Friday, July 22, 2016

Friday, July 22, 2016 — DT 28077

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28077
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, April 1, 2016
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28077]
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 puzzle was set by Giovanni. 'Nuff said.

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   Notice // a port with nothing leaving on time (6)

Dover[5] is a ferry port in Kent, England, on the coast of the English Channel; population 35,200 (est. 2009). It is mainland Britain’s nearest point to the Continent, being only 35 km (22 miles) from Calais, France.

Advert[5] is an informal British term for an advertisement. North Americans would shorten it even further to just ad[5] [a word that also would appear to be used in the UK].

Here Giovanni flouts the "A on B " convention for across clues (see below). Perhaps it is time to consign this convention to the scrap heap.

"A on B" Convention
In cryptic crosswords, there is a 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. .

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

4a   A social event about five -- daughter // got on (8)

9a   Number of important building -- worker /is/ one renting (6)

10 Downing Street[7], colloquially known in the United Kingdom as Number 10, is the headquarters of Her Majesty's Government and the official residence and office of the First Lord of the Treasury, a post which, for much of the 18th and 19th centuries and invariably since 1905, has been held by the Prime Minister.

"worker" = ANT (show explanation )

The wod "worker" is commonly used in cryptic crossword puzzles to clue ANT or BEE.

A worker[5] is a neuter or undeveloped female bee, wasp, ant, or other social insect, large numbers of which do the basic work of the colony.

In crossword puzzles, "worker" will most frequently be used to clue ANT and occasionally BEE but I have yet to see it used to clue WASP. Of course, "worker" is sometimes also used to clue HAND or MAN.

hide explanation

10a   Do mend broken front and back of this -- bits and bobs /needed/ (8)

Bits and bobs is an alternative British expression for bits and pieces[5], an assortment of small items.

11a   Vehicle has all but come into contact with // ornamental panel (9)

A cartouche[10], is a carved or cast ornamental tablet or panel in the form of a scroll, sometimes having an inscription.

13a   Some underwear in separate // wash (5)

14a   Coral and gemstone possibly /seen as/ types of rock (13)

In geology, a conglomerate[5] is a coarse-grained sedimentary rock composed of rounded fragments embedded in a matrix of cementing material such as silica ⇒ the sediments vary from coarse conglomerate to fine silt and clay.

17a   What superior insurance company may have /is/ honesty (3,4,6)

21a   Animal /having/ drink by English lake rolled over (5)

A lemur[5] is any of a number of species of arboreal primate with a pointed snout and typically a long tail, found only in Madagascar.

23a   Illegal delivery at the end of bowler's sequence /may be/ reason for extra run (9)

In cricket, throw[5] means to bowl (the ball) with an unlawful bent arm action.

In cricket, an over[5] is 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.

In cricket, an overthrow[10] is:
  1. a ball thrown back too far by a fielder; or
  2. a run scored because of this.
24a   This chemical // could be deadly, eh? (8)

An aldehyde[5] is an organic compound containing the group —CHO, formed by the oxidation of alcohols. Typical aldehydes include methanal (formaldehyde) and ethanal (acetaldehyde). These substances are not to be confused with methanol and ethanol (which are forms of alcohol).

Scratching the Surface
There would appear to be more than a shred of truth in the surface reading of the clue.

In view of its widespread use, toxicity, and volatility, formaldehyde[7] poses a significant danger to human health. In 2011, the US National Toxicology Program described formaldehyde as "known to be a human carcinogen".

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has listed acetaldehyde[7] as a Group 1 carcinogen. Acetaldehyde occurs naturally in coffee, bread, and ripe fruit, and is produced by plants. It is also produced by the partial oxidation of ethanol by the liver enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase and may be a contributing factor to hangovers from alcohol consumption.

25a   Novelist and poet would drink litre // only with great difficulty (6)

Thomas Hardy[5] (1840–1928) was an English novelist [which I knew] and poet [which I didn't know]. Much of his work deals with the struggle against the indifferent force that inflicts the sufferings and ironies of life. Notable novels: The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886), Tess of the D’Urbervilles (1891), and Jude the Obscure (1896).

26a   Aspersions /from/ one coming down to go aboard ship (8)

"to go aboard ship" = 'contained in SS' (show explanation )

In Crosswordland, you will find that a ship is almost invariably a steamship, the abbreviation for which is SS[10]. Thus phrases such as "aboard ship" or "on board ship" (or sometimes merely "on board") are Crosswordland code for 'contained in SS'.

hide explanation

27a   A post in which one may see Conservative // rise (6)

According to the dictionaries, post[3,4,11] is a (chiefly) British term meaning to send by mail. However, the phrase "post a letter" — while certainly much less common than "mail a letter" — does not sound entirely foreign to me. After all, our mail service is named Canada Post — and ironically the British postal service is known as the Royal Mail.

"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.

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1d   Atheist -- he is going out, wanting a church // to join! (6)

2d   'Bit of a brain'? // Somehow isn't clever, not first in school (9)

A ventricle[5] is a hollow part or cavity in an organ, in particular:
  1. each of the two main chambers of the heart, left and right; or
  2. each of the four connected fluid-filled cavities in the centre of the brain.
3d   Analysis of something // in poor shape (3-4)

This is one of those words where dictionaries cannot agree on the spelling:
  • The Chambers Dictionary[1]: noun run-down (usually rundown); adjective run-down
  • Chambers 21st Century Dictionary[2]: noun run down (usually rundown); adjective run down
  • Collins English Dictionary[10]: noun rundown; adjective run-down
  • Oxford Dictionaries[5]: noun rundown; adjective rundown (usually run-down)
Since The Chambers Dictionary is the standard for The Daily Telegraph puzzle, I think we can safely label this clue as a double definition.

All this serves to prove that a man with a dictionary knows how to spell; a man with two dictionaries is not sure; and a man with more than two dictionaries is totally confused.

5d   Midlands town with flighty Romeo // who made many laugh? (6,5)

Dudley[7] is a large town in the West Midlands of England, 10.5 miles (16.9 km) north-west of Birmingham.

Delving Deeper
Dudley is sometimes called the capital of the Black Country*. Originally a market town in the Middle Ages, Dudley was one of the birthplaces of the Industrial Revolution, and grew into an industrial centre during the 19th century with its iron, coal, and limestone industries.
* The air pollution produced by coal mines, coking operations, iron foundries and steel mills led to this area of the West Midlands being dubbed the Black Country[7].

Dudley Moore[7] (1935–2002) was an English actor, comedian, musician and composer. He first came to prominence in the UK as one of the four writer-performers in the comedy revue Beyond the Fringe. He later appeared in a number of hit Hollywood films, particularly Foul Play, 10 and Arthur. He received an Oscar nomination for the latter role.

6d   Lover /of/ a doctor admitting sticky situation (7)

7d   Minister /in/ study digesting article (5)

Con[5] is an archaic term meaning to study attentively or learn by heart (a piece of writing)  ⇒ the girls conned their pages with a great show of industry.

A canon[5] is a member of the clergy who is on the staff of a cathedral, especially one who is a member of the chapter*he was appointed canon of Christ Church, Oxford.
* The chapter[5] is the governing body of a religious community or knightly order.
8d   Badly pressed, I // vanish into thin air maybe (8)

12d   Visit to tell someone at shop what is wanted -- /it's/ open for business (4,2,5)

15d   Army climbing by narrow hilltop -- // many died in disaster here (3,6)

"army" = TA (show explanation )

In the UK, Territorial Army[5] (abbreviation TA[5]) was, at one time, the name of a volunteer force founded in 1908 to provide a reserve of trained and disciplined military personnel for use in an emergency. Since 2013, this organization has been called the Army Reserve.

hide explanation

The Tay Bridge disaster[7] occurred during a violent storm on 28 December 1879 when the first Tay Rail Bridge collapsed while a train was passing over it from Wormit to Dundee, killing all aboard.

16d   Europeans // leaning forward endlessly to get answer (8)

18d   Consumed by fear, the deer/'s/ gone to ground (7)

Go to ground[5] (said of a fox or other animal) means to enter its earth* or burrow ⇒ rabbits evicted from one set of burrows will go to ground elsewhere.
* the underground lair of a badger or fox
Earth[5] (said of a fox) means to run to its underground lair.

Scratching the Surface
The surface reading would seem to be a bit bizarre unless deer in the UK live in burrows.

19d   International receivers of news // crying (2,5)

20d   It sounds like material // was wobbly (6)

22d   Help them briefly set up // channels of communication (5)
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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