Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Wednesday, August 11, 2016 — DT 28094

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28094
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, April 21, 2016
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28094]
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


I had not gotten far into this puzzle until I began noticing that the clues seemed very familiar. Despite that, some clues were still able to stretch the brain cells even on the second time around.

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   Calm // businessman on river, not for all to see (6)

The River Ouse[5] (rhymes with booze rather than mouse) is a river of northeastern England, formed at the confluence of the Ure and Swale in North Yorkshire and flowing 92 km (57 miles) south-eastwards through York to the Humber estuary. There are also several other rivers in England having the same name or minor variations thereof, namely:
  1. a river of southeastern England, which rises in the Weald of West Sussex and flows 48 km (30 miles) south-eastwards to the English Channel;
  2. (also Great Ouse) a river of eastern England, which rises in Northamptonshire and flows 257 km (160 miles) eastwards then northwards through East Anglia to the Wash near King’s Lynn; or
  3. (also Little Ouse) a river of East Anglia, which forms a tributary of the Great Ouse.
"for all to see" = U (show explanation )

Under the British system of film classification[7] a U (for 'universal') rating indicates that a film is suitable "for all the family" — or, at any rate, for those members over 4 years of age.

hide explanation

4a   Trusted figure // reformed law in beginning (8)

10a   Close to camp, European's moving clear of northern // fog (9)

Pea-souper[5] (or peasouper[10]) is an informal, British (or mainly British) term for a very thick yellowish fog ⇒ he was alone in one of London’s infamous pea-soupers.

11a   Government agency backed religious books /in/ course (5)

In the UK, the Child Support Agency[5] (abbreviation CSA) is a government agency responsible for the assessment and collection of compulsory child maintenance payments from absent parents.

In Crosswordland, the phrase "religious books" — or often merely the word "books" — is commonly used to clue either the Old Testament (OT) or the New Testament (NT). Today, as is frequently the case, the clue provides no indication whether the reference is to the former or the latter.

Ascot Racecourse[7] is a British racecourse, located in Ascot, Berkshire, England, which is used for thoroughbred horse racing. It is one of the leading racecourses in the United Kingdom, hosting nine of Britain's 32* annual Group 1 horse races. The course enjoys close associations with the British Royal Family, being approximately six miles from Windsor Castle.
* In another article, Wikipedia lists 35 Group 1 races in Great Britain[7].
12a   Food before wine recalled /as/ stew (7)

13a   A scientific establishment attended by a scholar /in/ state (7)

14a   Sign // with ex-London Mayor as recipient? (5)

The Mayor of London[7] is an elected politician who, along with the London Assembly of 25 members, is accountable for the strategic government of Greater London. The current mayor is Sadiq Khan, who took up office on 9 May 2016*. The position had been held by Ken Livingstone from the creation of the role on 4 May 2000 until he was defeated in 2008 by Boris Johnson, who served two terms before being succeeded by Khan.
* At the time that this puzzle appeared in the UK (a few weeks before the election of Sadiq Khan), there was only one "ex-London Mayor".
The role, created in 2000 after the London devolution referendum, was the first directly elected mayor in the United Kingdom.

The Mayor of London is the mayor of the entirety of Greater London, including the City of London, for which there is also the ceremonial Lord Mayor of the City of London. Each London Borough also has a ceremonial mayor or, in Hackney, Lewisham, Newham or Tower Hamlets, an elected mayor.

15a   Kiss doctor /in/ ornamental accessory (8)

18a   Concoction of rum? It is a // dessert (8)

Tiramisu[5] is an Italian dessert consisting of layers of sponge cake soaked in coffee and brandy or liqueur with powdered chocolate and mascarpone cheese.

20a   Frugal // items parent is keeping (5)

23a   A book with instruction for crossworders /is/ free (7)

25a   Cuts damaged a US city /and/ foreign region (7)

Tuscany[5] is a region of west central Italy, on the Ligurian Sea; capital, Florence.

26a   See in leather // a hooked feature (5)

"see" = LO (show explanation )

Lo[5] is an archaic exclamation used to draw attention to an interesting or amazing event and lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them.

hide explanation

In the cryptic reading, leather is a verb.

27a   Obstacle /in/ much of language recited initially by a new church (9)

Hindi[5] is the most widely spoken language of northern India, with over 200 million speakers; one of the official languages of India. It is an Indic language derived from Sanskrit and is written in the Devanagari script.

"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.

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28a   Right-winger with allure /creating/ offence (8)

29a   Change limited article /for/ bandage (6)


1d   Greed /shown by/ king with potential to lose head (8)

"king" = R (show explanation )

Rex[5] (abbreviation R[5]) [Latin for king] denotes the reigning king, used following a name (e.g. Georgius Rex, King George) or in the titles of lawsuits (e.g. Rex v. Jones, the Crown versus Jones — often shortened to R. v. Jones).

hide explanation

2d   English poet, // vain creature (7)

Thomas Love Peacock[5] (1785–1866) was an English novelist and poet. He is chiefly remembered for his prose satires, including Nightmare Abbey (1818) and Crotchet Castle (1831), lampooning the romantic poets.

3d   Two directions misinterpreted in a wood /and/ mountainous area (9)

Snowdonia[5] is a massif region in northwestern Wales, forming the heart of the Snowdonia National Park. Its highest peak is Snowdon.

5d   Master of form at Cheltenham, maybe? (4,10)

Racing form[5] is a term (originally US) for a published record of the past performances of racehorses; a form sheet. Form sheet[5] is a horse racing term (originally US) for a (printed) record of the past performance of a racehorse or racehorses; a form book; also (through transference) any past record, especially of criminal convictions.

Cheltenham Racecourse[7] is a racecourse for horse racing events, located at Prestbury Park, near Cheltenham in Gloucestershire. Its most prestigious meeting is the Cheltenham Festival, held in March, which features several Grade I* races including the Cheltenham Gold Cup, Champion Hurdle, Queen Mother Champion Chase and World Hurdle.
* Group One[7] (or Group 1) is the term used for the highest level of Thoroughbred and Standardbred stakes races in many countries. In the United States, Canada, Japan, South Africa, and British National Hunt racing "Grade I" is used instead. These races, whether designated as "Group One" or "Grade I", attract the best horses, and are for very large stake money.
When I first encountered the term "turf accountant", I presumed that it must be jocular British slang for a bookie. As it turns out, it is quite the opposite. Turf accountant[5,10] is the formal British name for a bookmaker.

6d   Before noon, everyone gets up /to see/ animal (5)

7d   Rising member of academy, one in stylish // old hat? (7)

"member of academy" = RA (show explanation )

A Royal Academician (abbreviation RA[5]) is a member of the Royal Academy of Arts[5] (also Royal Academy; abbreviation also RA[5]), an institution established in London in 1768, whose purpose is to cultivate painting, sculpture, and architecture in Britain. 

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8d   Two notes on an // artist (6)

In music, te[5] (also ti[2]) is the seventh note of the major scale in tonic sol-fa. Judging by a perusal of entries in American and British dictionaries, the only recognized spelling in the US would seem to be ti[3,4,11] whereas, in the UK, the principal — or only — spelling would appear to be te[2,3,4,11], with ti given as an alternative spelling in some dictionaries. Oxford Dictionaries is more emphatic, giving the spelling as te[5] with ti shown as the North American spelling.

Titian[5] (circa 1488–1576) was an Italian painter. The most important painter of the Venetian school, he experimented with vivid colours and often broke conventions of composition. He painted many sensual mythological works, including Bacchus and Ariadne (circa 1518–23).

9d   Preppiest chain devised // training scheme (14)

16d   Take on ex-Foreign Secretary, /showing/ tipping point in exasperation? (4,5)

In the cryptic reading, take[5] is used in the sense of to require or use up (a specified amount of time) ⇒ the meeting is expected to take about an hour. I think this is a better choice of meaning than the one that I used in my review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog.

Jack Straw[7] is a British Labour Party politician and Member of Parliament (MP) who served as a Cabinet Minister in the governments of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown — including five years as Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Foreign Secretary) under Tony Blair.

17d   Fabric // entirely altered I put out on back of settee (8)

Terylene[5] is a British trademark for an artificial textile fibre made from a polyester, used to make light, crease-resistant clothing, bed linen, and sails. The name is formed by inversion of (polyeth)ylene ter(ephthalate). As a clothing fibre, North Americans would know it as Dacron and, when used as a material for making containers for liquids and foods, as PETE[7].

19d   A lot of abuse linked to popular // hormone (7)

21d   Con -- // a party's aim in election on street (7)

22d   Part of game? It's relayed by bookies with parts swapped (6)

Tic-tac[5] (also tick-tack) is a British term for a kind of manual semaphore used by racecourse bookmakers to exchange information.

24d   Sudden move /in/ winter sports event around November (5)

November[5] is a code word representing the letter N, used in radio communication.

Daily Smile
According to Oxford Dictionaries, a luge[5] is a light toboggan for one or two people, ridden in a sitting or supine position.

The Brits seemingly think that any sled is a toboggan. I can only guess that some early English explorer took this Mi'kmaq word back to England without fully understanding the concept. Interestingly, Oxford Dictionaries defines a toboggan as a long, light, narrow vehicle, typically on runners, used for sliding downhill over snow or ice — but illustrates the entry with a drawing of a real (runnerless) toboggan..

Image of toboggan
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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