Monday, November 14, 2016

Monday, November 14, 2016 — DT 28187

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28187
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Monday, August 8, 2016
Rufus (Roger Squires)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28187]
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
The National Post has skipped DT 28185 and DT 28186 which were published in The Daily Telegraph on Friday, August 5, 2016 and Saturday, August 6, 2016.


Today's puzzle is a not very testing but nevertheless highly enjoyable offering from Rufus.

In an ironic twist of fate, in his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Miffypops provides a musical tribute to Marianne Ihlen[7] who died on July 28, 2016 — eleven days prior to the publication of this puzzle in the UK. She was the muse and girlfriend of Leonard Cohen for several years in the 1960s. and the subject of his 1967 track "So Long Marianne". Cohen himself passed away one week ago 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   Friendly // question of what I can do (7)

5a   Cut by instrument, // doctor is cross (7)

9a   Currency comes in handy /getting/ Dutch pottery (5)

"currency" = L (show explanation )

The pound[5] (also pound sterling) is the basic monetary unit of the UK, equal to 100 pence. While the symbol for pound is £, it is often written as L[10].

The Chambers Dictionary defines the upper case L[1] as the abbreviation for pound sterling (usually written £) and the lower case l[1] as the abbreviation for pound weight (usually written lb) — both deriving from the Latin word libra.

In ancient Rome, the libra[5] was a unit of weight, equivalent to 12 ounces (0.34 kg). It was the forerunner of the pound.

hide explanation

Delft[5] is English or Dutch tin-glazed earthenware, typically decorated by hand in blue on a white background ⇒ walls covered with delft tiles.

10a   Launched attack /but/ he'd give in, beaten (9)

11a   He struggles // to study before exam -- exemplary worker (10)

Con[5] is an archaic term meaning to study attentively or learn by heart (a piece of writing)  ⇒ the girls conned their pages with a great show of industry.

Seeing Through the Subterfuge
In the surface reading, Rufus intends us to see exemplary[5] as meaning serving as a desirable model or very good ⇒ exemplary behaviour. However, to solve the clue we must get past this misdirection and realize that the word actually denotes characteristic of its kind or illustrating a general rule ⇒ her works are exemplary of certain feminist arguments.

While the word "worker" is commonly used to clue ANT (show explanation ) in cryptic crossword clues, I think today's clue goes beyond this. I take it to be an allusion to one of Aesop's Fables, The Ant and the Grasshopper[7]. The fable concerns a grasshopper that has spent the summer singing while the ant worked to store up food for winter. When that season arrives, the grasshopper finds itself dying of hunger and begs the ant for food. However, the ant rebukes its idleness and tells it to dance the winter away now. The situation sums up moral lessons about the virtues of hard work and planning for the future.

The word "worker" and the phrase "social worker" are commonly used in cryptic crossword puzzles to clue ANT or BEE.

A worker[5] is a neuter or undeveloped female bee, wasp, ant, or other social insect, large numbers of which do the basic work of the colony.

In crossword puzzles, "worker" will most frequently be used to clue ANT and occasionally BEE but I have yet to see it used to clue WASP. Of course, "worker" is sometimes also used to clue HAND or MAN.

hide explanation

12a   Give aid to // a Yankee (4)

We recently saw this type of wager.

A Yankee[1,5] (also Yankee bet) is, according to Oxford Dictionaries, a bet on four or more horses to win (or be placed) in different races while, according to The Chambers Dictionary, it is a multiple bet on four horses in four races, consisting of six doubles*, four trebles**, and one accumulator***.
* a double[1] is a combined bet on two races, stake and winnings from the first being bet on the second.

** a treble[2] is a type of cumulative bet that involves the better choosing three horses from three different races; the original stake money plus any winnings from the first race then goes on the horse from the second race, after which, if the second horse wins, the total is laid on the horse from the third race.

*** accumulator[2] (also accumulator bet) is a British term for a bet on four or more races, where the original money bet and any money won are bet on the next race, so that the better either wins a lot of money or loses it all.
14a   One puts things right at last (4-8)

18a   Wholly dedicated to remaining unmarried? (6-6)

This is a cryptic definition consisting of a precise definition (solid underline) combined with some cryptic elaboration.

21a   Part of foot // to move slowly (4)

22a   Night-watchman (10)

25a   Greatest respect /for/ commercial delivery (9)

26a   In modern times, consuming anger /is/ publicly displayed (5)

27a   Making uniform /or/ sort of dress that's formal (7)

28a   Frightful // house -- I'd move (7)


1d   One may go to pot (6)

2d   Having nothing particular to do, // I would fish (6)

The ling[5] is any of a number of long-bodied edible marine fishes including various species of large East Atlantic fish related to the cod, in particular Molva molva, which is of commercial importance.

3d   Bet /it's/ the wife! (6,4)

Despite having the correct solution, I did not understand the wordplay. Although Miffypops does not provide a full explanation in his review, he provided enough of a nudge to push me onto the right track.

"Bet" is 50% of the word "better" or, if you will, BETTER HALF.

4d   Are // no longer first (5)

5d   Number // observed to hold race, perhaps (9)

6d   Something missing from Irish // flag (4)

A flag[10] is any of various plants that have long swordlike leaves, especially the iris Iris pseudacorus (yellow flag).

7d   A noted work of his remained unfinished (8)

Franz Schubert[5] (1797–1828) was an Austrian composer. His music is associated with the romantic movement for its lyricism and emotional intensity, but belongs in formal terms to the classical age. His works include more than 600 secular vocal works (mainly Lieder) , the ‘Trout’ piano quintet (1819), and nine* symphonies.
* Schubert completed seven symphonies[10]; nonetheless, one of his incomplete symphonies, the Unfinished Symphony is among his most popular works. Over the years, there has been considerable confusion surrounding the numbering of Schubert's symphonies[7]. Various numbering systems have placed the number of symphonies between eight and ten (including incomplete works). In most of these schemes, the Unfinished Symphony is designated as No. 8 but in one it is No. 7.
8d   Flier /makes/ Marxist jump (8)

Redstart[5] is the name of two quite different birds:
  1. [to the Brits] a Eurasian and North African songbird related to the chats, having a reddish tail and underparts

  2. [to those of us on this side of the pond] an American warbler, the male of which is black with either a red belly or orange markings
13d   Assume responsibility /for/ fool employee (4,2,4)

15d   Unhappy men she upset, spilling gin /and/ getting engaged? (9)

16d   Some folk carelessly drop this // character in the middle of nowhere (8)

To my mind, the latter part of the clue is wordplay rather than a second definition.

In phonetics, an aspirate[5] is an aspirated consonant or a sound of h.

17d   Account /with/ date once rendered (8)

19d   It needs to grow // by more developing (6)

20d   Sorts out // degrees (6)

23d   The US stock market depends on its products (5)

From a British perspective, a ranch[10] is a large tract of land, especially one in North America, together with the necessary personnel, buildings, and equipment, for rearing livestock, especially cattle.

24d   Vehicle // to move before take-off (4)
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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