Monday, September 26, 2016

Monday, September 26, 2016 — DT 28133

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28133
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Monday, June 6, 2016
Rufus (Roger Squires)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28133]
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


If — as Miffypops shows in his review — this puzzle merits only two stars for difficulty, I would say that it sits at the extreme upper end of the two-star range. One clue (21a) would almost certainly seem to have been created for a solution other than the one that appears in the puzzle.

I invite you to leave a comment to let us know how you fared with the puzzle.

Errors in Today's Puzzle

As Richard has made me aware in his comment below, errors have crept into two clues in the puzzle as it appears in the National Post. In both cases, the word "fielder" has been changed to "elder". The correct clues are:
  • 22a   View of batsmen making runs, and a fielder (10)
  • 15d   Baseball fielder -- in trunks and jumper? (9)

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   Funny // business with amended claim (7)

5a   Person on the make (7)

9a   A quiet man /gets/ protection (5)

"quiet" = P (show explanation )

Piano[3,5] (abbreviation p[5]), is a musical direction meaning either (as an adjective) soft or quiet or (as an adverb) softly or quietly.

hide explanation

10a   Crossword addicts should be used to such setbacks (9)

In the intro to his review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Miffypops remarks that he "struggles with the difference between all-in-one clues and cryptic definitions". That is understandable when one is dealing with a puzzle crafted by Rufus. His clues often bear the characteristics of multiple types of clue rather than falling neatly into one classification.

This clue is a case in point. My first inclination was to mark it as a double definition in which the first definition is given by the portion with the dashed underline. However, the word "setbacks" — in addition to being a definition on its own — does seem to complete the thought conveyed by the first part of the clue, making the entire clue into a very nice cryptic definition.

11a   Offensive // description of a snowman? (10)

Unlike the previous clue, I have opted to mark this one as a "double definition" rather than a cryptic definition. Why, you might ask? Merely gut feeling.

12a   Currency check (4)

This is a cryptic definition of a structure that checks or impedes the flow of a current in a waterway. Currency[1] is used rather whimsically in the sense of that which circulates, especially the money of a country, or circulation.

14a   This will remove tea stains -- but /one needs/ to verify (12)

As an anagram indicator, remove[10] is used in the sense of to take away and place elsewhere. It is the individual letters forming the words "tea stains but" that are acted on — not the words in their entirety.

18a   So many miraculously catered for (4,8)

In the Bible, Jesus is reported to have miraculously fed a multitude[7] on two separate occasions — each time from a few loaves and a small number of fish.

The first miracle, "the Feeding of the 5,000", is the only miracle (apart from Jesus' resurrection) which is recorded in all four canonical Gospels: Matthew 14:13-21, Mark 6:31-44, Luke 9:10-17 and John 6:5-15. This event is also known as the "miracle of the five loaves and two fish", because the Gospel of John reports that five barley loaves and two small fish supplied by a boy were used by Jesus to feed a multitude.

The second miracle, The "Feeding of the 4,000", with seven loaves of bread and fish, is reported by Matthew 15:32-16:10 and Mark 8:1-9, but not by Luke or John.

21a   Aussie's bag /for/ loot (4)

I spent a lot of time and effort trying to account for the Australian reference in the clue. I eventually concluded that the clue was created for a solution other than the one required — a view that is also unanimously espoused in comments on Big Dave's Crossword Blog. Yes, SACK does mean "to loot" and a SACK is a "bag" — but there is nothing inherently Australian about the term.

On the other hand, SWAG does mean "loot" (money or goods taken by a thief or burglar). Swag[5] is also an Australian and New Zealand term for a traveller's or miner's bundle of personal belongings.

As Weekendwanda ponders at Comment #43 on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, is this a case of "the wrong answer to the right clue or the right answer to the wrong clue".

22a   View /of/ batsmen making runs, and a fielder (10)

In cricket, a stand[10] is an extended period at the wicket [in other words, an extended period batting without being put out and thereby scoring a substantial number of runs] by two batsmen*.
* In cricket, batsmen always bat in pairs, one positioned at either end of the pitch. A partnership[5] [a term used by Miffypops in his review] is the number of runs added by a pair of batsmen before one of them is dismissed or the innings ends ⇒ their 176-run third-wicket partnership.
In cricket, point[5] is:
  1. a fielding position on the off side* near the batsman; or
  2. a fielder at the point position.
* In cricket, the off side (another name for off[5]) 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.
25a   Rate balsa to be // a smooth material (9)

26a   Is a girl -- or a boy (5)

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Miffypops writes In days gone by Obituaries or biographies would often end with the number of offspring the deceased had and would be written thus – Issue. 1s 3d meaning 1 son 3 daughters. For years I read it as Issue. One shilling and threepence to my complete bafflement.
In the British currency system used prior to the introduction of the current decimal currency system, a shilling[5] (abbreviation s[5]) was a coin and monetary unit equal to one twentieth of a pound and a penny[5] (abbreviation d[5] [for denarius]) was a coin or monetary unit equal to one twelfth of a shilling or 240th of a pound.

27a   Makes things balance /and/ quits to eat a late meal (5,2)

Quits[5] is an adjective meaning (of two people) on even terms (i.e., even), especially because a debt or score has been settled ⇒ I think we’re just about quits now, don’t you?.

28a   A gentle exercising, // with style (7)


1d   Stock // form of car tax (6)

Stock[10] denotes a long usually white neckcloth wrapped around the neck, worn in the 18th century and as part of modern riding dress.

A value added tax[5] (abbreviation VAT) is a tax on the amount by which the value of an article has been increased at each stage of its production or distribution.

The European Union value added tax[7] (or EU VAT) is a value added tax on goods and services within the European Union (EU). The EU's institutions do not collect the tax, but EU member states (including the UK) are each required to adopt a value added tax that complies with the EU VAT code. Different rates of VAT apply in different EU member states, ranging from 17% in Luxembourg to 27% in Hungary. In the UK, the rate is 20% (as Miffypops mentions in his review).

Canada's Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) are each instances of a value added tax.[7]

2d   Dark red // strand (6)

3d   Sequence that needs to be checked in a film studio (10)

A "not very cryptic" definition for which Rufus is known.

Sometimes these type of clues are intended to misdirect one's attention to another area of endeavour entirely. Should one fall into the trap, these clues can lead to "Eureka" moments when the penny finally drops. If the solver is not taken in by the attempt at misdirection, he or she is left scratching their head questioning what is cryptic about the clue.

In this case, not only did I not fall into a trap — in hindsight, I can't even see that there is a trap.

4d   Some popular variety // grub (5)

5d   Very serious internal troubles? (5,4)

It did not take me long to realize that the solution related to armed conflict rather than a medical ailment. At least in this clue — unlike 3d — I can recognize the intended distraction.

6d   A noble // brew of ale that's about right (4)

An earl[5] is a British nobleman ranking above a viscount and below a marquess [the third highest of the five ranks of British nobility — duke, marquess, earl, viscount, and baron].

7d   The difference between imports and exports (5,3)

This definition is even less cryptic than 3d.

8d   Kept /from/ retiring (8)

13d   Whatever the cost, // it could make a nice party (2,3,5)

15d   Baseball fielder -- /in/ trunks and jumper? (9)

I would not say that the picture used by Miffypops to illustrate his review shows either trunks or a jumper — by anyone's definition.

In Britain, a jumper[5] is a knitted garment typically with long sleeves, worn over the upper body (in North American parlance, a sweater — in particular, a pullover).

What those of us in North America would call a jumper, the Brits would call a pinafore[5] (a collarless sleeveless dress worn over a blouse or [British] jumper [i.e., North American sweater]).

Thus, if a British lass were to wear a pinafore over her jumper and a North American gal were to wear a jumper over her sweater, they would be dressed identically.

The terms sweater[5] and pullover[5] would also appear to be in common use in the UK. Although the definitions given for sweater in British dictionaries would seem to imply that the term applies only to a pullover, Collins English Dictionary defines a cardigan[10] to be a knitted jacket or sweater with buttons up the front.

16d   Where prompt action is requested (3-5)

17d   Girl and cleric having no right // to withdraw (8)

Behind the Picture
Shown in the Wonderbra advertisement is Eva Herzigová[7], a Czech model and actress.

Here is yet another outstanding example of her work:

Translation: "Look at me in the eyes ...", "... I said the eyes."

Curate[5] can mean:
  1. (also assistant curate) a member of the clergy engaged as assistant to a vicar, rector, or parish priest; or
  2. (archaic) a minister with pastoral responsibility.
19d   Light sleep? (6)

A sleep taken while it is light out.

20d   Declare // in cricket match (6)

The wordplay is AT (in) + TEST (cricket match).

As a preposition used to indicate location or position, at[5] can — on fairly rare occasions — be replaced by the word "in" ⇒ (i) are they at the table?; (ii) staying at a small hotel. In the later of these usage examples, one could make the substitution but it certainly does not work in the former case.

A Test[5] (short for Test match)[5] is an international cricket or rugby match, typically one of a series, played between teams representing two different countries ⇒ the Test match between Pakistan and the West Indies.

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Miffypops refers to Lords or The Oval.
Lord's Cricket Ground[7], generally known as Lord's, is a cricket venue in St John's Wood, London. Named after its founder, Thomas Lord, it is widely referred to as the "home of cricket" and is home to the world's oldest sporting museum. 

The Oval[7], currently known for sponsorship reasons as the Kia Oval, is an international cricket ground in Kennington, in the London Borough of Lambeth, South London. The Oval has been the home ground of Surrey County Cricket Club since it was opened in 1845. It was the first ground in England to host international Test cricket in September 1880. The final Test match of the English season is traditionally played there.

Scratching the Surface
The term "declare" has a very specific meaning in cricket.

In cricket, a team continues to bat until ten of the eleven players on the team have been dismissed*, unless the captain of a batting team declares the innings closed prematurely (the rationale for doing so is explained below). In the event that the captain declares the innings closed, his team takes the field and the opposing team bats.
* batsmen always bat in pairs and once ten players have been dismissed there are not enough players left to form a partnership.
The primary objective of each team in cricket[7] is to score more runs than the opposing team. However, in Test cricket (a match between national teams), it is not only necessary to score the most runs but also to dismiss the opposition twice in order to win the match, which would otherwise be drawn. Therefore, the captain of a batting team which has built up a large lead may declare the innings closed prematurely in order to allow the opposition to bat (and thus gain an opportunity to dismiss them). As a captain, the key to victory is picking the right time to declare. Should he declare too early, the other team may score more runs than his team has amassed and thereby win. On the other hand, if he were to declare too late, the match may end before his team can dismiss the other team (resulting in a draw, even though his team may have a substantial lead in runs).

23d   Railwaymen of yore with points // to look after (5)

The National Union of Railwaymen[7] (abbrev. NUR) was a trade union of railway workers in the United Kingdom. The NUR was founded in 1913 by the merger of three predecessor railway unions. In 1990 the NUR merged with the National Union of Seamen to form the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) and ceased to exist as a separate union.

24d   Very low // perch (4)

Bass[10] is another name for the European perch (Perca fluviatilis). However, in my American dictionaries, this particular fish does not appear on the list of the several species of fish sharing the name bass.
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

1 comment:

  1. Managed to solve this unaided, despite there being two typos in the NP edition of the puzzle. Both fielders were printed as elders. I scratched my noggin for quite some time, thinking about various trees and churchmen. That certainly boosted the difficulty into the upper two-star range.

    The NP is just barely justifying the cost of a print subscription these days. If not for the puzzle page, I would probably drop it.