumpet[5] is a thick, flat, savoury cake with a soft, porous texture, made from a yeast mixture cooked on a griddle and eaten toasted and buttered.

7d   One given first degree? (8)

14d   Some ignored index /in/ great volume (3)

16d   Obscure // score with time (after month gone) composed (8)

17d   One coming out with money stopping a good // argument (8)

I incorrectly presumed that the definition might be "one coming out" with the solution being DEBUTANT. Of course, that left me totally unable to explain the wordplay.

Tin[5] is a dated informal British term for money ⇒ Kim’s only in it for the tin.

"good" = G (show explanation )

The abbreviation G[10] for good likely relates to its use in grading school assignments or tests.

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19d   Way of working restricting a // chairman (3)

MO[5] (abbreviation for the Latin phrase modus operandi) is the way a particular person tends to do things ⇒ (i) his MO isn’t prescribing the solution but sparking more questions; (ii) Connor can’t figure out the killer’s MO.

Mao Zedong[5] (also Mao Tse-tung and commonly referred to as simply Mao) (1893–1976) was a Chinese statesman; chairman of the Communist Party of the Chinese People’s Republic 1949–76; head of state 1949–59. A cofounder of the Chinese Communist Party in 1921 and its effective leader from the time of the Long March (1934–35), he eventually defeated both the occupying Japanese and rival Kuomintang nationalist forces to create the People’s Republic of China in 1949, becoming its first head of state.

20d   Footballer who's offensive in match? (7)

In soccer [football to the Brits], striker[10] is an informal term for an attacking player, especially one who generally positions himself or herself near the opponent's goal in the hope of scoring.

Match is used in the sense of something one might use to light a fire.

22d   Dodgy libel about area /being/ exposed to risk (6)

23d   Prestige /gained by/ a revolutionary in court (6)

Che Guevara[7] (1928–1967) was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, guerrilla leader, diplomat, and military theorist. A major figure of the Cuban Revolution, his stylized visage has become a ubiquitous countercultural symbol of rebellion and global insignia within popular culture.

"court" = CT (show explanation )

Ct[2] is the abbreviation for Court in street addresses — and possibly in other contexts as well.

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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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