Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Tuesday, July 5, 2016 — DT 28059

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28059
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, March 11, 2016
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28059]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Deep Threat
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 has skipped DT 28056 through DT 28058 which were published in The Daily Telegraph from Tuesday, March 8, 2016 to Thursday, March 10, 2016.


For a Giovanni, this puzzle is pretty gentle.

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   Part of ship /in/ port (4)

Hull[5] is a city and port in northeastern England, situated at the junction of the Hull and Humber Rivers; population 263,000 (est. 2009). Official name Kingston upon Hull.

3a   Fresh fighting force to include fellow // shopkeepers (10)

In the UK, the Special Air Service (abbreviation SAS[5]) is a specialist army regiment trained in commando techniques of warfare, formed during the Second World War and used in clandestine operations, frequently against terrorists.

9a   Weak // lover, female dumped (4)

10a   High-handed, inwardly very // resistant (10)

11a   Beware of clique /showing/ established attitudes (7)

13a   Little Aussie beast interrupting side /in/ cafe (7)

Roo[5] is an informal Australian term for a kangaroo. [The phrase "little Aussie beast" does not refer to a small animal but rather to a shortened form of a name of an animal.]

"side" = TEAM (show explanation )

Side[5] is a British term for a sports team ⇒ there was a mixture of old and young players in their side. [Note that a player is "in a side" rather than "on a team" as one would say in North America]

In North America, the term side[3] is used in a very general fashion that can denote one of two or more opposing individuals, groups, teams, or sets of opinions. While this same general usage would seem to exist as well in the UK, the term side[5] is also used there in a much more specific sense to mean a sports team, as we can clearly see from the following usage examples ⇒ (i) Previous England rugby sides, and England teams in many other sports, would have crumbled under the weight of such errors.; (ii) They'll face better sides than this Monaco team, but you can only beat what's put in front of you.

hide explanation

14a   Nasty red coat covered in grass? /Should be/ smartened up again! (11)

18a   One looking for applause /has/ to come in and earn it possibly (11)

21a   Ground // swamped by winter rains (7)

22a   Revolutionary, a writer /in/ disgrace (7)

Che Guevara[7] (1928–1967) was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, guerrilla leader, diplomat, and military theorist. A major figure of the Cuban Revolution, his stylized visage has become a ubiquitous countercultural symbol of rebellion and global insignia within popular culture.

23a   With sun coming in, mild air is somehow // different (10)

24a   Walked /and/ finally sat on perch (4)

A perch[5] (also called pole or rod) is a historical, chiefly British measure of length, especially for land, equal to a quarter of a [surveyor's] chain  or 5½ yards.

25a   Pomposity /of/ earnest son spouting (10)

Ornateness (derived from the adjective ornate[5]) is used in the sense of (referring to literary style) the use of unusual words and complex constructions ⇒ peculiarly ornate and metaphorical language.

26a   Evens maybe -- /or/ maybe not (4)

I think this clue amounts to a double definition. The first refers to the odds in betting — on a horse race, for instance.

Evens[5] is a British term meaning even money[5], viz. odds offering an equal chance of winning or losing, with the amount won being the same as the stake ⇒ the colt was 4-6 favourite after opening at evens

The second definition — which we are to infer is "Evens maybe not" — specifies that the solution is the opposites of evens, viz. odds.


1d   Hard gospel for everyone to penetrate -- // a distinctive feature (8)

The Gospel According to Mark[7] is the second book of the New Testament.

2d   Drink /in/ article in French paper (8)

Le Monde[7] (English: The World) is a French daily evening newspaper continuously published in Paris since its first edition in December 1944. It is one of two French newspapers of record — the other being Le Figaro.

4d   This person turned up and encountered // an insect (5)

"this person" = ME (show explanation )

It is a common cryptic crossword convention for the creator of the puzzle to use terms such as (the or this) compiler, (the or this) setter, (this) author, (this) writer, or this person to refer to himself or herself. To solve such a clue, one must generally substitute a first person pronoun (I or me) for whichever of these terms has been used in the clue.

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Emmet[10] is an archaic or dialect British word for ant.

As Deep Threat mentions in his review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog, emmet[10] also means tourist or holiday-maker [vacationer] in Cornwall dialect.

5d   One observes // holy group keeping quiet on a hill (9)

"quiet" = P (show explanation )

Piano[3,5] (abbreviation p[5]), is a musical direction meaning either (as an adjective) soft or quiet or (as an adverb) softly or quietly.

hide explanation

A tor[7] is a large, free-standing rock outcrop that rises abruptly from the surrounding smooth and gentle slopes of a rounded hill summit or ridge crest. In the South West of England, the term is commonly also used for the hills themselves – particularly the high points of Dartmoor in Devon and Bodmin Moor in Cornwall.

6d   Fulfil two functions on Christmas Day /as/ concession? (4,3,4)

7d   Politician /from/ Newcastle area with old trick (6)

Newcastle[5] is the name of two cities in England:
  1. Newcastle upon Tyne is an industrial city and metropolitan district in northeastern England, a port on the River Tyne; population 170,200 (est. 2009);
  2. Newcastle-under-Lyme is an industrial town in Staffordshire, in England, just south-west of Stoke-on-Trent; population 77,500 (est. 2009).
Today we need the one located in the NE.

In politics, a neocon[5] is a person with neoconservative* views.
* relating to or denoting a return to a modified form of a traditional viewpoint, in particular a political ideology characterized by an emphasis on free-market capitalism and an interventionist foreign policy
8d   Notice little boy hiding in that // plant (6)

Treat the wordplay as a series of instructions:
  1. Start with a word meaning notice;
  2. Then insert (hiding in) a shortened form of a boy's name (little boy) in that (i.e., the result from Step 1)
12d   Careerist worked a short time /in/ admin department (11)

15d   Memory /of/ number in Orient being tortured (9)

16d   Fashionable Oxford feature, Oxford ultimately /being/ wonderful (8)

Oxford[5] is a city in central England, on the River Thames, the county town of Oxfordshire; population 146,100 (est. 2009). Oxford is famous worldwide for its prestigious university, the oldest in the English-speaking world. In his poem ‘Thyrsis’ the Victorian poet Matthew Arnold called Oxford ‘the city of dreaming spires’ after the stunning architecture of these university buildings.

17d   Men starting off in stages /to provide/ small bombs (8)

19d   /In/ workplace // I love being led by boss (6)

For effect, the setter has inverted the sentence structure which results in the link word "in" being placed at the beginning of the clue. If one were to straighten out the clue, it would read:
  • I love being led by boss /in/ workplace (6)
"love" = O (show explanation )

In tennis, squash, and some other sports, love[5] is a score of zero or nil ⇒ love fifteen. The resemblance of a zero written as a numeral (0) to the letter O leads to the cryptic crossword convention of the word "love" being used to clue this letter.

Although folk etymology has connected the word with French l'oeuf 'egg', from the resemblance in shape between an egg and a zero, the term apparently comes from the phrase play for love (i.e. the love of the game, not for money).

hide explanation

20d   Bird // is pinned by something pointed -- not good (6)

Bird[10] is British slang for prison or a term in prison, especially in the phrase do (one's) bird. This is an instance of Cockney rhyming slang. Bird is shortened from birdlime, rhyming slang for time (as in a prison sentence).

22d   Utter confusion /when/ Charles admits love (5)

Chas.[5] is an abbreviation for Charles.

As in 19d, "love" = O (show explanation )

In tennis, squash, and some other sports, love[5] is a score of zero or nil ⇒ love fifteen. The resemblance of a zero written as a numeral (0) to the letter O leads to the cryptic crossword convention of the word "love" being used to clue this letter.

Although folk etymology has connected the word with French l'oeuf 'egg', from the resemblance in shape between an egg and a zero, the term apparently comes from the phrase play for love (i.e. the love of the game, not for money).

hide explanation
Key to Reference Sources: 

[1]   - The Chambers Dictionary, 11th Edition
[2]   - Search Chambers - (Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)
[3]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (American Heritage Dictionary)
[4]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (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] - CollinsDictionary.com (Collins English Dictionary)
[11] - TheFreeDictionary.com (Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary)
Signing off for today — Falcon


  1. 2d made me laugh and reminded me of the recent controversy in our nation's capital. Where else would government wield such a heavy hand?

    Bow out through bedroom door (6)

    1. Richard,

      Good to see you back.

      Your clue seems rather 'Rufus'esque. Would the solution be RETIRE?

    2. The abbreviation for bedroom, followed by another name for a door.