Monday, March 6, 2017

Monday, March 6, 2017 — DT 28298

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28298
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, December 15, 2016
RayT (Ray Terrell)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28298]
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


This seemed to be a very benign offering from RayT. Perhaps it felt that way due to the almost total absence of obscure British references.

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   Question // trainee got wrong about arithmetic maybe (11)

10a   Nothing in beak /but/ rope (5)

11a   Second's words managed to carry // fighter (9)

Behind the Video
On Big Dave's Crossword Blog, pommers illustrates his hint with a clip from Captain Blood[7], a 1935 American black-and-white swashbuckling pirate film that stars Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland. The film, based on the 1922 novel Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini, concerns an enslaved doctor and his fellow prisoners who escape their cruel island imprisonment and become pirates in the West Indies.

Warner Bros. Pictures gamble in pairing two relatively unknown performers in the lead roles paid off. Flynn's performance made him a major Hollywood star and established him as the natural successor to Douglas Fairbanks, Sr. Captain Blood also established de Havilland, in just her fourth screen appearance, as a major star and was the first of eight films co-starring Flynn and de Havilland.

12a   Some person's laughter /is/ offensive (9)

13a   Willow // often seen in elementary receptacles initially (5)

14a   On high inside rushed /to get/ drunk (6)

"drink" = SUP (show explanation )

As a verb, sup[5] is a dated or Northern English term meaning to take (drink or liquid food) by sips or spoonfuls ⇒ (i) she supped up her soup delightedly; (ii) he was supping straight from the bottle.

As a noun, sup[5] means (1) a sip of liquid ⇒ he took another sup of wine or (2) in Northern England or Ireland, an alcoholic drink ⇒ the latest sup from those blokes at the brewery.

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16a   Yokels /given/ fine, overlooking pounds and shillings (8)

I had a total mental block on this clue but needed only the gentlest of nudges from my electronic assistants for the solution to become clear.

The pound[5] (also pound sterling) is the basic monetary unit of the UK, equal to 100 pence. While the symbol for pound is £, it is often written as L[10]. (show more )

The Chambers Dictionary defines the upper case L[1] as the abbreviation for pound sterling (usually written £) and the lower case l[1] as the abbreviation for pound weight (usually written lb) — both deriving from the Latin word libra.

In ancient Rome, the libra[5] was a unit of weight, equivalent to 12 ounces (0.34 kg). It was the forerunner of the pound.

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In the British currency system used prior to the introduction of the current decimal currency system in 1971, a shilling[5] (abbreviation s[5]) was a coin and monetary unit equal to one twentieth of a pound or twelve pence.

18a   Atmosphere turned, perhaps around date /for/ last judgement (8)

20a   Feeble // outcome, caught out by sweetheart (6)

"caught" = C (show explanation )

In cricket, one way for a batsman to be dismissed is to be caught out[5], that is for a player on the opposing team to catch a ball that has been hit by the batsman before it touches the ground.

On cricket scorecards, the abbreviation c.[2,10] or c[5] denotes caught (by).

hide explanation

"sweetheart" = E (show explanation )

A common cryptic crossword construct is to use the word "sweetheart" to clue E, the middle letter (heart) of swEet.

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23a   Build up /and/ knock down, they say (5)

24a   One covers smell /of/ rot on dead bats (9)

As an anagram indicator, bats[5] is used as an informal, dated term meaning mad (either [mentally] disturbed) or in a frenzied state).

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.

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26a   Arise /as/ priest's last organised part of church (9)

27a   Independence held back Ohio // state (5)

Like pommers — not to mention a number of others who left comments on Big Dave's Crossword Blog — I questioned the use of O for Ohio. However, despite the fact that the official US Postal Service abbreviation is OH, the abbreviation O[1,2,5,10a] (or O.[1,11]) is found in most of my usual stable of dictionaries.

On the other hand, while I[1,2,3,10] (or I.[1,11]) is given as the abbreviation for independent in a number of these same dictionaries, I[1] (or I.[1]) as an abbreviation for independence is found only in The Chambers Dictionary.

28a   Peels in a bra, accidentally /showing/ bosom (11)

Reeves Reveals All
The photo illustrating pommers' review is of Melissa Reeves who was featured in a couple of seasons of Ex on the Beach, a reality television series that is broadcast on MTV. She is shown as she leaves a charity gala held in Surrey, England in October 2015.

It was not merely a nipple that was revealed that evening. According to the Irish Mirror, a Dublin tabloid:
Ex on the Beach's Melissa Reeves was all boobs and no knickers as she left a charity bash last night.

The reality star and DJ sauntered past the paps wearing a very impractical dress with splits down both sides - on the same night she also opted to leave her knickers at home.

What could possibly go wrong?

Sadly, the night took a very embarrassing turn when a sudden gust of wind exposed Melissa's naked crotch.

The blonde babe attempted to hide her unmentionables by grasping her flimsy frock but sadly it was far too late.
However, I seriously doubt that the photographer who caught the shots featured on the Irish Mirror website was particularly sad.


2d   Retreats /as/ negative vote's accepting sanction (5)

Sanction[5] is an interesting word, being effectively its own antonym. It can mean either official permission or approval for an action or a threatened penalty for disobeying a law or rule.

3d   Cheer /and/ cheer, concealing envy, oddly (7)

4d   Leave // government split by factions conclusively (6)

5d   Grand at first, cad embracing one/'s/ more seedy (8)

While the abbreviation G for "grand" is deemed by the Brits to be an Americanism, it seems to be one that is well known to them — undoubtedly from American gangster films. (show more )

Grand[5] is an informal term for a thousand dollars or pounds he gets thirty-five grand a year. While the term "grand" itself would seem to be commonly used in the UK, the informal abbreviation G[5] meaning grand appears to be regarded as a North American usage I was up nine Gs on the blackjack tables.

G is defined in various British dictionaries as follows:
  1. Oxford Dictionaries: (North American informal) abbreviation for grand, a thousand dollars)[5];
  2. Chambers 21st Century Dictionary: (North American slang) abbreviation for a grand, 1000 dollars[2];
  3. Collins English Dictionary: (mainly US slang) a symbol for grand (a thousand dollars or pounds)[10] .
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Grotty[5] is an informal British term meaning unpleasant and of poor quality ⇒ a grotty little hotel.

6d   Tiresome // editor promises to pay after time (7)

7d   Uncaring // behind bars holding criminal on charge (13)

8d   Beam with nice well-disposed // feeling (8)

What did they say?
In Comment #26 on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, the 2Kiwis remark  Although her majesty was absent we did have the setter’s alias from Toughie land in 8a (sic) as a signature.
Beam is the pseudonym used by crossword compiler Ray Terrell (whom we know on Big Dave's Crossword Blog as RayT) for his Toughie* puzzles.

* In addition to the Cryptic Crossword which is carried in syndication by the National Post, The Daily Telegraph also publishes the Toughie Crossword. The former appears in The Daily Telegraph from Monday to Saturday — customarily on the back page of the paper (and thus is commonly referred to on Big Dave's blog as the 'back-pager'). The latter is published from Tuesday to Friday and is found somewhere in the middle of the paper. A separate series of Cryptic Crossword puzzles appears in The Sunday Telegraph.

9d   I contort spine awkwardly /for/ self-examination (13)

15d   Wasteful // swine taking stick over nearly everything (8)

17d   Philander topless, somehow /becoming/ extreme (8)

19d   Relative/'s/ favourite's raised accordingly by name (7)

21d   Fine and noble protecting independent American // state (7)

"fine" = F (show explanation )

F[5] is an abbreviation for fine, as used in describing grades of pencil lead [a usage that Oxford Dictionaries surprisingly characterizes as British].

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A lord[10] is a male member of the nobility, especially in Britain.

We saw a slightly different form of "independent" in 27a. However, both forms reduce to the same result.

A[1] is the abbreviation for America or American [among a long list of other possibilities].

22d   Mature old burgundy's opening up /in/ cellar (6)

A bodega[5] is a cellar or shop selling wine and food, especially in a Spanish-speaking country or area.

25d   Benefit /of/ a fine screen for the audience (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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