Thursday, November 10, 2016

Thursday, November 10, 2016 — DT 28184

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28184
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, August 4, 2016
RayT (Ray Terrell)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28184]
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 found this puzzle to be a bit more difficult than usual. It may have been in three star territory but, if so, it was nudging the upper boundary of that region. I needed a fair bit of help from my electronic assistants to complete it. Of course, with more time I might have gotten further but the pressure of getting on to writing the blog precluded that option.

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   Aggravated by lie altered // on purpose (12)

9a   Covering // Rolling Stones, perhaps getting older (9)

What did she say?
In her review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Kath writes The Rolling Stones is just an example of what they were....
...what they were...? Kath, the Stones are still active and have a new album Blue & Lonesome[7] set to be released in just over three weeks, on 2 December 2016.

10a   Hug sweetheart /and/ complain (5)

"sweetheart" = E (show explanation )

A common cryptic crossword construct is to use the word "sweetheart" to clue E, the middle letter (heart) of swEet.

hide explanation

11a   Faith must be given hard // push (6)

"hard" = H (show explanation )

H[2,5] is an abbreviation for hard, as used in describing grades of pencil lead ⇒ a 2H pencil.

hide explanation

12a   Steps too much, turning // heel (8)

"too much" = OTT (show explanation )

OTT[5] (short for over the top) is an informal British expression denoting excessive or exaggerated ⇒ presenting him as a goalscoring Superman seems a bit OTT.

hide explanation

13a   Take issue // from seed if fertilised (6)

15a   Attractive // female creating impression (8)

18a   Bore // I'm interrupting to put off (8)

19a   Love practically naked flipping // bird (6)

"love" = O (show explanation )

In tennis, squash, and some other sports, love[5] is a score of zero or nil ⇒ love fifteen. The word "love" is conventionally used to clue the letter "O" due to the resemblance of this letter to a zero written as a numeral (0). However, RayT employs the device in a different manner today.

Although folk etymology has connected the word with French l'oeuf 'egg', from the resemblance in shape between an egg and a zero, the term apparently comes from the phrase play for love (i.e. the love of the game, not for money).

hide explanation

The dunlin[5] (Calidris alpina) is a migratory sandpiper with a downcurved bill and (in the breeding season) a reddish-brown back and black belly. It is the commonest small wader of the northern hemisphere.

Delving Deeper
The dunlin[7] is a circumpolar breeder in Arctic or subarctic regions. Birds that breed in northern Europe and Asia are long-distance migrants, wintering south to Africa, southeast Asia and the Middle East. Birds that breed in Alaska and the Canadian Arctic migrate short distances to the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of North America, although those nesting in Northern Alaska overwinter in Asia. Many dunlins winter along the Iberian south coast.

Scratching the Surface
Flipping[5] is an informal British term used for emphasis or to express mild annoyance ⇒ (i) are you out of your flipping mind?; (ii) it’s flipping cold today.

Bird[5] is an informal British term for a young woman or a man’s girlfriend.

21a   Grow // corn by rotating uncultivated ground (8)

Corn[5] is used in the sense of something banal or sentimental ⇒ the film is pure corn.

Nuances of Meaning
Perhaps it is just my impression, but I suspect that the terms "corn" and "mush" may be more synonymous in the UK than they are in North America.

My usual British dictionaries all have very similar entries, defining corn as:
  • slang for something, e.g. a song, film, etc, trite and sentimental[2];
  • informal term for something banal or sentimental ⇒ the film is pure corn[5];
  • slang for an idea, song, etc, regarded as banal or sentimental[4,10].
which is exactly what I would deem mush to mean.

On the other hand, my two commonly consulted American dictionaries define corn as:
  • slang for something considered trite, dated, melodramatic, or unduly sentimental[3]; and
  • an informal term for old-fashioned, trite, or mawkishly sentimental material, as a story or music[11].
which add additional dimensions (dated and melodramatic) as compared to the entries in the British dictionaries. It is precisely these additional dimensions which I perceive to be the distinguishing characteristics of corn as opposed to mush.

Ironically, The Chambers Dictionary (considered to be the Bible for the DT Cryptic), defines corn[1] as something old-fashioned or hackneyed — a definition seemingly more in tune with the American dictionaries than with the other British dictionaries.

Moor[5] is a chiefly British term for a tract of open uncultivated upland, typically covered with heather.

23a   Sack with gold brick's first /found in/ coat (6)

The symbol for the chemical element gold is Au[5] (from Latin aurum).

26a   Rover/'s/ certainly not hot under the collar (5)

27a   Fancy // stylish gallery has almost plush interior (9)

"gallery" = TATE (show explanation )

28a   Church people having opinion about // Genesis (12)

"church" = CE (show explanation )

The Church of England[10] (abbreviation CE[10]) is the reformed established state Church in England, Catholic in order and basic doctrine, with the Sovereign as its temporal head.

hide explanation

Scratching the Surface
Genesis[5] is the first book of the Bible, which includes the stories of the creation of the world, Noah’s Ark, the Tower of Babel, and the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph.


1d   Considered // performance circling club (7)

2d   Form of Nile river // transport? (5)

Scratching the Surface
The Nile[5] is a river in eastern Africa, the longest river in the world, which rises in east central Africa near Lake Victoria and flows 6,695 km (4,160 miles) generally northwards through Uganda, South Sudan, Sudan, and Egypt to empty through a large delta into the Mediterranean.

3d   Garment that's about to be suspended below neck? (9)

I have marked this as a semi-&lit. (semi-all-in-one) clue in which the entire clue is the definition. I would say that this garment could loosely be considered to be "suspended below neck" — especially once the clasp at the back is undone.

Neck[4] is an informal [seemingly British] term meaning impudence or audacity ⇒ he had the neck to ask for a rise [a raise (in pay) for a North American].

Brass[3,4,11] is an informal term for bold self-assurance or effrontery; excessive self-assurance or impudence; or bold self-confidence, cheek, or nerve he had the brass to ask for more time.

4d   Sack // backup supporting Queen (4)

"Queen" = R (show explanation )

Queen may be abbreviated as Q, Qu. or R.

Q[5] is an abbreviation for queen that is used especially in describing play in card games and recording moves in chess.

Qu.[2] is another common abbreviation for Queen.

Regina[5] (abbreviation R[5]) [Latin for queen] denotes the reigning queen, used following a name (e.g. Elizabetha Regina, Queen Elizabeth) or in the titles of lawsuits (e.g. Regina v. Jones, the Crown versus Jones — often shortened to R. v. Jones).

Thus Queen Elizabeth signs her name as 'Elizabeth R' as seen here on Canada's paint-stained constitution.

hide explanation

5d   United // tie, letting in own goal (8)

In soccer, an own goal[10] (abbreviation o.g.[10]) is a goal scored by a player accidentally playing the ball into his own team's net.

6d   Sanctioned // member and a Labour leader (5)

Scratching the Surface
The Labour Party[5] (abbreviation Lab.[5]) in Britain is a left-of-centre political party formed to represent the interests of ordinary working people that since the Second World War has been in power 1945–51, 1964–70, 1974-9, and 1997–2010. Arising from the trade union movement at the end of the 19th century, it replaced the Liberals as the country’s second party after the First World War.

7d   Bad case // of wind gripping one (8)

A mistral[5] is a strong cold north-westerly wind that blows through the Rhône valley and southern France towards the Mediterranean, mainly in winter.

8d   Take ages // to fit in (6)

14d   Obscurely see a form /that's/ terrifying (8)

16d   Burn // abnormally acute growth (9)

17d   Sensuality/'s/ odd methods in wasting time (8)

18d   Embraced by blonde, man denies // urge (6)

20d   Most aristocratic // old boy left in retreat (7)

"old boy" = 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

22d   Wireless // router accesses data -- internet opening starts (5)

Wireless[5] is a dated British term for a radio receiving set.

24d   Wide open // space in empty amphitheatre (5)

25d   Shock /seeing/ potty upset (4)

Potty[5] is an informal British term meaning either:
  1. foolish or crazy ⇒ he felt she really had gone potty; or
  2. extremely enthusiastic about or fond of someone or something ⇒ I'm potty about my two sons.
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

1 comment:

  1. I'm generally loath to complain, but this puzzle was utter crap.