Thursday, September 22, 2016

Thursday, September 22, 2016 — DT 28131

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28122
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, June 3, 2016
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28131]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Deep Threat
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


I seem to have gotten a bit lazy with today's puzzle. Quite some time elapsed between solving the puzzle and writing the review leading to me neglecting to revisit a couple of clues for which I had answers that I had clearly noted as being unsatisfactory.

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

Footnote to Yesterday's Puzzle

I am saddened to learn today that John Pidgeon (Petitjean) — the setter of the puzzle that appeared in the National Post yesterday — passed away on July 19, 2016.

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   Medical preparation /that may create/ row in a part of the hospital (10)

"part of the hospital" = ENT (show explanation )

Should you not have noticed, the ear, nose and throat (ENT[2]) department is the most visited section, by far, in the Crosswordland Hospital.

hide explanation

6a   Permit /for/ mountain route (4)

9a   Grown-up to rave about drug /being/ a corrupt influence (10)

"Ecstasy" = E (show explanation )

E[5] is an abbreviation for the drug Ecstasy* or a tablet of Ecstasy ⇒ (i) people have died after taking E; (ii) being busted with three Es can lead to stiff penalties.
* Ecstasy[5] is an illegal amphetamine-based synthetic drug with euphoric effects, originally produced as an appetite suppressant. Also called MDMA (Methylenedioxymethamphetamine).
hide explanation

10a   A good artist /in/ an Indian city (4)

"good" = G (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

"artist" = RA (show explanation )

A Royal Academician (abbreviation RA[10]) is a member of the Royal Academy of Arts[5] (also Royal Academy; abbreviation also RA[10]), an institution established in London in 1768, whose purpose is to cultivate painting, sculpture, and architecture in Britain. 

hide explanation

Agra[5] is a city on the Jumna River in Uttar Pradesh state, northern India; population 1,638,200 (est. 2009). The capital of the Mogul empire 1566–1658, it is the site of the Taj Mahal.

12a   Pick up // courage no end (4)

Not being at all satisfied with my answer here, I should not have called off my search prematurely. As a solution, I had BEAR (carry, supposing that one had to pick something up in order to carry it) being BEARD with the final letter removed. As a verb, beard[5] means to boldly confront or challenge (someone formidable). Therefore, I erroneously surmised that the word might also mean "courage" as a noun — but that is apparently not the case.

13a   Deserving of an accolade, // fantastic Beatles -- this person's getting enthralled (9)

"this person's" = IM (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.

Today, the setter has made the scenario slightly more complicated by combining "this person" with the verb "to be" producing "this person's" (a contraction of "this person is") which must be replaced by "I'm" (a contraction of "I am").

hide explanation

Scratching the Surface
Surely, The Beatles[7] need no introduction.

15a   Arrays /of/ food covered by pieces of fabric (8)

16a   A lake by which dad hugs a cold // animal (6)

18a   Bit of food // is hard to cook (6)

20a   Act involving alcoholic drink /gets one/ banned (8)

The link phrase "gets one" conveys the message that executing the wordplay produces (gets) for the solver (one) the solution.

23a   Traveller /given/ company car (VW) at end of month (5,4)

The Volkswagen Polo[7] is a supermini car produced by the German manufacturer Volkswagen since 1975. It is sold in Europe and other markets worldwide in hatchback, sedan and estate [British term for station wagon] variants.

Marco Polo[5] (c.1254–c.1324) was an Italian traveler. With his father and uncle he traveled to China and the court of Kublai Khan via central Asia (1271–75). He eventually returned home (1292–95) via Sumatra, India, and Persia. His account of his travels spurred the European quest for the riches of the East.

24a   Opposing // characters with imagination (4)

26a   Labour/'s/ reverse of fortune enthralling one (4)

Scratching the Surface
The Labour Party[5] (abbreviation Lab.[5]) in Britain is a left-of-centre political party formed to represent the interests of ordinary working people that since the Second World War has been in power 1945–51, 1964–70, 1974-9, and 1997–2010. Arising from the trade union movement at the end of the 19th century, it replaced the Liberals as the country’s second party after the First World War.

27a   Light blue // fairy gets victory against returning beast (10)

In Persian mythology, a peri[5] is a mythical superhuman being, originally represented as evil but subsequently as a good or graceful genie or fairy.

In Britain, elk[5] is another name for the moose (Alces alces). The animal (Cervus canadensis) known to North Americans as an elk is generally called a wapiti[3,4,11] in the UK, although it may also be referred to as the American elk or Canadian elk.

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Deep Threat describes a peri as a fairy (as seen in Iolanthe).
Iolanthe; or, The Peer and the Peri[7] is a comic opera with music by Arthur Sullivan and libretto by W. S. Gilbert. Iolanthe is a fairy who has been banished from fairyland because she married a mortal an act forbidden by fairy law.

28a   Famous Elizabethan heading off, // dissolute type (4)

Sir Francis Drake[5] (circa 1540–1596) was an English sailor and explorer. He was the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe (1577–80), in his ship the Golden Hind. He played an important part in the defeat of the Spanish Armada.

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Deep Threat refers to Sir Francis Drake as the chap who played bowls while waiting for the Spanish Armada.
The most famous (but probably apocryphal) anecdote about Drake relates that, prior to the battle, he was playing a game of bowls on Plymouth Hoe*. On being warned of the approach of the Spanish fleet, Drake is said to have remarked that there was plenty of time to finish the game and still beat the Spaniards. There is no known eyewitness account of this incident and the earliest retelling of it was printed 37 years later. Adverse winds and currents caused some delay in the launching of the English fleet as the Spanish drew nearer, perhaps prompting a popular myth of Drake's cavalier attitude to the Spanish threat.[7]
* Plymouth Hoe[7] (referred to locally as the Hoe) is  a large south facing open public space in the English coastal city of Plymouth. The name derives from the Anglo-Saxon word Hoe, a sloping ridge shaped like an inverted foot and heel.

29a   Tired men at work // stopped (10)


1d   Notice a maiden -- /and/ the one she led astray? (4)

In his review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Deep Threat marks the entire clue as being the definition. I have not done so, but I do acknowledge that the antecedent of the pronoun "she" is the maiden mentioned in the wordplay.

"maiden"  = M (show explanation )

In cricket, a maiden[5], also known as a maiden over and denoted on cricket scorecards by the abbreviation m.[10], 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. On cricket scorecards, the abbreviation O[5] denotes over(s).

hide explanation

2d   Greek character facing ordeal /is/ most tense (7)

Tau[5] is the nineteenth letter of the Greek alphabet (Τ, τ).

3d   Bury lass and I getting on -- // time for an ice cream? (12)

Scratching the Surface
In the surface reading, Bury[7] [pronounced berryalthough not by the locals according to Gazza in a review on Big Dave's blog] is a town in Greater Manchester, England.

4d   Forest in Germany with many getting lost -- // e.g. 1 Down? (8)

The Forest of Arden[10] is region of northern Warwickshire, England. Part of a former forest, it is the scene of William Shakespeare's play As You Like It.

The question mark can be seen to be an indication that the definition here is on the whimsical side. In his review, Deep Threat suggests that the solution is "a profession of which 1 down is said to be the first exponent". I did find some evidence to support this view, for example in a Wikipedia article on the Order of Free Gardeners[7] (a fraternal organization in the UK somewhat akin to Freemasonry). Taking a different tack, I had justified it on the basis of the whimsical logic that if someone who lives on an island is an islander, then it must follow that someone who lives in a garden is a gardener.

5d   Musical pieces /requiring/ no practice for players (6)

A nonet[5] is a musical composition for nine voices or instruments.

In cricket, a net[2,10] (often nets) denotes
  1. a practice pitch enclosed in nets, indoors or outdoors;
  2. a practice session in a net (or in nets).
7d   A large beast's beginning to stir -- // there's something symbolic in that (7)

8d   Show violence towards workers /or/ indicate friendship? (5,5)

11d   In the morning priest with sermon /shows/ improvement (12)

In the Bible, Eli[5] is a priest who acted as a teacher to the prophet Samuel (1 Sam. 1-3).

14d   Troublemaker, Irish revolutionary, with age almost /getting/ approval (10)

"Irish" = IR (show explanation )

Ir.[10] is an abbreviation for Ireland or Irish.

hide explanation

17d   Explosive fellow is male seeking // excessive pleasure (8)

HE[5] is the abbreviation for high explosive.

At Oxford and Cambridge universities, a fellow[10] is a member of the governing body of a college who is usually a member of the teaching staff.

A don[10] is a member of the teaching staff at a university or college, especially at Oxford or Cambridge.

19d   Richard admitting mistake /as/ crane // man (7)

I thought that Derrick might be a slang term for a crane operator. But that would seem not to be the case. The clue has two definitions in addition to the wordplay.

Derrick[7] is a male given name that may also be spelled Derek.

21d   Bulky alien /found in/ copse (7)

22d   Stick /of/ explosive hidden in central part (6)

The explosive from 17d gets used again.

25d   Small ball, // article buried in garden plot (4)

Another instance of not taking the time to followup on an unsatisfactory solution.
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. Saddened to hear of John Pidgeon's death. A wonderful setter who frequently visited the BD blog to share his warmth and wit. Relatively young, as well. What a terrible loss for his family and friends.