Friday, September 16, 2016

Friday, September 16, 2016 — DT 28125

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28125
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, May 27, 2016
Setter
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28125]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Deep Threat
BD Rating
Difficulty - Enjoyment - ★★★
Falcon's Experience
┌────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┐
███████████████████████████████████
└────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┘
Legend:
- 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

Introduction

Admittedly, today's puzzle from Giovanni was not all that difficult — but I thought that the challenge it provided deserved a bit more than a mere single star.

Coincidentally, at 25a we get a very timely shout-out to the athletes currently displaying their prowess in Rio.

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.

Across

1a   Horse /making/ painful sound, not good (4)

3a   They look back // at Irish son undergoing transformation (10)

8a   Nice // line penned by country person (8)

9a   Mean // chaps heading off with dog (6)

10a   Soup // served in club or school (6)

11a   Satisfied // raw needs somehow (8)

13a   Pictures /of/ wise men entering home, leaders of esoteric society (8)

14a   Original // friend across the border (6)

16a   Announces // conditions (6)

19a   Excellent // solving (8)

Cracking[5] is an informal British expression meaning excellent ⇒ (i) he is in cracking form to win this race; (ii) a cracking good story. [Although British dictionaries consider this usage to be British, the word is found in the American Heritage Dictionary with this meaning.[3]]

21a   Policeman /supplying/ information to lady outside front of restaurant (8)

Gen[5] is an informal British term for information ⇒ you’ve got more gen on him than we have.

A gendarme[5] is a paramilitary police officer in France and other French-speaking countries ⇒ he was hauled off by a gendarme to the police station.

22a   Players /from/ part of Scotland -- odd characters from Ross (6)

Fife[5] is a council area and former county of east central Scotland; administrative centre, Glenrothes.

Scratching the Surface
Ross[7] is a region of northern Scotland and a former earldom and county.

23a   Previous set of books // undiscovered (6)

In addition to meaning dead (as it is used in 15d), the term late[3] can mean having recently occupied a position or place the company's late president gave the address. [Notwithstanding this usage being in the dictionary, were I to see or hear this statement, I would certainly envision a message from beyond the grave!]

In Crosswordland, the phrase "religious books" — or often (as today) 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.

24a   Run around unwell, having taken a // piece of food (8)

In Mexican cookery, a tortilla[5] is a thin, flat pancake made from maize [corn] flour, eaten hot or cold, typically with a savoury filling. However, in Spanish cookery, a tortilla[5] is an omelette.

25a   What Paralympian may have // –- he is involved with sports (10)

26a   River // coming into hovel below (4)

The Elbe[5] is a river of central Europe, flowing 1,159 km (720 miles) from the Czech Republic through Dresden, Magdeburg, and Hamburg to the North Sea.

Down

1d   Holy objects kept outside bar /in/ places like Ireland (9)

2d   Optical problem, // as designers then worked out (4-11)

3d   Cook fowl /as/ a pagan (7)

4d   Nameless tough fighters arising /to be/ rulers (7)

A Spartan[2] was a citizen or inhabitant of ancient Sparta. Today, the term is applied to someone who is disciplined, courageous and shows great endurance. Sparta was a city in ancient Greece that was noted for its austerity and whose citizens were characterized by their courage and endurance in battle and by the simplicity and brevity of their speech.

A satrap[5] was a provincial governor in the ancient Persian empire. The name has now come to mean any subordinate or local ruler.

5d   Old writer having drink // becomes more communicative (5,2)

The setter has almost certainly used "writer" in the sense of an implement used for writing. While North American dictionaries define pen[3,11] as a writer or an author ⇒ a hired pen, British dictionaries do not list this meaning and instead show pen[2,4] (or the pen[5,10]) as symbolically denoting writing as an occupation.

"drink" = SUP (show explanation )

As a verb, sup[5] is a dated or Northern English term meaning to take (drink or liquid food) by sips or spoonfuls ⇒ (i) she supped up her soup delightedly; (ii) he was supping straight from the bottle.

As a noun, sup[5] means (1) a sip of liquid ⇒ he took another sup of wine or (2) in Northern England or Ireland, an alcoholic drink ⇒ the latest sup from those blokes at the brewery.

hide explanation

6d   Imprisoned frequently, I am free finally -- // just before something terrible happens? (2,3,4,2,4)

The nick[5] is an informal British term for prison ⇒ he’ll end up in the nick for the rest of his life.

7d   Not happy eating the French // food with few calories (5)

"the French" = LA (show explanation )

In French, the feminine singular form of the definite article is la[8].

hide explanation

12d   One reigning over a // period (3)

"One reigning" = 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

15d   Member is no longer with us -- // make provision in law (9)

17d   Article // subsequently shortened (3)

18d   Remove // handicap for excellent golfer (7)

In golf, scratch[5] denotes a handicap of zero, indicating that a player is good enough to achieve par on a course ⇒ he plays off scratch in University golf.

19d   Makes // fusses (7)

Create[5] is an informal British term meaning to make a fuss or complain ⇒ little kids create because they hate being ignored.

20d   Gives // a couple of females commands, no hesitation (7)

21d   Dance /with/ girl before work (5)

"work" = OP (show explanation )

In music, an opus[5] (plural opuses or opera) is a separate composition or set of compositions.

The abbreviation Op.[5] (also op.), denoting opus, is used before a number given to each work of a particular composer, usually indicating the order of publication. The plural form of Op. is Opp..

Opus[5] can also be used in a more general sense to mean an artistic work, especially one on a large scale ⇒ he was writing an opus on Mexico.

hide explanation

The galop[5] is a lively ballroom dance in duple time, popular in the late 18th century.
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

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