Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Tuesday, January 31, 2017 — DT 28271

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28271
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Monday, November 14, 2016
Rufus (Roger Squires)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28271]
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


For the second week in a row, we are treated to Rufus puzzle. While they are fun to solve, they can  prove challenging to review as he often crafts clues that do not fit neatly into the defined categories. Thus different reviewers may well see clues differently — somewhat like the blind men describing an elephant[7].

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   If better times are coming, they won't last (7)

A terrific cryptic definition. Rufus at the top of his form.

5a   It measures the flow of the current (7)

Being an electrical engineer by training, I immediately saw through the intended misdirection. For me, this clue was as poor as the previous was brilliant.

9a   Stiff /and/ thoroughly wet (5)

10a   Language /from/ Asia Frank translated (9)

Afrikaans[5] is a language of southern Africa, derived from the form of Dutch brought to the Cape by Protestant settlers in the 17th century. It is an official language of South Africa, spoken by around 6 million people as their first language.

11a   Iago cursed, getting put off? (10)

I am going to diverge from the explanation given by the 2Kiwis on Big Dave's Crossword Blog. I believe that the wordplay is given by the entire clue making this a type of semi-&lit. (semi-all-in-one) clue (show explanation ). I do not see the word "getting" being an anagram indicator. Rather, I would say that the anagram indicator is the phrase "getting put off". The definition (denoted by the solid underline) is embedded in the wordplay.

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.

hide explanation

Scratching the Surface
Iago[7] is a fictional character in Othello (c. 1601–04), a tragedy written by English playwright William Shakespeare (1564–1616). The play's main antagonist, Iago, is the husband of Emilia, who is in turn the attendant of Othello's wife Desdemona. Iago hates Othello (who is also known as "The Moor") and devises a plan to destroy him by making him believe that his wife is having an affair with his lieutenant, Michael Cassio.

12a   Keen to play, // one's capped (4)

Scratching the Surface
Cap[5] (noun) is a British term for
  1. a cap awarded as a sign of membership of a particular sports team, especially a national team*he has won three caps for Scotland; or
  2. a player to whom a cap is awarded ⇒ a former naval officer and rugby cap.
To be capped[5] (verb) is a British expression meaning to be chosen as a member of a particular sports team, especially a national team*he was capped ten times by England.

* a team representing a country in international competition

14a   Introduce objectives // to achieve financial security (4,4,4)

This expression might literally mean to force two objectives to shake hands.

18a   Owner scraps // works of art (12)

In the Gallery
Vincent van Gogh — Sunflowers
(version 3, 1888)
The first painting would appear to be Sunflowers (third version, 1888) by Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890) in the collection of the Neue Pinakothek, Munich, Germany. However, I question whether it is really the original as many details do not match — for instance, the colours seem far more vibrant in the picture used by the 2Kiwis (which I thought might merely be due to the lighting under which the respective photographs were taken), but the artist's signature also appears to be slanted on a different angle in the two pictures.

The second painting is Keelmen Heaving in Coals by Moonlight (1835) by British artist J.M.W. Turner[7] (1775–1851) in the Widener Collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

21a   Kind of short cut /for/ some TV or film workers (4)

22a   They may be seen at the courts, practising (10)

Scratching the Surface
The picture used by the 2Kiwis in their review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog is a caricature of Australian actor Leo McKern (1920–2002) in the role of Horace Rumpole.

Rumpole of the Bailey[7] was a British television series that ran from 1978 to 1992. It starred Leo McKern as Horace Rumpole, an elderly London barrister who defended a broad variety of clients, often underdogs. The TV series led to the stories being presented in other media including books and radio.

The "Bailey" of the title is a reference to the Central Criminal Court, the "Old Bailey".

25a   Army command that has to be rigidly obeyed (9)

26a   Samuel's teacher takes note // of top class (5)

In the Bible, Eli[5] is a priest who acted as a teacher to the prophet Samuel (1 Sam. 1-3).

"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

The definition could be either "of top class" (as I have marked it) or merely "top class" (as the 2Kiwis have elected to show it. With their choice, the word "of" becomes a link word.
  • Samuel's teacher takes note /of/ top class (5)
27a   Concentrate /in/ German city church (7)

Essen[5] is an industrial city in the Ruhr valley, in northwestern Germany.

"church" = CE (show explanation )

The Church of England[10] (abbreviation CE[10]) is the reformed established state Church in England, Catholic in order and basic doctrine, with the Sovereign as its temporal head.

hide explanation

28a   Beg /for/ an adjustment in net rate (7)


1d   More's ideal land in which // to live (6)

This is another outstanding clue due to the masterful misdirection.

Without doubt, we are meant to read "More's ideal land" as a phrase in which the hidden word is lurking. Thus I parse the wordplay as hidden in (in which) "MoRES IDEal land". This situation does arise infrequently in hidden word clues where the hidden word does not traverse all the words in the fodder. However, it can only occur in instances such as this where the phrase in which the hidden word is found is clearly a well known concept.

In fact, I was initially taken in by the clever ruse here and immediately wrote in UTOPIA as what I perceived to be the obvious solution. This misstep greatly handicapped my efforts in the northwest quadrant of the puzzle.

Utopia[5] is a work of fiction and political philosophy by English lawyer, social philosopher, author, statesman and noted Renaissance humanist Sir Thomas More (1478–1535) published in 1516 in Latin. The work describes the political system of an imaginary ideal island nation.

2d   Run in to stop // batsman reaching it? (6)

Sometimes the definitions in a Rufus puzzle are more allusions than they are precise statements. I interpret the definition here to infer "something the batsman reaches for" (which you can see the batsman doing in the photo in the 2Kiwis' review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog).

In cricket, a crease[10] is any of three lines (bowling crease, popping crease, or return crease) near each wicket marking positions for the bowler or batsman. In particular, note that a crease in cricket is a line — not an area as it is in (ice) hockey and lacrosse. Thus, in cricket, a batsman is said to be "at the crease" — unlike hockey or lacrosse, where a player is said to be "in the crease".

In cricket, there are wickets at each end of the pitch (the rectangular area in the centre of the field). There is a batsman positioned at each wicket, only one of whom is being bowled to at any given time. If the batsman who is being bowled to hits the ball, both batsmen may run (but are not obligated to run) to the opposite wicket. If both batsmen are able to occupy the ground (an area enclosed by the creases) at their respective destination wickets without being put out by the fielding team (there being several ways for the fielding team to accomplish this), the batting team scores a run. If both batsmen are able to run to the opposite wickets and return to their original wickets without being put out, their team scores two runs. If they are able to safely traverse the pitch three times, they score three runs. And so on.

To occupy the ground, the batsman must touch the area within the creases with either his body or the bat. By touching it with the bat, the batsman shortens the distance he must run. Thus you see in the picture in the 2Kiwis' review, a batsman reaching to ground his bat beyond the crease in preparation to run back to the wicket from which he has come.

3d   Concerning wills // they're shameless (10)

A probate[5] is a verified copy of a will with a certificate as handed to the executors ⇒ she has been granted a probate to execute her late father's estate.

4d   A step /in the making of/ street song (5)

5d   Bluster /and/ rage on car breaking down (9)

6d   All right, see me about that // donkey (4)

Moke[5] is an informal British term for a donkey. In Australia and New Zealand, on the other hand, it is a horse, typically one that is old or in poor condition.

7d   Learners /find/ bad weather in driving areas (8)

8d   Pays heed to // details (8)

13d   Men's assets put in order /for/ valuation (10)

15d   Stress // English pies and mash must be cooked (9)

Scratching the Surface
Mash[5] is an informal British term for mashed potato ⇒ for supper there was sausages and mash.

16d   I came over to get tea brewed /and/ dry up (8)

17d   A broadcast appeal about ideal // material for fire prevention (8)

19d   With passion rising during examination of the past, /see/ red (6)

In the UK (except Scotland), the CSE[5] (Certificate of Secondary Education) was a qualification in a specific subject formerly taken by school students aged 14–16, at a level below O level*. It was replaced in 1988 by the GCSE[5] (General Certificate of Secondary Education).{Main text* }

* Historically, in the UK (with the exception of Scotland), O level[5] (short for ordinary level[5]) was a qualification in a specific subject formerly taken by school students aged 14-16, at a level below A (advanced) level. It was replaced in 1988 by the  GCSE[5] (General Certificate of Secondary Education).

20d   Upgrade // a perfume (6)

23d   Freely traverse // mountains (5)

24d   A new number to be put up // shortly (4)
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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