Friday, September 9, 2016

Friday, September 9, 2016 — DT 28120

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28120
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, May 21, 2016
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28120 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28120 – Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
crypticsue (Hints)
gnomethang (Review)
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
As this was a Saturday "Prize Puzzle" in Britain, there are two entries related to it on Big Dave's Crossword Blog — the first, posted on the date of publication, contains hints for selected clues while the second is a full review issued following the entry deadline for the contest. The vast majority of reader comments will generally be found attached to the "hints" posting with a minimal number — if any — accompanying the full review.


"Saturday" prize puzzles tend to be on the easier side, but the difficulty level of this one appears to be slightly above the norm.

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   British tree with start of Dutch tree // rot (10)

6a   Invites // fool to entertain king (4)

"king" = K (show explanation )

K[5] is an abbreviation for king that is used especially in describing play in card games and recording moves in chess.

hide explanation

9a   Be glad I supply // sarcastic response (3,4)

As an anagram indicator, supply[5] is an adverb meaning 'in a supple manner'.

10a   Person delivering incoherent speech // rose (7)

12a   A chum strutted about // to make a good impression (3,3,7)

Most dictionaries define cut the mustard[3,4,5,10] as an informal expression meaning merely to come up to expectations or reach the required standard ⇒ I didn’t cut the mustard as a hockey player. However, The Chambers Dictionary defines cut the mustard[1] as an informal expression denoting to reach a required standard, make the grade; make a favourable impression on.

14a   Soldiers in gentle // address to superior (6)

"soldiers" = OR (show explanation )

In the British armed forces, the term other ranks[5] (abbreviation OR[5]) refers to all those who are not commissioned officers.

hide explanation

Milord[5] is a historical or humorous term used to address or refer to an English nobleman ⇒ the previous occupant had been evicted to make way for the English milord and his lady.

15a   Love // books I found in SW county (8)

In his review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog, gnomethang manages to insert an extra letter into the solution. "Love" is the definition and not an indication that we are to insert an O.

In Crosswordland, the phrase "religious books" — or, 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.

Devon[5] (also called Devonshire) is a county of southwestern England; county town, Exeter.

17a   Coarse humour // to tease hard-line Tory about a Liberal (8)

Dry[5] is a British term for a Conservative politician (especially in the 1980s) in favour of strict monetarist policies.

Delving Deeper
In British political circles, the name wet[5] is applied to a Conservative with liberal tendencies ⇒ the wets favoured a change in economic policy. It was a term frequently used by former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher for those to the left of her in the British Conservative Party [which must have been just about everyone].

"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

19a   Treacherous person // with support (6)

22a   He exchanged letters // to correspond aimlessly about nothing (6,7)

A spoonerism[5] is a verbal error in which a speaker accidentally transposes the initial sounds or letters of two or more words, often to humorous effect, as in the sentence you have hissed the mystery lectures. It is named after the Reverend W. A. Spooner (1844–1930), an English scholar who reputedly made such errors in speaking.

Spooner held a Doctor of Divinity degree and thus was entitled to be called Dr. Spooner.

24a   Astronomical features // unable to be resolved heading east (7)

25a   Stop // publicity happening (7)

I'm afraid that gnomethang gives a rather convoluted explanation for this clue. The wordplay parses simply as PR (publicity; abbreviation for 'public relations') + EVENT (happening; as a noun).

26a   What you could get from café at school (4)

This is a true &lit. (all-in-one) clue. The entire clue serves as both the definition and the wordplay. The solution is hidden in (what you could get from) cafE AT School.

27a   Checks little fellow/'s/ piece of embroidery (4,6)

Titch[5] is an informal British term for a small person ⇒ the titch of the class.

Stem stitch[5] is an embroidery stitch forming a continuous line of long, overlapped stitches, typically used to represent narrow stems.


1d   Youngster // born in stall (4)

2d   Soldier in pub // making sense (7)

"soldier" = GI (show explanation )

A GI[5] is a private soldier in the US army ⇒ she went off with a GI during the war.

Contrary to popular belief, the term apparently is not an abbreviation for general infantryman, but rather derives from the term government (or general) issue (originally denoting equipment supplied to US forces).

hide explanation

Local[5] is an informal British term for a pub convenient to a person’s home ⇒ a pint in the local.

3d   List of people to make cross (9,4)

In the UK, an electoral roll[5] (also electoral register) is an official list of the people in a district who are entitled to vote in an election : all voters must be entered on the electoral roll, which is updated annually.

4d   I'd help out /in/ place of oracle (6)

Delphi[5] was one of the most important religious sanctuaries of the ancient Greek world, dedicated to Apollo and situated on the lower southern slopes of Mount Parnassus above the Gulf of Corinth. It was the seat of the Delphic Oracle, whose riddling responses to a wide range of questions were delivered by the Pythia.

5d   Play guitar with favourite // loose woman (8)

7d   One dances around -- unknown needing to get in // programmes (7)

"unknown" = Y (show explanation )

In mathematics (algebra, in particular), an unknown[10] is a variable, or the quantity it represents, the value of which is to be discovered by solving an equation ⇒ 3y = 4x + 5 is an equation in two unknowns. [Unknowns are customarily represented symbolically by the letters x, y and z.]

hide explanation

8d   Urgently // employing craft carrying nuclear weapon (10)

The Trident missile[7] is a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) equipped with multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRV). Trident missiles are carried by fourteen US Navy Ohio-class submarines, with US warheads, and four Royal Navy Vanguard-class submarines, with British warheads.

11d   Sent in, Mr M Gove sorted out // bad policies (13)

Michael Gove[7] is a British Conservative Party politician and Member of Parliament (MP). At the time this puzzle appeared in the UK, he held the offices of Lord Chancellor [Great Officer of State responsible for the efficient functioning and independence of the courts] and Secretary of State for Justice in the cabinet of British Prime Minister David Cameron[7].

... and where is he now?
Gove played a major role in the UK's referendum on EU membership as the co-convenor of Vote Leave.

On 30 June 2016, Gove, who was campaign manager for Boris Johnson's drive to become Prime Minister, withdrew his support on the morning that Johnson was due to declare, and announced his own candidacy in the leadership election. In the first round of voting, Gove came third to Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom. He was eliminated from the leadership race on the second ballot on 7 July 2016. Following her appointment as Prime Minister, May did not appoint him to the Cabinet on 14 July 2016, and he was succeeded as Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice by Liz Truss.

13d   Recipe soaked in sauce /shows/ lack of judgment (10)

Recipe[5] (abbreviation r or r.[1]) is an archaic term for a medical prescription. This is also the origin of the stylized Rx[5] symbol found on prescriptions. The term is Latin and this usage dates from the 14th century, originally meaning 'take' or 'take it' when written at the top of medical prescriptions, from recipere to take.

Sauce[5] is an informal, chiefly British term for impertinence or cheek ‘None of your sauce,’ said Aunt Edie — which, in North America, would be called sass[5]

16d   Professional muscle restrained by street // fighter showing promise? (8)

18d   Spoke unkindly of // rear -- scrap follows (7)

20d   Something tempting // passed without hesitation (7)

21d   Decoration /for/ two Englishmen in Perth (6)

Perth[5] is the capital of the state of Western Australia, on the Indian Ocean; population 1,602,559 (2008). Founded by the British in 1829, it developed rapidly after the discovery in 1890 of gold in the region and the opening in 1897 of the harbour at Fremantle.

Pom[5] (short for Pommy*) is an informal, often derogatory, Australian and New Zealand term for a British person.
* Pommy (or Pommie) is also an informal, often derogatory, Australian and New Zealand term for a British person..
23d   Eat out // and so on with husband (4)
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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