Friday, March 10, 2017

Friday, March 10, 2017 — DT 28303

Posted Sunday, March 12, 2017 but back-dated to maintain sequence

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28303
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Jay (Jeremy Mutch)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28303]
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


Like the 2Kiwis, I found this puzzle to be a bit more challenging than usual — and all the more satisfying for that.

A glance (in the table above) at the date on which this puzzle was published in the UK may be helpful in explaining several of the clues.

I failed to notice the Nina in this puzzle (start at the light* numbered 1 and read clockwise around the outer edge of the grid).

* light-coloured cell in the grid

The convergence of several events has limited the time I have to devote to the blog and so the reviews have been delayed for a couple of days. Unfortunately, it does not look like the pressure is likely to subside for the next week or two.

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.


6a   Outrageous // figures clad outrageously (11)

9a   Entertain // royal equerry, just needing introduction (6)

Scratching the Surface
An equerry[5] is an officer of the British royal household who attends or assists members of the royal family*he became equerry to the Duke of Kent.

* Historically, an equerry[5] was an officer of the household of a prince or noble who had charge over the stables.

10a   Pictures mostly universal church returning /and/ promoting unity (8)

"universal" = U (show explanation )

Under the British system of film classification[7] a U (for 'universal') rating indicates that a film is suitable "for all the family" — or, at any rate, for those members over 4 years of age.

hide explanation

"church" = CE (show explanation )

The Church of England[10] (abbreviation CE[10]) is the reformed established state Church in England, Catholic in order and basic doctrine, with the Sovereign as its temporal head.

hide explanation

11a   Junior to avoid // such a slip (10)

I spent longer than I should have trying to justify UNDERSHIRT before realizing that this was the wrong undergarment.

14a   Long // golf shot topped (4)

In golf, a pitch[5] is a high approach shot on to the green — a short shot rather than a long one.

Scratching the Surface
In golf, top[5] means to mishit (the ball or a stroke) by hitting above the centre of the ball ⇒ he topped his drive on the fifth hole.

15a   Dejected, /seeing/ hundred others killed in battle (11)

21a   Block // promotion (4)

22a   Smoother // wave on the way (4,6)

A roadroller[5,10] (or road roller[1,2]) is a motor vehicle with heavy rollers for compressing road surfaces during roadmaking [roadbuilding].

How do you spell that?
At Comment #5 on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Jose says Collins Online has 22a as one word, but everywhere else it’s two words. What does BRB* say? to which Rabbit Dave replies My BRB* has it hyphenated!. However, my BRB (11th Edition) has it as two words while Oxford Dictionaries (online) has it as one word.

* Big Red Book or The Chambers Dictionary, so-called because it literally is a big red book as well as being an allusion to Mao Tse Tung's Little Red Book

The setter respects the cryptic crossword convention that "on" — used as a charade indicator in an across clue — signifies 'following' (show explanation )

"A on B" Convention
A sometimes ignored cryptic crossword convention provides that, in an across clue, the construction "A on B" is used to clue B + A.

The rationale for this practice is that in order for A to be placed on B, B must already exist (i.e., already have been written). Since the English language is written from left to right, this means that B must come first and A is then appended to it. .

Notwithstanding the above, a solver must always be vigilant for setters who flout this convention.

hide explanation

25a   Hungry /and/ keen to join group (5-3)

I deduced this previously unknown word solely from the wordplay.

Sharp-set[5] is a dated term meaning very hungry ⇒ Go to your supper. I venture you're pretty sharp-set.

27a   Opera singer left Italy /for/ festival (6)

The International Vehicle Registration (IVR) code for Italy is I[5] [from Italian Italia].

Divali is an alternate spelling of Diwali[5], a Hindu festival with lights, held in the period October to November. It is particularly associated with Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity, and marks the beginning of the financial year in India.

28a   True love's present // result voted invalid? (6,5)

According to the English Christmas carol "The Twelve Days of Christmas"[7], "on the Second day of Christmas my true love sent to me two Turtle Doves".


1d   Illusion /of/ sticky situation surrounding a head of government (6)

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

2d   Gallons put on board before ship/'s/ departure (6)

In Crosswordland, a ship is rarely anything other than a steamship (abbreviation SS[5]).

This is an interesting clue as several of its components could reasonably play other roles. For instance, "put on" might well be used as a charade indicator, or "put on board" could be used to clue 'contained in SS'. The word "before" might also be a charade indicator. However, none of these scenarios are in play today.

The wordplay parses as {G (gallons; abbrev.) contained in (put on board) ERE (before)} + SS (ship).

3d   Cutting from heather, a keen // gardener's requirement (4)

4d   Last of a cigarette, in true // denial (8)

5d   Say you'll diet about // this time of year (8)

It would be advisable, have you not yet done so, to check the "Puzzle at a Glance" box above to see when this puzzle was published in the UK.

7d   Intends /to indicate/ wealth (5)

I took the words "to indicate" to be a link phrase while the 2Kiwis saw them as part of the first definition. I think either approach works equally well.

8d   Pastry chef oddly /featured in/ article in newspaper (5)

12d   Got up, rejecting small // eggs (3)

13d   See below // part of mainframe (5)

In a written document, the term infra[5] (Latin, 'below') is used to denote below or further on ⇒ see note, infra.

16d   Strictly accurate // equipment letting in water, though no opening (8)

17d   South American rasta found outside old // city in Florida (8)

Pedantic Point
As the 2Kiwis state in their review, SA[1] is the abbreviation for South America. However, the clue says "South American" rather than "South America" and SA is not listed as an abbreviation for South American by The Chambers Dictionary (considered to be the authority for puzzles in The Daily Telegraph). Thus, to be 16d, we must parse the clue as S (south; abbrev.) + A (American; abbrev.) + RASTA (from the clue) containing (found outside) O (old; abbrev.).

Scratching the Surface
Rasta[5] is an informal short form for Rastafarian[5], an adherent of Rastafarianism — a religious movement of Jamaican origin. Rastafarians believe that Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia was the Messiah and that blacks are the chosen people and will eventually return to their African homeland. They have distinctive codes of behaviour and dress, including the wearing of dreadlocks and the smoking of cannabis, and they follow a diet that excludes pork, shellfish, and milk.

18d   Ladies perhaps // left, ducks! (3)

The ladies[5] is a British term for a women’s public toilet.

"duck" = O (show explanation )

In cricket, a duck[5] is a batsman’s score of nought [zero] ⇒ he was out for a duck. This is similar to the North American expression goose egg[5] meaning a zero score in a game.

In British puzzles, "duck" is used to indicate the letter "O" based on the resemblance of the digit "0" to this letter.

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Loo[5] is an informal British term for a toilet.

Scratching the Surface
Duck[5] (also ducks) is an informal British term meaning dear or darling (used as an informal or affectionate form of address, especially among cockneys) ⇒ (i) it's time you changed, my duck; (ii) where've yer been, ducks!.

19d   A greeting from Spain reciprocates // one from across the seas? (5)

Hola[5] is a Spanish exclamation meaning 'hello'.

Aloha[5] is a Hawaiian word used as both a greeting and a farewell.

20d   Love may come after chamber // music produced by this? (5)

"love" = O (show explanation )

In tennis, squash, and some other sports, love[5] is a score of zero or nil ⇒ love fifteen. The resemblance of a zero written as a numeral (0) to the letter O leads to the cryptic crossword convention of the word "love" being used to clue this letter.

Although folk etymology has connected the word with French l'oeuf 'egg', from the resemblance in shape between an egg and a zero, the term apparently comes from the phrase play for love (i.e. the love of the game, not for money).

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23d   Maitre d'hotel keeps // blistering (3-3)

24d   Struggles to support the French // taxes (6)

"the French" = LE (show explanation )

In French, the masculine singular form of the definite article is le[8].

hide explanation

26d   Those people /will be/ tense initially, on edge (4)
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)
[12] - (Webster’s New World College Dictionary)
Signing off for today — Falcon

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