Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Tuesday, May 10, 2016 — DT 27997

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27997
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Jay (Jeremy Mutch)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27997]
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


Although today's puzzle from Jay is a relatively gentle one, it does contain a few Briticisms that may add a star of difficulty to the puzzle for solvers on this side of the pond. I fear that I shall never fully understand the British education system. Every time a reference to it arises (as in 8d today), I tweak my explanation a bit. I would hope that I am getting closer to getting it right — but expect that I have yet to hit the bullseye.

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   Ladybird originally found in cigar-shaped // plant (6)

5a   Funds set aside // for wife most cunning (3,5)

9a   Businessman // first to follow river Test (13)

"first" = IST (show explanation )

The word "first" can be replaced by "1st" which looks like IST. Moreover, I being the Roman numeral for one, an argument might also be made using that rationale.

hide explanation

The Indus[5] is a river of southern Asia, about 2,900 km (1,800 miles) in length, flowing from Tibet through Kashmir and Pakistan to the Arabian Sea. Along its valley an early civilization flourished from circa 2600 to 1760 BC. The Indus[7] is the longest river of Pakistan.

Scratching the Surface
The River Test[7] is a river in Hampshire, England. It has a total length of 40 miles (64 km) and it flows through downland from its source near Ashe to the sea at the head of Southampton Water. In its upper reaches it is a chalk stream, and is used for fly fishing for trout. The river plays a significant part in Richard Adams' novel Watership Down.

10a   A match official in Wellington? Definitely not! (8)

The entire clue provides the definition and one needs to infer the implied meaning as being "A match official in Wellington [might be attired in this manner]? Definitely not!".

The match referred to is an athletic contest and could be any of several sports.

The British us the term wellington[5] (also wellington boot) — which the setter mischievously capitalizes in the clue — for a knee-length waterproof rubber or plastic boot [named after Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington].

Scratching the Surface
Wellington[5] is the capital of New Zealand, situated at the southern tip of the North Island; population 179,463 (2006). It became the capital in 1865, when the seat of government was moved from Auckland. The city — like the boot — is named after Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington.

Delving Deeper
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington[5] (1769–1852) was a British soldier and Tory statesman who served as Prime Minister from 1828–30 and again in 1834. Known as the Iron Duke, he served as commander of the British forces in the Peninsular War (1808–14) and in 1815 defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo, so ending the Napoleonic Wars.

11a   Nosey creatures // exploit the American tax authorities (6)

IRS[10] is the acronym for Internal Revenue Service[10], the US tax department.

The tapir[5] is any of four species of nocturnal hoofed mammal with a stout body, sturdy limbs, and a short flexible proboscis, native to the forests of tropical America and Malaysia.

12a   Friendly // spirit mainly found on a lake (6)

A genie[5] is a spirit of Arabian folklore, as depicted traditionally imprisoned within a bottle or oil lamp, and capable of granting wishes when summoned.

14a   Edict protecting a source of silicon /means/ reduction (8)

16a   Calmed down, /seeing/ volunteers back in situ before start of day (8)

"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

In situ[5] (Latin) means 'in the original place' or 'in the appropriate position' — or, simply, 'in place'.

To solve this clue, one must first replace "in situ" with "in place" and then interpret the word "in" as a containment indicator with the word "place" being the container.

19a   A French flirt has no time /for/ worry (6)

"a French" = UN (show explanation )

In French, the masculine singular form of the indefinite article is un[8].

hide explanation

Flirt could be either a verb (as the 2Kiwis indicate in their review) or a noun.

21a   Boys must cross island and river, /seeing/ landowners (6)

In Scotland, a laird[5] is a person who owns a large estate.

23a   Hesitation in a complex trial // of major routes (8)

25a   Technologically up to date, /but/ that setter oaf is wrong (5-2-3-3)

26a   Popular opening journalist // came up with (8)

27a   Quiet, say, /for/ the man playing on the green (6)

"quiet" = P (show explanation )

Piano[3,5] (abbreviation p[5]), is a musical direction meaning either (as an adjective) soft or quiet or (as an adverb) softly or quietly.

hide explanation


2d   Worry, /seeing/ it in a portal (7)

3d   Mineral vein containing good // deposit (5)

Lodge[10] means to to deposit or leave for safety, storage, etc. the money is lodged in a bank.

I would have presumed that this is a British usage — and this would seem to be supported by the experience that Merusa relates at Comment #17When I first came to the US to live, I went to the bank to 'lodge' a cheque and the teller had no idea what I was talking about. However, the word lodge[3,11] is shown in American dictionaries as having this meaning, so perhaps it is simply a case of this sense of the word having fallen out of use on this side of the Atlantic.

4d   Person in suit with temperature -- // something to eat /required/ (9)

Although the setter has structured the clue in such a way as to place the word "required" at the end, this word effectively plays a role similar to that of a link word.

A cassoulet[5] is a French stew made with meat (typically pork, goose, and duck) and beans.

5d   Defeated /by/ hard-wearing material (7)

Worst[5] is used as a verb meaning to get the better of or defeat ⇒ this was not the time for a deep discussion—she was tired and she would be worsted.

Worsted[5] is a fabric made from worsted yarn[5]*, having a close-textured surface with no nap ⇒ [as modifier] a worsted suit.
* a fine smooth yarn spun from combed long-staple wool
6d   Burn // carpet? (5)

Carpet[5] is an informal British term meaning to reprimand severelythe Chancellor of the Exchequer carpeted the bank bosses. Although we do not use this expression in North America, we certainly use the presumably related expression to be called on the carpet[5].

7d   Deceptive addition to capital growth (9)

8d   Anger during school tests /for/ such literary compositions (7)

The definition is "such literary compositions" meaning literary compositions of a particular type.

National Curriculum assessments[7] are a series of educational assessments, colloquially known as Sats or SATs, used to assess the attainment of children attending maintained schools* in England. They comprise a mixture of teacher-led and test-based assessment depending on the age of the pupils.
* In England and Wales, a maintained school[5] is a school that is funded by a local education authority. In North America, such a school would be called a public school. However, in the UK, a public school is a particular category of independent school. (more )

In Britain, an independent school[10] is a school that is neither financed nor controlled by the government or local authorities; in other words, an independent school[2] is not paid for with public money and does not belong to the state school system.

private school[2,5] is a particular category of independent school, being a school run independently by an individual or group, especially for profit and supported wholly by the payment of fees.

A public school[2] is yet another category of independent school, a secondary school, especially a boarding school run independently of the state, financed by a combination of endowments and pupils' fees.

What we in North America would call a public school
[2], is known in the UK as a state school[5] or a maintained school[5].

hide explanation

This test should not be confused with the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test or Scholastic Assessment Test), a Reasoning Test taken by high school students in the United States for admission into colleges.

13d   Typified // certain changes including new article (9)

15d   Activity for lovers /of/ royal house transport (9)

What did they say?
In their review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, the 2Kiwis say [t]he royal house here could be the one that goes with Hampton.
Hampton Court[5] is a palace on the north bank of the Thames in the borough of Richmond-upon-Thames, London, a favourite royal residence until the reign of George II. Its gardens contain a well-known maze.

17d   Affair // gives rise to trouble with one lad (7)

18d   Overshadowed // daughter's battle to get nourished (7)

20d   Look around Italy, regularly /getting/ surprise (7)

22d   Result of effort /getting/ women to occupy chair (5)

24d   Respond /to/ soldiers and behave (5)

"soldiers" = RE (show explanation )

The Corps of Royal Engineers[7], usually just called the Royal Engineers (abbreviation RE), and commonly known as the Sappers[7], is a corps of the British Army that provides military engineering and other technical support to the British Armed Forces.

hide explanation
Key to Reference Sources: 

[1]   - The Chambers Dictionary, 11th Edition
[2]   - Search Chambers - (Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)
[3]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (American Heritage Dictionary)
[4]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (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] - CollinsDictionary.com (Collins English Dictionary)
[11] - TheFreeDictionary.com (Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary)
Signing off for today — Falcon

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