Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Tuesday, October 4, 2016 — DT 28143

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28143
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, June 17, 2016
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28143]
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


Today's puzzle from Giovanni introduces us to a few European plants with which we may not be familiar — or which we may know by other names.

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.


5a   Trip /in/ street like Uriah 'eep (7)

One Dropped Aitch Deserves Another
Clues of this style are customarily described as being written in the cockney[5] dialect spoken in the East End of London which is characterized by dropping the aitch (H) from the beginning of words as well as the use of rhyming slang[5]. 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).

However, as once pointed out in a comment on Big Dave's Crossword Blog "it’s not just Cockneys that don’t pronounce initial aitches – Yorkshire folk for example!".

Of course, the device being used is that an aitch dropped in the clue implies an aitch dropped in the solution. 

Uriah Heep[7] is a fictional character created by Charles Dickens in his novel David Copperfield. The character is notable for his cloying humility, obsequiousness, and insincerity, making frequent references to his own "'humbleness". His name has become synonymous with being a yes man.

7a   Word of prayer finally effected // change (5)

9a   Placed by entrance a superior // food item (6)

"superior" = U (show explanation )

In Britain, U[5] is used informally as an adjective (in respect to language or social behaviour) meaning characteristic of or appropriate to the upper social classes ⇒ U manners.

The term, an abbreviation of  upper class, was coined in 1954 by Alan S. C. Ross, professor of linguistics, and popularized by its use in Nancy Mitford's Noblesse Oblige (1956).

In Crosswordland, the letter U is frequently clued by words denoting "characteristic of the upper class" (such as posh or superior) or "appropriate to the upper class" (such as acceptable). 

hide explanation

Gateau[5] [from French gâteau, 'cake'] is a British term for a rich cake, typically one containing layers of cream or fruit.

10a   See a rite out of place /in/ restaurants (8)

11a   One engaged to work /is/ against going by vehicle (10)

13a   Edge of dress getting grease /and/ grime (4)

14a   Loose human, he'd somehow /become/ famous person (9,4)

16a   Head of Society and VIP // who looks down on the lesser orders? (4)

The word "who" has to be included in the definition to make it a noun. The markup used by Deep Threat in his review implies that the definition is a verb.

Nob[5] is an informal British term for a person of wealth or high social position ⇒ it was quite a do—all the nobs were there.

17a   Old fellow /makes one/ muse with health amiss (10)

Here the phrase "makes [for] one" stands for 'makes [for] the person solving the puzzle".

In the Bible, Methuselah[5] was a patriarch, the grandfather of Noah, who is said to have lived for 969 years (Gen. 5:27). The term is now used to refer to a very old person ⇒ I’m feeling older than Methuselah.

Behind the Image
The illustration used by Deep Threat in his review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog shows Anthony Hopkins in the role of Methuselah from the 2014 American epic biblical drama film Noah[7].

19a   Designer hugs a doctor, // one of four in a circle (8)

Dame Mary Quant[7] is a Welsh fashion designer and British fashion icon who became an instrumental figure in the 1960s London-based Mod and youth fashion movements. She was one of the designers who took credit for the miniskirt and hot pants, and by promoting these and other fun fashions she encouraged young people to dress to please themselves and to treat fashion as a game. Ernestine Carter, an authoritative and influential fashion journalist of the 1950s/60s, wrote: "It is given to a fortunate few to be born at the right time, in the right place, with the right talents. In recent fashion there are three: Chanel, Dior, and Mary Quant."

20a   Legal // termination of protocol -- terrible (6)

22a   One joining up for work /in/ channel (5)

23a   Salt // -- it is packed in box (7)

A citrate[10] is any salt* or ester** of citric acid. Salts of citric acid are used in beverages and pharmaceuticals.
* a salt is any of a class of usually crystalline solid compounds that are formed from, or can be regarded as formed from, an acid and a base by replacement of one or more hydrogen atoms in the acid molecules by positive ions from the base.

** an ester[10] is any of a class of compounds produced by reaction between acids and alcohols with the elimination of water. Esters with low molecular weights, such as ethyl acetate, are usually volatile fragrant liquids; fats are solid esters.


1d   Cross // person who is ... (4)

I failed to understand the device being used here. Sometimes the ellipses between adjacent clues are merely employed to stretch the surface reading across two independent clues. However, in this case, the ellipses are used similar to a cross-reference indicator to show that the solution to clue 2d forms part of clue 1d.

Had the setter chosen instead to use a cross-reference indicator, the clue would have been phrased as:
  • Cross person who is 2 (4)

Post Mortem
Unfortunately, I came up with the incorrect solution RUDE which sounds like ROOD (a cross) — although I was at a loss to explain what the homophone indicator might be. The fact that RUDE could pass as a plausible synonym for OBDURATE and the letters of RUDE are found in OBDURATE gave several avenues for exploration — although they all led to dead ends.

After listening to the Bing Crosby clip provided by Deep Threat, I see that my fault seems to lay in being attracted to the wrong animal (i.e., a pig).

2d   ... this, // a doubter in a frenzy (8)

3d   Ex-President, // one in a wagon? (6)

I presume that Deep Threat may not have marked this as a double definition reasoning that the word 'carter' is an invention of the setter rather than a real word. I admit that the word is somewhat dated and appears in few modern dictionaries. However, the American Heritage Dictionary does list carter[3] as  a noun under its entry for cart and Oxford Dictionaries provides this rather interesting usage example for carter[5] On a thirsty day, unscrupulous carters were known to extract a free drink from a keg of porter by boring a small hole through the bung, inserting a goose quill and sucking some of the contents.

Jimmy Carter[5] is an American Democratic statesman, 39th president of the US 1977–81; full name James Earl Carter. He hosted the talks which led to the Camp David agreements (1978) and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002.

4d   Plant // making seat messy in vehicle (6-4)

Heartsease[10] is another name for the wild pansy[10] (also called love-in-idleness or [in the US and Canada] johnny-jump-up[10]), a Eurasian violaceous plant (Viola tricolor) having purple, yellow, and pale mauve spurred flowers.

5d   Cap // all right when put wrong way round to cover top of head (5)

A shako[10] is a tall usually cylindrical military headdress, having a plume and often a peak [visor], popular especially in the 19th century

6d   Like something potentially shocking -- // terrible octet's recital (13)

8d   Indeed I see developments going up, just some, /in/ area by river (7)

Deeside[7] is the name given to a predominantly industrial conurbation of towns and villages in Flintshire, Wales close to the Wales–England border lying near the canalised stretch of the River Dee that flows from neighbouring Chester into the Dee Estuary.

12d   Discouraging message conveyed by digital means (6,4)

I would say that this is a cryptic definition comprising a straight definition (solid underline) combined with cryptic elaboration (dashed underline).

14d   Times in which number will get // gongs for achievements? (7)

The wordplay parses as HOURS (times) containing (in which ... will get) NO (number).

Gong[5] is an informal British term for a medal or award.

An honour[5] is a thing conferred as a distinction, especially an official award for bravery or achievement ⇒ the highest military honours.

15d   Misgivings about the French // garments of an earlier time (8)

"the French" = LE (show explanation )

In French, the masculine singular form of the definite article is le[8].

hide explanation

A doublet[5,10] is a man's short close-fitting padded jacket with or without sleeves, commonly worn from the 14th to the 17th century (especially in the phrase doublet and hose) they were wearing red velvet doublets and hose.

17d   Male bore // lacking substance maybe (6)

Eagre[5,10] is a dialect term for a tidal bore, especially of the Humber or Severn estuary [in England].

18d   Entertain // a goddess (5)

21d   Colourful herb /and/ egg in a sandwich? (4)

Wad[5] is an informal British term for a bun, cake, sandwich, or other piece of food ⇒ tea and wads in some church hall.

Woad[5,10] is:
  1. a yellow-flowered European plant (Isatis tinctoria) of the cabbage family. It was formerly widely grown in Britain as a source of blue dye, which was extracted from the leaves after they had been dried, powdered, and fermented.
  2. dye obtained from the woad plant, now superseded by synthetic products. The dye was used, especially by the ancient Britons, as a body dye.
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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