Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 — DT 28159

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28159
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Wednesday, July 6, 2016
Jay (Jeremy Mutch)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28159]
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 found today's puzzle to be quite a challenge. It may have been three stars for difficulty — but, if so, I would say that it was solidly positioned near the top of the three star range. The tussle with the puzzle was very enjoyable though and the feeling on completion must be like that felt by a big game fisherman upon landing a prize catch after a spirited fight.

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   Issue // a fine in accordance with the rules (6)

"fine" = F (show explanation )

F[5] is an abbreviation for fine, as used in describing grades of pencil lead [a usage that Oxford Dictionaries surprisingly characterizes as British].

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5a   Dish // astronauts prepared as going away (3,5)

A nut roast[5] is a baked vegetarian dish made from a mixture of ground or chopped nuts, vegetables, and herbs ⇒ the restaurant serves daily specials like nut roast or vegetable lasagne.

Delving Deeper
A nut roast[7] or roasted nut loaf is a rich and savoury vegetarian dish consisting of nuts, grains, vegetable oils, broth or butter, and seasonings formed into a firm loaf shape or long casserole dish before roasting and often eaten as an alternative to a traditional British style roast dinner. It is popular with vegetarians at Christmas, as well as part of a traditional Sunday roast. Nut roasts are also made by Canadian and American vegetarians and vegans as the main dish for Thanksgiving or other harvest festival meals.

9a   Kent area is surrounded by secret // viewers like this? (5-3)

Kent[7] is a county in southeast (SE) England.

The definition is to be interpreted as 'a word that may be used to describe eyes (viewers)'.

10a   Bell /made by/ Britain wearing well in Paris (3,3)

GB[10] is both the abbreviation for Great Britain as well as being the International Vehicle Registration (IVR) code for Great Britain.

In French, bien[8] is a adverb meaning 'well'.

Big Ben[5] is a name given to the great clock tower of the Houses of Parliament in London and its bell.

11a   Pine for our island // state (8)

12a   Darned // two down's first (6)

I wonder how many fell into the trap — as did I for a time — of trying to use "two down" as a cross-reference indicator?

Deuced[10] is an informal, dated term used for emphasis, especially to express disapproval or frustration ⇒ (i) I sound like a deuced newspaper reporter; (ii) I'm so deuced fond of you.

13a   Derivative // film by two females on love (8)

"love" = O (show explanation )

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

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).

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15a   Animal/'s/ stomach /or/ shoulder? (4)

17a   Identity /of/ most of tissue returned (4)

When used as a link word, "of" denotes that the definition is formed from the constituent parts found in the wordplay. The preposition of[5] may be used to indicate the material or substance constituting something ⇒ (i) the house was built of bricks; (ii) walls of stone.

19a   Aware // opinion lacks dynamism, ultimately (8)

20a   A love /that's/ burning (6)

21a   Lumpy // hooter's terribly loud inside (8)

In Britain, hooter[5,10] is an informal term for a person's nose rather than — as in North America — vulgar slang for a woman's breast (usually used in the plural).

22a   Horse's // one of five in eastern Spain (6)

Marked as above (which is also the way the 2Kiwis have marked the clue in their review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog), the solution is taken as an adjective.

On the other hand, if one were to consider the solution to be a noun, the clue would be marked:
  • Horse/'s/ one of five in eastern Spain (6)
and the 's (a contraction for "is") would function as a link word between the definition and wordplay.

Quin[5] is an informal British short form for quintuplet.

"Spain" = E (show explanation

The International Vehicle Registration (IVR) code for Spain is E[5] [from Spanish España].

hide explanation

23a   Thought /of/ maiden bowled over American serviceman (8)

As in the previous clue, we once again have two possibilities for the definition. It could be merely "thought" (as the 2Kiwis show in their review) or it could be "thought of" ⇒ I thought of you standing on a hilltop with your golden hair blowing in the wind. In the later case, the clue would be marked as:
  • Thought of // maiden bowled over American serviceman (8)
In the former case, the word "of" acts as a link word (as in 17a).

"American serviceman" = GI (show explanation )

A GI[5] is a private soldier in the US army ⇒ she went off with a GI during the war.

Contrary to popular belief, the term apparently is not an abbreviation for general infantryman, but rather derives from the term government (or general) issue (originally denoting equipment supplied to US forces).

hide explanation

An anagram indicator is a word that denotes movement or transformation. I initially supposed that the setter must have used "bowled" in the context of cricket or bowling — although that was not a very compelling possibility, to my mind.  However, I now discover that bowl[5] is a British term meaning to move rapidly and smoothly in a specified direction ⇒ they bowled along the country roads — which may be a better explanation of its use.

24a   Doing relief work/'s/ charming (8)

Behind the Image
The 2Kiwis illustrate the hint in their review with a picture of Hermione Granger[7], a fictional character in British author J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. She first appears in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, as a new student on her way to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. After Harry and his friend Ron Weasley save her from a mountain troll in the girls' toilets, she becomes close friends with them and often uses her quick wit, deft recall, and encyclopaedic knowledge to help them. Rowling has stated that Hermione resembles herself at a younger age, with her insecurity and fear of failure.

25a   Sally, disheartened, shows agreement /in/ church councils (6)


2d   All too human // tale covering the rise of trouble (8)

3d   Fools almost hurting // valuer (8)

4d   Half refuse to change without a // reorganisation ... (9)

The ellipses here and in the next clue merely serve to extend the surface reading across the two clues ...

5d   ... in spite of // having no status! (15)

... which are, in fact, independent entities from the perspective of cryptic analysis.

6d   Clothes /of/ independent workers kept by turncoat (7)

"independent" = I (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

7d   Fish // or cobra cooked in beer (8)

An albacore[5] is a tuna of warm seas, which travels in large schools and is of commercial importance as a food fish.

8d   Player not on pitch -- what's the reason? (4-4)

The cryptic aspect of the clue is that the setter expects us to think that the player is a cricketer or soccer player. If the first thing that enters your mind is music, then the clue is not very cryptic.

14d   On grass, upset, // gets into debt (9)

Sward[5] is a literary term for an expanse of grass or a farming term for the upper layer of soil, especially when covered with grass.

15d   People rowing about large // fish (8)

A bloater[5] is a herring cured by salting and light smoking.

16d   Cheers // a quiet student during interval (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

"learner" = L (show explanation )

The cryptic crossword convention of L meaning learner or student arises from the L-plate[7], a square plate bearing a sans-serif letter L, for learner, which must be affixed to the front and back of a vehicle in various jurisdictions (including the UK) if its driver is a learner under instruction.

hide explanation

17d   Horse // no one backed after delay (8)

18d   Release objective /for/ unfinished business (5,3)

19d   Original // tutorial group finally changing sides (7)
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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