Monday, January 9, 2017

Monday, January 9, 2017 — DT 28246

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28246
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, October 15, 2016
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28246 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28246 – 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 28245 which was published in The Daily Telegraph on Friday, October 14, 2016.


Today's puzzle is a not very testing bit of exercise to start the week.

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   Producing great strides -- /and/ forcing giants to wear small pairs! (6,8)

In her review, Crypticsue has neglected to include the final S in her explanation. Surely, she intended to write "MAKING (forcing) OGRES to wear PRS, the abbreviation (small) for pairs".

Scratching the Surface
"Small pairs" may possibly allude to a British meaning of smalls[5], an informal term for small items of clothing, especially underwear.

8a   I rent out // still (5)

9a   Growing one is illegal, but many of us grow more than one (3,5)

Pot plant[5] is a British term for a plant grown or suitable for growing in a flowerpot, especially indoors.

11a   I have to follow Eastern females, etc, being represented /as/ useful (9)

The anagram indicator is deceptively spelled as "represented" rather than re-presented[5] which means to have presented (something) again, especially for further consideration or in an altered form.

12a   Take hold of // feline companion (5)

A Companion of Honour (abbreviation CH) is a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour[7], an order of the Commonwealth realms[7] founded by King George V in June 1917 as a reward for outstanding achievements in the arts, literature, music, science, politics, industry or religion.

13a   Specialist doctor gets round // ban (4)

14a   One's always right in store (8)

17a   Tough Roy upset /to get/ curdled food (8)

Where the H is the "H"
Yoghourt[10] is a less common spelling of yogurt (or yoghurt)[10].

I recently saw a comment on Big Dave's Crossword Blog in response to a previous puzzle remarking that yoghurt was the British spelling and yogurt the US spelling. However, that contention does not seem to be supported by my dictionaries. Both Oxford Dictionaries and Collins English Dictionary list yogurt[5,10] as the principal spelling with yoghurt and yoghourt as alternative spellings. The Chambers Dictionary lists the spellings as yoghurt, yoghourt or yogurt[1] while the Chambers 21st Century Dictionary has them as yoghurt, yogurt or yoghourt[2]. None of the British dictionaries identify any spelling as characteristically British or American.

I thought I would check the fridge to see what I might find there and was surprised to find a product called yogourt on both the English and French label — a spelling that seemingly exists in neither language. I am therefore wondering if I have been eating some sort of pseudo-yogurt that does not meet the specifications to be labelled yogurt and has been given a very similar name to deceive customers.

19a   Such prospects show one's // in the pink (4)

Contrary to the manner in which crypticsue has marked the clue, I would say that the word "one's" cannot be included in the definition as that would make the solution a noun rather than an adjective.

23a   American entering valley //  to gather corn? (5)

A glen[5] is a narrow valley, especially in Scotland or Ireland.

24a   Come in after fish /and/ chips (9)

Chips[1] (or chippy) is a nickname for a carpenter.

25a   Float I made to burst and be capsized aboard // rescue craft (8)

26a   Intense sorrow /as a result of/ grand fire sputtering (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

27a   Food that could be said to produce a curiously lasting feline smile? (8,6)

Cheshire[5] is a kind of firm crumbly cheese, originally made in Cheshire[5], a county of west central England.

The clue alludes to a word that photographers ask subjects to utter to produce a smile. However, were the photographer to ask the subject to utter the phrase "Cheshire cheese", the result might be "a curiously lasting feline smile" rather than a mere run-of-the-mill ordinary smile.

The Cheshire cat[5] is a cat depicted with a broad fixed grin, as popularized through English author Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865).


1d   Female diplomat to get on // first cruise (6,6)

2d   Continue to have loud rumpy-pumpy // exercises (4,3)

"loud" = F (show explanation )

Forte[5] (abbreviation f[5]) is a musical direction meaning (as an adjective) loud or (as an adverb) loudly.

hide explanation

Rumpy pumpy[5] (or rumpy-pumpy[2,10]) is an informal, humorous term for sexual relations, especially when of a casual nature ⇒ TV's obsession with rumpy pumpy continues. Despite being a term with which I am familiar, I do not find it in the US dictionaries.

For the solution to be KEEP FIT (rather than KEEPS FIT), I would think that the definition should be simply "exercise".

3d   See // what may be put on board? (6)

4d   Concerned with digestion? // Go getting nervous reaction (6)

5d   Fleeing, // one after another? (2,3,3)

In the second definition, on the run[5] is used in the sense of continuously busy (dealing with "one [thing] after another") ⇒ I'm on the run every minute of the day.

6d   Actor Lee Wild // to move to a new setting? (8)

Scratching the Surface
Lee and Lyn Wilde
(from 1945 issue of Yank Magazine)
Actor Lee Wild seems to be an invention of the setter, although Lee Wilde (1922–2015) and her sister Lyn Wilde (1922–2016), sometimes billed as the Wilde Twins[7], were twin sisters, who appeared in films of the early to mid-1940s.

7d   Knight in Muscat going round // sacred place (7)

"knight" = N (show explanation )

A knight[5] is a chess piece, typically with its top shaped like a horse’s head, that moves by jumping to the opposite corner of a rectangle two squares by three. Each player starts the game with two knights.

N[5] is the abbreviation for knight used in recording moves in chess [representing the pronunciation of kn-, since the initial letter k- represents 'king'].

As an aside, it is interesting to note that the Chambers 21st Century Dictionary defines: 
  • K[2] as an abbreviation used in chess for knight. 
  • K[2] is a symbol used in chess to represent a king. 
  • N[2] is a symbol used in chess to represent a knight.
The dictionary fails to specify how one differentiates an abbreviation from a symbol.

On the other hand, both The Chambers Dictionary and the Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary list K or K.[1,11] as an abbreviation for knight without specifying the specific context in which this abbreviation is used. However, the context may well be in an honours list rather than in a game of chess. In the UK, for instance, KBE[5] stands for Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

hide explanation

Scratching the Surface
Muscat[5] is the capital of Oman, a port on the southeastern coast of the Arabian peninsula; population 620,000 (est. 2007).

10d   Sweet // wine, not very much (6,6)

Sweet[5] is a British term for a sweet dish forming a course of a meal; in other words, a pudding or dessert.

Trifle[7]in English cuisine is a dessert made with fruit, a thin layer of sponge fingers or sponge cake soaked in sherry or another fortified wine, and custard. It can be topped with whipped cream. The fruit and sponge layers may be suspended in fruit-flavoured jelly, and these ingredients are usually arranged to produce three or four layers.

15d   Titled woman, // 50, dropped by many (8)

A countess[5] is:
  1. the wife or widow of a count [a foreign — from a British perspective — nobleman] or earl [a British nobleman]; or
  2. a woman holding the rank of count or earl in her own right.
16d   Little brother developed colic -- /it's/ greens (8)

18d   Grand king looks down on the old getting sent up, his bent /being/ rather gloomy (7)

We saw "grand" used earlier in the puzzle at 26a.

"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

20d   Sketch // route for getaway? (7)

I think crypticsue might have more fully explained the wordplay as "Split 3,4, this might be [a path for] a get away".

One might think of an "out line" as being similar to a checkout line in a supermarket — although the Brits would likely call this a queue.

21d   After court order, the man appears // to squirm in pain (6)

22d   Distance // member goes round north -- this is to be cut (6)

There is a subtlety in the wordplay that seems not to come through in crypticsue's explanation. The TH comes from the word THIS from which the word IS is deleted (IS to be cut).
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. Yogourt is the usual French Canadian spelling (in France, yaourt is more common). Possibly, whoever designed your label was Quebecois and assumed the English spelling was the same.

    -- Richard

    1. Yes, it was produced in Québec and now that I look more closely the label on both sides of the container is entirely in French "Liberté Classique Yogourt nature plain" rather than having "Liberté Classique Plain Natural Yogurt" on one side. Must be French Canadian revenge for all those remarks about French on Corn Flakes boxes from redneck English Canadians.