Thursday, March 30, 2017

Thursday, March 30, 2017 — DT 28341

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28341
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, February 3, 2017
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28341]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Deep Threat
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, we find Giovanni in a rather gentle mood which did not give me too much difficulty. Even at 13a, being familiar with the mineral allowed me to get to the correct solution despite not having heard of the Irish point,.

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.


7a   Seven matters I'd written about /in/ notices for the press? (14)

9a   Stratagem needed by this person sunk in depression /in/ military manoeuvre (10)

"this person" = ME (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.

hide explanation

11a   Fish /in/ tremulous motion, first to get away (4)

The hake[5] is any of several species of large-headed elongated fish with long jaws and strong teeth. It is a valuable commercial food fish.

12a   The deep // chair maybe with no back (3)

The deep[5] is a literary term for the sea ⇒ denizens of the deep.

13a   Go around northernmost place in Ireland -- finally locate // valuable mineral (10)

Malin Head[5] is a point on the coast of County Donegal, the northernmost point of Ireland. The shipping forecast area Malin covers the Atlantic north of Ireland and west of the southern half of Scotland.

Tourmaline[10] is any of a group of hard glassy minerals of variable colour consisting of complex borosilicates of aluminium with quantities of lithium, sodium, calcium, potassium, iron, and magnesium in hexagonal crystalline form: used in optical and electrical equipment and in jewellery.

16a   Bananas /and/ crunchy food (4)

17a   Hesitation about bad feeling -- /give me/ a break! (7)

18a   Lax // female, the Parisian caught by detectives (7)

"the Parisian" = LA (show explanation )

In French, the feminine singular form of the definite article is la[8].

hide explanation

"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

"detectives" = CID (show explanation )

The Criminal Investigation Department (seemingly better known by its abbreviation CID[2]) is the detective branch of a British police force.

hide explanation

20a   The Bard/'s/ determination (4)

The Bard[10] is an epithet of William Shakespeare.

* Bard[10] is an archaic or literary term for any poet, especially one who writes lyric or heroic verse or is of national importance.

21a   One girl, May, works /in/ a branch of earth sciences (10)

23a   Past // ace has to give way (3)

24a   Get rid of // garden feature? (4)

25a   Paper /shows/ way the woman entered into risky venture (10)

I thought the solution was a common journalistic term but was surprised not to find it in American dictionaries. Broadsheet[5] denotes a newspaper with a large format, regarded as more serious and less sensationalist than tabloids ⇒ the tabloidization of the broadsheets.

28a   Horses // escape shelters, going wild (14)

Today, we know a steeplechase[5] as a horse race run on a racecourse having ditches and hedges as jumps. Originally, however, it was a cross country race in which a steeple marked the finishing point.


1d   Finish the whole affair /and/ drink neat gin? (4,4,4,2)

The second "definition" (if it can be called that) is a literal interpretation of phrase forming the solution to the clue.

It[5] is an informal, dated British term for Italian vermouth [an ingredient commonly used in combination with gin in a cocktail] ⇒ he poured a gin and it.

2d   Cricket ground /with/ duck leading to endless depression (4)

"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.

hide explanation

Vale[5,10] is literary word for valley also found in place names ⇒ the Vale of Glamorgan.

The Oval[7], currently known for sponsorship reasons as the Kia Oval, is an international cricket ground in Kennington, in the London Borough of Lambeth, South London. The Oval has been the home ground of Surrey County Cricket Club since it was opened in 1845. It was the first ground in England to host international Test* cricket in September 1880. The final Test match of the English season is traditionally played there.

* Test[5] (short for Test match)[5] denotes an international cricket or rugby match, typically one of a series, played between teams representing two different countries ⇒ the Test match between Pakistan and the West Indies.

3d   Time to get a little sunshine -- // one may come with some tea (4)

4d   Like a kind of energy /that gets/ old cows twitching (7)

Kine[5] is an archaic term for cows collectively ⇒ the lowing kine came home at twilight.

Twitching, being a gerund, is a verb form that can double as a noun.

5d   Most successful rep /gets/ a popular book (4,6)

6d   Robot-like /as/ Bottom, say, in A Midsummer Night's Dream (10)

A mechanical[7] is any of six characters in William Shakespeare's play A Midsummer Night's Dream who perform the play-within-a-play Pyramus and Thisbe. Named for their occupations as skilled manual laborers, they are a group of amateur (mostly incompetent) actors from around Athens, looking to make names for themselves by having their production chosen among several acts as the courtly entertainment for the royal wedding party of Theseus and Hippolyta. The biggest ham among them, Bottom, becomes the unlikely object of interest for love-potion-charmed fairy queen Titania after he is turned into a monster with the head, eyes and ears of an ass by the servant-spirit Puck.

8d   Transport items? Simple -- // relax! (4,6,4)

10d   Resistance unit // set up in Nottingham house (3)

The ohm[5] is the SI* unit of electrical resistance.

* SI being the abbreviation for the international system of units of measurement [from French Système International].

14d   What gets sailor up above deck, one being stranded (4,6)

15d   A planetoid, no place having phone /or/ vehicle (10)

Pluto[10] is the second-largest dwarf planet in the solar system, located in the Kuiper belt. Discovered in 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh (1906–1997), it was classified as a planet until 2006 when it was reclassified as a dwarf planet.

Pl.[5] (also pl.) is the abbreviation for Place (in street addresses) ⇒ 3 Palmerston Pl., Edinburgh.

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

19d   Having regular contact // off the field (2,5)

In rugby and soccer [not to mention North American football], touch[10] is the area outside the touchlines*, beyond which the ball is out of play (especially in the phrase in touch.

* A touchline is either of the lines marking the side of the playing area in certain games, such as rugby.

22d   Like son // who lacks wisdom? (3)

26d   Wood // somewhere in Kent (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.

Deal[7] is a town in Kent, England (population 30,085 at 2011 census) which lies on the English Channel, eight miles northeast of Dover. It is a former fishing, mining and garrison town. Close to Deal is Walmer, a possible location for Julius Caesar's first arrival in Britain. Deal became a 'limb port' of the Cinque Ports in 1278 and grew into the busiest port in England; today it is a seaside resort, its quaint streets and houses the only reminder of its history. The coast of France is approximately twenty-five miles from the town and is visible on clear days.

27d   It sounds like he would // take notice (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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