Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Tuesday, August 16, 2016 — DT 28098

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28098
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28098]
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
The National Post has skipped DT 28097 which was published in The Daily Telegraph on Monday, April 25, 2016.


I managed to complete the grid without outside assistance — although it took a bit of research to explain the wordplay of 29a. I'm afraid I'm just not up on my Liverpool folklore.

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   Desert // bug (6)

4a   Careless // fielders who'd dropped opener (8)

In cricket, a slip[5] is:
  1. a fielding position (often one of two or more in an arc) close behind the batsman on the off side*, for catching balls edged** by the batsman ⇒ (i) he was caught in the slips for 32; (ii) King is at first slip;
  2. a fielder at slip.
* The off[5]  (also called off side) is the half of the field (as divided lengthways through the pitch) towards which the batsman's feet are pointed when standing to receive the ball.  The other half of the field is known as either the leg[5] (also called leg side) or on[5] (also called on side) ⇒ he played a lucky stroke to leg.

** Edge[5] means to strike (the ball) with the edge of the bat [remember, a cricket bat is flat — unlike a baseball bat] ⇒ he edged a ball into his pad or to strike a ball delivered by (the bowler) with the edge of the bat ⇒  Haynes edged to slip.
Scratching the Surface
In cricket, an opener[2] is either of the two batsmen who begins the batting for their team [remember, in cricket, batsmen always bat in pairs].

However, this meaning does not really seem to suit. I thought perhaps that "opener" might mean the first hit of the match but did not find that meaning in any of my dictionaries.

10a   Twist // Irish county's team (9)

Cork[5] is a county in the Republic of Ireland, in the province of Munster, on the Celtic Sea.

Rather than a "ship's complement" (as hinted by Shropshirelad in his review), I would say a rowing team.

11a   Concept /that could make one/ more relaxed, we hear (5)

The word "calmer", when pronounced in a non-rhotic (show explanation ) accent typical of many parts of Britain ("ca'mah"), sounds like the word "karma" when it is pronounced in a non-rhotic accent ("kahma").

Non-rhotic accents omit the sound < r > in certain situations, while rhotic accents generally pronounce < r > in all contexts. Among the several dozen British English accents which exist, many are non-rhotic while American English (US and Canadian) is mainly rhotic. This is, however, a generalisation, as there are areas of Britain that are rhotic, and areas of America that are non-rhotic. For more information, see this guide to pronouncing < r > in British English.

hide explanation

12a   Refuse to put a cross /in/ a black spot (7)

13a   Ace perhaps /in/ one of the Armed Forces (7)

14a   Nymph // in folklore, a dryad (5)

In Greek and Roman mythology, an oread[5] is a nymph* believed to inhabit mountains.
* a mythological spirit of nature imagined as a beautiful maiden inhabiting rivers, woods, or other locations.
Scratching the Surface
In folklore and Greek mythology, a dryad[5] is a nymph inhabiting a tree or wood.

15a   A high explosive, // and yet I'm being reckless (8)

18a   Other than Ezra, /in/ this biblical location (8)

In the Bible, Ezra[5] was a Jewish priest and scribe who played a central part in the reform of Judaism in the 5th or 4th century BC, continuing the work of Nehemiah and forbidding mixed marriages.

Nazareth[5] is a historic town in lower Galilee, in present-day northern Israel; population 66,400 (est. 2008). Mentioned in the Gospels as the home of Mary and Joseph, it is closely associated with the childhood of Jesus and is a centre of Christian pilgrimage.

20a   Composer // left after party (5)

Maurice Ravel[5] (1875–1937) was a French composer. His works are somewhat impressionistic in style, employing colourful orchestration and unresolved dissonances. Notable works: the ballets Daphnis and Chloë (1912) and Boléro (1928) and the orchestral work La Valse (1920).

23a   Boasting // about Olympic sport (7)

Unfortunately, Canada has had little to boast about in this Olympic sport in Rio.

Behind the Image
Steve Redgrave[7] is a retired British rower who won gold medals at five consecutive Olympic Games from 1984 to 2000.

25a   One who's stopped working // on Hebridean island (7)

Tiree[5] is an island in the Inner Hebrides, to the west of the isles of Mull and Coll.

26a   Weapon/'s/ spike catching knight (5)

"knight" = N (show explanation )

A knight[5] is a chess piece, typically with its top shaped like a horse’s head, that moves by jumping to the opposite corner of a rectangle two squares by three. Each player starts the game with two knights.

N[5] is the abbreviation for knight used in recording moves in chess [representing the pronunciation of kn-, since the initial letter k- represents 'king'].

As an aside, it is interesting to note that the Chambers 21st Century Dictionary defines: 
  • K[2] as an abbreviation used in chess for knight. 
  • K[2] is a symbol used in chess to represent a king. 
  • N[2] is a symbol used in chess to represent a knight.
The dictionary fails to specify how one differentiates an abbreviation from a symbol.

On the other hand, both The Chambers Dictionary and the Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary list K or K.[1,11] as an abbreviation for knight without specifying the specific context in which this abbreviation is used. However, the context may well be in an honours list rather than in a game of chess. In the UK, for instance, KBE[5] stands for Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

hide explanation

27a   Leading character -- I'm lying in state: /that's/ life /for you!/ (9)

I would say that "that's ... for you" is a split link phrase that works in a similar manner to a phrase such as "gives one" (wordplay gives one definition).

28a   Losing team/'s/ disadvantage (8)

"team" = SIDE (show explanation )

Side[5] is a British term for a sports team ⇒ there was a mixture of old and young players in their side. [Note that a player is "in a side" rather than "on a team" as one would say in North America]

In North America, the term side[3] is used in a very general fashion that can denote one of two or more opposing individuals, groups, teams, or sets of opinions. While this same general usage would seem to exist as well in the UK, the term side[5] is also used there in a much more specific sense to mean a sports team, as we can clearly see from the following usage examples ⇒ (i) Previous England rugby sides, and England teams in many other sports, would have crumbled under the weight of such errors.; (ii) They'll face better sides than this Monaco team, but you can only beat what's put in front of you.

hide explanation

29a   Where Diddy Men live, saving remains // perplexing (6)

The wordplay parses as KNOTTY ASH (where Diddy Men live) having removed (saving; with the exception of) ASH (remains).

Knotty Ash[7] is a small area on the eastern fringe of Liverpool, Merseyside, England. Its name is derived from a gnarled ash tree which formerly stood near the present-day Knotty Ash public house.

In the 1960s it was made famous in the United Kingdom by stand-up comedian and local resident Ken Dodd, as the home of the dwarfish comic characters he called the Diddy Men. In his BBC children's television programme Ken Dodd And The Diddymen (1969), the fictitious Diddyland, boasting the highest sunshine rate in the world, was situated in the centre of Knotty Ash. The Diddy Men worked in the local "Jam Butty* Mines".

While the Diddy Men[7] are commonly believed to be the creation of Dodd, they have existed in local mythology for much longer and, along with the Treacle and Jam Butty Mines of Knotty Ash, had been referred to in the earlier act of another Liverpool comedian Arthur Askey. Diddy is northern English slang for "little".
* Butty[5] is an informal, chiefly Northern English term for a filled or open sandwich ⇒ a bacon butty. Thus a "jam butty" is a jam sandwich.
What did he say?
In Comment #6 on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Penky informs us 29a easy as an ex-pat Scouser.
Scouser[5] is an informal British term for a person from Liverpool.


1d   Tyrant // concise dictionary and register of names turned up (8)

Rota[5] is a British term for a list showing when each of a number of people has to do a particular job ⇒ a cleaning rota.

2d   Envisage // opponent capturing rook with check (7)

R[5] is an abbreviation for rook that is used in recording moves in chess.

3d   She made predictions treated as canards (9)

This is a semi-&lit. (semi-all-in-one) clue in which the entire clue provides the definition while a portion of the clue (shown with a dashed underline) serves as the wordplay.

In Greek mythology, Cassandra[5] was a daughter of the Trojan king Priam. She was given the gift of prophecy by Apollo, but when she cheated him, he turned this into a curse by causing her prophecies, though true, to be disbelieved.

Behind the Image
Cassandra Trotter[7] is a fictional character from the British sitcom Only Fools and Horses which was broadcast in the United Kingdom from 1981 to 1991, with nine sporadic Christmas specials until its end in 2003. She was portrayed by Gwyneth Strong.

5d   TV detective with a Rolls-Royce in his // part of Scotland (5,3,6)

If you are following Shropshirelad's recipe for deciphering the clue, don't forget the A (from the clue) which he either omits or glosses over.

Lewis[7] is a British television detective drama. It is a spin-off from Inspector Morse (another British television detective drama) and, like that series, it is set in Oxford, England. Kevin Whately reprises his character Robert "Robbie" Lewis, who was Morse's sergeant in the original series. In the spin-off, Lewis has been promoted to detective inspector.

The monogram RR appears on the grill of a Rolls Royce automobile.

Lewis and Harris[5] (also Lewis with Harris) is the largest and northernmost island of the Outer Hebrides in Scotland; chief town, Stornoway. The island, which is separated from the mainland by the Minch, consists of a northern part, Lewis, and a smaller and more mountainous southern part, Harris.

Behind the Image
On Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Shropshirelad illustrates his hint with a photo of Detective Sergeant Lewis (Kevin Whately) and Chief Inspector Morse (John Thaw) from the original Inspector Morse series.

6d   Roger in gym before start of rugger // game (5)

"gym" = PE (show explanation )

PE[5] is the abbreviation for physical education [or Phys Ed, as it was known in my school days]. 

hide explanation

Scratching the Surface
Rugger[5] is an informal British name for rugby.

What did he say?
In Comment #5 on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Gazza remarks My favourite clue was 6d for the innuendo worthy of Ray T.
Roger[5] is vulgar British slang meaning (of a man) to have sexual intercourse with (someone).

7d   Musician, // bit of a laugh, right superior good man (7)

Pi[5] is an informal British short form for pious (which here is used in the sense of hypocritically virtuous).

8d   Merchant, // one who can give you a hand (6)

9d   Infantryman // relaxed reading rude rag (9,5)

The Grenadier Guards[7] is an infantry regiment of the British Army.

16d   Author /of/ novel 'Kim', at end of Afghan war (4,5)

Mark Twain[5] (1835–1910) was an American novelist and humorist; pseudonym of Samuel Langhorne Clemens. His best-known novels, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885), give a vivid evocation of Mississippi frontier life.

Scratching the Surface
Kim[7] is a novel by Nobel Prize-winning English author Rudyard Kipling, first published 1901. The story unfolds against the backdrop of The Great Game, the political conflict between Russia and Britain in Central Asia. It is set after the Second Afghan War which ended in 1881, but before the Third, probably in the period 1893 to 1898.

17d   Island // official putting off chap with desire to roll up (8)

The term alderman — although still in common use in North America and Australia — apparently has not been used in Britain in more than forty years. In England and Wales until 1974, an alderman[10] was one of the senior members of a local council, elected by other councillors.

In his review, Shropshirelad dredges up a rather obscure sense of the word. Alderman[10] is a variant spelling of ealdorman[10] (etymology Anglo-Saxon ealdormann a nobleman of the highest rank[2]), an official of Anglo-Saxon England, appointed by the king, who was responsible for law, order, and justice in his shire and for leading his local fyrd (militia) in battle.

Alderney[5] is an island in the English Channel, to the north-east of Guernsey; population 2,000 (est. 2009). It is the third largest of the Channel Islands.

Likely Little Known Fact
Chap[3,4,11], an informal term for a man or boy, is a shortened form of chapman[3,4,11], an archaic term for a trader, especially an itinerant  pedlar [British spelling of peddler].

19d   Henceforth, // woo fans abroad (2,2,3)

21d   Decision /made by/ court after composer appears (7)

"court" = CT (show explanation )

Ct[2] is the abbreviation for Court in street addresses — and possibly in other contexts as well.

hide explanation

Giuseppe Verdi[5] (1813–1901) was an Italian composer. His many operas, such as La Traviata (1853), Aida (1871), and Otello (1887), emphasize the dramatic element, treating personal stories on a heroic scale and often against backgrounds that reflect his political interests. Verdi is also famous for his Requiem (1874).

22d   Like fish, // mounted (6)

24d   Thoughts /of/ some inside a synagogue (5)
Key to Reference Sources: 

[1]   - The Chambers Dictionary, 11th Edition
[2]   - Search Chambers - (Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)
[3]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (American Heritage Dictionary)
[4]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (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] - CollinsDictionary.com (Collins English Dictionary)
[11] - TheFreeDictionary.com (Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary)
Signing off for today — Falcon

No comments:

Post a Comment