Friday, December 2, 2016

Friday, December 2, 2016 — DT 28203

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28203
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, August 26, 2016
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28203]
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


Once again, I would have given this puzzle one more star for difficulty than was awarded by the British reviewer.

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   English bobby in helmet? // A cool dude (6)

In Britain, bobby[5] is an informal name for a police officer. The name comes from a nickname for Robert, the given name of Sir Robert Peel[5] (1788–1850), British Prime Minister 1834-5 and 1841-6, who as Home Secretary (1828–30) established the Metropolitan Police [perhaps better known as Scotland Yard].

PC[5] is a British designation for a police constablePC Bartholomew made his report.

Hepcat[5] is a dated* informal term for a stylish or fashionable person, especially in the sphere of jazz or popular music ⇒ it's rock's most waggish hepcat, on the third of his nine showbiz lives.
* In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Tilsit associates the term with the 1960s but it actually goes back to the 1930s era.
5a   Celebrity female is accompanying husband, // a swimmer (8)

9a   Take lingerers apart /in/ a situation wreaking havoc with the economy? (7,6)

10a   I concede, having admitted small number // with insufficient know-how (8)

I would say that Tilsit comes up short on the definition which must include the word "with" to make it an adjective rather than a noun.

11a   Remember // everyone at the sports ground (6)

Rec[5] is an informal British term for a recreation ground whereas in North America it is used as a short form for recreation ⇒ the rec centre. Thus Brits may conduct their sporting activities at the rec while North Americans would pursue theirs at the rec centre.

12a   A soldier enters a party // in leisurely fashion (6)

"soldier" = GI (show explanation )

A GI[5] is a private soldier in the US army ⇒ she went off with a GI during the war.

Contrary to popular belief, the term apparently is not an abbreviation for general infantryman, but rather derives from the term government (or general) issue (originally denoting equipment supplied to US forces).

hide explanation

Adagio[5] is a musical term denoting (especially as a direction) in slow time.

14a   I, having taken a bash after school, /must get/ foot treatment (8)

Like Tilsit, I was sorely tempted to go for a PEDICURE but fortunately held off when I could not justify the wordplay.

A pod[5] is a small herd or school of marine animals, especially whales ⇒ a pod of 500 dolphins frolicking in the bay.

In Britain, podiatry[5] is another term for chiropody[5] whereas, in the US, chiropody[3] is another term for podiatry. According to the US publication -Ologies & -Isms, chiropody[a] is an earlier and still frequent term for podiatry.

[a] -Ologies & -Isms. (2008) The Gale Group, Inc.

16a   Given external stimulus, mean fellow almost // made a commitment (8)

The PROD is merely a "stimulus" rather than an "external stimulus". It may help the solver to undo the inverted structure of the clue to get:
  • Mean fellow almost given external stimulus
which parses as MISE {MISE[R] (mean fellow) with the final letter removed (almost)} contained in (given external) PROD (stimulus).

19a   'Character' -- // a nut wandering about (6)

21a   Crows // left penned in by animals (6)

23a   Refuse to accept // sailor, one hiding head by entrance (8)

"sailor" = AB (show explanation )

In the Royal Navy, according to Oxford Dictionaries, able seaman[5] (abbreviation AB[5]), is a rank of sailor above ordinary seaman and below leading seaman. On the other hand, Collins English Dictionary tells us that an able seaman[10] (also called able-bodied seaman) is an ordinary seaman, especially one in the merchant navy, who has been trained in certain skills.

hide explanation

25a   Some toiler got mad -- // a person who can tell what's in the air (13)

Behind the Video
Tilsit illustrates his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog with a clip of semi-retired British weather forecaster Michael Fish[7] who is best known for his BBC Weather television presentations, although he was actually employed by the Met Office, the United Kingdom's national weather service.

26a   Spotted /having/ little kiss in winter vehicle (8)

27a   Royal family // exciting characters in Stroud (6)

The House of Tudor[5] was the English royal dynasty which held the throne from the accession of Henry VII in 1485 until the death of Elizabeth I in 1603.

Scratching the Surface
Stroud[7] is a market town and civil parish in the county of Gloucestershire, England.


2d   Occupied, /showing/ purpose -- good time to get stuck in (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   Worker in firm /produces/ piece of poetry (5)

"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

A canto[5] is one of the sections into which certain long poems are divided ⇒ Dante 's Divine Comedy has 100 cantos.

4d   Fighters // moved very quickly, pursued by a blonde bombshell (9)

My first thought was that the fighters were Hawker Tornadoes[5], a British single-seat fighter aircraft from World War II. I even went so far as writing it into the grid as it matched all the checking letters. However, I couldn't get the parsing to work and so kept working away at it until the blonde bombshell burst into mind.

Diana Dors[7] (1931–1984), born Diana Mary Fluck, was an English actress. She first came to public notice as a blonde bombshell in the style of Marilyn Monroe, as promoted by her first husband Dennis Hamilton, mostly via sex film-comedies and risqué modelling. When it turned out that Hamilton had been defrauding her for his own benefit, she had little choice but to play up to her established image, and she made tabloid headlines with the adult parties reportedly held at her house. Later she showed a genuine talent for TV and cabaret, and gained new popularity as a regular chat-show guest.

What's in a Name
I was half expecting that Kath might reprise an anecdote that she has shared on a couple of occasions on Big Dave's Crossword Blog (DT 26989 and DT 27985).

It seems that early in her career, Diana Dors (who was born Diana Fluck) was to open a church fair in her home town of Swindon. The local vicar [minister], very consciously making every effort not to make the obvious slip of the tongue, introduced her with the following words " ... and now I’m pleased to introduce you all to Diana Dors – some of you may remember her better as Diana Clunt".

5d   Pulpits badly produced // come apart (5,2)

6d   Female MP once /in/ a never-ending rage (5)

Viscountess Nancy Astor[5] (1879–1964) was an American-born British Conservative politician; born Nancy Witcher Langhorne. She became the first woman to sit in the British House of Commons when she succeeded her husband as MP for Plymouth in 1919.

7d   Over-smart church sculptures? // Such may be seen in lecture (4,5)

8d   S. Pickwick's valet, // one to bulge out (7)

I got the solution based on checking letters and definition but needed to do some research on the wordplay.

Samuel Pickwick[7] is the main protagonist of The Pickwick Papers (in full The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club), an 1836 novel by English writer Charles Dickens (1812–1870). Sam Weller[7] is his valet — and would not appear to be "one to bulge out".

13d   My acting's absurdly // acrobatic (9)

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Tilsit suggests that it may be helpful for the solver to Think Max Whitlock.
Max Whitlock[7] is a British artistic gymnast. He is a five-time Olympic medalist, winning two golds and three bronzes, and a five-time world medalist with one gold and four silvers. He became Britain's first ever gold medalist in artistic gymnastics when he won both the men's floor and pommel horse exercises at the 2016 Summer Olympics. With ten medals and three titles in Olympic and world championships, Whitlock is the most successful gymnast in his nation's history.

15d   Maybe enjoying restaurant // clamour and latest taste? (6,3)

Gout[5] is a literary term denoting a drop or spot of something ⇒ gouts of blood erupted from the wound.

17d   Go round with cleaner /to get/ bit of food (7)

A rollmop[10] (from German Rollmops, from rollen to roll + Mops pug dog) is a herring fillet rolled, usually around onion slices, and pickled in spiced vinegar.

18d   Red card -- // feature of a ball game (7)

20d   One goes round // rubbish dumped on a hill (7)

Rubbish and rot are both used in the sense of nonsense.

"hill" = TOR (show explanation )

A tor[7] is a large, free-standing rock outcrop that rises abruptly from the surrounding smooth and gentle slopes of a rounded hill summit or ridge crest. In the South West of England, the term is commonly also used for the hills themselves – particularly the high points of Dartmoor in Devon and Bodmin Moor in Cornwall.

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22d   Stolen stuff's turning up /in/ seat (5)

24d   Liberal admitted to good Scottish // society (5)

"Liberal" = L (show explanation )

The Liberal Party[5] (abbreviation Lib.[5] or L[2])* in Britain emerged in the 1860s from the old Whig Party and until the First World War was one of the two major parties in Britain. In 1988 the party regrouped with elements of the Social Democratic Party to form the Social and Liberal Democrats, now known as the Liberal Democrats. However, a small Liberal Party still exists although it has no representation in the UK Parliament, no Members of the European Parliament (MEP), no members of the Scottish Parliament, nor any members of the National Assembly for Wales.[7]

Although Lib.[5] may be the more common abbreviation for the Liberal Party in Britain—likely to distinguish it from the the Labour Party[5] (abbreviation Lab.[5])—Chambers 21st Century Dictionary indicates that L[2] may also be used.

hide explanation

Guid[5] is a Scottish form of good.

A guild[5] (also gild) is:
  1. a medieval association of craftsmen or merchants, often having considerable power; or
  2. an association of people for mutual aid or the pursuit of a common goal.
What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Tilsit suggests that it may be helpful for the solver to think Townswomen.
The Townswomen's Guilds (TG)[7] is a British women's organisation. The movement was formed in 1929 when women first won the right to vote and with the aim of educating women about good citizenship. Since then, TG has lobbied on national and local issues. Townswomen are encouraged to have ideas and views, develop new skills, campaign on various issues, support each other, make new friends and above all, have fun.
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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