Thursday, September 8, 2016

Thursday, September 8, 2016 — DT 28119

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28119
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, May 20, 2016
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28119]
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


Today Giovanni puts us through a relatively gentle workout which I appreciated given that I am still catching up from my extended long weekend away.

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   The RAF redefined loosely /as/ an 'ally with wings' (9,6)

Scratching the Surface
The Royal Air Force[5] (abbreviation RAF) is the British air force, formed in 1918 by amalgamation of the Royal Flying Corps (founded 1912) and the Royal Naval Air Service (founded 1914).

9a   US author/'s/ old book -- hit (4,5)

I have never thought of a poet as an author but I suppose if one writes an entire book of poetry, one is an author.

Ezra[5] is a book of the Bible telling of Ezra, the return of the Jews from Babylon, and the rebuilding of the Temple. Ezra was a Jewish priest and scribe who played a central part in the reform of Judaism in the 5th or 4th century BC, continuing the work of Nehemiah and forbidding mixed marriages.

Ezra Pound[5] (1885–1972) was an American poet and critic, resident in Europe 1908–45. Initially associated with imagism, he later developed a highly eclectic poetic voice, drawing on a vast range of classical and other references and establishing a reputation as a modernist poet. Notable works: Hugh Selwyn Mauberley (1920) and Cantos (series, 1917–70).

10a   Revolutionary monarch /getting/ welcome from the crowd? (5)

Che Guevara[7] (1928–1967) was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, guerrilla leader, diplomat, and military theorist. A major figure of the Cuban Revolution, his stylized visage has become a ubiquitous countercultural symbol of rebellion and global insignia within popular culture.

"monarch" = 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.

hide explanation

11a   I'm going under? // I have to have doctor around! (5)

12a   One of over a hundred spotted in film (9)

The Hundred and One Dalmatians[7], or the Great Dog Robbery is a 1956 children's novel by Dodie Smith about the kidnapping of a family of 101 Dalmatian dogs. Disney adapted the novel into an animated film, released in 1961 as One Hundred and One Dalmatians. The film was later remade by Disney into a live action movie which was released in 1996 as 101 Dalmatians.

13a   Fruit /which/ when drunk could make me blurry (8)

A mulberry[5] is the dark red or white loganberry-like fruit of the mulberry (also mulberry tree or mulberry bush), any of various species of small deciduous tree with broad leaves, native to East Asia and long cultivated elsewhere. Varieties include the white mulberry (Morus alba), originally grown for feeding silkworms, and the black (or common) mulberry (Morus nigra), grown for its fruit.

14a   Notice the fellow getting about -- // stick /needed/ (6)

The setter has structured this clue in such a way as to place the link word "needed" at the end of the clue.

16a   Copper coins -- // they were used as measures once (6)

The symbol for the chemical element copper is Cu[5] (from late Latin cuprum).

Bit[2] is an obsolete British term (used in compounds) for a coin, especially a small coin ⇒ threepenny bit.

In his review, Deep Threat references the US and Canadian usage of the word where a bit[10] is the value of an eighth of a dollar (spoken of only in units of two) ⇒ two bits or four bits but never one bit or three bits [presumably because there is no coin worth 12½ cents].

The cubit[5] was an ancient measure of length, approximately equal to the length of a forearm. It was typically about 18 inches or 44 cm, though there was a long cubit of about 21 inches or 52 cm.

18a   See any number in game /in/ Scottish water (4,4)

"see" = LO (show explanation )

Lo[5] is an archaic exclamation used to draw attention to an interesting or amazing event and lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them.

hide explanation

The letter n[10] is used (especially in mathematics) as a symbol to represent an indefinite number (of) ⇒ there are n objects in a box.

Loch Ness[5] is a deep lake in northwestern Scotland, in the Great Glen. Forming part of the Caledonian Canal, it is 38 km (24 miles) long, with a maximum depth of 230 m (755 ft).

22a   This person, boy turning back fierce animal, /gets/ little gong to wear round neck (9)

"this person" = ME (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.

hide explanation

Gong[5] is an informal British term for a medal or award.

23a   Stuff in kitchen // left for number to eat (5)

24a   Old men rolling over on street /to find/ shelter (5)

"men" = 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

25a   Censure Bury detective attending court (9)

"detective" = DI (show explanation )

A detective inspector (DI[5]) is a senior police officer in the UK. Within the British police, inspector[7] is the second supervisory rank. It is senior to that of sergeant, but junior to that of chief inspector. Plain-clothes detective inspectors are equal in rank to their uniformed counterparts, the prefix 'detective' identifying them as having been trained in criminal investigation and being part of or attached to their force's Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

hide explanation

"court" = CT (show explanation )

Ct[2] is the abbreviation for Court in street addresses — and possibly in other contexts as well.

hide explanation

I would argue that interdict and censure are hardly synonymous.

As a noun, an interdict[5] is an authoritative prohibition and, as a verb, interdict[5] is a chiefly North American term meaning to prohibit or forbid (something) ⇒ society will never interdict sex. (Really!)

Censure[5], on the other hand, is to express severe disapproval of (someone or something), especially in a formal statement or, as a noun, the formal expression of severe disapproval.

Thus, an interdict is an a priori attempt to prevent an act while a censure is an a posteriori condemnation of said act.

Scratching the Surface
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.

26a   Well prepared for battle, showing a steely face? (5,2,3,5)

This clue is a cryptic definition in which we have a straight definition (solid underline) combined with some cryptic elaboration (dashed underline).


1d   Way top person, female, set up // basic human right (7)

This "top person" is making her second appearance in today's puzzle.

"top person" = 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.

hide explanation

2d   A king meets competitor /making/ entrance (7)

"king" = R (show explanation )

Rex[5] (abbreviation R[5]) [Latin for king] denotes the reigning king, used following a name (e.g. Georgius Rex, King George) or in the titles of lawsuits (e.g. Rex v. Jones, the Crown versus Jones — often shortened to R. v. Jones).

hide explanation

3d   Patient held very tight // breathed very heavily (15)

As an anagram indicator, tight[5] is used in the informal sense of drunk ⇒ he got tight on brandy.

4d   Some hero under six /in/ game (8)

Rounders[5,7] is a ball game played between two teams. The game involves hitting a small, hard, leather-cased ball with a cylindrical bat. Gameplay centres on a number of innings, in which teams alternate at batting and fielding. A maximum of nine players are allowed to field at any time. Points (known as 'rounders') are scored by the batting team when one of their players completes a circuit past four bases arranged in the shape of a diamond without being put 'out'. The game is popular among Irish and British school children. [Sound at all familiar?]

Delving Deeper
The game of rounders[7] has been played in England since Tudor times, with the earliest reference being in 1744 in A Little Pretty Pocket-Book where it was called "base-ball" by John Newbery. In 1828, William Clarke in London published the second edition of The Boy's Own Book, which included the rules of rounders and which contained the first printed description in English of a bat and ball base-running game played on a diamond. The following year, the book was published in Boston, Massachusetts.

Rounders is played under slightly different rules in Britain and Ireland.

Both the 'New York game' [from which modern baseball evolved] and the now-defunct 'Massachusetts game' versions of baseball, as well as softball, share the same historical roots as rounders and bear a resemblance to the Irish version of the game.

5d   Comedian starts to look embarrassed? // It's not difficult (6)

Ken Dodd[7] is an English comedian, singer-songwriter and actor, identified by his trademark unruly hair and protruding teeth, his red, white and blue "tickling stick" and his famous, upbeat greeting of "How tickled I am!". In the 1960s his fame was such that he rivalled the Beatles as a household name, with his recording of "Tears" being the UK's third best selling single of the 1960s. His records have sold millions worldwide. As of 2016 — at the age of 88 —  he continues to tour with his comedy and music show.

As Deep Threat alludes in his review, Dodd was born in Knotty Ash, Liverpool, Lancashire, England — a place that apparently figures prominently in his comedy routines.

Delving Deeper
Dodd's stand-up comedy style is fast and relies on the rapid delivery of one-liner jokes. He intersperses the comedy with occasional songs, both serious and humorous, in an incongruously fine light baritone voice.

Dodd is renowned for the length of his performances, and during the 1960s he earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records for the world's longest ever joke-telling session: 1,500 jokes in three and a half hours (7.14 jokes per minute), undertaken at a Liverpool theatre, where audiences were observed to enter the show in shifts.

Doddle[5] is an informal British term for a very easy task ⇒ this printer’s a doddle to set up and use.

6d   King // has hired cars -- thrift gone mad (7,3,5)

Richard I[5] (1157–1199) reigned as king of England 1189–99. Son of Henry II, he was known as Richard Coeur de Lion or Richard the Lionheart. He led the Third Crusade, defeating Saladin at Arsuf (1191) but failing to capture Jerusalem. Returning home, he was held hostage by the Holy Roman emperor Henry VI until being released in 1194 on payment of a huge ransom.

7d   Recluse // at 'and to meet small child (7)

The first element of the charade is phrased in the cockney dialect of the East End of London — on which you should by now (after the puzzles from the previous two days) be thoroughly drilled.

A cockney[5,10] is a native of East London [specifically that part of East London known as the East End[5]], traditionally one born within hearing of Bow Bells (the bells of St Mary-le-Bow[7] church). Cockney is also the name of the dialect or accent typical of cockneys, which is characterised by dropping the H from the beginning of words and the use of rhyming slang[5].

A mite[5] is a small child or animal, especially when regarded as an object of sympathy ⇒ the poor little mite looks half-starved.

8d   Called, being stuck in river, // upset (7)

The Dee[5] is a river in northeastern Scotland, which rises in the Grampian Mountains and flows eastwards past Balmoral Castle to the North Sea at Aberdeen. Another river of the same name rises in North Wales and flows past Chester and on into the Irish Sea.

15d   Excellent // spinning toy, no titch shunning it (3-5)

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

16d   Cold region of Italy /or/ hilly part of England (7)

Umbria[5] is a region of central Italy, in the valley of the Tiber; capital, Perugia.

Cumbria[5] is a county of northwestern England; county town, Carlisle. Cumbria was an ancient British kingdom, and the name continued to be used for the hilly north-western region of England containing the Lake District. The county of Cumbria was formed in 1974, largely from the former counties of Westmorland and Cumberland.

17d   Chamber /should be/ cleaner for journalist to occupy (7)

19d   Revolutionary book -- this writer's // stirring feelings (7)

Here we encounter a variation on the device employed in 22a.

"this writer's" = IVE (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.

In this clue, the setter has made the scenario slightly more complicated by combining "this writer" with the verb "to have" producing "this writer's" (a contraction of "this writer has") which must be replaced by "I've" (a contraction of "I have").

hide explanation

20d   Extend // time in jail (7)

21d   Excellent child with love for form of martial art (6)

"excellent" = A1 (show explanation )

A1[4][5] or A-one[3] meaning first class or excellent comes from a classification for ships in The Lloyd's Register of Shipping where it means equipped to the highest standard or first-class.

hide explanation

"love" = O (show explanation )

In tennis, squash, and some other sports, love[5] is a score of zero or nil ⇒ love fifteen. The resemblance of a zero written as a numeral (0) to the letter O leads to the cryptic crossword convention of the word "love" being used to clue this letter.

Although folk etymology has connected the word with French l'oeuf 'egg', from the resemblance in shape between an egg and a zero, the term apparently comes from the phrase play for love (i.e. the love of the game, not for money).

hide explanation

Aikido[5] is a Japanese form of self-defence and martial art that uses locks, holds, throws, and the opponent’s own movements. Aikido[5] is but one of several schools of martial arts that are offshoots of jujitsu. The goal of its developer, Morihei Ueshiba, was to create an art that practitioners could use to defend themselves while also protecting their attacker from injury.
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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