Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Wednesday, July 13, 2016 — DT 28068

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28068
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28068]
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 has skipped DT 28067 which was published in The Daily Telegraph on Monday, March 21, 2016.


The editors at the National Post continue their boycott of Rufus and jump ahead to a puzzle from one of the mystery 'Tuesday' setters.

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   'Scientific Equipment // Solved Crime!' -- scoop (10)

6a   Animal // hit with book (4)

9a   Wild cat // on a single occasion grabbing coypu's tail (5)

Ounce[5] is another term for snow leopard[5], a rare large cat (Panthera uncia) which has pale grey fur patterned with dark blotches and rings, living in the Altai mountains, Hindu Kush, and Himalayas.

Scratching the Surface
The coypu[5] is a large semiaquatic beaver-like rodent (Myocastor coypus), native to South America. It is kept in captivity for its fur and has become naturalized in many other areas.

10a   Gain access to metal box containing a // charm (9)

12a   Suspect // a trap after I'm on Ecstasy (7)

A gin[2] (also gin trap) is a wire noose laid as a snare or trap for catching game.

"Ecstasy" = E (show explanation )

E[5] is an abbreviation for the drug Ecstasy or a tablet of Ecstasy ⇒ (i) people have died after taking E; (ii) being busted with three Es can lead to stiff penalties.

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13a   Classic // room (5)

I had interpreted this as a cryptic definition and initially marked it:
  • 13a   Classic room (5)
in which the word "room" is a straight definition and the word "classic" is a bit of cryptic elaboration alluding to the ancient Greek region of Attica. However, further investigation prompted by Gazza's identification of the clue as a double definition has caused me to have second thoughts.

Attica[5] is a triangular promontory of eastern Greece. With the islands in the Saronic Gulf it forms a department of Greece, of which Athens is the capital.

Attic[5] is the dialect of Greek used by the ancient Athenians. It was the chief literary form of classical Greek. Attic[5] is also an adjective meaning relating to ancient Athens or Attica, or the dialect of Greek spoken there.

The key definition would seem to be that Attic[2,10] (often not capitalized), said of a literary style, denotes classically elegant, simple, or pure ⇒ an Attic style.

15a   Club maybe in Paris and // it's brassy (7)

In French, et[8]is a conjunction meaning 'and'.

17a   Typical // old city in region of Africa (7)

Ur[5] is an ancient Sumerian city formerly on the Euphrates, in southern Iraq. It was one of the oldest cities of Mesopotamia, dating from the 4th millennium BC, and reached its zenith in the late 3rd millennium BC. Ur[7] is considered by many to be the city of Ur Kasdim mentioned in the Book of Genesis as the birthplace of the Hebrew patriarch Abraham.

Natal[5] is a former province of South Africa, situated on the east coast. Having been a Boer republic and then a British colony, Natal acquired internal self-government in 1893 and became a province of the Union of South Africa in 1910. It was renamed KwaZulu-Natal in 1994. [From Latin Terra Natalis 'land of the day of birth', a name given by Vasco da Gama in 1497, because he sighted the entrance to what is now Durban harbour on Christmas Day].

19a   Story about pond developing no new // larva (7)

Things I Did Not Know
In addition to being the name given to an immature insect, larva[5] can also denote the immature form of other animals that undergo some metamorphosis, e.g. a tadpole.

21a   Maiden and I trapped by bit of a cow, /getting/ dirtier (7)

"maiden"  = M (show explanation )

In cricket, a maiden[5], also known as a maiden over and denoted on cricket scorecards by the abbreviation M[5], is an over in which no runs are scored.

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. On cricket scorecards, the abbreviation O[5] denotes over(s).

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22a   Smell/'s/ nothing serious (5)

24a   Starr: 'I've drummed, but only some insiders // turned up' (7)

Scratching the Surface
Ringo Starr[5] is an English rock and pop drummer; born Richard Starkey. He replaced Pete Best in the Beatles in 1962.

27a   Type of gun: // transport it to Macau (9)

Scratching the Surface
Macau[5] is the Portuguese name for Macao[5], a former Portuguese dependency on the southeastern coast of China, on the west side of the Pearl River estuary opposite Hong Kong; population 433,700 (est. 2006); official languages, Portuguese and Cantonese; capital, Macao City.

28a   Nick/'s/ angry about Conservative (5)

"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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Scratching the Surface
Nick Clegg[7] is former British Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister in the coalition government of which former [as of two days ago*] British Conservative Leader David Cameron was the Prime Minister from 2010 to 2015.
* David Cameron resigned as Leader of the Conservative Party on July 11, 2016 and as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom today .

29a   Bringing back new fish? // Sailor's story (4)

30a   Brains -- // two found in Henry Purcell (10)

Joseph Henry[7] (1797–1878) was an American scientist who served as the first Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution and whose work in electromagnetism laid the groundwork for the invention of the electrical telegraph. The SI unit of inductance, the henry, is named in his honor.

Delving Deeper
While building electromagnets, Henry discovered the electromagnetic phenomenon of self-inductance. He also discovered mutual inductance independently of Michael Faraday, (1791–1867), though Faraday was the first to make the discovery and publish his results. Henry developed the electromagnet into a practical device. He invented a precursor to the electric doorbell (specifically a bell that could be rung at a distance via an electric wire, 1831) and electric relay (1835). Henry's work on the electromagnetic relay was the basis of the practical electrical telegraph, invented by Samuel F. B. Morse and Sir Charles Wheatstone, separately.

Edward Purcell[7] (1912–1997) was an American physicist who shared the 1952 Nobel Prize for Physics for his independent discovery (published 1946) of nuclear magnetic resonance in liquids and in solids.

Scratching the Surface
Henry Purcell[5] (1659–1695) was an English composer. Organist for Westminster Abbey (1679–95), he composed choral odes and songs for royal occasions. His main interest was music for the theatre; he composed the first English opera Dido and Aeneas (1689) and incidental music for many plays.


1d   Flipping ruin // atmosphere (4)

2d   Proceeded // to swindle money ahead of university education (9)

Tin[5] is a dated informal British term for money ⇒ Kim’s only in it for the tin.

3d   Aida perhaps /to make/ work is on time (5)

"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.

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Aida[7] is an opera by Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi (1813–1901) which was first performed in 1871.

4d   Aggravated itches? Male's in // pharmacy (7)

In Britain, the term chemist[5] can mean:
  1. a shop where medicinal drugs are dispensed and sold, and in which toiletries and other medical goods can be purchased antihistamine tablets are freely available in chemists; or
  2. a person authorized to dispense medicinal drugs.
5d   Sales talk on new // model (7)

7d   A mouth lifted // by itself (5)

8d   Best way to espy chirpy robin? Claus should deliver these (10)

The comment "Oo, very rare!" made by the robin in Gazza's cartoon could well be said of this clue which has a rather unusual structure. After a bit of thought, I decuded to go along with Gazza's call of a cryptic definition with embedded wordplay (indicated by the dashed underline) in which someone is suggesting that a piece of equipment commonly used by bird watchers would make a nice Christmas gift.

My alternative interpretation was:
  • 8d   Best way to espy // chirpy robin? Claus // should deliver these (10)
where the wordplay is "chirpy ROBIN CLAUS" and "should deliver these" plays a role similar to a link phrase. To make this clearer, one could rephrase the clue as: 
  • 8d   Chirpy robin? Claus /should deliver/ best way to espy (10)
which is equivalent from a cryptic standpoint but certainly not in terms of surface reading.

As an anagram indicator, chirpy[2,4,5,10] is used in the sense of lively, a meaning that is not found in my American dictionaries which both define the word as denoting merely cheerful[3,11].

11d   Criticised // how the meat was cooked? (7)

14d   Stopped // paper etc getting broadcast (10)

16d   Computer application // for grand slam (7)

"grand" = G (show explanation )

Grand[5] is an informal term for a thousand dollars or pounds he gets thirty-five grand a year. While the term "grand" itself would seem to be commonly used in the UK, the informal abbreviation G[5] meaning grand appears to be regarded as a North American usage I was up nine Gs on the blackjack tables.

G is defined in various British dictionaries as follows:

  1. Oxford Dictionaries: (North American informal) abbreviation for grand, a thousand dollars)[5];
  2. Chambers 21st Century Dictionary: (North American slang) abbreviation for a grand, 1000 dollars[2];
  3. Collins English Dictionary: (mainly US slang) a symbol for grand (a thousand dollars or pounds)[10] .
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I was surprised to see this spelling of the solution in a British puzzle. However, Oxford Dictionaries defines program[5] as US spelling of programme (also widely used in computing contexts). So it would seem that the Brits have television programmes and computer programs — and my suspicion is confirmed by the discussion at Comment #3 on Big Dave's Crossword Blog.

18d   Source of water? // Burst drains or pipes initially (9)

20d   Drink up and stay mostly // resilient (7)

21d   Distance in which automobile reverses /is/ a marvel (7)

23d   One swims in the river /with/ cad, topless (5)

Cad[5,10] is a dated informal British term for a man who behaves dishonourably, especially towards a woman her adulterous cad of a husband.

Rotter[5] is a informal, dated, chiefly British term for a cruel, mean, or unkind person ⇒Rosemary had decided that all men were rotters.

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Gazza refers to a rotter as a cad or bounder.
Bounder[5] is a dated informal British term for a dishonourable man he is nothing but a fortune-seeking bounder.

It sometimes appears that the Brits have as many words for a dishonourable man as do the Inuit for snow!

25d   Stop /and/ rest after six (5)

26d   Flew east, with regular withdrawals /for/ payments (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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