Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Wednesday, January 4, 2017 — DT 28242

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28242
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28242]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave
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 28241 which was published in The Daily Telegraph on Monday, October 10, 2016.


This puzzle was a quick solve. However, the time needed to write the review was certainly not any shorter than usual.

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   Recaps fact: alien arrived in this? (10)

The only way that this clue can possibly work is if one considers it to be a semi-&lit (semi-all-in-one) clue in which the entire clue is the definition and the wordplay (marked with a dashed underline) is embedded in it. However, I would say that the first two words are really totally superfluous to the definition.

In his review, Big Dave marks the clue as:
  • Recaps fact: alien arrived in this? (10)
In this interpretation, the word "alien" is both part of the definition as well as being the anagram indicator. This is a definite contravention of cryptic crossword "rules" — a fact that Big Dave dismissively notes in his review. I take his remark not as grudging acceptance of this practice, but rather a snide comment on the overall quality of the puzzle.

6a   Ariosto desired to pen these? (4)

I have chosen to mark this clue differently than did Big Dave who, in his review, marked it as:
  • Ariosto desired to pen // these? (4)
That is, I am showing the clue as a semi-&lit. in which the entire clue provides the definition and the wordplay is given by the portion with the dashed underline. I simply cannot accept the word "these" as constituting a proper definition. Of course, I employ a more elaborate markup scheme than does Big Dave, which allows me to display such nuances more effectively.

Note the difference between 1a where the words "recaps fact" added absolutely nothing to the definition and this clue where the definition is virtually meaningless without the phrase "Ariosto desired to pen".

Ludovico Ariosto[5] (1474–1533) was an Italian poet noted for his romantic epic Orlando Furioso (final version 1532).

9a   Lower // a bed (5)

10a   One who coerces // animal to sleep by river (9)

12a   Story about origins of dashing prince -- one // that's turned into a frog? (7)

13a   Left a study // piled high (5)

15a   I'm seen fighting with bridge player, starting /as/ adversaries (7)

In this bridge hand, West must be the dummy and have left the table. No wonder, three players are trying to play the East hand.

In the card game bridge, North[5] and South[5] comprise one partnership and play against East[5] and West[5] who form the other partnership.

17a   Food // Spanish artist almost returned, disgruntled (7)

Goya[5] (1746–1828) was a Spanish painter and etcher; full name Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes. He is famous for his works treating the French occupation of Spain (1808–14), including The Shootings of May 3rd 1808 (painting, 1814) and The Disasters of War (etchings, 1810–14), depicting the cruelty and horror of war.

19a   A time to invite // bid (7)

21a   Perhaps a // newspaper story (7)

22a   King won over signora's heart -- /that's/ understood (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

24a   A friend -- flipping rugby union // enthusiast (7)

In Britain, mate[5] — in addition to being a person’s husband, wife, or other sexual partner — is also an informal term for a friend or companion ⇒ my best mate Steve.

Rugby union[10] (abbreviation RU[5]) is a form of rugby football played between teams of 15 players (in contrast to rugby league[5], which is played in teams of thirteen).

Scratching the Surface
Flipping[5] is an informal British term used for emphasis or to express mild annoyance ⇒ (i) are you out of your flipping mind?; (ii) it’s flipping cold today.

27a   Stroke // goat, perhaps, then run (9)

The butterfly[5] is a stroke in swimming in which both arms are raised out of the water and lifted forwards together.

28a   A battle with leader in Europe? /That's/ wise (5)

29a   Bring home // vase by the sound of it (4)

30a   New pact EEC can // sanction (10)

Scratching the Surface
The European Economic Community[10] (abbreviation EEC[10]) is the the former western European economic association created by the Treaty of Rome in 1957; in 1967 its executive and legislative bodies merged with those of the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Atomic Energy Community to form the European Community (since 1993 subsumed within the European Union (or EU)).

The creation of the European Union occurred in three stages. (show explanation )

Stage 1: The European Economic Community[5] (abbreviation EEC), an institution of the European Union, is an economic association of western European countries set up by the Treaty of Rome (1957). The original members were France, West Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg.

Stage 2: The European Community[5] (abbreviation EC) is an economic and political association of certain European countries, incorporated since 1993 in the European Union. The European Community was formed in 1967 from the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the European Economic Community (EEC), and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom); it comprises also the European Commission, the European Parliament, and the European Court of Justice. Until 1987 it was still commonly known as the EEC. The name ‘European Communities’ is still used in legal contexts where the three distinct organizations are recognized.

Stage 3: The European Union[5] (abbreviation EU) is an economic and political association of certain European countries as a unit with internal free trade and common external tariffs. The European Union was created on 1 November 1993, with the coming into force of the Maastricht Treaty. It encompasses the old European Community (EC) together with two intergovernmental ‘pillars’ for dealing with foreign affairs and with immigration and justice. The terms European Economic Community (EEC) and European Community (EC) continue to be used loosely to refer to what is now the European Union. The European Union consists of 28 member states, 19 of which use the common currency unit, the euro.[7]

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1d   Party in Scotland includes adult // game (4)

The Scottish National Party[7] (abbreviation SNP[7]) is a Scottish nationalist and social-democratic political party in Scotland. The SNP supports and campaigns for Scottish independence. It is the third-largest political party by membership in the United Kingdom, as well as by overall representation in the House of Commons, behind the Labour Party and the Conservative Party, and is the largest party in Scotland, where it dominates both the Scottish Parliament and the country's parliamentary delegation to the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Its leader, Nicola Sturgeon, is the current First Minister of Scotland [roughly equivalent to the premier of a Canadian province].

"adult" = A (show explanation )

The A (Adult) certificate is a former film certificate[7] issued by the British Board of Film Classification. This certificate existed in various forms from 1912 to 1985, when it was replaced by the PG (Parental Guidance) certificate. [Despite its demise in the real world, it continues to find widespread use in Crosswordland.]

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Snap[5] is a card game [supposedly British, although I recall playing it as a child] in which cards from two piles are turned over simultaneously and players call ‘snap’ as quickly as possible when two similar cards are exposed.

2d   A hunk intended to leave a // small home? (9)

3d   Correct // conclusion about this writer (5)

"this writer" = ME (show explanation )

It is a common cryptic crossword convention for the creator of the puzzle to use terms such as (the or this) compiler, (the or this) setter, (this) author, (this) writer, or this person to refer to himself or herself. To solve such a clue, one must generally substitute a first person pronoun (I or me) for whichever of these terms has been used in the clue.

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4d   Make fun of condescending type turning up /for/ strips (7)

5d   One that buzzes annoyingly around a London college // in a bogus manner (7)

The London School of Economics[7] (officially The London School of Economics and Political Science and commonly referred to as LSE) is a public research university located in London, England and a constituent college of the federal University of London. Despite its name, the school is organised into 25 academic departments and institutes which conduct teaching and research across a range of legal studies and social sciences. LSE is recognised as one of the most prestigious universities in the world and is one of the world's leading social science universities. It boasts the highest percentage of international students (70%) out of all British universities.

7d   Stunned // daughter stared, scratching head (5)

8d   Crooked teeth -- gran's wanting a new // brace (10)

11d   Editor picked up on aspect // to amuse (7)

Light[10] is used in the sense or an aspect or view ⇒ he saw it in a different light.

14d   Amazing // statement supported by expert (10)

16d   I'm set for final take-off with blokes on board // jumbo (7)

Bloke[5] is an informal British term for a man ⇒ he’s a nice bloke.

18d   Not confident /to get/ certificate in uni? An upset (9)

Cert.[5] is the abbreviation for certificate.

Uni[5] is an informal (originally Australian) term for university he planned to go to uni.

20d   Two females in car -- it crashed /in/ market (7)

21d   Inspect // any ales drunk (7)

23d   Young wizard has no power /to create/ animal (5)

"power" = P (show explanation )

In physics, P[10] is a symbol used to represent power [among other things] in mathematical formulae.

hide explanation

Harry Potter[7] is a series of fantasy novels written by British author J. K. Rowling. The novels chronicle the life of a young wizard, Harry Potter, and his friends Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

25d   Demand // former lover behave (5)

26d   Yours truly about /to get/ bare (4)

"Yours truly" is another way of saying "this writer". An explanation for this cryptic crossword device appears at 3d.
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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