Monday, December 5, 2016

Monday, December 5, 2016 — DT 28205

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28205
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Monday, August 29, 2016
Rufus (Roger Squires)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28205]
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
The National Post has skipped DT 28204 which was published in The Daily Telegraph on Saturday, August 27, 2016.


I found this puzzle a touch more difficult than a typical Rufus puzzle.

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   Cuts into two // parts, taking half second (7)

Our friendly publican Miffypops has given short measure in his hint which should read "A four letter word meaning parts or pieces ...". Of course, I am sure he would say that he is just getting his first 'intentional mistake' in early.

5a   Bill /is/ an aristocrat, it's said (7)

Precision is hardly Miffypops' forte. Obviously, one can't split a seven letter word (1,5). However, a (1,5) phrase does sound like the seven-letter solution. Or perhaps, he is just getting his second 'intentional mistake' in early.

A count[5] is a foreign [from a British perspective] nobleman whose rank corresponds to that of a British earl.

9a   A temple ornament? (5)

10a   Fear // capture (9)

11a   Letter-openers? (10)

The opening line of a letter is typically "Dear ...".

12a   Beast // left one with no going back (4)

14a   It's not in one's own interest to display it (12)

18a   Mistakenly denounces art /that's now/ done without thinking (6,6)

21a   Articulates further /and/ sums up (4)

22a   Torch // left burnt residue in passage (10)

This is not the first time that we have seen the solution to this clue recently. The first time, I was a bit surprised. By now, I am beginning to wonder if this North American term may be gaining a foothold in Britain — a suspicion that would seem to be supported by the discussion on Big Dave's Crossword Blog.

Torch[10] — in addition to its historical meaning — is the British name for a flashlight. From a British perspective, flashlight[5] is the North American term for an electric torch — as Kitty points out in Comment #7 on Big Dave's Crossword Blog.

In his review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Miffypops offers one possible explanation for "flight" and Jose in a reply to Comment #2 offers a second. I will offer a third.

Flight[5] is a literary term for the swift passage of time ⇒ the never-ending flight of future days.

What the "L" are they talking about?
Many of the comments on Big Dave's Crossword Blog refer to an error which cropped up in the online version of the puzzle in the UK (but, I would surmise, not in the print edition). The clue appears correctly today in the National Post. The clue as it was shown on the Telegraph Puzzles website — before being corrected — was:
  • 22a   Torch leaving burnt residue in passage (10)
With this wording, there is nothing to clue one of the two Ls in the solution.

25a   Musters // to call for drink (7,2)

"drink" = SUP (show explanation )

As a verb, sup[5] is a dated or Northern English term meaning to take (drink or liquid food) by sips or spoonfuls ⇒ (i) she supped up her soup delightedly; (ii) he was supping straight from the bottle.

As a noun, sup[5] means (1) a sip of liquid ⇒ he took another sup of wine or (2) in Northern England or Ireland, an alcoholic drink ⇒ the latest sup from those blokes at the brewery.

hide explanation

26a   Gather // information, alternating with the French (5)

Gen[5] is an informal British term for information ⇒ you’ve got more gen on him than we have.

"the French | the Parisian" = LA (show explanation )

In French, the feminine singular form of the definite article is la[8].

hide explanation

Behind the Picture
Miffypops illustrates his hint with a picture of The Gleaners[7], an oil painting by French artist Jean-François Millet (1814–1875) completed in 1857. It depicts three peasant women gleaning a field of stray grains of wheat after the harvest. The painting is famous for featuring in a sympathetic way what were then the lowest ranks of rural society; this was received poorly by the French upper classes.

27a   Uncle out to get us -- /that's/ the heart of the matter (7)

28a   A game // cut short (7)


1d   Little girl with fish // to sell down the river (6)

Bet[7] is a nickname for Elizabeth — a further shortening of nicknames such as Betsy or Betty.

In his review, Miffypops refers to a ray as "a member of the Batoid family". Strictly speaking, the batoids[7] constitute a superorder rather than a family.

Are they or are they not?
The American Heritage Dictionary defines a ray[3] as:
  1. any of various cartilaginous fishes of the superorder Batoidea, having ventral gill slits, enlarged pelvic fins that are fused to the sides of the head, and a flattened body, and including the stingrays, skates, and guitarfishes;
  2. any of various members of this superorder having a whiplike tail usually with a stinging spine, such as a stingray, considered in contrast to [i.e., not including] a guitarfish, sawfish, or skate.

2d   Drink that is mixed // and cast around (6)

Shy[5] is a dated term meaning, as a noun, an act of flinging or throwing something at a target and, as a verb, to fling or throw (something) at a target ⇒ he tore the spectacles off and shied them at her.

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Miffypops writes with respect to "shy" Think coconuts at a fete.
Fete[5] (also fête) is a British term for a public function, typically held outdoors and organized to raise funds for a charity, including entertainment and the sale of goods and refreshments ⇒ a church fete.

 Coconut shy[5] is a British term for a fairground sideshow where balls are thrown at coconuts in an attempt to knock them off stands.

3d   Changed circumstances may put a different complexion on them (10)

A chameleon[5] (also chamaeleon) is a small slow-moving Old World lizard with a prehensile tail, long extensible tongue, protruding eyes that rotate independently, and a highly developed ability to change colour.

4d   Checks // foundation garments (5)

Stays[5] is a historical term for a corset made of two pieces laced together and stiffened by strips of whalebone.

5d   Sadly Pat and Ernest split up /for/ now (2,7)

I think that the anagram indicator might be "sadly ... split up", otherwise there are a lot of words in the clue which are not accounted for. The parsing for this interpretation is an anagram (sadly ... split up) of {PAT + (and) ERNEST}.

However, a better option might be to parse the clue as an anagram (sadly) of PAT + an anagram (split up) of ERNEST.

6d   Signals /and/ strikes the ball? (4)

Cue[3] (verb)  means to strike (a ball) with a cue.

7d   Tune died out, // in need of revising (8)

8d   Insisted on getting amended // order (8)

As compared to Miffypops measure, I would top up the anagram indicator a smidgen making it "on getting amended".

13d   Having surveyed houses one may warn of future problems (10)

In astrology, a house[10] is any any of the 12 divisions of the zodiac.

15d   The last people you expect to see in knockout competitions (9)

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Miffypops writes When all others have been eliminated from a knockout competition these two individuals or teams will contest the final tie.
Tie[5] is a British term meaning a sports match between two or more players or teams in which the winners proceed to the next round of the competition Swindon Town have gained themselves a third round tie against Oldham.

The foregoing usage example does not mean — as a North American might presume — that Swindon Town and Oldham played to a draw in the third round. Rather, it means that Swindon Town defeated their opponent in the second round and will move on to face Oldham in the third round.

16d   Two fools in // killer // combination (8)

In an unusual clue construction, the definition ends up in the middle of this clue in which the word "combination" serves as a charade indicator denoting a combination of ASS ([first] fool) + ASS ([second] fool) + IN (from the clue).

17d   One that's learned /what's/ not practical (8)

Miffypops neglects to mark the second definition in this double definition.

19d   Old guards about /to get/ settled (6)

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Miffypops tells us that the container in this containment type clue is a word meaning old as in OAP.
In Britain, the abbreviation OAP[5] stands for old-age pensioner.

20d   Attitude // that a driver may take on a course (6)

The "driver" is here is a golfer preparing to strike a ball.

23d   A shade // sanctimonious in the main (5)

Pi[5] is an informal British short form for pious. 

The main[5] is an archaic or literary term for the open ocean.

24d   Manage /to get/ note supporting policeman (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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