Friday, June 17, 2016

Friday, June 17, 2016 — DT 28042

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28042
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, February 20, 2016
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28042 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28042 – Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave (Hints)
gnomethang (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


In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, gnomethang remarks that he "found the last few clues in this quite tricky, with the dance and the dowry requiring electronic help". My experience was not dissimilar, although I did manage to correctly piece together the dowry — without having the slightest idea what the term meant.

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   Running // commercial vehicles on initially tight allowance (14)

Mini[7] is an automobile brand, currently owned by BMW, but originally introduced as a model under the Austin and Morris marques by the British Motor Corporation (BMC).

9a   Comic strip // duck in tub (7)

Aside from the fact that cartons are tall and square and tubs are short and round, I suppose they could be considered to be identical.

"duck" = O (show explanation )

In cricket, a duck[5] is a batsman’s score of nought [zero] ⇒ he was out for a duck. This is similar to the North American expression goose egg[5] meaning a zero score in a game.

In British puzzles, "duck" is used to indicate the letter "O" based on the resemblance of the digit "0" to this letter.

hide explanation

10a   Prohibits importing German // sausages (7)

Banger[5] is an informal British term for a sausage ⇒ bangers and mash [mashed potato].

11a   Earnest // opera singer making a comeback (4)

12a   Nevertheless // halt sale, silly me! (3,3,4)

14a   Very great // number heading off after start of migration (6)

15a   Recalled top of fancy // flower (8)

17a   Pedlar is upset, // sees what you're saying (3-5)

Scratching the Surface
Pedlar[3] is a chiefly British variant spelling of peddler.

18a   Again docked across the // dam (6)

21a   Dance // waving pretty sash (10)

As was the case with gnomethang, a bit of electronic help was required to identify the dance in question. Recognizing that it is an anagram, and having most of the checking letters in place, I tried desperately to make the solution end in -STEP.

The strathspey[5] is a slow Scottish dance.

22a   Enthusiasts returned /in/ shock (4)

24a   Building // equations, at first provided in numbered cubes (7)

25a   Ring French friend about fake // Japanese art (7)

Ami[8] is the masculine form of the French word meaning 'friend'.

Origami[5] is the Japanese art of folding paper into decorative shapes and figures.

26a   A somewhat restrained comment // below formal declaration (14)


1d   Praise // a Conservative allegation (7)

"Conservative" = C (show explanation )

The abbreviation for Conservative may be either C.[10] or Con.[10].

The Conservative Party[5] is a a major British political party that emerged from the old Tory Party under Sir Robert Peel in the 1830s and 1840s. Since the Second World War, it has been in power 1951–64, 1970-74, and 1979–97. It governed in a coalition with the Liberal Democrats from 2010 until the general election of May 2015, in which it was returned with a majority.

hide explanation

2d   What bridegroom may get // me at rip-roaring resorts bordering Oman's capital (8-7)

Although the term is new to me, I managed to arrange the letters in the correct order. I did have to look up the term to find out what it means. I must confess that the meaning I discovered did not match what I had imagined the meaning might be.

Portion[5] (also marriage portion) is an archaic term for a dowry given to a bride at her marriage ⇒ he’ll marry her fast enough when he knows the sum of her portion.

Scratching the Surface
Oman[7], officially the Sultanate of Oman, is an Arab country in the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Muscat.

3d   One dubious name /for/ inert gas (4)

Neon[5] (symbol Ne) is the chemical element of atomic number 10, an inert gaseous element of the noble gas group. It is obtained by the distillation of liquid air and is used in fluorescent lamps and illuminated advertising signs.

4d   Individual /in/ sleeveless vest, taking time off (6)

In Britain, a vest[5] is an undergarment worn on the upper part of the body, typically having no sleeves. The garment that North Americans (as well as Australians) call a vest[5] is known in the UK as a waistcoat.

Singlet[5] is a chiefly British term for a sleeveless garment worn under or instead of a shirt; another name for a vest (in the British sense of the word).

5d   True about victim /being in/ denial (8)

6d   Rookie /in/ bid to join infantry (10)

Foot[3] is used in the sense of foot soldiers or infantry.

7d   Canteen had soups requiring stirring –- // a matter easily resolved (4-3-4,4)

8d   A grand // on top (2,4)

13d   Shrewd // setter is, we suspect (10)

Scratching the Surface
Yoda speak surface is, methinks.

16d   Mythological king // you almost sussed out (8)

In Greek mythology, Odysseus[5] is the the king of Ithaca and central figure of the Odyssey, renowned for his cunning and resourcefulness. Roman name Ulysses.

17d   Added to register, the Queen/'s/ surgeon (6)

"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.

hide explanation

Joseph Lister[5], 1st Baron Lister (1827–1912) was an English surgeon, inventor of antiseptic techniques in surgery. He realized the significance of Louis Pasteur’s germ theory in connection with sepsis and in 1865 he used carbolic acid dressings on patients who had undergone surgery.

19d   Direct punk trio // to go on the rampage (3,4)

As an anagram indicator, I would infer that punk[11] is being used in the sense of:
  1. poor in quality or condition; or
  2. ill or sick (in other words, out of sorts) ⇒ feeling punk.
20d   Lynn, perhaps, banking on // Italian city (6)

Dame Vera Lynn[5] is an English singer. She is known chiefly for her rendering of such songs as ‘We’ll Meet Again‘ and ’White Cliffs of Dover', which she sang to the troops in the Second World War.

Bank[5] is used in the sense of to store (something, especially blood, tissue, or sperm) for future use : the sperm is banked or held in storage for the following spring.

Verona[7] is a city of approximately 265,000 inhabitants straddling the Adige river in Veneto, northern Italy. Three of Shakespeare's plays are set in Verona: Romeo and Juliet, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and The Taming of the Shrew. The city has been awarded World Heritage Site status by UNESCO because of its urban structure and architecture.

23d   Cover // skin (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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