Thursday, May 26, 2016

Thursday, May 26, 2016 — DT 28017

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28017
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, January 22, 2016
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28017]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Deep Threat
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 28015 and DT 28016 which were published in The Daily Telegraph on Wednesday, January 20, 2016 and Thursday, January 21, 2016.


If the editors of the National Post took a Great Leap Forward last week, this week they take a Lesser Leap Forward — skipping no more than a brace of puzzles.

While the Brits may have found this puzzle to be slightly less difficult than average, I would think that it poses a more substantial challenge on this side of the pond.

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   Treat with contempt // a pre-exam test (4)

North Americans will be familiar with mock[5] , as an adjective, meaning (said of an examination, battle, etc.) arranged for training or practice ⇒ mock GCSEs*.
* In the UK except Scotland, GCSE[5] (General Certificate of Secondary Education) is a qualification in a specific subject typically taken by school students aged 14-16, at a level below A [advanced] level. The equivalent in Scotland is Standard Grade.
In England and Wales, mock[5,10] (often plural) is an informal term for the school examinations taken as practice before public examinationsobtaining Grade A in mocks.

3a   Initially going head first, changing /to become/ shrewd (3-7)

9a   Phoned /and/ spoke (4)

Spoke[10] is another term for the rung of a ladder.

10a   Attendant /making/ little display of anger crossing street (10)

11a   Become strange, always /offering/ greeting (4,3)

Ay[10] is an archaic or poetic term meaning ever or always.

13a   Italian in pain // having a rest? (7)

"Italian" = IT (show explanation )

This clueing might be explained in either of a couple of ways:
  • It.[10] is an abbreviation for Italian or Italy.

  • Italian[10] is another name for Italian vermouth. It[5] is an informal, dated British term for Italian vermouth ⇒ he poured a gin and it.
hide explanation

14a   Hostile little bugs in destructive action? // A farmer grew unhappy (4,7)

18a   Disposition /to show/ rage -- be regretful losing head (11)

21a   Description of a Charlie /in/ inferior part (4-3)

Tail-end charlie[5] is an informal term for:
  1. a person or thing that brings up the rear in a group or formation; or
  2. [likely British] a member of the crew of a military aircraft who operates a gun from a compartment at the rear (i.e., tail gunner).
According to Wikipedia, the British slang term for tail gunners[7] was "Tail-end Charlies" which was adopted in the USAAF* to mean the last bomber in a unit formation, or the last unit formation in a larger bomber stream, both considered highly vulnerable to enemy attack.
* The United States Army Air Forces[7] (USAAF or AAF) were the military aviation service of the United States of America during and immediately after World War II, successor to the United States Army Air Corps and the direct predecessor of the United States Air Force.
22a   Nut // to satisfy the boy at 23, by the sound of it (7)

The numeral "23" is a cross reference indicator directing the solver to insert the solution to clue 23a 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
23a   Dissolute types /given/ punishment at school, one boy included (10)

24a   Leave with quiet // expression of surprise (4)

Surprise! Surprise! The word "quiet" is not being used to clue P (piano) today — although it certainly took a while for me to figure that out.

25a   Fool around, // trying to be like Billy? (3,3,4)

Act the (giddy) goat[5,10] or play the (giddy) goat is an informal British term meaning to fool around ⇒ just for once, stop acting the goat.

26a   Foreign money // haphazard -- order lost (4)

"order" = OM (show explanation )

The Order of Merit[7] (abbreviation OM[5]) is a dynastic order recognising distinguished service in the armed forces, science, art, literature, or for the promotion of culture. Established in 1902 by King Edward VII, admission into the order remains the personal gift of its Sovereign, the reigning monarch of the Commonwealth realms, and is limited to 24 living recipients at one time from these countries plus a limited number of honorary members. The current membership includes one Canadian (former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien).

hide explanation

The rand[5] is the basic monetary unit of South Africa, equal to 100 cents.


1d   Bankrupt's ultimate joke, involved in extra // money being borrowed (8)

2d   Study French city // features on map (8)

Con[5] is an archaic term meaning to study attentively or learn by heart (a piece of writing)  ⇒ the girls conned their pages with a great show of industry.

Tours[5] is an industrial city in west central France, on the Loire; population 140,252 (2006).

4d   Cordial disposition -- // it is evident in Jo's sister (5)

Little Women[7] is a novel by American author Louisa May Alcott (1832–1888), which was originally published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869. The novel follows the lives of four sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March—detailing their passage from childhood to womanhood, and is loosely based on the author and her three sisters. Little Women is set in the Alcott family home, Orchard House, in Concord, Massachusetts.

5d   What nave of church has, /being/ well-kept (9)

As Deep Threat alludes in his review, the English word nave[5] comes from the Latin word navis 'ship'.

What did he say?
In his on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Deep Threat tells us that The expression meaning ‘well-kept’ is completed by ‘and Bristol fashion’.
Bristol fashion[5] is a dated, informal British expression denoting in good order; neat and clean ⇒ it gave him pleasure to keep things shipshape and Bristol fashion.

6d   Fail // to prepare for game at Eton? (2,2,3,4)

The Eton wall game[7] is a game which bears some resemblance to rugby union that originated at and is still played at Eton College*. It is played on a strip of ground 5 metres wide and 110 metres long ("The Furrow") next to a slightly curved brick wall ("The Wall") erected in 1717.
* Eton College[7], often informally referred to simply as Eton, is an English boarding school for boys located in Eton, Berkshire, near Windsor.
The traditional and most important match of the year is played on St Andrew's Day, as the Collegers (King's Scholars) take on the Oppidans (the rest of the school). The annual St Andrew's Day match begins with the Oppidans climbing over the wall, after throwing their caps over in defiance of the Scholars, while the Collegers march down from the far end of College Field, arm-in-arm, towards the near end, where they meet the Oppidans.

Go to the wall[5] is an informal term (said of a business) meaning to go out of business; fail ⇒ thousands of firms are expected to go to the wall this year.

7d   Disastrous // time with student event undermined by one head of college (6)

In Britain, rag[5] (usually used as a modifier) refers to a programme of stunts, parades, and other entertainments organized by students to raise money for charity ⇒ rag week.

8d   Senility /of/ Venice's bigwig entertaining volunteers (6)

Historically, a doge[5] was the the chief magistrate of Venice or Genoa.

"volunteers" = TA (show explanation )

In the UK, Territorial Army[5] (abbreviation TA[5]) was, at one time, the name of a volunteer force founded in 1908 to provide a reserve of trained and disciplined military personnel for use in an emergency. Since 2013, this organization has been called the Army Reserve.

hide explanation

12d   Having both feet on the ground -- // as, say, after parachute jump? (4-2-5)

You are this — whether you have "both feet on the ground" or you find yourself lying on your backside.

15d   Putting right // a part of the Army that's withering? (9)

The Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers[7] (abbreviation REME; pronounced phonetically as "Reemee") is a corps of the British Army that has responsibility for the maintenance, servicing and inspection of almost every electrical and mechanical piece of equipment within the British Army from battle tanks and helicopters to dental tools and cooking equipment/utensils.

16d   Leo has this // place with wild animal getting horrible disease (8)

Denebola[5] is the second-brightest star in the constellation Leo.

Ebola[5] is an infectious and frequently fatal disease marked by fever and severe internal bleeding, spread through contact with infected body fluids by a filovirus ( Ebola virus), whose normal host species is unknown.

17d   Good person felt irritation // as one post-operation? (8)

19d   Woman /given/ command in Salvation Army (6)

SA[5] is the abbreviation for Salvation Army.

20d   Projecting beam /or/ stake buried under rocky territory (6)

The "rocky territory" is Gibraltar.

Gib[5] is a British short form for Gibraltar[5], a British overseas territory near the southern tip of the Iberian peninsula, at the eastern end of the Strait of Gibraltar ⇒ we reached Gib in August and docked at Oran [a port on the Mediterranean coast of Algeria].

Occupying a site of great strategic importance, Gibraltar consists of a fortified town and military base at the foot of a rocky headland, the Rock of Gibraltar. Britain captured it during the War of the Spanish Succession in 1704 and is responsible for its defence, external affairs, and internal security.

Gibbet[5] is:
  1. another name for a gallows; or
  2. an upright post with an arm on which the bodies of executed criminals were left hanging as a warning or deterrent to others; or
  3. (the gibbet) execution by hanging :⇒ the four ringleaders were sentenced to the gibbet.
22d   Goddess // elevated in prayer festival (5)

In Scandinavian mythology, Freya[5] is the goddess of love and of the night, sister of Frey. She is often identified** with Frigga*.
* Frigga[5] (also Frigg[7]) is is the wife of Odin and goddess of married love and of the hearth, often identified** with Freya. Friday is named after her.

** The phrase "often identified with" implies that some scholars believe that the two goddesses evolved from what was in earlier times a single goddess[7].
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