Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 — DT 28012

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28012
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, January 16, 2016
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28012 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28012 – Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave (Hints)
crypticsue (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
The National Post has skipped DT 28010 and DT 28011 which were published in The Daily Telegraph on Thursday, January 14, 2016 and Friday, January 15, 2016.
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.


Despite appearing in the UK in mid-January, this puzzle certainly has a very Christmassy feel to it.

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   Mourns epic broadcast /in/ part of theatre (10)

The proscenium[5] is the part of a theatre stage in front of the curtain.

6a   Bubbly // essential for post-Christmas tipple (4)

Asti[7] (formerly known as Asti Spumante) is a sparkling white Italian wine that is produced throughout southeastern Piedmont but is particularly focused around the towns of Asti and Alba. Since 1993 the wine has been classified as a Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) and as of 2004 was Italy's largest producing appellation.

9a   Doing stunts on high // bar, one caught cracking nuts (10)

Here, I fell into the trap set by the compiler by putting in ACROBATICS which I reasoned was "doing stunts on high bar". Of course, this left me unable to fully explain the wordplay. However, it took merely crypticsue's mention of "bar" in her introduction for the penny to drop.

Aero[7] is a chocolate bar manufactured by Nestlé.

Delving Deeper
Aero was originally introduced to the North of England as the "new chocolate" by English confectionary company Rowntree in 1935. By the end of the year, it had proved so popular with consumers that sales were extended throughout the UK. By 1936, the popularity of the chocolate, due no doubt in part to its unique bubbly texture, had extended to New York City, and has since spread to many other countries including Canada, Australia, South Africa and Japan. Aero has been manufactured by the Swiss food and beverage company Nestlé since its 1988 acquisition of Rowntree Mackintosh.

Known for its unique "bubbly" texture that collapses as the bar melts, it is available in many different forms including Aero Bars and Aero Biscuits, and originally had a mint flavour.

"caught" = C (show explanation )

In cricket, one way for a batsman to be dismissed is to be caught out[5], that is for a player on the opposing team to catch a ball that has been hit by the batsman before it touches the ground.

On cricket scorecards, the abbreviation c.[2,10] or c[5] denotes caught (by).

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10a   Dishes half smashed? // Little reptile! (4)

"Little" indicates that the definition is a shortened form of the reptile's name.

12a   One with equal role // upset actors (2-4)

13a   Stop meeting // professional villain (8)

15a   Opted to work with incisor, /as/ part of dentistry (12)

Periodontics[5] is the branch of dentistry concerned with the structures surrounding and supporting the teeth.

18a   Orchestra/'s/ man arranged main orch. (12)

21a   Extra work performed in the long run (8)

22a   Sir Tim recalled eating the French // cake (6)

Sir Tim Rice[5] is an English lyricist and entertainer. Together with Andrew Lloyd Webber he co-wrote a number of hit musicals, including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (1968), Jesus Christ Superstar (1971), and Evita (1978). He has won three Oscars for best original film song (1992, 1994, and 1996).

"the French" = LA (show explanation )

In French, the feminine singular form of the definite article is la[8].

hide explanation

24a   Look back /and/ observe (4)

25a   People in a series of races have not commonly // achieved goal (10)

The Tourist Trophy[5] (abbreviation TT[5]) is a motorcycle-racing competition held annually on roads in the Isle of Man since 1907.

For many years, the Isle of Man TT[7] was the most prestigious motorcycle race in the world. The race is run in a time-trial format on public roads closed for racing. Since, in a time trial, each competitor races alone against the clock, the event could be described as a "series of races".

26a   Count /as/ Swiss hero (4)

According to Oxford Dictionaries, tell[5] is an archaic term meaning to count (the members of a group) ⇒ the shepherd had told all his sheep. Collins English Dictionary reveals that tell[10] can mean to count (votes). From The American Heritage Dictionary and the Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, we learn that tell[3,11] can mean to enumerate or count ⇒ (i) telling one's blessings; (ii) 16 windows, all told.

This sense of the word "tell" would also seemingly give rise to the term teller[5]*, a person employed to deal with customers' transactions in a bank [in other words, someone who counts money].
* The term teller (in the sense of a bank employee) is characterized by Oxford Dictionaries as being chiefly North American. However, Collins English Dictionary makes no such claim, defining teller as merely another name for a cashier (also known as a bank clerk) an employee of a bank responsible for receiving deposits, cashing cheques, and other financial transactions.
William Tell[5] was a legendary hero of the liberation of Switzerland from Austrian oppression. He was required to hit with an arrow an apple placed on the head of his son, which he did successfully. The events are placed in the 14th century, but there is no evidence for a historical person of this name, and similar legends are of widespread occurrence.

27a   Shakespeare role American/'s/ doing well (10)

Prospero[7] is a fictional character and the protagonist of William Shakespeare's play The Tempest. He is the rightful Duke of Milan, whose title has been usurped by his brother, Antonio, twelve years before the play begins.


1d   Fish // I displayed in position (6)

The plaice[5] is either of two species of North Atlantic flatfish which are commercially important food fish. The European Pleuronectes platessa is often found in very shallow water while the American Hippoglossoides platessoides is found in deeper waters.

2d   Quiet after performing rugger // forward surge (6)

Rugger[5] is an informal British term for rugby.

Rugby union[10] (abbreviation RU[5]) is a form of rugby football played between teams of 15 players (in contrast to rugby league[5], which is played in teams of thirteen).

3d   Savoy perhaps with unusual end to Madame // Butterfly (7-5)

Savoy[5] is a cabbage of a hardy variety with densely wrinkled leaves.

The cabbage white[5] is any of several species of mainly white butterfly that has caterpillars which are pests of cabbages and related plants.

Scratching the Surface
The Savoy Theatre[7] is a West End theatre in the Strand in the City of Westminster, London, England. The theatre opened in 1881 and was built by Richard D'Oyly Carte on the site of the old Savoy Palace as a showcase for the popular series of comic operas of Gilbert and Sullivan, which became known as the Savoy operas as a result. As an aside, the theatre was the first public building in the world to be lit entirely by electricity.

Madama Butterfly[7] is an opera in three acts (originally two) by Italian composer Giacomo Puccini, with an Italian libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa. The opera is based in part on the short story "Madame Butterfly" (1898) by John Luther Long which was dramatized by David Belasco as a one-act play, Madame Butterfly: A Tragedy of Japan.

4d   Clear // visitor from the heavens appears in holy books (4)

"visitor from the heavens" = ET (show explanation )

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial[7] (often referred to simply as E.T.) is a 1982 American science fiction film co-produced and directed by Steven Spielberg. It tells the story of a lonely boy who befriends an extraterrestrial, dubbed "E.T.", who is stranded on Earth. He and his siblings help the extraterrestrial return home while attempting to keep it hidden from their mother and the government.

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Nett[5] is an alternative British spelling of net.

5d   Neglected // racer found wandering (7-3)

7d   Two types of fuel sent up to house the Queen /in/ women's quarters (8)

"the Queen" = ER (show explanation )

The regnal ciphers (monograms) of British monarchs are initials formed from the Latin version of their first name followed by either Rex or Regina (Latin for king or queen, respectively). Thus, the regnal cipher of Queen Elizabeth is ER[5] — from the Latin Elizabetha Regina.

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Seraglio[5] is a historical term for the women’s apartments (harem) in an Ottoman palace.

8d   Appreciate // batsman's position (8)

A batsman[5] is a player, especially in cricket, who is batting or whose chief skill is in batting.

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 even I recognized that it would be highly unlikely that a batsman would be said to be "in crease". The correct term, as pointed out by Rabbit Dave in a comment on Big Dave's Crossword Blog is, in fact, "at the crease".

11d   Smelly stuff /gives/ fellow utter outrage (12)

I discovered upon reading crypticsue's review that I had been extremely lax in my parsing of this clue having decided that FRANK was being clued by "fellow" and having surmised that INCENSE must be a homophone (utter) of s word meaning "outrage". Well, this turned out to be a rather outrageous result as INCENSE itself means "outrage".

"fellow" = F (show explanation )

F[2] is the abbreviation for Fellow (of a society, etc). For instance, it is found in professional designations such as FRAIC (Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada).

hide explanation

Frankincense[5] is an aromatic gum resin obtained from an African tree (Boswellia sacra) native to Somalia and burnt as incense.

14d   Around start of concert there’s more merit playing // sensitive instrument (10)

16d   Tooth // present briefly in place where it should be (8)

17d   Pack mainly containing revolt, // warning things are too hot (4,4)

19d   Manage // model party (4,2)

20d   We hear of Alfred and Alexander, perhaps, /in/ scrapes (6)

Alfred[5] (849–899),  known as Alfred the Great, was king of Wessex 871–99. Alfred’s military resistance saved SW England from Viking occupation. A great reformer, he is credited with the foundation of the English navy and with a revival of learning.

Alexander[5] (356–323 BC), known as Alexander the Great, was king of Macedon 336–323, son of Philip II. He conquered Persia, Egypt, Syria, Mesopotamia, Bactria, and the Punjab; in Egypt he founded the city of Alexandria.

23d   Clear // flirtatious move (4)

Clear[10] could be used as a verb in at least a couple of senses:
  • to move or pass by or over without contact or involvement : he cleared the wall easily..
  • to obtain clearance (from) or give clearance.
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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