Friday, March 3, 2017

Friday, March 3, 2017 — DT 28297

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28297
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Wednesday, December 14, 2016
Jay (Jeremy Mutch)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28297]
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


Today finds Jay in a relatively gentle mood, providing us with an enjoyable puzzle that should be completed in time to get on with other matters.

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   Essential details // provided by supporters -- lots (5,5)

6a   Measure // pace (4)

10a   Part of river // Dee? (5)

Delta[5] is a code word representing the letter D, used in radio communication.

Scratching the Surface
The Dee[5] is either of at least two rivers in the UK:
  • a river in northeastern Scotland, which rises in the Grampian Mountains and flows eastwards past Balmoral Castle to the North Sea at Aberdeen;
  • a river that rises in North Wales and flows past Chester and on into the Irish Sea.

11a   Start to pay a lease on mature // stock (9)

12a   Meal that may be served up? (4,3)

This a cryptic definition that consists of a precise definition ("meal") combined with cryptic elaboration (marked with a dashed underline). In clues such as this, the "precise" definition is typically anything but precise, defining the solution in only very broad terms. It is the cryptic elaboration that narrows down the extensive range of possibilities to the required answer. However, one must see through the misdirection to correctly decipher the hidden meaning.

The British distinguish between afternoon tea and high tea, although both may be referred to simply as tea[10]. Afternoon tea[2,5,7,10] (or low tea) is a light afternoon meal, typically eaten between 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm, at which tea, sandwiches, biscuits [British term for cookies or crackers] and cakes are served.

High tea[7] (also known as meat tea) is the evening meal or dinner of the working class, typically eaten between 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm. It typically consists of a hot dish such as fish and chips, shepherd's pie, or macaroni cheese ['macaroni and cheese' to North Americans], followed by cakes and bread, butter and jam. Occasionally there would be cold cuts of meat, such as ham salad. Traditionally high tea was eaten by middle to upper class children (whose parents would have a more formal dinner later) or by labourers, miners and the like when they came home from work. The term was first used around 1825 and high is used in the sense of well-advanced (like high noon, for example) to signify that it was taken later in the day.

13a   Determined // a time to employ staff after commercial (7)

Contrary to what the 2Kiwis state in their review, I would say that MAN comes not from "to employ staff" but from merely "staff" (as a verb) with "to employ" being the containment indicator.

Thus the wordplay parses as {[A (from the clue) + T (time; abbrev.)] containing (to employ) MAN (staff)} following (after) AD (commercial)

14a   Encourage hurtful // story that's kept out of newspaper? (5,7)

Press cutting[5] is a British term for press clipping[5]. Based on the dictionary entries, I would guess that both terms are likely used in the UK with the former perhaps being more common.

18a   Hear terror is spreading -- // some may replace locks (4,8)

21a   Copy // most of response, taking heart from vicar (7)

This vicar has a big heart — as "heart" indicates the three central letters rather than merely one.

Scratching the Surface
A vicar[5] is a member of the clergy, although the meaning of the term varies among religious denominations (show more ).

The term may mean:
  • in the the Church of England, an incumbent of a parish where tithes formerly passed to a chapter or religious house or layman;
  • in other Anglican Churches, a member of the clergy deputizing for another;
  • in the Roman Catholic Church, a representative or deputy of a bishop;
  • in the US Episcopal Church, a clergyman in charge of a chapel;
  • a cleric or choir member appointed to sing certain parts of a cathedral service.
hide explanation

23a   Jack ultimately has age and can // nail constituent (7)

24a   A person ignoring danger // varies road speed (9)

Behind the Picture
The 2Kiwis illustrate their review with a picture of Desperate Dan[7], a wild west character in the British comic The Dandy. He first appeared in its first issue, dated 4 December 1937. He is reputed to be the world's strongest man, able to lift a cow with one hand. Even his beard is so tough he has to shave with a blowtorch. Among his favourite foods is "cow pie" — which apparently is a whole cow baked in a pie, and not a "meadow muffin".

25a   Black slime /in/ drink (5)

26a   European // source of energy after reversing cut (4)

27a   Fellow twice taken in by patrolling sentries /gets/ drinks (10)

Stiffener[1] is an informal term for a strong alcoholic drink.


1d   Mate in America had developed // godlike figure (6)

From a British perspective, bud[5] is an informal North American form of address, usually to a boy or man, used especially when the name of the one being addressed is not known ⇒ listen, bud, I saw you there with my own eyes.

Whether or not Buddha is considered to be a god, I think we can accept that he was godlike.

Buddha[5] (often the Buddha) is a title given to the founder of Buddhism, Siddartha Gautama (c.563–c.460 BC). Born a prince in what is now Nepal, he renounced wealth and family to become an ascetic, and after achieving enlightenment while meditating, taught all who came to learn from him.

In Buddhism, a buddha[5] is a person [figure] who has attained full enlightenment [and, thus, be considered 'godlike'?].

A Buddha[5] is a statue or picture [either of which could be called a figure] of the Buddha.

2d   Beer to welcome supporter, // say, in accusing manner (6)

3d   Disorganised // spread knocked on the head (14)

4d   Evaluates // a page and expresses approval (9)

"page" = P (show explanation )

In publishing, the abbreviation for page is p[5]see p 784.

hide explanation

5d   Mineral found within the borders of Kamchatka // Peninsula (5)

Scratching the Surface
Kamchatka[5] is a mountainous peninsula on the northeast coast of Siberia in Russia that separates the Sea of Okhotsk from the Bering Sea; chief port, Petropavlovsk.

7d   Drink // most of time, welcoming a song (3,5)

Tia Maria[5] (trademark) is a coffee-flavoured liqueur based on rum, made originally in the Caribbean.

8d   Standing /of/ inebriated priest, say, on the up (8)

9d   Embarrassing person // better learn if swaggering around North (6,8)

Enfant terrible[5] (French, literally 'terrible child') denotes a person who behaves in an unconventional or controversial way ⇒ the enfant terrible of contemporary art.

Behind the Picture
Dennis the Menace[7] may refer to separate UK and U.S. comic strip characters that debuted within days of each other in March 1951 in their respective readership areas, and are still published as of 2017.

Dennis the Menace[7] is a daily syndicated newspaper comic strip originally created, written, and illustrated by Hank Ketcham. It debuted on March 12, 1951, in 16 newspapers. It is now written and drawn by Ketcham's former assistants, Marcus Hamilton and Ron Ferdinand, and distributed to at least 1,000 newspapers in 48 countries and in 19 languages.

Coincidentally, another cartoon strip titled Dennis the Menace was published in the British comic The Beano just days before the debut of Ketcham's version. The two are not related and change their names in each other's respective home bases to avoid confusion.

The UK Dennis is quite different in appearance and character, characterized by his red-and-black striped jersey, his dog Gnasher, and his gang of friends. [The British Dennis would certainly seem to be far more of an enfant terrible than the American one!]

Like the American character, the UK one remains popular to this day and has made the transition to television cartoons.

In Britain, Ketcham's comic strip was dubbed Just Dennis or The Pickle to avoid confusion with the native UK version of Dennis the Menace. The television version screened in the UK simply as Dennis. The UK comic strip was briefly renamed Dennis and Gnasher but has returned to being called Dennis the Menace and Gnasher.

15d   Register and turn left, oddly, /for/ game (5-4)

Clock golf[5,10] (or clock-golf[1]) is a lawn game in which the players putt to a hole in the centre of a circle from successive points on its circumference.

16d   Stayed // ahead after depositing gold in Slough (6,2)

"gold" = OR (show explanation )

Or[5] is gold or yellow, as a heraldic tincture.

In heraldry, a tincture[5] is any of the conventional colours (including the metals and stains, and often the furs) used in coats of arms.

hide explanation

Slough[5] is a town in southeastern England to the west of London; population 119,400 (est. 2009).

17d   Phone about second point of sale /and/ removal (8)

POS[5] is the abbreviation for point of sale

19d   Perhaps butterfly/'s/ light touch (6)

The butterfly[5] is a stroke in swimming in which both arms are raised out of the water and lifted forwards together.

20d   A new set point, // darlings! (6)

22d   A film role // on its own (5)
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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