Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 — DT 28248

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28248
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28248]
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
The National Post has skipped DT 28247 which was published in The Daily Telegraph on Monday, October 17, 2016.


Once again, we are not strenuously tested.

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   Two alcoholic drinks before my // game (3,5)

Gin rummy[2] (often shortened to gin) is a version of the card game rummy in which players have the option of ending the round at any time when their unmatched cards count ten or less, though they may decide not to do so for tactical reasons.

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Miffypops refers to gin as mother's ruin [well, to be precise, he does omit the apostrophe].
Mother's ruin[5] is British slang for gin. The name may derive from the reputed ability of gin, if consumed in large quantity, to induce abortion in pregnant women. An eye-opening account of the effects of gin-drinking on English society in the mid-eighteenth century can be found here.

5a   All Blacks initially sit around // filled with anger (6)

Scratching the Surface
The New Zealand national rugby union team[7], commonly called the All Blacks, represent New Zealand in men's rugby union, which is regarded as the country's national sport.

10a   Father had potato cooked // just like that (2,3,4,2,1,3)

11a   Without doubt, // leader of competition left in good time (7)

12a   To thump // counter is out of order (7)

13a   State of uproar /in/ duma, so he agitated (8)

Scratching the Surface
Duma[10] (or douma) is a Russian term that can denote:
  1. (usually capitalized) the elective legislative assembly established by Tsar Nicholas II in 1905 and overthrown by the Bolsheviks in 1917;
  2. (before 1917) any official assembly or council;
  3. short for State Duma, the lower chamber of the Russian parliament.

15a   Sound /of/ hooter I installed (5)

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

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Miffypops describes a nose as being one's hooter or conk.
Conk[10] is slang for the head or (especially in Britain and New Zealand) the nose.

18a   Wedges /demonstrated by/ male champion golfer (5)

Ernie Els[7] is a South African professional golfer, who has been one of the top professional players in the world since the mid-1990s.

20a   Break down /or/ break up? (8)

23a   In // university in part of London (7)

Miffypops has incorrectly marked the definition in his review.

Poplar[7] is a historic, mainly residential area of East London, England, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. It is about 5.5 miles (8.9 km) east of Charing Cross [considered to mark the geographic centre of London].

25a   Clown /and/ I make a mistake filling container (7)

Pierrot[5] is a stock male character in French pantomime, with a sad white-painted face, a loose white costume, and a pointed hat.

26a   Options for gin drinker or thief? // Please yourself (4,2,2,5,2)

It*[5] is an informal, dated British term for Italian vermouth ⇒ he poured a gin and it.

* Likely a shortened form of ItalianItalian[10] being another name for Italian vermouth.

27a   Throw out Yankee // dignitary (6)

Yankee[5] is a code word representing the letter Y, used in radio communication.

Worthy[5] is a humorous term for a person notable or important in a particular sphere ⇒ schools governed by local worthies.

28a   A pass splitting the French /in/ game (8)

"the French" = LE (show explanation )

In French, the masculine singular form of the definite article is le[8].

hide explanation

Lacrosse[5] is a team game, originally played by North American Indians, in which the ball is thrown, carried, and caught with a long-handled stick having a curved L-shaped or triangular frame at one end with a piece of shallow netting in the angle.

Scratching the Surface
In 5a we were introduced to the National Sport of New Zealand. Here we encounter one of Canada's national sports.

Lacrosse[7] was first declared the National Game of Canada in 1859. In 1994 Parliament passed the Canada's National Sport Act which declared lacrosse to be "Canada's National Summer Sport", with hockey as the national winter sport.


1d   Briefly scan // glossy in which knight appears (6)

Glacé[5] (said of cloth or leather) means smooth and highly polished.

"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

2d   Famous cathedral /in/ Rome Dante misrepresented ... (5,4)

Notre Dame[5] is a Gothic cathedral church in Paris, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, on the Île de la Cité (an island in the Seine). It was built between 1163 and 1250 and is especially noted for its innovatory flying buttresses and sculptured facade.

Scratching the Surface
Dante[5] (1265–1321), full name Dante Alighieri, was an Italian poet. His reputation rests chiefly on The Divine Comedy (circa 1309–20), an epic poem describing his spiritual journey through Hell and Purgatory and finally to Paradise. His love for Beatrice Portinari is described in Vita nuova (circa 1290-4).

3d   ... excavate // in chateau near there (7)

4d   Join // quite contrary girl across river (5)

"Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary"[7] is a popular English nursery rhyme. The oldest known version was first published c. 1744.

6d   Expert has nothing on // clown (7)

7d   Very pale // female wearing a number (5)

8d   Nervously meet seed, // highly regarded (8)

Scratching the Surface
A seed[5] is any of a number of stronger competitors in a sports tournament who have been assigned a specified position in an ordered list with the aim of ensuring that they do not play each other in the early rounds he knocked the top seed out of the championships.

9d   Don't see such a lot // shining (8)

14d   Weaker party, // a French boxer perhaps holding the German (8)

"a French" = UN (show explanation )

In French, the masculine singular form of the indefinite article is un[8].

hide explanation

"the German" = DER (show explanation )

In German, der[8] is one of the several forms that the definite article may assume.

hide explanation

16d   Fashionable French writer's introduction to small // northern city (9)

This is north for someone living anywhere in England or Wales.

Jules Verne[5] ( 1828–1905) was a French novelist. One of the first writers of science fiction, he often anticipated later scientific and technological developments, as in Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea (1870). Other novels include Around the World in Eighty Days (1873).

Inverness[5] is a city in Scotland, administrative centre of Highland council area, situated at the mouth of the River Ness; population 41,200 (est. 2009).

17d   The cows, roaming round quiet // Welsh town (8)

"quiet" = P (show explanation )

Piano[3,5] (abbreviation p[5]), is a musical direction meaning either (as an adjective) soft or quiet or (as an adverb) softly or quietly.

hide explanation

Chepstow[7] is a town in Monmouthshire, Wales, adjoining the border with Gloucestershire, England. It is located on the River Wye, about 2 miles (3.2 km) above its confluence with the River Severn.

19d   Looking after number one // son, doctor flies to reach hospital (7)

21d   Outdoor // work -- rain affected having dogged energy (4-3)

"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

"energy" = E (show explanation )

In physics, E[5] is a symbol used to represent energy in mathematical formulae.

hide explanation

As a containment indicator, dog[5] means to grip (something) with a mechanical device ⇒ she has dogged the door shut.

22d   Artwork /of/ Nehru finally acquired by nation (6)

Scratching the Surface
Jawaharlal Nehru[7] (1889–1964) was the first Prime Minister of India and a central figure in Indian politics before and after independence. He emerged as the paramount leader of the Indian independence movement under the tutelage of Mahatma Gandhi and ruled India from its establishment as an independent nation in 1947 until his death in 1964. He is considered to be the architect of the modern Indian nation-state: a sovereign, socialist, secular, and democratic republic.

24d   Game // fighter's end following jab (5)

25d   Steps // king's installed in a dock to get up (5)

"king" = K (show explanation )

K[5] is an abbreviation for king that is used especially in describing play in card games and recording moves in chess.

hide explanation
Key to Reference Sources: 

[1]   - The Chambers Dictionary, 11th Edition
[2]   - Search Chambers - (Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)
[3]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (American Heritage Dictionary)
[4]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (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] - CollinsDictionary.com (Collins English Dictionary)
[11] - TheFreeDictionary.com (Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary)
Signing off for today — Falcon

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