Thursday, September 15, 2016

Thursday, September 15, 2016 — DT 28124

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28124
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, May 26, 2016
RayT (Ray Terrell)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28124]
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


Today's enjoyable puzzle carries all the usual hallmarks of a RayT creation — among them, a bit of innuendo, an initialism style clue and an appearance by Her Majesty.

I received a nasty surprise today when I noticed that Oxford Dictionaries has — for the umpteenth time — restructured the coding on their website. As a result, virtually all of the links from previous blogs to the Oxford Dictionaries website will no longer function. In some cases, the links fail completely; in other cases, they now link to top level entries rather than specific subentries. For instance, one of the broken links which previously led one directly to the 73rd subentry now drops one at the top of the entry — meaning a great deal of scrolling for anyone trying to locate the specific subentry.

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.


7a   Solitary // sailor with parrot capsized in unending ocean (8)

"sailor" = TAR (show explanation )

Tar[5] is an informal, dated term for a sailor. The term, which dates from the 17th century, is perhaps an abbreviation of tarpaulin, which was also used as a nickname for a sailor at that time.

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9a   University fellow accepting reading perhaps /is/ critical (6)

Reading is one of the three academic Rs — the others being 'Riting and 'Rithmetic.

10a   Face // expressed relief for the audience (4)

11a   Rash? // It's nice and red, sadly (10)

12a   Goddess // caught in passion by sweetheart (6)

"caught" = C (show explanation )

In cricket, one way for a batsman to be dismissed is to be caught out[5], that is for a player on the opposing team to catch a ball that has been hit by the batsman before it touches the ground.

On cricket scorecards, the abbreviation c.[2,10] or c[5] denotes caught (by).

hide explanation

"sweetheart" = E (show explanation )

A common cryptic crossword construct is to use the word "sweetheart" to clue E, the middle letter (heart) of swEet.

hide explanation

In Greek mythology, Hecate[10] is a goddess of the underworld.

14a   Best spot for view following bell? (8)

It took me some time to convince myself that this is indeed a semi-&lit (semi-all-in-one) clue — one in which the entire clue is the definition and the wordplay (marked with a dashed underline) is embedded in the clue. The wordplay parses as SIDE (view) following RING (bell).

I am apparently not alone in having difficulty coming to grips with the parsing of this clue as there is some discussion on this subject at Big Dave's Crossword Blog in the thread attached to Comment #3.

Bell[5] is an informal British term meaning to telephone (someone) ⇒ no problem, I’ll bell her tomorrow.

View could be a synonym for side[2a] in either of two senses of perspective (either physical or opinion):
  • 4 [physical perspective] aspect, angle, slant, facet, standpoint, view, viewpoint, point of view, profile
    5 [opinion] standpoint, viewpoint, view, aspect, angle, slant
Of course, the definition alludes to the "best spot" from which to view a boxing match.

15a   Supports around outside of pole /for/ tents (6)

17a   Doctor receiving education in charge of // doctor (6)

"doctor" = MO (show explanation )

A medical officer[5] (abbreviation MO[5]) is a doctor in charge of the health services of a civilian or military authority or other organization.

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"in charge of" = IC (show explanation )

The abbreviation i/c[5] can be short for either:
  1. (especially in military contexts) in charge of ⇒ the Quartermaster General is i/c rations; or
  2. in command ⇒ 2 i/c = second in command.
hide explanation

Medico[5] is an informal term for a medical practitioner or student.

20a   Coming back in profit, I repaid // drink (8)

22a   After seeing tabloid, comprehension/'s/ lowered (6)

The Sun[7] is a daily tabloid newspaper published in the United Kingdom and Ireland by a division of News UK, a wholly owned subsidiary of Australian-born American publisher and media entrepreneur Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

Ken[5] denotes one's range of knowledge or understanding ⇒ politics are beyond my ken.

23a   Scepticism as term in Dartmoor detains // ringleader (10)

Scratching the Surface
HM Prison Dartmoor[7] is a Category C [likely medium security in Canadian terms] men's prison, located in Princetown, high on Dartmoor* in the English county of Devon. Its high granite walls dominate this area of the moor. The prison is owned by the Duchy of Cornwall, and is operated by Her Majesty's Prison Service.
* Dartmoor[5] is a moorland district in Devon that was a royal forest in Saxon times, now a national park.

24a   A behind's endless // expanse (4)

25a   Employee seen chaperoning one round town initially? (6)

This style of clue has become a trademark of RayT puzzles — together with an appearance by Her Majesty.

This is another semi-&lit. (semi-all-in-one) clue. Unlike the one in 14a in which the entire clue was the definition and only a portion of the clue served as wordplay, here the entire clue provides the wordplay while only the portion of the clue with the solid underline is the definition.

In fact, if you can manage to convince yourself that the word "initially" can be incorporated into the definition, then you can consider this to be a true &lit. (all-in-one) clue rather than merely a semi-&lit. clue. Sometimes I find this possible — but not with today's clue.

Behind the Picture
On Big Dave's Crossword Blog, pommers illustrates his hint with a picture of a Ford "Escort RS Cosworth".

The Ford Escort[7] is a small family car that was manufactured by Ford Europe from 1968 to 2004. The Ford Escort name was also applied to several different small cars produced in North America by Ford between 1981 and 2003.

The Ford Escort RS Cosworth*[7] is a sports derivative and rally homologation** special of the fifth generation European Ford Escort. It was designed to qualify as a Group A car for the World Rally Championship, in which it competed between 1993 and 1998 [RS stands for Rallye Sport (French for Rally Sport)]. It was available as a road car from 1992–96 in very limited numbers.
* Cosworth[7] is a high-performance engineering company founded in London in 1958, specialising in engines and electronics for automobile racing (motorsport) and mainstream automotive industries. It manufactured the engines used in the Escort RS Cosworth.

** In motorsports, homologation[7] is the approval process through which a vehicle, a race track, or a standardised part is required to go for certification to race in a given league or series.

26a   English bird's wintry, occasionally /for/ ages (8)

The tern[5] is any of many species of seabird related to the gulls, typically smaller and more slender, with long pointed wings and a forked tail.


1d   Unemotional // sex turns up in novel (8)

It[5] (usually written in quotation marks, "it") is an informal term for sexual intercourse or sex appeal ⇒ (i) the only thing I knew nothing about was ‘it’; (ii) they were caught doing ‘it’ in the back seat of his car.

2d   Peel // fruit noisily (4)

3d   Indigenous // tribe's leader has primitive surroundings (6)

Here naive[5](adjective,1.2) means of or denoting art produced in a style which deliberately rejects sophisticated artistic techniques and has a bold directness resembling a child's work, typically in bright colours with little or no perspective.

4d   A nice Sun spread /provides/ something offensive (8)

Scratching the Surface
The tabloid from 22a makes another appearance.

5d   Is sore with gang's violent // hostility (10)

6d   Iron Duke ended all disheartened, // undoubtedly (6)

Scratching the Surface
The Iron Duke[10] was the nickname of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington[10], (1769–1852), British soldier and statesman; prime minister (1828–30). He was given command of the British forces against the French in the Peninsular War (1808–14) and routed Napoleon at Waterloo (1815).

8d   Unrestrained nude about /to show/ stomach (6)

13d   Desire // excessively good helping when going first (10)

Pi[5] is an informal British short form for pious.

16d   Body about to be consumed // whole (8)

18d   Cheers after old favourite covering Queen/'s/ musical piece (8)

Cheers[5] is a chiefly British expression expressing gratitude or acknowledgement for something ⇒ Billy tossed him the key. ‘Cheers, pal.’.

Ta[5] is an informal British exclamation signifying thank you ‘Ta,’ said Willie gratefully.

"Queen" = 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.

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19d   Rough diamonds /in/ workplace (6)

Off[5] is an informal British term meaning unwell ⇒ I felt decidedly off.

21d   Thanksgiving // set up supporting first of Pilgrims (6)

Scratching the Surface
The surface reading should certainly be clear to any North American.

22d   Waterlogged // hole covered by turf (6)

24d   Skinny-looking -- not good? /That's/ relative (4)

"good" = G (show explanation )

The abbreviation G[10] for good likely relates to its use in grading school assignments or tests.

hide explanation
Key to Reference Sources: 

[1]   - The Chambers Dictionary, 11th Edition
[2]   - Search Chambers - (Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)
[2a]  - Search Chambers - (Chambers Thesaurus)
[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. Some great clues mixed in with far too many legos -- about 16 by my count -- another hallmark of Ray T puzzles.

  2. 23A is the greatest hidden I have ever seen. Just brilliant