Monday, January 30, 2017

Monday, January 30, 2017 — DT 28270

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28270
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, November 12, 2016
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28270 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28270 – Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave (Hints)
crypticsue (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 28269 which was published in The Daily Telegraph on Friday, November 12, 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.


The National Post has skipped a Friday puzzle from Giovanni that I have been slogging away at off-and-on for several days and still have a half dozen clues left unsolved. I was expecting to see that one rated as at least four stars for difficulty but was disillusioned to see that Deep Threat gave it only two stars and commented  The NE corner held me up longest on today’s Giovanni, but otherwise there was nothing too difficult .... Strangely, I got the northeast. It is the northwest and southwest where I am struggling. In any event, by any standard, today's puzzle is much less of a challenge.

In the introduction to his hints, Big Dave explains the attacks on his site that necessitated the implementation of defensive measures that you may have observed over the last several months (and that recently have been lifted).

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   Flower // festival not starting (5)

4a   I miss putting egg on first -- /it's/ wasteful (8)

It would seem that crypticsue was a bit distracted when she wrote the blog. It is the word "I" that appears in the clue — not "one".

8a   Enduring // not having a date? (8)

Presumably, this is a double definition with the second definition cryptic.

9a   Give William // printed sheet (8)

11a   Rubbish in entrance, // it's enough to take one's breath away (7)

Garotte and garrote are variant spellings of garrotte[5], a wire, cord, or other implement used to kill (someone) by strangulation ⇒ he had been garrotted with piano wire.

Historically, a garrotte[10] was a device, usually an iron collar, used by the Spanish as a method of execution by strangulation or by breaking the neck.

How do you spell that?
There is some variation across dictionaries as to which is the principal spelling.
  • Chambers 21st Century Dictionary: garrotte[2] or garotte or (US) garrote
  • Collins English Dictionary: garrotte[10], garrote or garotte
  • Oxford Dictionaries: garrotte[5], (US garotte, garrote)
  • American Heritage Dictionary: garrote[3] or garrotte
  • Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary: garrote[11] or garotte

13a   Thief // left with fire-raiser, reportedly (9)

Fire-raiser[5] is a British term for an arsonist.

15a   Cook maybe prospered thus /and/ enjoyed a long life (3,1,4,7)

Alastair Cook is an English cricketer. A left-handed opening batsman who normally fields at first slip[a] , he is the captain of the England Test[b] team and former ODI [One Day International][c] captain, and plays county cricket[d] for Essex. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most successful batsmen ever to play for England, and one of the most prolific batsmen of the modern era.

[a] In cricket, slip[5] is a fielding position (often one of two or more in an arc) close behind the batsman on the off side[e], for catching balls edged[f] by the batsman ⇒ (i) he was caught in the slips for 32; (ii) King is at first slip.
[b] Test[5] (short for Test match)[5] denotes 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.
[c] A One Day International[7] (ODI) is a form of limited overs[g] cricket, played between two teams with international status, in which each team faces a fixed number of overs, usually fifty.
[d] County cricket[5] refers to first-class cricket played in the UK between the eighteen professional teams contesting the County Championship.
[e] The off[5]  (also called off side) is the half of the field (as divided lengthways through the pitch[h]) towards which the batsman's feet are pointed when standing to receive the ball.  The other half of the field is known as either the leg[5] (also called leg side) or on[5] (also called on side) ⇒ he played a lucky stroke to leg.
[f] Edge[5] means to strike (the ball) with the edge of the bat [remember, a cricket bat is flat — unlike a baseball bat] ⇒ he edged a ball into his pad or to strike a ball delivered by (the bowler) with the edge of the bat ⇒  Haynes edged to slip.
[g] An over[5] is a division of play in cricket consisting of a sequence of six balls bowled by a bowler from one end of the pitch[h], after which another bowler takes over from the other end.
[h] The pitch[7] is the central strip of the cricket field between the wickets — 1 chain or 22 yards (20.12 m) long and 10 feet (3.05 m) wide.

In cricket, innings[5] (plural same or informally inningses) denotes:
  1. each of two or four divisions of a game during which one side has a turn at batting ⇒ the highlight of the Surrey innings; or
  2. a player’s turn at batting ⇒ he had played his greatest innings; or
  3. the score achieved during a player’s turn at batting ⇒ a solid innings of 78 by Marsh.
In the first sense, the term innings (spelled with an 's') would correspond somewhat to an inning (spelled without an 's') in baseball while the second sense would be roughly equivalent to an at bat in baseball.

Have had a good innings[5] is an informal British expression meaning to have had a long and fulfilling life or career.

18a   Share beer /and/ philosophy (9)

21a   Square // fellow (7)

Russell Square[7] is a large garden square in Bloomsbury, in the London Borough of Camden, near the University of London's main buildings and the British Museum.

22a   Backing // bridge partners when one's in action (8)

If "one's in action" then the other must be "out of action".

In the card game bridge, North[5] and South[5] comprise one partnership and play against East[5] and West[5] who form the other partnership.

24a   Greek character returned racing around // without concern (8)

Nu[5] is the thirteenth letter of the Greek alphabet (Ν, ν).

25a   Incomplete sentence? // Labour can be limited this way (4-4)

26a   Sound of bird, // small, in dry surroundings (5)

Wee[5] is a chiefly Scottish* adjective meaning little ⇒ (i) when I was just a wee bairn; (ii) the lyrics are a wee bit too sweet and sentimental.

* The word may be of Scottish origin but, like the Scots themselves, the word has migrated around the world.


1d   23 // in every respect (10)

The numeral "23" is a cross reference indicator directing the solver to insert the solution to clue 23d in its place to complete the clue. The directional indicator is customarily omitted in situations such as this where only a single clue starts in the light* that is being referenced.

* light-coloured cell in the grid

2d   Tropical tree /supplying/ river in Devon's source (8)

The Tamar[5] is a river in southwestern England which rises in northwestern Devon and flows 98 km (60 miles) generally southwards, forming the boundary between Devon[a] and Cornwall[b] and emptying into the English Channel through Plymouth Sound.

[a] Devon[5] (also called Devonshire) is a county of southwestern England; county town, Exeter.
[b] Cornwall[5] is a county occupying the extreme southwestern peninsula of England; county town, Truro.

The tamarind[5] is the tropical African tree (Tamarindus indica) which yields tamarind pods (whose pulp is widely used as a flavouring in Asian cookery), cultivated throughout the tropics and also grown as an ornamental and shade tree.

3d   Triangle to be redrawn // with reference (8)

4d   Top-class // post office shut up (4)

5d   Potter /in/ bundle, upset and led astray (6)

Things fell into place once I woke up to the fact that the solution is not spelled DODDLE.

Potter[3,4,11], a chiefly British counterpart to the North American term putter, means to move with little energy or direction ⇒ to potter about town.

6d   Ruby, perhaps, and I following popular // heavenly duo (6)

From an astronomical perspective, Gemini[5] is a northern constellation (the Twins), said to represent the twins Castor and Pollux, whose names are given to its two brightest stars.

 In astrology, Gemini[5] (also called the Twins) is the third sign of the zodiac, symbol ♊, having a mutable air classification and ruled by the planet Mercury. The sun is in this sign between about May 21 and June 20.

7d   Three students welcoming university // break (4)

"student" = 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

10d   Row right after broadcast -- // it gets many people up in the air (8)

12d   Strange doodle artist's framed /in/ fabulous place (8)

In initially tried to read the wordplay as "strange doodle artist has framed" causing me to attempt to put the doodle inside the artist. I eventually twigged that the correct interpretation is "strange doodle; artist is framed" meaning the artist is placed inside the doodle.

"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

El Dorado[5] is the name of a fictitious country or city abounding in gold, formerly believed to exist somewhere in the region of the Orinoco and Amazon Rivers.

14d   Match steps /required in/ trial for 10? (4,6)

As was the number "23" in 1d, "10" is a cross reference indicator — this time to 10d.

If you were observant, you saw "test" defined in the footnotes at 15a [the setter is not the only one who who can throw in cross references].

16d   TV programme /from/ novel's supported by actors (8)

17d   Hooter goes before dodgy club // go into decline (8)

In Britain, hooter[5,10] is an informal term for a person's nose rather than — as in North America — vulgar slang for a woman's breast (usually used in the plural).

The setter mercifully did not cross reference this clue to 14d.

19d   Note // curdled milk on the turn (6)

I tried using every note in tonic sol-fa, obviously without success.

Rennet[5] is curdled milk from the stomach of an unweaned calf, containing rennin and used in curdling milk for cheese.

Tenner[5] is an informal British name for a ten-pound note.

20d   Choose not to take part /in/ work with solicitor (3,3)

"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

A tout[10] is a person who solicits business in a brazen way.

A couple of other meanings might fit as well:
  • Tout[5] (also ticket tout) is the British term for a scalper[5], a person who buys up tickets for an event to resell them at a profit.
  • Tout[5] is a North American term for a person who offers racing tips for a share of any resulting winnings.
22d   Call for similar // cards (4)

Snap[5] is a British card game — although one I seem to recall playing as a child — in which cards from two piles are turned over simultaneously and players call ‘snap’ as quickly as possible when two similar cards are exposed.

Snap![5] is a British exclamation said when one notices that one has or does the identical thing to someone else ⇒ ‘Snap!’ They looked at each other's ties with a smile [with obvious allusion to the card game].

23d   One discovered // coming from dune? (4)

The setter uses "discovered" in a whimsical sense meaning 'uncovered'. This is based on the logic that if disrobe means to remove one's robe (or other clothing), then it only stands to reason that discover must mean to remove one's cover.

I must admit that I failed to see this meaning. I had interpreted the clue as a semi-all-in-one with the entire clue providing the definition reasoning that naturists (or nudists, should you prefer) often frequent the dunes where they are sheltered from the ogling eyes of voyeurs.
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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