Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Wednesday, December 14, 2016 — DT 28218

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28218
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28218]
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


You should not find the puzzle to be an overly taxing challenge 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.


7a   Serving US soldier in one's pub /is/ sensible (7)

"serving US 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

Local[5] is an informal British term for a pub convenient to a person’s home ⇒ a pint in the local.

9a   Shake // unruly child in the course of struggle (7)

Somehow, in his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, ShropshireLad manages to transform "vie" into a noun. The wordplay actually parses as BRAT (unruly child) contained in (in the course of) VIE (struggle; which is a verb).

10a   Alarm losing time /causes/ miscalculation (5)

11a   Firm: // it's averse to change (9)

12a   Kind of household // to arrange tea for men in play (3-6,6)

13a   Have // groups of searchers on face of Snowdon (7)

Scratching the Surface
Snowdon[5] is a mountain in northwestern Wales. Rising to 1,085 m (3,560 ft), it is the highest mountain in Wales.

16a   Stop // female artist wearing check (7)

"artist" = RA (show explanation )

A Royal Academician (abbreviation RA[10]) is a member of the Royal Academy of Arts[5] (also Royal Academy; abbreviation also RA[10]), an institution established in London in 1768, whose purpose is to cultivate painting, sculpture, and architecture in Britain. 

hide explanation

19a   Small scone unfinished, dunked in cup of tea /in/ notable meeting (5,10)

This is an on-the-record meeting at which participants are not only permitted to take notes but are, in fact, expected to do so.

23a   Synthetic fibre // made by college, girl heard (9)

Poly[5] is a dated British term for a polytechnic[5]*, an institution of higher education offering courses at degree level or below, especially in vocational subjects.

* In Britain the term polytechnic has largely dropped out of use. In 1989 British polytechnics gained autonomy from local education authorities and in 1992 were able to call themselves universities.

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, ShropshireLad offers Ms Rantzen as an example of someone possessing the girl's name which features in the clue.
Dame Esther Rantzen[7] is an English journalist and television presenter [host], best known for presenting the hit BBC television series That's Life! for 21 years from 1973 until 1994.

24a   Turn // scoundrel going after wife (5)

25a   Messenger /in/ hall of justice endlessly? That is right (7)

26a   Joins // servicemen after one goes missing (7)


1d   Basketball manoeuvre /in/ back street, hoop lacking height (5-3)

In basketball, an alley-oop[5] is a high pass caught by a leaping teammate who tries to dunk the ball before landing ⇒ (i) she could catch alley-oops all day; (ii)he took an alley-oop pass from Vaughn.

2d   Gangster // wanting to fence fine article (8)

"fine" = F (show explanation )

F[5] is an abbreviation for fine, as used in describing grades of pencil lead [a usage that Oxford Dictionaries surprisingly characterizes as British].

hide explanation

Al Capone[5] (1899–1947), nicknamed  Scarface, was an American gangster of Italian descent. He dominated organized crime in Chicago in the 1920s and was indirectly responsible for many murders, including the St Valentine’s Day Massacre.

Cutting Deeper ... (not merely scratching the surface)
Capone[7] was born in Brooklyn (New York) and began his life of crime in New York City before moving to Chicago. Capone inadvertently insulted a woman while working the door at a Brooklyn night club and was slashed by her brother Frank Gallucio. The wounds led to the nickname that Capone loathed: "Scarface". Capone's boss, racketeer Frankie Yale, insisted that Capone apologize to Gallucio, and later Capone hired him as a bodyguard. When photographed, Capone hid the scarred left side of his face, saying that the injuries were war wounds. Capone was called "Snorky", a term for a sharp dresser, by his closest friends.

3d   Satisfy // publican, at first, with tenancy agreement (6)

Scratching the Surface
Publican[5] is a British term for a person who owns or manages a pub.

4d   A Brie I distributed /in/ part of Europe (6)

Brie[5] is a kind of soft, mild, creamy cheese with a firm white skin.

Iberia[10] is another name — and, according to Oxford Dictionaries, the ancient name[5] — for the Iberian Peninsula.

5d   Man in charge, supported by a // church (8)

"in charge" = IC (show explanation )

The abbreviation i/c[5] can be short for either:
  1. (especially in military contexts) in charge of ⇒ the Quartermaster General is i/c rations; or
  2. in command ⇒ 2 i/c = second in command.
hide explanation

6d   This person's crimson on the outside, with unknown // cure (6)

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

hide explanation

"unknown" = Y (show explanation )

In mathematics (algebra, in particular), an unknown[10] is a variable, or the quantity it represents, the value of which is to be discovered by solving an equation ⇒ 3y = 4x + 5 is an equation in two unknowns. [Unknowns are customarily represented symbolically by the letters x, y and z.]

hide explanation

8d   Blood surrounding head of goat /in/ ravine (5)

9d   Screen concealing it, // migratory bird (7)

14d   Make clear // power must be cloaked in betrayal (5,3)

"power" = P (show explanation )

In physics, P[10] is a symbol used to represent power [among other things] in mathematical formulae.

hide explanation

15d   Son, wizard // scout (7)

Harry Potter[7] is a series of fantasy novels written by British author J. K. Rowling. The novels chronicle the life of a young wizard, Harry Potter, and his friends Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Behind the Picture
ShropshireLad illustrates his review with a picture of a trainspotter[5]*, a British term for a person who collects train or locomotive numbers as a hobby.

* The name is also often used in a derogatory sense to refer to a person who obsessively studies the minutiae of any minority interest or specialized hobby ⇒ the idea is to make the music really really collectable so the trainspotters will buy it in their pathetic thousands.

17d   Until we meet again, // get on with the Spanish and Latin (8)

"the Spanish" = EL (show explanation )

In Spanish, the masculine singular form of the definite article is el[8].

hide explanation

18d   Unnecessary // enmity on steamship (8)

Needle[5]. is an informal British term for hostility or antagonism provoked by rivalry ⇒ there is already a little bit of needle between the sides.

The abbreviation for steamship is SS[10].

19d   Father, smart /in/ church government (6)

Smart[2] is used in the sense of brisk.

Pacy[5] (also pacey) is a seemingly British* term meaning moving or progressing quickly ⇒ a pacy thriller.

* The term not being found in either of my commonly consulted American dictionaries.

Behind the Picture
ShropshireLad illustrates his review with an image of the coat of arms of the Holy See.

20d   Move at home // to intervene (4,2)

21d   Woodland /in/ east in grip of nasty frost (6)

22d   Relative // of Connie Cezon (5)

As a hidden word indicator, of[2] denotes 'coming from' ⇒ people of Glasgow.

Scratching the Surface
Connie Cezon[7] (1925–2004) was an American film actress. Born Consuelo Cezon in Oakland, California, Cezon made over 30 film and television appearances between 1951 and 1964.

In the early 1950s, the saucer-eyed Cezon played a blonde "gold digger" in several Three Stooges films. Later, she had a recurring role as receptionist 'Gertie' on the American legal drama series Perry Mason, appearing in 17 episodes between 1957 and 1964. She also worked as Bette Davis' stand in/double, most notably in the 1964 thriller Dead Ringer.

After retiring from the screen, Cezon operated and ran a cat-boarding service in Los Angeles called Connie's Kitty Castle.
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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