Thursday, August 11, 2016

Thursday, August 11, 2016 — DT 28095

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28095
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, April 22, 2016
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28095]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Deep Threat
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


Deep Threat reports that "the last few [clues to be solved] pushed my time up to ***". I found the puzzle to be a bit more challenging — well into the upper reaches of three star territory. This I attribute to a lack of knowledge of Scottish football clubs, a careless misspelling of the weasel-like mammal, and an aversion to artificial breast implants.

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   Lake in very good Somerset location /for/ fish (8)

Pi[5] is an informal British short form for pious. 

Chard[7] is a town and a civil parish in the English county of Somerset. Situated near the Devon border, it has a population of approximately 13,000.

The pilchard[5] is any of several species of small, edible, commercially valuable marine fish of the herring family, including the European Sardina pilchardus. A sardine[5] is a young pilchard or other young or small herring-like fish.

6a   Game // you set about after drink (6)

Hock[5] is a British term for a dry white wine from the German Rhineland.

To Brits, hockey would likely mean field hockey. They would almost certainly refer to hockey as "ice hockey".

9a   English county accommodating a // Scottish football team (6)

Herts.[5] is the abbreviation for Hertfordshire[5], a county of southeastern England; county town, Hertford.

Heart of Midlothian Football Club[7], commonly known as Hearts, is a Scottish professional football [soccer] club based in Gorgie in the west of Edinburgh. It plays in the Scottish Premiership, the top division of the Scottish Professional Football League.

10a   One has got on unexpectedly (8)

11a   Provision for the infirm at no cost? /That could make one/ happy-go-lucky (8)

12a   Put down roots /in/ beastly home with the French (6)

A sett[5] (also set) is the underground lair or burrow of a badger.

"the French" = LE (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

13a   Fulfilling certain female role, // nice girl had become agitated about boy initially (5-7)

16a   Man got a lever working, // device in physics lab? (12)

A galvanometer[5] is an instrument for detecting and measuring small electric currents.

19a   Like prominent cleric /in/ US university meeting socialist (6)

Meticulous craftsman that he is, Giovanni uses "US university" rather than "American university" to show that we need the abbreviation for the name of the university.

"US 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

A mitre[5] (US miter) is a tall headdress worn by bishops and senior abbots as a symbol of office, tapering to a point at front and back with a deep cleft between.

21a   Hiding in grass, chief // stayed put (8)

23a   Rubbery stuff /in/ cake -- I only half lick the content (8)

The wordplay is to be interpreted as "cake [with] I [plus] only half [of] lick [as] the content".

A scone[5] is a small unsweetened or lightly sweetened cake made from flour, fat, and milk and sometimes having added fruit. Although the term scone is in common use in Canada, such an item might be better known throughout North America as a biscuit[5]. In Britain, the term biscuit[5] refers to foods that are known in North America as either cookies or crackers.

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Deep Threat refers to a scone as a cake which is traditionally served as part of a cream tea.
Cream tea[5,10] is a British term for a meal taken in the afternoon consisting of tea to drink with bread or scones served with clotted cream* and jam.
* Clotted cream[5] is a chiefly British term for thick cream obtained by heating milk slowly and then allowing it to cool while the cream content rises to the top in coagulated lumps.

24a   That is // upsetting laymen (6)

25a   Group /in/ the distance at sea (6)

A league[2] is a nautical measure equal to 3 international nautical miles (3.456 statute miles or 5.556 km).

26a   Opportunity of seeing around Italy taking time? // Don't think of leaving (3,5)


2d   Walk about island to the north -- // mountain top here? (6)

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Deep Threat writes I wasn’t convinced of the definition here, but it is in Chambers.
Well, a careful reading of the definition in The Chambers Dictionary will reveal that "mountain top" and "icecap" are not synonymous.
icecap n a permanent covering of ice over the polar regions of a planet, a mountain-top, etc.
Note that the punctuation preceding the phrase "a mountain-top" is a comma rather than a semi-colon. Thus "a mountain-top" is a location where an icecap might be found and not a synonym for icecap.

Therefore, there may be (as indicated by the question mark) a mountain top under an icecap.

3d   Sorceress // left out of ring (5)

In Greek mythology, Circe[5] is an enchantress who lived on the island of Aeaea. When Odysseus visited the island his companions were changed into pigs by her potions, but he protected himself with the magic herb moly and forced her to restore his men to human form.

4d   Tries somehow to interrupt a member of the family /making/ pronouncement (9)

5d   Hellish situation -- nurse /is/ swell (7)

In Roman mythology, Dis[10] is:
  1. (also called Orcus or Pluto) the Roman god of the underworld;
  2. the abode of the dead or underworld.
6d   Cries /when there is/ fire, first to last (5)

7d   Mad man in church, right // type to distract congregation? (9)

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".

"church" = CE (show explanation )

The Church of England[10] (abbreviation CE[10]) is the reformed established state Church in England, Catholic in order and basic doctrine, with the Sovereign as its temporal head.

hide explanation

8d   See me getting upset, unwell, // communicating via computer (8)

13d   Larking about /in/ underground activity? Nothing right in that (9)

Lark about[5] (or lark around) is a British term meaning to enjoy oneself by behaving in a playful and mischievous way ⇒ he’s always joking and larking about in the office.

14d   Unfinished building complex in which to find this person’s // café (9)

Estate[5] is a British term meaning an area of land and modern buildings developed for residential, industrial, or commercial purposes.

An estaminet[5] is a small cafe selling alcoholic drinks.

15d   Period after St David's Day // by the sea (8)

Saint David's Day[7] is the feast day of Saint David, the patron saint of Wales, and falls on the first day of March.

17d   Male beast upset at least twenty // different animals (7)

The definition is "different animals" signifying animals that are different from the beast mentioned in the wordplay.

18d   Prosperity /that comes with/ breaking the law (6)

20d   Party individual -- // Lorna? (5)

Lorna Doone: A Romance of Exmoor[7] is a novel by English author Richard Doddridge Blackmore, published in 1869. It is a romance based on a group of historical characters and set in the late 17th century in Devon and Somerset, particularly around the East Lyn Valley area of Exmoor.

22d   William bicycles -- // feet // getting stuck (5)

Due to the convoluted sentence structure used by the setter in this clue, we find the definition positioned in the middle of the clue between the hidden word fodder (to the left) and the hidden word indicator (to the right).

In describing the patterns of rhythm and sound used in poetry, an iambus[5] (plural iambuses or iambi) is a metrical foot consisting of one short (or unstressed) syllable followed by one long (or stressed) syllable.
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. Ouch. I agree with your five-star rating for difficulty. Enjoyment....not so much.

    1. Oops! The rating in the table is supposed to be that assigned by the reviewer at Big Dave's Crossword Blog (in this case Deep Threat). I neglected to change the default value in the template. The rating -- which has now been corrected -- should have been three stars for difficulty and three stars for enjoyment.