Friday, August 26, 2016

Friday, August 25, 2016 — DT 28108

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28108
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, May 7, 2016
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28108 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28108 – Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave (Hints)
crypticsue (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.


For a "Saturday" puzzle, I found this one to be a tad more difficult than usual — and also a bit more fun.

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   Wood panels // found in carts and bed (8)

Wain[5] is an archaic term for a wagon or cart.

What did he say?
In his hint on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Big Dave refers to wains as old-fashioned carts, from the time of John Constable.
John Constable[5] (1776–1837) was an English painter. Among his best-known works are early paintings such as Flatford Mill (1817) and The Hay Wain (1821) [the painting which Big Dave uses in his hint], inspired by the landscape of his native Suffolk.

Not That It Matters
In Britain (as Big Dave infers in his hint), 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.

Nevertheless, the clue works even using the North American definition of cot.

9a   Her pilot crashes /in/ flying base (8)

10a   Return blows // to practise boxing (4)

11a   Bather uncovered // New York pickpocket after swindle (6-6)

Dipper[5] is an informal [seemingly British] term for a pickpocket.

Skin[5] is an informal term meaning to take money from or swindle (someone) ⇒ I ain’t no dummy, and I know when I’m being skinned.

13a   Baltic capital left behind crazy // song (8)

Riga[5] is a port on the Baltic Sea, capital of Latvia; population 722,000 (est. 2007).

A madrigal[5] is a part-song for several voices, especially one of the Renaissance period, typically unaccompanied and arranged in elaborate counterpoint.

15a   Wear down // a sharp point with energy (6)

"energy" = E (show explanation )

In physics, E[5] is a symbol used to represent energy.

hide explanation

16a   Rump // cooked rare (4)

17a   Black Country /is/ dull (5)

Scratching the Surface
The Black Country[7] is an area of the West Midlands in England, West of Birmingham. In the Industrial Revolution, it became one of the most industrialised parts of Britain with coal mines, coking, iron foundries and steel mills producing a high level of air pollution.

The first trace of "The Black Country" as an expression dates from the 1840s. The name is believed to come from the soot from the heavy industries that covered the area, although the 30-foot-thick coal seam close to the surface is another possible origin.

18a   Mild expletive /from/ martial arts expert about right (4)

A dan[5] is:
  1. any of ten degrees of advanced proficiency in judo or karate ⇒ he was awarded his first dan; or
  2. a person who has achieved a dan ⇒ in five years' time they can become a black belt second dan.
20a   Gorge // last of curry brought in by member of the clergy (6)

A canon[5] is a member of the clergy who is on the staff of a cathedral, especially one who is a member of the chapter*he was appointed canon of Christ Church, Oxford.
* The chapter[5] is the governing body of a religious community or knightly order.
21a   Bond -- // that man's in a downward career trajectory (8)

Scratching the Surface
Can the surface reading allude to anyone other than James Bond[7]?

23a   Refined male, expert in // avant-garde (12)

26a   Pass over // old American university (4)

"American university" = MIT (show explanation )

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology[5] (abbreviation MIT) is a US institute of higher education, famous for scientific and technical research, founded in 1861 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

hide explanation

27a   Means to help // about spring (8)

28a   Long-term plan // to get lost sheep caught (8)

A teg[5] is a sheep in its second year.


2d   Like Hook /and/ his sound beginning (8)

Captain James Hook[7] is a fictional character, the antagonist of J. M. Barrie's play Peter Pan; or, the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up and its various adaptations, in which he is Peter Pan's archenemy. The character is a pirate captain of the brig Jolly Roger.

As crypticsue shows in her review, the word "his" could be referring back to "Hook" which begins with an aspirate H. However, the word "his" also begins with an aspirate H giving us a second possible interpretation of the clue. Nevertheless, I do find the former choice to be rather more elegant.

3d   Jackanory // versery perhaps? (7,5)

Jackanory[7] is an old English nursery rhyme first recorded when published in The Top Book of All, for little Masters and Misses around 1760.

Delving Deeper
The nursery rhyme goes:
I'll tell you a story
About Jack a Nory;
And now my story's begun;
I'll tell you another
Of Jack and his brother,
And now my story is done.

I interpret the wordplay ("versery perhaps?") to mean "what might versery be an example of?". Well, "versery" is a rhyme for "nursery" — in other words, a NURSERY RHYME. This may not be exactly how Big Dave has explained it but I think it is in line with crypticsue's interpretation.

What did she say?
In her review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, crypticsue says There is an old nursery rhyme [from which] the much-loved television programme got its name.
Jackanory[7] was a long-running BBC children's television series that was designed to stimulate an interest in reading. The show was broadcast from 1965 until 1996, with around 3,500 episodes in its 30-year run. The show was briefly revived in 2006 for two one-off stories.

4d   Dealing with // building work (6)

A coping[5] is the top, typically curved or sloping, course of a brick or stone wall.

5d   Spare // money to keep hospital (4)

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

6d   Welcome // good pair of workers in stables (4-4)

"good" = G (show explanation )

The abbreviation G[10] for good likely relates to its use in grading school assignments or tests.

hide explanation

Stable lad[5] is a British term for a person employed in a stable.

I was unable to find a dictionary entry for stablehand despite it being (to me) a well-known term.

According to The Chambers Dictionary, a stableboy[1] (or stableman) is someone who works at a stable and a stable lad[1] (or stable lass) is someone whose job is to look after the horses at a racing-stable.

7d   Chicken seen in this // grocery store? (4)

British Co-op Logo
The Co-operative Food, also known as Co-op Food[7], is a brand devised for the food retail business of the consumer co-operative movement in the United Kingdom. When looking at food retail, the brand is commonly understood to represent one food retail business, though this is not true as it is used by over 15 different co-operative societies which operate over 4,000 outlets.

What did she say?
In her review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, crypticsue wonders what our overseas solvers will make of this one [among others] and Big Dave comments that the clue is [n]ot one for our overseas solvers.
Canadian Co-op Logo
They needn't worry. We also have co-operatives in Canada — one example being Federated Co-operatives Limited[7] (FCL), a co-operative federation, established in 1955, providing procurement and distribution to member co-operatives in Western Canada. Federated Co-operatives is owned by about 365 member co-operatives across the region. In 2009, FCL was ranked as the largest co-operative in Canada by total sales.

8d   Good person to encourage // top person in a party (8)

Nicola Sturgeon[7] is the fifth and current First Minister of Scotland [a position roughly equivalent to that of the Premier of a Canadian province] and the Leader of the Scottish National Party. She is the first woman to hold either position.

This is another clue which caused crypticsue to have concern for overseas solvers. Speaking personally, I am well acquainted with Ms. Sturgeon from her frequent appearance in DT puzzles.

12d   Reworked pastor's ideal // religious text (8,4)

Paradise Lost[7] is an epic poem in blank verse by the 17th-century English poet John Milton (1608–1674). The first version, published in 1667, consisted of ten books with over ten thousand lines of verse. A second edition followed in 1674, arranged into twelve books (in the manner of Virgil's Aeneid) with minor revisions throughout and a note on the versification. It is considered by critics to be Milton's major work, and it helped solidify his reputation as one of the greatest English poets of his time.

The poem concerns the Biblical story of the Fall of Man: the temptation of Adam and Eve by the fallen angel Satan and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Milton's purpose, stated in Book I, is to "justify the ways of God to men".

Scratching the Surface
Note that although Milton was not a pastor, his poem was "reworked" for the second edition.

14d   One carries burden // Oriental priest mentioned (5)

A lama[10] is a priest or monk of the Mahayana form of Buddhism of Tibet and Mongolia.

16d   End of Star Trek coy about // its technology (8)

The definition "its technology" implies "technology used in Star Trek". Now, I wonder if "rocketry" is really an apt description of the propulsion technology used by the Starship Enterprise.

17d   Group I bring to court /for/ gang crimes (8)

19d   Fascinating // old fighter meeting one in boxing venue (8)

Based on entries in British dictionaries, Brits consider vet[2,5,10] to be an informal North American term for a veteran. On their side of the pond, vet[2,5,10] is a chiefly British term for a veterinary surgeon.

Moreover, in Britain, veteran[10] means a soldier who has seen considerable active service unlike North America where it means a former member of the military — although Big Dave seems to employ the North American usage in his hint.

22d   Rabbit not caught leading // Wonderland character (6)

Rabbit[5] is an informal British term meaning to talk at length, especially about trivial matters ⇒ stop rabbiting on, will you, and go to bed!.

The term comes from the Cockney rhyming slang "rabbit and pork" meaning "talk" [yes, 'pork' rhymes with 'talk' when pronounced in some English accents]. In Cockney rhyming slang, the slang word is obtained by replacing a word (in this case, "talk") by a phrase with which it rhymes ("rabbit and pork") and then dropping the rhyming word from the phrase. Through this process, "talk" becomes "rabbit". 

"caught" = C (show explanation )

In cricket, one way for a batsman to be dismissed is to be caught out[5], that is for a player on the opposing team to catch a ball that has been hit by the batsman before it touches the ground.

On cricket scorecards, the abbreviation c.[2,10] or c[5] denotes caught (by).

hide explanation

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" pre-dates 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".

24d   Pole // position (4)

Scratching the Surface
The pole position[5] is the most favourable position at the start of a motor race.

25d   Charms eroded initially /for/ old lovers (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