Friday, December 30, 2016

Friday, December 30, 2016 — DT 28234

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28234
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, October 1, 2016
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28234 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28234 – Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave (Hints)
Big Dave (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.


While the puzzle is not overly difficult, it contains enough Briticisms to make it a bit more of a challenge for a North American than it was for the Brits.

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   One noted for stubborn tenacity /making/ target with almighty backing (7)

Bull[5] is a British term for a bullseye ⇒ aim for the bull!.

5a   Granted time /for/ deliberation (7)

9a   Frolicking inside college in outskirts of Swindon? // Best say nothing (7,2,6)

Scratching the Surface
Swindon[7] is a large town in Wiltshire, South West England midway between London and Cardiff, Wales.

10a   Coats designed /for/ an opera (5)

Tosca[7] is an opera by Italian composer Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924) that premiered in Rome in 1900.

11a   Of high quality, // prize trophy goes west (3-6)

Pot[5] is an informal [seemingly British] term for a prize in a sporting contest, especially a silver cup.

12a   Applied, /being/ sensible (9)

14a   Fish, // first from babbling brook (5)

The brill[5] is a European flatfish that resembles a turbot.

15a   One who sells tins, rye and soda? (5)

Tin[5] is a British term for a rectangular loaf of bread baked in an open metal container.

In North America, rye is short for rye bread[2,5] (or ryebread[10]).

Soda bread[5] is bread leavened with baking soda. [I found no evidence of this bread being referred to simply as soda.]

16a   Dismissed in style? // Say what you're thinking (3,4,2)

In cricket and baseball, out[5] means no longer batting or at bat; having had one’s innings or at bat ended by the fielding side ⇒ England were all out for 159.

18a    Aims often set out in this (9)

In this semi-&lit. clue (or, as some prefer to call it, semi-all-in-one clue), the entire clue acts as the definition while the portion with the dashed underline provides the wordplay.

21a   Male, when working, /is/ one who dresses stone (5)

22a   Medical condition /of/ an old king -- a version inaccurately advanced (8,7)

"king" = rex (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

"advanced: = A (show explanation )

In the UK (with the exception of Scotland), A level[5] (advanced level[5]) is a qualification in a specific subject typically taken by school students aged 16-18, at a level above GCSE[5] (General Certificate of Secondary Education).

hide explanation

Anorexia nervosa[10] is another name for anorexia.

23a   A place to eat? // Daughter and I clear end of table (7)

Nett[5] is an alternative British spelling of net.

24a   Greek character reportedly regarded /as/ drunk (3-4)

Pi[5] is the sixteenth letter of the Greek alphabet (Π, π).


1d   Kiss before drug, keeling over /in/ roadside shelter? (3,4)

2d   Scottish pop diva's footballer being dragged along on new // song (5,4,2,4)

Lulu Kennedy-Cairns (born Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie), best known by her stage name Lulu[7], is a Scottish singer, actress, and television personality who has been successful in the entertainment business from the 1960s.

She is internationally identified, especially by North American audiences, with the song "To Sir with Love" from the film of the same name and with the title song to the James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun.

A back[5] is a player in a team game who plays in a defensive position* behind the forwards ⇒ their backs showed some impressive running and passing.

* except, of course, in North American football where there are both offensive backs and defensive backs.

"Lulu’s Back in Town"[7] is a popular song written in 1935 with words by Al Dubin and music by Harry Warren. The song was was popularised by Fats Waller in a 1935 recording for Victor Records which made the US Charts.

3d   Yorkshire town /established by/ duke, eccentric ancestor (9)

"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

Doncaster[7] is a large market town* in South Yorkshire, England.

* Market town[2,5,10] is a mainly British term for a town, often at the centre of a farming area, where a market is held regularly, usually on the same day every week.

4d   Visitor // figured in conversation (5)

5d   Airman up for trial? (4,5)

6d   Atmosphere /in/ office, initially gloomy (5)

7d   Fail school subject -- /but/ be remembered (2,4,2,7)

8d   Climber /needs/ to catch up on correct procedure, mostly (7)

13d   Blaze under bridge, // something one doesn't want to be caught in (9)

14d   Damage that is seen after child runs off // vessel used by cook (4-5)

Bairn[5] is a Scottish and Northern English term for a child.

"runs" = R (show explanation )

On cricket scorecards [not to mention baseball scoreboards], the abbreviation R[5] denotes run(s).

In cricket, a run[5] is a unit of scoring achieved by hitting the ball so that both batsmen are able to run between the wickets, or awarded in some other circumstances.

hide explanation

A bain-marie[5] is a pan of hot water in which a cooking container is placed for slow cooking ⇒ cook in a bain-marie until the custard thickens slightly.

15d   Attack // doctor dividing committee (7)

"doctor" = MB (show explanation )

In Britain, the degree required to practice medicine is a Bachelor of Medicine[7] (MB, from Latin Medicinae Baccalaureus), which is equivalent to a North American Doctor of Medicine (MD, from Latin Medicinae Doctor). The degree of Doctor of Medicine also exists in Britain, but it is an advanced degree pursued by those who wish to go into medical research. Physicians in Britain are still addressed as Dr. despite not having a doctoral degree. 

hide explanation

17d   Pot /if/ tense? Head of agency drank bubbly (7)

"tense" = T (show explanation )

Grammatically speaking, t.[10] is the abbreviation for tense.

hide explanation

19d   Fast // naval force (5)

20d   Admit // academic robe's no good at university (3,2)

"good" = G (show explanation )

The abbreviation G[10] for good likely relates to its use in grading school assignments or tests.

hide explanation

In Britain, up[5] means at or to a university, especially Oxford or Cambridge ⇒ they were up at Cambridge about the same time.
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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