Thursday, February 9, 2017

Wednesday, February 8, 2017 — DT 28277

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28277
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Monday, November 21, 2016
Rufus (Roger Squires)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28277]
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


There is another heavy dose of cricket in today's puzzle — although that is not what gave me problems.

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   At last I have // something for a salad (6)

Here and There
Oxford Dictionaries defines endive[5] as a British term for an edible Mediterranean plant, the bitter leaves of which may be used in salads and as a North American term for a chicory crown.

A perusal of American dictionaries would suggest that Oxford is incorrect in its characterisation of this word's nationality. Both the American Heritage Dictionary and the Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary list endive[3,11] firstly as a plant, Cichorium endivia, having curled or ruffled leaves with a bitter flavor, cultivated as a salad green and secondly as a variety of the common chicory (Cichorium intybus) deprived of light to form a narrow head of whitish leaves, eaten in salads or cooked which is also known as Belgian endive or witloof.

4a   Two things aviators may do /for/ finance (8)

9a   Trojan // bully (6)

In Greek mythology, Hector[5] was a Trojan warrior, son of Priam and Hecuba and husband of Andromache. He was killed by Achilles, who dragged his body behind his chariot three times round the walls of Troy.

Taking a closer look at the video
The video illustrating Miffypops's review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog is "The British Grenadiers"[7], a traditional marching song of British and Canadian military units whose badge of identification features a grenade, the tune of which dates from the 17th century.

Although Miffypops did tell us in his intro that "The illustrations may or may not have any relevance to any particular clue", that warning does not apply here.

The opening verse of the song is:
Some talk of Alexander, and some of Hercules
Of Hector and Lysander, and such great names as these.
But of all the world's great heroes, there's none that can compare.
With a tow, row, row, row, row, row, to the British Grenadiers.
Ironically, Wikipedia gives us a performance of this British marching song performed by the United States Army Band Strings ensemble.

10a   Cat-o'-nine-tails remarkably noise-less /in/ ocean (8)

12a   Travel afield // like hungry sheep? (4)

The wordplay seems to have gone over Miffypops' head. A "hungry sheep" is a sheep (in this case a male sheep) that has eaten nothing.

13a   Transport // vehicle used on road and railway (5)

14a   One taking the lead in old Russia? (4)

This is a semi-&lit. clue (or, as some prefer to call it, a semi-all-in-one clue) in which the entire clue constitutes the definition and the wordplay (marked by the dashed underline) is embedded within it. (show full explanation )

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

Ivan[5] is the name of six rulers of Russia, the most famous being Ivan IV (1530–1584), grand duke of Muscovy 1533–47 and first tsar of Russia 1547–84; known as Ivan the Terrible. He captured Kazan, Astrakhan, and Siberia, but the Tartar siege of Moscow and the Polish victory in the Livonian War (1558–82) left Russia weak and divided. In 1581 he killed his eldest son Ivan in a fit of rage, the succession passing to his mentally disturbed second son Fyodor.

Taking a closer look at the video
The video illustrating Miffypops's review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog is Northern Irish singer and songwriter Van Morrison[7] performing "Orange Field".

Although Miffypops needs very little excuse to throw in a video of one of his favourite artists, the relevance of the video becomes clear when one recognizes that the singer's formal title is Sir George Ivan Morrison — the knighthood having been bestowed in 2016 for his musical achievements and his services to tourism and charitable causes in Northern Ireland.

17a   Those having it won't get far in Japan (1,3,2,6)

I got the first three words of the solution but was hampered in my efforts to find the final word by having entered the wrong solution at 11d. With the help of my electronic assistants, I was able to unravel the correct solutions to both clues.

20a   All Greek name? Could be // German (6,6)

Angela Merkel[5] is a German Christian Democratic Union stateswoman, Chancellor of Germany since 2005.

23a   Employs // you and me at certain points (4)

24a   A sign // Israel endlessly is in turmoil (5)
In astrology, Aries[10] (also called the Ram) is the first sign of the zodiac, symbol , having a cardinal fire classification, ruled by the planet Mars. The sun is in this sign between about March 21 and April 19.

25a   Smart boy // that in France heads west (4)

Here and There
Smart alec[2,4,5,10,11] (or smart aleck[2,3,4,5,10,11]) is an informal term for a person regarded as annoyingly self-assertive, especially for making impudent displays of knowledge.

There seems to be no consensus on the spelling, especially among the British dictionaries. Chambers 21st Century Dictionary would appear to give the two spellings equal billing. Oxford Dictionaries claims that smart aleck[5] is a North American spelling while Collins English Dictionary tells us that smart alec[10] is a variant spelling of smart aleck. The latter two may both be correct; the American Heritage Dictionary lists only the smart aleck[3] spelling and tells us that the term may have come from the name of Aleck Hoag, a 19th-century American confidence man and thief. Thus this may well be an American expression that headed east across the Atlantic, assuming a new identity when it arrived on British shores.

In French, cela[8] is a pronoun meaning 'that'.

What did he say in garbled French?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Miffypops suggests that "ce la" means "that's" as in the expressionCe la vie.
Well, to start with, the expression in French isC'est la vie and, moreover, we need a French word meaning "that" — not one meaning "that's".

28a   Bouquet I damaged /in/ shop (8)

29a   Coward's sort of spirit (6)

Blithe Spirit[7] is a comic play by English playwright Noël Coward (1899–1973). The play concerns the socialite and novelist Charles Condomine, who invites the eccentric medium and clairvoyant, Madame Arcati, to his house to conduct a séance, hoping to gather material for his next book. The scheme backfires when he is haunted by the ghost of his annoying and temperamental first wife, Elvira, after the séance. Elvira makes continual attempts to disrupt Charles's marriage to his second wife, Ruth, who cannot see or hear the ghost.

30a   Agree end will be terrible /for/ traitor (8)

31a   One's first to take deliveries -- and usually runs (6)

A delivery[5] is an act of throwing, bowling, or kicking a ball, especially a cricket ball.

In cricket, an opener[2] is either of the two batsmen who begin the batting for their team [remember, in cricket, batsmen always bat in pairs].

One of the two openers will be the first player on his team to receive a delivery from a bowler on the other team and — unless he is dismissed before scoring a run or his batting partner happens to score first — will also be the first to score a run.


1d   Late rising around this place -- /that's/ heavenly! (8)

2d   Announced // how innings was closed (8)

In cricket, innings[5] (plural same or informally inningses) denotes each of two or four divisions of a game during which one side has a turn at batting ⇒ the highlight of the Surrey innings.

I Declare
The term "declare" has a very specific meaning in cricket.

In cricket, a team continues to bat until ten of the eleven players on the team have been dismissed*, unless the captain of a batting team declares the innings closed prematurely (the rationale for doing so is explained below). In the event that the captain declares the innings closed, his team takes the field and the opposing team bats.

* batsmen always bat in pairs and once ten players have been dismissed there are not enough players left to form a partnership.

The primary objective of each team in cricket[7] is to score more runs than the opposing team. However, in Test cricket (a match between national teams), it is not only necessary to score the most runs but also to dismiss the opposition twice in order to win the match, which would otherwise be drawn. Therefore, the captain of a batting team which has built up a large lead may declare the innings closed prematurely in order to allow the opposition to bat (and thus gain an opportunity to dismiss them). As a captain, the key to victory is picking the right time to declare. Should he declare too early, the other team may score more runs than his team has amassed and thereby win. On the other hand, if he were to declare too late, the match may end before his team can dismiss the other team (resulting in a draw, even though his team may have a substantial lead in runs).

3d   Instrument that has appalling sound (4)

I see this as a cryptic definition consisting of a precise definition (solid underline) and some cryptic elaboration (dotted underline).

5d   One taking the part of the boss? (5-7)

The solution is a term with which I was unfamiliar — as were five out of the six dictionaries that I consulted.

An actor-manager[5] is a person who is both manager and actor in a theatre company [which doesn't quite appear to be what Miffypops tells us].

Technically, I believe one must accept that this a cryptic definition although it falls just short of parsing as an &lit. (all-in-one) clue. The entire clue could be considered to be the definition with the wordplay being ACTOR (one taking the part) + MANAGER (the boss). However, this leaves the word "of" unaccounted for.

6d   Some dark, handsome // ruler in the East (4)

Khan[5] is a title given to rulers and officials in central Asia, Afghanistan, and certain other Muslim countries.

7d   Volume /of/ tax held over by company starting with nothing (6)

An octavo[5] is a book of octavo* size.

* Octavo[5] is a size of book page that results from folding each printed sheet into eight leaves (sixteen pages).

A value added tax[5] (abbreviation VAT) is a tax on the amount by which the value of an article has been increased at each stage of its production or distribution.

The European Union value added tax[7] (or EU VAT) is a value added tax on goods and services within the European Union (EU). The EU's institutions do not collect the tax, but EU member states (including the UK) are each required to adopt a value added tax that complies with the EU VAT code. Different rates of VAT apply in different EU member states, ranging from 17% in Luxembourg to 27% in Hungary. In the UK, the rate is 20% (as Miffypops mentions in his review).

Canada's Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) are each instances of a value added tax.[7]

I think for Miffypops's parsing to work, the clue would have to be reworded:
  • Volume held over of tax by company starting with nothing (6)
making the wordplay a reversal of (held over of) {O (starting with nothing) + VAT (tax) + (by) CO (company)}. This change would make both the surface reading and the parsing awkward.

I interpret the wordplay to be O (starting with nothing) + a reversal (over) of VAT (tax)} contained in (held ... by) CO (company).

Under my interpretation, it is merely the tax that is reversed and not the entire charade.

8d   Net effect /of/ severe beating (6)

11d   Action station? (12)

I initially did not see the connection between "station" and GROUND. However, after some thought, I have concluded that "action" is a synonym for BATTLE and "station[5]" is a place where someone or something stands or is placed on military or other duty. I would think that "station" in this sense could be a synonym of "ground" as a soldier who defends his station could be said to "stand his ground".

15d   Fixes up // the skunk's defence (5)

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Miffypops describes this clue as A double definition with the first being reversed.
While definitely not phrasing I would use — or ever recall having seen, I have to concede it is essentially correct.

16d   Yield to another's wishes /and/ delay (5)

18d   Framework // keels badly with weight attached (8)

19d   End of air raid /makes/ everyone jump (3,5)

21d   Tell off /for being/ less sensitive? (6)

Tell[5], according to Oxford Dictionaries, is an archaic term meaning to count (the members of a group) ⇒ the shepherd had told all his sheep. Collins English Dictionary reveals that tell[10] can mean to count (votes). From The American Heritage Dictionary and the Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, we learn that tell[3,11] can mean to enumerate or count ⇒ (i) telling one's blessings; (ii) 16 windows, all told.

I think "tell off" is used in the sense of "count off" ⇒ count off the days until Christmas.

22d   Proceeds // to answer (6)

If we parse the clue as shown above, in the second definition the solution return[10] would be a verb meaning to answer or reply.

On the other hand, were we to parse the clue as:
  • Proceeds /to/ answer (6)
in the second definition the solution return[10] would be a noun meaning an answer or reply.

In this case, the link word "to[10]" would be a preposition used to indicate equality ⇒ 16 ounces to the pound.

26d   Russian plane loaded with North // Chinese pottery (4)

A MiG[7] is a type of Russian jet fighter. The name comes from the initials of the two founders (Mikoyan and Gurevich) of the organization that designs the planes.

Ming[5] is Chinese porcelain made during the Ming dynasty*, characterized by elaborate designs and vivid colours a priceless Ming vase.

* the dynasty that ruled China 1368–1644 founded by Zhu Yuanzhang (1328–1398).

27d   It could retain hair /or/ cut it off (4)

The first definition is a noun and the second a verb.
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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