Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Tuesday, May 3, 2016 — DT 27988

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27988
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, December 18, 2015
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27988]
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


For Deep Threat this puzzle presented a difficulty level of merely a single star. Obviously, he is far more knowledgeable than I in the field of theology. While we can always expect one or two religious references from Giovanni, he has used one today with which I was not at all familiar. My research mired me in the middle of a theological debate between those who believe in a midtribulation rapture and those who adhere to a pretribulation rapture. It also led me to some interesting connotations of the name of a prominent US politician.

Giovanni's fondness for such clues can be attributed to the fact that Don Manley, as he is otherwise known, also serves as crossword editor of the Church Times (an independent Anglican weekly newspaper published in the UK).

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   Half of allies will be this, // beyond everything (5,3)

5a   Eagerly desire /to have/ a dreamy Oxford feature (6)

Oxford is the county town of Oxfordshire, England and famous worldwide for its prestigious university, the oldest in the English-speaking world. In his poem ‘Thyrsis’ the Victorian poet Matthew Arnold called Oxford ‘the city of dreaming spires’ after the stunning architecture of these university buildings.

9a   Enclosed area /in which/ one may see car dry out (9)

11a   Male is having hesitation -- // not the most generous fellow! (5)

12a   Show remorse /as/ initiators of ruthless enterprise, then shut up (6)

13a   Gentle pieces of poetry enthralling artist -- they are sweet (8)

"gentle" = P (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

"artist" = RA (show explanation )

A Royal Academician (abbreviation RA[5]) is a member of the Royal Academy of Arts[5] (also Royal Academy; abbreviation also RA[5]), an institution established in London in 1768, whose purpose is to cultivate painting, sculpture, and architecture in Britain. 

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Praline[5] denotes:
  1. a smooth, sweet substance made by boiling nuts in sugar and grinding the mixture, used especially as a filling for chocolates ⇒ white chocolate and praline cheesecake; or
  2. a chocolate filled with praline ⇒ pralines laced with alcohol.
15a   Smart heretics ruined // a feature of the festive season (9,4)

Remember, this puzzle appeared in the UK in mid-December.

18a   Lose enthusiasm, // as one deprived of heat and water could (3,3,2,5)

The later part of the clue is a cryptic definition giving a literal example of the solution.

22a   Delightful // cleaner of a bygone time in China (8)

Char[5] is an informal British term for charwoman[5], a dated British name for a woman employed as a cleaner in a house or office.

Ming[5] is the name of the dynasty that ruled China 1368–1644 founded by Zhu Yuanzhang (1328–1398).

23a   Come down // in flames (6)

26a   Stranger // story embedded within article (5)

27a   Protest about naughty // form of government (9)

Demo[5] is a chiefly British term for a public meeting or march protesting against something or expressing views on a political issue ⇒ a peace demo.

28a   Having a floor covering /that is/ rough (6)

29a   Picture /of/ foreign river -- river with distinguishing feature (8)

The Po[7] is a river that arises in the Cottian Alps and flows eastward across northern Italy entering the Adriatic Sea through a delta near Venice.


1d   /In/ truth // Bill has a position as a minister (8)

The positioning of the link word "in" at the beginning of the clue initially threw me. Giovanni has inverted the sentence structure of the clue to enhance the surface reading. If written in a normal sentence structure the clue would read:
  • Bill has a position as a minister /in/ truth (8)
A curacy[5] is the office of a curate, or the tenure of this ⇒ he served his curacy in Northampton.

Curate[5] may mean:
  1. (also assistant curate) a member of the clergy engaged as assistant to a vicar, rector, or parish priest; or
  2. (archaic) a minister with pastoral responsibility.
2d   The last noise // maybe in a club? (5)

I did consider that the solution might be TRUMP but rejected it as implausible, settling instead for THUMP (which I figured would likely be the last noise one might hear if hit over the head with a club).

Trump[5] is an archaic term for a trumpet or a trumpet blast.

The Biblical references pertinent to the clue are as follows:
  • Paul wrote to the Church at Thessalonica, "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." (I Thess. 4:16-17).
  • In an epistle to the Church at Corinth, Paul said "Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." (I Cor. 15:51-52).
  • In the Book of Revelation, seven angels sound their trumpets of judgment in succession marking the stages in the destruction of the earth. "And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. ... And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail." (Rev. 11:15,19).
Biblical scholars disagree as to whether the last trump (the trump of God) referred to by St Paul is the same as the seventh trumpet (the trumpet blown by the seventh angel) in the Book of Revelation. In his review, Deep Threat would appear to have used an illustration depicting the later.

Given the current prominence of the name "Trump", you may find some of my other discoveries to be interesting and/or amusing:
  • Come up trumps[5] (or turn up trumps) is an informal, chiefly British expression meaning (of a person or situation) to have a better performance or outcome than expected.
  • Trump[5] is an informal, dated* term for a helpful or admirable person.
    * I am sure some may have an explanation for why the word has lost this meaning.
  • Trump[5] is an informal term meaning to break wind audibly.

The latter definition suggests another interpretation of the clue. If the occurrence were more than just audible, perhaps it was the last noise in the club before everyone beat a hasty retreat.

3d   TV bosses show an interest in these // sailors (7)

Rating[5] is a British term for a non-commissioned sailor in the navy the rest of the new crew was made up of naval ratings. [So named from the position or rating held by a sailor, recorded on a ship's books.]

4d   King // to gain knowledge when knight has fled (4)

"knight" = N (show explanation )

A knight[5] is a chess piece, typically with its top shaped like a horse’s head, that moves by jumping to the opposite corner of a rectangle two squares by three. Each player starts the game with two knights.

N[5] is the abbreviation for knight used in recording moves in chess [representing the pronunciation of kn-, since the initial letter k- represents 'king'].

As an aside, it is interesting to note that the Chambers 21st Century Dictionary defines: 
  • K[2] as an abbreviation used in chess for knight. 
  • K[2] is a symbol used in chess to represent a king. 
  • N[2] is a symbol used in chess to represent a knight.
The dictionary fails to specify how one differentiates an abbreviation from a symbol.

On the other hand, both The Chambers Dictionary and the Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary list K or K.[1,11] as an abbreviation for knight without specifying the specific context in which this abbreviation is used. However, the context may well be in an honours list rather than in a game of chess. In the UK, for instance, KBE[5] stands for Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

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King Lear[7] is a tragedy by English playwright William Shakespeare (1564-1616). The title character descends into madness after disposing of his estate between two of his three daughters based on their flattery, bringing tragic consequences for all. Lear[5], a legendary early king of Britain, is mentioned by the 12th century Welsh chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth in his Historia Regum Britanniae (circa 1139; first printed in 1508), an account of the kings of Britain.

6d   More unsuspecting // learner taken in by silly smile (7)

"learner" = L (show explanation )

The cryptic crossword convention of L meaning learner or student arises from the L-plate[7], a square plate bearing a sans-serif letter L, for learner, which must be affixed to the front and back of a vehicle in various jurisdictions (including the UK) if its driver is a learner under instruction.

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7d   In wickedness prophet is said /to be/ hypocritical (9)

8d   Say engineers will be needed on ship /to provide/ exit (6)

"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.

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"steamship" = SS (show explanation )

SS[5] is the abbreviation for steamshipthe SS Canberra.

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Usually the phrase "on ship" indicates a containment operation ('contained in SS'). However, in this case it indicates a charade ('on top of SS').

10d   I repeatedly snored dreadfully -- // a laughing stock (8)

A derision[10] is an object of mockery or scorn.

14d   I am some sort of dog, little fellow /to be/ opposed (8)

16d   Wounded grenadier /is/ studying again (9)

In Britain, to read[5] means to study (an academic subject) at a university ⇒ (i) I’m reading English at Cambridge; (ii) he went to Manchester to read for a BA in Economics.

17d   It presents a purple colour -- // as may the drunk on street (8)

Amethyst[5] is a precious stone consisting of a violet or purple variety of quartz.

19d   Candidate /has/ no source of wealth before start of election (7)

20d   Court /is/ thus within the law (7)

21d   City den /supplying/ cake (6)

"city" = EC (show explanation )

In the clue, the setter uses "city" to stand for for the EC postcode which serves the City of London [postcode being the British counterpart of the Canadian postal code or American zip code]. The EC (Eastern Central) postcode area[7] (also known as the London EC postcode area) is a group of postcode districts in central London, England. It includes almost all of the City of London as well as parts of several other London boroughs.

The City of London[7] (not to be confused with the city of London) is a city and ceremonial county within London. It constituted most of London from its settlement by the Romans in the 1st century AD to the Middle Ages, but the conurbation has since grown far beyond the City's borders. The City of London is now only a tiny part of the metropolis of London, though it remains a notable part of central London. It is one of two districts of London to hold city status, the other being the adjacent City of Westminster.

The City of London is widely referred to simply as the City (often written as just "City" and differentiated from the phrase "the city of London" by capitalising "City") and is also colloquially known as the Square Mile, as it is 1.12 sq mi (2.90 km2), in area. Both of these terms are also often used as metonyms for the United Kingdom's trading and financial services industries, which continue a notable history of being largely based in the City. This is analogous to the use of the terms Wall Street and Bay Street to refer to the financial institutions located in New York and Toronto respectively.

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An eclair[10] is a finger-shaped pastry filled with cream and covered with chocolate.

24d   A horse topples over traversing hard // country (5)

"hard" = H (show explanation )

H[5] is an abbreviation for hard, as used in describing grades of pencil lead ⇒ a 2H pencil.

hide explanation

Ghana[5] is a country of West Africa, with its southern coastline bordering on the Atlantic Ocean; population 23,887,800 (est. 2009); languages, English (official), West African languages; capital, Accra. Former name (until 1957) Gold Coast.

Delving Deeper
Formerly a centre of the slave trade, the area became the British colony of Gold Coast in 1874. In 1957 it was the first British colony to gain independence as a member of the Commonwealth, under the leadership of Kwame Nkrumah.

25d   A war medal, something circular // that is given to a soldier (4)

In the UK and Commonwealth countries, the Military Medal[5] (abbreviation MM) is a decoration for distinguished active service on land, instituted in 1916 (originally for enlisted soldiers).
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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