Monday, December 12, 2016

Monday, December 12, 2016 — DT 28216

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28216
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, September 10, 2016
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28216 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28216 – Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave (Hints)
gnomethang (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
The National Post has skipped DT 28210 through DT 28215 which were published in The Daily Telegraph from Saturday, September 3, 2016 to Friday, September 9, 2016.
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.


Today the editors at the National Post make a huge leap, soaring over an entire week's worth of puzzles. I got hung up in the northwest corner thinking that the English county had to be ESSEX. It certainly did not help that I had never heard of the British musical publication.

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   In which a stretch is more comfortable? (4,6)

Open prison[5] is a British term for a prison with the minimum of restrictions on prisoners' movements and activities.

6a   Sturgeon, say, // starts to seem costly over trout (4)

Nicola Sturgeon[7] is is a Scottish politician who is the fifth and current First Minister of Scotland* and the Leader of the Scottish National Party. She is the first woman to hold either position.

She assumed office in November 2014 after the former First Minister, Alex Salmond, resigned following the defeat of the Yes Scotland campaign in the 2014 Scottish independence referendum.

* I suppose this would be roughly equivalent to being the Premier of a Canadian province. 

10a   Classic writer // in front of regime (5)

Homer[5] (8th century BC) was a Greek epic poet. He is traditionally held to be the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, though modern scholarship has revealed the place of the Homeric poems in a preliterate oral tradition. In later antiquity Homer was regarded as the greatest poet, and his poems were constantly used as a model and source by others.

11a   Overindulge // fellow, one posed strangely outside (9)

"fellow" = F (show explanation )

F[2] is the abbreviation for Fellow (of a society, etc). For instance, it is found in professional designations such as FRAIC (Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada).

hide explanation

12a   Flexible // learner is getting pair of notes (7)

"learner" = L (show explanation )

The cryptic crossword convention of L meaning learner or student arises from the L-plate[7], a square plate bearing a sans-serif letter L, for learner, which must be affixed to the front and back of a vehicle in various jurisdictions (including the UK) if its driver is a learner under instruction.

hide explanation

In tonic sol-fa, so[10] is a variant spelling of soh[10]*, the fifth note of any scale.

In sol-fa notation, me[2,5]** (or mi[2,5]) is the third note of a major scale.

* Judging from the dictionary entries, the preferred spelling in Britain is soh[2,4,5,10] (with so[2,4,5,10] and sol[2,4,5,10] as alternative spellings) while in the US the more common spelling is sol[3,11] (with so[3,11] as an alternative). The Chambers Dictionary differs from the other British dictionaries — including its sister publication, the Chambers 21st Century Dictionary — in giving sol[1] as the principal spelling (with so[1] and soh[1] as alternatives).

** With respect to spelling, two other British dictionaries take the contrary position, listing mi[1,10] as the principal spelling with me as a variant[10] or anglicized[1] spelling. The US dictionaries list only one spelling — mi[3,11].

13a   Promoting disorder not originally // an issue (7)

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, gnomethang writes Slight quibble here as sedition is a noun and really ‘promoting disorder’ ought to be seditious.
He is clearly interpreting "promoting disorder" as an adjective. However, "promoting" is a gerund which can substitute for a noun as in ⇒ promoting disorder is a serious offence.

In fact, I don't believe "promoting disorder" can be an adjective. For example, one might say the letter was seditious in which the word 'seditious" is an adjective but if one were to say the letter was promoting disorder, the phrase "promoting disorder" is not an adjective. Instead, "was promoting" is a verb.

14a   Bad-tempered // worker beset by ulcer, old American (12)

"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

18a   Inappropriately teach // dance intro? It needs revision (12)

21a   Groups /in/ dramatic seating areas (7)

Circle[5] is a British term for a curved upper tier of seats in a theatre or cinema ⇒ she sat in the front row of the circle.

23a   This person's put by a certain // amount of whisky, say, (7)

"this person" = ME (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.

hide explanation

A measure[2] is simply a standard unit of size, etc or a standard amount. While the term could apply to any good which can be portioned out, from examining the usage examples chosen by dictionary editors one might conclude that they are more at home in the bar than the farmyard: a measure of whisky[2]; a measure of wine[3,11]; a measure of grain[4,10]; measures of spirits[5].

24a   Birds make unusual // move to solid ground? (9)

25a   Some questioning other/'s/ amount of gold (5)

26a   Showy bar oddly /offering/ Asian bit of sauce (4)

Although the dictionary entry is somewhat ambiguous, I interpret it to mean that soya sauce is an alternative name in Britain for soy sauce[5] (i.e., both terms are used in the UK but only the latter is used in North America).

27a   Brave // about terrible dropping temperature (10)


1d   Delayed // like a frustrated caller? (2,4)

2d   Catch // music publication in English county lacking passion (6)

I spent a considerable amount of time trying to make something out of ESSEX (English county) without (lacking) SEX (passion). That left me searching for a four-letter music publication to insert between the remaining letters.

New Musical Express[7] (NME) is a British music journalism magazine published since 1952. It was the first British paper to include a singles chart.

Shire[5] is a British term for a county, especially in England.

3d   Private joins military unit, /making/ part of paper (8,6)

The personal column[5] is a section of a newspaper devoted to personal advertisements. This may be chiefly a British term as in North America this section of the newspaper would be  referred to simply as the personals[3,11].

4d   Policeman // favoured parking within division (9)

5d   Australia has singular, // bracing air (5)

Oz[5] is an informal Australian and New Zealand term for Australia ⇒ he spent the last few years in Oz.

7d   Soldiers must support recognition // one's responsible for advance (8)

"soldiers" = OR (show explanation )

In the British armed forces, the term other ranks[5] (abbreviation OR[5]) refers to all those who are not commissioned officers.

hide explanation

8d   Order in diets on the first of September? // Good order (8)

9d   Criminal ring ends? Raid it /for/ financial misconduct (7,7)

15d   Party that won't drag? (3-6)

16d   Conclusions reached when Americans give address? (3,5)

17d   Current lawyer wasted years // supposedly (1,4,3)

In physics, I[5] is a symbol used to represent electric current in mathematical formulae.

As maarvarq points out in Comment #1 on Big Dave's Crossword Blog,I isn’t the SI unit for current [as gnamethang states in his reveiw], which is the ampere, but is instead the standard symbol for current in physical formulae.

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

19d   Overly zealous // weapon activity around hotel (4-2)

Hotel[5] is a code word representing the letter H, used in radio communication.

Go[5] is a British* term for vigorous activity ⇒ it's all go around here.

* In the cited reference from Oxford Dictionaries, I interpret the designation "British" in the listing to apply to both the main entry and the sub-entry.

20d   Gang with drunk turned up /for/ fights (3-3)

22d   Rogue has stunning hit /showing/ military headwear (5)

A shako[10] is a tall usually cylindrical military headdress, having a plume and often a peak [visor], popular especially in the 19th century.
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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