Monday, March 20, 2017

Monday, March 20, 2017 — DT 28309

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28309
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Jay (Jeremy Mutch)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28309]
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


It seems we are finally past the Christmas-themed puzzles and are still a bit early for those with a New Year's theme.

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   A county cricket club holds record: beat Spain, /getting/ favourable reaction (10)

CCC[1] is the abbreviation for County Cricket Club.

Delving Deeper
County cricket[5] refers to first-class cricket played in the UK between the eighteen professional teams contesting the County Championship.

Inter-county cricket matches are known to have been played since the early 18th century, involving teams that are representative of the historic counties of England and Wales. Since the late 19th century, there have been two county championship competitions played at different levels: the County Championship, a first-class competition which currently involves eighteen first-class county clubs; and the Minor Counties Championship, which currently involves nineteen English county clubs and one club that is representative of several Welsh counties.[7]

"record" = EP (show explanation )

EP[10] (abbreviation for extended-play) is one of the formats in which music is sold, usually comprising four or five tracks.

hide explanation

"Spain" = E (show explanation

The International Vehicle Registration (IVR) code for Spain is E[5] [from Spanish España].

hide explanation

6a   A military force backed // at a distance (4)

The Royal Air Force[5] (abbreviation RAF) is the British air force, formed in 1918 by amalgamation of the Royal Flying Corps (founded 1912) and the Royal Naval Air Service (founded 1914).

9a   Steps // idiot takes in answer for university (5)

10a   Takes part in training // loyal reps at work (4-5)

12a   Unprotected fund grew in value // without recognition (13)

This was virtually the last to fall — in large part due to becoming fixated on an incorrect solution at 4d.

14a   Broadcast source of malicious lies about // old rewards scheme (3,5)

This is not an "old rewards scheme" in Canada, despite being so in the UK — not to mention the US. It is still very much a going concern here.

Air Miles[7] (often stylized as AIR MILES) is the name of separately operated loyalty programs in Canada, the Netherlands and the Middle East. The scheme was also operated in the United Kingdom until it was combined with BA Miles and Iberia Plus points and rebranded as Avios in November 2011. An Air Miles program was launched in the United States in 1992 — the same year that the Air Miles program was introduced in Canada. Unlike its Canadian counterpart, the U.S. program was unsuccessful and suspended operations in May 1993.

15a   May is able to // dance (6)

The cancan[5] is a lively, high-kicking stage dance originating in 19th-century Parisian music halls and performed by women in long skirts and petticoats.

17a   Family // court proceedings admitting bishop (6)

"bishop" = B (show explanation )

B[5] is an abbreviation for bishop that is used in recording moves in chess.

hide explanation

19a   Quiet ones steal // such mushrooms (8)

The shiitake[5] (also shitake, shiitake mushroom) is an edible mushroom which grows on fallen timber, cultivated in Japan and China.

21a   Guess // how film noir may have been produced? (4,2,3,4)

I am never quite sure how to mark clues such as this. I have chosen to call the latter part of the clue a cryptic definition making the clue a double definition of a sort.

Film noir[5] (French, literally 'black film') is a style or genre of cinematographic film marked by a mood of pessimism, fatalism, and menace. The term was originally applied (by a group of French critics) to American thriller or detective films made in the period 1944–54 and to the work of directors such as Orson Welles, Fritz Lang, and Billy Wilder.

24a   Sail /with/ a king taken in by fisherman's lure (9)

"king" = K (show explanation )

K[5] is an abbreviation for king that is used especially in describing play in card games and recording moves in chess.

hide explanation

As a fishing term, spinner[5] may denote either:
  • a lure designed to revolve when pulled through the water; or
  • a type of fishing fly, used chiefly for trout.
A spinnaker[5] is a large three-cornered sail, typically bulging when full, set forward of the mainsail of a racing yacht when running before the wind.

25a   Still // at home -- ends in strife after breakfast (5)

26a   Fat // solidified across middle of cup (4)

27a   Brought up to date, // way diners must change (10)


1d   Whispered comment dismissing second // political adviser (4)

One might equally well take "second" to be cluing the abbreviation for second or the second letter of the "whispered comment" — either approach will lead one to the same solution.

2d   Overcome // argument against short question (7)

3d   Adjusted pro rata invoice knocking off one zero /causes/ quibbling (13)

I have never considered prevaricate and quibble to be synonyms — but The Chambers Dictionary does.

Prevaricate[1] means to avoid stating the truth or coming directly to the point; to quibble; ...

Quibble[1] means an evasive turning away from the point in question to something irrelevant, merely verbal, trivial, or insignificant; ...

4d   Shorter // able-bodied man serving on game point, about given up (8)

I did initially try to make the solution be ABRIDGED. Even though I quickly realized that it did not parse, it became embedded in my mind creating a mental block to other possibilities, a block I was not able to clear until long after the remainder of the puzzle had long succumbed.

"able-bodied man serving" = AB (show explanation )

In the Royal Navy, according to Oxford Dictionaries, able seaman[5] (abbreviation AB[5]), is a rank of sailor above ordinary seaman and below leading seaman. On the other hand, Collins English Dictionary tells us that an able seaman[10] (also called able-bodied seaman) is an ordinary seaman, especially one in the merchant navy, who has been trained in certain skills.

hide explanation

Rugby union[10] (abbreviation RU[5]) is a form of rugby football played between teams of 15 players (in contrast to rugby league[5], which is played in teams of thirteen).

5d   Typical vegetarians keeping // produce young (5)

7d   Loud rave, sick at heart /and/ agitated (7)

"loud" = F (show explanation )

Forte[5] (abbreviation f[5]) is a musical direction meaning (as an adjective) loud or (as an adverb) loudly.

hide explanation

8d   Houses // team in new centres with no end of cost (10)

"team" = SIDE (show explanation )

Side[5] is a British term for a sports team ⇒ there was a mixture of old and young players in their side. [Note that a player is "in a side" rather than "on a team" as one would say in North America]

In North America, the term side[3] is used in a very general fashion that can denote one of two or more opposing individuals, groups, teams, or sets of opinions. While this same general usage would seem to exist as well in the UK, the term side[5] is also used there in a much more specific sense to mean a sports team, as we can clearly see from the following usage examples ⇒ (i) Previous England rugby sides, and England teams in many other sports, would have crumbled under the weight of such errors.; (ii) They'll face better sides than this Monaco team, but you can only beat what's put in front of you.

hide explanation

11d   Government action, as it develops in hardship (13)

13d   Supporter has time and gives help on the radio /for/ make-up people (10)

These "make-up people" are not cosmeticians, but rather people who fabricate stories (à la 18d).

16d   Misshapen toes here, /and/ this may be in Oxford (4,4)

Perhaps the entire clue is the definition, as one might employ this device precisely because one's Oxfords have misshapen toes.

18d   One complete fabrication about son/'s/ hero-worship (7)

20d   Chains /of/ soldiers holding deer up (7)

A soldier[5] is a member of a wingless caste of ant or termite with a large specially modified head and jaws, involved chiefly in defence.

In Britain, elk[5] is another name for the moose* (Alces alces). The animal (Cervus canadensis) known to North Americans as an elk is generally called a wapiti[3,4,11] in the UK, although it may also be referred to as the American elk or Canadian elk.

* While I think of moose and deer as different animals, virtually all dictionaries describe the moose[2,3,4,5,10,11] as a large deer.

An anklet[10] is an ornamental chain worn around the ankle.

22d   Ridiculously crossing borders for key // capital (5)

Tokyo[5] is the capital of Japan; population 12,758,000 (est. 2007). Formerly called Edo, it was the centre of the military government under the shoguns (1603–1867). It was renamed Tokyo in 1868, when it replaced Kyoto as the imperial capital.

23d   Set fund using odds /for/ stallion (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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