Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Wednesday, December 7, 2016 — DT 28207

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28207
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Jay (Jeremy Mutch)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28207]
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


This seems to be a puzzle for all seasons. When it appeared in The Daily Telegraph on the last day of August, summer was winding down in the UK and winter was coming to an end in New Zealand. Now it appears in Canada just as autumn draws to a close.

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   Northern Europeans must adopt centigrade // measures (6)

C[5] is the abbreviation for Celsius or centigrade ⇒ 29°C.

Measure[5] is an archaic term for a dance, typically one that is stately ⇒ now tread we a measure!.

5a   Holding supplies of // a particular hosiery item (8)

Contrary to what is indicated by the 2Kiwis in their review, I would say that the word "of" is part of the definition.

9a   Steep // service charge after the first of March (8)

Macerate[5] (especially with reference to food) means to soften or become softened by soaking in a liquid :⇒ (i) macerate the mustard seeds in vinegar; (ii) the fruit was allowed to macerate before fermentation.

10a   Favouring attack, // to gain an advantage (6)

11a   Quiet dependable person going around in the morning /for/ plant (8)

The shamrock[5] is a low-growing clover-like plant with three-lobed leaves, used as the national emblem of Ireland.

12a   End of letter written in pink // pen (6)

13a   The effect of a drop in gravity? (4,4)

15a   Part of leg // that comes from a cow? (4)

After some contemplation, I see no reason not to mark this clue as a double definition.

17a   Thump // pest often found in bed (4)

19a   Sorry // etc about one on track (8)

"on" = following (charade convention) (show explanation )

"A on B" Convention
A sometimes ignored cryptic crossword convention provides that, in an across clue, the construction "A on B" is used to clue B + A.

The rationale for this practice is that in order for A to be placed on B, B must already exist (i.e., already have been written). Since the English language is written from left to right, this means that B must come first and A is then appended to it. .

Notwithstanding the above, a solver must always be vigilant for setters who flout this convention.

hide explanation

20a   Father split his responsibility as such (6)

This is a semi-&lit. (or, if you prefer, semi-all-in-one) clue in which the entire clue is the definition and the portion with the dashed underline is the wordplay.

The clue can be interpreted as "A role in which a father shares responsibility".

21a   Ranked in order before editor // became angry (8)

22a   Looking embarrassed and inexperienced, // make new sketch (6)

23a   Speed /of/ free love -- it's within the bounds of curiosity (8)

The word "of" (show explanation ) is used as a link word between the definition and wordplay.

When used as a link word, "of" denotes that the definition is formed from the constituent parts found in the wordplay.

This is based on the word of[5] being used as a preposition indicating the material or substance constituting something ⇒ (i) the house was built of bricks; (ii) walls of stone.

hide explanation

24a   Trap a lie about // bones like these? (8)

A parietal bone[5] is a bone forming the central side and upper back part of each side of the skull.

25a   Arab state welcoming last of various // sycophants (3-3)

Yemen[5] is a country in the south and south-west of the Arabian peninsula; population 22,858,200 (est. 2009); official language, Arabic; capital, Sana'a. Official name Yemen Republic.


2d   Answer after song about a // bete noire (8)

3d   Nothing to go with strawberries? // Take the best (5,3)

The solver must interpret both the wordplay and the solution as a phrase. There is "nothing to go with [the] strawberries" because the "cream [is] off".

In their review, the 2Kiwis suggest two possible interpretations for the solution, of which I only twigged to the first.

In the first interpretation, off[10] is used in the sense (said of food or drink) of having gone bad, sour, etcthis cream is off.

In the second interpretation, off[5] is used in an informal British sense denoting (of an item on a menu) temporarily unavailable ⇒ strawberries are offalthough, today, the strawberries appear to be available but there is no cream to accompany them.

To cream (something) off[5] is take the best of (a group of people or things), especially in a way that is considered unfair ⇒ the elite schools cream off some of the more able pupils.

4d   Neighbours perhaps // like this artist entertaining a church leader (4,5)

So[2] means in that [or this] state or condition [i.e., ‛like that’ or ‛like this’(i) promised to be faithful, and has remained so; (ii) She told him ‛I am single, and I plan to remain so.’.

"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

Neighbours[7] is an Australian television soap opera. First broadcast in 1985, it is the longest running drama series on Australian television. Having been sold to over 60 countries around the world, it is one of Australia's most successful media exports. The show has proved to be more popular in the United Kingdom than in Australia.

5d   Hello -- // your ears must be burning! (5,2,3,5)

6d   Fish eggs left // company transport facility (3,4)

7d   A student on grass? The other way round, /but that's/ unofficial! (8)

Grass is an informal British term meaning:
  1. (noun) a police informer[5]; and
  2. (verb) to inform the police of someone’s criminal activities or plans[5](i) someone had grassed on the thieves; (ii) she threatened to grass me up.
This expression may derive from rhyming slang (grasshopper being rhyming slang for 'copper'). (show explanation )

Rhyming slang[5] is a type of slang that replaces words with rhyming words or phrases, typically with the rhyming element omitted. For example, butcher’s, short for butcher’s hook, means ‘look’ in Cockney rhyming slang.

hide explanation

"learner" = L (show explanation )

The cryptic crossword convention of L meaning learner or student arises from the L-plate[7], a square plate bearing a sans-serif letter L, for learner, which must be affixed to the front and back of a vehicle in various jurisdictions (including the UK) if its driver is a learner under instruction.

hide explanation

8d   Manage okay, /but/ delayed over wearing medal (3,5)

Gong[5] is an informal British term for a medal or award.

14d   Really // on fire and really worried! (9)

15d   To applaud role coming up /is/ nonsense (8)

16d   Both sides will accept playing abroad -- /but/ here? (8)

The definition could hardly be more vague — and, of course, it is not "abroad" for us.

17d   Disciplines // needed for scenes otherwise including the Channel Islands (8)

The Channel Islands[5] (abbreviation CI[5]) are a group of islands in the English Channel off the northwestern coast of France, of which the largest are Jersey, Guernsey, and Alderney. Formerly part of the dukedom of Normandy, they have owed allegiance to England since the Norman Conquest in 1066, and are now classed as Crown dependencies.

18d   Worry, /but/ nations together agree on terms (8)

"nations together" = UN (show explanation )

The United Nations[5] (abbreviation UN) is an international organization of countries set up in 1945, in succession to the League of Nations, to promote international peace, security, and cooperation.

hide explanation

19d   Boat // requiring speed around bar (7)

I had the correct speed but couldn't locate the right bar.

A pinnace[5] (historical) is a small boat, typically with sails and/or several oars, forming part of the equipment of a warship or other large vessel.
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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