Monday, August 15, 2016

Monday, August 15, 2016 — DT 27809 (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matter well-tuned, I am providing a puzzle that the National Post has skipped (drawn from my reserve of reviews for unpublished puzzles).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 27809 which appeared in The Daily Telegraph on Saturday, May 23, 2015 and was the first of two puzzles skipped by the National Post on Monday, November 2, 2015.
Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27809
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, May 23, 2015
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27809 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27809 – 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.
The National Post skipped this puzzle on Monday, November 2, 2015.


I was able to complete this puzzle without calling the electronic troops out of their barracks.

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   What can reduce stinging /in/ cut parts (4,6)

Dock[5] is a coarse weed of temperate regions, with inconspicuous greenish or reddish flowers. The leaves are used to relieve nettle stings.

6a   Objections about // end of the cheque (4)

9a   Bird // leading man north (5)

10a   Round Arabian land I pray troublesome // arsonist's failing (9)

Oman[7], officially the Sultanate of Oman, is an Arab country in the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula.

12a   Office worker // recalled trick to perform (8,5)

Articled clerk[5] is a British term for a trainee solicitor. Articled[1] means bound as apprentice (e.g., in a legal office). Article[5] means to bind (a trainee solicitor, architect, surveyor, or accountant) to undergo a period of training with a firm in order to become qualified ⇒ he was articled to a firm of solicitors in York.

14a   Decorate // soldiers, famous one not losing heart (8)

"soldiers" = OR (show explanation )

In the British armed forces, the term other ranks[5] (abbreviation OR[5]) refers to all those who are not commissioned officers.

hide explanation

15a   Contend with girl around // European capital (6)

Vienna[5] is the capital of Austria, situated in the north-east of the country on the River Danube; population 1,661,206 (2006).

17a   Recording /takes/ time copying (6)

19a   Microphone picks up a joke // description of the Queen? (8)

21a   Ensure smart appearance // to bring case to court (5,4,4)

24a   Out of country, // don't have so much to say (9)

In the definition, "out" is used in the sense of 'without' or 'having no' as in out of milk.

25a   Wide-eyed, // this person standing in body of church (5)

"this person" = I (show explanation )

It is a common cryptic crossword convention for the creator of the puzzle to use terms such as (the) compiler, (the) 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.

hide explanation

26a   Fare // payable at station reduced substantially (4)

27a   Tropical fish // uses orange in disguise (3,7)

Sea surgeon[2] is another name for surgeon fish[2], a brightly coloured tropical marine fish that has spiny fins and knife-like appendages at its tail.


1d   Children's author // raised boy, capturing hearts (4)

"hearts" = H (show explanation )

Hearts[2]) (abbreviation H) is one of the four suits of playing-cards.

hide explanation

Roald Dahl[5] (1916–1990) was a British writer, of Norwegian descent. His fiction and drama, such as the short-story collection Tales of the Unexpected (1979), typically include macabre plots and unexpected outcomes. Notable works for children: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964), The BFG (1982).

2d   Certificate of film suitable for adults in // particular (7)

Cert.[2] is the abbreviation for certificate.

The A (Adult) certificate is a former film certificate[7] issued by the British Board of Film Classification. This certificate existed in various forms from 1912 to 1985, when it was replaced by the PG (Parental Guidance) certificate. [Despite its demise in the real world, it continues to find widespread use in Crosswordland.]

I would parse the wordplay as CERT (certificate) + A (of film suitable for adults) + IN (from the clue).

The phrase "of film suitable for adults" denotes that the A is used as an adjective, as an "A rating" would be the "rating of film suitable for adults".

However, gnomethang's review might possibly suggest that the Brits use the term "Cert A" to refer to such a film classification — although I could find no evidence of this being the case. Or perhaps he is merely conveying the same idea as I am — albeit in a less verbose fashion.

3d   Greeting to old acquaintance // could make someone tingle (4,4,2,3)

4d   Woolly type mostly taking part of old // actor (2,6)

I originally interpreted that wordplay in the same manner as gnomethang in his review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog. However, when it came time to write the blog, I realized that the word "of" is not accounted for in that explanation.

Then, with Halloween fresh in my mind, I had a flash of inspiration — jack-o'-lantern.

O'[10] is an informal or archaic shortened form of the preposition "of" ⇒ a cup o' tea.

Thus the wordplay parses as ALPAC (woolly type mostly; all but the final letter of ALPAC[A]) + IN (taking part) + O (of old; archaic (old) term meaning 'of').

5d   Jane entertains one /in/ nest (5)

Jane Eyre[10] (originally published as Jane Eyre: An Autobiography) is a novel by English writer Charlotte Brontë.

7d   Can seabird /set down in/ abbey? (7)

Tintern Abbey[7] was founded by Walter de Clare, Lord of Chepstow, in 1131. It is situated adjacent to the village of Tintern in Monmouthshire, on the Welsh bank of the River Wye, which forms the border between Monmouthshire in Wales and Gloucestershire in England. It was only the second Cistercian foundation in Britain, and the first in Wales. Falling into ruin after the Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 16th century, the remains were celebrated in poetry and often painted by visitors from the 18th century onwards.

A second Tintern Abbey[7] was a Cistercian abbey located on the Hook peninsula, County Wexford, Ireland. The Abbey – which is today in ruins, some of which have been restored – was founded in c1200 by William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke, as the result of a vow he had made when his boat was caught in a storm nearby. Once established, the abbey was colonised by monks from the Cistercian abbey at Tintern in Monmouthshire, Wales, of which Marshal was also patron. To distinguish the two, the mother house in Wales was sometimes known as 'Tintern Major' and its daughter abbey in Ireland as 'Tintern de Voto' (Tintern of the vow).

8d   Don't have the time to follow British // battalion (5,5)

The Black Watch[5] is another name for the Royal Highland Regiment.

In the early 18th century the term Watch was given to certain companies of irregular troops in the Highlands; Black Watch referred to some of these companies raised circa 1729–30, distinguished by their dark-coloured tartan.

Delving Deeper
The above entry from Oxford Dictionaries would appear to be rather dated as the Black Watch has not been a regiment for nearly a decade — at least in the UK.

The Black Watch[7], 3rd Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland (3 SCOTS) is an infantry battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland. Prior to 28 March 2006, the Black Watch was an infantry regiment – The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) from 1931 to 2006, and The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) from 1881 to 1931.

The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada is a reserve infantry regiment in 34 Brigade Group, 2nd Canadian Division of the Canadian Army. The regiment, based in Montreal, is the Senior Canadian-Scottish Regiment.

11d   Man with weapon, // he came running amok (7-6)

13d   Redirect the post to a // cleaner (10)

16d   Book is helpful /to/ musicians (8)

18d   Like some concrete // formerly poured round playing field (7)

Rec[5] is an informal British term for a recreation ground whereas in North America it is used as a short form for recreation ⇒ the rec centre. Thus Brits may conduct their sporting activities at the rec while North Americans pursue theirs at the rec centre.

20d   More than one bird // races to catch island rodents (7)

The Tourist Trophy[5] (abbreviation TT[5]) is a motorcycle-racing competition held annually on roads in the Isle of Man since 1907.

For many years, the Isle of Man TT[7] was the most prestigious motorcycle race in the world. The race is run in a time-trial format on public roads closed for racing. Since, in a time trial, each competitor races alone against the clock, the event could be described as a "series of races".

Titmouse[5] is another term for tit[5], any of several species of small songbird that searches acrobatically for insects among foliage and branches. Called chickadee in North America.

22d   Relative // peace finally found in Mediterranean resort (5)

Nice[5] is a resort city on the French Riviera, near the border with Italy; population 348,721 (2007).

23d   Thin /as/ a rake (4)

Rake[5] denotes (of a ship’s mast or funnel) to incline from the perpendicular towards the stern ⇒ her long clipper bow and raked mast.
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. Thanks again for posting these Monday puzzles. I needed a bit of electronic help, mainly because I'd never heard of 1a. 26a is a clever lurker.

    When I enrolled in the CA program -- in the seventies -- it was called "articles". Don't think they use that term any more. Nevertheless, it took a while to unscramble that anagram.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it.

      Having written the review nearly 10 months ago, I had to go back and review it to be able to follow your comments.

  2. I add my thanks, Falcon. I needed help to complete the grid (a crossword dictionary site to give me options for 2d's "??R?A?N") and your review to understand that answer as well as 12a (ARTICLED), 14a (OR), 18d (REC), and 20d (TT). Wanting to know more about 1a, I Googled "DOCK LEAVES," and in addition to the legitimate lore found this funny article that you might enjoy: