Friday, February 3, 2017

Friday, February 3, 2017 — DT 28274

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28274
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, November 17, 2016
Setter
RayT (Ray Terrell)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28274]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
pommers
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★★ Enjoyment - ★★★★
Falcon's Experience
┌────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┐
███████████████████████████████████
└────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┘
Legend:
- 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

Introduction

I would support pommers' assessment in his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog that this puzzle is "a much sterner test" than we have seen from RayT in awhile. It was nevertheless, a highly enjoyable solve and elicited a very satisfying feeling upon eventually completing it.

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.

Across

7a   Sweet // style embracing sweetheart with caress (8)

"sweetheart" = E (show explanation )

A common cryptic crossword construct is to use the word "sweetheart" to clue E, the middle letter (heart) of swEet.

hide explanation

9a   Naughty child's manner /creating/ damage (6)

10a   Medicine taken /and/ oddly drowsier (4)

11a   Placebo, with time, almost played // in harmony (10)

12a   This person's eating cold Southern // chops (6)

"this person's" = MINE (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.

Today, the setter has added a wrinkle by using the possessive form "this person's" which must be replaced by the pronoun "mine".

hide explanation

14a   China /is/ origin of Chinese garden feature (8)

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, pommers writes For once china isn’t your mate ....
In Britain, china[5] is an informal term for a friend (or, as the Brits would say, a mate*). This comes from Cockney rhyming slang**, where china is the shortened form of china plate which rhymes with 'mate'.

* In Britain, mate[5] — in addition to being a person’s husband, wife, or other sexual partner — is an informal term for a friend or companion ⇒ my best mate Steve.
** Rhyming slang[5] is a type of slang that replaces words with rhyming words or phrases, typically with the rhyming element omitted. For example, butcher’s, short for butcher’s hook, means ‘look’ in Cockney rhyming slang.

15a   Grand appearance /shows/ nobility (6)

While the abbreviation G for "grand" is deemed by the Brits to be an Americanism, it seems to be one that is well known to them — undoubtedly from American gangster films. (show more )

Grand[5] is an informal term for a thousand dollars or pounds he gets thirty-five grand a year. While the term "grand" itself would seem to be commonly used in the UK, the informal abbreviation G[5] meaning grand appears to be regarded as a North American usage I was up nine Gs on the blackjack tables.

G is defined in various British dictionaries as follows:
  1. Oxford Dictionaries: (North American informal) abbreviation for grand, a thousand dollars)[5];
  2. Chambers 21st Century Dictionary: (North American slang) abbreviation for a grand, 1000 dollars[2];
  3. Collins English Dictionary: (mainly US slang) a symbol for grand (a thousand dollars or pounds)[10] .
hide explanation

Technically, gentry[10] is a British term for persons just below the nobility in social rank.

17a   The compiler's free to hide answer /for/ multitude (6)

With "[t]he compiler's", RayT uses the same device as he did in 12a with "[t]his person's". The only difference is that in 12a, the substitute is a pronoun, while here the replacement is an adjective.

20a   Sharpened // edge of razor having finished exterior (8)

Either edge of the "razor" will do.

22a   To the French, sudden wind /is/ dignified (6)

"to the French" = AU (show explanation )

In French, when the preposition à[8] (to) would otherwise precede le (the masculine singular form of the definite article), the combination is replaced by au (meaning 'to the').

hide explanation

23a   Deny // daughter's single in engagement (10)

24a   Bit /of/ gin knocked back (4)

A gin[2] (also gin trap) is a wire noose laid as a snare or trap for catching game.

25a   Small flower captures heart of ample // partner (6)

Flower is used in the whimsical cryptic crossword sense of something that flows — in other words, a river.

The River Ouse[5] (rhymes with booze rather than mouse) is a river of northeastern England, formed at the confluence of the Ure and Swale in North Yorkshire and flowing 92 km (57 miles) south-eastwards through York to the Humber estuary. There are also several other rivers in England having the same name or minor variations thereof, namely:
  1. a river of southeastern England, which rises in the Weald of West Sussex and flows 48 km (30 miles) south-eastwards to the English Channel;
  2. (also Great Ouse) a river of eastern England, which rises in Northamptonshire and flows 257 km (160 miles) eastwards then northwards through East Anglia to the Wash near King’s Lynn; or
  3. (also Little Ouse) a river of East Anglia, which forms a tributary of the Great Ouse.
26a   Guess // he will split Tories, making late switch (8)

Scratching the Surface
A Tory[10] is a member or supporter of the Conservative Party in Great Britain (show more ) or Canada.

The abbreviation for Conservative may be either C.[10] or Con.[10].

Historically, a Tory[10] was a member of the English political party that opposed the exclusion of James, Duke of York from the royal succession (1679–80). Tory remained the label for subsequent major conservative interests until they gave birth to the Conservative Party in the 1830s.

The Conservative Party[5] is a a major British political party that emerged from the old Tory Party under Sir Robert Peel in the 1830s and 1840s. Since the Second World War, it has been in power 1951–64, 1970-74, and 1979–97. It governed in a coalition with the Liberal Democrats from 2010 until the general election of May 2015, in which it was returned with a majority.

hide explanation

Down

1d   Filming // owlets finally making owl noises (8)

2d   Unrestrained // Queen in charge (4)

"queen" = R (show explanation )

Queen may be abbreviated as Q, Qu. or R.

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

Qu.[2] is another common abbreviation for Queen.

Regina[5] (abbreviation R[5]) [Latin for queen] denotes the reigning queen, used following a name (e.g. Elizabetha Regina, Queen Elizabeth) or in the titles of lawsuits (e.g. Regina v. Jones, the Crown versus Jones — often shortened to R. v. Jones).

Thus Queen Elizabeth signs her name as 'Elizabeth R' as seen here on Canada's paint-stained constitution.

hide explanation

3d   Digital calculator? (6)

4d   A top flipping Conservative/'s/ slow (8)

These Conservatives seem to be popping up everywhere today.

5d   Occasionally super idea /shows/ dash (10)

6d   'Skill, eradication' describes // one (6)

The use of the word "describe" as either a hidden word indicator or a containment indicator is a common cryptic crossword convention. This device relies on describe[3] being used in the sense of to trace the form or outline of ⇒ describe a circle with a compass. Thus, in today's clue, we have sKILL ERadication hiding (describing) KILLER with the rationale for the wordplay being that the word KILLER is contained in or encircled by the phrase "sKILL ERadication" in a manner similar to the area of a circle being contained within or encircled by the line forming the circumference of the circle.

8d   Clowns // come over menacingly in circus show initially (6)

Behind the Picture
The Beano[7] is a long running British children's comic published since 1938.

The Dandy[7] was a long-running children's comic published in the United Kingdom from 1937 to 2012, at which time it was relaunched as an online comic, The Digital Dandy. The digital relaunch was not successful and the comic folded just six months later.

13d   Group // making music, or not? (10)

16d   Regular // exercise ends in accident in grass (8)

"exercise" = PE (show explanation )

PE[5] is the abbreviation for physical education [or Phys Ed, as it was known in my school days]. 

hide explanation

18d   Torment // one on street wearing costume (8)

19d   Aimless // commercial break (6)

21d   Army /of/ Taliban leader on trail, getting comeuppance (6)

Scratching the Surface
The Taliban[5] (also Taleban) is a a fundamentalist Muslim movement whose militia took control of much of Afghanistan from early 1995, and in 1996 took Kabul and set up an Islamic state. The Taliban were overthrown by US-led forces and Afghan groups in 2001 following the events of September 11.

22d   National song // American theme's embodied (6)

24d   Ship's left // harbour (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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