Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Wednesday, October 12, 2016 — DT 28153

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28153
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Jay (Jeremy Mutch)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28153]
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


Today I tripped up on an archaic word, some British slang, and a hairdressing term with which I am not familiar.

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.

This puzzle contains 28 clues.


1a   Mole /or/ distressed taupe -- boys thinking originally (6,4)

I must be missing something in the surface reading, as it makes virtually no sense to me.

In Comment #12 on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, jean-luc cheval tells us that taupe[8] is the French word for 'mole' — in the sense of the animal or, figuratively, person (underground worker or secret agent). The English word taupe[5] comes from the French word, seemingly implying that taupe is the colour of moleskin. I did look to see if "mole" might also be the name of a colour but did not find it listed with such a meaning.

6a   Saw new job at last /for/ cleaner in theatre (4)

The "theatre" referred to in the clue is an operating theatre in a hospital.

10a   Country // cousin diary's revealed (5)

11a   Claims // principal volunteers will meet in south (9)

"volunteers" = TA (show explanation )

In the UK, Territorial Army[5] (abbreviation TA[5]) was, at one time, the name of a volunteer force founded in 1908 to provide a reserve of trained and disciplined military personnel for use in an emergency. Since 2013, this organization has been called the Army Reserve.

hide explanation

12a   Emphasises // drama with drink (5,2)

"drink" = SUP (show explanation )

As a verb, sup[5] is a dated or Northern English term meaning to take (drink or liquid food) by sips or spoonfuls ⇒ (i) she supped up her soup delightedly; (ii) he was supping straight from the bottle.

As a noun, sup[5] means (1) a sip of liquid ⇒ he took another sup of wine or (2) in Northern England or Ireland, an alcoholic drink ⇒ the latest sup from those blokes at the brewery.

hide explanation

13a   Brood on source of genuine // sparkle (7)

14a   Dirty // trousers found here (5,3,4)

A double definition, the second of which is unlikely to find its way into a dictionary — thus the dotted underline.

18a   Excitement must follow for each, // maybe (12)

Peradventure[5] is an humorous archaic term meaning perhaps ⇒ peradventure I'm not as wealthy as he is.

21a   Plants // trees on a line (7)

An alpine[5] is a plant native to mountain districts, often suitable for growing in rock gardens ⇒ a collection of alpines and dwarf bulbs.

23a   Retired thespian -- // one who makes demands (7)

In the case of the former thespian, the numeration would be (2-5).

24a   Country // vicar undressed by person sharing lead role (5,4)

Scratching the Surface
A vicar[5] is a member of the clergy, although the meaning of the term varies among religious denominations. The term may mean:
  • in the the Church of England, an incumbent of a parish where tithes formerly passed to a chapter or religious house or layman;
  • in other Anglican Churches, a member of the clergy deputizing for another;
  • in the Roman Catholic Church, a representative or deputy of a bishop;
  • in the US Episcopal Church, a clergyman in charge of a chapel;
  • a cleric or choir member appointed to sing certain parts of a cathedral service.

25a   Suggest // almost always accepting fine (5)

26a   Issue turning around hospital // grub (4)

In Britain, nosh[5] is an informal term for food in general ⇒ filling the freezer with all kinds of nosh whereas in North America it denotes a snack or small item of food ⇒ have plenty of noshes and nibbles conveniently placed.

27a   Evaluation /of/ fools dispatched to capture capital of Malta (10)

Scratching the Surface
Malta[5] is an island country in the central Mediterranean, about 100 km (60 miles) south of Sicily; population 405,200 (est. 2009); official languages, Maltese and English. Beyond this clue, the capital is Valletta.


1d   Balloons /that will have/ minor problems carrying mass? (6)

"mass" = M (show explanation )

In physics, m[5] is a symbol used to represent mass in mathematical formulae.

hide explanation

2d   Early drink /for/ actors in this? (2-4)

One must interpret the definition to mean 'where one might find actors'.

Am-dram[10] is an informal British term for amateur dramatics.

3d   Spiritual // tenant lends car out (14)

4d   Way of communicating // plan, surrounded by heroes in trouble (9)

5d   Outstanding -- // nothing on flank (5)

7d   Calls that may follow wolf? (8)

I have marked this as a cryptic definition comprising a straight definition (solid underline) and cryptic elaboration (dashed underline).

The portion shown with the dashed underline could almost be considered a second definition in its own right in which case it would be interpreted as 'something that may follow wolf'.

8d   Level of interest // when in lecture (4,4)

In the UK, the base rate[5] is the interest rate set by the Bank of England for lending to other banks, used as the benchmark for interest rates generally.

9d   Scabs /coming as result of/ blow-waves? (6-8)

Scratching the Surface
A blow-wave is apparently a hairstyle.

15d   Start of novel // call supporting championship (5,4)

16d   Plead during hospital investigation /for/ aerosol (5,3)

17d   Offers // favouring models (8)

19d   Tried hard, // putting recipe in cooker (6)

Recipe[5] (abbreviation r or r.[1]) is an archaic term for a medical prescription. This is also the origin of the stylized Rx[10] symbol found on prescriptions. The term is Latin and this usage dates from the 14th century, originally meaning 'take' or 'take it' when written at the top of medical prescriptions, from recipere to take.

Cooker is a British term for a stove used for cooking food. The definitions provided by Chambers 21st Century Dictionary and Collins English Dictionary would suggest that the term cooker[2,10] applies to any stove used for this purpose, including those heated by gas, electricity, oil, or solid fuel. On the other hand, Oxford Dictionaries restricts the term cooker[5] to only stoves powered by gas or electricity.

20d   Stop // a car and set off (6)

The monogram RR appears on the grill of a Rolls Royce automobile.

22d   Fleeces // family on board (5)

"on board" = 'contained in SS' (show explanation )

In Crosswordland, you will find that a ship is almost invariably a steamship, the abbreviation for which is SS[10]. Thus phrases such as "aboard ship" or "on board ship" (or sometimes merely "on board") are Crosswordland code for 'contained in SS'.

hide explanation
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

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