Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Wednesday, March 1, 2017 — DT 28295

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28295
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Monday, December 12, 2016
Rufus (Roger Squires)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28295]
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 we have the usual very enjoyable offering from Rufus together with an especially playful review from Miffypops. While his reviews are always interesting, delivered in his eminently readable chatty style, his ramblings sometimes stray into the realm of "alternative facts".

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   Papal orders // cause dismay (5)

4a   Harmony sprays containing carbon // that comes by royal appointment (8)

"carbon" = C (show explanation )

The symbol for the chemical element carbon is C[5].

hide explanation

I struggled with identifying the definition in this clue. In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Miffypops shows it as being "royal appointment". However, I just can't quite square that with monarchy.

I have decided (although, admittedly, I do not like it much better than Miffypops' choice) to say that the definition is "[something] that comes by royal appointment"; that is, having appointed a royal to head one's country, one (by definition) has a monarchy.

8a   Played pirate in company making a comeback // with music (8)

In this clue, I have absolutely no hesitation in saying that the definition is "with music" and not merely "music" as Miffypops has indicated in his review.

9a   A copper-lined box /made/ carefully and precisely (8)

"copper" = CU (show explanation )

The symbol for the chemical element copper is Cu[5] (from late Latin cuprum).

hide explanation

In his review, Miffypops seems to confuse copper-lined and copper-coated. However, Big Dave puts things straight.

11a   Violent melee in front of National Trust // unit (7)

In Britain, the National Trust[5] (abbreviation NT) is a trust for the preservation of places of historic interest or natural beauty in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, founded in 1895 and supported by endowment and private subscription. The National Trust for Scotland[7], a separate organization, was founded in 1931.

13a   Missing persons (9)

This is hardly the most cryptic of cryptic definitions ...

15a   Current account (11,4)

... but this one is much better.

New Business Opportunity
I do believe that Miffypops may have stumbled upon a new money-making venture — namely, billing people for the supply of static electricity!

18a   Student sitting in beginning to enjoy // lecture (7-2)

It seems that I must have confounded "telling off" and "talking-to" and come up with "telling-to" and then never bothered to verify that it parsed. It did fit the checking letters so even that check failed me.

"student" = 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

21a   Render an account (7)

And yet another pretty good cryptic definition.

Render[2] is used in the sense of to perform (the role of a character in a play, a piece of music, etc).

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Miffypops tells us that David Attenborough does this very well.

You may recall from yesterday's review that Sir David Attenborough[5] is an English naturalist and broadcaster, brother of English film actor, producer, and director Richard Attenborough. He is known for films of animals in their natural habitats, including Life on Earth (1979), The Trials of Life (1990), and The Life of Mammals (2002).

Scratching the Surface
In the surface reading, render[10] is used in the sense of to present or submit (accounts, etc) for payment, approval, or action.

22a   Recommending // distressed diva do what divas do? (8)

24a   Certified // bureaucrat? (8)

25a   Solitary eccentric, // supporter of the monarchy (8)

In Britain, a Royalist[5] was a supporter of the King against Parliament in the English Civil War.

Behind the Picture
The picture that Miffypops uses to illustrate his review shows not a Royalist but the man who led the opposing side in the English Civil War.

Oliver Cromwell[7] (1599–1658), an English military and political leader and later Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England (which, at the time, included Wales), Scotland and Ireland. Cromwell[5] was the leader of the victorious Parliamentary forces (or Roundheads) in the English Civil War (1642-49). As head of state he styled himself Lord Protector, and refused Parliament’s offer of the Crown in 1657. His rule was notable for its puritan reforms in the Church of England. After his death from natural causes in 1658 he was buried in Westminster Abbey, but after the Royalists returned to power in 1660 they had his corpse dug up, hung in chains, and beheaded.

26a   I must leave region, unfortunately /being/ one beyond help (5)

I think Miffypops, in his review, is playing games with us when he substitutes IGNORE for REGION as the anagram fodder.


1d   The youngster/'s/ grant's in a foreign currency (10)

Okay, where should I start in commenting on Miffypops' observations. First, the clue is — at best — merely a partial charade. For the most part it is another one of those insertions that Kitty so enjoys.

Second, surely a cent and a dollar are both units of currency just as an inch and a foot are both units of length.

Finally, I won't even mention the misuse of the apostrophe — Oops! I think I just did.

Here and There
While the currency referred to in the clue is "foreign" to the Brits, that is certainly not the case on this side of the pond. However, the tables are turned in the next clue.

2d   Keep // small cash book (8)

In Britain's current decimal currency system, a penny[5] (plural pennies [for separate coins] or pence [for a sum of money]) is a bronze coin and monetary unit equal to one hundredth of a pound. The abbreviation for penny or pence is p[5].

3d   Miss // holiday abroad (5,3)

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Miffypops writes that leave is a word for your holiday time (imported from [as Miffypops playfully puts it] the Useless States of America).
The word leave seems to mean the same thing in the UK as it does in North America and I could find no evidence that the word (in any sense) was imported into Britain from the US. In fact, the word leave[2] seems to date back to Anglo-Saxon times.

Now, it would be quite a different story were we to discuss the words holiday and vacation (show explanation ).

The British use the word holiday(s) where North Americans might say vacation[5]. Holiday[5,10] (often holidays) is a chiefly British term for a period in which a break is taken from work or studies for rest, travel, or recreation (i) I spent my summer holidays on a farm; (ii) Fred was on holiday in Spain.

According to the British dictionaries, the usual US and Canadian term for such a break is vacation. However, I am accustomed to hearing the two terms used almost interchangeably — in much the same manner as fall and autumn (see 5d). This may not be the case in all parts of Canada, but I grew up in the Maritimes and have lived in Eastern Ontario for most of my life, both areas where British influence is particularly strong.

In Britain, the word vacation[5] has a very specific meaning, a fixed holiday period between terms in universities and law courts ⇒ the Easter vacation. In North America, such a period might be called a break[7].

hide explanation

4d   Mineral // that could be discharged by seismic activity (4)

5d   Fall for an American (6)

There is no fault to pick with Miffypops' analysis of how this season came to have a different name in the US than in the UK. Of course, being Canadians, we pick no sides, using both terms pretty much interchangeably.

What Miffypops does neglect to mention is that after exporting the name Fall to the colonies, the Brits adopted the French name.

Delving Deeper
According to Oxford Dictionaries, fall[5] (also Fall) is the North American term for autumn while Collins English Dictionary characterizes fall[10] as a mainly US term for autumn.

The word fall[7] actually came to North America from England. Before the 16th century, harvest was the term usually used to refer to the season, as is common in other West Germanic languages to this day (cf. Dutch herfst and German Herbst). However, as more people gradually moved from working the land to living in towns (especially those who could read and write, the only people whose use of language we now know), the word harvest lost its reference to the time of year and came to refer only to the actual activity of reaping, and autumn, as well as fall, began to replace it as a reference to the season.

The term fall came to denote the season in 16th century England. During the 17th century, English emigration to the British colonies in North America was at its peak, and the new settlers took the English language with them. While the term fall gradually became obsolete in Britain, it became the more common term in North America.

6d   Stick /that's/ split? (6)

Cleave[5] (verb) means to split or sever (something), especially along a natural line or grain ⇒ the large chopper* his father used to cleave wood for the fire.

* Chopper[2,5,10] is a mainly British term for a small hand axe having a short handle and a large blade.

Cleave[5] (verb) is a literary term meaning to stick fast to ⇒ Rose's mouth was dry, her tongue cleaving to the roof of her mouth.

7d   Have a drink after end of study /in/ university (4)

"Ivy Leaf"? A bit more playfulness from Miffypops, methinks.

Yale University[5] is a university at New Haven, Connecticut, one of the most prestigious in the US. It was founded in 1701.

10d   Actors getting support from press? // It's hard (4,4)

12d   Challenging /and/ accepting (6,2)

14d   Old sailor with stock of wine /in/ small vessel (4,6)

16d   Desire // new head to lead study (8)

17d   Ivan is bent on // intrusion (8)

19d   Left one extremely // out of sorts (6)

Livery[5] is an informal term meaning liverish*port always makes you livery.

* Liverish[5] means unhappy and bad-tempered.

20d   Insinuate // popular list needs reordering (6)

22d   State /of/ a cleric looking heavenwards (4)

23d   An extremely painful condition (4)

A painful condition (precise definition) that affects the body's extremities (as alluded to by the cryptic elaboration denoted by the dashed underline).
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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