Thursday, August 18, 2016

Thursday, August 18, 2016 — DT 28100

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28100
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, April 28, 2016
RayT (Ray Terrell)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28100]
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


In her review, Kath reports finding this puzzle tricky. It has been a while since I solved it but I do remember it putting up a fairly stiff — but not overly onerous — challenge.

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   Love being in cool pants? I'm turning // urbane (12)

"love" = O (show explanation )

In tennis, squash, and some other sports, love[5] is a score of zero or nil ⇒ love fifteen. The resemblance of a zero written as a numeral (0) to the letter O leads to the cryptic crossword convention of the word "love" being used to clue this letter.

Although folk etymology has connected the word with French l'oeuf 'egg', from the resemblance in shape between an egg and a zero, the term apparently comes from the phrase play for love (i.e. the love of the game, not for money).

hide explanation

8a   Running alongside sweetheart? (7)

What did she say?
In her review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Kath describes the solution as what two people do when they decide to leg it to go off and get married on the quiet.
Leg it[5] is an informal British term meaning to run away ⇒ he legged it after someone shouted at him.

9a   Shut up inside more open // cooler (7)

11a   Account for // former husband maybe left in drag (7)

12a   Riotous // crew gripping paddle (7)

13a   Light /from/ church on hill (5)

A tor[7] is a large, free-standing rock outcrop that rises abruptly from the surrounding smooth and gentle slopes of a rounded hill summit or ridge crest. In the South West of England, the term is commonly also used for the hills themselves – particularly the high points of Dartmoor in Devon and Bodmin Moor in Cornwall.

 Torch[10] — in addition to its historical meaning — is the British name for a flashlight.

14a   Occasionally // thus answered the compiler's vacuous enigmas (9)

"the compiler's" = IM (show explanation )

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

Today, the setter has made the scenario slightly more complicated by combining "the compiler" with the verb "to be" producing "the compiler's" (a contraction of "the compiler is") which must be replaced by "I'm" (a contraction of "I am").

hide explanation

16a   Short // record frill by Queen, nearly perfect (9)

"record" = EP (show explanation )

EP[10] (abbreviation for extended-play) is one of the formats in which music is sold, usually comprising four or five tracks.

hide explanation

"Queen" = ER (show explanation )

The regnal ciphers (monograms) of British monarchs are initials formed from the Latin version of their first name followed by either Rex or Regina (Latin for king or queen, respectively). Thus, the regnal cipher of Queen Elizabeth is ER[5] — from the Latin Elizabetha Regina.

hide explanation

19a   Fellow robed in Augustinian raiment initially (5)

In her review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Kath shows the definition as being "fellow robed" making the clue a semi-&lit. (semi-all-in-one). With not too much of a stretch one might say that the entire clue provides the definition, in which case the clue would be a true &lit. (or all-in-one) clue.

21a   Back // nag, not first after finish (7)

23a   Modest, taking small // plunge (7)

24a   Raunchier // photo that is found in Sun, right? (7)

The Sun[7] is a daily tabloid newspaper published in the United Kingdom and Ireland by a division of News UK, a wholly owned subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

The Sun was once known for its Page 3[7] feature,  a large photograph of a topless, bare-breasted female glamour model which was usually published on the print edition's third page. 

Delving Deeper
The Page 3 feature first appeared in the newspaper on 17 November 1970 and on the official Page 3 website since June 1999, where it still continues. The terms "Page 3" and "Page Three" are registered trademarks of News UK, parent company of The Sun, although the feature has been imitated in Britain's other 'red top' tabloids and by newspapers internationally.

Page 3 was popular with Sun readers, but it also attracted sustained controversy. Critics argued that Page 3 objectifies and demeans women, while others believe that it should not appear in a generally circulated national newspaper. Some campaigners advocated for legislation to ban Page 3, while others tried to convince newspaper editors to voluntarily drop the feature or modify it so that models no longer appear topless. The No More Page 3 campaign was launched in 2012.

The Irish edition of The Sun dropped topless Page 3 models in August 2013. After several days of non-appearance, an article appeared in sister newspaper The Times on 19 January 2015 indicating that the UK editions were dropping the feature too. The 22 January 2015 edition, in what became a one-off revival, was the last to include the feature.

25a   Green // Party, following article, almost outspoken (7)

Scratching the Surface
A Green party[7] is a formally organised political party based on the principles of Green politics, such as social justice, grassroots democracy, nonviolence, and environmentalism. Green parties exist in nearly 90 countries around the world; many are members of Global Greens, an international network of Green parties and political movements that works to implement the Global Green Charter. In the UK, there are separate Green parties for Scotland, Northern Ireland, and England and Wales.

26a   Free // support before shower in nude, unusually (12)

Kath has managed to include an extra instance of the word "IN" in her review. Her hint should read "A support or prop (before) a shower or spell of wet weather – all contained in (in) an anagram (unusually) of NUDE".


1d   One cuts // start of county cricket, say (7)

Chopper[2,5,10] is a mainly British term for a small hand axe having a short handle and a large blade.

Scratching the Surface
County cricket[5] refers to first-class cricket played in the UK between the eighteen professional teams contesting the County Championship.

Inter-county cricket matches are known to have been played since the early 18th century, involving teams that are representative of the historic counties of England and Wales. Since the late 19th century, there have been two county championship competitions played at different levels: the County Championship, a first-class competition which currently involves eighteen first-class county clubs; and the Minor Counties Championship, which currently involves nineteen English county clubs and one club that is representative of several Welsh counties.[7]

2d   Sort of crop // rotation, endlessly long (7)

3d   Arranger // of scores in a group making comeback (9)

4d   Old iron in fire oddly // present (5)

The symbol for the chemical element iron is Fe[5] (from Latin ferrum).

5d   Muddled // account accepted by one following (7)

6d   Shame, it turned into // disbelief (7)

7d   Criminal even shelters // still (12)

10d   Recording // about soldier on base stifling resistance (12)

"soldier" = GI (show explanation )

A GI[5] is a private soldier in the US army ⇒ she went off with a GI during the war.

Contrary to popular belief, the term apparently is not an abbreviation for general infantryman, but rather derives from the term government (or general) issue (originally denoting equipment supplied to US forces).

hide explanation
"resistance" = R (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

15d   Theatrics /from/ Dame with moral performing (9)

Melodrama[2] (a theatrical genre especially popular during the 19th century) is drama often including musical items and featuring simplified characters, sensational events and traditional justice, usually in the form of a happy ending. The term has since come to be a derogatory term for excessively dramatic behaviour.

Behind the Picture
I am not convinced that the picture chosen by Kath to illustrate her hint would be particularly helpful to British solvers — or, for that matter, virtually anyone else.

The photo would appear to come from an article appearing in the Santa Fe Reporter of August 26, 2015 describing an upcoming production at the Santa Fe Playhouse. The article opens:
Fiesta season is upon us, and with it comes the annual Fiesta Melodrama, which has been presented at the Santa Fe Playhouse for give or take a century. Old photos in the Playhouse foyer dating back to 1919 offer a glimpse into the rich history of this time-honored event. Always written anonymously by a group of dedicated denizens, it’s a part of the melodrama tradition to keep the scriptwriters’ identities secret, as local places and figures are heavily lampooned. Legend has it, back in the ’50s or ’60s, there was an archbishop who actually had to step down over what came to light in the annual melodrama. While difficult to verify, it’s wise to never let the truth get in the way of a good story. “Especially a melodrama,” director Andrew Primm says. (more)

17d   Emperor // deceived over new look, sent up (7)

Hadrian[5] (AD 76-138) was Roman emperor 117–138; full name Publius Aelius Hadrianus. The adopted successor of Trajan, he toured the provinces of the Empire and secured the frontiers.

His name has been immortalized in Hadrian's Wall[5], a Roman defensive wall across northern England, stretching from the Solway Firth in the west to the mouth of the River Tyne in the east (about 120 km, 74 miles). It was begun in AD 122, after the emperor Hadrian’s visit, to defend the province of Britain against invasions by tribes from the north.

18d   Spread // tiny amount holding knife perhaps (7)

Marmite[5] is a British trademark for a dark savoury spread made from yeast extract and vegetable extract.

19d   Safe's too noticeable to hold // swag (7)

A swag[5] is a decorative garland or chain of flowers, foliage, or fruit fastened so as to hang in a drooping curve.

A festoon[5] is a chain or garland of flowers, leaves, or ribbons, hung in a curve as a decoration.

20d   Erin lad possibly from here (7)

I would say that this is a semi-&lit. (semi-all-in-one) clue in which the entire clue is the definition and the wordplay is contained in the portion of the clue marked with a dashed underline.

Erin[5] is an archaic or literary name for Ireland.

22d   Better get over embracing // bird (5)

The egret[5] is any of several species of heron with mainly white plumage, having long plumes in the breeding season.
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

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