Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Tuesday, March 21, 2017 — DT 28310

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28310
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, December 29, 2016
RayT (Ray Terrell)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28310]
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's relatively easy challenge from RayT once again largely avoids seasonal references — with the possible exception of 18d which may be an allusion to a British Christmas pantomime.

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   Anxious, // perhaps even worried about one (12)

9a   Clone // particle spinning around electron briefly (9)

The wordplay could be parsed as:
  • anagram (spinning) of PARTICLE containing (around) E (electron briefly; initial letter of Electron)
  • anagram (spinning around) of PARTICLE + E (electron briefly; initial letter of Electron)
Depending on which parsing one chooses, the particular letter E in the solution clued by "electron briefly" varies.

In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, pommers is at best ambiguous as to the placement of the letter E.

10a   Sharp // old negative contains edges of tint (5)

Nay[10] is an archaic or dialect (except in voting by voice) word for 'no'.

11a   Solitary // island faces empty inlet (6)

Herm[7] is one of the Channel Islands. It is located in the English Channel, north-west of France and south of England. It is 1.5 miles (2.4 km) long and under 0.5 miles (0.80 km) wide and lies between the larger islands of Guernsey and Sark.

Solitary[5] (noun) means a recluse or hermit ⇒ he had something of the solitary about him.

12a   Dance /with/ passion joining new company (8)

Flamenco[5] (Spanish, 'like a Gypsy') is a style of spirited, rhythmical dance performed to flamenco music*, often with castanets.

* a style of Spanish music, played especially on the guitar and accompanied by singing and dancing.

13a   Aspen /is/ common without upper-class (6)

"upper-class" = U (show explanation )

In Britain, U[5] is used informally as an adjective (in respect to language or social behaviour) meaning characteristic of or appropriate to the upper social classes ⇒ U manners.

The term, an abbreviation of  upper class, was coined in 1954 by Alan S. C. Ross, professor of linguistics, and popularized by its use in Nancy Mitford's Noblesse Oblige (1956).

In Crosswordland, the letter U is frequently clued by words denoting "characteristic of the upper class" (such as posh or superior) or "appropriate to the upper class" (such as acceptable). 

hide explanation

The aspen[5] is a poplar tree with small rounded long-stalked leaves that tremble in the breeze.

15a   One's in rush after Conservative // whip, say (8)

"Conservative" = C (show explanation )

The abbreviation for Conservative may be either C.[10] or Con.[10].

A Tory[10] is a member or supporter of the Conservative Party in Great Britain or Canada.

Historically, a Tory[10] was a member of the English political party that opposed the exclusion of James, Duke of York from the royal succession (1679–80). Tory remained the label for subsequent major conservative interests until they gave birth to the Conservative Party in the 1830s.

The Conservative Party[5] is a a major British political party that emerged from the old Tory Party under Sir Robert Peel in the 1830s and 1840s. Since the Second World War, it has been in power 1951–64, 1970-74, and 1979–97. It governed in a coalition with the Liberal Democrats from 2010 until the general election of May 2015, in which it was returned with a majority.

hide explanation

18a   Alternative drainage /needed for/ plant (8)

The gardenia[5] is any of several species of tree or shrub of warm climates, with large, fragrant white or yellow flowers.

19a   Chaste // but gettin' close, reportedly (6)

Verge[10] (on) means to be near (to) ⇒ to verge on chaos.

21a   One runs // small computer peripheral (8)

23a   Pull // head of radish stuck in soil (6)

26a   Looking at // some money in gamble (5)

27a   Flipping partner can start to get // repulsive (9)

Scratching the Surface
Flipping[5] is an informal British term used for emphasis or to express mild annoyance ⇒ (i) are you out of your flipping mind?; (ii) it’s flipping cold today.

28a   Show // possibly entertains with endless pop (12)


1d   Zeppelin // tune's welcome on piano (7)

"piano" = P (show explanation )

Piano[3,5] (abbreviation p[5]), is a musical direction meaning either (as an adjective) soft or quiet or (as an adverb) softly or quietly.

hide explanation

The Zeppelin[5] was a large German dirigible airship of the early 20th century, long and cylindrical in shape and with a rigid framework. Zeppelins were used during the First World War for reconnaissance and bombing, and after the war as passenger transports until the 1930s.

Scratching the Surface
Led Zeppelin[5], an English rock band formed in London in 1968, are widely considered one of the most successful, innovative, and influential rock groups in history.. The group consisted of guitarist Jimmy Page, singer Robert Plant, bassist and keyboardist John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham. The group disbanded following Bonham's death in 1980. In the decades that followed, the surviving members sporadically collaborated and participated in one-off Led Zeppelin reunions.

2d   One prints articles perhaps enraging readers initially (5)

In this semi-&lit. clue — or, as some prefer to call it, semi-all-in-one clue (show explanation ), the entire clue acts as the definition while the portion with the dashed underline provides the wordplay. While some might consider the word "initially" to be extraneous to the definition, if it is not included as part of the definition, the clue would violate a cryptic crossword convention on words doing double duty as definition and wordplay.

In an &lit. clue[7] (or, as some prefer to call it, all-in-one clue) the entire clue provides not only the definition (when read one way), but under a different interpretation also serves as the wordplay.

In a semi-&lit. clue (or, as some prefer to call it, semi-all-in-one clue), either:
  • the entire clue acts as the definition while a portion of the clue provides the wordplay; or
  • the entire clue acts as the wordplay while a portion of the clue provides the definition.
hide explanation

3d   Take out // bird in exclusive surroundings (9)

Mina[2] is a seemingly rare [at least, outside the borders of Crosswordland] alternative spelling of myna (also mynah) any of various large, southeast Asian birds of the starling family, some of which can be taught to imitate human speech. Among the several dictionaries that I consult on a regular basis, this spelling is found only in The Chambers Dictionary and the Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary[11] in addition to the cited entry from Chambers 21st Century Dictionary.

Scratching the Surface
Bird[5] is an informal British term for a young woman or a man’s girlfriend.

4d   English cow perhaps /produces/ cheese (4)

A dam[5] is the female parent of an animal, especially a domestic mammal.

Edam[5] is a round Dutch cheese, typically pale yellow with a red wax coating.

5d   Furtive /and/ bashful, embracing bird on time (8)

The teal[5] is a small freshwater duck, typically with a greenish band on the wing that is most prominent in flight.

Scratching the Surface
The girlfriend from 3d makes another appearance.

6d   Harm one violently bottling up // poison (5)

7d   Reputation // still // rising (8)

A rarely-seen triple definition.

8d   In lay-by, go near /to get/ past (6)

Scratching the Surface
Lay-by[2] is a British term for an area off to the side of a road where cars can stop safely without disrupting the flow of traffic.

14d   Realist oddly supports Left /in/ painting (8)

16d   Bit // unwell encased by cast in suffering (9)

17d   Weapons // companies checking each rifle's tip (8)

18d   Cinders follows Charming's rear /and/ splits (6)

Scratching the Surface
Cinders is likely an allusion the heroine in a British pantomime* based on the story of Cinderella. As the theatrical promo states The time has come for the real story of Cinderella to be told, warts and all! This hilarious Panto puts an interesting twist on an old familiar story, and gives us a Cinderella for the 21st Century.. In fact, there appear to be at least two British pantomimes by that name — the previously mentioned one by David Tristram and another by Geoff Bamber.

Of course, that makes "Charming" a reference to her Prince.

* A pantomime[5] (or panto[5] for short) is a traditional British theatrical entertainment, mainly for children, which involves music, topical jokes, and slapstick comedy and is based on a fairy tale or nursery story, usually produced around Christmas.

While attempting to track down the elusive Cinders, I encountered the following pretenders to the role:
  • Mr. Cinders[7], a musical produced in the UK in 1928, is an inversion of the Cinderella fairy tale with the gender roles reversed. The Prince Charming character has become a modern (1928) young and forceful woman, and Mr. Cinders is a menial. The show captures the last frantic gasps of the roaring twenties before the gloom of the Great Depression settled in.
  • Ella Cinders[7], is a 1926 American silent comedy film based on the syndicated comic strip of the same name.
  • Cinders: A Chicken Cinderella is a retelling of the Cinderella story by children's author Jan Brett who sets her Cinderella story in a snowy Russian winter where one magical night, Cinders, the most picked upon hen in the flock, becomes the most loved by Prince Cockerel when she arrives at his ball looking so beautiful that even her bossy sisters don't recognize her.

20d   No bother about // figure (7)

A nonagon[5] is a plane figure with nine straight sides and nine angles.

22d   Country/'s/ queen mostly coming from the south (5)

Regina[5] (abbreviation R[5]) [Latin for queen] denotes the reigning queen, used following a name (e.g. Elizabetha Regina, Queen Elizabeth) or in the titles of lawsuits (e.g. Regina v. Jones, the Crown versus Jones — often shortened to R. v. Jones).

Niger[5] is a landlocked country in West Africa, on the southern edge of the Sahara; population 15,306,300 (est. 2009): languages, French (official), Hausa, and other West African languages: capital, Niamey. Part of French West Africa from 1922, Niger became an autonomous republic within the French Community in 1958 and fully independent in 1960.

24d   Excuse /of/ a party, formerly independent (5)

Although formally not a "former party" — for all intents and purposes the British Liberal Party would seem to be precisely that.

The Liberal Party[5] (abbreviation Lib.[5] or L[2])* in Britain emerged in the 1860s from the old Whig Party and until the First World War was one of the two major parties in Britain. In 1988 the party regrouped with elements of the Social Democratic Party to form the Social and Liberal Democrats, now known as the Liberal Democrats.

However, a small Liberal Party still exists although it has no representation in the UK Parliament, no Members of the European Parliament (MEP), no members of the Scottish Parliament, nor any members of the National Assembly for Wales.[7]

* Although Lib.[5] may be the more common abbreviation for the Liberal Party in Britain — likely to distinguish it from the the Labour Party[5] (abbreviation Lab.[5]) — Chambers 21st Century Dictionary indicates that L[2] may also be used.

"independent" = I (show explanation )

I[1] is the abbreviation for independent, likely in the context of a politician with no party affiliation.

hide explanation

25d   Part of stove, naturally (4)

This is another semi-&lit. (semi-all-in-one) clue (see discussion at 2d). However, in this case it is the wordplay which constitutes the entire clue and the definition (marked with a solid underline) which forms only part of the clue.
Key to Reference Sources: 

[1]   - The Chambers Dictionary, 11th Edition
[2]   - Search Chambers - (Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)
[3]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (American Heritage Dictionary)
[4]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (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] - CollinsDictionary.com (Collins English Dictionary)
[11] - TheFreeDictionary.com (Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary)
[12] - CollinsDictionary.com (Webster’s New World College Dictionary)
Signing off for today — Falcon

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