Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 — DT 28294

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28294
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, December 10, 2016
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28294 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28294 – Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave (Hints)
crypticsue (Review)
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
As this was a Saturday "Prize Puzzle" in Britain, there are two entries related to it on Big Dave's Crossword Blog — the first, posted on the date of publication, contains hints for selected clues while the second is a full review issued following the entry deadline for the contest. The vast majority of reader comments will generally be found attached to the "hints" posting with a minimal number — if any — accompanying the full review.


I don't recall any particular difficulty with this puzzle. It all seemed to fall into place fairly readily.

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   Contracted Spanish city girl /to provide/ song (8)

This song seems to be becoming a bit of an earworm.

Madrid[5] is the capital of Spain; population 3,213,271 (2008). Situated on a high plateau in the centre of the country, it replaced Valladolid as capital in 1561.

5a   Person who takes things the wrong way (6)

The portion of the clue with the dashed underline provides the cryptic elaboration in this cryptic definition.

8a   Horse perhaps that's not much of a goer (6)

Stayer[5] is a British term for a a tenacious person or thing, especially a horse able to hold out to the end of a race.

9a   Attenborough maybe winkling out little fellow, // one barely seen in public (8)

Sir David Attenborough[5] is an English naturalist and broadcaster, brother of English film actor, producer, and director Richard Attenborough. He is known for films of animals in their natural habitats, including Life on Earth (1979), The Trials of Life (1990), and The Life of Mammals (2002).

Winkle[5] (in the phrase winkle something out) is a British term meaning to extract or obtain something with difficulty ⇒ I swore I wasn't going to tell her, but she winkled it all out of me.

A naturist is a practitioner of naturismnaturism[1] being communal nudity or nudity practised openly, especially when done so in the belief that it encourages self-respect, respect for others and a feeling of being in harmony with nature. Among practitioners in the US, the term nudist would seem to be generally preferred while in Europe and much of Canada, the use of the word naturist is more prevalent.

The term naturist is often confused — sometimes to humorous effect — with naturalist[5], an expert in or student of natural history.

Scratching the Surface
Is it, perchance, merely a coincidence that winkle[5] is also a child's informal term for a penis.

10a   Country steps back too much -- // it elevates a woman (8)

"too much" = OTT (show explanation )

OTT[5] (short for over the top) is an informal British expression denoting excessive or exaggerated ⇒ presenting him as a goalscoring Superman seems a bit OTT.

hide explanation

11a   Sour // habitual response by expert (6)

12a   Arranged one behind another, cyclically? (2,6)

This clue proved easier to solve than to explain — and there may be more going on here than first meets the eye.

To start with, "arranged one behind the other" is a precise dictionary definition for tandem[5] as an adjective.

Above, I have marked the clue as a cryptic definition comprised of a precise dictionary definition combined with a bit of cryptic elaboration (denoted by the dashed underline) where the word "cyclically" is an allusion to a tandem (noun) a bicycle with seats and pedals for two riders, one behind the other.

I did wonder if one might possibly consider this to be a double definition:
  • Arranged one behind another, // cyclically? (2,6)
where "cyclically" is a cryptic (denoted by the question mark) way of saying "in [a] tandem [bicycle]". The difficulty with this, of course, is that one would say "on a tandem" and not "in a tandem".

Another thought is that "cyclically" essentially means "one after the other" (in the manner in which the seasons repeat cyclically) and given that "one after the other" also means "in tandem", one could say the "cyclically" is cryptically equivalent to "in tandem".

13a   Pop in translated name /for/ country (6)

Nippon[5] is the Japanese name for Japan.

15a   Everyone assembled outside // that club? (6)

I can see two possible ways to parse this clue. In the first (shown above), the definition "that club" signifies "a particular type of club". One must interpret the wordplay as a series of instructions "[1] everyone; [2] assembled outside".

Alternatively, one might parse the clue (as crypticsue has) in the following manner:
  • Everyone assembled outside that // club? (6)
where the wordplay would be interpreted as "[1] everyone; [2] assembled outside that" where the pronoun "that" in the second step refers to the result of the first step..

18a   Unreliable // story about sick revolutionary (8)

20a   Capital // increasin' by 100 per cent, it is reported (6)

In yesterday's puzzle, we saw that one dropped H deserves another. Well, the same applies for a dropped G.

Dublin[5] is the capital city of the Republic of Ireland, situated on the Irish Sea at the mouth of the River Liffey; population 506,211 (2006). It was the birthplace of many writers, including Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, and James Joyce.

21a   Extra pay might make you this? (8)

This is a semi-&lit. clue (or, as some prefer to call it, a semi-all-in-one clue) (show explanation ) in which the entire clue provides the definition while the portion of the clue with the dashed underline serves as 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

23a   One swallows pills, strangely // aromatic flavour (8)

24a   Gosh, care when stirring must come first /in/ buttery (6)

My[5] is used in various phrases [or even on its own] as an expression of surprise (i)my goodness!; (ii) oh my!.

25a   Please cast off /and/ slip away (6)

26a   Condition /made by/ church council withholding zero foreign capital (8)

We complete the trio of European capitals with Rome[5], the capital of Italy and of the Lazio region, situated on the River Tiber about 25 km (16 miles) inland; population 2,724,347 (2008).


1d   Leader of exodus /from/ East entering Stirling, say (5)

Sir Stirling Moss[5] is a British former Formula One racing driver. An inductee into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, he won 212 of the 529 races he entered across several categories of competition and has been described as "the greatest driver never to win the World Championship". In a seven-year span between 1955 and 1961 Moss finished as championship runner-up four times and third the other three.

Moses[5] (circa 14th-13th centuries BC) was a Hebrew prophet and lawgiver, brother of Aaron. According to the biblical account, he was born in Egypt and led the Israelites on their exodus from servitude there, across the desert towards the Promised Land. During the journey he was inspired by God on Mount Sinai to write down the Ten Commandments on tablets of stone (Exod. 20).

Scratching the Surface
Stirling[5] is a city and administrative region in central Scotland, on the River Forth; population 32,000 (est. 2009).

2d   Kingly post? (5,4)

Post[5] is a chiefly British term for mail[5], including in the sense of letters and parcels sent or received. Does it not strike you as rather ironic that the post is delivered in Britain by the Royal Mail while the mail in Canada is delivered by Canada Post?

3d   Rewritten tragedy // was revolutionary (7)

4d   Taff's harmony led rousing // anthem (4,2,2,7)

"Land of My Fathers" is the usual English rendering of the title of the national anthem of Wales, Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau[7] (the title – taken from the first words of the song – literally means "Old Land of My Fathers" in Welsh).

Scratching the Surface
The River Taff[7] is a large river in Wales. It rises as two rivers in the Brecon Beacons — the Little Taff and the Big Taff — before joining to form the Taff and flowing south to Cardiff Bay.

Taff (as used in the surface reading of the clue) may well be a shortening of Taffy*[5], a derogatory, informal British term for a Welshman (often as a form of address).

* representing a supposed Welsh pronunciation of the given name Davy or David (Welsh Dafydd)

5d   Keep crossing river /in/ coach again (7)

6d   Urban, /and/ more muscular? (5-2)

I would say this is a double definition with the second being (as flagged by the question mark) a bit on the cryptic side — and thus the dashed underline.

7d   Fashion centre with diamonds /in/ reserve (9)

12d   I am to intervene // without delay (9)

14d   Plundering vessel, // soldier is supported by the monarch (9)

"the monarch" = ER (show explanation )

The regnal ciphers (monograms) of British monarchs are initials formed from the Latin version of their first name followed by either Rex or Regina (Latin for king or queen, respectively). Thus, the regnal cipher of Queen Elizabeth is ER[5] — from the Latin Elizabetha Regina.

hide explanation

Historically, a privateer*[5] was an armed ship owned and crewed by private individuals holding a government commission and authorized for use in war, especially in the capture of merchant shipping ⇒ she was captured by a French 44-gun privateer.

* The term can also mean a commander or crew member of a privateer, often regarded as a pirate ⇒ Francis Drake disliked other privateers poaching prizes he regarded as his own

16d   Eccentric liable to eat nothing /but/ a flower (7)

Lobelia[5] is any of many species of a chiefly tropical or subtropical plant of the bellflower family, in particular an annual widely grown as a bedding plant. Some kinds are aquatic, and some grow as thick-trunked shrubs or trees on African mountains.

17d   Number residing on southern French island /is/ capable of being stretched (7)

The French word for island is ile[8].

19d   Book /that makes you/ cross, one clutched by silly clone (7)

The link phrase "that makes you" is a more concise way of stating "that produces for you, the solver".

22d   Have correspondence at the end? (5)
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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