Friday, December 16, 2016

Friday, December 16, 2016 — DT 28220

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28220
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, September 15, 2016
RayT (Ray Terrell)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28220]
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, RayT gives Her Majesty the day off. The innuendo seems a bit subdued as well.

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   Roughly punishes with pain ignoring one/'s/ misery (11)

10a   Decree // frontiers should have no boundaries (5)

11a   Count // part return of asset a remuneration (9)

12a   Legacy male's pinched /leading to/ cell (9)

Sometimes one must ignore punctuation that is present in a clue and on other occasions one must insert punctuation that is missing. Here we must do the latter, interpreting the wordplay as "Legacy; male's pinched".

I like to think of clues such as this as a set of instructions outlining the steps in the assembly of the solution:
  1. [Start with a synonym for] legacy;
  2. [an abbreviation for] male is pinched [in the result from Step 1].
Behind the Picture
On Big Dave's Crossword Blog, pommers illustrates his review of this clue with a picture of The Hermitage[5], a major art museum in St Petersburg, Russia, containing among its collections those begun by Catherine the Great. [Named with reference to the ‘retreat’ in which the empress displayed her treasures to her friends]

13a   Place providing opening for birds in storm? (5)

One might classify this as a semi-&lit. (semi-all-in-one) clue (show explanation ) in which the entire clue supplies the definition within which one finds embedded wordplay.

In an &lit. clue[7] (or, as some prefer to call it, all-in-one clue) the entire clue provides not only the definition (when read one way), but under a different interpretation also serves as the wordplay.

In a semi-&lit. clue (or, as some prefer to call it, semi-all-in-one clue), either (1) the entire clue acts as the definition while a portion of the clue provides the wordplay or (2) the entire clue acts as the wordplay while a portion of the clue provides the definition.

hide explanation

On the other hand, one might also categorize the clue as a straightforward cryptic clue with distinct definition and wordplay — though the definition is nonspecific to the extreme (though barely more so than the definition in 23a).
  • Place /providing/ opening for birds in storm? (5)
I suspect that the setter intended the former.

14a   Back /in/ a moment? (6)

A very elegant double definition ...

16a   Doctor is rude to // stranger (8)

... followed by an equally elegant anagram.

18a   Clueless // stupidly ranting about nothing (8)

20a   Section of 'Star' is endlessly // followed (6)

Arise[5] (past participle arisen) means (when followed by from) to spring or proceed as a consequence or to result ⇒ guilt that had arisen from my actions.

Scratching the Surface
The Star[7], often known as the Sheffield Star, is a daily newspaper published in Sheffield, England. Originally a broadsheet, the newspaper became a tabloid in 1989.

23a   Room // at the top in cottage initially (5)

One might observe that "room at the top" could be a very apt definition here. However, that would mean that the phrase "at the top" has to be doing "double duty" as part of both the definition and the wordplay — a definite no-no. The only situation in which words in the clue are permitted to do double duty is in &lit. (all-in-one) clues or semi-&lit. (semi-all-in-one) clues* — and this clue can hardly be either of those.

The wordplay constitutes only a portion of the clue, which rules it out as an &lit. clue. Furthermore, this also means that for it to be a semi-&lit. clue, the entire clue would have to be the definition. This seems a bit of a stretch. Not only is an attic not found solely in cottages but they do not initially start out at the top and end up in the basement — unless, of course, the structure should happen to collapse.

* see explanation at 13a

24a   Rising in power // while insincerity covers butt (9)

26a   Former favourite compiler's receiving large // curse (9)

"compiler's" = IVE (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 "compiler" with the verb "to have" producing "compiler's" (a contraction of "compiler has") which must be replaced by "I've" (a contraction of "I have").

hide explanation

27a   Slow // early bird doesn't finish work (5)

Lark[5] is an informal term for a person who habitually gets up early and feels energetic early in the day. Often contrasted with owl.

Largo[5] is a musical direction meaning in a slow tempo and dignified in style.

28a   'Get up, get up!', to welcome duke/'s/ regiment (11)

"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.

hide explanation


2d   'Bottom' // fun, a director admits (5)

Scratching the Surface
Nick Bottom[7] is a character in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream who provides comic relief throughout the play. He is famously known for getting his head transformed into that of a donkey by the elusive Puck.

3d   A right shower reportedly /in/ charge (7)

4d   Pressure's on concerning cool // house (6)

"pressure" = P (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

5d   Sick, /showing/ common sense without a purpose (8)

Nous[5] is an informal British term meaning common sense or practical intelligence ⇒ if he had any nous at all, he’d sell the film rights.

6d   Abuses cricketer // oddly solo on boundaries (7)

Sledge[5] is an informal cricket term meaning to make taunting or teasing remarks to (an opposing player, especially a batsman) in order to disturb their concentration ⇒ (i) Zol smashed Zaheer for a couple of fours* immediately after being sledged by the veteran seamer***; (ii) in Australia he stared down batsmen, sledged, swore, and kept coming at them.

Scratching the Surface
In cricket, the term boundary[10] can refer to:
  1. the marked limit of the playing area;
  2. a stroke that hits the ball beyond this limit; or
  3. the four or six runs scored with such a stroke.
The surface reading of this clue is using the second of these meanings. If the ball touches the ground before crossing the boundary (similar to a ground rule double in baseball), four runs are scored. However, if the ball crosses the boundary without touching the ground (similar to a home run in baseball), six runs are scored.

* A four[5] is a hit that reaches the boundary**** after first striking the ground, scoring four runs ⇒ he hit a six** and seven fours.
**A six[5] is a hit that reaches the boundary without first striking the ground, scoring six runs.
***Seamer[5] is another term for seam bowler[5], a bowler, generally fast, who makes the ball deviate by bouncing on its seam.
**** Here, boundary[10] refers to the marked limit of the playing area.

7d   Drops aitches it turned out, not right // posh (13)

8d   Stick criminal on very big // island (8)

"very big" = OS (show explanation )

The sizes of clothing that North Americans would describe as plus-size[7] (or often big and tall in the case of men's clothing) would be called outsize (abbreviation OS[5]) in Britain.

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9d   Wandering about // in art opening I fancy (13)

Peregrination[5] is a humorous, literary term for a journey, especially a long or meandering one ⇒ she kept Aunt Ilsa company on her peregrinations.

15d   Opera company hit featuring in church // memorial (8)

ENO[10] is the abbreviation for English National Opera[7], an opera company based in London, resident at the London Coliseum in St. Martin's Lane. It is one of the two principal opera companies in London, along with The Royal Opera, Covent Garden.

Behind the Picture
On Big Dave's Crossword Blog, pommers illustrates his review of this clue with a photo of The Cenotaph[7], a war memorial situated on Whitehall in London. It began as a temporary structure erected for a peace parade following the end of the First World War but following an outpouring of national sentiment it was replaced in 1920 by a permanent structure and designated the United Kingdom's primary national war memorial.

17d   Smart and so vain, terribly // offensive (8)

19d   Chauvinist admitting European/'s/ most saucy (7)

Although more likely to be associated with nationalism or sexism, chauvinism includes any of the prejudicial '-isms'.

A chauvinist[5,10] is:
  1. a person displaying aggressive or exaggerated patriotism;
  2. a person displaying excessive or prejudiced support for their own race, party, cause, group, sex, etc. ⇒ she wrote off all the local males as hopeless chauvinists.
21d   Class ruled /and/ caused resentment (7)

22d   Plan'/s /south roughly around bottom edge? (6)

25d   Lots /of/ winners accepting silver finally (5)
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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