Thursday, January 12, 2017

Thursday, January 12, 2017 — DT 28250

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28250
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, October 20, 2016
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28250]
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


Sometimes I almost instantly recognize a puzzle that I have blogged before and sometimes I get well into the puzzle before it dawns on me that I have seen it before. Today's puzzle fits into the latter case and provided a good solving challenge even if it is a rerun for me.

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   Prim // celebrity cautious after losing a right (7)

5a   Clubby sort // at home with alcoholic drink, outspoken (7)

9a   Pass safely through // gate I note that's rickety (9)

10a   Trouble around park oddly /in/ showery period? (5)

Ail[5] is an archaic* term meaning to trouble or afflict (someone) in mind or body ⇒ exercise is good for whatever ails one.

It was a bit unnerving to see this expression characterized as "archaic" given that it is one with which I am very familiar and might will use myself.

11a   Old, old soldier protecting King? /That's/ obvious (5)

Based on entries in British dictionaries, Brits consider vet[2,5,10] to be an informal North American term for a veteran. On their side of the pond, vet[2,5,10] is deemed to be a chiefly British term for a veterinary surgeon. However, it would seem that — contrary to the views of dictionary editors — the term takes both meanings on either side of the Atlantic.

Moreover, in Britain, veteran[10] means a soldier who has seen considerable active service unlike North America where it means a former member of the military.

"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).

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12a   Advice about United enlivened short // instructor's role? (9)

"United" = U (show explanation )

In the names of sports clubs, U[5] is the abbreviation for United[5] — in Britain, a word commonly used in the names of soccer and other sports teams formed by amalgamation ⇒ Man U [Manchester United*].

* Manchester United Football Club[7] (often referred to simply as United — and often as Man Utd or Man U) is an English professional football [soccer] club, based at Old Trafford [football stadium] in Old Trafford [district of Manchester], Greater Manchester, that plays in the Premier League (the top level in the English football league system).

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13a   Charm /of/ sea in fact being at sea! (9)

The word "of" is used as a link word between the definition and wordplay. (show explanation )

When used as a link word, "of" denotes that the definition is formed from the constituent parts found in the wordplay.

This is based on the word of[5] being used as a preposition indicating the material or substance constituting something ⇒ (i) the house was built of bricks; (ii) walls of stone.

hide explanation

16a   Enthusiasm // over velvet coats (5)

17a   One usually requires the presence of a copper // battery, say (5)

18a   Move sign agitating about right // to rule, unfairly (9)

20a   Event on course before dance // that goes to and fro? (5,4)

23a   Eastern religious followers heading off /for/ Asian river (5)

Hinduism[5] is a major religious and cultural tradition of South Asia, which developed from Vedic religion. According to the 2011 census, 79.8% of the population of India practices Hinduism.[7]

The Indus[5] is a river of southern Asia, about 2,900 km (1,800 miles) in length, flowing from Tibet through Kashmir and Pakistan to the Arabian Sea. Along its valley an early civilization flourished from circa 2600 to 1760 BC. The Indus[7] is the longest river of Pakistan.

25a   Identical notes about a // US city (5)

British dictionaries are split on the question of whether this musical note should be spelled MI or ME. On the other hand, American dictionaries come down firmly on the side of MI. (show explanation )

In sol-fa notation, me[2,5]* (or mi[2,5]) is the third note of a major scale.

* With respect to spelling, two other British dictionaries take the contrary position, listing mi[1,10] as the principal spelling with me as a variant[10] or anglicized[1] spelling. The US dictionaries list only one spelling — mi[3,11].

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26a   Dispose of // story about bit of money, a source of tension (9)

Quid[5] (plural quid) is an informal British term for one pound sterling we paid him four hundred quid.

27a   Temporary residence for a queen? (7)

A queen[5] is an adult female cat that has not been spayed.

Cattery[5] is a British term for a boarding or breeding establishment for cats.

28a   Old drivers in races /making/ passage in volume (7)

The Royal Automobile Club[7] (RAC) is a British private club. Founded in 1897 with the aim of encouraging the development of motoring in Britain, today the Royal Automobile Club is one of London’s finest private members' clubs. Like many other "gentlemen's clubs" in London today, the Royal Automobile Club now has women as well as men as members.

RAC Limited[7] is a private limited company based in the United Kingdom supplying roadside assistance as well as other products and services for motorists. It started its existence as part of the Royal Automobile Club but has since been divested.

"races" = TT (show explanation )

The Tourist Trophy[5] (abbreviation TT[5]) is a motorcycle-racing competition held annually on roads in the Isle of Man since 1907.

For many years, the Isle of Man TT[7] was the most prestigious motorcycle race in the world. The race is run in a time-trial format on public roads closed for racing. Since, in a time trial, each competitor races alone against the clock, the event could be described as a "series of races".

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1d   Valedictory party /in/ dens, possibly? (4-3)

This clue is a reverse anagram (show explanation ). The solution (SEND-OFF) can be viewed as an anagram (off) of SEND producing the result "DENS" which is found in the clue.

In a 'normal' clue, the wordplay appears in the clue and the result arising from the execution of the wordplay is found in the solution. For instance, in a clue of the anagram type, the anagram indicator (operator) and anagram fodder (the material on which the indicator operates) would appear in the clue and the result of performing the anagram operation would be found in the solution.

On the other hand, in a 'reverse anagram', this situation is reversed. The anagram indicator and fodder are found in the solution and the result of executing the anagram operation appears in the clue. This might be seen to be somewhat like the premise of the TV game show Jeopardy — where contestants are given the answer and must respond with a question. Here the solver is given the result of the anagram operation and must find the anagram indicator and fodder that would produce it.

Personally, I would much prefer to use the term 'inverse anagram' rather than 'reverse anagram' as this type of construct is analogous to the concept of inverse functions in mathematics. However, I realize that this view is unlikely to find traction.

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2d   Row /in/ a river with stick left out (5)

3d   Give a flyaway hairdo /and/ act just in time (3,2,4)

I suppose one could consider the first part of this clue to be a cryptic definition. I've marked it with a dotted underline to illustrate my hesitation regarding how to classify it.

4d   It's needed in the brewery -- // yard's first right on the map (5)

5d   Folly /having/ nine steps redesigned (9)

6d   One hears what a rude person will do /in/ part of flight (5)

7d   Candidate that's unknown /in/ bay, maybe (4,5)

8d   Meal rep's prepared with minute gone -- // not what patient wants? (7)

14d   Slope around rising university college in Boston /getting/ drug? (9)

Hopefully, this "college in Boston" (show explanation ) is better known in Canada than it was in the UK when I reviewed the puzzle there in October.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology[5] (abbreviation MIT) is a US institute of higher education, famous for scientific and technical research, founded in 1861 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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15d   Daily tram for transport /in/ naval jurisdiction (9)

In the UK, the Admiralty[5] was the government department that formerly administered the Royal Navy, now incorporated in the Ministry of Defence and currently found found in titles.

16d   One having a scrape performing? (9)

Chambers 21st Century Dictionary defines scrape[2] as a colloquial term meaning to play the fiddle, while Oxford Dictionaries tells that scrape is a humorous term meaning to play a violin tunelessly ⇒ Olivia was scraping away at her violin.

17d   Care deployed by host holding single // plate? (7)

19d   An untroubled athlete may show that // it's not a problem (2,5)

The combination of "untroubled" and "athlete" seems a bit odd to me. I can see that this situation would exist for an athlete who was not over-exerting himself (or herself) but that would hardly constitute "untroubled". The situation might also exist for someone being questioned by the police should they have nothing to hide and they could well be described as being "untroubled" at being questioned. Maybe the athlete is being investigated by the anti-doping police.

21d   Impetus /in/ charity event? (5)

22d   Resentment /in/ summit discussed (5)

24d   Small measure anticipating a // tense situation (5)

Anticipate[5], as a charade indicator, is used in the sense to come or take place before (an event or process expected or scheduled for a later time) ⇒ this is to anticipate the argument.
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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