Monday, July 18, 2016

Monday, July 18, 2016 — DT 28056 (Summer Monday Bonus Puzzle)


For several years, it has been the practive of the National Post not publish on Monday between Canada Day and Labour Day. To provide readers of the blog with a bit of mental exercise to keep the grey matter well-tuned, I am providing a puzzle that the National Post has skipped (drawn from my reserve of reviews for unpublished puzzles). Today I offer you DT 28056 which appeared in The Daily Telegraph on Tuesday, March 8, 2016 and was skipped by the National Post on Tuesday, July 5, 2016.

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28056
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, March 8, 2016
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28056]
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 skipped this puzzle on Tuesday, July 5, 2016.


This puzzle may not be very difficult — but one could hardly fail to find it entertaining.

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   Mark from a wound allowed /to become/ red (7)

5a   Feel // doubt (7)

9a   A king has challenger // coming (7)

"king" = R (show explanation )

Rex[5] (abbreviation R[5]) [Latin for king] denotes the reigning king, used following a name (e.g. Georgius Rex, King George) or in the titles of lawsuits (e.g. Rex v. Jones, the Crown versus Jones — often shortened to R. v. Jones).

hide explanation

Since "coming" is a gerund, it can assume the role of a noun.

10a   Warning: // pulse regularly dropped after test (7)

11a   Illumination that could be low level initially in time of darkness (9)

In this semi-&lit. clue* (or, as some prefer to call it, semi-all-in-one clue), the entire clue serves as the definition while the wordplay is furnished by the portion with the dashed underline.
* 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.
12a   Smallest // let out, we hear (5)

Let[5] is a chiefly British term meaning to allow someone to have the use of (a room or property) in return for regular payments ⇒ (i) she let the flat [apartment] to a tenant; (ii) they’ve let out their house. [I doubt that this word is quite as British as Oxford Dictionaries would have us believe.[3,11]]

13a   It spins both ways (5)

15a   Share /in/ ball, now dance all topless! (9)

17a   Abused sew hats and work here? (9)

Another semi-&lit. clue (see explanation at 11a).

"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

19a   Get up, // shift // bandage (5)

22a   Cop it out // of sight (5)

Scratching the Surface
You have a choice here between two British expressions — one of which has far more dire implications.
  • Cop it[5] is a British term meaning to get into trouble ⇒ will you cop it from your dad if you get back late?.
  • Cop it[5] is a British term meaning to be killed ⇒ he almost copped it in a horrific accident.

23a   Resolve // to check explosive device (9)

25a   Group // are called inside (7)

26a   Observe // married men in bed (7)

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Gazza refers to a cot as a child’s bed.
In Britain, a small bed with high barred sides for a baby or very young child is called a cot[5] rather than a crib[5] as it is known in North America.

27a   Criminal held bar /as/ weapon (7)

A halberd[5] (also known as a halbert) is a combined spear and battleaxe.

28a   Mad character after small // crush (7)

The Hatter[7] (called Hatta in Through the Looking-Glass) is a fictional character in English writer Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and the story's sequel Through the Looking-Glass (1871). He is often referred to as the Mad Hatter, though this term was never used by Carroll. The phrase "mad as a hatter" predates Carroll's works and the characters the Hatter and the March Hare are initially referred to as "both mad" by the Cheshire Cat, with both first appearing in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, in the seventh chapter titled "A Mad Tea-Party".


1d   One who criticises // prison? (7)

2d   Where trunks are taken off jumbos? (7)

3d   The French versus the Spanish: // well balanced (5)

"the French" = LE (show explanation )

In French, the masculine singular form of the definite article is le[8].

hide explanation

"the Spanish" = EL (show explanation )

In Spanish, the masculine singular form of the definite article is el[8].

hide explanation

4d   Great help with editing // newspaper (9)

The Daily Telegraph[7] is a daily morning broadsheet newspaper, founded in 1855 as The Daily Telegraph and Courier, which is published in London and distributed throughout the United Kingdom and internationally [... and is the newspaper in which this puzzle initially appeared].

Drawing a Comparison
Well, GREAT HELP should certainly not cause consternation in the editorial offices of the Telegraph. Such may not have been the case on Saturday when American setters Cox and Rathvon made us aware that NEW YORK TIMES is an anagram of MONKEYS WRITE.

5d   The woman put on Alien -- // film (5)

"alien" = ET (show explanation )

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial[7] (often referred to simply as E.T.) is a 1982 American science fiction film co-produced and directed by Steven Spielberg. It tells the story of a lonely boy who befriends an extraterrestrial, dubbed "E.T.", who is stranded on Earth. He and his siblings help the extraterrestrial return home while attempting to keep it hidden from their mother and the government.

hide explanation

6d   South side of a building due /to be/ bought (9)

I was thinking of "swallowed" meaning bought in the context of a corporate takeover — but Gazza has a different take on matters.

7d   Describe // former lover: ugly? (7)

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Gazza refers to plain as an adjective meaning no oil painting.
Be no oil painting[5] is an informal British term denoting (of a person) to be unattractive ⇒ he was no oil painting, but she had long passed the age of needing good looks about her.

8d   Where ham might be // warm after temperature starts to rise excessively (7)

14d   Reserve // break in Crete supported by church (9)

"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

Scratching the Surface
Crete[5] is a Greek island in the eastern Mediterranean; population 630,000 (est. 2009); capital, Heraklion. It is noted for the remains of the Minoan civilization which flourished there in the 2nd millennium BC. It fell to Rome in 67 BC and was subsequently ruled by Byzantines, Venetians, and Turks. Crete played an important role in the Greek struggle for independence from the Turks in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, becoming administratively part of an independent Greece in 1913.

16d   Cosmetics: // pastes put on cheek? On the contrary (9)

17d   Put up with // Satchmo playing (7)

Scratching the Surface
Louis Armstrong[5] (1900–1971) was an American jazz musician; known as Satchmo. A major influence on Dixieland jazz, he was a trumpet and cornet player as well as a bandleader and a distinctive singer.

18d   Hospital department -- Henry comes across right // entrance (7)

"hospital department" = ENT (show explanation )

Should you not have noticed, the ear, nose and throat (ENT[2]) department is the most visited section, by far, in the Crosswordland Hospital.

hide explanation

Hal[nameberry] is a venerable nickname for Henry, Harry [itself a variant of Henry]* and Harold, famously used by Shakespeare in King Henry IV as the name of the king's son, the future Henry V.
* Harry was considered the "spoken form" of Henry[7] in medieval England. Most English kings named Henry were called Harry. At one time, the name was so popular for English men that the phrase "Tom, Dick, and Harry" was used to refer to everyone
Enthral[5] is the British spelling of enthrall.

20d   Obvious // I'd cut through tournament (7)

21d   Lieutenant in abrupt // retreat (7)

23d   Fear /making/ Penny study (5)

In the British currency system used prior to Decimal Day[7] (February 15, 1971*), a penny[5] was equal to one twelfth of a shilling or 240th of a pound (and was abbreviated d, for denarius).
* the date on which Britain converted to a decimal currency system.
In Britain, to read[5] means to study (an academic subject) at a university ⇒ (i) I’m reading English at Cambridge; (ii) he went to Manchester to read for a BA in Economics.

24d   Dance /from/ graduate following alcohol (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


  1. Hi Falcon, I fairly breezed through this one until I was brought up short by 16d. Brain-racking did not avail, so I went to the explanation. I thought I'd read enough English literature to be familiar with words that are spelled differently in the U.S., but this one was new to me. I also needed help understanding the last 2 letters of 17a (grrr, shoulda gotten that one) and 8d (understood the "r" but not the "e"). I agree, entertaining puzzle! Thanks for the bonus post and for explaining some of the other blog's explanations :)

  2. Thanks for the puzzle and write-up, Falcon.