Friday, November 25, 2016

Friday, November 25, 2016 — DT 28197

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28197
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, August 19, 2016
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28197]
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'm afraid that I am a few days late reporting for duty. However, here is my review of Friday's puzzle in case anyone is still interested. I have taken the liberty of backdating the posting time so that the reviews appear in the proper sequence.

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   Old-style rule, // prior to anything being written down? (9)

Prescript[5] is a dated (thus "old-style") formal term for an ordinance, law, or command.

9a   Part of SA /gets/ sun and zero water -- zero! (6)

SA[5] is the abbreviation for South Africa.

Wet means water as a verb ⇒ After sowing the seed, wet the ground thoroughly.

Soweto[5] is a large urban area, consisting of several townships, in South Africa south-west of Johannesburg. In 1976 demonstrations against the compulsory use of Afrikaans in schools resulted in violent police activity and the deaths of hundreds of people. The name comes from So(uth) We(stern) To(wnships).

10a   In Cyprus a post's secured // a small vessel (9)

The International Vehicle Registration (IVR) code for Cyprus is CY[5].

11a   Accident /when/ little Philip's swallowed Romanian money (4-2)

Pip[7] is a common nickname for Philip (including its numerous alternative spellings and feminine forms).

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Tilsit suggests that to identify the shortened form of the name Philip we think of the main narrator in Great Expectations.
Great Expectations[7] is the thirteenth novel by English writer Charles Dickens and his penultimate completed novel; a bildungsroman that depicts the personal growth and personal development of an orphan nicknamed Pip.

The leu[5] is the basic monetary unit of Romania, equal to 100 bani.

12a   List // minister of religion as being into home improvements? (9)

"minister of religion" = RECTOR (show explanation )

A rector[5] is a member of the clergy, although the meaning of the term varies among religious denominations. The term denotes:
  • in the the Church of England, an incumbent of a parish where all tithes formerly passed to the incumbent,
  • in other Anglican Churches, a member of the clergy who has charge of a parish;
  • in the Roman Catholic Church, a priest in charge of a church or of a religious institution.
hide explanation

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Tilsit tells us that this name for a minister of the church could also be the title of an officer of a University.
A rector[5] is the head of certain universities, colleges, and schools.

DIY[5] (abbreviation of do-it-yourself) is a British term* for the activity of decorating, building, and making fixtures and repairs at home by oneself rather than employing a professional DIY avoids the difficult relationship between householder and professional decorator.
* Despite being characterized as "British" by Oxford Dictionaries, I should think that the term is hardly unfamiliar to North Americans.
13a   Bishop getting in the way of walkers, // beast! (6)

"bishop" = RR (show explanation )

Right Reverend[5] (abbreviation RR[2]) is a title given to a bishop, especially in the Anglican Church ⇒ the Right Reverend David Jenkins, Bishop of Durham.

hide explanation

A ferret[5] is a domesticated polecat* used chiefly for catching rabbits. It is typically albino in coloration, but sometimes brown.
*  The polecat[5] referred to here is not a skunk but a weasel-like Eurasian mammal with mainly dark brown fur and a darker mask across the eyes, noted for its fetid smell.
17a   A little // female dog companion let loose (3)

"companion" = CH (show explanation )

A Companion of Honour (abbreviation CH) is a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour[7], an order of the Commonwealth realms* founded by King George V in June 1917 as a reward for outstanding achievements in the arts, literature, music, science, politics, industry or religion.
* A Commonwealth realm[7]* is a sovereign state that is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations and has Elizabeth II as its head of state and reigning constitutional monarch.
hide explanation

19a   To administer a Co. differently, // move towards giving everyone a say (15)

20a   Clumsy person /in/ a gym (3)

"gym [class]" = PE (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

21a   Process of 'refuelling' -- // what you need to get 'ot (6)

One Dropped Aitch Deserves Another
The device being used here is that an aitch dropped in the clue implies an aitch dropped in the solution.  

The clue is 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. 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!".

25a   A person, if misshapen, /should get/ particular garments (9)

In Britain, pinafore[2] can mean either:
  1. (sometimes shortened to pinny) an apron, especially one with a bib; or
  2. (also pinafore dress) a sleeveless dress for wearing over a blouse, sweater, etc.
The name comes from from "pin + afore", because it was formerly 'pinned afore', i.e. pinned to the front of a dress.

Meanwhile, on this side of the pond ...
In North America,  a pinafore dress is known as a jumper[5]. Ironically, in Britain, a jumper[5] is a long-sleeved sweater, typically a pullover.

Thus, if a British lass were to wear a pinafore over her jumper and a North American gal were to wear a jumper over her sweater, they would be dressed identically.

26a   Around the walls of tabernacle see most unusual // symbols (6)

Although Native American totem poles may be the first thing to come to mind, the term totem[5] has a more general meaning being a natural object or animal that is believed by a particular society to have spiritual significance and that is adopted by it as an emblem.

27a   Unsettled person // that is to shout angrily about money (9)

Tin[5] is a dated informal British term for money ⇒ Kim’s only in it for the tin.

28a   Forcibly carry off // very little one covered in spots? (6)

Ravish[5] is used in an archaic sense meaning to seize and carry off (someone) by force ⇒ there is no assurance that her infant child will not be ravished from her breast.

Ravish also has a dated [less old-fashioned than archaic] usage meaning (said of a man) to rape (a woman) ⇒ an angry father who suspects that his daughter has been ravished and a literary usage meaning to fill (someone) with intense delight or enrapture ⇒ ravished by a sunny afternoon, she had agreed without even thinking. [These latter two usage examples present an interesting juxtaposition (suggesting that the father's suspicions were unfounded).]

29a   Track // badly fouled up with wire (9)

Bridleway[5] (also bridle path) is a British term for a path or track along which horse riders have right of way.


2d   Band's helper /gets/ fee finally after radio broadcast (6)

3d   Son is given meat, // not a thick slice (6)

4d   Give an account of // soldiers deceased (6)

"soldiers" = RE (show explanation )

The Corps of Royal Engineers[7], usually just called the Royal Engineers (abbreviation RE), and commonly known as the Sappers[7], is a corps of the British Army that provides military engineering and other technical support to the British Armed Forces.

hide explanation

5d   Artist // left with a tinier part needing to be changed (8-7)

6d   Brit collaring little pests, an // officer (9)

Pom[5] is short for Pommy[5] (also Pommie), a derogatory informal Australian and New Zealand term for a British person.

7d   Heavenly body // is remote, I do fancy (9)

A meteoroid[5] is a small body moving in the solar system that would become a meteor if it entered the earth's atmosphere. A meteorite[5], on the other hand, is a piece of rock or metal that has fallen to the earth's surface from outer space as a meteor.

8d   Being efficient, manage to protect maiden needing shelter (9)

By using a complex sentence structure, the setter has forced the link word "being" to the head of the clue. Were we to restate the clue, we might more clearly see that this is the case.
  • Manage to protect maiden needing shelter /being/ efficient (9)
"maiden"  = M (show explanation )

In cricket, a maiden[5], also known as a maiden over and denoted on cricket scorecards by the abbreviation m.[10], is an over in which no runs are scored.

In cricket, an over[5] is a division of play consisting of a sequence of six balls bowled by a bowler from one end of the pitch, after which another bowler takes over from the other end. On cricket scorecards, the abbreviation O[5] denotes over(s).

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14d   Days before Christmas with university about /to provide/ exciting experience (9)

Advent[5] is the first season of the Church year, leading up to Christmas and including the four preceding Sundays.

15d   Like 20, // I am the bee's knees with musical coming up (9)

The numeral "20" is a cross reference indicator directing the solver to insert the solution to clue 20a in its place to complete the clue. The directional indicator is customarily omitted in situations such as this where only a single clue starts in the light* that is being referenced. 
* light-coloured cell in the grid
The bee's knees[2,4,5,10] is an informal British expression denoting an outstandingly good person or thing.

Delving Deeper
I had always regarded the expression the bee's knees as US slang dating from the flapper era of the 1920s. Surprisingly, not only is the term not to be found in my American dictionaries, but none of my British dictionaries considered it to be a dated term. Moreover, Collins 21st Century Dictionary[2] characterizes it as a British term and the Cambridge Idioms Dictionary identifies the bee's knees as a British and Australian expression. On the other hand, Oxford Dictionaries (in a notation that seems to have vanished in the recent revamp of its website) alluded to the present meaning of the term being American in origin.

The meaning of this term has undergone a reversal over time. The Farlex Trivia Dictionary tells us that the expression bee's knees has been used from 1797 for "something insignificant". Oxford Dictionaries (prior to the recent revamp of its website) informed one that the term was first used to denote something small and insignificant, and was transferred to the opposite sense in US slang. This is not unlike cool becoming synonymous with hot (popular) and sick meaning excellent.

 Evita[7] is a musical with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice. It concentrates on the life of Argentine political leader Eva Perón [known familiarly as Evita], the second wife of Argentine president Juan Perón. The story follows Evita's early life, rise to power, charity work, and eventual death.

16d   I'm one involved with cost (9)

This is an &lit.[7] clue (sometimes called an all-in-one clue). The entire clue (when read one way) is the definition, but under a different interpretation takes on the role of wordplay.

17d   Beastly sound /from/ a sailor capsizing (3)

"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.

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18d   Part of formal attire /for/ the match (3)

Tie[5] is a British term meaning a sports match between two or more players or teams in which the winners proceed to the next round of the competition Swindon Town have gained themselves a third round tie against Oldham.

The foregoing usage example does not mean — as a North American might presume — that Swindon Town and Oldham played to a draw in the third round. Rather, it means that Swindon Town defeated their opponent in the second round and will move on to face Oldham in the third round.

22d   Blasted // theologian restricting English composer (6)

"theologian" = DD (show explanation )

Doctor of Divinity[7] (abbreviation D.D. or DD, Divinitatis Doctor in Latin) is an advanced academic degree in divinity.

Historically, the degree of Doctor of Divinity identified one who had been licensed by a university to teach Christian theology or related religious subjects. In the United Kingdom, Doctor of Divinity has traditionally been the highest doctorate granted by universities, usually conferred upon a religious scholar of standing and distinction. In the United States, the Doctor of Divinity is usually awarded as an honorary degree.

hide explanation

Thomas Arne[7] (1710–1778) was an English composer, best known for the patriotic song Rule, Britannia!. He also wrote a version of God Save the King, which became the British national anthem, and the song A-Hunting We Will Go. Arne was the leading British theatre composer of the 18th century, working at Drury Lane and Covent Garden.

23d   Starter perhaps /for/ run (6)

Starter[5] is a chiefly British term* meaning the first course of a meal.
 * Although, according to Oxford Dictionaries, this is a British term, it is certainly one that is by no means foreign to Canada.
Run[5] means (of hounds) to chase or hunt their quarry ⇒ the hounds are running.

Course[5] means to pursue (game, especially hares) with greyhounds using sight rather than scent ⇒ (i) many of the hares coursed escaped unharmed; (ii) she would course for hares with her greyhounds.

24d   The female's at home, upset with a // medical condition (6)
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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