Thursday, September 29, 2016

Thursday, September 29, 2016 — DT 28138

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28138
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, June 11, 2016
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28138 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28138 – Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave (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.


Today we have a typically gentle "Saturday" puzzle.

With respect to cryptic crossword clues, the conventional wisdom is that the solver should ignore punctuation — except where it shouldn't be ignored. Several clues today include question marks. Most of them are irrelevant to the parsing, but a couple of them do convey information to the solver.

This puzzle appeared in the UK on the Queen's Official Birthday[7] which is celebrated there on the second Saturday in June. Her actual birthday is April 21.

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.


5a   Secrets spilled about power /and/ emblems of authority (8)

"power" = P (show explanation )

In physics, P[10] is a symbol used to represent power [among other things] in mathematical formulae.

hide explanation

A sceptre[10] is a ceremonial staff held by a monarch as the symbol of authority.

8a   Ailing // popular company (6)

10a   Reportedly rough // passage (6)

11a   Charming // volunteers repaired flutes (8)

"volunteers" = TA (show explanation )

In the UK, Territorial Army[5] (abbreviation TA[5]) was, at one time, the name of a volunteer force founded in 1908 to provide a reserve of trained and disciplined military personnel for use in an emergency. Since 2013, this organization has been called the Army Reserve.

hide explanation

12a   Male in desperation shakily // took off (12)

15a   Cheek given about maiden over /being/ tired (4)

Cheek[10] and lip[10] are both informal terms for impudent talk.

"maiden over"  = 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

17a   Female wearing article, // very pale (5)

18a   Seldom viewed // artist, extremely reclusive (4)

"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

19a   Continually // elected? Clearly (12)

22a   Safe to slate // boyish man? (5,3)

The question mark at the end of the definition indicates that we need an example of a "boyish man" rather than a synonym for that phrase.

Peter[5,10] is [seemingly British] slang for a safe, till, cash box or trunk.

Slate[5] is an informal British term meaning to criticize severely his work was slated by the critics.

Peter Pan[7] is a character created by Scottish novelist and playwright J. M. Barrie. A mischievous young boy who can fly and never grows up. Peter Pan spends his never-ending childhood having adventures on the island of Neverland as the leader of the Lost Boys, interacting with fairies, pirates, mermaids, Native Americans, and occasionally ordinary children from the world outside Neverland.

24a   In favour of international // currency unit (6)

The forint[10] is the standard monetary unit of Hungary, divided into 100 fillér.

25a   A jolly woman /in/ navy (6)

Jolly[10] is British slang for a member of the Royal Marines[5] (abbreviation RM[5]), a British armed service (part of the Royal Navy) founded in 1664, trained for service at sea, or on land under specific circumstances.

26a   Old celebrity on French street, returning /for/ train (8)

The French word for 'street' is rue[8].

Eurostar[5] (trademark) is the high-speed passenger rail service that links London with various European cities via the Channel Tunnel.


1d   Meagre // sum originally held in reserve (6)

2d   Electoral area undermining environmentalists /is/ common (10)

The term green[5] (usually Green) denotes a member or supporter of an environmentalist group or party ⇒ the Greens' remarkable 15 per cent vote.

Greensward[10] is an archaic or literary term for fresh green turf or an area of such turf.

3d   Audible disapproval // in church is sacrilegious (4)

4d   Volunteer to house complete // delinquent (8)

6d   Fried noodles, // food I must feed soldiers (4,4)

Chow mein[10] is a Chinese-American dish, consisting of mushrooms, meat, shrimps, etc, served with fried noodles.

7d   Turning honest about it, criminal /is/ to avoid being committed (3,2,3,5)

9d   Last character to wear striking // clobber (4)

Scratching the Surface
In the surface reading, clobber[5] is an informal British term for clothing, personal belongings, or equipment ⇒ I found all his clobber in the locker.

13d   Finn and Turk go out /to get/ a musical instrument? (6,4)

Note the question mark at the end of the definition. The setter is using it to flag to us that "musical instrument" may not mean what we think it does. We need an instrument used in performing acoustical calibrations.

14d   Dilapidated kraals in // country (3,5)

Sri Lanka[5] is an island country off the southeastern coast of India; population 21,324,800 (est. 2009); languages, Sinhalese (official), Tamil; capital, Colombo. It was formerly called (until 1972) Ceylon.

16d   Rate game? // This should show its worth (5,3)

20d   Wipe the floor with // this? Is to be scrubbed ahead of series (6)

Wipe the floor with[5] is an informal expression meaning to inflict a humiliating defeat on ⇒ they wiped the floor with us in a 3–0 win. The usage example almost certainly refers to soccer where such a score would be considered humiliating.

21d   Period of time, // long, endless? (4)

23d   E.g. 22 // take part in a game (4)

The numeral "22" is a cross reference indicator directing the solver to insert the solution to clue 22a in its place to complete the clue. The directional indicator is customarily omitted in situations such as this where only a single clue starts in the light* that is being referenced. 
* light-coloured cell in the grid
Peter Pan; or, the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up is a 1904 play by Scottish novelist and playwright J. M. Barrie that tells the story of Peter Pan (see 22a).
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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