Thursday, November 17, 2016

Thursday, November 17, 2016 — DT 28190

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28190
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, August 11, 2016
Shamus (Philip Marlow)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28190]
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 ran into a brick wall in the northwest quadrant with today's puzzle and needed help from my electronic assistants to complete it. Therefore, I felt rather humbled to see that Kath rated it at a mere two stars for difficulty. Perhaps given more time I would have made more progress, but I needed to get on with what is shaping up to be a busy day.

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   Airport area // that's packed -- I'm clear to move ahead (7,7)

You have to interpret the first part of the wordplay as though it were "[something] that's packed".

As she suspects ("I wondered for a long time if I was missing something here but, if I am, I still can’t see it."), the parsing is actually a bit more complex than Kath shows in her review, being BAGGAGE ([something] that's packed) + {IM (I'm) preceded by (ahead) an anagram of CLEAR}. Kath's explanation fails to account for the word "ahead" in the clue.

9a   Film about a leader in trouble /getting/ abuse (8)

I tried to make this into a very complicated containment type clue when it is in fact nothing more than a rather straightforward charade.

10a   Correct // pieces penned by journalist (5)

12a   Promise // kept by goatherd (4)

13a   Savvy // old comedian following Whitehall, say (10)

The British comic duo Morecambe and Wise[7] (also known as Eric and Ernie), comprised of Eric Morecambe (1926-1984) and Ernie Wise (1925–1999), were a British comic double act, working in variety, radio, film and most successfully in television. Their partnership lasted from 1941 until Morecambe's death in 1984. They have been described as "the most illustrious, and the best-loved, double-act that Britain has ever produced".

Whitehall[7] (among other things)  is a road in the City of Westminster, Central London. It was some of the other things that got in the way.

Delving Deeper
Whitehall is the main thoroughfare running south from Trafalgar Square towards Parliament Square. The street is recognised as the centre of Her Majesty's Government and is lined with numerous departments and ministries. Consequently, the name "Whitehall" is used as a metonym for British central governmental administration, and the geographic name for the surrounding area.

The name was taken from the Palace of Whitehall that was the residence of Kings Henry VIII through to William III, before its destruction by fire in 1698. Whitehall was originally a wide road that led to the front of the palace; the route to the south was widened in the 18th century following the destruction of the palace.

As well as government buildings, the street is known for its memorial statues and monuments, including Britain's primary war memorial, the Cenotaph.

15a   One styling short hint /for/ summer event (8)

16a   Batting and ready to grab century -- such is cricket (6)

In cricket, a player who is batting is said to be in[5]. Conversely, a player who is fielding is said to be out[5]. If you have not seen it before, here is anexplanation of cricket for a foreigner (which may leave you unsure whether you are coming or going).

You have two sides, one out in the field and one in. Each man that's in the side that's in goes out, and when he's out he comes in and the next man goes in until he's out. When they are all out, the side that's out comes in and the side that's been in goes out and tries to get those coming in, out. Sometimes you get men still in and not out.

When a man goes out to go in, the men who are out try to get him out, and when he is out he goes in and the next man in goes out and goes in. There are two men called umpires who stay out all the time and they decide when the men who are in are out. When both sides have been in and all the men have been out, and both sides have been out twice after all the men have been in, including those who are not out, that is the end of the game.

Now, should you have not quite followed that explanation, here is my attempt to clarify the "ins" and "outs" of cricket:
You have two sides [teams], one out in the field and one in [batting]. Each man that's in the side [in Britain, one says "in a side" rather than "on a team"] that's in [batting] goes out [I believe this means that he forgoes the cucumber sandwiches in the clubhouse in order to go out to the pitch to bat], and when he's out [dismissed] he comes in [returns to the clubhouse for more cucumber sandwiches] and the next man goes in [bats] until he's out [dismissed]. When they are all out [all players (but one) on the side are dismissed], the side that's out [fielding] comes in [bats] and the side that's been in [batting] goes out [fields] and tries to get those coming in [to bat], out [dismissed]. Sometimes you get men still in and not out [Since batsmen must always bat in pairs, the team is dismissed once ten of the eleven players have been dismissed, leaving no partner for the lone remaining player. Although the team is "out" (dismissed), the eleventh played is said to be "not out".].

When a man goes out [from the clubhouse to the pitch] to go in [bat], the men who are out [fielding] try to get him out [dismissed], and when he is out [dismissed] he goes in [returns to the clubhouse] and the next man in [scheduled to bat] goes out [from the clubhouse to the pitch] and goes in [bats]. There are two men called umpires who stay out [on the pitch] all the time [(they never get to eat cucumber sandwiches)] and they decide when the men who are in [batting] are out [dismissed]. When both sides have been in [batted] and all the men have been out [dismissed], and both sides have been out [dismissed] twice after all the men have been in [batted], including those who are not out [the eleventh player who has batted but not been dismissed], that is the end of the game [a cricket match consists of two innings with ten "outs" (dismissals) per each half innings (in cricket, the division of play is called an 'innings', rather than an 'inning' as in baseball)].

Simple! (although the details concerning the cucumber sandwiches may not be entirely accurate)
hide explanation

Scratching the Surface
Keeping with the cricket theme, a century[5] is a score of a hundred in a sporting event, especially a batsman’s score of a hundred runs in cricket ⇒ he scored the only century of the tour.

18a   Specialist /and/ former favourite? About right (6)

20a   In review, officials note cunning // footballer's move (8)

Transfer[10] (said of a football [soccer] player, especially a professional) denotes to change clubs or (said of a club, manager, etc) to sell or release (a player) to another club.

23a   A feature of astrology intended for discussion /in/ task (10)

In astrology, a sign[5] is each of the twelve equal sections into which the zodiac is divided, named from the constellations formerly situated in each, and associated with successive periods of the year according to the position of the sun on the ecliptic ⇒ (i) a sign of the Zodiac; (ii) a person born under the sign of Virgo.

24a   Hero sanctified partly /in/ statue (4)

The statue of Eros[7] atop the Shaftesbury Monument Memorial Fountain in Piccadilly Circus is a well-known landmark in London, England. While the statue is generally believed to depict Eros, it apparently was actually intended by the sculptor to be an image of his twin brother, Anteros.

26a   Animal // left in hands of Eastern monk (5)

A lama[10] is a priest or monk of the Mahayana form of Buddhism of Tibet and Mongolia.

27a   Secured // hat being in a storm (2,3,3)

28a   Reserve found in testimonials /for/ dictionaries etc (9,5)


2d   Good means for carrying people /in/ showy material (7)

"good" = G (show explanation )

The abbreviation G[10] for good likely relates to its use in grading school assignments or tests.

hide explanation

3d   A group with end coming up /for/ singer (4)

4d   Unusually busy // outlet blocking production of fuel (8)

5d   High regard // European encounters after rise (6)

Scratching the Surface
Rise[5] is the British term for an increase in salary or wages ⇒ non-supervisory staff were given a 5 per cent rise — the equivalent term in North America being raise[5]he wants a raise and some perks.

6d   Officer // represented in centre of Bolton? (10)

The two letters found at the centre of BoLTon are a shortened representation of this officer.

Scratching the Surface
Bolton[7] is a town in Greater Manchester in North West England. A former mill town, Bolton has been a production centre for textiles since Flemish weavers settled in the area in the 14th century, introducing a wool and cotton-weaving tradition. The urbanisation and development of the town largely coincided with the introduction of textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution. Bolton was a 19th-century boomtown, and at its zenith in 1929 its 216 cotton mills and 26 bleaching and dyeing works made it one of the largest and most productive centres of cotton spinning in the world. The British cotton industry declined sharply after the First World War, and by the 1980s cotton manufacture had virtually ceased in Bolton.

7d   Romantic pair is beginning to examine // list (7)

Item[10] is an informal term for two people having a romantic or sexual relationship.

8d   Dame ruins TV set /in/ hazardous practice? (11)

11d   Repeat culpability /for/ error in court (6,5)

In tennis, a double fault[5] is an instance of two consecutive faults* in serving, counting as a point against the server.
*  In tennis and similar games, a fault[5] is a service of the ball not in accordance with the rules.
14d   Backward // trader, ogre needing replacement (10)

17d   Mad // fellow, Frenchman, with nervous habit (8)

"fellow" = F (show explanation )

F[2] is the abbreviation for Fellow (of a society, etc). For instance, it is found in professional designations such as FRAIC (Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada).

hide explanation

René ranks among the most popular names for a Frenchman in Crosswordland.

19d   Pops to meet wise guy /in/ alley (7)

If you try to follow Kath's explanation, the clue doesn't quite work. One must interpret "Pop" (rather than "Pops") to be the "affectionate name for your father or Dad" and then use the remaining S as part of the solution. Thus the wordplay parses as PA (Pop) + S ([the final letter in] PopS) + (to meet) SAGE (wise guy). I must say that I'm not overly impressed with this construction.

21d   Extreme resistance in the past /creating/ mess (7)

Once again I tried to overly complicate a simple charade — in this case by interpreting "extreme resistance" to be the first and last letters of ResistancE. Naturally, that route of attack proved futile.

Far[5] is used in the sense of  distant from a point seen as central the success of the far Right.

"resistance" = R (show explanation )

In physics, R[5] is a symbol used to represent electrical resistance in mathematical formulae.

hide explanation

A farrago[5] is a confused mixture ⇒ a farrago of fact and myth about Abraham Lincoln.

22d   Person on strike's happy when one won't lift a finger (6)

This is a cryptic definition in which the pronoun "one" represents the solution.

In cricket, a striker[10] is the batsman who is about to play a ball. [Remember, in cricket, batsmen always bat in pairs with one positioned at either end of the pitch. The striker is the batsman to whom the bowler is currently delivering balls.]

I have no idea why the setter chose to use the phrase "person on strike" rather than "striker" in the clue. The surface reading is clearly intended to evoke the image of workers who have walked out. However, the word "striker" would seem to serve that purpose just as well as the phrase "person on strike" while also maintaining the underlying cricket meaning. I did wonder if the phrase "on strike" might be a cricket term analogous to "at bat" in baseball. While I can find no evidence of that, it does seem to be the only way to explain why the phrase "person on strike" would denote a cricket batsman.

An umpire[10] is an official who rules on the playing of a game, as in cricket or baseball.

Unlike baseball umpires, cricket umpires do not deliver a decision unless an appeal is made by the fielding side. If the fielding side believes a batsman is out, the fielding side must appeal, by asking "How's that?"(HowzThatt), "Wot Wot" or "How was he?" (or by any other means that either umpire deems to be a method of appealing).

The umpire's response is either to raise his index finger above his head to indicate that the batsman is out, or to clearly say "not out", which is usually accompanied with a shake of the head. The 'out' signal is the only signal that if indicated by the striker's end umpire, does not require confirmation by the bowler's end umpire.[7]

25d   Kind of plant /seen in/ the woman's book (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


  1. I don't see where we get the two esses for 23a. And 1a is a bit odd in that either of two synonyms fit in the first half. Otherwise, a real treat, with some great cryptic definitions.

    Needed no help and not too much time, so low two-star territory.

    1. 23a is a homophone (sounds like) clue in which {A (from the clue) + SIGN (feature of astrology) + MEANT (intended)} sounds like (for discussion) ASSIGNMENT (task). The parsing also works if you leave the A out of the homophone and treat it as A + a homophone of (SIGN + MEANT).

      I hadn't thought of the other option for 1A. However, a quick scan on Google confirms that such areas at most airports are called "Baggage Reclaim" rather than "Luggage Reclaim". As the term luggage originally denoted inconveniently heavy baggage, this may explain why airlines are loath to use the term.

      The Abu Dhabi Airport does have a page on its website devoted to "Luggage Reclaim". However, it only uses the word "luggage" once on the page, whereas the word "baggage" (or some variant thereof) is used nine time: "Please make sure your baggage tag receipt is with you ... This will help the ground handling staff track your bags ... Clearly visible screens in the baggage reclaim hall will indicate the number of the conveyor belt ... While every effort is made by our baggage handling staff to ensure a seamless transfer of luggage to the right passengers, on rare occasions bags can be misplaced. If you do not find your bag on the belt or adjacent to it, please head to the Baggage Services counter in the baggage reclaim hall."