Friday, August 12, 2016

Friday, August 12, 2016 — DT 28096

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28096
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, April 23, 2016
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28096 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28096 – Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave (Hints)
gnomethang (Review)
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
As this was a Saturday "Prize Puzzle" in Britain, there are two entries related to it on Big Dave's Crossword Blog — the first, posted on the date of publication, contains hints for selected clues while the second is a full review issued following the entry deadline for the contest. The vast majority of reader comments will generally be found attached to the "hints" posting with a minimal number — if any — accompanying the full review.


I felt very satisfied with myself having completed this puzzle unaided after some intense mental effort. That is, I felt so until I saw that gnomethang had rated the puzzle at a mere one star on the difficulty scale. However, reading through the comments on Big Dave's site reveals that I am far from alone in thinking that the puzzle deserves far more than a single star.

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   Plant /that could give/ beast of burden trouble on the way back (8)

The camellia[5] is any of several species of evergreen East Asian shrub related to the tea plant, grown for its showy flowers and shiny leaves.

5a   A governing body // on ship (6)

9a   Someone making excuses /for/ record I delivered in a job (9)

11a   Manage with spades to cut through // woodland (5)

12a   Meanly abused // amateurs (6)

13a   Way to get round unsatisfactory service /in/ game (8)

In tennis and other racket sports, a let[5] is a circumstance under which a service is nullified and has to be taken again, especially (in tennis) when the ball clips the top of the net and falls within bounds.

15a   Manufacturer // in Germany and America meeting employee on approval (13)

"Germany" = D (show explanation )

The International Vehicle Registration (IVR) code for Germany is D[5] [from German Deutschland].

hide explanation

It would appear that the clue refers to a very specific class of employee.

Trialist[1,4,5,10] (British also — or, in some dictionaries, principally — triallist) is a [seemingly British or chiefly British] term for a competitor or player under consideration for a place in* a major team.
* note that in Britain one is "in a team" rather than "on a team".
18a   Charge a boy touring Cornish resort /in/ holiday time (7,6)

St Ives[7] is a seaside town and port in Cornwall, England. St Ives is well known from the nursery rhyme and riddle "As I was going to St Ives", although it is not clear whether the rhyme refers to the Cornish town or one of several other places called St Ives.

22a   Song about Uncle Sam /getting/ drunk (8)

Uncle Sam[2,5,10] is a personification of the United States, its government or its people.

A carousal[10] is a merry drinking party.

23a   Soak up sun in autumn month -- // it's 45 degrees (6)

26a   Make corrections to // pieces penned by editor (5)

27a   Conductor/'s/ chosen baton to lead first part of Eroica (9)

Elect is used as an adjective meaning chosen as in the expression President elect.

Scratching the Surface
The Eroica Symphony[10] (commonly referred to as Eroica) is more formally known as Symphony No. 3 in E flat major by Ludwig van Beethoven.

28a   Official // disallowed rugby score ace secured (6)

In rugby, a try[5] is an act of touching the ball down behind the opposing goal line, scoring points and entitling the scoring side to a kick at goal.

In higher level rugby games, in addition to the onfield officials, there may be a television match official (TMO) — also known as a video referee — who (at the request of the referee) reviews video replays and can disallow a try should it be determined that an infraction has occurred during the play. Such a disallowance is signalled by displaying the message No try on the scoreboard.

29a   Unproductive performers to be removed /from/ musical stage? (4,4)

After considerable cogitation, I managed to dredge up the "musical stage" from the deep recesses of my brain.

Deadwood is not — as gnomethang alleges in his review — "a famous musical" but rather — as Big Dave states in his hints —the name of the stagecoach in the 1953 musical film Calamity Jane[7] that explores an alleged romance between Calamity Jane (played by Doris Day) and Wild Bill Hickok (played by Howard Keel).


1d   Clergyman /takes/ tea with nothing added (8)

Cha (also chai) is an alternative spelling of char[5], an informal British name for tea.

2d   Dreamy // doctor appearing in Casualty finally (5)

A medical officer[5] (abbreviation MO[5]) is a doctor in charge of the health services of a civilian or military authority or other organization.

Depending somewhat on the specific context, an actor could be variously described as being "in", "on", "appearing in", or "appearing on" a television programme.

Scratching the Surface
Casualty[7], stylised as CASUAL+Y, is a British medical drama series. It is the longest-running emergency medical drama television series in the world, and the most enduring medical drama shown on prime time television in the world.

3d   Cat -- // punishment that's held over son (7)

"over" = O (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

4d   Flag // of European country trimmed (4)

A flag[5] is any of various plants that have long swordlike leaves, especially the iris Iris pseudacorus (yellow flag).

6d   Graduate with cold, under the weather -- one /could get/ germs (7)

7d   Small female in health resort rejected // desires (9)

Petite[5] is an adjective meaning (of a woman) attractively small and dainty ⇒ she was petite and vivacious. This is a direct import from French. However, the corresponding male version of the adjective did not make the transition — we do not refer to a man as being petit.

8d   German // person eating less (6)

Dieter[7] is a German surname or male given name, a short form of Dietrich.

10d   Roman poet's following opening of treasure // chests (8)

Horace[5] (65-8 BC) was a Roman poet of the Augustan period; full name Quintus Horatius Flaccus. A notable satirist and literary critic, he is best known for his Odes, much imitated by later ages, especially by the poets of 17th-century England. His other works include Satires and Ars Poetica.

Thorax[5] (plural thoraces or thoraxes) is an anatomical and zoological term for the chest.

14d   Get // girl in elaborate rite (8)

"Get" is used in the sense of get someone's goat[5].

16d   To reduce agitation apparently /is/ putting off (9)

17d   Kew noted straggly // unwanted plant (8)

Knotweed[2,5,10] is an annual plant of the dock family which is often an invasive weed.. It has slender jointed stems that bear small narrow leaves and tiny white or pink flowers.

Scratching the Surface
Kew Gardens[5] is a common name for the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew which are located at Kew, in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, England. Developed by the mother of George III with the aid of Sir Joseph Banks, the gardens are now an important botanical institution and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

19d   Depth measuring device // in better condition (7)

20d   Animated // Conservative infiltrating left (7)

"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.

hide explanation

21d   Television // vet (6)

Screen[5] is used in the sense of television (or films) as a medium, genre, or industry ⇒ (i) she’s a star of the track as well as the screen;  (ii) he is interviewed on screen.

24d   Eager to get support of old // in large numbers (1,4)

British dictionaries — as well as the Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary — define a gogo[5] (or à gogo[4,10,11] or à go-go[11]) as meaning in abundance; as much as one likes; galore ⇒ (i) wine à gogo; (ii) Gershwin a gogo—all the hits; (iii) food and drink à gogo. However, the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language defines à gogo (or à go-go) as meaning in a fast and lively manner ⇒ dancing à gogo — which is what I thought it meant.

25d   Present // from the relations (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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