Friday, June 3, 2016

Friday, June 2, 2016 — DT 28026

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28026
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28026]
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 28024 and DT 28025 which were published in The Daily Telegraph on Saturday, January 30, 2016 and Monday, February 1, 2016.


The editors at the National Post are a bit jumpy again today, leaping ahead a couple of puzzles. This is a fairly gentle offering from one of the mystery "Tuesday" setters. Once again, Rufus gets passed over.

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   Does view oddly cut off // blossom? (7)

5a   Exceptional // charm almost taking in agents (7)

"agents" = CIA (show explanation )

The Central Intelligence Agency[5] (abbreviation CIA) is a federal agency in the US responsible for coordinating government intelligence activities. Established in 1947 and originally intended to operate only overseas, it has since also operated in the US.

hide explanation

9a   Coal, no scuttles? After five // it's probably covered in ash (7)

As an anagram indicator, scuttle[5] is used in the sense of run hurriedly or furtively with short quick steps.

10a   Feeling // nothing, bolt attached to one leg (7)

"leg" = ON (show explanation )

In cricket, the leg[5] (also called leg side) is another name for the on[5] (also known as on side), the half of the field (as divided lengthways through the pitch) away from which the batsman’s feet are pointed when standing to receive the ball ⇒ he played a lucky stroke to leg. The other half of the field is known as the off[5] (also called off side).

hide explanation

11a   Government fellows given time /to provide/ formal account (9)

12a   Cross // I value highly (5)

Rate[5,10] is an informal [almost certainly British] term meaning to have a high opinion of ⇒ (i) Mike certainly rated her, goodness knows why; (ii) the clients do not rate the new system.

13a   Welcoming knight, stops working /and/ eats (5)

"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.

hide explanation

15a   American city removing old // religious symbol (9)

Sacramento[5] is the state capital of California, situated on the Sacramento River to the north-east of San Francisco; population 463,794 (est. 2008).

A sacrament[5] is a thing of mysterious and sacred significance; a religious symbol ⇒ they used peyote as a sacrament.

In Catholic use, the sacrament[5] (also called the Blessed Sacrament or the Holy Sacrament) refers to the consecrated elements of the Eucharist, especially the bread or Host*.
* The Host[5] is the bread consecrated in the Eucharist[5], the Christian service, ceremony, or sacrament commemorating the Last Supper, in which bread and wine are consecrated and consumed.
17a   Playing this, // is ball I'd planned to pot right? (9)

I had to think long and hard about how to mark this clue. In his review, Gazza shows the definition as being merely the word "this". But what is the purpose of the word "playing". My first instinct was to declare it to be a link word or equivalent. However, it really does not fit that role. I think the word "playing" is actually part of the definition, limiting the scope of the pronoun "this" by telling us that the pronoun is standing in for a game of some sort (something that is played). Thus I have underlined it — albeit with a dotted underline. [Compare this to the situation in 4d.]

19a   Moved slowly /and/ didn't middle the ball (5)

In cricket, tennis, etc., middle[5] means to strike (the ball) with the middle of the bat, racket, or club ⇒ every shot he took on, he middled.

In cricket, edge[5] means to strike (the ball) with the edge of the bat ⇒ he edged a ball into his pad or to strike a ball delivered by (the bowler) with the edge of the bat ⇒  Haynes edged to slip [a fielding position].

22a   A waterway initially remains // flooded (5)

23a   Inflammation resulting from cold? // Doctor best for it (9)

25a   Lay // a rug, with regret, the wrong way round (7)

26a   Former lover with sufficient // warning (7)

27a   A conclusion to act is seen in there (7)

This is an &lit.[7] clue (sometimes called an all-in-one clue). The entire clue (when read one way) is the definition, but under a different interpretation takes on the role of wordplay.

28a   Defendant: // 'PC set us up!' (7)

Scratching the Surface
PC[5] is a British designation for a police constablePC Bartholomew made his report.


1d   Heroic exploit about start of victory is // made up (7)

2d   Proud to capture bad // criminal (7)

3d   Abandon // holiday (5)

A Note on British Usage
The British use the word holiday(s) where North Americans might say vacation[5]. Holiday[5,10] (often holidays) is a chiefly British term for a period in which a break is taken from work or studies for rest, travel, or recreation (i) I spent my summer holidays on a farm; (ii) Fred was on holiday in Spain. According to the British dictionaries, the usual US and Canadian term is vacation. However, I am accustomed to hearing the two terms used almost interchangeably — in much the same manner as fall and autumn. This may not be the case in all parts of Canada, but I grew up in the Maritimes and have lived in Eastern Ontario for most of my life, both areas where British influence is likely strong.

In Britain, the word vacation[5] has a very specific meaning, a fixed holiday period between terms in universities and law courts ⇒ the Easter vacation. In North America, such a period might be called a break[7].

4d   'Journalists outside Foreign Office turned up gold,' // one declares (9)

Foreign Office[5] (abbreviation FO[5]) is short for Foreign and Commonwealth Office[5], the British government department dealing with foreign affairs.

"gold" = OR (show explanation )

Or[5] is gold or yellow, as a heraldic tincture.

hide explanation 

Here the definition consists of a pronoun (one) whose scope is limited by a modifying verb (declares). Is this really much different than the situation at 17a?

5d   Second drink /for/ fun (5)

6d   In wrapping of parcel I'm in a temper, /getting/ stamp out (9)

I thought I was following instructions to a tee when I came up with PLIMIRATE by combining PL (wrapping [outer letters] of ParceL) + IM (I'm) + IRATE (in a temper). I don't understand why  dictionary editors have neglected to document this word.

7d   Ape? // I'm worried to follow it (7)

8d   Forgiving // Russian leader neglecting latest new hospital department (7)

Vladimir Ilich Lenin[5] (1870–1924) was the principal figure in the Russian Revolution and first premier of the Soviet Union 1918–24; born Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov.

The setter carefully specifies that we are to remove the second N (latest new) from LENIN.

14d   Tiniest // moan about large cricket match (9)

A Test[5] (short for Test match)[5] is an international cricket or rugby match, typically one of a series, played between teams representing two different countries ⇒ the Test match between Pakistan and the West Indies.

16d   Curse most wicked // clients (9)

As an anagram indicator, I would guess that wicked[10] may be used in the sense of mischievous or roguish, especially in a playful way a wicked grin.

17d   Liberal seen in club with six-footer, // unashamed (7)

"liberal" = L (show explanation )

The Liberal Party[5] (abbreviation Lib.[5] or L[2]) in Britain emerged in the 1860s from the old Whig Party and until the First World War was one of the two major parties in Britain. In 1988 the party regrouped with elements of the Social Democratic Party to form the Social and Liberal Democrats, now known as the Liberal Democrats. However, a small Liberal Party still exists.

Although Lib. may be the more common abbreviation for the Liberal Party in Britain—likely to distinguish it from the the Labour Party[5] (abbreviation Lab.[5])—Chambers 21st Century Dictionary indicates that L[2] may also be used.

hide explanation 

18d   Loss of water, perhaps, // could come from e.g. a lake (7)

20d   See // good politicians getting trapped by falsehood (7)

"good" = G (show explanation )

The abbreviation G[10] for good likely relates to its use in grading school assignments or tests.

hide explanation

"politicians" = MPS (show explanation )

In Britain (as in Canada), a politician elected to the House of Commons is known as a Member of Parliament[10] (or MP[5] for short).

hide explanation

21d   Flower with blight -- that's most serious (7)

Flower is used in the whimsical cryptic crossword sense of something that flows — in other words, a river.

The Dee[5] is a river in northeastern Scotland, which rises in the Grampian Mountains and flows eastwards past Balmoral Castle to the North Sea at Aberdeen. Another river of the same name rises in North Wales and flows past Chester and on into the Irish Sea. 

23d   Pressure // in support of church (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

24d   Slice over small // bunkers (5)

A bunker[5] (also known, especially in the US, as a sand trap[10]) is a hollow filled with sand, used as an obstacle on a golf course.

Scratching the Surface
In golf, a slice[5] is a stroke which makes the ball curve away to the right for a right-handed player (or, for a left-handed player, to the left).
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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