Friday, January 27, 2017

Friday, January 27, 2017 — DT 28268

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28268
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, November 10, 2016
Shamus (Philip Marlow)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28268]
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


Near the midpoint of today's puzzle, I hit a brick wall. After staring for some time at a grid that was not becoming more populated, I set the puzzle aside and went out to do some errands. As is so often the case, when I picked up the puzzle on my return, the remainder was filled in quite quickly.

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   Sailor following fine friend around /to get/ something for tea? (8)

The entry for jack in The Chambers Dictionary would fill a page if it were not spread over parts of two pages. Among the definitions, one finds jack[1] defined as (often with capital) a sailor.

"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

Until I saw the picture accompanying Kath's review, I had presumed tea here to be referring to what we would call supper. However, it turns out that Shamus actually has afternoon tea in mind rather than high tea. (more )

The British distinguish between afternoon tea and high tea, although both may be referred to simply as tea[10]. Afternoon tea[2,5,7,10] (or low tea) is a light afternoon meal, typically eaten between 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm, at which tea, sandwiches, biscuits [British term for cookies or crackers] and cakes are served.

High tea[7] (also known as meat tea) is the evening meal or dinner of the working class, typically eaten between 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm. It typically consists of a hot dish such as fish and chips, shepherd's pie, or macaroni cheese [macaroni and cheese to North Americans], followed by cakes and bread, butter and jam. Occasionally there would be cold cuts of meat, such as ham salad. Traditionally high tea was eaten by middle to upper class children (whose parents would have a more formal dinner later) or by labourers, miners and the like when they came home from work. The term was first used around 1825 and high is used in the sense of well-advanced (like high noon, for example) to signify that it was taken later in the day.

hide explanation

In Britain, a flapjack[5] is not a pancake (as it is in North America) but a sweet dense cake made from oats, golden syrup [light molasses], and melted butter, served in rectangles.

9a   A swine almost keeping quiet -- /that's/ unexpected (6)

If you are following Kath's instructions, don't forget to start with the A from the clue.

"quiet" = 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

10a   Put favourable slant on // cricketer's skill? (4)

Spin bowling[7] is a bowling technique in cricket and the bowler who uses this technique is referred to as a spinner. The main aim of spin bowling is to bowl the cricket ball with rapid rotation so that when it bounces on the pitch it will deviate from its normal straight path, thus making it difficult for the batsman to hit the ball cleanly.

11a   Edgy orator at work /that's/ critical (10)

12a   Disorganised lot /in/ game played on board with first pair missing (6)

14a   Study period // out for review during test (8)

15a   Prize // pub in ancient city (6)

Public house[5] (abbreviation PH) is the formal British name for a pub.

In Homeric legend, Troy[5] is the city of King Priam, besieged for ten years by the Greeks during the Trojan War. It was regarded as having been a purely legendary city until Heinrich Schliemann identified the mound of Hissarlik on the northeastern Aegean coast of Turkey as the site of Troy. The city was apparently sacked and destroyed by fire in the mid 13th century BC, a period coinciding with the Mycenaean civilization of Greece. Also called Ilium.

17a   Performs religious duty, we hear, /producing/ acclaim (6)

20a   Note I'm enthralled by Indian instrument /and/ sword (8)

The sitar[5] is a large, long-necked Indian lute with movable frets, played with a wire pick.

A scimitar[5] is a short sword with a curved blade that broadens towards the point, used originally in Eastern countries.

22a   Emergency call /from/ PM before division in week (6)

Theresa May[5] is a British Conservative stateswoman, prime minister since 2016.

23a   In which one finds peers /and/ English bishop in a grand conspiracy (3,7)

"bishop" = B (show explanation )

B[5] is an abbreviation for bishop that is used in recording moves in chess.

hide explanation

While the abbreviation G for "grand" is deemed by the Brits to be an Americanism, it seems to be one that is well known to them — undoubtedly from American gangster films. (show more )

Grand[5] is an informal term for a thousand dollars or pounds he gets thirty-five grand a year. While the term "grand" itself would seem to be commonly used in the UK, the informal abbreviation G[5] meaning grand appears to be regarded as a North American usage I was up nine Gs on the blackjack tables.

G is defined in various British dictionaries as follows:
  1. Oxford Dictionaries: (North American informal) abbreviation for grand, a thousand dollars)[5];
  2. Chambers 21st Century Dictionary: (North American slang) abbreviation for a grand, 1000 dollars[2];
  3. Collins English Dictionary: (mainly US slang) a symbol for grand (a thousand dollars or pounds)[10] .
hide explanation

24a   Top athletes defending // course (4)

25a   Nut chewed with regret? /It's/ like a pork pie (6)

Porky[10] (also pork pie) is mainly British and Australian (rhyming) slang* for a lie (in the sense of an untruth).

* 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.

26a   Healthy bit of food /found in/ inn? Utter rubbish (8)


1d   Cheek, being seen on pot in paper? /It's/ disrespectful (8)

The Financial Times[7] (abbreviation FT) is a British international business newspaper that is printed on conspicuous salmon pink newsprint.

2d   Competition/'s/ not close (4)

3d   Name // composer is given on radio (6)

George Frideric Handel[5] (1685–1759) was a German-born composer and organist, resident in England from 1712; born Georg Friedrich Händel. A prolific composer, he is chiefly remembered for his choral works, especially the oratorio Messiah (1742), and, for orchestra, his Water Music suite (circa 1717) and Music for the Royal Fireworks (1749).

4d   Urge halt in development /in/ response to cracks? (8)

5d   Female artist hereafter taking top off /for/ male bonding? (10)

"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. 

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6d   Role in Salvation Army /in/ austere city (6)

SA[5] is the abbreviation for Salvation Army.

Sparta[2,5], a city in the southern Peloponnese in Greece, was a powerful city state in the 5th century BC, defeating its rival Athens in the Peloponnesian War to become the leading city of Greece. The city was noted for its austerity and its citizens were characterized by their courage and endurance in battle and by the simplicity and brevity of their speech.

8d   Source of kerfuffle, a judge /in/ choppy exchange? (6)

13d   Artistic quarter // flourishes with place in ground (10)

Bloomsbury[5] is an area of central London noted for its large squares and gardens and for its associations with the Bloomsbury Group*. The British Museum is located there.

* The Bloomsbury Group[5] was a group of writers, artists, and philosophers living in or associated with Bloomsbury in the early 20th century. Members of the group, which included Virginia Woolf, Lytton Strachey, Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, and Roger Fry, were known for their unconventional lifestyles and attitudes and were a powerful force in the growth of modernism.

16d   Trouble /making/ essential part of tea? (3,5)

18d   Love of old work on stage /that's/ difficult (8)

19d   Faulty // knowledge of Scotland -- brother should be on top of it (6)

Ken[5] (verb)is a Scottish and Northern English term meaning:
  1. know [in the sense of to be aware of] ⇒ d’ye ken anyone who can boast of that?; or
  2. recognize or identify ⇒ that’s him—d’ye ken him?.
21d   Persuasive // county fellow? (6)

22d   Foreign character, arts benefactor, /making/ change (6)

Mu[5] is the twelfth letter of the Greek alphabet (Μ, μ).

The Tate Gallery[5] (commonly known simply as the Tate) is a national museum of art in London, England founded in 1897 by the sugar manufacturer Sir Henry Tate (1819–1899) to house his collection of modern British paintings, as a nucleus for a permanent national collection of modern art. It was renamed Tate Britain in 2000, when the new Tate Modern gallery opened. [I would surmise that by that time the original collection could no longer be considered "modern".]

24d   Overly formal // chief cut short (4)

Behind the Picture
Kath illustrates her review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog with a picture of English actress Maggie Smith in the role of Professor Minerva McGonagall[7] from the Harry Potter film series. McGonagall is described as a tall, rather severe-looking woman, with black hair typically drawn into a tight bun. She wears emerald green robes, a pointed hat, and always has a very prim expression.
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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