Monday, December 19, 2016

Monday, December 19, 2016 — DT 28222

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28222
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, September 17, 2016
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28222 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28222 – 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
The National Post has skipped DT 28221 which was published in The Daily Telegraph on Friday, September 16, 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 skip over Giovanni's "Friday" puzzle to get to this "Saturday" puzzle from an unknown setter.

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.


2a   Unofficially // it's where the song that went on too long ended (3,3,6)

Double definition; one precise, one cryptic

8a   Exclude new // building (4)

9a   Enjoy sage // also (8)

10a   Fight for reforms // immediately (5,3)

11a   Neither road /leads to/ country (6)

12a   Strike leader /is/ a shark (10)

Split (6,4), the solution is the part of a hand tool which makes contact with a nail.

The hammerhead[5] is a shark of tropical and temperate oceans that has flattened blade-like extensions on either side of the head, with the eyes and nostrils placed at or near the ends.

13a   Going west, is able to cut through Brynner's // Folly (6)

Yul Brynner[7] (born Yuliy Borisovich Briner; 1920–1985) was a Russian-born Swiss-American film and stage actor.

Delving Deeper
Brynner was best known for his portrayal of King Mongkut of Siam in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The King and I, for which he won two Tony Awards and an Academy Award for the film version. He played the role 4,625 times on stage. He also starred as Rameses II in the 1956 Cecil B. DeMille blockbuster The Ten Commandments, and played General Bounine in the 1956 film Anastasia, and the gunman Chris Adams in The Magnificent Seven.

Brynner was noted for his distinctive voice and for his shaved head, which he maintained as a personal trademark long after adopting it in 1951 for his role in The King and I.

16a   Thousand involved in quite a // battle (5)
I would parse the clue ever so slightly different than did crypticsue in her review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, namely M (Roman numeral for 1,000) involved in SOME (quite a) in which the word "some" is clued by "quite a" rather than merely "quite" ⇒ that was quite a party.

17a   Sitting room? (6)

18a   Frisk a few /seen as/ game for a laugh? (10)

In her review, I'm sure that crypticsue intended to write "FROLIC (frisk) SOME (a few)".

21a   Gain // for female with sex appeal (6)

"It"[7] (written in quotation marks) is a term that has come to mean sex appeal — although, in its earliest manifestation, it seems that the term pertained more to personality than to glamorous looks. Despite having been used as early as 1904 by Rudyard Kipling, the term was popularized  in the 1927 film It starring Clara Bow (who became known as the "It Girl").

23a   Country without a man /that's/ impoverished (8)

24a   Show goodwill to // be right when devil's around (8)

25a   Straight from the bar (4)

A cryptic definition consisting of a precise definition combined with cryptic elaboration.

26a   Kind of benefit one gets from not working? (12)


1d   Airman crashes /in/ harbour (6)

2d   Recovering, // need month off (2,3,4)

3d   A number in quartet // show preference (6)

In cryptic crosswords,  "(a) number" is very often a Roman numeral.

4d   Te break! (4-4,7)

This seems to be a clue that one either adores or despises. The surface reading is almost certainly intended to suggest "tea break" with allusion to the musical note te being — according to Rogers and Hammerstein —  "a drink with jam and bread" (in the song "Do-Re-Mi"[7] from The Sound of Music).

Reading the Tea Leaves
Tea break[5] is a British term for a short rest period during the working day, in which people typically drink a cup of tea or coffee ⇒ the men were on a tea break. On the other hand, a coffee break[5] [the far more common term in North America] is a short break during the working day, during which people typically drink a cup of coffee or tea.

In music, te[5] (also ti[2]) is the seventh note of the major scale in tonic sol-fa. Judging by a perusal of entries in American and British dictionaries, the only recognized spelling in the US would seem to be ti[3,4,11] whereas, in the UK, the principal — or only — spelling would appear to be te[2,3,4,11], with ti given as an alternative spelling in some dictionaries. Oxford Dictionaries is more emphatic, giving the spelling as te[5] with ti shown as the North American spelling.

Half-term[5] is a British name for a short holiday [vacation] about halfway through a school term ⇒ (i) their sons are on half-term;(ii) I'm not coming home at half-term;(iii) his half-term report; (iv) the half-term holiday. The equivalent North American term would be midterm[5].

Holiday or Vacation?
The British use the word holiday(s) where North Americans might say vacation[5]. Holiday[5,10] (often holidays) is a chiefly British term for a period in which a break is taken from work or studies for rest, travel, or recreation (i) I spent my summer holidays on a farm; (ii) Fred was on holiday in Spain.

According to the British dictionaries, the usual US and Canadian term for such a break is vacation. However, I am accustomed to hearing the two terms used almost interchangeably — in much the same manner as fall and autumn. This may not be the case in all parts of Canada, but I grew up in the Maritimes and have lived in Eastern Ontario for most of my life, both areas where British influence is particularly strong.

In Britain, the word vacation[5] has a very specific meaning, a fixed holiday period between terms in universities and law courts ⇒ the Easter vacation. In North America, such a period might be called a break[7].

5d   Kinder to differ with the French // fan again (8)

"the French" = LE (show explanation )

In French, the masculine singular form of the definite article is le[8].

hide explanation

6d   Cringe, /seeing/ cowcatcher missing Dolly perhaps (5)

In cricket, dolly[5] is an informal term for an easy catch ⇒ he fumbled a dolly at slip [a fielding position].

Scratching the Surface
Cowcatcher[5] is a North American term for a metal frame at the front of a locomotive for pushing aside cattle or other obstacles on the line.

7d   Collected information // to look through again (8)

14d   Novel on flop hospital department // that trades in organs (9)

"hospital department" = ENT (show explanation )

Should you not have noticed, the ear, nose and throat (ENT[2]) department is the most visited section, by far, in the Crosswordland Hospital.

hide explanation

Newsagent[5] is a British term for a person or shop selling newspapers, magazines, confectionery, etc.

15d   Nurse got cooked // fish (8)

16d   Not a hard way to get customers? (4,4)

19d   With nothing in, I eat // medicinal stuff (6)

20d   Guidebook // that's handily done (6)

In the second definition, "manual is an adjective" (for instance manual work) which could be replaced by the postpositive adjectival clause "that's handily done [that's done by hand]".

22d   Loud duck with spirit /in/ marketplace (5)

"loud" = F (show explanation )

Forte[5] (abbreviation f[5]) is a musical direction meaning (as an adjective) loud or (as an adverb) loudly.

hide explanation

"duck" = O (show explanation )

In cricket, a duck[5] is a batsman’s score of nought [zero] ⇒ he was out for a duck. This is similar to the North American expression goose egg[5] meaning a zero score in a game.

In British puzzles, "duck" is used to indicate the letter "O" based on the resemblance of the digit "0" to this letter.

hide explanation

In an ancient Roman city, a forum[5] was a public square or marketplace used for judicial and other business.
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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