Thursday, August 25, 2016

Thursday, August 25, 2016 — DT 28107

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28107
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, May 6, 2016
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28107]
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


It is often the case with Giovanni's puzzles that they can seem intractable until one finds the right thread to tug on and then the entire thing steadily unravels. The process is somewhat like removing the stitching from the top of a bag of potatoes.

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   Joke about superior one, // member of religious order (6)

"superior" = U (show explanation )

In Britain, U[5] is used informally as an adjective (in respect to language or social behaviour) meaning characteristic of or appropriate to the upper social classes ⇒ U manners.

The term, an abbreviation of  upper class, was coined in 1954 by Alan S. C. Ross, professor of linguistics, and popularized by its use in Nancy Mitford's Noblesse Oblige (1956).

In Crosswordland, the letter U is frequently clued by words denoting "characteristic of the upper class" (such as posh or superior) or "appropriate to the upper class" (such as acceptable). 

hide explanation

A Jesuit[5] is a member of the Society of Jesus, a Roman Catholic order of priests founded by St Ignatius Loyola, St Francis Xavier, and others in 1534, to do missionary work. The order was zealous in opposing the Reformation. Despite periodic persecution it has retained an important influence in Catholic thought and education.

5a   Rotter longing // to be helping on golf course (8)

In his hint on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Deep Threat writes Split (3,4) we could have .... Clearly, he intended to write Split (3,5) we could have ....

Rotter[5] is a informal, dated, chiefly British term for a cruel, mean, or unkind person ⇒Rosemary had decided that all men were rotters.

Cad[5,10] is a dated informal British term for a man who behaves dishonourably, especially towards a woman her adulterous cad of a husband.

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Deep Threat offers "bounder" as an alternative to "rotter".
Bounder[5] is a dated informal British term for a dishonourable man he is nothing but a fortune-seeking bounder.

9a   Such may offer various bread bits left to be eaten (4,6)

This is a semi-all-in-one clue with embedded wordplay. The entire clue is the definition while the portion with the dashed underlining is the wordplay.

Bird table[5] is a British term for a small platform or table in a garden on which food for birds is placed [in all likelihood, North Americans would consider it to be a type of bird feeder].

10a   Continue // running after the others have stopped? (4)

The second definition describes a runner still on the course after all other competitors have crossed the finish line.

11a   More troublesome // row interrupted by warning instrument (8)

12a   Bible given to a sailor /brings/ divine manifestation (6)

Authorized Version[5] (abbreviation AV)[5] is a chiefly British term for an English translation of the Bible made in 1611 at the order of James I and still widely used, though never formally ‘authorized’. It is also called the King James Bible — a name by which it is undoubtedly far better known in North America.

Tar[5] is an informal, dated nickname for a sailor. The term came into use in the mid 17th century and is perhaps an abbreviation of tarpaulin, also used as a nickname for a sailor at this time.

In Hinduism, an avatar[5] is a manifestation of a deity or released soul in bodily form on earth; an incarnate divine teacher.

13a   'Go away!' // Oxford said? (4)

15a   Bad girls and // lovable ones (8)

18a   Relations /creating/ troubles -- there's little right in such (8)

19a   Small mammal not initially seen? // Exactly! (2,1,1)

I took a slightly different route to the solution than did Deep Threat but we both arrived at the same destination. He chose to "[r]emove the first letter of Seen from a small carnivorous mammal" while I took the phrase "not initially seen" [initial letter not seen] to be a direction to remove the initial from the name of the animal.

The stoat[5] (also known as the ermine, especially when in its white winter coat) is a small carnivorous mammal (Mustela erminea) of the weasel family which has chestnut fur with white underparts and a black-tipped tail. It is native to both Eurasia and North America and in northern areas the coat turns white in winter. In North America, it is known as the short-tailed weasel.

21a   A daughter taking a long time /to offer/ wise sayings (6)

23a   Famous Frenchman // rues a sou going astray (8)

Jean-Jacques Rousseau[5] (1712–1778) was a French philosopher and writer, born in Switzerland. He believed that civilization warps the fundamental goodness of human nature, but that the ill effects can be moderated by active participation in democratic consensual politics. Notable works: Émile (1762) and The Social Contract (1762).

Henri Rousseau[5] (1844–1910) was a French painter; known as le Douanier (‘customs officer’). After retiring as a customs official in 1893, he created bold and colourful paintings of fantastic dreams and exotic jungle landscapes, such as Sleeping Gypsy (1897) and Tropical Storm with Tiger (1891).

25a   See 2 Down

26a   Additional words about bad angel /becoming/ chief troublemaker (10)

27a   The fellow travels on horseback around British // islands (8)

The Hebrides[5] is a group of about 500 islands off the northwestern coast of Scotland. The Inner Hebrides include the islands of Skye, Mull, Jura, Islay, Iona, Coll, Eigg, Rhum, Staffa, and Tiree. The Little Minch separates this group from the Outer Hebrides, which include the islands of Lewis and Harris, North and South Uist, Benbecula, Barra, and the isolated St Kilda group.

28a   Rather // attractive (6)


2d and 25a   Change payment arrangement if engaging a songstress (5,4)

Hire purchase[5] (abbreviation h.p. or HP[5]) is a British term for a system by which one pays for a thing in regular instalments while having the use of it [the equivalent North American term would be rent to own].

Edith Piaf[5] (1915–1963) was a French singer; born Edith Giovanna Gassion. She became known as a cabaret and music-hall singer in the late 1930s. Her songs included ‘La Vie en rose’ and ‘Je ne regrette rien’.

3d   Labour shadow cabinet was once so // downtrodden (9)

Shadow cabinet[5] is a British term for a group of members of the principal political party in opposition that are chosen as counterparts of members of the government who hold cabinet positions.

Michael Foot[7] (1913–2010) was a British Labour Party politician and man of letters. He was Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition from 1980 to 1983.

4d   Terrible // con endlessly pinching silver (6)

The symbol for the chemical element silver is Ag[5] from Latin argentum.

5d   Naughty corporal's doings /in/ US city (8,7)

Colorado Springs[7] is the county seat and the most populous municipality of El Paso County, Colorado, United States. It is located 60 miles (97 km) south of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. NORAD* headquarters are located at nearby Peterson Air Force Base.
* NORAD[7] (North American Aerospace Defense Command, known until March 1981 as the North American Air Defense Command) is a combined organization of the United States and Canada that provides aerospace warning, air sovereignty, and defense for Northern America.
6d   Some French couple coming to Paris finally // loses hope (8)

In French, des[8] is a determiner[5] meaning 'some'.

7d   Fifty trapped in a river rising // somewhere in the Crimea (5)

The Tay[5] is the longest river in Scotland, flowing 192 km (120 miles) eastwards through Loch Tay, entering the North Sea through the Firth of Tay.

Yalta[10] is a port and resort in the Crimea on the Black Sea: scene of a conference (1945) between Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin, who met to plan the final defeat and occupation of Nazi Germany. Pop: 80 552 (2005 est).

8d   A slogan -- it could conjure up // a feeling for days gone by (9)

14d   Computer component // that gives motorist a difficult experience? (4,5)

16d   International property // without a particular sort of legal document (9)

17d   Reprimanded // Conservative made safe (8)

"Conservative" = C (show explanation )

The abbreviation for Conservative may be either C.[10] or Con.[10].

The Conservative Party[5] is a a major British political party that emerged from the old Tory Party under Sir Robert Peel in the 1830s and 1840s. Since the Second World War, it has been in power 1951–64, 1970-74, and 1979–97. It governed in a coalition with the Liberal Democrats from 2010 until the general election of May 2015, in which it was returned with a majority.

hide explanation

20d   Roadside cafe maybe found heading north or south (4-2)

Pull-up[5] is a dated British term for a roadside cafe.

According to The Chambers Dictionary, a pull-up[1] is simply a suitable place (especially for lorry-drivers [truckers], etc) for pulling up [halting]. Therefore, it presumably may or may not be the site of a cafe — which would account for the inclusion of the word "maybe" in the clue.

I struggled a bit with the markup here. The portion with the dashed underlining does not stand on its own as wordplay. Rather it elaborates on the definition — indicating that the solution is a palindrome.

22d   Servant // tiring of errands to some extent? (5)

24d   Warning // providing by dealer trading (5)

Deep Threat echoes my thought when he says "I suspect that ‘providing’ in the clue should be ‘provided’" — although "echo" is certainly the wrong word as he obviously had the thought first. I guess I would more accurately say that he anticipates my thought.
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. An easier outing than usual from Giovanni, but entertaining as ever.

    You didn't mention the couturier, T Rousseau.

    1. Groan ... (and I actually fell for it momentarily)