Thursday, December 22, 2016

Thursday, December 22, 2016 — DT 28226

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28226
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, September 22, 2016
Shamus (Philip Marlow)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28226]
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


Although I was quick to recognize this puzzle as one that I had seen before, I still struggled with a few of the clues. In particular, 18d put up a fight and I was on the verge of seeking electronic help when the penny finally dropped.

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.


4a   Domestic lifting? (8)

8a   Foreign dish /in/ US city after spring's back (6)

Paella[5] is a Spanish dish of rice, saffron, chicken, seafood, etc., cooked and served in a large shallow pan.

9a   Scary // weapon encapsulated in a way of speaking almost (8)

10a   Eleven divided by one makes two! (4,4)

11a   Obvious // protection for an inventive type (6)

12a   Legitimate object of ridicule /in/ whack- a-mole? (4,4)

13a   Stirring element in a service? (8)

16a   Authority over // soldier (8)

"over" = O (show explanation )

On cricket scorecards, the abbreviation O[5] denotes over(s), an over[5] being a division of play consisting of a sequence of six balls bowled by a bowler from one end of the pitch, after which another bowler takes over from the other end.

hide explanation

19a   Spiteful // tennis player hiding old working method (8)

Venus Williams[7] is an American professional tennis player who is generally regarded as one of the all-time greats of women's tennis and who, along with younger sister Serena Williams, is credited with ushering in a new era of power and athleticism on the women's professional tennis tour.

21a   Hunk I love /in/ architect's workplace (6)

"love" = O (show explanation )

In tennis, squash, and some other sports, love[5] is a score of zero or nil ⇒ love fifteen. The resemblance of a zero written as a numeral (0) to the letter O leads to the cryptic crossword convention of the word "love" being used to clue this letter.

Although folk etymology has connected the word with French l'oeuf 'egg', from the resemblance in shape between an egg and a zero, the term apparently comes from the phrase play for love (i.e. the love of the game, not for money).

hide explanation

23a   It could be represented in caress? (8)

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. In the wordplay, one must read the word "represented" as re-presented (presented again or in a different manner).

24a   Names oil that's suffused // pudding (8)

Semolina[5] is:
  1. the hard grains left after the milling of flour, used in puddings and in pasta; or
  2. a pudding made of semolina.
This word shows up quite regularly in British puzzles — almost as often as it apparently appears on the menu of British boarding schools — and it is rare indeed to see anyone actually admit to liking this dessert.

Just Desserts
Although the dessert appearing in this clue does happen to be one that North Americans would consider to be pudding, our perception of pudding does not always coincide with that of our British cousins.

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? [to which the response might well be apple pie].

25a   Nurse working /to get/ sheet of tissue (6)

26a   Gambling activity // permitted in course (8)


1d   Horse on meadow close to stiff // bit of laurel (3,4)

The bay[5] (also known as laurel[5], bay laurel, bay tree, or sweet bay) is an evergreen Mediterranean shrub with deep green leaves and purple berries. Its aromatic leaves are used in cookery and were formerly used to make triumphal crowns for victors.

2d   Girl in credit rejected low // place of learning (9)

3d   Capital // left in grip of unreasonable behaviour (6)

Manila[5] is the capital and chief port of the Philippines, on the island of Luzon; population 1,660,700 (est. 2007).

4d   Chap with anger following featureless film // advertising generally (7,8)

Chap is an informal British[5] or chiefly British[3] term for a man or boy (note on etymology ).

Chap[3,4,11] is a shortened form of chapman[3,4,11], an archaic term for a trader, especially an itinerant pedlar[a,b].

[a] Pedlar is the modern British spelling of peddler[c] which, in most senses, is a US or old-fashioned British spelling. The exception is in the sense of a dealer in illegal drugs which the Brits spell as drug peddler.

[b] The current meaning of chap[2] dates from the 18th century. In the 16th century, chap meant 'a customer'. The dictionaries do not explain how a shortened form of 'chapman' (pedlar) came to mean 'customer'.

[c] Collins COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary

hide explanation

Cove[5] is a dated informal British term for a man he is a perfectly amiable cove.

"film" = ET (show explanation )

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial[7] (often referred to simply as E.T.) is a 1982 American science fiction film co-produced and directed by Steven Spielberg. It tells the story of a lonely boy who befriends an extraterrestrial, dubbed "E.T.", who is stranded on Earth. He and his siblings help the extraterrestrial return home while attempting to keep it hidden from their mother and the government.

hide explanation

5d   Cut down fruit /that's/ come into view again (8)

6d   Slim Italian shows // restraint (5)

7d   Come across // Republican not working after college (3,4)

"Republican" = R (show explanation )

A Republican[5] (abbreviation R[5])  is a member or supporter of the Republican Party[5], one of the two main US political parties (the other being the Democratic Party), favouring a right-wing stance, limited central government, and tough, interventionist foreign policy. It was formed in 1854 in support of the anti-slavery movement preceding the Civil War.

In the UK, republican[5] can refer to an advocate of a united Ireland but the abbreviation does not seem to apply to that usage.

hide explanation

Uni[5] is an informal (originally Australian) term for university he planned to go to uni.

14d   Full-time // staff supports for each hospital department (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

15d   Equity, say, is beginning to trouble // Belfast politician? (8)

In the UK, US, and several other countries, Equity[5] is a trade union to which all professional actors must belong.

A Unionist[5] 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.
17d   Goth, one that's mobilised /and/ very active (2,3,2)

Scratching the Surface
A goth[5] is a member of a subculture favouring black clothing, white and black make-up, and goth music*.

* a style of rock music derived from punk, typically with apocalyptic or mystical lyrics.

18d   Fool's stolen // criminal record (7)

Mug[5] is an informal British term for a stupid or gullible person ⇒ they were no mugs where finance was concerned.

20d   Delicacy /in/ French resort toyboy vacated (6)

Nice[5] is a resort city on the French Riviera, near the border with Italy; population 348,721 (2007).

22d   Peer over line /that's/ amusing (5)

peer[5] is a member of the nobility in Britain or Ireland, comprising the ranks of duke, marquess, earl, viscount, and baron.

A lord[10] is a male member of the nobility, especially in Britain.
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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