Thursday, January 26, 2017

Wednesday, January 25, 2017 — DT 28266

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28266
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28266]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Mr Kitty
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 blog has been running a day late for a couple of days. Hopefully, I will get caught up before today is out. At least, this puzzle was an easier blog to write than the one for the puzzle on Tuesday.

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   Really // popular female turn (2,4)

Turn[5] can mean either:
  1. a short performance, especially one of a number given by different performers in succession ⇒ (i) Lewis gave her best ever comic turn; (ii) he was asked to do a turn at a children’s party; or
  2. a performer giving a short performance ⇒ Malton’s comedy turn, Mark Poole, takes to the stage tonight in Cinderella.
4a   Sundial, perhaps // one serving for ages (3-5)

Split the solution (3,5) to get the wordplay.

10a   Dishonest dealer /having/ big row, always against disappearing (9)

11a   Bother over // sauce (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

Pesto[10] is a sauce for pasta, consisting of basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic, oil, and Parmesan cheese, all crushed together.

12a   Of minor importance, // time shown by competitor crossing island (7)

13a   Performing // animal sheltered by one (2,5)

14a   Belief /in/ leader of expedition inside yurt (5)

A yurt[10] is a circular tent consisting of a framework of poles covered with felt or skins, used by Mongolian and Turkic nomads of eastern and central Asia.

15a   Show impatience with one in examination // class (8)

18a   Sounds like important team /in/ dock area (8)

"team" = SIDE (show explanation )

Side[5] is a British term for a sports team ⇒ there was a mixture of old and young players in their side. [Note that a player is "in a side" rather than "on a team" as one would say in North America]

In North America, the term side[3] is used in a very general fashion that can denote one of two or more opposing individuals, groups, teams, or sets of opinions. While this same general usage would seem to exist as well in the UK, the term side[5] is also used there in a much more specific sense to mean a sports team, as we can clearly see from the following usage examples ⇒ (i) Previous England rugby sides, and England teams in many other sports, would have crumbled under the weight of such errors.; (ii) They'll face better sides than this Monaco team, but you can only beat what's put in front of you.

hide explanation

20a   Wee drink before start of Ayckbourn // play (5)

A dram[5] is a small drink of whiskey or other spirits (often used in humorous imitation of Scottish speech) ⇒ a wee dram to ward off the winter chill.

Scratching the Surface
Sir Alan Ayckbourn[7] is a prolific English playwright and director, having written and produced more than seventy full-length plays. Ten of his plays have been staged on Broadway, attracting two Tony nominations*, and one Tony award.

* Surely this should read "Ten of his plays have been staged on Broadway, two of which received Tony nominations, leading to one Tony award." The Norman Conquests[7] alone received five Tony nominations in 2009 and won in the category of Best Revival of a Play.

23a   Lift /needed from/ Piraeus when travelling around (7)

Scratching the Surface
Piraeus[10] (or Peiraeus) is a port in southeastern Greece, adjoining Athens. The country's chief port, it was founded in the 5th century BC as the port of Athens.

25a   Rest // have told untruths before (3,4)

Read the wordplay as "have; told untruths before".

26a   Escape // notice coming in the day before (5)

27a   All of the football players /in/ a line on the pitch (6-3)

By football, the setter means soccer (Association football[7]). There are eleven players per side [team] and therefore twenty-two players on the pitch [field] at a time.

The twenty-two metre line[10] is one of two lines on a rugby pitch [field] which are twenty-two metres from the goal-line.

28a   Returning short gypsy girl/'s/ telescope (8)

29a   Burning // forest close to coast (6)

The Forest of Arden[10] is region of northern Warwickshire, England. Part of a former forest, it is the scene of William Shakespeare's play As You Like It.


1d   Annoy // Irish coming over in improper attire (8)

2d   Fine performance /in/ division (7)

"fine" = F (show explanation )

F[5] is an abbreviation for fine, as used in describing grades of pencil lead [a usage that Oxford Dictionaries surprisingly characterizes as British].

hide explanation

3d   What may be taught in school // about helium? Master is to evaluate (9)

The symbol for the chemical element helium is He[5].

"Master" = M (show explanation )

M[2] is the abbreviation for Master.

I could find no indication to which of the many meanings of "master" the abbreviation might apply. I suspect that it may be in the context of Master[5] being used as a title prefixed to the name of a boy not old enough to be called ‘Mr’.

It might also be used in the context of an academic degree, although I think one would see it used only in a combinations such as MA, MSc, etc.

There are also a number of other usages of Master[5] where the abbreviation might possibly be used, such as the head of a college or school, the presiding officer of a Masonic lodge, and an official of the Supreme Court in England and Wales.

hide explanation

Scratching the Surface
Master[5] is a British term for a male schoolteacher.

5d   Feel for this old invalid /in/ novel (4,2,3,5)

Lord of the Flies[7] is a 1954 novel by Nobel Prize-winning English author William Golding (1911–1993). The book's premise focuses on a group of British boys stranded on an uninhabited island and their attempt to govern themselves, with disastrous results.

6d   Bugs circling a // sort of bar in Benidorm? (5)

Benidorm[7] is a city in the province of Alicante in eastern Spain, on the Mediterranean coast. Until the 1960s, Benidorm was a small fishing village; today it is known for its hotel industry, beaches and skyscrapers. Benidorm has the most high-rise buildings per capita in the world.

Delving Deeper
The resort would be known to British solvers as the setting for the British sitcom Benidorm[7] which features an ensemble cast of holiday makers and staff at the Solana all-inclusive hotel in Benidorm, Spain. The series has aired in the UK since 2007.

A tapa[3,11] (often tapas, especially in British dictionaries where the singular is rarely found [explore further ]) is any of various small, savory Spanish dishes, often served as a snack or appetizer (typically with wine or beer) or with other tapas as a meal.

Oxford Dictionaries explains the etymology as Spanish tapa, literally 'cover, lid' (because the dishes were given free with the drink, served on a dish balanced on, therefore ‘covering’, the glass).[5]

Among my regular online reference sources, the singular version (tapa[3,11]) is found in the two American dictionaries, but not in the three British dictionaries (which list the word only in the plural, tapas[2,4,5,10]). However, the singular version tapa[1] is found in my hard-copy edition of The Chambers Dictionary.


7d   Cosmetic // the old lady's used to hide a disfigurement (7)

8d   Cycled round hot southern // island (6)

Rhodes[5] is a Greek island in the southeastern Aegean, off the Turkish coast, the largest of the Dodecanese and the most easterly island in the Aegean.

9d   Count, Italian, enjoys eating Italian, I /must be/ honest (4,2,4,2,2)

Tell[5], according to Oxford Dictionaries, is an archaic term meaning to count (the members of a group) ⇒ the shepherd had told all his sheep. Collins English Dictionary reveals that tell[10] can mean to count (votes). From The American Heritage Dictionary and the Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, we learn that tell[3,11] can mean to enumerate or count ⇒ (i) telling one's blessings; (ii) 16 windows, all told.

16d   Embarrassed on street exercising // dog (3,6)

Red setter[5] is a less formal term for Irish setter.

17d   Running to a car /in/ mac (8)

Mac[5] (also mack) is an informal name for a mackintosh[5] (also macintosh), a British term for a full-length waterproof coat.

19d   Not prepared // to study in a Parisian yard (7)

In Britain, to read[5] means to study (an academic subject) at a university ⇒ (i) I’m reading English at Cambridge; (ii) he went to Manchester to read for a BA in Economics.

"a French" = UN (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

21d   Porter securing job /for/ messenger (7)

Porter[5] is a dark brown bitter beer brewed from malt partly charred or browned by drying at a high temperature (originally made as a drink for porters).

Apostle[5] (which derives from a Greek word meaning 'messenger') may mean:
  1. each of the twelve chief disciples of Jesus Christ;
  2. an important early Christian teacher or pioneering missionary ⇒ Kiril and Metodije, the apostles of the Slavs;
  3. a vigorous and pioneering advocate or supporter of a particular policy, idea, or cause ⇒ a man once known as the apostle of free-market economics.
22d   Powerful figures on board /in/ New York borough (6)

Queens[5] is a borough of New York City, at the western end of Long Island.

24d   Model // bride a lover embraces (5)
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

No comments:

Post a Comment