Thursday, July 21, 2016

Thursday, July 21, 2016 — DT 28076

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28076
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, March 31, 2016
RayT (Ray Terrell)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28076]
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


ShropshireLad claims that this puzzle exhibits "a lack of innuendo". I think if one looks hard enough — or just possesses a puerile mind — one can find some (albeit rather mild).

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   Shocked /seeing/ part of bag has torn (6)

4a   Peeled herb stuffing small pies /for/ tapas (8)

A tapa[3,11] (often tapas, especially in British dictionaries where the singular — for the most part — does not exist [explore further ]) is any of various small, savory Spanish dishes, often served as a snack or appetizer (typically with wine or beer) or with other tapas as a meal.

Oxford Dictionaries explains the etymology as Spanish tapa, literally 'cover, lid' (because the dishes were given free with the drink, served on a dish balanced on, therefore ‘covering’, the glass).[5]

Among my regular online reference sources, the singular version (tapa[3,11]) is found in the two American dictionaries, but not in the three British dictionaries (which list the word only in the plural, tapas[2,4,5,10]). However, the singular version tapa[1] is found in my hard-copy edition of The Chambers Dictionary.


Starter[5] is a chiefly British term [according to Oxford Dictionaries, but certainly a term that is by no means foreign to Canada] meaning the first course of a meal.

9a   Danger // which catches engineers (6)

"engineers" = RE (show explanation )

The Corps of Royal Engineers[7], usually just called the Royal Engineers (abbreviation RE), and commonly known as the Sappers[7], is a corps of the British Army that provides military engineering and other technical support to the British Armed Forces.

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10a   Row after French meeting about // border (8)

In the cryptic reading, about[5] is used in the sense of on the subject of or concerning.

11a   Satisfy // need initially in criminal depravity (8)

13a   Starts to cringe or wince, ending really scared (6)

15a   Scandalous, // man on tube line flashing (13)

The Tube[5] is a British trademark for the underground railway system in London ⇒ a cross-London trek on the Tube. The term "the tube" can also refer to a train running on the TubeI caught the tube home.

Too Good to Ignore
This photo (which I once used as an illustration in a review for another puzzle on Big Dave's Crossword Blog) is just too appropriate not to include here. It shows a man strolling along the tracks of the Paris Métro.

18a   Entered marina, churning // sea (13)

22a   Recover, // say, being seen in shower (6)

24a   Avoid work // delay after morning's over (8)

26a   Unsparing // swine with a learner, holding cane (8)

"learner" = L (show explanation )

The cryptic crossword convention of L meaning learner or student arises from the L-plate[7], a square plate bearing a sans-serif letter L, for learner, which must be affixed to the front and back of a vehicle in various jurisdictions (including the UK) if its driver is a learner under instruction.

hide explanation

In the cryptic reading, unsparing[10] is used in the sense of not sparing or frugal; in other words, lavish or profuse.

Scratching the Surface
As is often the case in RayT's puzzles, this clue seems to have an underlying complexity beyond the simple surface reading.

For me, the clue conjures up an image of a cruel and ruthless teacher who is indeed "unsparing" — firmly subscribing to the old adage spare the rod and spoil the child.

A cane[5] is a length of cane or a slender stick, especially one used as ... an instrument of punishment. The cane[5] is (or was) a form of corporal punishment used in certain schools, involving beating with a cane ⇒ wrong answers were rewarded by the cane.

27a   Sheen // about to follow craving (6)

Scratching the Surface
Charlie Sheen[7] (stage name of Carlos Irwin Estévez) is an American actor whose personal life has made headlines, including reports of alcohol and drug abuse and marital problems, as well as allegations of domestic violence. His contract for Two and a Half Men was terminated by CBS and Warner Bros. in March 2011. On November 17, 2015, Sheen publicly revealed that he was HIV positive, having been diagnosed about four years earlier.

28a   Section of trestle's stood // on edge (8)

29a   Push // bike reportedly (6)

Ignore ShropshireLad's hint. The word you are looking for is not a part of a bike — it is a word denoting to try to sell (something, especially small goods) by going from place to place.


1d   Cheers up on course /to get/ fit (6)

Cheers[5] is a chiefly British expression expressing gratitude or acknowledgement for something ⇒ Billy tossed him the key. ‘Cheers, pal.’.

Ta[5] is an informal British exclamation signifying thank you ‘Ta,’ said Willie gratefully.

In sailing, tack[5] is a boat’s course relative to the direction of the wind ⇒the brig bowled past on the opposite tack.

Fit here is the manifestation of a medical condition.

2d   Lectured // hard and fought to pen article (9)

"hard" = H (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

3d   Awkwardly sat in mud missing new // ground (7)

Ground[5] denotes an area of land, often with associated buildings, used for a particular sport (i) a football ground; (ii) Liverpool’s new ground is nearing completion. While this is not an entirely British usage, the term is likely used there more often and applied to a wider range of sports facilities than would be the case in North America. For instance, I can't imagine a stadium in Canada being referred to as a 'ground'.

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, ShropshireLad comments Clever to have 2 anagram indicators in the clue.
He is referring to the words "awkwardly" which turns out to be the anagram indicator and the word "ground" which is frequently used as an anagram indicator. The setter has cleverly set up a situation where the solver must decide which of these two words is the anagram indicator and which is the definition.

5d   Last of beer in barrel /producing/ wind (4)

In the cryptic reading, "wind" is a verb meaning to coil.

6d   Capital // managed by clown (7)

Rangoon[5] is the former capital of Burma (Myanmar), a port in the Irrawaddy delta; population 4,088,000 (est. 2007). For centuries a Buddhist religious centre, it is the site of the Shwe Dagon Pagoda, built over 2,500 years ago. The modern city was established by the British in the mid 19th century and was the capital from 1886 until it was replaced by Naypyidaw in 2005 [today's setter seems not to have received the memo].

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, ShropshireLad comments, with respect to the word "goon", that Peter Sellers, Spike et al leap to mind.
The Goon Show[7] was a British radio comedy programme featuring Spike Milligan, Harry Secombe and Peter Sellers — originally produced and broadcast by the BBC Home Service from 1951 to 1960.

7d   End to corpulence on low-fat // cream (5)

8d   Perhaps trifle upset supporting state's leader // under pressure (8)

In his directions, ShropshireLad fails to make clear that the leader of State is to be added at the beginning of the solution (in a down clue, the S is supported by the reversal of DESSERT).

Trifle[5] is a British term for a cold dessert of sponge cake and fruit covered with layers of custard, jelly, and cream.

12d   Chap oddly never /gets/ bird (6)

Nary[5,10] is an informal or dialect form of not or never ⇒ (i) there was nary a murmur or complaint; (ii) nary a man was left. It is a variant of ne'er a (never a).

Scratching the Surface
Chap[3,4,11] is an informal term for a man or boy; a fellow. It is a shortened form of chapman[3,4,11], an archaic term for a trader, especially an itinerant pedlar [British spelling of peddler].

 Bird[5] is an informal British term for a young woman or a man’s girlfriend.

14d   Army surrounding Islamic republic/'s/ capital (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

Tirana[5] is the capital of Albania, on the Ishm River in central Albania; population 407,000 (est. 2009). Founded by the Turks in the 17th century, it became capital of Albania in 1920.

16d   Get behind, possibly, /being/ unenlightenend (9)

Benighted[5] means:
  1. in a state of pitiful or contemptible intellectual or moral ignorance ⇒ they saw themselves as bringers of culture to poor benighted peoples;
  2. overtaken by darkness ⇒ a storm developed and we were forced to wait benighted near the summit.
17d   Outrageous // devil, guy fronting Queen (8)

"queen" = R (show explanation )

Regina[5] (abbreviation R[5]) [Latin for queen] denotes the reigning queen, used following a name (e.g. Elizabetha Regina, Queen Elizabeth) or in the titles of lawsuits (e.g. Regina v. Jones, the Crown versus Jones — often shortened to R. v. Jones).

Thus Queen Elizabeth signs her name as 'Elizabeth R' as seen here on Canada's paint-stained constitution.

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19d   Test with intravenous injection /for/ minor (7)

20d   Gourmet // put last of sauce on good kipper (7)

Pi[5] is an informal British short form for pious. 

Kipper[5] (usually seen as a past participle used as an adjective kippered) is a verb meaning to cure (a herring or other fish) by splitting it open and salting and drying it in the open air or in smoke.

21d   Lets go in speech, /getting/ interruption (6)

There is considerable discussion in the Comments section on Big Dave's Crossword Blog concerning whether the solution should be FREEZE (which officially it is) or FRIEZE.

23d   Lord's purchasing old // property (5)

Scratching the Surface
The surface reading is clearly intended to direct our thoughts to a member of the British nobility. In the UK, Lord[5] is a title given formally to a baron, and less formally to a marquess, earl, or viscount (prefixed to a family or territorial name) ⇒ Lord Derby.

25d   Boys /and/ girl almost catching daughter (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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