Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Tuesday, December 6, 2016 — DT 28206

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28206
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28206]
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


After becoming totally bogged down in the Southeast corner, it was certainly humbling to see ShropshireLad's rating of the puzzle. I did not know the British term for Chinese cabbage, I had no idea what Bevin Boys were, and the lurker stayed hidden until the bitter end. The possibility of the puzzle being a pangram* did occur to me fairly early in the solving process. However, I set the puzzle aside and when I came back to it, I had forgotten about it.

I invite you to leave a comment to let us know how you fared with the puzzle.

* a puzzle in which every letter of the alphabet appears at least once in the solutions to the clues.

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.


5a   A parrot, variegated // correspondingly (3,4)

As an anagram indicator, variegated (past participle acting as an adjective) comes from the verb variegate[10] meaning to alter the appearance of (especially by adding different colours). Thus variegated denotes altered in appearance.

7a   Pug // dog (5)

Pug[1,3,4,5,10,11] (short for pugilist) is an informal term for a boxer ⇒ a come-from-nowhere pug gets a shot at the heavyweight title. [Not being familiar with this term (although it's meaning is pretty obvious), I thought it might be British. However, as it appears in virtually all of my British and American dictionaries I guess it is just dated.]

Behind the Picture
Sir Henry Cooper[7] (1934–2011) was an English heavyweight boxer known for the power of his left hook, "'Enry's 'Ammer", and his knockdown of the young Muhammad Ali. Cooper held the British, Commonwealth and European heavyweight titles several times throughout his career, and unsuccessfully challenged Ali for the world heavyweight championship in 1966.

9a   Wild animal /in/ a lake, shown on card (6)

A jackal[5] is a slender long-legged wild dog that feeds on carrion, game, and fruit and often hunts cooperatively, found in Africa and southern Asia.

10a   Question a tutor /producing/ four lines of verse (8)

A quatrain[5] is a stanza of four lines, especially one having alternate rhymes.

11a   A fruit, // kind elected foremost of eaters (10)

Clement[11] means mild or merciful in disposition or character; lenient; compassionate A clement judge reduced his sentence.

13a   Boast // about what oarswomen do (4)

14a   He, since being treated, doesn't eat // cabbage (7,6)

Napa CabbageBok Choy

Chinese leaves[5] is a British term for Chinese cabbage. Chinese cabbage[7] (Brassica rapa, subspecies pekinensis and chinensis) can refer to two groups of Chinese leaf vegetables often used in Chinese cuisine: the Pekinensis Group (napa cabbage) and the Chinensis Group (bok choy).

16a   Endless ingrained dirt, // ghastly (4)

17a   Explains // what a voter does (4,6)

19a   Free lass, terribly // brave (8)

20a   Brief: // retain for murder cases (6)

Scratching the Surface
Brief[5] can have several meanings in British legal circles:
  1. a summary of the facts and legal points in a case given to a barrister to argue in court;
  2. a piece of work for a barrister ⇒ he cannot be too highly recommended, if he is free and will take the brief;
  3. a solicitor or barrister ⇒ it was only his brief's eloquence that had saved him from prison.
Here I would presume that the latter meaning is intended in the surface reading of the clue (alluding to putting a lawyer on retainer), although it conceivably could be the first.

22a   Something used by bakers // still, while inside (5)

23a   First in earlier on? Social worker, // smart (7)

"on" = LEG (show explanation )

In cricket, the on[5] (also known as on side) is another name for the leg[5] (also called leg side), the half of the field (as divided lengthways through the pitch) away from which the batsman’s feet are pointed when standing to receive the ball ⇒ he played a lucky stroke to leg. The other half of the field is known as the off[5] (also called off side).

hide explanation

"social worker" = ANT (show explanation )

The word "worker" and the phrase "social worker" are commonly used in cryptic crossword puzzles to clue ANT or BEE.

A worker[5] is a neuter or undeveloped female bee, wasp, ant, or other social insect, large numbers of which do the basic work of the colony.

In crossword puzzles, "worker" will most frequently be used to clue ANT and occasionally BEE but I have yet to see it used to clue WASP. Of course, "worker" is sometimes also used to clue HAND or MAN.

hide explanation


1d   Show yellow card // to reserve (4)

In association football (soccer) a yellow card[7] is shown by the referee to indicate that a player has been officially cautioned. The player's details are then recorded by the referee in a small notebook; hence a caution is also known as a "booking".

Delving Deeper
A player who has been cautioned may continue playing in the game; however, a player who receives a second caution in a match is sent off (shown the yellow card again, and then a red card), meaning that he must leave the field immediately and take no further part in the game. The player may not be replaced by a substitute.

In most tournaments, the accumulation of a certain number of yellow cards over several matches results in disqualification of the offending player for a certain number of subsequent matches, the exact number of cards and matches varying by jurisdiction.

A reserve[5] is an extra player in* a team, serving as a possible substitute ⇒ he was reserve hooker [position on a rugby team] for the World Cup team.

* Note that the Brits say "in a team" rather than "on a team".

2d   Standard cavalry weapon /in/ a manner of speaking (8)

Contrary to what ShropshireLad shows in his review, the word "in" is not part of the definition. Rather it is a link word.

3d   Head of brigade entering a lounge // on fire (6)

4d   More clothing a fielder /required/ (5,5)

Despite coming at the end of the clue, the word "required" is a link word which can be seen by rearranging the elements in the clue:
  • 4d   A fielder /required/ more clothing (5,5)
although I suspect that a setter might set this in the present tense:
  • 4d   A fielder /requires/ more clothing (5,5)
In cricket, extra cover[5] denotes
  1. a fielding position between cover point and mid-off but further from the wicket; or
  2. a fielder at this position.
5d   Pawn nobleman/'s/ gemstone (5)

Although a pearl is a gem, I would hardly call it a gemstone.

In chess, P[10] is the symbol for pawn.

 An earl[5] is a British nobleman ranking above a viscount and below a marquess [in other words, the third highest of the five ranks of British nobility — duke, marquess, earl, viscount, and baron].

6d   One learns to like this // strange state, having got over it (8,5)

Diverging somewhat from the explanation given by ShropshireLad, I would say that the clue parses as an anagram (strange) of STATE preceded by (having ... over it) ACQUIRED (got).

8d   Game in Ohio, America, /is/ exorbitant (7)

Rugby union[10] (abbreviation RU[5]) is a form of rugby football played between teams of 15 players (in contrast to rugby league[5], which is played in teams of thirteen).

Apparently O[5] is a US abbreviation for Ohio.

12d   Legendary woman // reportedly caused airman to crash (4,6)

In English folklore, Maid Marian[5] was the lover of Robin Hood.

14d   Saloon, perhaps ideal // place in which to eat (7)

Saloon[5] (also saloon car) is a British term for a car [known in Canada, the US, and New Zealand as a sedan[10]] having a closed body and a closed boot [trunk] separated from the part in which the driver and passengers sit ⇒ a four-door saloon.

Very[2] is used in the sense of most suitable ⇒ That's the very tool for the job..

Carvery[5] is a British term for a buffet or restaurant where cooked joints* are displayed and carved as required in front of customers.

* Joint[5] is a British term [although no one seems to have advised the editors of American dictionaries of this fact] for a large piece of meat cooked whole or ready for cooking a joint of ham.

15d   Inspector, // formerly a Bevin Boy? (8)

The clue parses as EX (formerly) + A (from the clue) + Bevin Boy (miner).

Bevin Boys[7] were young British men conscripted to work in the coal mines of the United Kingdom, between December 1943 and March 1948. Chosen by lot as ten percent of all male conscripts aged 18–25, plus some volunteering as an alternative to military conscription, nearly 48,000 Bevin Boys performed vital but largely unrecognised service in the mines, many of them not released from service until well over two years after Second World War hostilities ended.

Behind the Picture
Inspector Endeavour Morse[7] is a fictional character in the eponymous series of detective novels by British author Colin Dexter, as well as the 33-episode (1987–2000) television drama Inspector Morse[7], with the character played by John Thaw. Morse is a senior CID (Criminal Investigation Department) officer with the Thames Valley Police force in Oxford, England.

17d   Rather // small-minded about Rex (6)

"Rex" = 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

18d   Tiff involving river // fish (5)

The sprat[5] is a small marine fish of the herring family, widely caught for food and fish products.

21d   German partner /in/ crime duke knocked out (4)

"duke" = D (show explanation )

A duke[5] (abbreviation D.[10]) is a male holding the highest hereditary title in the British and certain other peerages*.

* The peerage[5] is the nobility in Britain or Ireland, comprising the ranks of duke or duchess, marquess or marchioness, earl or countess, viscount or viscountess, and baron or baroness.

hide explanation

Frau[5] (plural Frauen) is a title or form of address for a married or widowed German-speaking woman ⇒ Frau Nordern.
Key to Reference Sources: 

[1]   - The Chambers Dictionary, 11th Edition
[2]   - Search Chambers - (Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)
[3]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (American Heritage Dictionary)
[4]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (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] - CollinsDictionary.com (Collins English Dictionary)
[11] - TheFreeDictionary.com (Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary)
Signing off for today — Falcon

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