Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Tuesday, January 24, 2017 — DT 28265

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28265
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Monday, November 7, 2016
Rufus (Roger Squires)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28265]
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


We experience a rare treat today — a puzzle from Rufus. His puzzles are likely the ones that are skipped most frequently by the National Post in its erratic publication schedule. By my reckoning, we last saw a Rufus puzzle on December 13, 2016 (DT 28217). It seems that one either loves or hates his puzzles. Count me in the former camp as I am very partial to cryptic definitions — and he is the acknowledged master of that genre of clue.

However, as much as I enjoy solving a Rufus puzzle, they can be a challenge to review as he frequently comes up with some rather unconventional clues that are difficult both to parse and categorize. The task is made no less daunting by the somewhat nebulous style of Miffypops' reviews.

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   Minor investors' allotments? (13)

The surface reading of the clue is intended to draw our attention to the financial markets. However, at its core the clue actually has to do with agriculture.

Allotment[5] is a British term for a plot of land rented by an individual for growing vegetables or flowers. This term is also used in Canada — at least here in Ottawa — although one would be more apt to hear the longer version of the name, allotment garden[7].

Smallholding[5] is a British term for (1) an agricultural holding smaller than a farm or (2) the practice of farming smallholdings ⇒ cooperation with neighbours is the key to successful smallholding.

Don't Overanalyze — Just Enjoy
This is a classic Rufus clue. I do clearly see the tie-in between agricultural terminology and financial market terminology — and think it a rather clever clue. However, as is not infrequently the case with clues written by Rufus, trying to pigeon-hole it into any particular category proves challenging.

In his review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Miffypops calls this a double definition although he has underlined only one definition. (In his review, he does acknowledge that the numeration for the second definition does not work.) If he is inferring that the second definition is "minor investors" then he is clearly mistaken as SMALL HOLDINGS would be "minor investments" — not "minor investors".

On the other, if he means to say that the entire clue equates to SMALL HOLDINGS, then I would agree with him. However, this does not make the clue a double definition.

One approach would be to categorize the clue as a semi-&lit. clue (or semi-all-in-one clue) in which the entire clue constitutes the wordplay and the definition is provided by the portion of the clue with the solid underline (see 19a and 5d for other examples of semi-&lit. clues).

I think I may prefer a second approach in which the clue is deemed to be a cryptic definition in which we have a straight definition (solid underline) combined with cryptic elaboration (dashed underline). Although, from this perspective, the cryptic elaboration may serve as much to misdirect us (to the financial markets) as to enlighten us.

In the end, we would likely be better served by just enjoying a clever clue rather than attempting to analyze it to death.

10a   Loving // the commotion and the band (7)

11a   No child /gets/ two points in set (5-2)

12a   Visitor hurries round to take in // industrial Germany (4)

The Ruhr[5] is a region of coal mining and heavy industry in North Rhine-Westphalia, western Germany. It is named after the River Ruhr, which flows through it, meeting the Rhine near Duisburg. The Ruhr was occupied by French troops 1923–4, after Germany defaulted on war reparation payments.

13a   Staff // Sergeant initially given credit (5)

Tick*[5] (used in the phrase on tick) is an informal British term meaning credit ⇒ the printer agreed to send the brochures out on tick.

* The term apparently originates as a short form for ticket in the phrase on the ticket, referring to an IOU or promise to pay.

14a   Sort of saw /for/ pine (4)

A fretsaw[2] is a narrow-bladed saw for cutting designs in wood or metal.

17a   Criticise girl // who released much evil (7)

I'm sorry, but Miffypops incorrectly identifies the definition in his review. Technically, the word "girl" is part of the wordplay and not part of the definition which is merely "[someone] who released much evil". Although the person who released the evil happens to be female, the definition doesn't actually require this.

18a   Dictionary // the French team study (7)

"the French" = LE (show explanation )

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

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"team" = XI (show explanation )

Eleven[5] is the number of players on a cricket[7] side or an Association football[7] [soccer] team — and is often used as a metonym for such a team ⇒ at cricket I played in the first eleven.

This is similar to the use of the word "nine" to represent a baseball team as in Ernest Thayer's well-known poem "Casey at the Bat"[7] which opens with the line The outlook wasn't brilliant for the Mudville Nine that day;.

Setters often express eleven in the form of a Roman numeral.

hide explanation

"study"= CON (show explanation )

Con[5] is an archaic term meaning to study attentively or learn by heart (a piece of writing)  ⇒ the girls conned their pages with a great show of industry.

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19a   You might be if a plan goes wrong (2,1,4)

This is a semi-&lit. (or semi-all-in-one) clue (show explanation ) in which the entire clue constitutes the definition and the wordplay (marked by the dashed underline) is embedded in the clue.

In an &lit. clue[7] (or, as some prefer to call it, all-in-one clue) the entire clue provides not only the definition (when read one way), but under a different interpretation also serves as the wordplay.

In a semi-&lit. clue (or, as some prefer to call it, semi-all-in-one clue), either (1) the entire clue acts as the definition while a portion of the clue provides the wordplay or (2) the entire clue acts as the wordplay while a portion of the clue provides the definition.

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The implied meaning of the clue is "You might be [this] if a plan goes wrong".

Note: there is a typo in Miffypops review; the anagram fodder is IF A PLAN rather than "IN A PLAN".

22a   New part ordered /in/ foreign port (7)

Antwerp[5] is a port in northern Belgium, on the Scheldt; population 472,071 (2008). By the 16th century it had become a leading European commercial and financial centre.

24a   Small measures // that ought to stimulate initially (4)

25a   It may be used to lift // obstruction (5)

A block[10] is a casing a casing housing one or more freely rotating pulleys.

26a   Work by a pupil /is/ a gem (4)

"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.

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"learner" = 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.

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29a   An explosive type of reaction (7)

Contrary to what Miffypops indicates in his review, this is not a double definition. The solution is an adjective so it can not be defined by "an explosive" which would require a noun.

Rather it is one of Rufus' "barely cryptic" definitions. The cryptic element of the clue lies in the setter's intent to misdirect the solver into focusing on a heated emotional response.

30a   Evens the score /with/ bribes? (7)

In the first definition, square[5] means to make the score of (a match or game) even ⇒ his goal squared the match 1–1.

In the second definition, square[5] is an informal term meaning to secure the help or acquiescence of (someone), especially by offering an inducement ⇒ trying to square the press.

31a   County // present cars to rent (13)

Hire[5] is a British term meaning:
  1. to obtain the temporary use of (something) for an agreed payment ⇒ we flew to San Diego, hired a car, and headed for Las Vegas; or
  2. to grant the temporary use of something for an agreed payment ⇒ most train stations hire out cycles.
Herefordshire[10] is a county of western England. Drained chiefly by the River Wye, it is an agricultural area (especially fruit and cattle). Administrative centre: Hereford. 

Herefordshire is not to be confused with Hertfordshire[5], a county of southeastern England, one of the Home Counties*; county town, Hertford.

* The Home Counties[5] are the counties surrounding London in southeast (SE) England, into which London has extended. They comprise chiefly Essex, Kent, Surrey, and Hertfordshire.


2d   Second injured heron /or/ other waterbird (7)

"second" = MO (show explanation )

Mo[5] (abbreviation for moment) is an informal, chiefly British term for a short period of time ⇒ hang on a mo!.

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The name moorhen can apply to either of two birds:
  1. a small aquatic rail with mainly blackish plumage; or
  2. (British) a female red grouse.
This clue would appear to refer to the former.

3d   Placed // a cover outside (4)

Read the wordplay as "a; cover outside".

4d   Afternoon meal // that's served by airlines (4,3)

I see this as a double definition in which the second definition is cryptic.

Tea[5] is a chiefly British term for a light afternoon meal consisting typically of tea to drink, sandwiches, and cakes ⇒ they were about to take afternoon tea.

Thus either an afternoon meal or merely a hot drink served in an aircraft might be referred to whimsically as "high tea".

The British distinguish between afternoon tea and high tea, although both may be referred to simply as tea[10]. Afternoon tea[2,5,7,10] (or low tea) is a light afternoon meal, typically eaten between 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm, at which tea, sandwiches, biscuits [British term for cookies or crackers] and cakes are served.

High tea[7] (also known as meat tea) is the evening meal or dinner of the working class, typically eaten between 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm. It typically consists of a hot dish such as fish and chips, shepherd's pie, or macaroni cheese [macaroni and cheese to North Americans], followed by cakes and bread, butter and jam. Occasionally there would be cold cuts of meat, such as ham salad. Traditionally high tea was eaten by middle to upper class children (whose parents would have a more formal dinner later) or by labourers, miners and the like when they came home from work. The term was first used around 1825 and high is used in the sense of well-advanced (like high noon, for example) to signify that it was taken later in the day.

5d   Making sense of Gallico? (7)

This is yet another one of Rufus' clues which is not easy to parse or categorize. I would say that it is a semi-&lit. (or semi-all-in-one) clue (show explanation ) in which the entire clue constitutes the wordplay and the definition (marked by the solid underline) is embedded in the clue. This is the opposite of the case that we found in 19a. Although there does not appear to be a clear anagram indicator in the clue, I believe that the entire clue infers that it is an anagram and the setter excuses the lack of preciseness with the question mark.

In an &lit. clue[7] (or, as some prefer to call it, all-in-one clue) the entire clue provides not only the definition (when read one way), but under a different interpretation also serves as the wordplay.

In a semi-&lit. clue (or, as some prefer to call it, semi-all-in-one clue), either (1) the entire clue acts as the definition while a portion of the clue provides the wordplay or (2) the entire clue acts as the wordplay while a portion of the clue provides the definition.

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Scratching the Surface
Paul Gallico[7] (1897– 1976) was an American novelist, short story and sports writer. Many of his works were adapted for motion pictures. He is perhaps best remembered for The Snow Goose, his only real critical success, and for the novel The Poseidon Adventure, primarily through the 1972 film adaptation.

6d   The image of Holy Russia (4)

An icon[10] (also ikon) is a representation of Christ, the Virgin Mary, or a saint, especially one painted in oil on a wooden panel, depicted in a traditional Byzantine style and venerated in the Eastern Church*.

* The Eastern Church[5] (also Eastern Orthodox Church) is another name for Orthodox Church[5], a Christian Church or federation of Churches originating in the Greek-speaking Church of the Byzantine Empire, not accepting the authority of the Pope of Rome, and using elaborate and archaic forms of service. Included among these churches is the Russian Orthodox Church[5], the national Church of Russia.

Scratching the Surface
Holy Rus[7] or Holy Russia — the Kingdom of Heaven, the eternal czardom of God in the Heaven and on the Earth — is an important religious and philosophical concept which appeared and developed from the 8th to the 21st centuries by people in East Europe and Central Eurasia. The meaning of the concept is close or almost the same as the concepts of Holy Israel or Kingdom of Heaven, known to the people of Western-European Civilization.

7d   Somehow green and in charge // of a class (7)

"in charge" = IC (show explanation )

The abbreviation i/c[5] can be short for either:
  1. (especially in military contexts) in charge of ⇒ the Quartermaster General is i/c rations; or
  2. in command ⇒ 2 i/c = second in command.
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8d   Finding faults /with/ locks coming apart (4-9)

9d   Ends up with class /displaying/ excessive neatness (4,3,6)

15d   Game that is decided in the end (5)

Bowls[5] (known in North America as lawn bowling[5]) is a game played with heavy bowls*, the object of which is to propel one’s bowl so that it comes to rest as close as possible to a previously bowled small ball (the jack). Bowls is played chiefly out of doors (though indoor bowls is also popular) on a closely trimmed lawn called a green.

* A bowl[5] is a wooden or hard rubber ball, slightly asymmetrical so that it runs on a curved course, used in the game of bowls.

In bowls, as in curling, a segment of competition within a game is called an end[7].

16d   Ways out // exist in conversion (5)

20d   Prompt aid for those on TV (7)

Autocue[5] (trademark) is a British term for a teleprompter[5], a device which projects an enlarged image of a script on to a clear glass screen in front of a person speaking on television or in public, so enabling the speaker to read their speech while appearing to be looking at the viewers or audience.

21d   Pearl queasy, going to doctor /in/ island capital (7)

"doctor" = MO (show explanation )

A medical officer[5] (abbreviation MO[5]) is a doctor in charge of the health services of a civilian or military authority or other organization.

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Palermo[7] is the capital of the Italian island of Sicily, a port on the north coast; population 659,433 (2008).

22d   Defendant // made charges (7)

23d   Ruler /and/ large sheet of paper /required/ (7)

Despite being positioned at the end of the clue, the word "required" is effectively a link word.

Emperor[1] is a paper size of 48 inches by 72 inches.

27d   Pure and simple // French mother (4)

The French word for 'mother' is mere[8].

28d   Possibly hums // something sentimental (4)
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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