Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Wednesday, May 4, 2016 — DT 27989

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27989
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, December 19, 2015
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27989 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27989 – 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
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.


Today's offering from a mystery "Saturday" setter has a bit of a Scottish flavour.

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   Ruin simple mechanical part /in/ kitchen appliance (10)

Dish[5] is an informal, chiefly British term denoting to utterly destroy or defeat ⇒ the election interview dished Labour’s chances.

6a   Unwanted messages /and/ plans sent back (4)

9a   Mineral // gunners kept in container (5)

The Royal Regiment of Artillery, commonly referred to as the Royal Artillery[7] (RA), is the artillery arm of the British Army. Despite its name, it comprises a number of regiments.

Borax[5] is a white compound which occurs as a mineral in some alkaline salt deposits and is used in making glass and ceramics, as a metallurgical flux, and as an antiseptic. It is a hydrated sodium borate (chemical formula Na2B4O710H2O).

10a   Fashionable French writer takes ship /for/ northern city (9)

Jules Verne[5] ( 1828–1905) was a French novelist. One of the first writers of science fiction, he often anticipated later scientific and technological developments, as in Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea (1870). Other novels include Around the World in Eighty Days (1873).

"ship" = SS (show explanation )

In Crosswordland, a ship is almost invariably a steamship, the abbreviation for which is SS[5]the SS Canberra.

hide explanation

Inverness[5] is a city in Scotland, administrative centre of Highland council area, situated at the mouth of the River Ness; population 41,200 (est. 2009).

12a   'Topple Tunisia' ordered // Roman governor (7,6)

Pontius Pilate[5] (died circa 36 AD) was Roman procurator of Judaea circa 26-circa 36. He is remembered for presiding at the trial of Jesus Christ and authorizing his crucifixion.

Scratching the Surface
Tunisia[5] is a country in North Africa; population 10,486,300 (est. 2009); official language, Arabic; capital, Tunis.

14a   I will set down after nasty chap with current // American car (8)

Cad[5,10] is a dated informal British term for a man who behaves dishonourably, especially towards a woman her adulterous cad of a husband.

15a   English hunt's regressive // reputation (6)

Meet[5] is a British term for a gathering of riders and hounds before a hunt begins ⇒ she fell from her horse during a weekend meet.

17a   Aquatic creatures // returning fight around river (6)

19a   Witness is able to put across artist — // producer of graffiti? (5,3)

"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. 

hide explanation

21a   Anne perhaps to deal with broadcast /in/ a Scottish way (7,6)

Princess Anne[5], the Princess Royal, is the daughter of Elizabeth II. [I note that her father does not rate a mention.]

Princes Street[7] is one of the major thoroughfares in central Edinburgh, Scotland, and its main shopping street. It is the southernmost street of Edinburgh's New Town, stretching around 1 mile (1.6 km) from Lothian Road in the west to Leith Street in the east. The street has virtually no buildings on the south side, allowing panoramic views of the Old Town, Edinburgh Castle, and the valley between.

24a   Decline on working -- showing this? (9)

A semi-all-in-one which has wordplay (marked with dashed underline) embedded in the definition (entire clue).

25a   Nobleman by end of party // having good time (5)

I am not sure the clue quite works. The definition must be either "having good time" or merely "good time" (with "having" then acting as a link word). However, early is "in good time".

26a   Flat // race maybe failing to finish (4)

Scratching the Surface
A flat race[5] is a horse race over a course with no jumps, as opposed to a steeplechase or hurdles.

27a   Sewer /of/ open water leading to mass anxiety (10)

"mass" = M (show explanation )

In physics, the symbol m[5] is used to represent mass.

hide explanation


1d   Obligation /of/ first appearance leaving university (4)

2d   Get rid of journalist /that's/ played violin badly (7)

3d   Speaking enthusiastically /of/ disc with song Los Angeles rejected (6,7)

Wax[5] is an informal term meaning to make a recording of ⇒ (i) he waxed a series of tracks that emphasized his lead guitar work; (ii) (as noun waxing) the latest waxing by the Grams.

4d   Blade -- // I am just the thing to open old wound (8)

A scimitar[5] is a short sword with a curved blade that broadens towards the point, used originally in Eastern countries.

5d   Presley with energy overwhelming island/'s/ little folk (5)

"energy" = E (show explanation )

In physics, E[5] is a symbol used to represent energy.

hide explanation

Elvis Presley[5] (1935–1977) was an American rock-and-roll and pop singer; full name Elvis Aaron Presley. He was the dominant personality of early rock and roll with songs such as ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ and ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ (both 1956). He also made a number of films, including King Creole (1958).

7d   Churchman // to talk at length about the Spanish (7)

"the Spanish" = EL (show explanation )

In Spanish, the masculine singular form of the definite article is el[8].

hide explanation

Prelate[5] is a formal or historical term for a bishop or other high ecclesiastical dignitary.

8d   Quiz /in which/ dimmest ran out (10)

Mastermind[7] is a British television quiz show, well known for its challenging questions, intimidating setting and air of seriousness.

Devised by Bill Wright, the basic format of Mastermind has never changed—four and in later contests five or six contestants face two rounds, one on a specialised subject of the contestant's choice, the other a general knowledge round. Wright drew inspiration from his experiences of being interrogated by the Gestapo during World War II.

11d   Getting back /in/ control before declaration (13)

13d   Assistant /from/ place comic upset (10)

16d   Raised issue /that's/ against the current (8)

18d   Aimless motion // makes Ted wild (7)

20d   Set // place to rest on lake (7)

22d   Following // church after wrongdoing (5)

"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

23d   Those in favour /will give/ a positive response (4)
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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