Friday, January 27, 2017

Thursday, January 26, 2017 — DT 28267

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28267
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
Jay (Jeremy Mutch)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28267]
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


Well, I did not achieve my goal of completing this review yesterday. Shall we see what today brings!

With today's puzzle, Jay delivers the usual solid entertainment that we have come to expect from him. I did call in electronic help to complete the puzzle, but in hindsight cannot see why this should have been necessary. I also failed to parse one clue — despite having the correct solution.

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   Such a worker // houses journalist following murder (4-7)

9a   Exchange parts of plan /for/ rugby restart (4-3)

Like the 2Kiwis, I failed to parse the wordplay. Another word for a plan is an OUTLINE. Reverse the order of the syllables (exchange parts) to find the procedure for restarting a rugby match after the ball leaves the field of play.

In rugby, a line-out[5] is:
  1. a formation of parallel lines of opposing forwards at right angles to the touchline when the ball is thrown in;
  2. an occasion when the ball is thrown in to a line-out.
10a   Standard // officer in the United States navy (6)

An ensign[5] is the lowest rank of commissioned officer in the US and some other navies, above chief warrant officer and below lieutenant.

12a   Making a profit from the web? (7)

Unlike the 2Kiwis, I took "web" as a reference to the Internet. Thus if one makes money from an e-commerce venture, they could be said to be 'netting a profit' in more ways than one.

13a   See // code is broken and Enigma's opening (7)

A see[10] is the diocese of a bishop, or the place within it where his cathedral or procathedral* is situated.

* A procathedral[10] is a church temporarily substituting as a cathedral.

A diocese[5] is a district under the pastoral care of a bishop in the Christian Church.

Scratching the Surface
An Enigma machine[7] was any of several electro-mechanical rotor cipher machines used in the twentieth century for enciphering and deciphering secret messages. Enigma was invented by the German engineer Arthur Scherbius at the end of World War I. Early models were used commercially from the early 1920s, and adopted by military and government services of several countries, most notably Nazi Germany before and during World War II. Several different Enigma models were produced, but the German military models are the most commonly recognised.

14a   Plants oddly displayed by former partner // living abroad (5)

15a   Notice criminal hold out /for/ majority (9)

Majority[5] is the age at which a person is legally a full adult, usually either 18 or 21 ⇒ kids get control of the money when they reach the age of majority.

17a   Graduate teacher with extended // cover (9)

Scratching the Surface
I am not entirely sure what meaning the surface reading is intended to convey. My best guess is that it may relate to insurance.

However, in the UK, the word cover[5] is used to denote protection by insurance against a liability, loss, or accident ⇒ your policy provides cover against damage by subsidence. This is equivalent to the North American term coverage[5] meaning the amount of protection given by an insurance policy ⇒ your policy provides coverage against damage by subsidence.

20a   What may follow bride /in/ coach? (5)

22a   Colour /of/ small slight cut (7)

24a   Deprive of hearing, // like a zombie? (7)

25a   Line appended to current // agreement (6)

26a   Attitude /shown by/ old-fashioned watch (7)

27a   Buttonholes must have colour // basis (11)


2d   Bighead, // for example, exaggerated about dish discovered (7)

"exaggerated" = OTT (show explanation )

OTT[5] (short for over the top) is an informal British expression denoting excessive or exaggerated ⇒ presenting him as a goalscoring Superman seems a bit OTT.

hide explanation

The setter uses "discovered" in a whimsical sense directing the solver to strip away outer letters. This cryptic device 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.

Big-head was originally a US term meaning egotism but when it crossed the pond it assumed a new identity, egotist. (show discussion )

American dictionaries (including the American English version of Collins English Dictionary) define big head[3] or bighead[10a,11]. as conceit or egotism and the British English version of Collins English Dictionary also shows this to be an informal US and Canadian meaning of bighead[4].

British dictionaries, on the other hand, show big-head[5] (or bighead[2,4,10e]) as being an informal term for a conceited or arrogant person. Chambers 21st Century Dictionary gives the etymology of this word as "first used figuratively in the US to mean 'conceit' or 'self-importance'".

hide explanation

3d   Join in -- // note pinched by thankless person (9)

"note" = TE (show explanation )

In music, te[5] (also ti[2]) is the seventh note of the major scale in tonic sol-fa.

Judging by a perusal of entries in American and British dictionaries, the only recognized spelling in the US would seem to be ti[3,4,11] whereas, in the UK, the principal — or only — spelling would appear to be te[2,3,4,11], with ti given as an alternative spelling in some dictionaries. Oxford Dictionaries is more emphatic, giving the spelling as te[5] with ti shown as the North American spelling.

hide explanation

4d   Work in bakery /having/ requirement to be heard (5)

5d   Left a call // to attack (4,3)

6d   Source of genius found in poor Creole // painter (2,5)

El Greco*[5] (1541–1614) was a Cretan-born Spanish painter; born Domenikos Theotokopoulos. El Greco’s portraits and religious works are characterized by distorted perspective, elongated figures, and strident use of colour.

* Spanish for 'the Greek'

Scratching the Surface
Creole[5] has somewhat different meanings in various geographic areas;
  1. (Caribbean) a person of mixed European and black descent;
  2. (Caribbean or Central or South America) a descendant of Spanish or other European settlers;
  3. (Louisiana and other parts of the southern US) a white descendant of French settlers.

7d   Errors, including public transport vehicle // arm once (11)

A blunderbuss[10] is an obsolete short musket with large bore and flared muzzle, used to scatter shot at short range.

8d   Arch -- that might be 16 (6)

The numeral "16" is a cross reference indicator directing the solver to insert the solution to clue 16d 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

The whole clue is a cryptic definition in which the portion of the clue with the dotted underline elaborates on the precise definition (marked with a solid underline).

11d   Special food /from/ union bar (7,4)

16d   Junior to pay for /being/ inconveniently in the way (9)

18d   Skilful, holding account over, // in effect (2,5)

"over" = O (show explanation )

On cricket scorecards, the abbreviation O[5] denotes over(s), an over[5] being a division of play consisting of a sequence of six balls bowled by a bowler from one end of the pitch, after which another bowler takes over from the other end.

hide explanation

19d   Nick // largely untouched cut of meat (7)

Nick[5] is an informal British term meaning to steal ⇒ she nicked fivers from the till.

20d   Case of bribe pocketed by giant // mountain man (7)

A titan* [5] is a person or thing of very great strength, intellect, or importance [figuratively, a giant] ⇒ a titan of American industry.

* In Classical Greek mythology, the Titans and Titanesses[7] were members of the second order of divine beings, descending from the primordial deities and preceding the Olympian deities. Based on Mount Othrys, the Titans most famously included the first twelve children of the primordial Gaia (Mother Earth) and Uranus (Father Heaven). They were giant deities of incredible strength, who ruled during the legendary Golden Age, and also composed the first pantheon of Greek deities.

21d   A universal god /or/ creator (6)

"universal" = U (show explanation )

Under the British system of film classification[7] a U (for 'universal') rating indicates that a film is suitable "for all the family" — or, at any rate, for those members over 4 years of age.

hide explanation

Thor's Battle Against the Jötnar (1872)
by Mårten Eskil Winge
In Norse mythology, Thor[5,7], the son of Odin and Freya (Frigga), is a hammer-wielding god associated with thunder, lightning, storms, oak trees, strength, the protection of mankind, and also hallowing, healing and fertility. Thursday is named after him.

A Tibetan[5] is a native of Tibet or a person of Tibetan descent, Tibet[5] being a mountainous region in Asia on the northern side of the Himalayas, since 1965 forming an autonomous region in the west of China.

Behind the Picture
The 2Kiwis illustrate their review with a photo of the Dalai Lama[5], the spiritual head of Tibetan Buddhism and, until the establishment of Chinese communist rule, the spiritual and temporal ruler of Tibet.

23d   Miranda losing protection, unfortunately -- /it's/ a low point (5)

Scratching the Surface
I may be searching too hard to find meaning in the surface reading of this clue. Miranda may merely be a convenient name that happens to serve the setter's purpose.

Miranda Hart[7] (sometimes mononymously referred to as Miranda) is an English comedian and actress. She became widely known in Britain with her self-driven semi-autobiographical BBC sitcom Miranda, which is based on her earlier BBC Radio 2 radio series Miranda Hart's Joke Shop (2008). The award-winning television sitcom ran for three series and several Christmas specials from 2009 to 2015.

A more ominous interpretation in light of developments south of the border is that the clue is referring to Miranda[10a], the 1966 US Supreme Court decision that established the legal rights of an arrested person (as that of remaining silent or of being represented by counsel) and the required notification of such a person of those rights.
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. Just wondering: Which muskets are not obsolete?

  2. Good question. As for the blunderbuss, Wikipedia says "By the middle 19th century, the blunderbuss was considered obsolete and was replaced in military use by the carbine." The blunderbuss and carbine (being short, more easily handled weapons) were especially associated with the cavalry as opposed to the longer weapons used by the infantry.

    Another article explains "The musket had a smoothbore barrel; meaning that it had no rifling grooves in the barrel that spun the bullet, making the rifle more accurate. ... Rifling technology preceded the musket, but wasn't used by it. The disadvantage of the early rifle for military use was its long reloading time and the tendency for powder fouling to accumulate in the rifling, making the piece more difficult to load with each shot. Eventually, the weapon could not be loaded until the bore was wiped clean. For this reason, smoothbore muskets remained the primary arm of most armies until the mid-19th century."

    At this time, advances in the design of ammunition enabled muzzle-loading rifles (sometimes referred to as rifled muskets) to replace smoothbore muskets. "The Crimean War (1853–1856) saw the first widespread use of the rifled musket for the common infantryman and by the time of the American Civil War (1860s) most infantry were equipped with the rifled musket."

    "In the late 19th century, the rifle took another major step forward with the introduction of breech-loading rifles. ... Shortly afterwards, magazine loading rifles were introduced, which further increased the weapons' rate of fire. From this period (c. 1870) on, the musket was obsolete in modern warfare."

    So it appears that the blunderbuss may have only slightly predeceased the musket by a couple of decades.

    Perhaps this dictionary entry hasn't been updated since Confederation!