Monday, August 8, 2016

Monday, August 8, 2016 — DT 27833 (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matter well-tuned, I am providing a puzzle that the National Post has skipped (drawn from my reserve of reviews for unpublished puzzles).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 27833 which appeared in The Daily Telegraph on Saturday, June 20, 2015 and was the first of two puzzles skipped by the National Post on Monday, November 30, 2015.

I am rather late on parade today, trying to get back into my established routine after having just returned from a 10-day camping trip where I was virtually cut off from the outside world.

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27833
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, June 20, 2015
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27833 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27833 – 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
The National Post skipped this puzzle on Monday, November 30, 2015.


I made good progress through most of this puzzle, but became bogged down with a couple of clues remaining to be solved.

Unlike Salty Dog (at Comment #23 on Big Dave's Crossword Blog), I was not distracted by watching cricket. He reports that he was "[h]eld up by the (very considerable) distraction of watching Jonny Bairstow’s heroics at Chester-le-Street". Jonny Bairstow[7] is an English cricketer, who plays first-class cricket for the Yorkshire County Cricket Club[7]. Chester-le-Street[7] is a town in County Durham, England and the home of the Durham County Cricket Club[7].

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   Pieces of eight? // Start to find a great deal in the morning (7)

While I managed to come up with the correct solution, I did not fully comprehend the wordplay until I read the explanation at Big Dave's site.

The word "eight" is a cross reference indicator directing the solver to insert the solution to clue 8d in its place to complete the clue. Usually a cross reference indicator will be a numeral. However, the setter of today's puzzle has chosen to spell it out in words — obviously to enhance the surface reading of the clue. The directional indicator is customarily omitted in situations such as this where only a single clue starts in the light [light-coloured cell in the grid] that is being referenced.

Scratching the Surface
Historically, a piece of eight[5] was a Spanish dollar, equivalent to 8 reals.

5a   Victorian-era relief /from/ bad statute (4,3)

The Poor Law[5] was a historical British law relating to the support of the poor. Originally the responsibility of the parish, the relief and employment of the poor passed over to the workhouses in 1834. In the early 20th century the Poor Law was replaced by schemes of social security.

9a   Wild hair getting this person in // a state (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

One might designate "getting" as the containment indicator with "in" serving as a link word. However, I have chosen to consider the containment indicator to be "getting ... in".

10a   Electronics firm brackets I can reset /for/ device (9)

Apple Inc.[7] is an American multinational technology company headquartered in Cupertino, California, that designs, develops, and sells consumer electronics, computer software, online services, and personal computers.

Scratching the Surface
In the surface reading, I would presume that the phrase "brackets I can reset" refers to an adjustable wall support for an electronic device. However, the overall surface reading seems rather meaningless to me.

11a   Protection for pupils // celebrated by girls (10)

Lass[5] is a chiefly Scottish and Northern English term for a girl or young woman ⇒ (i) he married a lass from Yorkshire;  (ii) village lasses. [The term may have originated there but I am sure it long ago spread around the world.]

12a   Quick kiss /for/ Gregory (4)

Gregory Peck[5] (1916–2003) was an American actor; full name Eldred Gregory Peck. His many films range from the thriller Spellbound (1945) to the western The Big Country (1958); he won an Oscar for his role in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962).

14a   Son presently staying at school // doing winter sport (12)

18a   Drink's dark apparently /in/ industrial place (4,8)

Port[5] is a strong, sweet dark red (occasionally brown or white) fortified wine, originally from Portugal, typically drunk as a dessert wine.

Port Sunlight[5] is a village on the south bank of the Mersey river in England. Founded and built in the 1880s by Viscount Leverhulme, it provided model housing for the employees of his ‘Sunlight’ soap factory.

21a   Reported match // from Asian country (4)

Clearly, the definition is "from Asian country". If the definition were merely "Asian country" (as gnomethang indicates in his review),  the solution would have to be THAILAND.

"Match" and "tie" might be considered to be synonyms (meaning equal) when used as verbs as in In his final run, the driver was able to match the best time posted so far in the competition. However, it certainly did not surprise me that gnomethang sees these words as being nouns — in a particular British usage.

Tie[5] is a British term meaning a sports match between two or more players or teams in which the winners proceed to the next round of the competition Swindon Town have gained themselves a third round tie against Oldham.

The foregoing usage example does not mean — as a North American might presume — that Swindon Town and Oldham played to a draw in the third round. Rather, it means that Swindon Town defeated their opponent in the second round and will move on to face Oldham in the third round.

As used by gnomethang in his review, a cup[5] is a contest in which the winners are awarded a cup playing in the Cup is the best thing ever.

22a   Having faulty vision, // a blemish to mark endlessly (10)

25a   Try to catch eccentric // knave perhaps (5,4)

Court card[5] is the British term for face card[5].

26a   Tipple before a // play (5)

27a   Expensive article in French // tower (7)

"article in French" = LE (show explanation )

In French, the masculine singular form of the definite article is le[8].

hide explanation

28a   Squadron leader has Princess back round -- about // to get in gin (7)

Princess Anne[5], the Princess Royal, is the daughter of Elizabeth II. [I note that her father does not rate a mention.]

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


1d   A thousand must tuck in to seafood /or/ starve (6)

2d   Give direction to // tenor making detour round island (6)

3d   What's suitable // punishment for schoolboy breaking in is apparent (10)

4d   Ace in First World War battle // is complaining (5)

A[5] is an abbreviation for ace (in card games).

Mons[5] is a town in southern Belgium, capital of the province of Hainaut; population 91,152 (2008). It was the scene in August 1914 of the first major battle of the First World War between British and German forces.

5d   Liven up Evita with one // spicy item (9)

Eva Perón[5] (1919–1952) was an Argentinian politician, second wife of Juan Perón; full name María Eva Duarte de Perón; known as Evita. A former actress, after her marriage in 1945 she became de facto Minister of Health and of Labour until her death from cancer; her social reforms earned her great popularity with the poor.

Scratching the Surface
Evita[7] is a musical with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice. It concentrates on the life of Argentine political leader Eva Perón [known familiarly as Evita], the second wife of Argentine president Juan Perón. The story follows Evita's early life, rise to power, charity work, and eventual death.

6d   Miss // old Cambridge college (4)

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.

Scratching the Surface
Cambridge University[5] is a university at Cambridge in England, founded in 1230. The university comprises a federation of thirty-one colleges.

7d   No end of stays -- that is, // ladieswear (8)

Scratching the Surface
Historically, stays[5] denotes a corset made of two pieces laced together and stiffened by strips of whalebone.

8d   Debris /of/ riotous rag week round about (8)

In Britain, rag[5] (usually used as a modifier) refers to a programme of stunts, parades, and other entertainments organized by students to raise money for charity ⇒ rag week.

13d   Greek scientist // agreed with one of his gods coming round (10)

In Greek mythology, Ares[5] is the war god, son of Zeus and Hera.

Archimedes[5] (circa 287–212 BC) was a Greek mathematician and inventor, of Syracuse. He is famous for his discovery of Archimedes’ principle (legend has it that he made this discovery while taking a bath, and ran — naked, in some accounts — through the streets shouting ’Eureka!'); among his mathematical discoveries are the ratio of the radius of a circle to its circumference, and formulas for the surface area and volume of a sphere and of a cylinder.

15d   Injured lad winces /in/ old nuclear site (9)

Windscale[5] is the former name (1947-81) for Sellafield[5], the site of a nuclear power station and reprocessing plant on the coast of Cumbria in northwestern England. It was the scene in 1957 of a fire which caused a serious escape of radioactive material.

16d   Stay during good times /then/ leave abruptly (2,6)

Up sticks[5] is an informal British expression meaning go to live elsewhere [from nautical slang to up sticks 'set up a boat's mast' (ready for departure)].

17d   Large plant cut down by a certain // valued friend (8)

19d   A Scottish inventor with nothing raised // capital in America (6)

America[5] is used in the sense of the Americas rather than the United States. Although Oxford Dictionaries lists the former as the principal meaning and the latter as a subsidiary meaning, it would seem that most people associate the term with the United States (as a perusal of the comments on Big Dave's Crossword Blog amply demonstrates).

James Watt[5] (1736–1819) was a Scottish engineer. Among his many innovations he greatly improved the efficiency of the Newcomen steam engine, which was then adopted for a variety of purposes. He also introduced the term horsepower.

20d   Fight English /in/ difficult situation (6)

23d   I long to take in new // kind of music (5)

Indie[5] is indie music regarded as a genre where the adjective indie[5] (used in reference to a pop group, record label, or film company) denotes:
  1. not belonging or affiliated to a major record or film company; or
  2. characteristic of the deliberately unpolished or uncommercialized style of small independent pop groups.
Surprisingly, this term has been around since the 1920s (first used with reference to film production).

24d   Prevent // vessels keeling over (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

1 comment:

  1. I struggled with this one and its many British references. Welcome back and thanks, as always, for providing the puzzle and commentary.