Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Wednesday, June 29, 2016 — DT 28054

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28054
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, March 5, 2016
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28054 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28054 – 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.


There is little of great difficulty in this puzzle although the setter does manage to "dish" up a bit of controversy.

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   Unnerve character returning /in/ rickety old car (10)

6a   Ruin // in Madrid is here (4)

Dish[2,10] is an informal British term denoting to ruin or spoil (especially chances or hopes) ⇒ he dished his chances of getting the job.

This term seemed to cause a bit of consternation on Big Dave's Crossword Blog.

Origin of the Term
In her review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog, crypticsue cites Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable which provides the following explanation:
Dished. I was dished out of it. Cheated out of it; or rather, someone else contrived to obtain it. When one is dished he is completely done for, and the allusion is to food which, when it is quite done, is dished.
The above is taken from a copy of the work from which the date of publication is missing but which one observer believes to be a 1952 edition.

It is interesting to note how the entry has changed from that found in the 1898 edition:
Dished. I was dished out of it. Cheated out of it; or rather, someone else contrived to obtain it. A contraction of disherit. The heir is dish’t out of his inheritance when his father marries again and leaves his property to the widow and widow’s family.
In her review, crypticsue further offers that "The verb DISH can also mean to distribute spiteful gossip, which again could lead to someone’s ruin". However, according to both The Chambers Dictionary and Oxford Dictionaries, this is a North American usage so — on that evidence alone — it would seem far-fetched to suppose that it might be the origin of the British term. On the other hand, Collins COBUILD Advanced British English Dictionary says that the phrase dish the dirt[10] is an informal, mainly British expression [although certainly well-known in Canada] meaning to say bad things about (someone), without worrying if they are true or not, or if they will damage (that person's) reputation.

This would only seem to prove that if you are dissatisfied with a definition, you should just look in more dictionaries until you find one that accords with your expectations.

9a   What a golfer may get on tee // to one side? (5)

Convention Contravention
This clue contravenes the convention that, in an across clue, the construction "A on B" is used to clue B + A.

The rationale for this practice is that in order for A to be placed on B, B must already exist (i.e., already have been written). Since the English language is written from left to right, this means that B must come first and A is then appended to it. .

In the above clue, NIGHT (cavalier heading off) corresponds to A and MARE (horse) corresponds to B. Thus, according to the convention, NIGHT on MARE should produce MARENIGHT, not NIGHTMARE.

Notwithstanding the above, a solver must always be vigilant for setters who flout convention.

10a   Leading // man drinking wine in it (9)

12a   One progresses rapidly in this // designer outfit? (3,4)

I would class this as a double definition with the second being whimsical (thus the dotted underline).

Top gear[10] is the British term for high gear[10].

13a   Hit it off, /being/ mature (3,2)

I would think that this is a straight double definition with the second meaning to age or mature.

15a   Very thirsty // chap -- red ordered (7)

17a   Awkward type wrestling endlessly /for/ one-time payment? (4,3)

19a   Annoyance /shown by/ King George during succession (7)

"King George" = GR (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 King George was GR[5] — from the Latin Georgius Rex.

hide explanation

21a   Come clean // about one written about female saints (7)

S[5] (chiefly in Catholic use) is an abbreviation for SaintS Ignatius Loyola.

22a   Vessel /in/ Scottish river coming back with companion on board (5)

The Tay[5] is the longest river in Scotland, flowing 192 km (120 miles) eastwards through Loch Tay, entering the North Sea through the Firth of Tay.

A Companion of Honour (abbreviation CH) is a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour[7], an order of the Commonwealth realms[7] founded by King George V in June 1917 as a reward for outstanding achievements in the arts, literature, music, science, politics, industry or religion.

24a   Exotic brew in a // bistro, perhaps (4,3)

27a   Therapist/'s/ in work, at hospital (9)

"work" = OP (show explanation )

In music, an opus[5] (plural opuses or opera) is a separate composition or set of compositions.

The abbreviation Op.[5] (also op.), denoting opus, is used before a number given to each work of a particular composer, usually indicating the order of publication. The plural form of Op. is Opp..

Opus[5] can also be used in a more general sense to mean an artistic work, especially one on a large scale ⇒ he was writing an opus on Mexico.

hide explanation

28a   Sign /in/ accounts -- no comment (5)

The wordplay eluded me seemingly forever. However, having slept on it the explanation suddenly came to light.

In astrology, Aries[10] (also called the Ram) is the first sign of the zodiac, symbol , having a cardinal fire classification, ruled by the planet Mars. The sun is in this sign between about March 21 and April 19.

29a   Spoils // play (4)

Loot[7] is a two-act play by the English playwright Joe Orton (1933–1967). The play is a dark farce that satirises the Roman Catholic Church, social attitudes to death, and the integrity of the police force.

30a   Rugby ref's award /achieved by/ fine endeavour (7,3)

In rugby, a try[5] is an act of touching the ball down behind the opposing goal line (termed a touchdown[5]), scoring points and entitling the scoring side to a kick at goal. A penalty try[5] is a try awarded to a side by the referee when a touchdown is prevented by an offence by the opposition.


1d   Actual // region's miles off (4)

2d   Restaurant // pastry dish knocked over -- a riot breaks out (9)

A trattoria[5] is an Italian restaurant.

3d   Drunk // started smoking (3,2)

4d   Take care of fencing trouble // -- back part only (4,3)

5d   Clothes // variously appear on line (7)

7d   I doze before end of broadcast -- // that's not appropriate (5)

8d   Unpredictable // schoolgirl supporting it in writing (3-3-4)

11d   Most of army unit's // recommended diet (7)

14d   Carol happy to change? /That's/ questionable (10)

16d   Hornblower /and/ his capital short speech (7)

Horatio Hornblower[7] is a fictional Napoleonic Wars era Royal Navy officer who is the protagonist of a series of novels by English author C. S. Forester (1899–1966). He was later the subject of films and radio and television programs.

18d   Small fruit with perfect // flavour (9)

20d   Famous London prison -- // deny wife being incarcerated (7)

Newgate Prison[7] was a prison in London, at the corner of Newgate Street and Old Bailey just inside the City of London. It was originally located at the site of Newgate, a gate in the Roman London Wall. The gate/prison was rebuilt in the 12th century, and demolished in 1904. The prison was extended and rebuilt many times, and remained in use for over 700 years, from 1188 to 1902.

21d   Girl, // 22, in frolics (7)

The numeral "22"  is a cross reference indicator directing the solver to insert the solution to clue 22a in its place to complete the clue. The directional indicator is customarily omitted in situations such as this where only a single clue starts in the light* that is being referenced.
* light-coloured cell in the grid
23d   Jazz band -- // old doctor in company (5)

"doctor" = MB (show explanation )

In Britain, the degree required to practice medicine is a Bachelor of Medicine[7] (MB, from Latin Medicinae Baccalaureus), which is equivalent to a North American Doctor of Medicine (MD, from Latin Medicinae Doctor). The degree of Doctor of Medicine also exists in Britain, but it is an advanced degree pursued by those who wish to go into medical research. Physicians in Britain are still addressed as Dr. despite not having a doctoral degree. 

hide explanation

25d   Severely criticise // book ending a series (5)

26d   Game // is extremely pricey (1-3)

I spy[7] (or I-spy[10]) is a guessing game where the Spy or It says "I spy with my little eye..." and specifies the initial letter of the name of an object that he or she can see which the other players then try to guess.
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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