Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Tuesday, November 8, 2016 — DT 28182

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28182
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, August 2, 2016
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28182]
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 28179 through DT 28181 which were published in The Daily Telegraph from Friday, July 29, 2016 to Monday, August 1, 2016.


It would appear that yesterday's hop over a single puzzle was a mere warmup for today's skip over three puzzles. How big a jump might we see tomorrow?

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   Diagram, // old, found in Cadiz in tatters (6)

In astrology, the zodiac[10] is an imaginary belt extending 8° either side of the ecliptic, which contains the 12 zodiacal constellations and within which the moon and planets appear to move. It is divided into 12 equal areas, called signs of the zodiac, each named after the constellation which once lay in it.

Zodiac is also the name given to a diagram, usually circular, representing this belt and showing the symbols, illustrations, etc, associated with each of the 12 signs of the zodiac, used to predict the future.

Scratching the Surface
Cadiz[5] is a city and port on the coast of southwestern Spain; population 127,200 (2008).

5a   Recommend // short video as training (6)

10a   Flower // festival failing to open (5)

Lop the head off a spring festival to get an autumn bloom.

11a   To bring in social worker /is/ significant (9)

"social worker" = ANT (show explanation )

The word "worker" and the phrase "social worker" are commonly used in cryptic crossword puzzles to clue ANT or BEE.

A worker[5] is a neuter or undeveloped female bee, wasp, ant, or other social insect, large numbers of which do the basic work of the colony.

In crossword puzzles, "worker" will most frequently be used to clue ANT and occasionally BEE but I have yet to see it used to clue WASP. Of course, "worker" is sometimes also used to clue HAND or MAN.

hide explanation

12a   Makeshift // bar opening (7)

13a   German male teacher sent back // rice dish (7)

Otto[7] is a masculine German given name. It is one of two common names for German men that you are likely to encounter in Crosswordland — the other being Hans.

It is common practice for British school students to address (or refer to) their male teachers as "Sir", as in To Sir, with Love[7], a 1967 British drama film starring Sidney Poitier that deals with social and racial issues in an inner-city school.

Risotto[5] is an Italian dish of rice cooked in stock with ingredients such as vegetables and meat or seafood.

14a   Abbott and Costello, perhaps // -- each initially wearing old jacket (6,3)

I'm afraid I missed a key piece of the very clever wordplay here, making an error not dissimilar to that of ShropshireLad. This is a case where the use of pencil and paper might have been well-advised as opposed to attempting to do the parsing in my head. Once I realized how the wordplay works, this quickly became my favourite clue.

A doublet[5,10] is a man's short close-fitting padded jacket with or without sleeves, commonly worn from the 14th to the 17th century (especially in the phrase doublet and hose) they were wearing red velvet doublets and hose.

Abbott and Costello[7] were a comedy double act during the early Classical Hollywood era of American cinema. The team was composed of William "Bud" Abbott and Lou Costello whose work in vaudeville and on stage, radio, film and television made them the most popular comedy team during the 1940s and early 1950s. Their patter routine "Who's on First?" is one of the best-known comedy routines of all time and set the framework for many of their best-known comedy bits.

Who's On First?

17a   Express views /in/ shop, in error (5)

18a   Attacker overlooking a // cyclist (5)

19a   Courier /in/ canteen plastered green (9)

21a   In a long time, // searches (7)

I am afraid that I fail to follow the logic of ShropshireLad's explanation where he has "in" meaning 'for' "(as in 'pro')". I saw the phrase "in a long time" meaning simply "for ages" ⇒ I haven't seen her for ages..

23a   Monk, say, /needs/ paints I ordered (7)

Thelonious Monk[7] (1917–1982) was an American jazz pianist and composer. Monk is the second most-recorded jazz composer after Duke Ellington, which is particularly remarkable as Ellington composed more than 1,000 pieces, whereas Monk wrote about 70.

25a   Miser /in/ family in small Welsh town (9)

Flint[7] is a town in Flintshire, Wales, lying on the estuary of the River Dee. It was formerly Flintshire's county town, and is today the third largest town in the county. According to the 2001 Census the population of the community of Flint was 12,804, increasing to 12,953 at the 2011 census.

26a   Unsuitable // at home, exotic pet (5)

I thought that "inept" was not the best choice of synonym for "unsuitable". "Inapt" would make a far superior match.

27a   At any point within banks of salmon // river (6)

The Severn[5] is a river of southwestern Britain. Rising in central Wales, it flows north-east then south in a broad curve for some 290 km (180 miles) to its mouth on the Bristol Channel. The estuary is spanned by a suspension bridge north of Bristol, opened in 1966, and a second bridge a few miles to the south, opened in 1996.

28a   Name /of/ husband meeting with the Parisian (6)

"the French" = LE (show explanation )

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

hide explanation


2d   Beat // unconscious in the same way (5)

Do.[10] is an abbreviation for ditto.

3d   Rough // Irish customer who's a frequent visitor (9)

4d   Ape // Greek character, Member of Parliament (5)

Chi[5] is the twenty-second letter of the Greek alphabet (Χ, χ).

"Member of Parliament" = MP (show explanation )

In Britain (as in Canada), a politician elected to the House of Commons is known as a Member of Parliament[10] (abbreviation MP[5]) or, informally, as a member[5].

hide explanation

5d   Soldier brought in suitable American // equipment (9)

As for "suitable", the setter seems to have read my mind (see remark at 26a).

Para[4,11] (short for paratrooper) is a soldier in an airborne unit.

6d   Corrupting influence /in/ Rugby Union, in Six Nations, ultimately (5)

In the real world, the sport suffering from corruption is not rugby, but soccer!

Rugby union[10] (abbreviation RU[5]) is a form of rugby football played between teams of 15 players (in contrast to rugby league[5], which is played in teams of thirteen).

Scratching the Surface
The Six Nations Championship[7] is an annual international rugby union competition involving six European sides: England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales. The current champions are England, having won the 2016 tournament.

7d   Extraordinary // bird circling top of tree (9)

8d   Collected /and/ given a lift (6)

9d   Member of crew /in/ river passing through English city (6)

Stoke[7] is one of the most common place names in the United Kingdom and in historical documents. Wikipedia lists well over 50 places to which the name might refer. However, the best known may be Stoke-on-Trent[5], a a city on the River Trent in Staffordshire, central England; population 248,300 (est. 2009). It has long been the centre of the Staffordshire pottery industries.

In rowing, stroke[5] denotes the oar or oarsman nearest the stern of a boat, setting the timing for the other rowers.

15d   Stress column must support two foreign articles (9)

In French, the masculine singular form of the indefinite article is un[8] while in German, der[8] is one of the several forms that the definite article may assume.

16d   Prosecutor up calling /for/ confession (9)

In the US, a district attorney[5] (abbreviation DA) is a public official who acts as prosecutor for the state in a particular district.

17d   Undertaking // surgery (9)

18d   Say no to // mostly red safety device (6)

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, ShropshireLad describes a fuse as a safety device that can be found in an electrical plug.
While that is true in Britain, it is not the case in most other parts of the world where fuses (or, nowadays, circuit breakers) are located at the distribution panel. Very few other countries use the British system of electrical wiring;  among those that do are Ireland, Malta, Gibraltar, and Cyprus.

To understand why this is so, one must understand how houses are wired. In most of the world, houses are wired with multiple individual circuits radiating from the distribution panel — each circuit typically serving only one or two rooms in the house. In the case of the kitchen, there will typically be several separate circuits serving it alone. High current devices such as electric stoves have their own dedicated circuit. Thus the current on any individual circuit is not overly high.

On the other hand, in Britain, a single circuit serves the entire house. Every appliance in the house — including high current devices such as electric stoves — plug into this one circuit. As a result, this circuit carries a very large current, a current that under fault conditions is capable of melting the cords on small appliances. Thus the plugs on these cords are fused to protect the cord.

Why, you might ask, did Britain adopt this inherently unsafe system.when virtually the entire rest of the world chose a safer option. Because the British system is cheaper to install.

20d   Nonsense at end of conference /is/ spin (6)

22d   Boss has no right /to make/ blunder (5)

Gaffer[5] is an informal British term for a person in charge of others; in other words, a boss ⇒ street cleaners stopping for a smoke when their gaffer isn’t in the vicinity.

23d   Throw // it in front of parish church (5)

24d   Model /and/ I do business (5)
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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