Monday, August 1, 2016

Monday, August 1, 2016 — DT 27834 (Summer Monday Bonus Puzzle)


For several years, the practice of the National Post has been not to publish on Monday between Canada Day and Labour Day. To provide readers of the blog with a bit of mental exercise to keep the grey matter well-tuned, I am providing a puzzle that the National Post has skipped (drawn from my reserve of reviews for unpublished puzzles). Today I offer you DT 27834 which appeared in The Daily Telegraph on Monday, June 22, 2015 and was the second of two puzzles skipped by the National Post on Monday, November 30, 2015.

For those of you fortunate enough — as I am — to be blessed with a long holiday weekend, enjoy the midsummer break.

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27834
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Monday, June 22, 2015
Rufus (Roger Squires)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27834]
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 skipped this puzzle on Monday, November 30, 2015.


I hope you enjoyed this rare opportunity to tackle a Rufus puzzle.

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   Loathed new fashions, /as/ slovenly (4,2,4)

Down-at-heel[Cambridge Idioms Dictionary] (British, American & Australian) also down-at-the-heel (American) is an adjective denoting badly dressed or in a bad condition because of a lack of money ⇒ (i) When I first met her she was down-at-heel but still respectable; (ii) The play was set in a down-at-heel hotel in post-war Germany.

6a   Married expert joined // staff (4)

10a   Post // back with little hesitation (5)

11a   Blanket coverage (9)

Scratching the Surface
The surface reading is intended to suggest the provisions of an insurance policy.

12a   Inferior article press chief // turned down (8)

13a   It locates aircraft coming or going (5)

The portion of the clue with the solid underline provides the straight definition. The portion with the dashed underline cryptically indicates that the solution happens to be a palindrome.

15a   Visible // discernment? (7)

17a   He's patronised by another (7)

19a   Cook sausage // to satisfy hunger? (7)

21a   There'll be friction as long as he's at work (7)

22a   Field the Royal Navy // become proficient in (5)

The Royal Navy[5] (abbreviation RN) is the British navy. It was the most powerful navy in the world from the 17th century until the Second World War.

24a   It may be parental -- or not (8)

27a   Show fight // having provision for spectators (9)

In his review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Miffypops identifies this clue as a double definition. However, I would think that is not strictly true as the numeration for the second part would be (4,5) rather than (9). I would consider the clue to be a charade with the wordplay being WITH (having) + STAND (provision for spectators). Admittedly, the solution split (4,5) and treated as a phrase does well match the wordplay.

28a   I will gain knowledge about // French river (5)

The Loire[5] is a river of west central France. France’s longest river, it rises in the Massif Central and flows 1,015 km (630 miles) north and west to the Atlantic at St-Nazaire.

29a   Patch up // agreement for Russian resistance to meet knight (4)

"agreement for Russian" = DA (show explanation )

In Cyrillic, the Russian word for yes[8] is да which transliterates into English[7] as da.

hide explanation

"resistance" = R (show explanation )

In physics, the symbol R[5] is used to represent electrical resistance.

hide explanation

"knight" = N (show explanation )

N[5] is the abbreviation for knight used in recording moves in chess [representing the pronunciation of kn-, since the initial letter k- represents 'king'].

As an aside, it is interesting to note that the Chambers 21st Century Dictionary defines: 
  • K[2] as an abbreviation used in chess for knight. 
  • K[2] is a symbol used in chess to represent a king. 
  • N[2] is a symbol used in chess to represent a knight.
The dictionary fails to specify how one differentiates an abbreviation from a symbol.

hide explanation

30a   Exhibits // salesman takes exception to (10)


1d   Timber // transaction (4)

"timber" = DEAL (show explanation )

In Britain, deal[5] means:
  1. fir or pine wood as a building material; or
  2. a plank made of fir or pine wood [what we in North America would commonly refer to as lumber]. 
 Apparently, this meaning of deal[3,11] also exists (or once existed) in North America, but I would think that it is very rarely used now — especially by the general public.

In Britain, lumber[5] has a totally different meaning than it does in North America, being articles of furniture or other household items that are no longer useful and inconveniently take up storage space

hide explanation

2d   Sees // sense, possibly, within reason (9)

3d   About time to go round -- // OK? (5)

Behind the Picture
The illustration in Miffypops' review comes from one of his favourite reference sources, My First Dictionary, a blog which later became a book.

Here is how a review in the Boston Globe described the book:
In his new book “My First Dictionary: Corrupting Young Minds One Word at a Time’’ (It Books), Ross Horsley, a British librarian with a wicked sense of humor, skewers the adult world of lies and secrets, infidelities, and overindulgences. He accomplishes this by pairing cheery illustrations based on a children’s dictionary from the 1970s with his own twisted and irreverent definitions. Each word, from “abandon’’ to “zoo,’’ is used in a simply stated vignette involving adult subject matter, running the gamut from sexually transmitted diseases, pedophilia, and adultery to alcoholism, suicide, and murder. Horsley is an equal opportunity offender.

4d   Tabitha abandoned // natural home (7)

As an anagram indicator, abandoned[10] is used as an adjective meaning unrestrained or uninhibited ⇒ wild, abandoned dancing.

5d   Arrived // with tails in the air? (5,2)

For me, this clue would work in the present tense:
  • Arrives // with tails in the air? (4,2)
but doesn't quite cut it in the past tense.

7d   Winning // article on school principal (5)

In Britain, head[5] is short for headmaster[5] (a man who is the head teacher in a school), headmistress[5] (a woman who is the head teacher in a school), or head teacher[5] (the teacher in charge of a school).

8d   More mature rock'n'roll singer // that gets into wine (10)

Chuck Berry[5] is an American rock-and-roll singer, guitarist, and songwriter. One of the first great rock-and-roll stars, he is known for songs such as ‘Johnny B Goode’ and ‘Sweet Little Sixteen’ (both 1958).

9d   False // credit note accepted by football team (8)

Tottenham Hotspur Football Club[7] commonly referred to as Spurs, is an English professional football [soccer] club located in Tottenham, London, that plays in the Premier League (the top level in the English football league system).

14d   Did so well, a resitting /is/ not permitted (10)

Resit[5] is a British term which means:
  1. as a verb, to take (an examination) again after failing it  ⇒ she is resitting her maths GCSE [General Certificate of Secondary Education]; and
  2. as a noun, an examination that is resat ⇒ the system allows the office to timetable all resits in a single block.
16d   Finish up having a drink outside /for/ pleasure (8)

18d   Architect's plan /for/ advancement (9)

20d   Former buccaneer loses right // to do penance (7)

21d   Ring fighter likely to produce a pass when charged (7)

23d   Change later, or change now (5)

The entire clue serves as the definition informing us that the solution is a synonym for change ... whether now or in the future. The portion of the clue with the dashed underline also provides the wordplay.

25d   Draws the line /at/ regulations (5)

26d   Canteen // litter (4)

Clearly, Miffypops intended to write "... the first being a building o room ...".
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


  1. I add my thanks, Falcon. I managed all but 10a: I got the little hesitation but got stuck on wanting a reversal for "post back."