Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Tuesday, September 20, 2016 — DT 28129

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28129
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Jay (Jeremy Mutch)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28129]
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


I rolled through this time in excellent time and, so, was a bit surprised to see that the 2Kiwis had rated at three stars for difficulty — commenting that they "found it a smidgen trickier this week". I truly must have been tuned precisely to the right wavelength today.

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   In court, long /for/ prestige (6)

"court" = CT (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

5a   Al Capone/'s/ panic around France, oddly (8)

Al Capone[5] (1899–1947) [nicknamed Scarface] was an American gangster of Italian descent. He dominated organized crime in Chicago in the 1920s and was indirectly responsible for many murders, including the St Valentine’s Day Massacre.

Cutting Deeper ... (not merely scratching the surface)
Capone[7] was born in Brooklyn (New York) and began his life of crime in New York City before moving to Chicago. Capone inadvertently insulted a woman while working the door at a Brooklyn night club and was slashed by her brother Frank Gallucio. The wounds led to the nickname that Capone loathed: "Scarface". Capone's boss, racketeer Frankie Yale, insisted that Capone apologize to Gallucio, and later Capone hired him as a bodyguard. When photographed, Capone hid the scarred left side of his face, saying that the injuries were war wounds. Capone was called "Snorky", a term for a sharp dresser, by his closest friends.

9a   Disobedient // in playing outside barn (13)

10a   Fertiliser /coming as a result of/ dog's dinner? (4,4)

Scratching the Surface
A dog's dinner[5] (or a dog's breakfast) is an informal British expression for a poor piece of work or, in other words, a mess we made a real dog’s breakfast of it. I would think that the latter version of the expression is more common in North America; the former not so much.

11a   St Andrew's cross, left out -- // that's supposed to be funny (6)

A saltire[5] is a diagonal cross as a heraldic ordinary* [such as the Saint Andrew's cross on the flag of Scotland].
* In heraldry, an ordinary[5] is any of the simplest principal charges (devices or bearings placed on a shield or crest) used in coats of arms (especially chief, pale, bend, fess, bar, chevron, cross, saltire). In a prime example of circular logic, Oxford Dictionaries defines a bearing[5] as a device or chargearmorial bearings. We finally escape from the loop with device[5] which is defined as an emblematic or heraldic design ⇒ their shields bear the device of the Blazing Sun.
12a   Fliers fail, possibly, lacking the ultimate in moral // fibre (6)

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).

14a   Carol's about to tolerate // bad language (8)

Wear[5] is an informal British term meaning to tolerate or accept ⇒ the environmental health people wouldn’t wear it.

What did they say?
In their review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, the 2Kiwis remark Carol here is a verb (not a blogger) ....
The 2Kiwis are named Colin and Carol.

16a   Fire it off after a quiet // drink (8)

"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

19a   Checks // test initially adopted by German cars (6)

Audi AG[7] is a German automobile manufacturer that has been a subsidiary of Volkswagen Group since 1966. The company name is based on the Latin translation of the surname of the founder, August Horch. "Horch", meaning "listen" in German, becomes "audi" in Latin. The four rings of the Audi logo each represent one of four car companies that banded together to create Audi's predecessor company, Auto Union.

Scratching the Surface
Might the surface reading be an allusion to the Volkswagen emissions scandal[7] (also known as "emissionsgate" or "dieselgate")? The scandal erupted on 18 September 2015, when the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notice of violation of the Clean Air Act to German automaker Volkswagen Group after it was found that Volkswagen had intentionally programmed turbocharged direct injection (TDI) diesel engines to activate certain emissions controls only during laboratory emissions testing. The programming caused the vehicles' NOx output to meet US standards during regulatory testing but emit up to 40 times more NOx in real-world driving. Volkswagen put this programming in about eleven million cars worldwide, and in 500,000 in the United States, during model years 2009 through 2015.

And the consequences of this fiddling are not trivial. A peer-reviewed study published in Environmental Research Letters estimated that approximately 59 premature deaths will be caused by the excess pollution produced between 2008 and 2015 by vehicles equipped with the defeat device in the United States alone, the majority due to particulate pollution (87%) with the remainder due to ozone (13%). The study also found that making these vehicles emissions compliant by the end of 2016 would avert an additional 130 early deaths.

21a   Burst // balloon (4,2)

23a   Dutch shoe protecting flimsy // socks, say (8)

Readers of the National Post have been spared the error which confronted users of the Telegraph Puzzles website in which the word "shoe" was transposed to "show" until the clue was corrected midday. The clue appeared correctly in the print edition of The Daily Telegraph, as it does in the National Post.

25a   Tyrannical // writer from Italy changing sides halfway through (13)

26a   Hide from animal, // wielding sabre in front of family (8)

27a   Has a go at // literary compositions (6)


2d   American state // song about area cut short (7)

3d   Virgin eschews top // speed (5)

4d   Bill left on slate possibly /for/ seasoning (5,4)

5d   Almost certain advantage /is/ more than is needed (7)

6d   Fool -- crossing motorway /must be/ wrong! (5)

The M1[7] is a north–south motorway [controlled access, multi-lane divided highway] in England connecting London to Leeds.

7d   Basset drinking coffee /is/ given praise (9)

Fred Basset[7] is a comic strip about a male basset hound. The cartoon was created by Scottish cartoonist Alex Graham and published first in Britain's Daily Mail newspaper in 1963. It has since been syndicated around the world.

8d   Church getting over new name /and/ indication of rank (7)

13d   Two original elements /in/ schnapps, perhaps (9)

... although I would think that the term might more commonly be applied to whiskey.

15d   With flag raised, make a speech /and/ disappear (9)

Flag[10] means to to furnish (a floor) with flagstones.

In Britain, pave[5] means to cover (a piece of ground) with flat stones or bricks — not asphalt ⇒ the yard at the front was paved with flagstones.

17d   Punter's beginning on beer, beer /and/ beer (4,3)

Pale ale[10] is a British term [really?] for an amber colored ale brewed with pale malts that is similar to bitter but drier and lighter.

Scratching the Surface
In Britain, the word punter[5,10] is used in a number of informal senses:
  1. a person who gambles, places a bet, or makes a risky investment;
  2. any member of the public, especially a customer or client, in particular a member of an audience the punters flock into the sales;
  3. a prostitute's client;
  4. a victim of a con man.

18d   Story /resulting from/ conflict with no end to war (7)

20d   Catch up with African organisation youth leader/'s/ right to occupation (7)

The African National Congress[5] (abbreviation ANC) is a South African political party and black nationalist organization. Having been banned by the South African government 1960–90, the ANC was victorious in the country’s first democratic elections in 1994 and its leader Nelson Mandela became the country’s President.

22d   Lay down /and/ drink (5)

Plonk[5] is an informal British term (equivalent to the North American term plunk[3,5]) meaning:
  1. to set down heavily or carelessly she plonked her glass on the table; or
  2. to sit down heavily and without ceremony he plonked himself down on the sofa.
Plonk[5] is an informal British (originally Australian) term for cheap wine of inferior quality we turned up at 8 p.m., each clutching a bottle of plonk.

24d   Hard, when accepting the Italian/'s/ salutes (5)

In Italian, the masculine singular form of the definite article is il[8].
Key to Reference Sources: 

[1]   - The Chambers Dictionary, 11th Edition
[2]   - Search Chambers - (Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)
[3]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (American Heritage Dictionary)
[4]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (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] - CollinsDictionary.com (Collins English Dictionary)
[11] - TheFreeDictionary.com (Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary)
Signing off for today — Falcon

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