Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Wednesday, August 24, 2016 — DT 28106

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28106
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, May 5, 2016
Petitjean (John Pidgeon)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28106]
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


This puzzle was nearly as great a challenge the second time round as it was on the first.

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   Most daring // underwear (7)

Remember that "underwear" could signify either a single garment or multiple garments.

In Britain, a vest[5] is an undergarment worn on the upper part of the body, typically having no sleeves. The garment that North Americans (as well as Australians) call a vest[5] is known in the UK as a waistcoat.

5a   Eccentric Cubist framing one // squashed fly? (7)

The Garibaldi biscuit*[7] consists of currants squashed and baked between two thin, oblongs of biscuit dough—a sort of currant sandwich. They have a golden brown, glazed exterior and a moderately sweet pastry, but their defining characteristic is the layer of squashed fruit which gives rise to the colloquial names fly sandwiches, flies' graveyards, dead fly biscuits, or squashed fly biscuits, because the squashed fruit resemble squashed flies.
* The British use the term biscuit[3,4,11] to refer to a range of foods that include those that would be called either cookies or crackers in North America. A North American biscuit[5] is similar to a British scone.
Scratching the Surface
A Cubist[10] is an artist who worked in the style of Cubism[10], a French school of painting, collage, relief, and sculpture initiated in 1907 by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, which amalgamated viewpoints of natural forms into a multifaceted surface of geometrical planes.

9a   Small left back // what's needed to provide an edge (5)

10a   Tea break for cashier /and/ buyer (9)

Cha (also chai) is an alternative spelling of char[5], an informal British name for tea.

11a   Biography about Young Conservative the French should follow, /being in/ stages (4-6)

YC[10] is the abbreviation for Young Conservative[10], a member of the youth section of the United Kingdom Conservative Party.

"the French" = LES (show explanation )

In French, the plural form of the definite article is les[8].

hide explanation

12a   Ignoring odd characters, upbraid maiden, /being/ starchy (4)

"maiden"  = M (show explanation )

In cricket, a maiden[5], also known as a maiden over and denoted on cricket scorecards by the abbreviation M[5], is an over in which no runs are scored.

In cricket, an over[5] is a division of play consisting of a sequence of six balls bowled by a bowler from one end of the pitch, after which another bowler takes over from the other end.

hide explanation

14a   Muslim leader or northern Scotsman with South // Americans, famously laid-back (12)

Calif is a variant spelling of caliph[2] (also kalif or kaliph), the chief Muslim civil and religious leader.

Ian[7] (also Iain) is a name of Scottish Gaelic origin, corresponding to English/Hebrew John. It is a common name for a Scotsman — especially in Crosswordland.

Behind the Photo
One commenter on Big Dave's Crossword Blog expressed great disappointment that the Californians in the photo illustrating this clue were not, in fact, "laid back".

18a   A rat's tail, facial hair, suits -- // baggage which comes with the job? (7,5)

Tache is a variant spelling of tash[5], an informal [British] short form for a moustache. In North America, the corresponding term would be stache* (or stash).
* McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions
21a   Task abandoned by husband -- /one needs/ heart (4)

22a   Making // exotic crouton dip (10)

25a   What lands surfer in trouble with the law? (5,4)

26a   Deliver // instruction for setter (5)

What did I say?
In my review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, I remarked presumably this is intended to be a double definition, but I think the solution means pretty much the opposite of the first definition.
However, now having had several months to think about it, I realize that "deliver" and "fetch" can be synonyms ⇒ The artist was pleased to learn that his works had fetched/deliverd a tidy sum at auction.

27a   Listener // left with expression of disgust Spanish shout (7)

Olé[5] is a Spanish exclamation meaning bravo.

Lughole[5] is an informal British term for a person's ear.

28a   See 19d


1d   Activity // that added inches to Victorian hips (6)

A bustle[10] is a cushion or a metal or whalebone framework worn by women in the late 19th century at the back below the waist in order to expand the skirt.

2d   Launched // commercial division (6)

3d   Old boyfriend reportedly kissed Nancy heading off /in/ hope (10)

4d   Pub measure with temperature rising /is/ an issue (5)

Optic[5] is a British trademark for a device fastened to the neck of an inverted bottle for measuring out spirits.

5d   City // transport or cab lane (9)

Barcelona[5] is a city on the coast of northeastern Spain, capital of Catalonia; population 1,615,908 (est. 2008).

6d   Espresso hogs seen in / W1? / On the contrary (4)

Soho[7] is an area of the City of Westminster and part of the West End of London. Long established as an entertainment district, for much of the 20th century Soho had a reputation for sex shops as well as night life and film industry. Since the early 1980s, the area has undergone considerable transformation. It now is predominantly a fashionable district of upmarket restaurants and media offices, with only a small remnant of sex industry venues.

The boundaries of the West End coincide closely with those of the W1 postcode area[7] [postcode being the British counterpart of the Canadian postal code or American zip code].

7d   Higher part of school /taking/ a course ending in the spring (8)

Stream[5] is a British term for a group in which schoolchildren of the same age and ability are taught children in the top streams.

8d   Note butter is universal /in/ Italian dessert (8)

In music,  ti[2] is an alternative spelling of te[5], the seventh note of the major scale in tonic sol-fa.

Delving Deeper
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.

"universal" = 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

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.

13d   A thank you in France not quite complete // without compassion (10)

"a thank you in France" = UN MERCI (show explanation )

In French, the masculine singular form of the indefinite article is un[8].

The French word for 'thank you' is merci[8].

hide explanation

15d   This person, anti-beer, unusually // drunk (9)

"this person" = I (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.

hide explanation

16d   Rising air force commander a liberal? That's absurd (8)

The Royal Air Force[5] (abbreviation RAF) is the British air force, formed in 1918 by amalgamation of the Royal Flying Corps (founded 1912) and the Royal Naval Air Service (founded 1914).

CIC[5] is the abbreviation for Commander-in-Chief.

"liberal" = L (show explanation )

The Liberal Party[5] (abbreviation Lib.[5] or L[2]) in Britain emerged in the 1860s from the old Whig Party and until the First World War was one of the two major parties in Britain. In 1988 the party regrouped with elements of the Social Democratic Party to form the Social and Liberal Democrats, now known as the Liberal Democrats. However, a small Liberal Party still exists.

Although Lib. may be the more common abbreviation for the Liberal Party in Britain—likely to distinguish it from the the Labour Party[5] (abbreviation Lab.[5])—Chambers 21st Century Dictionary indicates that L[2] may also be used.

hide explanation

17d   Genuine // LSD (8)

L.S.D.[10] (or £.s.d. or l.s.d.) is a British abbreviation for librae, solidi, denarii (Latin for pounds, shillings, pence) which relates to British currency in use prior to the introduction of the current decimal currency system in 1971.

Sterling[5] is British money.

19d and 28a   Clever wordsmith lacking son and heir initially /becomes/ unbeliever? (6,7)

I seem to have fared better with this clue the first time round. This time I could recall that the solution was the name of a character from a British television show but I failed to spot the anagram and actually resorted to looking at my own hint on Big Dave's Crossword Blog.

Victor Meldrew is the main protagonist of the British television sitcom One Foot in the Grave[7] which aired over an eleven-year period, from early 1990 to late 2000. The series features the exploits of Meldrew and his long-suffering wife, Margaret. The programmes invariably deal with Meldrew's battle against the problems he creates for himself. Set in a typical suburb in southern England, Victor takes involuntary early retirement. His various efforts to keep himself busy, while encountering various misfortunes and misunderstandings are the themes of the sitcom. When events get the better of him, a full verbal onslaught is forthcoming, including such "Victor-isms" as "I do not believe it!", "I don't believe it!", and "Un-be-lievable!".

20d   A New York attention-seeker with wife // here, there and everywhere (6)

Anyhow[3,4,11] is an adverb denoting in a careless, haphazard manner.

23d   Ideal // energy drink going around (5)

24d   Central part in Andromache, Ronsardian // protagonist (4)

Scratching the Surface
In Greek mythology, Andromache[5] was the wife of Hector. She became the slave of Neoptolemus (son of Achilles) after the fall of Troy. Andromache[7] is also the name of an Athenian tragedy by Euripides. It dramatises Andromache's life as a slave, years after the events of the Trojan War, and her conflict with her master's new wife, Hermione.

Pierre de Ronsard[10] (1524–1585) was a French poet, foremost of the Pléiade, a group of seven French poets of the 16th century who favored the use of classical forms.
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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