Thursday, March 16, 2017

Thursday, March 16, 2017 — DT 28307

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28307
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Monday, December 26, 2016
Rufus (Roger Squires)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28307]
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 is Boxing Day in Crosswordland and the Christmas-themed clues continue — albeit at a somewhat subdued pace.

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   Share a roll, /being/ a reasonable person (11)

9a   Time to pack up after Christmas? (6,3)

It may help to check the "Puzzle at a Glance" box to see when this puzzle was published in the UK.

10a   We hear forty of the Romans // do better (5)

11a   Weapons carried by police // that may produce stares (6)

12a   Face up! It might mean the opposite! (4,4)

If you lie "face up" then you surely cannot be anything but "back down". However, in another context, these two terms mean the opposite.

13a   Go and hunt out // duck (6)

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 usually used to indicate the letter "O" based on the resemblance of the digit "0" to this letter. However, today it actually denotes zero.

Nought[5] is a British term for the digit 0.

15a   Accommodation for poor sailors? (8)

These poor sailors are not inept crew members but impoverished passengers.

Steerage[5] is a historical term denoting the part of a ship providing the cheapest accommodation for passengers ⇒ poor emigrants in steerage.

18a   Stone pitcher (8)

Catapult[5] is the British term for a slingshot[5].

19a   Production of smaller woods for indoor bowls (6)

Bonsai[5] is the art of growing ornamental, artificially dwarfed varieties of trees and shrubs in pots.

21a   Reminder one's given in passing (8)

My first attempt, OBITUARY, did not survive long.

23a   Measures // broken biscuit (one I left) (6)

The cubit[5] was an ancient measure of length, approximately equal to the length of a forearm. It was typically about 18 inches or 44 cm, though there was a long cubit of about 21 inches or 52 cm.

Scratching the Surface
The British use the term biscuit[3,4,11] to refer to a range of foods that include those that would be called either cookies or crackers in North America. A North American biscuit[5] is similar to a British scone.

26a   Dismiss /and/ discuss no further (3,2)

27a   Planned a Yule rest // with no frills (9)

28a   French fortress /as/ the HQ, until being captured (3,8)

The Bastille[5] was a fortress in Paris built in the 14th century and used in the 17th-18th centuries as a state prison. Its storming by the mob on 14 July 1789 marked the start of the French Revolution.


1d   Apply balm /or/ aggravate someone's trouble (3,2,2)

2d   Official charge is /for/ transportation (5)

3d   Pro wins, he is out /for/ a title (9)

4d   Excellent detective // gives assistance (4)

"excellent" = AI (show explanation )

A1[4][5] or A-one[3] meaning first class or excellent comes from a classification for ships in The Lloyd's Register of Shipping where it means equipped to the highest standard or first-class.

hide explanation

DS[10] is the abbreviations for Detective Sergeant. Within the British police, sergeant[7] is the first supervisory rank. Sergeant is senior to the rank of constable, and junior to inspector. Detective sergeants are equal in rank to their uniformed counterparts; only the prefix 'detective' identifies them as having completed at least one of the various detective training courses authorising them to conduct and/or manage investigations into serious and/or complex crime.

5d   Cite ways to develop // arctic wilderness (3,5)

6d   Twitch // at first to wake in confusion (5)

While it might appear that the T is being clued as the first letter of "Twitch", in fact it is the first letter of "To". There is a discussion on this point on Big Dave's Crossword Blog (see the thread at Comment #11).

The wordplay parses as T (at first to; first letter of To) + anagram (in confusion) of WAKE.

Twitch[5] means to cause to move in a specified direction by giving a sharp pull ⇒ he twitched a cigarette out of a packet.

Tweak[5] means to twist or pull (something) sharply ⇒ he tweaked the boy's ear.

7d   Gymnast will need this // money in the bank (7)

8d   New broadcast leaves out 500 // performers (8)

14d   Last /of/ a multi-tea blend (8)

16d   Mum let one out /for/ profit (9)

Emolument[5] (usually emoluments) is a formal term denoting a salary, fee, or profit from employment or office the directors' emoluments.

17d   Split seen in a flirty dress? (8)

Well, I must admit I didn't see it until I received a nudge from my electronic assistants. Let this be prove to all those accusing women that my eyes are not, in fact, fixated there!

18d   Fabulous site // desert inhabitant returned to (7)

In Arthurian legend, Camelot[3] is the site of King Arthur's court.

20d   Enlist round about end of May, // showing panache (2,5)

22d   Outsize rubbish has been stacked around // hen house (5)

"outsize" = OS (show explanation )

The sizes of clothing that North Americans would describe as plus-size[7] (or often big and tall in the case of men's clothing) would be called outsize (abbreviation OS[5]) in Britain.

hide explanation

Rubbish[3] is used in the sense of foolish discourse or nonsense.

24d   Perfect // thought comes to pupil (5)

"pupil" = L (show explanation )

The cryptic crossword convention of L meaning learner or student arises from the L-plate[7], a square plate bearing a sans-serif letter L, for learner, which must be affixed to the front and back of a vehicle in various jurisdictions (including the UK) if its driver is a learner under instruction.

hide explanation

25d   A major landmass, though it could be minor (4)

Asia Minor[5] is the the western peninsula of Asia, which now constitutes the bulk of modern Turkey.
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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