Thursday, October 27, 2016

Thursday, October 27, 2016 — DT 28166

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28166
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, July 14, 2016
Shamus (Philip Marlow)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28166]
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 needed help from my electronic assistants to solve a couple of clues today — one of which involved a colloquial British expression jammed into an English comedian whom I may have encountered in the past but certainly did not remember.

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.


8a   Versatile comedian holding surprised expression -- /it's/ pretension (8)

The versatile Englishman Stephen Fry[7] is not only a comedian but an actor, writer, presenter [host of a TV or radio programme] and activist as well.

Lumme[5] [from (Lord) love me] is an informal, dated British exclamation used to express surprise or interest ⇒ ‘Lumme!’ said Quigley. ‘She isn’t half a size!’.

Flummery[5] denotes meaningless or insincere flattery or conventions ⇒ she hated the flummery of public relations.

9a   Elevated figure dividing US city // almost (6)

An earl[5] is a British nobleman ranking above a viscount and below a marquess [in other words, the third highest of the five ranks of British nobility — duke, marquess, earl, viscount, and baron].

10a   Fuss // overshadowed boxing (3)

11a   Firm backed gambling site with a final twist /in/ time (8)

12a   Resources // the law distributed (6)

13a   Standard adhered to in the US? (5,3,7)

This is a cryptic definition comprised of a broad straight definition (solid underline) combined with a bit of cryptic [or, perhaps, not so cryptic] elaboration (dashed underline).

15a   Uncle, face of 13, and young reporter knocked back a // drink (7)

The numeral "13" is a cross reference indicator directing the solver to insert the solution to clue 13a 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
Uncle Sam[5] is a personification [i.e., face] of the federal government or citizens of the US [which are also represented by the solution to 13a].

Sambuca[5] is an Italian aniseed-flavoured liqueur ⇒ (i) a glass of flaming sambuca; (ii) a good few sambucas were consumed before he finally tottered into a taxi.

18a   Paint // special number on car carrying chaps (7)

Pi[5] is the numerical value of the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter (approximately 3.14159).

GT[2] (abbreviation for Italian Gran Turismo, which translates as 'grand touring' in English) is a name given to certain fast but comfortable sports cars. 

"chaps" = MEN (show explanation )

Chap[3,4,11], an informal term for a man or boy, is a shortened form of chapman[3,4,11], an archaic term for a trader, especially an itinerant  pedlar [British spelling of peddler].

hide explanation

What did she say?
In her review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Kath tells us that the contained element is some chaps or blokes.
Bloke[5] is an informal British term for a man ⇒ he’s a nice bloke.

21a   Capital band going round district with tune /and/ ballad (11,4)

"Scarborough Fair"[7] is a traditional English ballad about the Yorkshire town of Scarborough. The song is perhaps best known from the version by Simon and Garfunkel who melded it with their own original material in "Scarborough Fair/Canticle" which was the lead track of the 1966 album Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme, and was released as a single after being featured on the soundtrack to The Graduate in 1968. The copyright failed to mention the "traditional" source of some of the material and credited only Simon and Garfunkel as the authors.

24a   A hut is renovated /in/ short break (6)

25a   Means of transference between banks for an estate? (3,5)

In the UK, estate[5] is short for estate car[5], the British name for a station wagon[5].

26a   Sack fellow thrown out /in/ rage (3)

"fellow" = F (show explanation )

F[2] is the abbreviation for Fellow (of a society, etc). For instance, it is found in professional designations such as FRAIC (Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada).

hide explanation

27a   Accepted rule, we hear, /as/ part of snooker? (6)

A canon[5] is a general law, rule, principle, or criterion by which something is judged ⇒ the appointment violated the canons of fair play and equal opportunity.

This clue works if one accepts that snooker and billiards are one and the same — which, I would submit, they are not. However, there being so many different cue sports (not to mention variations of same) with rules and terminology that vary widely in different parts of the world (or even between different regions within the same country), it is virtually impossible to make any definitive statement about these games. The only constant seems to be that all such games are played on tables with cues and balls. However, the size of the table may vary, with some tables having pockets while others do not; cues vary in size, material and design; and balls vary from game to game, in size, design and quantity.

Cannon [defined below] is a term used in the game known in Britain as billiards[5,7,10] and in many other parts of the world as English billiards, a game for two people, played on a billiard table, in which three balls are struck with cues into pockets round the edge of the table. The three balls are a red ball (an object ball), a white ball (cue ball for player 1 and object ball for player 2), and a third ball which may be either white with a spot or yellow (cue ball for player 2 and object ball for player 1). Points are scored for cannons and/or potting balls [striking balls into pockets] . Confusingly, the term billiards is also used in some quarters to refer to cue sports in general or to any or a number of various cue sports in particular.

In billiards, cannon[5,10] is a British term for;
  1. a stroke in which the cue ball strikes two balls successively; or
  2. the points scored by such a shot.
In Canada and the US, this would be called a carom.

Snooker[10] is quite a different game, played on a billiard table with 15 red balls, six balls of other colours, and a white cue ball. The object is to pot the balls in a certain order.

28a   Dejected, /as/ large number have figures one could see on stage (8)

"large number" = D (show explanation )

In cryptic crosswords, a "number" is very often a Roman numeral and, in particular, terms such as "(a) large number", "many" or "a great many" are frequently used  to indicate that a large Roman numeral — generally C (100), D (500), or M (1000) — is required.

hide explanation


1d   Bring to light /what's/ allowed on the internet? (6)

The wordplay is a whimsical cryptic definition in which the setter extrapolates from terms such as eMail, eZine, and eCommerce to imagine that eLicit might also be an internet term.

2d   Damage // independent politician before broadcast (6)

"independent" = I (show explanation )

I[1] is the abbreviation for independent, likely in the context of a politician with no party affiliation.

hide explanation

"politician" = MP (show explanation )

In Britain (as in Canada), a politician elected to the House of Commons is known as a Member of Parliament[10] (abbreviation MP[5]) or, informally, as a member[5].

hide explanation

3d   Substitute circling -- one pass /and/ it could be a walkover (7,8)

Pelican crossing[5] is a British term for a pedestrian crossing with traffic lights operated by pedestrians. The name comes from pe(destrian) li(ght) con(trolled), altered to conform with the bird's name.

Scratching the Surface
Walkover[10] is an informal term for an easy or unopposed victory. The term likely originated in horse racing where walkover[3] denotes a race with only one horse entered, won by the mere formality of walking the length of the track.

4d   Extremists in country support East acquiring new // deadly material (7)

5d   Understand very few articles, /yet/ be shrewd (4,1,5,2,3)

6d   Soldier like Montgomery principally /as/ example (8)

Para[4,11] (short for paratrooper) is a soldier in an airborne unit.

Dig[5] is an informal [and rather dated, I would think] term meaning to like, appreciate, or understand ⇒ I really dig heavy rock.

Scratching the Surface
Bernard Montgomery[5], 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein (1887–1976) was a British Field Marshal; known as Monty. His victory at El Alamein in 1942 proved the first significant Allied success in the Second World War. He commanded the Allied ground forces in the invasion of Normandy in 1944 and accepted the German surrender on 7 May, 1945.

7d   Dishevelled woman, // second of two sitting between poles (8)

14d   Division of company /getting/ damage in East End (3)

The cockney[5]* dialect spoken in the East End of London is characterized by dropping the aitch (H) from the beginning of words — as well as the use of rhyming slang[5], but the latter is neither here nor there today.
* 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).
16d   Leading opponent, heartless // regarding records (8)

17d   Singer /from/ Italian city with colour (8)

Bari[5] is an industrial seaport on the Adriatic coast of southeastern Italy, capital of Apulia region; population 320,677 (2008).

19d   Period /of/ years, limitlessly confused (3)

20d   Allow case // against top player reportedly (7)

A seed[5] is any of a number of stronger competitors in a sports tournament who have been assigned a specified position in an ordered list with the aim of ensuring that they do not play each other in the early rounds he knocked the top seed out of the championships.

22d   Charge excessively /for/ thermal coat (6)

23d   Sudden arrival // sadly ruins start of holiday (6)
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

1 comment:

  1. ialect spoken in the East End of London is characterized by dropping the aitch (H) from the beginning of words. by nationalextras.ocm