Thursday, November 3, 2016

Thursday, November 3, 2016 — DT 28175

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28175
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Monday, July 25, 2016
Rufus (Roger Squires)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28175]
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


As is typical of Rufus' work, this puzzle is not very difficult but delivers a lot of enjoyment.

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   Pig had trapped // tail (6)

4a   Soccer player gets the bird /for/ impudent retorts (8)

Oxford Dictionaries tells us that the chat[5] is a small Old World songbird of the thrush family, with black, white, and brown coloration and a harsh call. However, Wikipedia states that chats[7] are a group of small Old World insectivorous birds formerly classified as members of the thrush family Turdidae, but now considered Old World flycatchers.

A back[5] is a player in a team game who plays in a defensive position* behind the forwards ⇒ their backs showed some impressive running and passing.
* except, of course, in North American football where there are both offensive backs and defensive backs.
Backchat[5] is an informal British term denoting rude or cheeky remarks made in reply to someone in authority  ⇒ don't interrupt! I'm not used to backchat or defiance!. The equivalent North American term is back talk[5].

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Miffypops reports that Google describes a chat as a European robin.
Actually, Google seems to have it backwards — the European robin is a type of chat not the other way around.

The European robin[7] (Erithacus rubecula), known simply as the robin or robin redbreast in the British Isles and Ireland is a small insectivorous passerine bird, specifically a chat, that was formerly classed as a member of the thrush family (Turdidae), but is now considered to be an Old World flycatcher.

9a   Current binder /for/ correspondence (6)

10a   Hard to fathom // corruption engulfing good man and king (8)

Abuse[5] is used in the sense of unjust or corrupt practice ⇒ protection against fraud and abuse.

"good man" = ST (show explanation )

The phrase "good man" is commonly used in cryptic crossword puzzles to clue the letters ST, St[5] being the abbreviation for Saint.

hide explanation

"king" = R (show explanation )

Rex[5] (abbreviation R[5]) [Latin for king] denotes the reigning king, used following a name (e.g. Georgius Rex, King George) or in the titles of lawsuits (e.g. Rex v. Jones, the Crown versus Jones — often shortened to R. v. Jones).

hide explanation

12a   Induce // the French to go round ancient city (4)

"the French" = LE (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

Ur[5] is an ancient Sumerian city formerly on the Euphrates, in southern Iraq. It was one of the oldest cities of Mesopotamia, dating from the 4th millennium BC, and reached its zenith in the late 3rd millennium BC. Ur[7] is considered by many to be the city of Ur Kasdim mentioned in the Book of Genesis as the birthplace of the Hebrew patriarch Abraham.

13a   Clergyman inwardly pious? The reverse -- // a treacherous type (5)

Pi[5] is an informal British short form for pious.

14a   Party back in // power for old Scandinavia (4)

Contrary to Miffypops explanation, the parsing of the wordplay is a reversal (back) of DO (party) + IN (from the clue). As Big Dave points out in an editorial comment, the definition is "power for old Scandinavia".

In Scandinavian mythology, Odin[5] (also Woden or Wotan) is the supreme god and creator, god of victory and the dead. Wednesday is named after him.

17a   You may be well-advised to act on his spot judgment (5,7)

Water diviner[5] is a British term for a person who searches for underground water by using a dowsing rod.

20a   Thrice curate in turn, // a constructive way to make a living (12)

As an anagram indicator, I suspect that turn[5] may be used in the sense of a short theatrical performance, especially one of a number given by different performers in succession.

Scratching the Surface
Curate[5] can mean:
  1. (also assistant curate) a member of the clergy engaged as assistant to a vicar, rector, or parish priest; or
  2. (archaic) a minister with pastoral responsibility.

23a   A London orchestra // as well (4)

The London Symphony Orchestra[7] (abbreviation LSO), founded in 1904, is the oldest of London's symphony orchestras.

24a   Previous // head of a religious body (5)

A prior[5] is the male head of a house or group of houses of certain religious orders, in particular:
  1. the man next in rank below an abbot; or
  2. the head of a house of friars.
25a   Leave out // large container (4)

Skip[5] is the British name for a large transportable open-topped container for building and other refuse [in North America, known as a dumpster[10] (trademark, Dumpster)] I’ve salvaged a carpet from a skip.

28a   One-time party animal backing // words to music (8)

"One-time" may be slightly — but only very slightly — overstating the situation, as a remnant of the party apparently still exists.

The Liberal Party[5] (abbreviation Lib.[5] or L[2])* in Britain emerged in the 1860s from the old Whig Party and until the First World War was one of the two major parties in Britain. In 1988 the party regrouped with elements of the Social Democratic Party to form the Social and Liberal Democrats, now known as the Liberal Democrats. However, a small Liberal Party still exists although it has no representation in the UK Parliament, no Members of the European Parliament (MEP), no members of the Scottish Parliament, nor any members of the National Assembly for Wales.[7]
* Although Lib.[5] may be the more common abbreviation for the Liberal Party in Britain—likely to distinguish it from the the Labour Party[5] (abbreviation Lab.[5])—Chambers 21st Century Dictionary indicates that L[2] may also be used, although not in today's puzzle.
29a   Such a means to an end barely contemplated by Hamlet (6)

I'm afraid that my knowledge of Shakespeare — or Mark Twain — is no match for that of Miffypops.

In his soliloquy[7] (To be or not to be, that is the question: ...), Hamlet states For who would bear [life's problems] when he himself might his Quietus [death] make with a bare Bodkin? .

Bare bodkin refers to a mere dagger. Bodkin was a Renaissance term used to describe many different sharp instruments, but it makes the most sense here to assume Shakespeare meant a dagger.

30a   PM's diary set out // high points of Egyptian tour (8)

31a   Retiring worker's seen in // humble dwelling (6)


1d   Reluctantly accepts // criterion that summer has arrived? (8)

Although (at least in North America), the robin is the traditional harbinger of spring, the swallow seems not far behind as a herald of spring or summer. Famously, there is the annual return of the swallows to the Mission San Juan Capistrano[7] in California — by tradition said to occur every year on March 19 (Saint Joseph's Day). A proverb that dates to the days of the ancient Greeks states that One swallow does not make a spring. In Britain, this seems to have been adapted to One swallow does not make a summer or, a bit more poetically, as One swallow does not a summer make — which may merely be a reflection of the fact that the date on which swallows arrive in Britain on their annual trek from naturally later than the date on which they arrive in Greece.

Delving Deeper
The young man and the swallow[7] (which also has the Victorian title of "The spendthrift and the swallow") is one of Aesop's Fables may have been invented to explain the proverb 'One swallow does not make a spring' (μία χελίδὼν ἕαρ ού ποίεῖ), which is recorded in Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics.

The fable is about a young man who spends all his money on gambling and luxurious living until he has only a cloak to keep off the weather. Seeing an unusually early swallow fly by, the man concludes that spring has come and sells his cloak so as to use the proceeds to mend his fortune with a last bet. Not only does he lose his money but cold weather closes in again. Finding the swallow frozen to death, the young man blames it for deceiving him. In later versions this takes place on the bank of a frozen brook and the young man also dies of cold.

2d   Bill supported by clergyman /is/ correct (8)

We last saw this clergyman at 20a.

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Miffypops refers to this clergyman as the one with the egg.
Curate's egg[5] is a British expression denoting that a thing that is partly good and partly bad.

The saying has its origin in a cartoon that appeared in the now defunct British satirical magazine Punch (1895) depicting a meek curate who, given a stale egg at the bishop's table, assures his host that ‘parts of it are excellent’.

Bishop: "I'm afraid you've got a bad egg, Mr Jones"; Curate: "Oh, no, my Lord, I assure you that parts of it are excellent!"
"True Humility" by George du Maurier, originally published in Punch, 9 November 1895.

3d   They enable backward-looking people to progress (4)

5d   E.g. for example? (12)

6d   Toy that needs a wind to get going (4)

7d   Possibly Hudson // Bay may have come from one of these (6)

8d   He'd ten unusual // words to finish a book (3,3)

11d   Not allowed to succeed? (12)

15d   Cornish city // organised tour crossing river (5)

Truro[5] is the county town of Cornwall in southwestern England; population 23,700 (est. 2009).

16d   Holy city // came about, within century (5)

Mecca[5] is a city in western Saudi Arabia, an oasis town in the Red Sea region of Hejaz, east of Jiddah, considered by Muslims to be the holiest city of Islam; population 1,385,000 (est. 2007).

18d   County relatives /will supply/ leather (8)

Bucks.[5] is the abbreviation for Buckinghamshire[5], a county of central England; county town, Aylesbury.

19d   Armaments // open war clashes before end of July (8)

21d   Ring /to/ summon for service (4,2)

22d   Boris strangely takes a // pressurised line (6)

In meteorology, an isobar[5] is a line on a map connecting points having the same atmospheric pressure at a given time or on average over a given period.

26d   Word /or/ sentence (4)

27d   Collectively neither one thing nor the other (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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