Thursday, October 6, 2016

Thursday, October 6, 2016 — DT 28145

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28145
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Monday, June 20, 2016
Rufus (Roger Squires)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28145]
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 would have given this puzzle more than a mere one star for difficulty — but those across the pond likely found it a bit easier than did I.

The "Monday" puzzles are always time consuming to review. Not only does Rufus employ a lot of British expressions and whimsical turns of phrase but Miffypops writes his reviews in a very colloquial fashion throwing in copious numbers of British references — and he seems even more loquacious than usual today.

A couple of clues also set me off on lengthy tangential explorations, some of the results of which I have shared in the review. I hope you find them to be of some interest.

Fortunately, as is often the case, the Down clues proved more straightforward than the Across clues. Otherwise, I would be working on this review all day.

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   Satisfied with debts, /but/ unlikely to reach agreement (11)

9a   Spilled Brian's tea -- // he won't have a drink (9)

10a   Mischievous person joins the Spanish // force (5)

"the Spanish" = EL (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

11a   In radiography, sickness /is given/ a cure (6)

Physic[5] is an archaic term for medicinal drugs ⇒ (i) his servant's venture into selling physic; (ii) a physic for wives to give to impotent husbands.

12a   Hair-raising action by the brave (8)

As soon as I saw this clue, my first reaction was that anyone of indigenous descent would find it extremely distasteful. I do have to hand it to Miffypops for providing a link in his review to an article that dispels many of the myths surrounding this barbaric practice. However, he places the shame on Hollywood which merely fostered and perpetuated the myths. What about the British and French who actually encouraged and perpetrated these atrocities?

13a   Go round /to/ add note to list (6)

In music, te[5] (or, in North America, ti) is: 
  1. the seventh note of a major scale in the tonic sol-fa system of solmization; or 
  2. the note B is the fixed-doh system of solmization.
Too Many Dictionaries?
There is a saying that a man with a clock knows what time it is, but a man with two clocks is not sure.

I happen to have consulted six dictionaries which leaves me totally confused.

In music, according to several British dictionaries, the principal spelling of the seventh note of the major scale in tonic sol-fa is te[2,4,10] with ti[2,4,10] being an alternative spelling. However, Oxford Dictionaries decrees that te[5] is the British spelling with ti being the North American spelling. In the American dictionaries that I consulted, the only spelling listed is ti[3,11].

The Chambers Dictionary takes a contrarian stand — even from its sister publication Chambers 21st Century Dictionary — in showing ti[1] to be the principal spelling with te[1] as an alternative spelling.

Rota[5] is a British term for a list showing when each of a number of people has to do a particular job ⇒ a cleaning rota.

As a link word, to[10] is a preposition used to indicate equality ⇒ 16 ounces to the pound.

15a   Title that's used in all-in wrestling? (8)

Freehold[5] is a British term denoting permanent and absolute tenure of land or property with freedom to dispose of it at will.

All-in wrestling[5,10] is a British term (seemingly dated in professional application but not in common parlance) for wrestling with few or no restrictions. This style of no-holds-barred wresting is also known as freestyle wrestling (although it should certainly not be confused with Olympic freestyle wrestling).

I don't believe that "freehold" is actually a wrestling term; I think we are supposed to decipher it from the fact that a participant is free to employ virtually any hold whatsoever in a competition. Based on this, I have not marked the clue as a double definition but rather as a cryptic definition comprising a straight definition (solid underline) and cryptic elaboration (dashed underline).

Delving Deeper
Professional wrestling in the Greco Roman style — a style of wrestling which forbids holds below the waist — had enjoyed considerable popularity in Britain during the Edwardian era, but had dwindled and died out by the outbreak of World War I, although various styles of amateur wrestling continued as legitimate sports. One of these was Catch As Catch Can[7] wrestling, a freestyle form of wrestling that was developed in Britain circa 1870. When Catch As Catch Can wrestling reached the United States in the late 19th and early 20th century it became extremely popular.

Wrestling as a promotional business (as opposed to a legitimate sport) did not return to Britain until the beginning of the 1930s when the success of the more worked* aspects of professional wrestling in America, like gimmickry and showmanship, were introduced to British wrestling. It was with this revival that the more submission-based Catch As Catch Can wrestling style, which had already replaced Greco Roman wrestling as the dominant style of professional wrestling in the United States back in the 1890s, became the new dominant style in Britain.
* In wrestling lingo, work means anything planned to happen, from the carnival tradition of "working the crowd". Thus "worked" means planned or scripted.
All-in wrestling[7] was the first wave of professional wrestling in the United Kingdom to be based on the Catch As Catch Can style of wrestling. It was conducted under the All-In Rules of 1930 in which (unlike Olympic freestyle wrestling) no holds were prohibited.

The name All In later became synonymous with more anarchic professional wrestling shows, leading to censure by local authorities by the late 1930s. Consequently, the All In label was disowned by most British wrestling promoters following the adoption of the 1947 Mountevans rules and replaced by the term Modern Freestyle.

Despite the rejection of the name "All In" by British wrestling promoters, the term continued to be used in the UK to refer to professional wrestling - often in a derogatory sense by non-fans. An example of its use in this context is in the Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch "All In Cricket" which depicts two cricketers dueling with cricket bats in a wrestling ring.

Although it really has nothing to do with the clue under consideration, I thought I would share a tidbit [or, for British readers, titbit] of information that I stumbled upon in my research for this clue.

It seems that after attempting for many decades to maintain the pretense that professional wrestling was not fake, wrestling promoters actually testified before lawmakers that wrestling was in fact staged — all in an effort to escape paying the taxes which applied to legitimate professional sporting events.

In professional wrestling, kayfabe[7] is the portrayal of staged events within the industry as "real" or "true," specifically the portrayal of competition, rivalries, and relationships between participants as being genuine and not of a staged or pre-determined nature of any kind. Kayfabe has also evolved to become a code word of sorts for maintaining this "reality" within the direct or indirect presence of the general public. Though the staged nature of professional wrestling had been a frequent topic of conversation among the media and public since at least the latter years of the early 20th century, the professional wrestling industry did not formally acknowledge this until changes in the business during the 1980s professional wrestling boom prompted attitudes within the business to change. In 1989, World Wrestling Federation owner Vince McMahon testified before the New Jersey state senate that wrestling was staged. Long sanctioned by New Jersey and other states as an athletic exhibition for regulation and taxation purposes, McMahon sought to eliminate oversight, and hence taxation, on the WWF's house shows and pay-per-view events held within the state.

18a   Helped // fool with nutty diets (8)

19a   Fits // sergeant-major into health resorts (6)

SM[5] is the abbreviation for Sergeant Major[5], a warrant officer in the British army whose job is to assist the adjutant* of a regiment or battalion (regimental sergeant major) or a subunit commander (company sergeant major, battery sergeant major, etc.).
* an adjutant is a military officer who acts as an administrative assistant to a senior officer [thereby making the Sergeant Major an assistant to an assistant].
What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Miffypops tells us that the container in the wordplay isa word for health resorts such as Champneys.
Champneys[7] is the brand name of a destination spa group in the United Kingdom comprising four spa resorts and six day spas.

21a   It's on the cards // it may precede crisis (8)

Scratching the Surface
On the cards[5] is a British expression meaning possible or likely ⇒ our marriage has been on the cards from day one — the equivalent North American expression being in the cards.

23a   People will mind if you dump your kids here (6)

Amazingly, I managed to dredge up this British term from the deep recesses of my mind.

In Britain, a crèche[5] is not a nativity scene but rather a a nursery where babies and young children are cared for during the working day.

Delving Deeper
A crèche is also known as a day nursery[10] in Britain (as well as New Zealand) while in Canada, the US, Australia and New Zealand, it would be called a daycare centre (or simply a daycare).

While I would think that daycare[3,4] is generally thought of in the context of young children, the term actually denotes the provision of daytime training, supervision, recreation, and often medical services for children of preschool age, for the disabled, or for the elderly — and this appears to hold true in Britain as well as North America.

26a   Round safety device /that's/ practicable (2,3)

27a   Communist and German worker // no longer needed (9)

In German, und[8] is a conjunction meaning 'and'.

"worker" = ANT (show explanation )

The word "worker" is commonly used in cryptic crossword puzzles to clue ANT or BEE.

A worker[5] is a neuter or undeveloped female bee, wasp, ant, or other social insect, large numbers of which do the basic work of the colony.

In crossword puzzles, "worker" will most frequently be used to clue ANT and occasionally BEE but I have yet to see it used to clue WASP. Of course, "worker" is sometimes also used to clue HAND or MAN.

hide explanation

28a   A jumper that rides up! (11)


1d   One applauds // the bell-ringer (7)

2d   No way to get in -- /that's/ bad (5)

3d   Wastes // time, a case for improvement (9)

4d   Bite /from/ climbing insect (4)

5d   Terrible crooner died, /it's/ official (2,6)

6d   Good man and bad coming together, // nevertheless (5)

The wordplay contains a split charade indicator and parses as ST (good man; abbreviation for saint) + (and ... coming together) ILL (bad; ill omen).

7d   Maintained // member has got into crooked deal (7)

8d   Almost a full month before beds /will bear/ fruit (8)

14d   Stylish // set with fault needs fixing (8)

16d   Artificial language // providing neat prose (9)

Esperanto[5] is an artificial language devised in 1887 as an international medium of communication, based on roots from the chief European languages. It retains the structure of these languages and has the advantage of grammatical regularity and ease of pronunciation.

17d   Instructor /is/ oddly curt, intercepting suggestive look (8)

18d   It may have to be paid after a union dispute is settled (7)

20d   Officer shortly to penetrate clear // harbour (7)

22d   Secure // link (3-2)

Contrary to the assertion made by Miffypops in his review, I would say that this is not a double definition due to the spelling as a verb being tie up[5] which fails to satisfy the given numeration.

24d   Title-holder /takes/ tea with politician (5)

Cha (also chai) is an alternative spelling of char[5], an informal British name for tea (as a drink).

"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

25d   Opening /with/ a key, it is essential (4)

I interpret the clue to parse as A (from the clue) + D ([musical] key) + (is essesntial; must also be included) IT (from the clue)

One might explain the use of "with" as a link word in either of a couple of ways. First, with[11] could be used in the sense of characterized by or having ⇒ a person with intelligence and initiative. An even better explanation might be that the word "with" is expressing causality between the definition and wordplay. The preposition with[5] may be used to indicate the cause of a condition ⇒ he was trembling with fear. Used in this sense, the word "with" essentially means "resulting from".
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. Solved without assistance, but it took a fair bit of time and head-scratching. So, I agree that it's something more than one star in difficulty.

    As to your dictionary dilemma, Julie Andrews fans will tell you that the correct spelling is tea, a drink with jam and bread.

    1. ... but in England that would be pronounced "tay" would it not?