Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Tuesday, November 15, 2016 — DT 28188

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28188
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28188]
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


Today's puzzle is a fairly benign offering from one of the mystery "Tuesday" setters which in a rare coincidence actually appears in Canada on a Tuesday.

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   Looked // mischievous, being found in pit (8)

5a   Small fireplace // sufficient for one (6)

Ingle[5] is a dialect term (originally Scots) for a domestic fire or fireplace.

9a   Willing // in recording to embrace policy (8)

10a   Leapt // sideways at first before car crash (6)

Prang[5] is an informal British term meaning:
  • (verb) to crash (a motor vehicle or aircraft) ⇒ Ernie pranged his sports car last month;
  • (noun) a crash involving a motor vehicle or aircraft ⇒ he had numerous prangs and near misses in his motoring life.
12a   Worried MP? Ease his // stress (9)

13a   Canoe at sea /in/ vast expanse (5)

14a   Views in both directions (4)

I have given the precise definition a solid underline and the subsidiary indication (or cryptic elaboration) a dashed underline. The subsidiary indication informs us that the solution is a palindrome. In this type of clue, I do not insert slashes (//) as the subsidiary indication merely elaborates on the definition and does not lead to the solution in its own right.

16a   One left consumed by composer/'s/ lack of success (7)

Gabriel Fauré[5] (1845–1924) was a French composer and organist. His best-known work is the Requiem (1887) for solo voices, choir, and orchestra; he also wrote songs, piano pieces, chamber music, and incidental music for the theatre.

19a   Picturesquely described // exotic cigar must be taken outside public house initially (7)

Scratching the Surface
Public house[5] is the formal British name for a pub.

21a   Son has time /to be/ a scholar (4)

24a   I am touring university after work, /getting/ narcotic (5)

As a containment indicator, touring is used in the sense of travelling (i.e., going) around — with the emphasis on around.

"work" = OP (show explanation )

In music, an opus[5] (plural opuses or opera) is a separate composition or set of compositions.

The abbreviation Op.[5] (also op.), denoting opus, is used before a number given to each work of a particular composer, usually indicating the order of publication. The plural form of Op. is Opp..

Opus[5] can also be used in a more general sense to mean an artistic work, especially one on a large scale ⇒ he was writing an opus on Mexico.

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25a   Prosecute about two females encountering phone call // ordeal (9)

27a   Carry a torch for // daughter getting stuck in a bog (6)

28a   Wrong // lass almost clutched (8)

29a   Suggestion by the French /creates/ quarrel (6)

"the French" = LE (show explanation )

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

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30a   Second time in bank, // behind closed doors (8)


1d   Appropriate // set of furniture for duke to sit on? On the contrary (6)

The phrase "On the contrary" instructs us to reverse the logic stated in the first part of the clue. Thus the duke is not sitting on the furniture, but rather the furniture is sitting on the duke.

"duke" = D (show explanation )

A duke[5] (abbreviation D.[10]) is a male holding the highest hereditary title in the British and certain other peerages*.
* The peerage[5] is the nobility in Britain or Ireland, comprising the ranks of duke or duchess, marquess or marchioness, earl or countess, viscount or viscountess, and baron or baroness.
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2d   Welcome // performance around church piano (6)

"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.

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"piano" = P (show explanation )

Piano[3,5] (abbreviation p[5]), is a musical direction meaning either (as an adjective) soft or quiet or (as an adverb) softly or quietly.

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3d   Hit in the face by a // mate (5)

Chin[5] is an informal term meaning to punch or hit (someone) on the chin.

China[5] is an informal British term for a friend (or, as the Brits would say, a mate[5]). This usage comes from Cockney rhyming slang (show explanation ), where china is the shortened form of china plate which rhymes with 'mate'.

Rhyming slang[5] is a type of slang that replaces words with rhyming words or phrases, typically with the rhyming element omitted. For example, butcher’s, short for butcher’s hook, means ‘look’ in Cockney rhyming slang.

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4d   Foes? // See mine fighting (7)

6d   Before demonstrating, this person is // advancing (9)

"this person is" = IM (show explanation )

It is a common cryptic crossword convention for the creator of the puzzle to use terms such as (the or this) compiler, (the or this) setter, (this) author, (this) writer, or this person to refer to himself or herself. To solve such a clue, one must generally substitute a first person pronoun (I or me) for whichever of these terms has been used in the clue.

Today, the setter has made the scenario slightly more complicated by combining "this person" with the verb "to be" producing "this person is" which must be replaced by "I'm" (a contraction of "I am").

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7d   Under obligation, // dropping rate fully? Only partially (8)

By "lurker", ShropshireLad means the solution is hidden in the clue.

8d   Plot // in Greene novel (8)

11d   Complaint /as/ British price rises (4)

15d   Passing // me her pale shifts (9)

Scratching the Surface
A shift[5] (also shift dress) is a woman’s straight unwaisted dress.

17d   I go without new trumpet? /That's/ stupid (8)

18d   Most of story is prior to fellow/'s/ charm (8)

20d   Green // remains behind Conservative (4)

"Conservative" = C (show explanation )

The abbreviation for Conservative may be either C.[10] or Con.[10].

A Tory[10] is a member or supporter of the Conservative Party in Great Britain or Canada.

Historically, a Tory[10] was a member of the English political party that opposed the exclusion of James, Duke of York from the royal succession (1679–80). Tory remained the label for subsequent major conservative interests until they gave birth to the Conservative Party in the 1830s.

The Conservative Party[5] is a a major British political party that emerged from the old Tory Party under Sir Robert Peel in the 1830s and 1840s. Since the Second World War, it has been in power 1951–64, 1970-74, and 1979–97. It governed in a coalition with the Liberal Democrats from 2010 until the general election of May 2015, in which it was returned with a majority.

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I was somewhat surprised to see "green" being used to denote cash, as I thought this to be a US term. However, green[4,5,10] does appear in most of the British dictionaries with no indication of it being a US expression. The Chambers Dictionary does make a nod in the US direction by defining green[1] (in plural) as slang meaning money, especially dollar bills.

Scratching the Surface
In the surface reading, Green[5] denotes a member or supporter of an environmentalist group or party ⇒ the Greens' remarkable 15 per cent vote.

21d   American turns up very loudly with diamonds -- /that's/ cut the mustard (7)

"very loudly" = FF (show explanation )

Fortissimo[5] (abbreviation ff[5]) is a direction used in music to mean either (as an adjective) very loud  or (as an adverb) very loudly.

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Delving Deep
The slang expression cut the mustard[a] means to perform satisfactorily, as in We need a better catcher; this one just doesn't cut the mustard. The origin of this expression is disputed. Some believe it alludes to mustard in the sense of the best or main attraction (owing to its spicing up food), whereas others believe it is a corruption of pass muster. Still others hold that it concerns the preparation of mustard, which involves adding vinegar to mustard seed to "cut" (reduce) its bitterness. The expression is often in negative form, as in the example.

[a] The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms .

22d   Notice // sign of approval from teacher before test's oddly removed (6)

Ticket[5] is used in the sense of an official notice of a traffic offense.

23d   Means // business (6)

In the first definition, agency[5] is used in the sense of action or intervention, especially such as to produce a particular effect ⇒ canals carved by the agency of running water.

26d   Get admission to // hospital department supported by the Queen (5)

In the Crosswordland Hospital, patients rarely — if ever — find themselves anywhere but in the ear, nose and throat (ENT[2]) department.

"queen" = ER (show explanation )

The regnal ciphers (monograms) of British monarchs are initials formed from the Latin version of their first name followed by either Rex or Regina (Latin for king or queen, respectively). Thus, the regnal cipher of Queen Elizabeth is ER[5] — from the Latin Elizabetha Regina.

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Key to Reference Sources: 

[1]   - The Chambers Dictionary, 11th Edition
[2]   - Search Chambers - (Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)
[3]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (American Heritage Dictionary)
[4]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (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] - CollinsDictionary.com (Collins English Dictionary)
[11] - TheFreeDictionary.com (Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary)
Signing off for today — Falcon

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