Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Tuesday, February 21, 2017 — DT 28289

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28289
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Monday, December 5, 2016
Rufus (Roger Squires)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28289]
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
The National Post has skipped DT 28285 through DT 28288 which were published in The Daily Telegraph from Wednesday, November 30, 2016 to Saturday, December 3, 2016.


I had to devote quite a bit more effort to this puzzle than one might expect based on the one to two stars for difficulty awarded by Miffypops. Nonetheless, I fully concur with his four star rating for enjoyment. Among the clues that I especially like are 28a, 5d, 8d and 13d.

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   Air transport // that's used by a lumberjack (7)

Read the second definition as though it were written "[something] that's used by a lumberjack".

Chopper[2,5,10] is a mainly British term for a small hand axe having a short handle and a large blade.

5a   One's restricted by a lack /in/ flavour (7)

Aniseed[2] is the liquorice-flavoured seeds of the anise plant, used as a food flavouring in cakes and other baked products, sweets, liqueurs and other beverages.

Did he really say that?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Miffypops writes ... the letter that looks like the number one and the letter S as it is pluralised in the clue ....
No, the word "one" is not pluralised; rather "one's" is a contraction for "one is".

9a   Has to set out // professions of loyalty (5)

10a   Phoney gains fare /for/ ocean travel (9)

11a   Airman and crew involved /in/ conflict (7,3)

The Crimean War[10] (1853-56) was a war fought mainly in the Crimea between Russia on one side and Turkey, France, Sardinia, and Britain on the other.

12a   Liveliness // I found in revolutionary sphere (4)

14a   Appealing features of newspapers? (5,7)

Agony column[5] is an informal British term for an advice column — a column in a newspaper or magazine offering advice on personal problems to readers who write in. The author of such a column is known as an agony aunt[5] or agony uncle[5].

18a   Bosses /supply/ new purse and means (12)

21a   They're used for picking up // military equipment (4)

22a   Kind compiler, // one putting printed words in right order? (10)

25a   A telephoto lens will record these // racing outsiders (4,5)

In his review, Miffypops calls it a double definition without marking it as such.

26a   Possible means /for/ identification (5)

27a   Side playing away from home // fails to survive (4,3)

28a   Anger /when/ counterfeit coin has gone in circulation (7)

A dud[2] is a counterfeit article.


1d   Alternative // of superior quality (6)

2d   Be too clever for // old university idiot (6)

Here and There
I would guess from the dictionary entries that the word "twit" may have a slightly different connotation in the UK than it does in North America.

British dictionaries define twit as an informal term meaning variously (1) a fool or idiot[2]; (2) a foolish or stupid person, an idiot[10]; and (3) a silly or foolish person[5]. Both Oxford Dictionaries and Collins English Dictionary characterize the term as being chiefly British.

American dictionaries, on the other hand, define twit as an informal term for (1) a foolishly annoying person[3] or (2) an insignificant or bothersome person[11]. Thus the emphasis in North America seems to focus more on the fact that the person is a pest — as opposed to the intellectual capacity of the person.

3d   Weak team members // who'll get transferred by coach, perhaps (10)

Similar to 1a, interpret the second definition as though it read "[ones] who'll get transferred by coach, perhaps".

4d   About to transgress, /by/ gum! (5)

I would think it to be pretty clear that the word "by" is used as a link word between the wordplay and definition. Despite being one of those common English prepositions that has a multitude of meanings, none of its many flavours jumps out at me as a compelling justification of its use as a link word. I expect that we may be expected to infer that the result of executing the wordplay can be replaced "by" the definition. This would be similar to the case of the word "and" used as a link word where we must infer that the result of executing the wordplay "and" the definition are synonyms.

5d   Clan have a bad // falling-out in the Highlands? (9)

6d   Boy, about five, /sees/ another (4)

The implied definition is "another [boy]".

7d   Witty sayings /of/ sir, page recycled to enthral maiden (8)

The word "of" is used as a link word between the definition and wordplay. (show explanation )

When used as a link word, "of" denotes that the definition is formed from the constituent parts found in the wordplay.

This is based on the word of[5] being used as a preposition indicating the material or substance constituting something ⇒ (i) the house was built of bricks; (ii) walls of stone.

hide explanation

"maiden"  = M (show explanation )

In cricket, a maiden[5], also known as a maiden over and denoted on cricket scorecards by the abbreviation m.[10], is an over* in which no runs are scored.

* An over[5] is 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

8d   King Charles's residence // where one is in disgrace? (8)

The King Charles spaniel[5] is a spaniel of a small breed, typically with a white, black, and tan coat.

13d   Hit by stick, // doctor bonded with glue (10)

15d   Capricious female? (5,4)

Like Miffypops, I had assumed as I was solving the puzzle that "capricious" must be some sort of allusion to Capricorn. However, as I write the review, I can find no evidence to support this contention. The two words do not seem to share the same etymological origin and astrologically a Capricorn would seem to be the very antithesis of capricious.
Capricorns[a] are the planners and strategists of the zodiac. They like to plan and rehearse everything in advance and as a result they typically excel at anything they turn their mind to. They tend to be highly practical people who like structure, organization, tradition and stability.

[a] Compatible Astrology
Notwithstanding the above, the clue does seem to suggest that setter believed that the word "capricious" is in some way linked to "Capricorn".

16d   Said sale is fixed /and/ charged (8)

17d   Names put out /for/ sparkling Italian wine (8)

Spumante[5] is an Italian sparkling white wine.

19d   I'm upset to be limited by eye problem /in/ snooker (6)

Stymie[2,5,10] is an informal term meaning to prevent or hinder the progress of ⇒ the changes must not be allowed to stymie new medical treatments. It was originally a golfing term, denoting a situation which could formerly arise on the green in which an opponent's ball blocks the line between the ball about to be played and the hole, and which is no longer current because of a change in the rules which now allow an obstructing ball to be lifted and replaced by a marker.

Snooker[2] is a colloquial term meaning to thwart (a person or a plan). It comes from the game of snooker where the term snooker denotes a position in which the path between the white ball and the target ball is obstructed by another ball. Unlike golf, no relief is available when one finds oneself in this situation; in fact, a key strategy of the game is to put one's opponent in just such a situation.

20d   Where you will find screws on the doors (6)

Screw[3,4,11] is slang for a prison guard.

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Miffypops describes screws as warders in gaols.
Warder[5] is a British term for a guard in a prison.

Gaol[10] is a British variant spelling of jail.

23d   Disease doctor admits // relented (5)

24d   Capital /in/ endless loose change? (4)

Oslo[5] is the capital and chief port of Norway, on the south coast at the head of Oslofjord; population 839,423 (2007). Founded in the 11th century, it was known as Christiania (or Kristiania) from 1624 until 1924 in honour of Christian IV of Norway and Denmark (1577–1648).
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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