Monday, December 26, 2016

Monday, December 26, 2016 — DT 28230

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28230
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28230]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave (Hints)
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 28228 and DT 28229 which were published in The Daily Telegraph on Saturday, September 24, 2016 and Monday, September 26, 2016.


I had thought that the National Post might not publish today and so I had a Bonus Puzzle prepared for posting. However, I guess that Boxing Day advertising provides a compelling reason to depart from the customary practice of not issuing a paper on holidays. In any event, today's puzzle should not delay you long from hitting the malls.

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   Minutes wasted mean a gent /gets/ running (10)

6a   Is infuriated to lose leader /for/ a long time (4)

9a   Cow/'s/ bottom? (5)

A double definition, the first of which is whimsical.

10a   Identify // corgi seen barking (9)

12a   Dad's wise /to provide/ safe conduct (7)

13a   Room/'s/ heat cut by 50 per cent -- it turned cold (5)

15a   Resisted // work and assumed an attitude (7)

"work" = OP (show explanation )

In music, an opus[5] (plural opuses or opera) is a separate composition or set of compositions.

The abbreviation Op.[5] (also op.), denoting opus, is used before a number given to each work of a particular composer, usually indicating the order of publication. The plural form of Op. is Opp..

Opus[5] can also be used in a more general sense to mean an artistic work, especially one on a large scale ⇒ he was writing an opus on Mexico.

hide explanation

17a   Twitch returned in actual // concert (7)

19a   Hide debts? /That's/ mad (7)

21a   A designer's initial put on clothing // label (7)

In his review, Big Dave parses the wordplay as A (from the clue) + D (designer's initial [letter]) + DRESS (put on clothing; verb).

An alternative parsing might be A (from the clue) + D (designer's initial [letter]) + (put on) DRESS (clothing; noun) in which the phrase "put on" acts as a charade indicator. However, this construction would violate the convention for the use of "on" as a charade indicator in an across clue (show explanation ) — although setters are known to disregard that convention.

"A on B" Convention
A sometimes ignored cryptic crossword convention provides that, in an across clue, the construction "A on B" is used to clue B + A.

The rationale for this practice is that in order for A to be placed on B, B must already exist (i.e., already have been written). Since the English language is written from left to right, this means that B must come first and A is then appended to it. .

Notwithstanding the above, a solver must always be vigilant for setters who flout this convention.

hide explanation

22a   Regularly adore a mother/'s/ excitement (5)

24a   26 to get old // piece of information (7)

The numeral "26" is a cross reference indicator directing the solver to insert the solution to clue 26d in its place to complete the clue. The directional indicator is customarily omitted in situations such as this where only a single clue starts in the light* that is being referenced.

* light-coloured cell in the grid

27a   Huge robin up in the air, // one close to another (9)

28a   Tick seen on old south-east // American deer (5)

Tick[5] is an informal British term for a moment ⇒ (i) I shan’t be a tick; (ii) I’ll be with you in a tick.

Mo[5] (abbreviation for moment) is an informal, chiefly British term for a short period of time ⇒ hang on a mo!.

This animal is not exclusively [North] American. The moose[5] is a large deer with palmate antlers and a growth of skin hanging from the neck, native to northern Eurasia and northern North America.

29a   Watched // some characters returning in Brookside yesterday (4)

Brookside[7] is a British soap opera set in Liverpool, England which ran on British public-service television broadcaster Channel 4* for 21 years from 1982 until 2003.

Delving Deeper
Brookside was often Channel 4's highest rated programme for a number of years in the mid-80s with audiences regularly in excess of nine million viewers. However, by 2000 its viewing figures were in terminal decline and low ratings eventually led to its cancellation. The final episode was watched by around two million viewers.

The programme is notable for its tackling of realistic and socially challenging storylines. It is especially well known for broadcasting the first pre-watershed lesbian kiss on British television in 1994, as well as a powerful domestic abuse storyline resulting in murder. In 1996, the series experienced an extreme backlash from viewers when it featured a hugely controversial storyline of a consensual incestuous sexual relationship between two sibling characters.

* Channel 4 is a British publicly owned television service that was established to provide a fourth television service to the United Kingdom in addition to the licence-funded BBC's two services and the single commercial broadcasting network, ITV.

30a   Large dress fantastic // in any event (10)


1d   Spy // a mark on the skin (4)

Initially entering SPOT in the grid certainly did nothing to advance my efforts in the northwest corner.

2d   Novel's mediocre writing on the Queen? // It could be within solver's grasp (9)

"Queen" = ER (show explanation )

The regnal ciphers (monograms) of British monarchs are initials formed from the Latin version of their first name followed by either Rex or Regina (Latin for king or queen, respectively). Thus, the regnal cipher of Queen Elizabeth is ER[5] — from the Latin Elizabetha Regina.

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3d   American soldier's circling both directions /to get/ young ladies (5)

You won't need a compass to find these directions.

"American 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

4d   Mythical creature // I rammed at sea? (7)

5d   Enthusiast almost certain // that power could come from Hinkley Point? (7)

Hinkley Point[7] is a headland on the Bristol Channel coast of Somerset, England. The landscape of Hinkley Point is dominated by two nuclear power stations with a third in the offing.

7d   Flash /from/ top of golden material (5)

Lint[5] is a fabric, originally of linen, with a raised nap on one side, used for dressing wounds ⇒ he smeared ointment on a strip of lint.

8d   Mum/'s/ budgerigars, finally flying, cheep not so much (10)

Scratching the Surface
The budgerigar[5] (more commonly known as a budgie[5]) is a small gregarious Australian parakeet which is green with a yellow head in the wild. It is popular as a cage bird and has been bred in a variety of colours.

11d   Looked // good with weapon on back of steed (7)

"good" = G (show explanation )

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

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14d   Trust // prisoner to dispose of stolen goods without identification (10)

16d   Swallow /and/ food ends up here? (7)

18d   So // article about king is in enemy's grasp? (9)

"king" = R (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

20d   This person's unknown // amount of money collected, we hear (7)

21d   Albert leaves one country /for/ another (7)

The implied definition is "another [country]".

23d   One very captivated by alcohol -- // bubbly? (5)

In titles, the abbreviation V.[10] stands for Very as in V. Rev.[10] (abbreviation for Very Reverend).

25d   Directed // the writer inside to help (5)

"the writer" = 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, (the or this) author, (the or this) writer, or (the or this) person to refer to himself or herself. To solve such a clue, one must substitute a first person pronoun (I or me) for whichever of these terms has been used in the clue.

hide explanation

26d   Where the regulars eat // hash? (4)
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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