Monday, March 27, 2017

Monday, March 27, 2017 — DT 28338

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28338
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28338]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Mr Kitty
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
The National Post has skipped DT 28318 through DT 28337 which were published in The Daily Telegraph from Saturday, January 7, 2017 to Monday, January 30, 2017.


Well, Friday's leap over four puzzles proved to be merely a gentle warm up for the editors at the National Post as today they soar over twenty puzzles.

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   Decided // what hairdresser might have done (3,3,5)

The solution is literally what a hairdresser might have done.

9a   Every second, // a flier's coming in behind schedule (9)

Behind the Image
It took a moment for the significance of the illustration in Mr Kitty's review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog to sink in. It appears that US Administration censors have obliterated part of the title of Donald Trump's favourite childhood book, The Little Golden Book of Alternate Facts.

10a   This person's returned twice to tour a // city (5)

"this person's" = IM (show explanation )

It is a common cryptic crossword convention for the creator of the puzzle to use terms such as (the or this) compiler, (the or this) setter, (this) author, (this) writer, or this person to refer to himself or herself. To solve such a clue, one must generally substitute a first person pronoun (I or me) for whichever of these terms has been used in the clue.

Today, the setter has made the scenario slightly more complicated by combining "this person" with the verb "to be" producing "this person's" (a contraction of "this person is") which must be replaced by "I'm" (a contraction of "I am").

hide explanation

11a   Test // monitor (6)

12a   Go with swimmer /to find/ toll road (8)

The pike[5] is a long-bodied predatory freshwater fish with a pointed snout and large teeth, of both Eurasia and North America.

Although the term turnpike is very much in current use in the US, it would apparently be viewed as a historical term by readers across the pond. In the UK, between the mid-16th and late 19th centuries, turnpike[10] denoted:
  • gates or some other barrier set across a road to prevent passage until a toll had been paid; or
  • a road on which a turnpike was operated.
13a   Search agent, overlooking info /for/ battle (6)

Gen[5] is an informal British term for information ⇒ you’ve got more gen on him than we have.

15a   Mean to get price for trendy // plan (8)

18a   Occupant // let team inside (8)

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.

* I doubt that this word is quite as British as Oxford Dictionaries would have us believe.[3,11]

"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

19a   Jack, stableworker, runs away // to jog (6)

"jack" = J (show explanation )

J[5] is an abbreviation for jack that is used in describing play in card games.

hide explanation

Ostler[5] is a historical term for a man employed to look after the horses of people staying at an inn.

"runs" = 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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21a   Sneak out of place after 60 per cent of force // deserted (8)

23a   One // espousing leather trousers? (6)

Trouser[5] is British slang meaning to receive or take (something, especially money) for oneself; in other words, to pocket ⇒ they claimed that he had trousered a £2 million advance.

26a   Ace party? // Shame! (5)

27a   Sit and fete DI upset, /as/ given in evidence (9)

Scratching the Surface
A detective inspector (DI[5]) is a senior police officer in the UK. Within the British police, inspector[7] is the second supervisory rank. It is senior to that of sergeant, but junior to that of chief inspector. Plain-clothes detective inspectors are equal in rank to their uniformed counterparts, the prefix 'detective' identifying them as having been trained in criminal investigation and being part of or attached to their force's Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

28a   Revolutionary, 20, adopting line // 'I'm in charge of support!' (11)

The numeral "20" is a cross reference indicator directing the solver to insert the solution to clue 20d in its place to complete the clue. The directional indicator is customarily omitted in situations such as this where only a single clue starts in the light* that is being referenced.

* light-coloured cell in the grid

Che Guevara[7] (1928–1967) was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, guerrilla leader, diplomat, and military theorist. A major figure of the Cuban Revolution, his stylized visage has become a ubiquitous countercultural symbol of rebellion and global insignia within popular culture.


1d   First form going on about // great work (7)

In Britain, a form[5] is [or, perhaps more correctly,was] a class or year in a school, usually given a specifying number. Thus what we in North America would call a grade would be — or once was — known in Britain as a form, although the numbering system for forms and grades are vastly different. (show more )

The term "form" seems to have become passé as Miffypops in his review of DT 28163 on Big Dave's Crossword Blog refers to "sixth-former" as "What a schoolchild would be during the year before university back in the old days. This would now be known as year 13 or 14." Furthermore, Wikipedia (see table below) characterizes the term "form" as an "alternative/old name".

A form[7] is a class or grouping of students in a school. The term is used predominantly in the United Kingdom, although some schools, mostly private, in other countries also use the title. Pupils are usually grouped in forms according to age and will remain with the same group for a number of years, or sometimes their entire school career.

Forms are normally identified by a number such as "first form" or "sixth form". A form number may be used for two year groups and differentiated by the terms upper and lower [in general, this would seem to apply primarily for the sixth form]. Usually the sixth form is the senior form of a school [although this apparently does not hold true for New Zealand where they would appear to have a seventh form]. In England, the sixth form is usually divided into two year groups, the lower sixth and upper sixth, owing to the 3-year English college/university system. In Scotland or North America, the 6th form is usually a single year, owing to the 4-year college/university system. If there is more than one form for each year group they will normally be differentiated by letters, e.g., "upper four B", "lower two Y". Schools do not follow a consistent pattern in naming forms [in the foregoing quotation witness Miffypops' reference to "year 14",  a term which does not appear in the table below].

Wikipedia would appear to be at best ambiguous and at worst inconsistent on the relationship between the British and American systems of naming school years. The article from which the table below is excerpted shows that the British first form is equivalent to the American 6th grade. On the other hand, the article cited above states "In North America, the 1st Form (or sometimes 'Form I') is equivalent to 7th Grade." However, this latter statement may in fact be a comparison between the few North American schools to use the form system and the vast majority of North American schools that don't rather than a comparison between British and American schools.

 Age RangeBritish SystemAmerican System
NameAlternative/Old NameName
11-12Year 7First form6th grade
12-13Year 8Second form7th grade
13-14Year 9Third form8th grade
14-15Year 10Fourth form9th grade
15-16Year 11Fifth form10th grade
16-17Year 12Lower sixth form11th grade
17-18Year 13Upper sixth form12th grade

hide explanation

Thus the first form (or "Form I") might otherwise be known as "Class I".

2d   Egyptian king familiarly seen with gold // coach (5)

Tutankhamen[5] (also Tutankhamun) (died c.1352 BC) [familiarly known as King Tut] was an Egyptian pharaoh of the 18th dynasty, reigned c.1361–c.1352 BC. His tomb, containing a wealth of rich and varied contents, was discovered virtually intact by the English archaeologist Howard Carter in 1922.

"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

3d   Mobile insured to include mother /and/ nanny (9)

Scratching the Surface
Mobile[5] is a British term for a mobile phone [North American cell phone[5]] ⇒ we telephoned from our mobile to theirs.

4d   Trade // board (4)

In Britain, deal[5] means:
  • fir or pine wood as a building material; or
  • a plank made of fir or pine wood [what we in North America would commonly refer to as lumber]. 
Apparently, this meaning of deal[3,11] also exists (or once existed) in North America, but I would think that it is very rarely used now — especially by the general public.

In Britain, lumber[5] has a totally different meaning than it does in North America, being articles of furniture or other household items that are no longer useful and inconveniently take up storage space.

5d   Like an actor // showing unfairness? (8)

In the UK, US, and several other countries, Equity[5] is a trade union to which all professional actors must belong.

6d   Protest over new // diabolical spirit (5)

Demo[5] is a chiefly British term for a public meeting or march protesting against something or expressing views on a political issue ⇒ a peace demo.

Here and There
North Americans would use demo as a short form for demonstration in the sense of a product demonstration but not for a political demonstration.

7d   Navy tie modelled /to present/ innocence (7)

8d   Renewed fame isn't // obvious (8)

14d   Abuse // film superstar going topless (8)

16d   Native // sailor beginning to head east (9)

"sailor" = 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

17d   Disturb // international organisation supported by Yorkshire Dales town (8)

"international organisation" = UN (show explanation )

The United Nations[5] (abbreviation UN) is an international organization of countries set up in 1945, in succession to the League of Nations, to promote international peace, security, and cooperation.

hide explanation

Settle[7] is a small market town and civil parish in the Craven district of North Yorkshire, England. The town has a population of 2,421 according to the 2001 Census increasing to 2,564 at the 2011 Census.

18d   Burden // umpire with bad weather (7)

Burden[5] is an archaic name for the refrain or chorus of a song.

20d   Book substitute // before a Liverpool fan's turned up? (1-6)

Liverpool Football Club[7] (nicknamed The Reds) is an English professional association football [soccer] club based in Liverpool that plays in the Premier League (the top level in the English football league system).

22d   Unplanned // commercial wine broadcast (2,3)

Hock[5] is a British term for a dry white wine from the German Rhineland.

24d   Smile and start to detest // the nine-to-five? (5)

25d   American exposed hero /as/ addict (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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