Monday, June 6, 2016

Monday, June 6, 2016 — DT 28028

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28028
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, February 4, 2016
RayT (Ray Terrell)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28028]
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 28027 which was published in The Daily Telegraph on Wednesday, February 3, 2016.


This is not the most typical of RayT puzzles. Not only does Her Majesty fail to make an appearance but the usual innuendo seems to be missing.

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   Understanding follows the compiler's // meaning (6)

"compiler's" = IM (show explanation )

It is a common cryptic crossword convention for the creator of the puzzle to use terms such as (the or this) compiler, (the or this) setter, (this) author, (this) writer, or this person to refer to himself or herself. To solve such a clue, one must generally substitute a first person pronoun (I or me) for whichever of these terms has been used in the clue.

Today, the setter has made the scenario slightly more complicated by combining "compiler" with the verb "to be" producing "compiler's" (a contraction of "compiler is") which must be replaced by "I'm" (a contraction of "I am").

hide explanation

Meaning[5] is used in the sense of implied or explicit significance.

4a   Fellow criminal // without a blemish (8)

"fellow" = F (show explanation )

F[2] is the abbreviation for Fellow (of a society, etc). For instance, it is found in professional designations such as FRAIC (Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada).

hide explanation

9a   Go on spilling secrets, invading privacy initially (6)

10a   Crazy Lear isn't /showing/ what's inside (8)

Scratching the Surface
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.

12a   Endlessly care for faithful // pet (8)

13a   Spike // troublemaker's drink (6)

15a   Spreading unction's aim, so // unctuous (13)

18a   Eat dinner with time unusually // vague (13)

22a   Whack! Old man returning // strikes with disgust (6)

24a   Tea's found in neat container // to buy (8)

I'm afraid that I parsed the clue in the same manner as Miffypops with neat[5]being an archaic term for a bovine animal or, as a mass noun, cattle.

I would think that Miffypops, being by profession the proprietor of a pub, should have little excuse for failing to correctly decipher the word neat.

Cha (also chai) is an alternative spelling of char[5], an informal British name for tea.

26a   Time runs out /in/ end (8)

27a   Tory leader's hard disagreement /on/ economy (6)

"hard" = H (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

28a   Church increased time being consumed // to baptise (8)

29a   Informal // contracted language in say, 'gutted' (6)


1d   Hip received small // metal bars (6)

2d   Stewardesses, sophisticated, about turned // mad (9)

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Miffypops writes I think the word STEWARDESS is the indicator that the answer is hidden.
Either this is just Miffypops being deliberately inane or he had not fully recovered from his pub crawl through Long Itchington the previous evening.

3d   Red // lips involved in cheating (7)

5d   Tree trunk protecting new // pine (4)

6d   Heartless roughneck accepted by female // labourer (7)

7d   Flower // I caught in season (5)

"caught" = C (show explanation )

In cricket, one way for a batsman to be dismissed is to be caught out[5], that is for a player on the opposing team to catch a ball that has been hit by the batsman before it touches the ground.

On cricket scorecards, the abbreviation c.[2,10] or c[5] denotes caught (by).

hide explanation

The Chambers Thesaurus does list season as a synonym for era — but not the inverse.

Erica[5] denotes a plant of the genus Erica, especially (in gardening) heather.

8d   Sun exploit employing birds /results in/ excited anticipation (8)

A pen[5] is a female swan.

11d   Eloquence // over Right by Cameron perhaps (7)

"over" = O (show explanation )

On cricket scorecards, the abbreviation O[5] denotes over(s), an over[5] being a division of play consisting of a sequence of six balls bowled by a bowler from one end of the pitch, after which another bowler takes over from the other end.

hide explanation

David Cameron[5] is a British Conservative statesman, prime minister since 2010 (2010–15 in coalition with the Liberal Democrats).

14d   Wicked // one's carrying dodgy opium (7)

16d   Performance of pantomime ends in speech (9)

Scratching the Surface
A pantomime[5] is a traditional British theatrical entertainment, mainly for children, which involves music, topical jokes, and slapstick comedy and is based on a fairy tale or nursery story, usually produced around Christmas.

17d   Great // performance against clubs ... (8)

C[1] is the abbreviation for clubs, a suit in a deck of cards.

19d   ... matches // entirely in draws (7)

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Miffypops writes I would be grateful for an explanation of the ellipsis linking this clue to the previous one.
Such a construction is used by setters to show that the two clues can be read together as a single entity. While each piece is a distinct and separate cryptic clue, the two clues read together provide a meaningful surface reading where the surface reading of each individual part may be meaningless or incomplete. However, in this instance, I do not find that the surface reading of the two clues taken together is any more meaningful than that of the individual clues.

20d   Drink /for/ everybody, including company, on house (7)

"house" = HO (show explanation )

Although not found in most of the dictionaries that I consulted, ho.[10] is the abbreviation for house.

hide explanation

21d   Where holy man gets appropriate covering (6)

Very[2] is used in the sense of most suitable ⇒ That's the very tool for the job.

In this semi-&lit. clue* (or, as some prefer to call it, semi-all-in-one clue), the entire clue acts as the definition while only the portion with the dashed underline provides the wordplay.
* In a true &lit. clue[7] (sometimes called an all-in-one clue) the entire clue provides not only the definition (when read one way), but under a different interpretation is also the wordplay.
23d   More natural // expression of pleasure, embracing sweetheart (5)

25d   Dog beginning to eat // kipper (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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