Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Tuesday, March 7, 2017 — DT 28299

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28299
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, December 16, 2016
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28299]
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


For a Giovanni creation, this puzzle would seem to be remarkably gentle.

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   Wittier men reassembling // when it gets cold? (10)

6a   A good journalist // over the hill? (4)

"good" = G (show explanation )

The abbreviation G[10] for good likely relates to its use in grading school assignments or tests.

hide explanation

9a   A very great and eccentric // bohemian (5-5)

10a   Palm Sunday's collection /for/ gifts for the poor (4)

13a   Country worker // gets game bird --- not hard (7)

The solution is a word I had difficulty with yesterday, but not today.

"hard" = H (show explanation )

H[2,5] is an abbreviation for hard, as used in describing grades of pencil lead ⇒ a 2H pencil.

hide explanation

15a   Crazy Merton // tutor (6)

16a   Lordly type // will appear in Paris tomorrow (6)

Aristo[4,5,10] is a chiefly British[12], often derogatory[2], informal short form of aristocratthe stinkingly rich aristos.

17a   Being opposed to any priest /or/ saint I call 'crime' ridiculously (15)

18a   Keep quiet in delightful // meal (6)

"quiet" = 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

20a   Came across house by the end of cobbled // way (6)

"house" = HO (show explanation )

Although not found in most of the dictionaries that I consulted, ho.[10] is the abbreviation for house.

hide explanation

21a   Punished for second parking offence? /That's/ nice! (7)

I would say that this might be considered to be a double definition of a sort — one in which the wordplay provides a description leading to a rather whimsical imagining of what the solution might mean. With all of these caveats (shown in italics), I have chosen to mark this portion of the clue with a dashed underline to indicate both the whimsical nature of the clue and my uncertainty with regard to my classification of the clue.

22a   Cheese // cut short (4)

25a   Oh, the crime can be so // alluring! (4-6)

26a   So /there is/ an attempt after a bit of hesitation (4)

27a   A railway needs to go east of somewhere like Paddington // still (10)

The clue would appear to be a commentary on the fact that trains (at least those running on top of the ground) serve only the area west of Paddington station.

Paddington[7], also known as London Paddington, is a central London railway terminus and London Underground station complex, located on Praed Street in the Paddington area. The site has been the London terminus of the Great Western Railway and its successors since 1838. It was first served by London Underground trains in 1863, as the original western terminus of the Metropolitan Railway, the world's first underground railway.

Paddington is the London terminus of the Great Western Main Line, operated today by Great Western Railway, which provides the majority of commuter and regional passenger services to west London and the Thames Valley region as well as long-distance intercity services to South West England and South Wales. It is also the terminus for services to and from London Heathrow Airport.

Delving Deeper
The children's book character Paddington Bear[7] was named after the station. In the books, by Michael Bond, he is found at the station, having come from "deepest, darkest Peru" and with a note attached to his coat reading "please look after this bear, thank you". A statue of him by Marcus Cornish, based on the original drawings by Peggy Fortnum, is located under the clock on platform 1.


1d   Northern river // sport (4)

The River Wear[7] (pronounced WEER) in North East England rises in the Pennines and flows eastwards, mostly through County Durham to the North Sea in the City of Sunderland. At 60 mi (97 km) long, it is one of the region's longest rivers.

2d   Grandma eats a // sort of bread (4)

Naan is another name for nan bread[10] which, in Indian cookery, is a slightly leavened bread in a large flat leaf shape.

3d   One of two // I plunged into volatile liquid (6)

4d   Trained athlete is trim, OK? // I'm pleased by the improvement! (5,4,4,2)

5d   Fellows carrying little girl, coming to a // holy city (6)

Diana (usually appearing in its diminutive form Di) is certainly the leading contender for most popular female name in Crosswordland.

Medina[5,10] is a city in western Saudi Arabia, around an oasis some 320 km (200 miles) north of Mecca.It is the second most holy city of Islam (after Mecca), being the site of the tomb of Mohammed.

7d   College // people dealing with precious material (10)

Goldsmiths[7], University of London, is a public research university in London, England, specialising in the arts, design, humanities, and social sciences. It is a constituent college of the University of London. It was founded in 1891 as Goldsmiths' Technical and Recreative Institute by the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths in New Cross, London. It was acquired by the University of London in 1904 and was renamed Goldsmiths' College. The word College was dropped from its branding in 2006, but "Goldsmiths' College", with the apostrophe, remains the institution's formal legal name.

8d   Two males interrupting party poem, /creating/ inconvenience (10)

In Britain, disco[5] — in addition to being a style of music or dancing or a club at which such music is performed — can also refer to a party at which people dance to such music.

11d   Troublemaker on a ship, sailor the French // blocked (10)

In his review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Deep Threat sees an imp[5] as being a small, mischievous devil or sprite. On the other hand, I thought of a mischievous child.

In Crosswordland, a ship is rarely anything other than a steamship (abbreviation SS[5]).

"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

"the French" = LE (show explanation )

In French, the masculine singular form of the definite article is le[8].

hide explanation

12d   International organisation's excellent // opening to provide wine? (10)

"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

Topping[5] is a dated informal British term meaning excellent ⇒ that really is a topping dress.

13d   Breakfast cook // who intrudes on another's territory? (7)

Similar to 21a, I would consider the first part of this clue to be a definition of sorts.

14d   Given medical care, /as/ discussed (7)

19d   Come back /with/ vessel for chemistry lab (6)

20d   Country // team that's taken care of, led by this person (6)

Eleven[5] is the number of players on a cricket[7] side or an Association football[7] [soccer] team — and is often used as a metonym for such a team ⇒ at cricket I played in the first eleven.

"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

The wordplay parses as {XI (team; [Roman numeral for] eleven) + (that's taken; contraction for "that has taken" in the cryptic reading) CO (care of; abbrev.)}following (led by) ME (this person).

23d   Summer heat is too much /for/ this bird (4)

The rhea[5] is a large flightless bird of South American grasslands, resembling a small ostrich with greyish-brown plumage.

24d   King entertained by poet /and/ elegist (4)

"king" = R (show explanation )

Rex[5] (abbreviation R[5]) [Latin for king] denotes the reigning king, used following a name (e.g. Georgius Rex, King George) or in the titles of lawsuits (e.g. Rex v. Jones, the Crown versus Jones — often shortened to R. v. Jones).

hide explanation

John Gay[10] (1685–1732) was an English poet and dramatist; author of The Beggar's Opera (1728).

Thomas Gray[5] (1716–1771) was an English poet, best known for Elegy Written in a Country Church-Yard (1751).
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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