Thursday, October 20, 2016

Thursday, October 20, 2016 — DT 28161

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28161
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, July 8, 2016
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28161]
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
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.


For myself, the difficulty level definitely surpassed the single star awarded by Deep Threat.

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   Scholarly fellows // who may communicate in writing? (3,2,7)

9a   Agent taking money abroad -- I am bound /to get/ ticking-off (9)

The rand[5] (abbreviation R[10]) is the basic monetary unit of South Africa, equal to 100 cents.

The term "tick off" has a different meaning on the other side of the pond. Whereas, in North America, to tick someone off[5] means to make someone annoyed or angry ⇒ Jefferson was a little ticked off, but he’ll come around, in Britain it means to reprimand or rebuke someone ⇒ (i) he was ticked off by Angela; (ii) he got a ticking off from the magistrate. [I note that following the recent "enhancements" to the Oxford Dictionaries website, the information concerning the British and North American usage for this term which was once present has now vanished.]

10a   The emotions leaving a // French port (5)

The breast[5] denotes a person's chest, especially when regarded as the seat of the emotions ⇒ (i) wild feelings of frustration were rising up in his breast; (ii) her heart was hammering in her breast.

The connection between "breast" and "the emotions" is even more clear in The Chambers Dictionary which defines breast[1] (in part) as (the source of) the emotions, affections.

Brest[5] is a port and naval base on the Atlantic coast of Brittany, in northwestern France; population 148,316 (2006).

11a   A wife guarding American state house // carelessly (6)

12a   Plain // area with lots of apartments? (8)

I have marked this clue in a slightly different manner than did Deep Threat in his review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog. I see the word "area" as being part of the second definition (which is whimsically cryptic in nature).

In Britain, the term flat[5] is used for what would be called an apartment[5] in North America. The term apartment is used in Britain, but seemingly in a more restricted sense than in North America  applying to temporary or more classy accommodation. As Oxford Dictionaries puts it, an apartment[5] is
  1. a British term for a flat, typically one that is well appointed or used for holidays ⇒ self-catering holiday apartments; or
  2. a North American term for any flat ⇒ the family lived in a rented apartment.
13a   Who might this be on TV? (6)

Doctor Who[7] is a British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC which has had widespread distribution in North America. The programme depicts the adventures of a time-travelling humanoid alien known as the Doctor who explores the universe in a sentient time machine called the TARDIS that flies through time and space, whose exterior appears as a blue police box*.
* A police box[5] is a telephone (or earlier, telegraph) kiosk specially for the use of police or members of the public wishing to contact the police.
15a   Island resident about to go inside, // doing nothing (8)

18a   Remove // religious symbol not favoured (5,3)

19a   Moves clumsily, // say, rolling around in drinking houses (6)

21a   Eastern chaps taking time // to put things right (8)

Emendate[10] means to make corrections to (a text) — a pretentious-sounding term that, should it be used, an editor might amend to "emend".

23a   Old coin /found in/ country river (6)

A stater[5] is an ancient Greek gold or silver coin.

26a   No such object /could convey/ love (5)

"love" = NOTHING (show explanation )

In tennis, squash, and some other sports, love[5] is a score of zero or nil ⇒ love fifteen.

Usually we see the word "love" being used to clue the letter "O" as 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. However, today's setter deploys the word in a different manner.

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

I suppose that one might consider this to be an inverse charade. In a regular charade, the solver is given the component pieces that must be strung together to obtain a result which constitutes either the solution to the clue or, in some cases, a portion of the solution to the clue.

In the present clue, on the other hand, the solver is given the result of stringing together the component pieces ("love" = NOTHING) as well as one of the component pieces (NO) and from this information the missing component piece must be deduced.

27a   Milieu of Eton -- // British here risk looking silly (9)

Eton College[7], often informally referred to simply as Eton, is an English boarding school for boys located in Eton, Berkshire, near Windsor.

28a   Demand esteem having changed course /and/ dealt with financial difficulty (4,4,4)


1d   See me with jolly folk help // female in Copenhagen (7)

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.

The Little Mermaid[70] is a bronze statue by Edvard Eriksen, depicting a mermaid. The sculpture is displayed on a rock by the waterside at the Langelinie promenade in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Based on the fairy tale of the same name by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, the small and unimposing statue is a Copenhagen icon and has been a major tourist attraction since 1913. In recent decades it has become a popular target for defacement by vandals and political activists.

2d   Refusal to keep very quiet? That may have to be changed (5)

Think of the definition as "[Something] that may have to be changed".

Pianissimo[5,10] (abbreviation pp[5,10]) is a direction used in music to mean either (as an adjective) very soft or very quiet or (as an adverb) very softly or very quietly.

Nappy[5] is the British name for a diaper[5].

3d   Short day, very short, nothing on -- see us /being/ silly (9)

"look" = 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

4d   Welshman // last to take advantage (4)

Van[5] is an informal British tennis term for advantage[5], a score marking a point interim between deuce and winning the game ⇒ Advantage, Federer.

Evan[7] is a Welsh masculine given name, equivalent to the English name John.

5d   Ultimately that Heather, having drunk rum, /is/ walking unsteadily (8)

Ling[5] is another name for the common heather[5] (Calluna vulgaris), a purple-flowered Eurasian heath that grows abundantly on moorland and heathland.

Rum[5] is a dated informal British term meaning odd or peculiar ⇒ it’s a rum business, certainly.

6d   One sailor hugged by another revolutionary /in/ capital (5)

"sailor" = AB (show explanation )

In the Royal Navy, according to Oxford Dictionaries, able seaman[5] (abbreviation AB[5]), is a rank of sailor above ordinary seaman and below leading seaman. On the other hand, Collins English Dictionary tells us that an able seaman[10] (also called able-bodied seaman) is an ordinary seaman, especially one in the merchant navy, who has been trained in certain skills.

hide explanation

"sailor" = TAR (show explanation )

Tar[5] is an informal, dated term for a sailor. The term, which dates from the 17th century, is perhaps an abbreviation of tarpaulin, which was also used as a nickname for a sailor at that time.

hide explanation

Rabat[5] is the capital of Morocco, an industrial port on the Atlantic Coast; population 1,787,300 (est. 2009). It was founded as a military fort in the 12th century by the Almohads.

7d   Once again capturing // ruler, led by soldiers, volunteers (8)

"soldiers" = RE (show explanation )

The Corps of Royal Engineers[7], usually just called the Royal Engineers (abbreviation RE), and commonly known as the Sappers[7], is a corps of the British Army that provides military engineering and other technical support to the British Armed Forces.

hide explanation

"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.

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8d   Street party set up -- get mostly // awful grub? (6)

Stodge[5] is an informal British term for food that is heavy, filling, and high in carbohydrates ⇒ she ate her way through a plateful of stodge.

14d   Near awful noise /and/ unable to escape? (6,2)

16d   Reformers // sit around surrounded by maps (9)

A Chartist[5] is a member of a UK parliamentary reform movement of 1837–48, the principles of which were set out in a manifesto called The People’s Charter and called for universal suffrage for men, equal electoral districts, voting by secret ballot, abolition of property qualifications for MPs, and annual general elections.

17d   Fit // one American up with item of furniture (8)

18d   Island embracing adult // fashion (6)

"adult" = A (show explanation )

The A (Adult) certificate is a former film certificate[7] issued by the British Board of Film Classification. This certificate existed in various forms from 1912 to 1985, when it was replaced by the PG (Parental Guidance) certificate. [Despite its demise in the real world, it continues to find widespread use in Crosswordland.]

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Crete[5] is a Greek island in the eastern Mediterranean; population 630,000 (est. 2009); capital, Heraklion. It is noted for the remains of the Minoan civilization which flourished there in the 2nd millennium BC. It fell to Rome in 67 BC and was subsequently ruled by Byzantines, Venetians, and Turks. Crete played an important role in the Greek struggle for independence from the Turks in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, becoming administratively part of an independent Greece in 1913.

20d   Rising artist's fellow /becoming/ notable portrait painter (7)

"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. 

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John Singer Sargent[5] (1856–1925) was an American painter. He is best known for his portraiture in a style noted for its bold brushwork. He was much in demand in Parisian circles, but following a scandal over the supposed eroticism of Madame Gautreau (1884), he moved to London.

22d   Code of principles // to bother mum (5)

24d   Food /providing/ energy after journey (5)

"energy" = E (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

Tripe[5] is (1) the first or second stomach of a cow or other ruminant used as food or (2) an informal term meaning nonsense or rubbish ⇒ you do talk tripe sometimes.

25d   I hunted /in/ the country (4)

Run[5] means to  to track down or hunt (an animal) ⇒ to run a fox to earth.
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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