Thursday, December 15, 2016

Thursday, December 15, 2016 — DT 28219

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28219
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Jay (Jeremy Mutch)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28219]
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


Jay treats us rather gently today.

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   Artillery officer/'s/ foolish raid in Wellington, perhaps (10)

The Vickers Wellington[7] was a British twin-engined, long-range medium bomber.

Delving Deeper
The Wellington was widely used as a night bomber in the early years of the Second World War, performing as one of the principal bombers used by Bomber Command. During 1943, it started to be superseded as a bomber by the larger four-engined "heavies" such as the Avro Lancaster. The Wellington continued to serve throughout the war in other duties, particularly as an anti-submarine aircraft. It holds the distinction of being the only British bomber to be produced for the duration of the war and of being produced in a greater quantity than any other British-built bomber.

The Wellington was one of two bombers named after Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, the other being the Vickers Wellesley.

A bombardier[3,4,5,11] is:
  1. (British or chiefly British) a rank of non-commissioned officer in certain artillery regiments, equivalent to corporal;
  2. (archaic) a soldier in the artillery; or
  3. a member of a bomber crew in the US air force responsible for aiming and releasing bombs.
6a   Napoleon's campaign must reveal this // dirty trick (4)

9a   Took another form, // subdued about a source of tension, (7)

10a   Terrace /of/ museum visited by the Queen (7)

The Victoria and Albert Museum[5] (abbreviation V & A [or V and A]) is a national museum of fine and applied art in South Kensington, London, created in 1852 and having collections principally of pictures, textiles, ceramics, and furniture.

"the 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.

hide explanation

12a   Recreated Versace vision, /seeing/ these on pins (8,5)

Scratching the Surface
Gianni Versace[5] (1946–1997) was an Italian fashion designer.

14a   Jiggery-pokery /evidenced by/ Military Intelligence's boss (8)

The abbreviation MI[5] is a historical British term signifying Military Intelligence.

Delving Deeper
MI5[5] (Military Intelligence Section 5) was the UK governmental agency responsible for dealing with internal security and counter-intelligence on British territory. Formed in 1909, the agency was officially named the Security Service in 1964, but the name MI5 remains in popular use.

MI6[5] (Military Intelligence Section 6) was the UK governmental agency responsible for dealing with matters of internal security and counter-intelligence overseas. Formed in 1912, the agency was officially named the Secret Intelligence Service in 1964, but the name MI6 remains in popular use.

Jiggery-pokery[3,4,11] is a chiefly British term for sly, dishonest or deceitful scheming or behaviour.

15a   Dive // exercises incorporating breather (6)

"exercises" = PE (show explanation )

PE[5] is the abbreviation for physical education [or Phys Ed, as it was known in my school days]. 

hide explanation

17a   Primate/'s/ indolence, dismissing nothing (6)

The langur[5] is a long-tailed arboreal Asian monkey with a characteristic loud call.

19a   Detective's characteristic -- // thinking of other things (8)

"detective" = DI (show explanation )

A detective inspector (DI[5]) is a senior police officer in the UK. Within the British police, inspector[7] is the second supervisory rank. It is senior to that of sergeant, but junior to that of chief inspector. Plain-clothes detective inspectors are equal in rank to their uniformed counterparts, the prefix 'detective' identifying them as having been trained in criminal investigation and being part of or attached to their force's Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

hide explanation

Distrait[5] (adjective) means distracted or absent-minded ⇒ he seemed oddly distrait.

21a   Items anathema to a vegetarian // family (5,3,5)

I have opted to mark this clue as a double definition, although I see that the 2Kiwis have chosen not to do so.

24a   Gushed, /seeing/ energy employed by two females (7)

The clue parses as E (energy; abbrev.) + {USED (employed) following (by) FF (two females)}

As a charade indicator, a case can be made for the word "by" to signify either preceding or following (show discussion ). Thus "A by B" could be used to clue either "A before B" or "A after B".

One of the meanings given by The Chambers Dictionary for by[1] is in succession to (which clearly denotes 'following').

If we look to Collins English Dictionary we find that by[10] may be a preposition taking any of a broad range of meanings including:
  1. beside; next to; near ⇒ a tree by the house;
  2. passing the position of; past ⇒ he drove by the old cottage; or
  3. not later than; before ⇒ return the books by Tuesday.
The latter two meanings should be obvious with sense (2.) denoting beyond or following and sense (3.) denoting before.

It would appear that the first meaning could indicate either before or after — or, for that matter, even above or below. However, if we were to interpret "by" to imply "written beside", we might make the same argument that is used with respect to the construction "A on B" in an across clue; namely, that in order to write A on (or by) B, B must already exist (i.e., have been written first) and, given that English text is written from left to right, this would imply that "A on B" or "A by B" must consequently indicate "A after B".

The conclusion would seem to be that the construction "A by B" means whatever the setter chooses it to mean and that the solver should be prepared to encounter either possibility.

hide explanation

25a   Canned outside hotel /and/ diluted (7)

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

26a   Only // fools ultimately cheer in Spain (4)

Olé[5] is a Spanish exclamation meaning bravo.

* Could one not equally well define bravo as an Italian exclamation meaning olé.

Scratching the Surface
Might the setter be making a commentary on bullfights?

27a   Land Rovers? (6,4)

This is an &lit.[7] clue (sometimes called an all-in-one clue). The entire clue (when read one way) is the definition, but under a different interpretation takes on the role of wordplay.

As wordplay, the clue parses as ESTATE (land) + CARS (Rovers).

Rover[7] was a British automotive marque used between 1904 and 2005. It was launched as a bicycle maker called Rover Company in 1878, before manufacturing cars in 1904. From 1967 onward, ownership of the marque changed many times as the result of a series of corporate takeovers, mergers, a nationalisation, and de-mergers. In April 2005, Rover branded cars ceased to be produced when the MG Rover Group became insolvent.

As the definition, Land Rover[7] refers to a car brand [an offshoot of Rover] that specialises in four-wheel-drive vehicles, owned by British multinational car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover, which in turn has been owned by India's Tata Motors since 2008. The Land Rover is regarded as a British icon, and was granted a Royal Warrant by King George VI in 1951. Land Rover manufacturers automobiles in a broad range of styles, including estate cars*.

Legally the Rover marque is now the property of Land Rover. Thus through an extremely complex series of corporate manipulations the "parent" is now owned by the "child".

* Estate car[5] is the British term for a station wagon[5].


1d   British Unionist member/'s/ minor collision (4)

A Unionist[5] (abbreviation U[10]) is:
  1. A person, especially a member of a Northern Ireland political party, who is in favour of the union of Northern Ireland with Great Britain; or
  2. Historically, a member of a British political party formed in 1886 which supported maintenance of the parliamentary union between Great Britain and Ireland.
"member" = MP (show explanation )

In Britain (as in Canada), a politician elected to the House of Commons is known as a Member of Parliament[10] (abbreviation MP[5]) or, informally, as a member[5].

hide explanation

2d   Doctor against breaking links /gives/ reasons (7)

"doctor" = MO (show explanation )

A medical officer[5] (abbreviation MO[5]) is a doctor in charge of the health services of a civilian or military authority or other organization.

hide explanation

3d   Slow-to-be-expressed ideas, // but time during pudding (13)

Whereas in North America, the term pudding[5] denotes specifically a dessert with a soft or creamy consistency, in Britain the term pudding refers to either:
  1. [seemingly any] cooked sweet dish served after the main course of a meal; or
  2. the dessert course of a meal ⇒ what’s for pudding?.
Afters[5] is an informal British term for the sweet course following the main course of a meal; or, in British parlance, pudding*there was apple pie for afters.

Thus the terms dessert, pudding and afters would appear to be synonymous in Britain. The response to What’s for pudding? seemingly could be Apple pie.

4d   Took off /in/ feat crossing channel (8)

5d   Figures from folklore, // topless personalities (5)

Behind the Picture
The illustration used by the 2Kiwis in their review shows elves from the Lord of the Rings[7], a film series consisting of three high fantasy adventure films directed by Peter Jackson. They are based on the novel The Lord of the Rings by English writer J. R. R. Tolkien (1892–1973). The films are subtitled The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Two Towers (2002) and The Return of the King (2003).

Considered to be one of the biggest and most ambitious film projects ever undertaken, with an overall budget of $281 million (some sources say $310-$330 million), the entire project took eight years, with the filming for all three films done simultaneously and entirely in New Zealand, Jackson's native country — not to mention the home of the 2Kiwis.

In Tolkien's legendarium, Elves[7] are one of the races that inhabit a fictional Earth, often called Middle-earth, and set in the remote past. They appear in The Hobbit and in The Lord of the Rings, but their complex history is described more fully in The Silmarillion. Tolkien had been writing about Elves long before he published The Hobbit.

7d   Commit // prisoner on notice (7)

Consign[10] can mean:
  1. to commit irrevocably ⇒ he consigned the papers to the flames; or
  2. to commit* for admittance to consign someone to jail.

* where commit[10] is used in the sense of to confine officially or take into custody ⇒ to commit someone to prison.

8d   Examines financial status of // tight-fisted international on board (5-5)

International[5] is a British term for a game or contest between teams representing different countries in a sport ⇒ the Murrayfield rugby international.

Test[5] (short for Test match)[5] denotes an international cricket or rugby match, typically one of a series, played between teams representing two different countries ⇒ the Test match between Pakistan and the West Indies.

"on board" = 'contained in SS' (show explanation )

In Crosswordland, you will find that a ship is almost invariably a steamship, the abbreviation for which is SS[10]. Thus phrases such as "aboard ship" or "on board ship" (or sometimes merely "on board") are Crosswordland code for 'contained in SS'.

hide explanation

A means test[5] (noun) is an official investigation into a person's financial circumstances to determine their eligibility for state assistance ⇒ there is no need to apply a means test to applicants for council houses [public housing, council being the British term for local government].

To means test[5] (verb) is to subject (someone) to a means test ⇒ her mother had been means-tested in the late twenties.

11d   Rebel, accepting gradual development, // to make great changes (13)

I spent a long time trying to parse the clue with "rebel" cluing REVOLT. I eventually twigged to the fact that it is actually being used to clue RISE.

13d   Electronic devices // that could make armies flip (10)

16d   Agents repeatedly strike loudly /for/ bread (8)

"agents" = CIA (show explanation )

The Central Intelligence Agency[5] (abbreviation CIA) is a federal agency in the US responsible for coordinating government intelligence activities. Established in 1947 and originally intended to operate only overseas, it has since also operated in the US.

hide explanation

The word "batter", when pronounced in a non-rhotic (show explanation ) accent typical of many parts of Britain, sounds like "batta".

Non-rhotic accents omit the sound < r > in certain situations, while rhotic accents generally pronounce < r > in all contexts. Among the several dozen British English accents which exist, many are non-rhotic while American English (US and Canadian) is mainly rhotic. This is, however, a generalisation, as there are areas of Britain that are rhotic, and areas of America that are non-rhotic. For more information, see this guide to pronouncing < r > in British English.

hide explanation

The clue parses as CIA (agents) + BATTA {sounds like (loudly) BATTER (repeatedly strike)}.

Ciabatta[5] is a flattish, open-textured Italian bread with a floury crust, made with olive oil ⇒ (i) wonderful Italian breads including ciabatta; (ii) all manner of olive breads and ciabattas.

18d   Essential // massage is said to precede outbreak of flu (7)

20d   Notice study with Russian's affirmative // supplementary notes (7)

"Russian's affirmative" = DA (show explanation )

In Cyrillic, the Russian word for yes[8] is да which transliterates into English[7] as da.

hide explanation

22d   Closed union is set up to expose // such models (5)

Behind the Picture
The illustration used by the 2Kiwis in their review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog is Venus, Cupid, Baccchus and Ceres (1612) by Flemish painter Sir Peter Paul Rubens[5] (1577–1640).

23d   Poems // soldiers regularly used (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

No comments:

Post a Comment