Friday, January 6, 2017

Friday, January 6, 2017 — DT 28244

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28244
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, October 13, 2016
RayT (Ray Terrell)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28244]
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


The string of relatively benign puzzles continues today with this offering from RayT.

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   Cruel, // cruel habit and endlessly revolting (12)

9a   Settled admitting father right /to get/ divorced (9)

Figuratively speaking, divorce and separation are synonymous⇒ were one able to divorce religion from politics, the world would be a better place.

10a   Spruce up // grand space (5)

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

11a   Controlled // animal's lair after purge (6)

12a   Telling-off, // catching chill in grass (8)

Sing[10] is a mainly US slang term meaning to confess or act as an informer. [More dialogue from American gangster films].

13a   Comparatively confined /in/ dock, accepting fine (6)

Poky[1,2,3,4,5,10,11] (also pokey), said of a room or building, is an informal term [on both sides of the Atlantic] meaning uncomfortably small and cramped ⇒ five of us shared the poky little room.

Divided by a Common Language*
In North America, poky[5] means annoyingly slow ⇒ his speech was poky, like he was a little simple. An automobile described as poky would be far from powerful or fast.

In Britain, poky[5] said especially of a car, means having considerable power or acceleration.

* The well known aphorism "England and America are two countries divided by a common language" has been attributed to Irish writer George Bernard Shaw. However, The Phrase Finder [Popular misquotes - 'the things they never said'] informs us that this supposed quotation doesn't appear anywhere in the copious writing of GBS. A similar idea was expressed by fellow Irish writer Oscar Wilde in The Canterville Ghost, 1887, some years earlier than Shaw was supposed to have said it:
"We really have everything in common with America nowadays except, of course, language".

15a   It delays getting drunk // with regularity (8)

18a   Intense scheming consuming the compiler/'s/ genius! (8)

Albert Einstein[5] (1879–1955) was a German-born American theoretical physicist, founder of the special and general theories of relativity whose name has become synonymous with genius ⇒ you won't have to be an Einstein to use it.

19a   Shining // silver pound sweetheart's pocketed (6)

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

"sweetheart" = E (show explanation )

A common cryptic crossword construct is to use the word "sweetheart" to clue E, the middle letter (heart) of swEet.

hide explanation

21a   Inside place, not a pharaoh/'s/ empty tomb (8)

A cenotaph[5] is a monument to someone buried elsewhere, especially one commemorating people who died in a war.

Behind the Picture
Kath illustrates her review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog with a picture of the Cenotaph[5], the war memorial in Whitehall, London, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and erected in 1919–20.

23a   Bird's back with practically complete // beast (6)

Mina[2] is a seemingly rare alternative spelling* of myna (also mynah), any of various large, southeast Asian birds of the starling family, some of which can be taught to imitate human speech.

* Among the several dictionaries that I consult on a regular basis, this spelling is found only in The Chambers Dictionary[1] and the Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary[11] in addition to the cited entry from Chambers 21st Century Dictionary.

26a   Detectives seen with company /in/ nightclub (5)

"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

27a   Scared /by/ blunder provided, held by United (9)

Remember that one is to ignore capitalization and punctuation in clues — except, of course, when it is not to be ignored.

Scratching the Surface
In Britain, United[5] is commonly used in the names of soccer and other sports teams formed by amalgamation — Manchester United Football Club[7] (often referred to simply as United) being among the best known examples.

28a   Sauciest hint changed, /becoming/ zealous (12)


1d   Take off /and/ run past flashing (7)

2d   Managed // PC editor (5)

PC[5] is a British designation for a police constablePC Bartholomew made his report.

3d   Enter game after resolving // contract (9)

As an anagram indicator, resolve[5] is used in the sense of (said of something seen at a distance) to turn into a different form when seen more clearly ⇒ the orange light resolved itself into four roadwork lanterns.

4d   It's one tiny amount initially (4)

In this semi-all-in-one clue, the wordplay is provided by the entire clue within which the definition (indicated by the solid underline) is embedded.

5d   Sailor in charge, in time, // quit (8)

"sailor" = AB (show explanation )

In the Royal Navy, according to Oxford Dictionaries, able seaman[5] (abbreviation AB[5]), is a rank of sailor above ordinary seaman and below leading seaman. On the other hand, Collins English Dictionary tells us that an able seaman[10] (also called able-bodied seaman) is an ordinary seaman, especially one in the merchant navy, who has been trained in certain skills.

hide explanation

"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   Constitutional // member, a Labour leader (5)

Scratching the Surface
The Labour Party[5] (abbreviation Lab.[5]) in Britain is a left-of-centre political party formed to represent the interests of ordinary working people that since the Second World War has been in power 1945–51, 1964–70, 1974-9, and 1997–2010. Arising from the trade union movement at the end of the 19th century, it replaced the Liberals as the country’s second party after the First World War.

7d   Willing to take motorway // home (8)

The M1[7] is a north–south motorway* in England connecting London to Leeds.

* controlled access, multi-lane divided highway

8d   Scheming to trap fool // with satisfaction (6)

Mug[5] is an informal British term for a stupid or gullible person ⇒ they were no mugs where finance was concerned.

14d   Affection /of/ family head ringing daughter (8)

Ness[5] (a term usually found in place names) means a headland or promontory Orford Ness.

16d   Some peculiar gent in Asian // republic (9)

17d   Forward /found in/ girl's bed (8)

Di, a diminutive for Diana, is — if not the most popular girl's name in Crosswordland — certainly among the leading contenders.

Scratching the Surface
A forward[5] is an attacking player in football [soccer], hockey*, or other sports.

* by which Oxford Dictionaries likely means field hockey — but it could apply just as well to what the Brits call ice hockey.

18d   Former capital of Portugal (6)

The escudo[5], equal to 100 centavos, was was the basic monetary unit of Portugal prior to being replaced by the euro in 2002.

20d   Musical // portion's over, captured by microphone (7)

Dole[10] means a small portion or share, as of money or food, given to a poor person.

22d   Gashed gripping hard // point (5)

"hard" = H (show explanation )

H[2,5] is an abbreviation for hard, as used in describing grades of pencil lead ⇒ a 2H pencil.

hide explanation

24d   The bulk keeps one // clammy (5)

25d   Reportedly makes // vases (4)
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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