Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Wednesday, May 25, 2016 — DT 28014

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28014
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28014]
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 28013 which was published in The Daily Telegraph on Monday, January 18, 2016.


We are given a very gentle workout today. I expect that one of our regular visitors, Richard, will have had no difficulty getting started on this puzzle.

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   Vehicle insurance required to cross upper-class // Canadian city (9)

"insurance" = COVER (show explanation )

In this instance, while the same verb form is used in Britain and North America, we use a different form of the noun on this side of the pond.

As a verb, cover[5] means to protect against a liability, loss, or accident involving financial consequences ⇒ your contents are now covered against accidental loss or damage in transit.

However, in the UK, the word cover[5] is used to denote protection by insurance against a liability, loss, or accident ⇒ your policy provides cover against damage by subsidence. This is equivalent to the North American term coverage[5] meaning the amount of protection given by an insurance policy ⇒ your policy provides coverage against damage by subsidence.

hide explanation

"upper-class" = U (show explanation )

In Britain, U[5] is used informally as an adjective (in respect to language or social behaviour) meaning characteristic of or appropriate to the upper social classes ⇒ U manners.

The term, an abbreviation of  upper class, was coined in 1954 by Alan S. C. Ross, professor of linguistics, and popularized by its use in Nancy Mitford's Noblesse Oblige (1956).

In Crosswordland, the letter U is frequently clued by words denoting "characteristic of the upper class" (such as posh or superior) or "appropriate to the upper class" (such as acceptable). 

hide explanation

6a   Note no intro /for/ stringed instrument (4)

10a   Man on board losing head /in/ the dark (5)

11a   Homes were vandalised, // at a place not specified (9)

12a   Changed them at one, // shabby in appearance (4-5)

14a   Fool about /to produce/ gunpowder ingredient (5)

Nitre[5] (US niter) is an alternative name for saltpetre[5] (US saltpeter) which, in turn, is an alternative name for potassium nitrate[5], a white crystalline salt which is used in preserving meat and as a constituent of gunpowder.

Scratching the Surface
This substance was actually once used in a likely unsuccesful attempt to keep people from "fooling about".

Saltpetre (potassium nitrate) was once thought to induce impotence, and is still falsely rumored to be in institutional food (such as military fare) as an anaphrodisiac [a drug that reduces sexual desire]; however, there is no scientific evidence for such properties.[7]

15a   Soccer player /in/ rear of bus with someone crying (7)

In soccer [usually football to the Brits — but not today], a sweeper[5] is a player stationed behind the other defenders, free to defend at any point across the field and sometimes initiating and supporting attacks.

16a   Sovereign // exercises right in capital, upon return (7)

"exercises" = PE (show explanation )

PE[5] is the abbreviation for physical education [or Phys Ed, as it was known in my school days]. 

hide explanation

18a   Was // left holding son (7)

20a   Boasted about any number // installed (7)

The letter n[10] is used (especially in mathematics) as a symbol to represent an indefinite number (of) ⇒ there are n objects in a box.

21a   Rule: // keep leader of government in check (5)

23a   Wisecracks /made by/ individuals touring ship (3-6)

25a   Rude when drinking drop of vodka // on the rocks (9)

26a   Small figure in corner /may be from/ fashionable collection (5)

28a   Row /in/ dead heat on river (4)

Contravention of Convention
This clue contravenes the convention that, in an across clue, the construction "A on B" is used to clue B + A.

The rationale for this practice is that in order for A to be placed on B, B must already exist (i.e., already have been written). Since the English language is written from left to right, this means that B must come first and A is then appended to it. .

In the above clue, TIE (dead heat) corresponds to A and R (river) corresponds to B. Thus, according to convention, TIE on R should produce RTIE, not TIER.

Notwithstanding the above, a solver must always be vigilant for setters who flout convention.

29a   One delivering goods, perhaps // confused by an order (6,3)


1d   /There's this/ malice /in/ missive, no mistake (5)

The phrase "there's this" — despite being positioned at the beginning of the clue — plays a very similar role to a link phrase. The thought in the clue could have equally well been expressed as
  • Malice /is to be found in/ missive, no mistake (5)
2d   Silver's following Tonto's third // horse (3)

The symbol for the chemical element silver is Ag[5] from Latin argentum.

Scratching the Surface
Tonto[7] is a fictional character, the either Potawatomi or Comanche companion of the Lone Ranger, a popular American Western character created by George W. Trendle and Fran Striker. Tonto has appeared in radio and television series and other presentations of the characters' adventures righting wrongs in 19th century western America.

Tonto was portrayed on television (arguably the most well-remembered version today) by Jay Silverheels (born Harold John Smith, 1912–1980), a Canadian Mohawk actor from the Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation, near Hagersville, Ontario. The most recent portrayal was by Johnny Depp in the 2013 Disney film The Lone Ranger.

In Spanish, "tonto" translates as "moron" or "fool." In the Spanish dubbed version, the character is called "Toro" (Spanish for "bull") or "Ponto." In the Italian version the original name is retained, despite the fact that its meaning in Italian is the same as in Spanish.

The Long Ranger rode a magnificent white stallion named Silver. At the beginning of each episode of the TV series,  Silver would rear up with the Lone Ranger on his back, then they would dash off, the Ranger encouragingly shouting, "Hi-Yo, Silver!" Tonto could occasionally be heard to urge on his mount by calling out, "Get 'em up, Scout!" At the end of each episode, mission completed, one of the characters would always ask the sheriff or other authority, "Who was that masked man?" When it was explained, "Oh, he's the Lone Ranger!", the Ranger and Tonto would be seen galloping off with the cry, "Hi-Yo, Silver! Away!" catching the attention of one of the townspeople crossing the street.[7]

Silver and Scout were the second horses of the Lone Ranger and Tonto respectively.
According to the radio episode "The Legend of Silver" (September 30, 1938), before acquiring Silver, the Lone Ranger rode a chestnut mare called Dusty. The Lone Ranger saves Silver's life from an enraged buffalo and, in gratitude, Silver chooses to give up his wild life to carry him.

The origin of Tonto's horse, Scout, is less clear. For a long time, Tonto rides a white horse called White Feller. In "Four Day Ride" (August 5, 1938), Tonto is given a paint horse by his friend Chief Thundercloud, who then takes White Feller. Tonto rides this horse and refers to him simply as "Paint Horse" for several episodes. The horse is finally named Scout in "Border Dope Smuggling" (September 2, 1938). In another episode, however, the Lone Ranger, in a surge of conscience, releases Silver back to the wild. The episode ends with Silver returning, bringing along a companion who becomes Tonto's horse Scout.[7]

3d   In a difficult situation // there (2,3,4)

4d   Tourist, // Italian, wearing eyeshade (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

5d   Love affair // beginning in remote country church (7)

Oman[7], officially the Sultanate of Oman, is an Arab country in the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. 

"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.

hide explanation

7d   Row after vehicle on round /brings/ contaminant (5,6)

Agent Orange[5] is a defoliant chemical used by the US in the Vietnam War.

Agent Orange[7] was a mixture of equal parts of two herbicides, 2,4,5-T and 2,4-D. In addition to the adverse effects of the two chemicals that constituted Agent Orange, in 1969 it was also revealed that the 2,4,5-T was contaminated with a dioxin, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzodioxin (TCDD), and that the TCDD was causing many of the previously unexplained adverse health effects which were correlated with Agent Orange exposure. TCDD has been described as "perhaps the most toxic molecule ever synthesized by man".[7]

8d   Page handed over /is/ liked better (9)

9d   See 22 Down

13d   Newspaper // article on grown-up children (3,3,5)

The Big Issue[7] is a street newspaper published in four continents. It is written by professional journalists and sold by homeless individuals. The Big Issue is one of the UK's leading social businesses and exists to offer homeless people, or individuals at risk of homelessness, the opportunity to earn a legitimate income, thereby helping them to reintegrate into mainstream society. It is the world's most widely circulated street newspaper.

15d   Flavour /of/ small juicy fruit, perfect (9)

The answer is a flavour of chewing gum, but it is not Juicy Fruit.

17d   Preparation // for eyesight (9)

19d   See // cod? I see flounders (7)

A see[10] is the diocese of a bishop, or the place within it where his cathedral or procathedral is situated.

20d   Cold and stern -- welcoming to // architect? (7)

22d and 9d   Sound of a bell heard by Welsh boy /and/ English actress (4,4)

Gwyn[7] (also Gwynn or Gwynne) is both a given name and a surname meaning "white" or "blessed" in Welsh and Cornish.

Nell Gwyn[5] (1650–1687) was an English actress; full name Eleanor Gwyn. Originally an orange seller, she became famous as a comedienne at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London. She was a mistress of Charles II.

24d   Delay eating a // Malaysian dish (5)

Satay[5] (also satai or saté) is an Indonesian and Malaysian dish consisting of small pieces of meat grilled on a skewer and served with a spiced sauce that typically contains peanuts.

27d   Blubber // may be extracted from whales, obviously (3)
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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