Monday, January 23, 2017

Monday, January 23, 2017 — DT 28264

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28264
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, November 5, 2016
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28264 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28264 – Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave (Hints)
gnomethang (Review)
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 National Post has skipped DT 28263 which was published in The Daily Telegraph on Friday, November 4, 2016.
As this was a Saturday "Prize Puzzle" in Britain, there are two entries related to it on Big Dave's Crossword Blog — the first, posted on the date of publication, contains hints for selected clues while the second is a full review issued following the entry deadline for the contest. The vast majority of reader comments will generally be found attached to the "hints" posting with a minimal number — if any — accompanying the full review.


This offering provided a bit more of a challenge than we customarily get in a "Saturday" puzzle. I have no argument with the assessment given by gnomethang in his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog that The difficulty was upped this week and I found the puzzle all the better for it.

If you look closely on Big Dave's site, you will see that he did not post his review until 10:41 pm (at least 12 hours later than the usual time). You will also see comments on the site regarding "a massive inbound attack" which took down the site for most of the day. This is what is known in IT security circles as a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack in which a website is flooded with so much traffic that the servers cannot process it all, thus slowing down the site and ultimately causing it to crash. This explains why, for several months, visitors to the site have had to undergo a security screening in order to access the site.

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   Rather dull people -- time /to give/ some flattery? (12)

9a   Sort of contract /for/ sirloin or rib-eye perhaps (2-5)

In the card game bridge, no trump[10] is a bid or contract to play without trumps.

10a   Overturned race held by personnel dept -- // fresh start /needed/ (7)

Due to the structure of the clue, the link word "needed" finds itself at the end of the clue rather than in its customary position in the middle.

11a   Cooking equipment /is/ gourmet's first problem (7)

12a   King with delay about // to alight from carriage (7)

"king" = R (show explanation )

Rex[5] (abbreviation R[5]) [Latin for king] denotes the reigning king, used following a name (e.g. Georgius Rex, King George) or in the titles of lawsuits (e.g. Rex v. Jones, the Crown versus Jones — often shortened to R. v. Jones).

hide explanation

Carriage[5,10] is a British term for a railway coach for passengersthe first-class carriages.

13a   Bank provides accommodation for $1,000 // animal (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

14a   Angus brought back esoteric // sweet stuff (5,4)

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, gnomethang writes ... Also stop trying to make ARLOAF fit!
It took me a moment or two to realize that gnomethang is alluding to his efforts to force fit SUGAR LOAF into the grid.

16a   Person serving // minor nobleman shortly behind the Queen (9)

A baronet[5] (abbreviation Bt[5] or Bart[5]) is a member of the lowest hereditary titled British order, with the status of a commoner but able to use the prefix ‘Sir’.

"the Queen" = ER (show explanation )

The regnal ciphers (monograms) of British monarchs are initials formed from the Latin version of their first name followed by either Rex or Regina (Latin for king or queen, respectively). Thus, the regnal cipher of Queen Elizabeth is ER[5] — from the Latin Elizabetha Regina.

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19a   Mexican ready // to assemble posse (5)

Ready[5,10] or the ready[10] (also called readies or the readies) is an informal British term for ready money[5,10] (also called ready cash), funds for immediate use or, in other words, available money or cash.

The peso[5] is is the the basic monetary unit of several Latin American countries and of the Philippines, equal to 100 centésimos in Uruguay and 100 centavos elsewhere.

21a   French cop in international // force (7)

Flic[5] is an informal term for a French policeman.

23a   Shame on you getting stuck into booze // more like Botham? (7)

Fie[5] is an archaic or humorous term used to express disgust or outrage ⇒ if people don’t answer your first letter, fie on them!.

Sir Ian Botham[7] is a former England Test* cricketer and Test team captain, and current cricket commentator. He was also a talented footballer [soccer player], and made 11 appearances in the Football League for Scunthorpe United. He remains well known by his nickname "Beefy".

* A Test[5] (short for Test match)[5] is an international cricket or rugby match, typically one of a series, played between teams representing two different countries ⇒ the Test match between Pakistan and the West Indies.

24a   Facial expression /shows/ I'm in blissful state (7)

25a   Crackpot // embroiled in a cult (7)

26a   By implication, fat royal // without consideration (12)

For cryptic purposes, the word "royal" is an adjective.


1d   In // cricket club, Bell's sound (7)

In cricket, a player who is batting is said to be in[5]. Conversely, a player who is fielding is said to be out[5]. If you have not seen it before, you may enjoy reading an explanation of the ins and outs of cricket (which may leave you unsure whether you are coming or going).

You have two sides, one out in the field and one in. Each man that's in the side that's in goes out, and when he's out he comes in and the next man goes in until he's out. When they are all out, the side that's out comes in and the side that's been in goes out and tries to get those coming in, out. Sometimes you get men still in and not out.

When a man goes out to go in, the men who are out try to get him out, and when he is out he goes in and the next man in goes out and goes in. There are two men called umpires who stay out all the time and they decide when the men who are in are out. When both sides have been in and all the men have been out, and both sides have been out twice after all the men have been in, including those who are not out, that is the end of the game.

Now, should you have not quite followed that explanation, here is my attempt to clarify the "ins" and "outs" of cricket:
You have two sides [teams], one out in the field and one in [batting]. Each man that's in the side [in Britain, one says "in a side" rather than "on a team"] that's in [batting] goes out [I believe this means that he forgoes the cucumber sandwiches in the clubhouse in order to go out to the pitch to bat], and when he's out [dismissed] he comes in [returns to the clubhouse for more cucumber sandwiches] and the next man goes in [bats] until he's out [dismissed]. When they are all out [all players (but one) on the side are dismissed], the side that's out [fielding] comes in [bats] and the side that's been in [batting] goes out [fields] and tries to get those coming in [to bat], out [dismissed]. Sometimes you get men still in and not out [Since batsmen must always bat in pairs, the team is dismissed once ten of the eleven players have been dismissed, leaving no partner for the lone remaining player. Although the team is "out" (dismissed), the eleventh played is said to be "not out".].

When a man goes out [from the clubhouse to the pitch] to go in [bat], the men who are out [fielding] try to get him out [dismissed], and when he is out [dismissed] he goes in [returns to the clubhouse] and the next man in [scheduled to bat] goes out [from the clubhouse to the pitch] and goes in [bats]. There are two men called umpires who stay out [on the pitch] all the time [(they never get to eat cucumber sandwiches)] and they decide when the men who are in [batting] are out [dismissed]. When both sides have been in [batted] and all the men have been out [dismissed], and both sides have been out [dismissed] twice after all the men have been in [batted], including those who are not out [the eleventh player who has batted but not been dismissed], that is the end of the game [a cricket match consists of two innings with ten "outs" (dismissals) per each half innings (in cricket, the division of play is called an 'innings', rather than an 'inning' as in baseball)].

Simple! (although the details concerning the cucumber sandwiches may not be entirely accurate)
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2d   Like the following text // in pieces (7)

3d   Act to hold newspapers // down (9)

4d   Scrap /and/ run in Slough (5)

"run" = R (show explanation )

On cricket scorecards [not to mention baseball scoreboards], the abbreviation R[5] denotes run(s).

In cricket, a run[5] is a unit of scoring achieved by hitting the ball so that both batsmen are able to run between the wickets, or awarded in some other circumstances.

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Scratching the Surface
Slough is a large town in Berkshire, England, 21 miles (34 km) west of London near Heathrow Airport. The town was historically part of Buckinghamshire. In 2011, Slough's population of 140,200 was the most ethnically diverse in the United Kingdom outside London with the highest proportion of religious adherents in England.

Slough is home to the Slough Trading Estate, the largest industrial estate [industrial park] in single private ownership in Europe. Blackberry, McAfee, Burger King and LEGO have head offices in the town. The Slough Trading Estate provides over 17,000 jobs in 400 businesses.

5d   Criminal robs: Met // Police seek him (7)

The Met[5] denotes the Metropolitan Police in London — otherwise known as Scotland Yard.

6d   Peace // vehicle impounded in Iran unfortunately (7)

In Buddhism and Hinduism, nirvana[2] is the ultimate state of spiritual tranquillity attained through release from everyday concerns and extinction of individual passions.

7d   Men on board captain's place on ship -- // posh area (13)

Knightsbridge[7] is a residential and retail district in West London, south of Hyde Park. It is home to many expensive shops, including the department stores Harrods and Harvey Nichols, and flagship stores of many British and international fashion houses. The district also has banks that cater to wealthy individuals. Some of London's most renowned restaurants are here, as well as many exclusive hair and beauty salons, antiques and antiquities dealers, and chic bars and clubs. Bonhams auction house is located in Knightsbridge.

8d   Thus nerd in crash with traffic // staggered (13)

Truck[10] is used in the sense of dealings (especially in the phrase have no truck with).

15d   US soldier captures a coarse // Italian revolutionary (9)

"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).

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Giuseppe Garibaldi[5] (1807–1882) was an Italian patriot and military leader of the Risorgimento. With his volunteer force of ‘Red Shirts’ he captured Sicily and southern Italy from the Bourbons in 1860–1, thereby playing a key role in the establishment of a united kingdom of Italy.

17d   One's violent // if brought up in care of rugby enthusiast (7)

"rugby" = RU (show explanation )

Rugby union[10] (abbreviation RU[5]) is a form of rugby football played between teams of 15 players (in contrast to rugby league[5], which is played in teams of thirteen).

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18d   Inscription // around grave -- a record before death finally (7)

"record" = EP (show explanation )

EP[10] (abbreviation for extended-play) is one of the formats in which music is sold, usually comprising four or five tracks.

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19d   Old German bit // writer about France having upset drink (7)

The International Vehicle Registration (IVR) code for France is F[5].

Bit[2] is an obsolete British term (used in compounds) for a coin, especially a small coin ⇒ threepenny bit.

In US and Canadian usage, a bit[10] is the value of an eighth of a dollar (spoken of only in units of two) ⇒ two bits or four bits but never one bit or three bits [presumably because there is no coin worth 12½ cents].
Until the introduction of the euro in 2002, the pfennig[5] was a monetary unit of Germany, equal to one hundredth of a mark.

20d   Arch bridges are not // perfect (7)

22d   Maybe book of film // that is in the can (3-2)
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

1 comment:

  1. Delightful wordplay in this puzzle and a perfect mixture of difficult and straightforward clues. I resorted to a crossword solver to list some options for 2d but managed the rest unaided. Bunged a few in though, so I appreciate your parsing those clues.

    Thanks for explaining the security feature on the BD site. I wondered what was going on. Coincidentally, it seems to have disappeared this morning.