Thursday, November 3, 2016

Wednesday, November 2, 2016 — DT 28174

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28174
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, July 23, 2016
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28174 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28174 – Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave (Hints)
crypticsue (Review)
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 this was a Saturday "Prize Puzzle" in Britain, there are two entries related to it on Big Dave's Crossword Blog — the first, posted on the date of publication, contains hints for selected clues while the second is a full review issued following the entry deadline for the contest. The vast majority of reader comments will generally be found attached to the "hints" posting with a minimal number — if any — accompanying the full review.


It's been a while since I solved this puzzle and remember little of the experience. However, crypticsue seems to have found it to be a bit of breeze. I'm sure I found it a bit more of a challenge.

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   Leaving artillery, // becoming very successful (5,5,4)

9a   Resent // having to ask for charity, urged otherwise (8)

10a   Scoring rate? (5)

12a   By river, paddle /and/ shout (4)

Remove the inverted sentence structure and the wordplay reduces to "paddle by river:.

I wrote recently about the use of the word 'by' as a charade indicator. Below is a slightly expanded version of that piece.

"By" as a Charade Indicator
As a charade indicator, it would seem to me that an argument can be made that "by" could indicate either before or after. Thus "A by B" could be used to clue either "A before B" or "A after B".

One of the meanings given by The Chambers Dictionary for by[1] is in succession to (which clearly denotes 'following').

If we look to Collins English Dictionary we find that by[10] may be a preposition taking any of a broad range of meanings including:
  1. beside; next to; near ⇒ a tree by the house;
  2. passing the position of; past ⇒ he drove by the old cottage; or
  3. not later than; before ⇒ return the books by Tuesday.
The latter two meanings should be obvious with sense (2.) denoting beyond or following and sense (3.) denoting before.

It would appear that the first meaning could indicate either before or after — or, for that matter, even above or below. However, if we were to interpret "by" to imply "written beside", we might make the same argument that is used with respect to the construction "A on B" in an across clue; namely, that in order to write A on (or by) B, B must already exist (i.e., have been written first) and, given that English text is written from left to right, this would imply that "A on B" or "A by B" must consequently indicate "A after B".

The conclusion would seem to be that the construction "A by B" means whatever the setter chooses it to mean and that the solver should be prepared to encounter either possibility.

13a   Stop working /for/, say, 24 hours? (4,2,1,3)

15a   Channel follows bridge players /making/ fix (8)

In the card game bridge, North[5] and South[5] comprise one partnership and play against East[5] and West[5] who form the other partnership.

16a   What can be made from dripping in the freezer (6)

Scratching the Surface
In the surface reading, dripping[10] is the fat exuded by roasting meat.

18a   King hiding in a French shack, // safe and sound (6)

"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

"a French" = UN (show explanation )

In French, the masculine singular form of the indefinite article is un[8].

hide explanation

20a   He's livid, agitated /yet/ mischievous (8)

23a   Commercial role // being a defender (10)

24a   Feasting consuming // wine (4)

Asti[7] (formerly known as Asti Spumante) is a sparkling white Italian wine that is produced throughout southeastern Piedmont but is particularly focused around the towns of Asti and Alba. Since 1993 the wine has been classified as a Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) and as of 2004 was Italy's largest producing appellation.

26a   Animal /from/ a shopping centre taken back (5)

27a   Vehicle tracks /in/ market from east and west, say, after crashing (8)

The phrase "from east" indicates that the word is written from east to west (in other words from right to left).

Tramway[5] is a British term for a set of rails which forms the route for a tram [streetcar].

28a   Blue // feathers being chewed (4,2,3,5)


2d   Fashionable former partner's put on sham // woolly (7)

3d   Man // put fish on fork (4)

This is a simple 'do as it says on the tin' charade. The wordplay is GAR (fish) + (put ... on) Y (fork; as in a road).

Gar[5] is another name for the freshwater garfish of North America — garfish[5] being the name given to a number of long, slender saltwater and freshwater fish with elongated beak-like jaws containing sharply pointed teeth.

4d   Light // in arcade flickering (8)

5d   From bygone days, // energy has to go into a medal (3-3)

"energy" = E (show explanation )

In physics, E[5] is a symbol used to represent energy in mathematical formulae.

hide explanation

6d   Acquire schoolboy grub seized by error -- // eat up! (3,5,2)

Tuck[5] is a dated, informal British term for food eaten by children at school as a snack ⇒ (i) our parents provided us with a bit of money to buy tuck with; (ii) they send me a tuck box every month.

Eat up[10] means to to listen to with enthusiasm or appreciation ⇒ the audience ate up the speaker's every word.

Get stuck in[5] (or get stuck into) is an informal British expression meaning to start doing (something) with enthusiasm or determination ⇒ we got stuck into the decorating.

What did he say?
In his hints on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Big Dave describes the "schoolboy grub" of the clue as something much favoured by Billy Bunter.
Billy Bunter[7] is a fictional schoolboy created by English writer Charles Hamilton (1876–1961) using the pen name Frank Richards. He features in stories set at Greyfriars School, originally published in the boys' weekly story paper The Magnet from 1908 to 1940. Subsequently, Bunter has appeared in novels, on television, in stage plays, and in comic strips.

He is in the Lower Fourth form of Greyfriars School, known as the Remove, whose members are 14–15 years of age [roughly 9th grade in North America]. Bunter's defining characteristic is his greediness and dramatically overweight appearance.

7d   Itinerant // lunatic standing in certainly not in charge (7)

"in charge" = IC (show explanation )

The abbreviation i/c[5] can be short for either:
  1. (especially in military contexts) in charge of ⇒ the Quartermaster General is i/c rations; or
  2. in command ⇒ 2 i/c = second in command.
hide explanation

8d   Help cynic to set off /for/ college (11)

A polytechnic[5] is an institution of higher education offering courses at degree level or below, especially in vocational subjects.

In Britain the term polytechnic has largely dropped out of use. In 1989 British polytechnics gained autonomy from local education authorities and in 1992 were able to call themselves universities.

11d   Certain // Irish football official joining United board (11)

The official referred to in the clue is certainly a soccer official, but could just as easily be a North American football official.

An association football (soccer) match is presided over by a referee[7] , whom the Laws of the Game give "full authority to enforce the Laws of the Game in connection with the match to which he has been appointed" (Law 5). The referee is oftentimes assisted by two assistant referees, and sometimes by a fourth official. In UEFA football 2 additional assistant referees are used, each one standing next to a goal post and directly behind the goal line, to watch for fouls occurring within the penalty area and to see if the ball enters the goal.

An American football (or Canadian football) referee[7] is responsible for the general supervision of the game and has the final authority on all rulings. The referee is assisted by up to six other officials on the field. These officials are commonly referred to as "referees" but each has a title based on position and responsibilities during the game: referee, head linesman, line judge, umpire, back judge, side judge, and field judge.

Scratching the Surface
In all likelihood, the surface reading is intended to be an allusion to Manchester United Football Club[7] (often referred to simply as United), an English professional football [soccer] club, based at Old Trafford [football stadium] in Old Trafford [district of Manchester], Greater Manchester, that plays in the Premier League (the top level in the English football league system).

14d   Legendary Irish character // ruined her clean-up (10)

In Irish folklore, a leprechaun[5] is a small, mischievous sprite.

17d   Church welcomes Irishman, one that's put up // memorial (8)

Given the that we are fast approaching Remembrance Day, this is certainly a very timely clue.

I must not have solved these clues in order as I hadn't noticed the cluster of Irish-themed clues until I sat down to write the blog.

I have observed over the years that most of the Irishmen whom one encounters in Crosswordland seem to be named Pat.

Lest We Forget
Big Dave illustrates his hint with a picture of The Cenotaph[7], a war memorial on Whitehall in London, England. Its origin is in a temporary structure erected for a peace parade following the end of the First World War and after an outpouring of national sentiment it was replaced in 1920 by a permanent structure and designated the United Kingdom's primary national war memorial.

The Cenotaph on Whitehall in London, England
Designed by Edwin Lutyens, the permanent structure was built from Portland stone between 1919 and 1920 replacing Lutyens' earlier wood-and-plaster cenotaph in the same location. An annual Service of Remembrance is held at the site on Remembrance Sunday, the closest Sunday to 11 November (Armistice Day) each year. Lutyens' cenotaph design has been reproduced elsewhere in the UK and in other countries including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Bermuda and Hong Kong.

The major cenotaph in Canada is the National War Memorial[7] (titled The Response), a tall, granite memorial arch with accreted bronze sculptures in Ottawa, designed by Vernon March and first dedicated by King George VI in 1939.

National War Memorial in Ottawa
Originally built to commemorate the Canadians who died in the First World War, it was in 1982 rededicated to also include those killed in the Second World War and Korean War and again in 2014 to add the dead from the Second Boer War and War in Afghanistan, as well as all Canadians killed in all conflicts past and future. It now serves as the pre-eminent war memorial of 76 cenotaphs in Canada. In 2000, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was added in front of the memorial and symbolizes the sacrifices made by all Canadians who have died or may yet die for their country.

19d   Bravely willing // to hold a function (4-1-2)

Have-a-go[5] (adjective) is a British term denoting a person who bravely intervenes in an attempt to thwart a criminal ⇒ the have-a-go hero ran across the road and confronted the thief.

21d   Fashion is okay with university -- // heaven help us! (1,3,3)

The expression 'I ask you!'[10] is an exclamation used to emphasize how much the speaker disapproves of someone or something. ⇒ That silly old bat. I ask you, who'd she think she was?.

22d   Rubbish, getting snared by evil // drug (6)

Tat[5] is an informal British term for tasteless or shoddy clothes, jewellery, or ornaments ⇒ the place was decorated with all manner of gaudy tat.

A statin[7] is any of a group of drugs which act to reduce levels of cholesterol in the blood.

25d   Went round dizzily, // open mouths raised (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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