Thursday, June 23, 2016

Thursday, June 23, 2016 — DT 28046

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28046
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, February 25, 2016
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28046]
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


This was a 'Thursday' puzzle in the UK as well but RayT is not on duty today. In his absence, his alternate serves up a rather gentle offering.

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   Artist's medium /in/ van, say (7)

In the first definition, vehicle[5] might be used in any of several senses:
  • a thing used to express, embody, or fulfil something ⇒ I use paint as a vehicle for my ideas
  • a substance that facilitates the use of a drug, pigment, or other material mixed with it ⇒ casein was used as a vehicle for pigments by the medieval painters
  • a film, television programme, song, etc. that is intended to display the leading performer to the best advantage ⇒ a vehicle for a star who was one of Hollywood’s hottest properties
5a   Ministry in charge expressed hesitation // a bit (7)

In the UK, the abbreviation MOD[5] stands for Ministry of Defence.

"in charge" = IC (show explanation )

The abbreviation i/c[5] can be short for either
  1. (especially in military contexts) in charge of ⇒ the Quartermaster General is i/c rations; or
  2. in command ⇒ 2 i/c = second in command.
hide explanation

9a   Pursue // hospital in legal matter (5)

10a   Powerful guy // amongst assembled number around Republican (9)

"Republican" = R (show explanation )

A Republican[5] (abbreviation R[5])  is a member or supporter of the Republican Party[5], one of the two main US political parties (the other being the Democratic Party), favouring a right-wing stance, limited central government, and tough, interventionist foreign policy. It was formed in 1854 in support of the anti-slavery movement preceding the Civil War.

In the UK, republican can refer to an advocate of a united Ireland but the abbreviation does not seem to apply in that case.

hide explanation

11a   Reach inlet abroad // without suspicion (2,3,5)

12a   Interpret for audience // quiz answer (4)

The word "parse" (interpret), when pronounced in a non-rhotic (show explanation ) British accent ("pAHse"), supposedly sounds like "PASS" (a stock answer on the British television quiz show Mastermind) — although Big Dave expresses skepticism.

Non-rhotic accents omit the sound < r > in certain situations, while rhotic accents generally pronounce < r > in all contexts. Among the several dozen British English accents which exist, many are non-rhotic while American English (US and Canadian) is mainly rhotic. This is, however, a generalisation, as there are areas of Britain that are rhotic, and areas of America that are non-rhotic. For more information, see this guide to pronouncing < r > in British English.

hide explanation

Delving Deeper
Mastermind[7] is a British 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—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.

In each round, the contestant is given a set period of time to answer questions. The questioner reads out a question. If the contestant gives the correct answer, he or she scores one point, and the questioner then reads out the next question. The contestant may pass (by simply saying "pass") if he or she doesn't know the answer, or prefers not to spend time trying to remember the answer: the questioner does not begin to read the next question until the contestant has given an answer or said "pass". If a question is answered incorrectly, the questioner will give the correct answer before reading out the next question; this uses some of the contestant's remaining time. However, if the contestant passes, the questioner moves straight on to the next question: the answer is not read out until the end of the round.

14a   Dog with German entering alone // in amazing fashion (12)

In his review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Shropshirelad has "dog" being a short form for dog tag* which would seem to be a fanciful — if not staggeringly desperate — invention on his part. 
* "dog (not the four-legged variety) that a soldier would wear"
Tag[1] is a verb meaning to dog or follow closely.

18a   Adjustable scale over cover /in/ financial summary (7,5)

Like Shropshirelad, "I’m confused by the term ‘over’ being used [as a charade indicator] on an ‘across’ clue." I suspect the setter may have pulled a previously written clue from his files without checking that it fit the circumstances of this puzzle.

21a   Tense thoroughfare in Paris? /That's/ constant (4)

"tense" = T (show explanation )

Grammatically speaking, t.[10] is the abbreviation for tense.

hide explanation

The French word for 'street' is rue[8].

22a   A result of being dubbed? (10)

25a   Slips etc /in/ foreign articles on Spain amid conflict (9)

In French, the masculine singular form of the indefinite article is un[8] while, in German, der[8] is one of the several forms that the definite article may assume.

"Spain" = E (show explanation )

The International Vehicle Registration (IVR) code for Spain is E[5] [from Spanish España].

hide explanation

26a   Better // barbecue? (5)

27a   Gold found in river // stream (7)

"gold" = OR (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

The Trent[5] is the chief river of central England, which rises in Staffordshire and flows 275 km (170 miles) generally north-eastwards, uniting with the River Ouse 25 km (15 miles) west of Hull to form the Humber estuary.

28a   Have too much of board? (7)


1d   Two short men, // one suffering a crime? (6)

2d   Toast /in/ sound condition (6)

In his review, Shropshirelad opines that "the latter [definition] reads like it should end with a ‘y’". That is true only because he has included too many words in the definition.

3d   In church, unexpectedly let in men /bringing/ fruit (10)

"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

4d   Parade a selfie? It's restricting // support for artist (5)

5d   Thin figure entering boggy area /in/ African city (9)

Marrakesh is an alternate spelling of Marrakech[5], a city in western Morocco, in the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains; population 1,070,838 (2004). It was founded in 1062 as the capital of the Almoravids.

6d   Unpleasantly damp // part of old Ankara (4)

Scratching the Surface
Ankara[5] is the capital of Turkey since 1923; population 3,763,600 (est. 2007). Prominent in Roman times as Ancyra, it later declined in importance until chosen by Kemal Atatürk in 1923 as his seat of government. Former name (until 1930) Angora.

7d   A PC in mag rebooted /for/ operations (8)

8d   Object to view around yard /in/ contemplation (5,3)

13d   Note place for eggs by river -- and singular // soup (10)

In music, mi is an alternate spelling* of me[5], the third note of a major scale in tonic sol-fa.
* Or perhaps it is the other way around. In the US, the name of the note is spelled mi[3,11] while, in the UK, both spellings are in use. Two out of four British dictionaries list me[2,5] as the principal spelling while a third shows mi[10] as being the primary spelling. The fourth, The Chambers Dictionary, defines me[1] as being an anglicized spelling of mi [which I guess may be Italian in origin].
15d   Feature on course before strike /in/ protected area (5,4)

16d   Get in way of // old boy with lorry largely occupying street (8)

"old boy" = OB (show explanation )

In Britain, an old boy[5] (abbreviation OB[2])  is:
  1. a former male student of a school or college ⇒an old boy of Banbury County School; or
  2. a former male member of a sports team or company ⇒ the White Hart Lane old boy squared the ball to present an easy chance from 12 yards.
It is also a chiefly British affectionate form of address to a boy or man ⇒ ‘Look here, old boy,’ he said.

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Lorry[5] is the common name in the UK for the vehicle known in North America as a truck[5] — although the word truck also seems to be well known to the Brits. In fact, Oxford Dictionaries rather circularly defines a lorry as being a truck and a truck as being a lorry.

17d   Fish // left in sink (8)

A flounder[5] is any of several species of small flatfish typically found in shallow coastal water.

19d   Calm // soprano with glasses and tenor haggle after vacation (6)

This is known as a 'visual' or 'looks like' clue. The word "glasses" is used to clue OO because this combination of letters looks like a pair of eyeglasses.

"soprano" = S (show explanation )

In music, the abbreviation for soprano is S or s[2].

hide explanation

"tenor"= T (show explanation )

In music, the abbreviation for tenor is T[2].

hide explanation

Here vacation is used as an indication to remove the interior letters of "haggle" leaving only the outer letters "HE". This usage is based on vacation[5] meaning the act of departing from or abandoning [or, in other words, emptying] property, etc.

20d   Skilful // medic probing a round object (6)

23d   Uniform, perhaps, put on old // film star (5)

Greta Garbo[5] (1905–1990) was a Swedish-born American actress; born Greta Gustafsson. She is remembered for films such as Anna Christie (1930), Mata Hari (1931), and Anna Karenina (1935). After her retirement in 1941 she lived as a recluse.

24d   Rupees given in payment -- /or/ no charge (4)

The rupee[5] (abbreviation R[10]) is the basic monetary unit of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Mauritius, and the Seychelles, equal to 100 paise in India, Pakistan, and Nepal, and 100 cents in Sri Lanka, Mauritius, and the Seychelles.
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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