Friday, October 21, 2016

Friday, October 21, 2016 — DT 28162

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28162
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, July 9, 2016
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28162– Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28162 – 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.


As is usual for "Saturday" puzzles, this one proved to be not too difficult.

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   Left // home to be nursed by sibling (8)

Sinister[5] (Latin word for 'left') is an archaic and heraldic term denoting of, on, or towards the left-hand side (in a coat of arms, from the bearer’s point of view, i.e. the right as it is depicted). On the other hand, dexter[5] (Latin word for 'on the right') denotes on or towards the right-hand side (in a coat of arms, from the bearer’s point of view, i.e. the left as it is depicted).

9a   Short /in/ bar groggily put away (6)

Scratching the Surface
Short[5] is a British term for a drink of spirits served in a small measure* or, as Collins English Dictionary puts it, a short[10] is a drink of spirits as opposed to a long drink such as beer.
* A measure[5] is a container of standard capacity used for taking fixed amounts of a substance.

10a   Shortened // Darren's odds ahead of victory (4,2)

11a   Opinionated // setter, perhaps, starts to moan about themes in crosswords (8)

12a   Bureaucrat on line about round // fruit (8,6)

Line and range might be a synonyms in several senses, including:
  1. A line[5] is a range of commercial goods the company intends to hire more people and expand its product line;
  2. A range[4,11] is a rank, row, line or series, as of persons or things.
  3. A range[5] is a line or series of mountains or hills ⇒ a mountain range.
What did he say?
In his hints on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Big Dave tells us that the first word of the solution is a government bureaucrat, like Sir Humphrey Appleby.
Sir Humphrey Appleby[7] (a senior member of the British Civil Service) is a fictional character from the British television series Yes Minister and Yes, Prime Minister.

15a   Cost /of/ polish, not good (4)

I think gnomethang unduly complicates matters in his explanation. I see the wordplay as merely being [G]LOSS (polish) with G (good) removed (not).

Cost[2] is loss or sacrifice ⇒ The war was won but the cost of human life was great.

17a   Hot rock // mass shown in colour supplement article (5)

"mass" = M (show explanation )

In physics, m[5] is a symbol used to represent mass in mathematical formulae.

hide explanation

Mag[5] is a colloquial term for a magazine or periodical [such as the colour supplements that at one time were — and, in some places (including the UK) apparently still are — commonly included in the weekend editions of newspapers].

Delving Deeper
The Sunday Times Magazine[7] is a magazine included with The Sunday Times. In 1962 it became the first colour supplement to be published as a supplement to a UK newspaper, and its arrival "broke the mould of weekend newspaper publishing". The magazine is renowned for its in-depth journalism, high-quality photography and extensive range of subject matter. It has had many famous contributors, including international authors, photographers and artists.

19a   Choke // about record (4)

20a   Knowing someone else's mind, // even if plodding? (7-7)

Thought reading[10] (or thought-reading[5]) is another term for mind-reading[10] (or mind reading[5,10]).

23a   Gathering for dancing after easy // game (8)

Delving Deeper
Of course, I had to investigate whether the Brits would be familiar with the game of softball. While there is nary a mention of Britain in the Wikipedia article on softball[7], I did discover that the game is popular around the world.

Softball is a variant of baseball played with a larger ball on a smaller field. It was invented in 1887 in Chicago as an indoor game.

Softball is the most popular participant sport in the United States. Other top countries in international competition are Japan, New Zealand, and Australia with China fast becoming the team to watch. Canada, although scarcely mentioned in the Wikipedia article, is likely close behind these nations. Softball is also played in almost every country in Europe, with the Czech Republic, Denmark, Italy, and the Netherlands being among the top nations.

25a   Batting order /for/ cricket? (6)

In cricket, a player who is batting is said to be in[5].

Behind the Picture
I initially wondered why Big Dave would use a picture of a grasshopper to illustrate his hint. However, when I ran my mouse over the picture I discovered that it is labelled "Insect" and so it would seem that he has actually not confused a cricket with a grasshopper.

27a   See 16 Down

28a   Do nicely /for/ so long (8)

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, gnomethang uses the term "rub along" as a synonym for "do nicely".
Rub along[5].is an informal British term meaning:
  1. cope or manage without undue difficulty ⇒ they rub along because their overheads are so low; or
  2. have a satisfactorily friendly relationship ⇒ they liked each other and rubbed along quite well.


1d   Row // it over English river (4)

2d   Watched // rival, United? (6)

Scratching the Surface
In the surface reading, "United" in all likelihood refers to Manchester United Football Club[7] (often referred to simply as United — and often as Man Utd or Man U), an English professional football [soccer] club, based at Old Trafford [football stadium] in Old Trafford [district of Manchester], Greater Manchester, that plays in the Premier League (the top level in the English football league system).

3d   Elbow maybe /making/ piano stick (4)

"piano" = 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

4d   Run-down saloon, say, /may cause/ bishop exasperation (6)

"bishop" = B (show explanation )

B[5] is an abbreviation for bishop that is used in recording moves in chess.

hide explanation

Saloon[5] (also saloon car) is a British term for a car [known in Canada, the US, and New Zealand as a sedan[10]] having a closed body and a closed boot [trunk] separated from the part in which the driver and passengers sit ⇒ a four-door saloon.

Banger[5] is an informal British term for an old car in poor condition ⇒ they’ve only got an old banger.

5d   Anagram remarkably cold // drink (8)

Armagnac[5] is a type of brandy traditionally made in Aquitaine in southwestern France.

6d   In disarray, // riding team losing (6,4)

"team" = SIDE (show explanation )

Side[5] is a British term for a sports team ⇒ there was a mixture of old and young players in their side. [Note that a player is "in a side" rather than "on a team" as one would say in North America]

In North America, the term side[3] is used in a very general fashion that can denote one of two or more opposing individuals, groups, teams, or sets of opinions. While this same general usage would seem to exist as well in the UK, the term side[5] is also used there in a much more specific sense to mean a sports team, as we can clearly see from the following usage examples ⇒ (i) Previous England rugby sides, and England teams in many other sports, would have crumbled under the weight of such errors.; (ii) They'll face better sides than this Monaco team, but you can only beat what's put in front of you.

hide explanation

8d   Paddy, // dry, swallowing an alcoholic drink (7)

"dry" = TT (show explanation )

Teetotal[5] (abbreviation TT[5]) means choosing or characterized by abstinence from alcohol ⇒ a teetotal lifestyle.

A teetotaller[5] (US teetotalerabbreviation TT[5]) is a person who never drinks alcohol.

The term teetotal is an emphatic extension of total, apparently first used by Richard Turner, a worker from Preston [England], in a speech (1833) urging total abstinence from all alcohol, rather than mere abstinence from spirits, as advocated by some early temperance reformers.

hide explanation

Paddy[5] is an informal British term for a fit of temper ⇒ John drove off in a paddy.

Scratching the Surface
Paddy is one of Crosswordland's resident Irishmen.

Parents in Crosswordland would seem to draw from a fairly limited list when naming their offspring. Thus we find that an Irishman is either Pat or Paddy, a Scot is almost always named Ian (or sometimes Mac), a German is customarily named Otto (but occasionally Hans), and girls are — more often than not — named Diana (usually shortened to Di).

Paddy[5] is a diminutive form of the male given names Patrick, Padraig, Padraic and variant forms.

13d   You can see me in John o'Groats, and in Land's End, but not in between! (10)

What bit of puncuation is found in both "John o'Groats" and "Land's End" but is missing from the word "between"?

John o'Groats[5] is a village at the extreme northeastern point of the Scottish mainland. 

Land's End[5] is a rocky promontory in southwestern Cornwall, which forms the westernmost point of England.

 A journey by road from John o’Groats to Land’s End would cover approximately 1,400 km (876 miles) [about the same as the distance from Ottawa to Thunder Bay].

14d   Near base of minaret, /in/ darkness (5)

16d and 27a   Reasonable opportunity of succeeding // person catching criminal (8,6)

18d   Terribly irate about the Spanish // artist's workroom (7)

"the Spanish" = EL (show explanation )

In Spanish, the masculine singular form of the definite article is el[8].

hide explanation

21d   Mass of small stones /in/ burial place close to Balmoral (6)

Scratching the Surface
Balmoral Castle[5] is a holiday residence of the British royal family, on the River Dee in Scotland.

22d   Deny any connection with // row involving broadcast (6)

24d   Take // a journey in someone else's vehicle (4)

Well, gnomethang may not be "quite sure what this is all about" but it is a double definition — the first meaning to steal and the second meaning to get a ride with someone.

26d   Ring // clubs, the lot (4)

C[1] is the abbreviation for clubs, a suit in a deck of cards.
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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