Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 — DT 28164

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28164
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28164]
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


In terms of difficulty, I would say that today's puzzle sits in the lower half of three star territory.

Anyone who visited Big Dave's Crossword Blog yesterday would have discovered that Dave was experiencing problems with his site. Though the site was not down, it certainly had a much different — very minimalistic — look than we are used to seeing. All seems back to normal today.

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   Trap king with fine forged // blade (8)

"king" = K (show explanation )

K[5] is an abbreviation for king that is used especially in describing play in card games and recording moves in chess.

hide explanation

Two out of three British dictionaries say that the term penknife[2,4,10] is interchangeable with pocketknife[4,10] (or pocket knife[2] ). On the other hand, Oxford Dictionaries defines pocketknife[5] as a North American term for a penknife.

Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary gives us some insight into the history of the word telling us that a penknife[11] is a small pocketknife, formerly one used for making and sharpening quill pens. It also defines jackknife[11] as a large pocketknife.

5a   Called over by head of department /to get/ order (6)

9a   Perhaps Oliver in meeting with government's leader, // spinning (8)

Today we encounter a different Oliver than the one we met yesterday.

Oliver Twist[7], subtitled The Parish Boy's Progress, is the second novel by English author Charles Dickens (1812–1870), published in 1838. The story is about an orphan, Oliver Twist, who is born into a life of poverty and misfortune in a workhouse.

What did she say?
In her review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Hanni hints that we are to begin withthe surname of a famous Oliver created by Dickens who wanted ‘more’.
During the several years he spent at the workhouse, Oliver Twist[7] is brought up with little food and few comforts. One day, around the time of his ninth birthday, the desperately hungry boys decide to draw lots; the loser must ask for another portion of gruel. The task falls to Oliver, who at the next meal tremblingly comes forward, bowl in hand, and begs the overseer, Mr. Bumble, for gruel with his famous request: "Please, sir, I want some more".

10a   Steven set off // matches (6)

12a   Walk around certain /to be/ adored (9)

13a   Film // actor leaving quietly (5)

"quietly" = 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

14a   Examination // for all? Just some (4)

I have observed that students in Crosswordland are rarely subjected to written examinations.

16a   Cost /created by/ former lover with writer, she being vacuous (7)

"writer" = PEN (show explanation )

The setter has almost certainly used "writer" in the sense of an implement used for writing. While North American dictionaries define pen[3,11] as a writer or an author ⇒ a hired pen, British dictionaries do not list this meaning and instead show pen[2,4] (or the pen[5,10]) as symbolically denoting writing as an occupation.

hide explanation

19a   Grumble about North -- it /gets/ payout from government (7)

21a   'Reposez' primarily is French /for/ 'stand' (4)

The clue parses as R (reposez primarily; initial letter of Reposez) + EST (is French; French word meaning 'is').

Scratching the Surface
What Hanni fails to mention in her review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog is that "reposez" is the second person plural of the present indicative of the French verb reposer 'to rest'. However, I think it would require a rather significant degree of lateral thinking to suppose that stand and rest are synonymous in the sense of reposer[8],

24a   One lives by the river, /that's/ comparatively warm in the East End (5)

The cockney*[5] dialect spoken in the East End of London is characterized by dropping the aitch (H) from the beginning of words.
* 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).
25a   'Criminal is evil,' CID // educated (9)

I am having some difficulty in reconciling that educated is synonymous with civilized. For instance, I have no doubt that Josef Mengele[7] was a well-educated man.

Scratching the Surface
The Criminal Investigation Department (seemingly better known by its abbreviation CID[2]) is the detective branch of a British police force.

27a   Fruit -- // it could be crazy if you have more than one (6)

28a   Queen in a fuddle? Bad -- // very bad (8)

"queen" = R (show explanation )

Queen may be abbreviated as Q, Qu. or R.

Q[5] is an abbreviation for queen that is used especially in describing play in card games and recording moves in chess.

Qu.[2] is another common abbreviation for Queen.

Regina[5] (abbreviation R[5]) [Latin for queen] denotes the reigning queen, used following a name (e.g. Elizabetha Regina, Queen Elizabeth) or in the titles of lawsuits (e.g. Regina v. Jones, the Crown versus Jones — often shortened to R. v. Jones).

Thus Queen Elizabeth signs her name as 'Elizabeth R' as seen here on Canada's paint-stained constitution.

hide explanation

29a   More intelligent // animal restricts physical exercise (6)

"physical exercise" = PE (show explanation )

PE[5] is the abbreviation for physical education [or Phys Ed, as it was known in my school days]. 

hide explanation

30a   Comprehensive // education's flipping pursued (8)

Scratching the Surface
Although the surface reading sounds pretty rough to a North American ear, I assume that flipping[5] must have been employed here in an informal British sense in which the word is used for emphasis or to express mild annoyance ⇒ (i) are you out of your flipping mind?; (ii) it’s flipping cold today.

I was initially somewhat doubtful about this explanation as I thought that flipping used in this way as an intensifier could only be an adjective (as is indicated by Oxford Dictionaries) while in the clue it appears to be used as an adverb. However, I was to learn from Collins English Dictionary that flipping[10] can indeed be used as an adverb — although it gives no examples of such usage.


1d   Pomp 50 per cent reduced thanks to // King Edward? (6)

Ta[5] is an informal British exclamation signifying thank you ‘Ta,’ said Willie gratefully.

King Edward[5] denotes an oval potato of a variety with a white skin mottled with red [named after King Edward VII].

2d   Ian's thrown up: was first /to be/ hammered (6)

3d   Writes // no publication for teachers (5)

TES[7], formerly known as the Times Educational Supplement, is a weekly UK publication aimed primarily at school teachers in the UK. It was first published in 1910 as a pull-out supplement in The Times newspaper. Such was its popularity that in 1914, the supplement became a separate publication selling for 1 penny.

4d   Rock fan rule: // everyone wears black here (7)

6d   Postholders? (9)

Post[5] is a chiefly British term for mail[5], including in the sense of letters and parcels sent or received.
Is it not rather ironic that in Britain the post is delivered by the Royal Mail while in Canada the mail is delivered by Canada Post?
7d   Any gin? No? Awfully // tiresome (8)

8d   Walked out on // sweet disheartened editor (8)

Sweet[5] is a British term for a sweet dish forming a course of a meal; in other words, a pudding or dessert.

What did she say?
In her review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Hanni informs us that I like raspberries as pudding.
Whereas in North America, the term pudding[5] denotes specifically a dessert with a soft or creamy consistency, in Britain the term pudding refers to either:
  1. [any] cooked sweet dish served after the main course of a meal; or
  2. the dessert course of a meal ⇒ what’s for pudding?.
Thus the terms dessert and pudding are synonymous in Britain. The response to What’s for pudding? could be Apple pie or even raspberries.

11d   Bite // lip (4)

Bite[10] is used in the informal sense of an incisive or penetrating effect or quality ⇒ that's a question with a bite.

15d   Testimonial // from first choice beginning to be ignored (9)

17d   Wrapped up // sailor thus, right before bed (8)

"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

"Wrapped up" as engrossed in (a novel, for instance).

18d   In carriage, /for/ example (8)

I believe that Hanni includes an extra word in her definition.

20d   Lorry driver finally mislaid // food (4)

Lorry[5] is the common name in the UK for the vehicle known in North America as a truck[5] — although the word truck would also seem to be well known to the Brits. In fact, Oxford Dictionaries rather circularly defines a lorry as being a truck and a truck as being a lorry.

Tuck[5] is a dated, informal British term for food eaten by children at school as a snack ⇒ (i) our parents provided us with a bit of money to buy tuck with; (ii) they send me a tuck box every month.

21d   Upset // about poetry (7)

Upset[10] is used in the sense of to defeat or overthrow, usually unexpectedly.

Reverse[2] is used in the sense of to annul, set aside or overthrow (a legal decision, judgement, etc).

22d   American fuel reprocessing /is/ practical (6)

23d   Tot was in the van, // confused (6)

Van[5] is another word for forefront ⇒ he was in the van of the movement to encourage the cultivation of wild flowers.

26d   Everyone put up with mother/'s/ animal (5)
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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