Friday, January 20, 2017

Friday, January 20, 2017 — DT 28262

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28262
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, November 3, 2016
RayT (Ray Terrell)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28262]
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


While certainly not a difficult puzzle, I did not find it to be quite the walk in the park that pommers reports it to be in his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog.

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   Break // point with return I fancy (12)

Scratching the Surface
Tennis fans will appreciate the surface reading of this clue.

In tennis, break point[5] is the state of a game when the player or side receiving service needs only one more point to win the game ⇒ he hit a winner to reach break point.

In tennis (and other sports), a return[5] is a stroke played in response to a serve or other stroke by one's opponent.

8a   Poor // American English the French start to speak (7)

"the French" = LES (show explanation )

In French, the plural form of the definite article is les[8].

hide explanation

9a   Cold look facing certain // bankruptcy (7)

"look" = LO (show explanation )

Lo[5] is an archaic exclamation used to draw attention to an interesting or amazing event and lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them.

hide explanation

11a   Part of hero is terrific // romp (7)

Roister[5] means to enjoy oneself or celebrate in a noisy or boisterous way ⇒ workers from the refinery roistered in the bars.

12a   Saw // voting system finished British (7)

Proportional representation[5] (abbreviation PR) is an electoral system in which parties gain seats in proportion to the number of votes cast for them ⇒ PR has been a success in Germany.

"British" = B (show explanation )

Both B.[10] and Br.[10] are abbreviations for British.

hide explanation

13a   Turn over // page covered by nude spread (5)

"page" = P (show explanation )

In publishing, the abbreviation for page is p[5]see p 784.

hide explanation

14a   One script rewritten /for/ 'Morse', perhaps ... (9)

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.

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, pommers writes A picture for Kath . . ..
As you may glean from this comment, Kath has an oft-expressed soft spot in her heart for actor John Thaw.

16a   ... separate // detective's partner talked oddly (9)

"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

I believe man[10] is used in the sense of a subordinate, servant, or employee contrasted with an employer or manager. Typically, a police partnership would consist of a senior officer paired with a subordinate officer.

Behind the Picture
The picture illustrating pommers' review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog shows Detective Inspector Morse (John Thaw) and his partner Sergeant Robert "Robbie" Lewis (Kevin Whatley).

Whatley was later to star in his own series. Lewis[7] is a British television detective drama whose 33 episodes originally ran from 2006-2015. It is a spin-off from Inspector Morse and, like that series, it is set in Oxford, England. Kevin Whately reprises his character Robert "Robbie" Lewis, who was Morse's sergeant in the original series. In the spin-off, Lewis has been promoted to detective inspector.

19a   'Mob' arousing fear in America initially (5)

Contrary to pommers, I view this as a semi-all-in-one clue in which the entire clue forms the wordplay with the definition being embedded within it. The definition is not merely "mob" but "mob arousing fear in America".

21a   Relatively helpful? (7)

23a   Interest /in/ Eastern songs, reworked, Queen covered (7)

"queen" = R (show explanation )

Queen may be abbreviated as Q, Qu. or R.

Q[5] is an abbreviation for queen that is used especially in describing play in card games and recording moves in chess.

Qu.[2] is another common abbreviation for Queen.

Regina[5] (abbreviation R[5]) [Latin for queen] denotes the reigning queen, used following a name (e.g. Elizabetha Regina, Queen Elizabeth) or in the titles of lawsuits (e.g. Regina v. Jones, the Crown versus Jones — often shortened to R. v. Jones).

Thus Queen Elizabeth signs her name as 'Elizabeth R' as seen here on Canada's paint-stained constitution.

hide explanation

24a   Quiet before long surrounds northern // river (7)

The River Shannon[7] is the longest river in Ireland at 360.5 km (224 miles).

25a   Speech /is/ over before Budget (7)

"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.

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26a   Commanding officer and male crew fix // launch (12)


1d   Quite miserable penning // record (7)

2d   Managed // walk round ends of terrace (7)

3d   Control // balance, with drops over time (9)

4d   Open // a French champagne and party starts (5)

"a French" = UN (show explanation )

In French, the masculine singular form of the indefinite article is un[8].

hide explanation

5d   Couple // with wife very large in volume (7)

"very large" = OS (show explanation )

The sizes of clothing that North Americans would describe as plus-size[7] (or often big and tall in the case of men's clothing) would be called outsize (abbreviation OS[5]) in Britain.

hide explanation

6d   Abundant // work university provided (7)

"work" = OP (show explanation )

In music, an opus[5] (plural opuses or opera) is a separate composition or set of compositions.

The abbreviation Op.[5] (also op.), denoting opus, is used before a number given to each work of a particular composer, usually indicating the order of publication. The plural form of Op. is Opp..

Opus[5] can also be used in a more general sense to mean an artistic work, especially one on a large scale ⇒ he was writing an opus on Mexico.

hide explanation

7d   Badly ruins ground on small // habitat (12)

10d   Tricky // compiler's given up, except for trapping idiot (12)

"compiler" = 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

15d   Worker // day after day before in hold (9)

17d   Singer // thus performed opera's intro around piano (7)

"piano" = P (show explanation )

Piano[3,5] (abbreviation p[5]), is a musical direction meaning either (as an adjective) soft or quiet or (as an adverb) softly or quietly.

hide explanation

18d   Ally could be one of enemy (7)

19d   Noble // fellow pockets silver coin finally (7)

In Britain, mate[5] — in addition to being a person’s husband, wife, or other sexual partner — is an informal term for a friend or companion ⇒ my best mate Steve.

The symbol for the chemical element silver is Ag[5] from Latin argentum.

Historically, the term magnate[10] denoted a great nobleman.

20d   Stocks trader? (7)

Stock[5,10] (also called gillyflower) is any of several plants of the genus Matthiola, such as M. incana and M. bicornis (evening or night-scented stock), of the Mediterranean region, cultivated for their fragrant, brightly coloured lilac, pink, or white flowers.

22d   Report of gun // law (5)

Canon[5] can mean:
  1. a general law, rule, principle, or criterion by which something is judged ⇒ the appointment violated the canons of fair play and equal opportunity;
  2. a Church decree or law ⇒ (i) a set of ecclesiastical canons; (ii) legislation which enables the Church of England General Synod to provide by canon for women to be ordained.
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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