Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 — DT 28282

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28282
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, November 26, 2016
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28282 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28282 – Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave (Hints)
gnomethang (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.


If this puzzle deserves two stars for difficulty as gnomethang has rated it, then I would say that it sits at the extreme upper end of the 2-star range. I would have placed it in the lower end of the 3-star range. Of course, British English is a second language for me.

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.


7a   Published letters /in/ remote military camp (7)

9a   Surface area /of/ a prison about to be included (7)

10a   Earlier // religious house, incomplete (5)

A priory[5] is a small monastery or nunnery that is governed by a prior or prioress.

11a   Male in lengthy run in // opera (9)

"run" = R (show explanation )

On cricket scorecards [not to mention baseball scoreboards], the abbreviation R[5] denotes run(s).

In cricket, a run[5] is a unit of scoring achieved by hitting the ball so that both batsmen are able to run between the wickets, or awarded in some other circumstances.

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Lohengrin[7] is a Romantic opera composed and written by Richard Wagner, first performed in 1850. The story of the eponymous character is taken from medieval German romance.

12a   Doctor phoning later about boy -- // don't take offence (7,8)

13a   Songbird /in/ series on box (7)

I presumed that Sparrow must be a programme on British television and failed to look for other explanations.

16a   Organ only faulty // near the start (5,2)

19a   Survive difficulties /in/ Mother Earth's wet ground (7,3,5)

As an anagram indicator, ground is the past tense or past participle of the verb grind[5]. An anagram indicator is a word that denotes movement or transformation. Grind denotes transformation in the sense of wheat being ground into flour.

If you look closely, you will see that gnomethang has misplaced the 'S in the fodder.

23a   Make a mistake confronting it in Conservative // area (9)

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.

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24a   End of the opening // contest (5)

25a   Restrained // at home by vet (2,5)

26a   Expert, holding tight, pulled back // trigger (7)


1d   Shorts // currently in demand with power workers (3,5)

With apologies to gnomethang, being the pedant that I am, I can't help but point out that HOT is clued by "currently in demand".

"power" = P (show explanation )

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

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"workers" = ANTS (show explanation )

The word "worker" and the phrase "social worker" are commonly used in cryptic crossword puzzles to clue ANT or BEE.

A worker[5] is a neuter or undeveloped female bee, wasp, ant, or other social insect, large numbers of which do the basic work of the colony.

In crossword puzzles, "worker" will most frequently be used to clue ANT and occasionally BEE but I have yet to see it used to clue WASP. Of course, "worker" is sometimes also used to clue HAND or MAN.

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In Britain, the word pants[5] does not mean trousers. Rather, it refers to underwear — specifically men's undershorts or women's panties (the latter otherwise known as knickers to the Brits). Despite this, the Brits seem to have adopted the American term hot pants*[7] to refer to short shorts.

* The term hot pants was reportedly coined by the American fashion-industry trade journal Women's Wear Daily (WWD).

2d   Messenger bringing in tons /for/ royal attendant (8)

3d   Prison camp, // male only, holding the French (6)

A stalag[5] was a Second World War German prison camp, especially for non-commissioned officers and privates. The name comes from German, a contraction of Stammlager, from Stamm 'base, main stock' + Lager 'camp'.

"the French | the Parisian" = LA (show explanation )

In French, the feminine singular form of the definite article is la[8].

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4d   Founder of order, one's withdrawn // Swiss currency (6)

St Francis of Assissi[5] (c.1181–1226) was an Italian monk, founder of the Franciscan order; born Giovanni di Bernardone. He founded the Franciscan order in 1209 and drew up its original rule (based on complete poverty). He is revered for his generosity, simple faith, humility, and love of nature.

The franc[5] is the basic monetary unit of Switzerland and several other countries, equal to 100 centimes as well as being the former basic monetary unit of France, Belgium, and Luxembourg (replaced by the euro in 2002).

5d   Bond // suspicious about angry tirade (8)

6d   Appearing in spring // in 'Cavern' all-nighters (6)

Scratching the Surface
The Cavern Club[7] is a nightclub in Liverpool, England. The original Cavern Club opened in 1957 as a jazz club, later becoming a centre of the rock and roll scene in Liverpool in the 1960s. The Beatles played in the club in their early years. The original Cavern club closed in 1973 and was demolished during construction of the Merseyrail underground rail loop. The club re-opened in 1984 after being rebuilt using many of the original bricks, to the original plans but on the opposite side of the street to the original club.

8d   Unexpected development /for/ Dickens character (5)

Oliver Twist[7], subtitled The Parish Boy's Progress, is the second novel by English author Charles Dickens (1812–1870), published in 1838. The story is about an orphan, Oliver Twist, who is born into a life of poverty and misfortune in a workhouse.

9d   A lease secured by the // sportsperson (7)

As a verb, let[5] is a chiefly British term meaning to allow someone to have the use of (a room or property) in return for regular payments ⇒ (i) she let the flat [apartment] to a tenant; (ii) they’ve let out their house. [Based on entries in American dictionaries, I doubt that this word is quite as British as Oxford Dictionaries would have us believe.[3,11]]

As a noun, let[5] is definitely a British term, meaning a period during which a room or property is rented ⇒ I’ve taken a month’s let on the flat [apartment].

14d   Involving unwelcome consequences, // I ate carp unwisely (2,1,5)

15d   Magician /in/ conflict over door fastening (7)

17d   Poet // rude to sister (8)

Were we to attempt to read meaning into the surface of the clue, we would conclude that it refers to the brother rather than the sister.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti[5] (1828–1882) was an English painter and poet. A founder member of the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood (1848), he is best known for his idealized images of women, including Beata Beatrix (c.1863) and The Blessed Damozel (1871–9). He was the brother of Christina Rossetti.

Christina Rossetti[5] (1830–1894) was an English poet. She wrote much religious poetry (reflecting her High Anglican faith), love poetry, and children's verse. Notable works: Goblin Market and Other Poems (1862). She was the sister of Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

18d   Talk idly, accepting award? // It's not important (2,6)

"award" = OM (show explanation )

The Order of Merit[7]  (abbreviation OM[5]) is a dynastic order recognising distinguished service in the armed forces, science, art, literature, or for the promotion of culture. Established in 1902 by King Edward VII, admission into the order remains the personal gift of its Sovereign, the reigning monarch of the Commonwealth realms, and is limited to 24 living recipients at one time from these countries plus a limited number of honorary members. The current membership includes one Canadian (former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien).

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19d   Progressive // comedian knocked (4,2)

20d   Farm animal // provided that in here somehow (6)

21d   Period of greatest success, // incredibly heady years (6)

22d   Musical drama // depicted by mostly well-known artist (5)

"artist" = RA (show explanation )

A Royal Academician (abbreviation RA[10]) is a member of the Royal Academy of Arts[5] (also Royal Academy; abbreviation also RA[10]), an institution established in London in 1768, whose purpose is to cultivate painting, sculpture, and architecture in Britain. 

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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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