Monday, November 21, 2016

Monday, November 21, 2016 — DT 28193

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28193
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Monday, August 15, 2016
Rufus (Roger Squires)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28193]
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 28192 which was published in The Daily Telegraph on Saturday, August 13, 2016.


I needed a nudge from my electronic assistants today to get me to the finish line only to learn when I read Miffypops review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog that I had stepped out of my lane and been disqualified. This puzzle appeared in the UK just past the midpoint of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Perhaps that mention by Miffypops put Mount Olympus in my brain and led to my downfall at 26d.

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   The cradle of the deep? (3,3)

4a   Old students better // out of sight (8)

"old student" = OB (show explanation )

In Britain, an old boy[5] (abbreviation OB[2])  is:
  1. a former male student of a school or college ⇒an old boy of Banbury County School; or
  2. a former male member of a sports team or company ⇒ the White Hart Lane old boy squared the ball to present an easy chance from 12 yards.
It is also a chiefly British affectionate form of address to a boy or man ⇒ ‘Look here, old boy,’ he said.

hide explanation

9a   One stealing // a pound? (6)

Nick[5] is an informal British term meaning to steal ⇒ she nicked fivers from the till. Thus a nicker is someone who steals.

Nicker[5] is an informal British term for a pound sterling* a hundred and twenty nicker.
* The pound[5] (also pound sterling) is the basic monetary unit of the UK.
10a   Joint // vote cast in Irish parliament (8)

The Dáil[5] (in full Dáil Éireann) is the lower house of Parliament in the Republic of Ireland, composed of 166 members (called Teachtai Dála). It was first established in 1919, when Irish republicans proclaimed an Irish state.

12a   The same again and again /the same as/ one that passed long ago (4)

Do.[10] is the abbreviation for ditto.

The dodo[5] (now extinct) was a large flightless bird, Raphus cucullatus, with a stout body, stumpy wings, a large head, and a heavy hooked bill. It was found on Mauritius until the end of the 17th century.

13a   One may turn over in bed (5)

14a   Don't allow // to contradict (4)

17a   Royal seat that offers commoners rear accommodation (7,5)

It is often not easy to pigeonhole a Rufus clue. In this cryptic definition, both the primary indication and the subsidiary indication would appear to be cryptic. The portion with the solid underline tells us that the solution is something that even a lowly commoner might sit on. The portion with the dashed underline alludes to a seat found in Windsor Castle which might well be called a "Windsor chair".

Windsor Castle[5] is a royal residence at Windsor, founded by William the Conqueror on the site of an earlier fortress and extended by his successors, particularly Edward III. The castle was severely damaged by fire in 1992.

A Windsor chair[5] is a wooden dining chair with a semicircular back supported by upright rods.

20a   What postgraduates work for, /to/ a greater extent? (6,6)

23a   How five hundred initially /must get/ sea transport (4)

A dhow[5] is a lateen-rigged* ship with one or two masts, used chiefly in the Arabian region.
* A lateen is a triangular sail on a long yard at an angle of 45° to the mast.
24a   One // object of alliance (5)

25a   Place // where spinners will take a turn (4)

I did briefly toy with SPIT thinking that spinners might be alluding to rotisseries.

28a   Plant // in grade A ground (8)

As an anagram indicator, ground is the past tense or past participle of the verb grind[5]. An anagram indicator is a word that denotes movement or transformation. Grind denotes transformation in the sense of wheat being ground into flour.

The gardenia[5] is any of several species of tree or shrub of warm climates, with large, fragrant white or yellow flowers.

29a   Soldiers go /and/ come back (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

30a   Works // of poets are broadcast (8)

31a   Card game -- // pontoon? (6)

A pontoon[5] is a bridge or landing stage supported by pontoons.

Scratching the Surface
Pontoon[5] is a British name for the card game blackjack or vingt-et-un he got me to go into his room for a hand of pontoon.


1d   Expelled from university /and/ conveyed to prison (4,4)

Down[5] is a British term meaning away from a university, especially Oxford or Cambridge ⇒ he was down from Oxford. Send down[10] is a British term meaning to expel from a university, especially permanently.

Send down[10] is an informal British term meaning to send to prison. Ironically, in Britain as in North America, send up[10] is also slang meaning to send to prison. Up the river[5] is an informal North American expression meaning to or in prison we were lucky not to be sent up the river that time boy [with allusion to Sing Sing prison, situated up the Hudson River from the city of New York].

2d   I'd given stress about // something unintentional (8)

3d   Some considered England // paradise (4)

5d   Savage // as Dracula (12)

6d   A short cut /for/ sailors (4)

I have marked the first part of the clue with a dotted underline as the word crew does not appear on its own in dictionaries denoting a hairstyle (as, for example, mohawk does). It is present only in the term crew cut.

7d   Wandered /with/ me in street (6)

8d   Waits /with/ the Spanish in enlightened times (6)

"the Spanish" = EL (show explanation )

In Spanish, the masculine singular form of the definite article is el[8].

hide explanation

11d   Perhaps even I could be // afraid // here (12)

It seems to me that the word "here" could be omitted and the clue would still work perfectly well:
  • Perhaps even I could be // afraid (12)
The word "here" is neither part of the definition nor part of the wordplay. Rather I presume it is intended to be what I like to call a framework element of the clue — like a link word, except it does not sit between the wordplay and the definition. I think we are expected to interpret it as denoting something along the lines of "the solution to this clue is a synonym for the given definition". One might rephrase the clue to make the word "here" part of a link phrase:
  • Perhaps even I could be /seen here as/ afraid (12)
The construction that Rufus uses misdirects us into thinking that the solution we are looking for is a "scary place" rather than a synonym for "afraid".

15d   Moving // out of bed (5)

Two definitions that really mean much the same thing — the first being active in any circumstance and the second denoting being active following a period of sleep.

16d   Large cat /making/ row about midnight (5)

"midnight" = G (show explanation )

A common cryptic crossword construct is to use the word "midnight" to clue G, the middle letter (mid) of niGht.

hide explanation

18d   Put the case // for sterling (8)

Sterling[5] is a general term for British money. I would say that pound is being used not as a specific monetary unit but also as a general term for British money.

19d   Fine // words? (8)

21d   Commercial fee for money conversion follows // slowly (6)

Agio[5] is the percentage charged on the exchange of one currency, or one form of money, into another that is more valuable.

Adagio[5] is a musical term denoting (especially as a direction) in slow time.

22d   Direction /of/ sporting venue (6)

26d   This woman, // in truth, is at the head of a big place (4)

The solution to the clue is a woman's name which in VERACITY (truth) is found before (at the head of) CITY (a large place).

I was totally off track having HERA from HER (this woman) + (is at the head of) A (from the clue). I took the entire clue to be the definition, as Hera was the head of a big place, namely Mount Olympus. Admittedly, the phrase "in truth" was left unaccounted for. However, it is not unknown to encounter a clue in a Rufus puzzle where it is difficult to account for a word or two (as evidence I offer the word "here" in 11d).

In Greek mythology, Hera[10] (or Here) is the queen of the Olympian gods and sister and wife of Zeus.

27d   Animal/'s/ shoulder -- /or/ stomach? (4)

A triple definition.
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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