Friday, April 28, 2017

Friday, April 28, 2017 — DT 28362

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28328
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Setter
Unknown
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28362]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Mr Kitty
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★ / ★★★ Enjoyment - ★★★
Falcon's Experience
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███████████████████████████████████
└────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┘
Legend:
- 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

Introduction

Today's pleasant diversion is provided by one of the mystery "Tuesday" setters.

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.

Across

1a   Concerned with landlord /giving/ party in America (10)

Publican[5] is a British term for a person who owns or manages a pub.

The Republican Party[5] is one of the two main US political parties*, favouring a right-wing stance, limited central government, and tough, interventionist foreign policy. It was formed in 1854 in support of the anti-slavery movement preceding the Civil War.

* the other being the Democratic Party

6a   Picture // of dream life in retirement (4)

9a   Intermediary /in/ affair (7)

10a   Local girl /offering/ endless foolish help (7)

Local[5] is an informal British term for a pub convenient to a person’s home ⇒ a pint in the local.

Barmy[5] (adjective) is an informal British term meaning:
  • mad; crazy ⇒ I thought I was going barmy at first
  • extremely foolish ⇒ this is a barmy decision
12a   Arrangement // subject to rank (13)

14a   Male attending racecourse, // one bringing good fortune (6)

Ascot Racecourse[7] is a British racecourse, located in Ascot, Berkshire, England, which is used for thoroughbred horse racing.

15a   Exchanges views about island/’s/ trees (8)

17a   Attacking tactic /in/ round, getting on, close to hole (5,3)

Here and There
Round[5] is a chiefly British term meaning a journey along a fixed route delivering goods as part of one’s job or a job involving such journeys ⇒ I did a newspaper round.

From a British perspective,  route[5] is a North American term meaning a round travelled in delivering, selling, or collecting goods.

Route one[5] is an informal soccer* term denoting the use of long kicks upfield as an attacking tactic ⇒ (i) they would be favouring route one as opposed to the fancy stuff; (ii) [Manchester] City are not a Route One team.

* although this is certainly one instance where I suspect it might be far more appropriate to say "British football" rather than soccer

The term comes from a phrase used in the 1960s British television quiz show Quizball, in which questions (graded in difficulty) led to scoring a goal, Route One being the direct path.

19a   A gun I pulled out facing a // reptile (6)

22a   Novel /and/ daring symphony? (5,3,5)

The New World Symphony[7] is the popular name of Symphony No. 9 in E minor, "From the New World", Op. 95, B. 178, created by Czech composer Antonín Dvořák (1841–1904) in 1893 while he was the director of the National Conservatory of Music of America from 1892 to 1895. It is by far his most popular symphony, and one of the most popular of all symphonies. Neil Armstrong took a recording of the New World Symphony to the Moon during the Apollo 11 mission, the first Moon landing, in 1969.

Brave New World[7] is a novel written in 1931 by English author Aldous Huxley (1894–1963), and published in 1932. Set in London in the year AD 2540 (632 A.F.—"After Ford"—in the book), the novel anticipates developments in reproductive technology, sleep-learning, psychological manipulation, and classical conditioning that are combined to profoundly change society.

24a   Terse editor // filled in (7)

25a   Phone about vase // during the day (7)

26a   Woman // in poem, 'Maud' (4)

Scratching the Surface
Maud[7] is a poem written by British poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–1892) contained in the collection Maud and other poems[7], published in 1855.

27a   Soldiers, // rangers, die on manoeuvres (10)

In the British Army, a grenadier[10] is a member of the senior regiment of infantry in the Household Brigade*.

* A household brigade[5] is a brigade comprising troops having (at least nominal) responsibility for guarding the monarch or head of state.

Down

1d   Function /of/ register to be announced (4)

Behind the Picture
Rachel Riley[7] is an English television presenter [host] and mathematician who currently co-presents the British daytime puzzle show Countdown, among others. A mathematics graduate, her television debut came when she joined Countdown at age 22; with a passion for popularising maths* and the sciences.

* the British shorten "mathematics" to merely 'maths' as compared to North Americans who further shorten it to 'math'

2d   Trifling sum /or/ what could make up a packet? (7)

I consider this to be a double definition — even if Mr Kitty would appear to differ.

3d   Overcome with worry concerning the others? (6,7)

I agonized over how to mark this clue. In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Mr Kitty says "Taken literally, the answer could refer to everybody else". Yes, BESIDES ONESELF does refer or allude to the "the others" (everybody else) but I have not been able to convince myself that it is a direct synonym for "the others". Thus, I have marked the later part of the clue as cryptic elaboration in a cryptic definition style of clue rather than as a second definition.

4d   Take no notice of // bombed region (6)

5d   I'm in boat at sea /achieving/ goal (8)

7d   Conceive of // silver being discovered in one excavation (7)

I saw the definition as being "conceive of" rather than merely "conceive" (as Mr Kitty indicates in his review):
  • Conceive /of/ silver being discovered in one excavation (7)
However, I would say that either approach is valid.

Conceive[5] means to form a mental representation of or imagine(i) without society an individual cannot be conceived as having rights; (ii) we could not conceive of such things happening to us.

The symbol for the chemical element silver is Ag[5] from Latin argentum.

8d   Crazy story going round about king in large island (10)

"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

Madagascar[5] is an island country in the Indian Ocean, off the east coast of Africa. Madagascar is the fourth-largest island in the world, and many of its plants and animals are not found elsewhere.

11d   Show up /and/ spin band's disc (3,5,5)

Show up[10] in the sense of to to put to shame or embarrass ⇒ he showed me up in front of my friends.

Run (or make) rings round (or around) someone[5] is an informal expression meaning to outclass or outwit someone very easily ⇒ I had to be very firm with her, or she'd have run rings around me.

13d   Unlikely // I'm in favour of very small person, about fifty (10)

16d   Cause // General to board small boat heading off (8)

A tender[5] is a dinghy or other boat used to ferry people and supplies to and from a ship.

18d   Greek character in a game, rising // element (7)

Mu[5] is the twelfth letter of the Greek alphabet (Μ, μ).

"game" = RU (show explanation )

Rugby union[10] (abbreviation RU[5]) is a form of rugby football played between teams of 15 players (in contrast to rugby league[5], which is played in teams of thirteen).

 Rugby union[7] is is the national sport in New Zealand, Wales, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Madagascar.

hide explanation

20d   Play moderately slowly // with stake money (7)

In music, andante[5] is an adverb and adjective meaning (especially as a direction) in a moderately slow tempo.

21d   Country // we study after onset of storms (6)

23d   A short final, // unfortunately (4)
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)
[13] - MacmillanDictionary.com (Macmillan Dictionary)
Signing off for today — Falcon

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Thursday, April 27, 2017 — DT 28361

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28361
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Monday, February 27, 2017
Setter
Rufus (Roger Squires)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28361]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Miffypops masquerading as The Klondike Kid
BD Rating
Difficulty - Enjoyment - ★★★
Falcon's Experience
┌────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┐
███████████████████████████████████
└────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┘
Legend:
- 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

Introduction

Rufus serves up a most enjoyable puzzle today that won't strain the brain cells too much but should tickle one's fancy.

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.

Across

1a   Garden parties? (4,3,3)

6a   Back gas ring, /that's needed for/ this pudding (4)

Sago[7] is a starch extracted from the spongy centre, or pith, of various tropical palm stems. It is a major staple food for the lowland peoples of New Guinea and the Moluccas — not to mention British school children.

Sago is often produced commercially in the form of "pearls". Sago pearls can be boiled with water or milk and sugar to make a sweet sago pudding. Sago pearls are similar in appearance to tapioca pearls and the two may be used interchangeably in some dishes. In the UK, both sago and tapioca have long been used in sweet milk puddings which, apparently, are an unwelcome staple at British boarding schools.

10a   Disinclined to use a palindrome? (5)

The structure of this clue is very similar to 23d in yesterday's puzzle — namely, a cryptic definition in which a "straight" definition (marked with a solid underline) is combined with cryptic elaboration (marked with a dotted underline). The clue states that the solution is a synonym for "disinclined" that furthermore happens to be a palindrome.

The difference between this clue and the one that we saw yesterday is that today the "straight" definition is a bit on the cryptic side and the elaboration is not so cryptic.

11a   Study secures present church // agreement (9)

"study"= CON (show explanation )

Con[5] is an archaic term meaning to study attentively or learn by heart (a piece of writing)  ⇒ the girls conned their pages with a great show of industry.

hide explanation

"church" = CE (show explanation )

The Church of England[10] (abbreviation CE[10]) is the reformed established state Church in England, Catholic in order and basic doctrine, with the Sovereign as its temporal head.

hide explanation

12a   Notional // professor? (8)

How's that again?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, 'The Klondike Kid' writes The second is an adverb.
... or, rather, the first is an adjective.

13a   The state of the Sphinx and the Pyramids! (5)

15a   Visual // changes made to Capitol (7)

Scratching the Surface
The Capitol[5] is the temple of Jupiter on the Capitoline Hill in ancient Rome.

The word capitol[5] is a US term for a building housing a legislative assembly the work is on display at the Utah state capitolThe Capitol[5] is the seat of the US Congress in Washington DC.

17a   He deprives others of their occupation (7)

19a   Partly improves personal // service (7)

In the Roman Catholic Church, vespers[2] is the sixth of the canonical hours*, taking place towards evening. In some other Christian churches, vespers[2] is an evening service (also known as evensong).

* The canonical hours are the hours appointed for prayer and devotion or the services prescribed for these times, which are matins, lauds, terce, sext, none, vespers and compline.

21a   Large number make certain /you get/ blame (7)

"large number" = C (show explanation )

In cryptic crosswords,  "(a) number" is very often a Roman numeral and, in particular, terms such as "(a) large number", "many" or "a great many" are frequently used  to indicate that a large Roman numeral — generally C (100), D (500), or M (1000) — is required.

hide explanation

22a   High-quality // pupils (5)

Having filled in the wrong solution for 23d, my efforts here were significantly impeded. However, the penny did eventually drop.

24a   Electoral divisions, locally, // or in branches (8)

Historically, in Britain, a borough[5] was a town sending representatives to Parliament.

27a   Unoriginal form of flattery (9)

An allusion to the quotation from English cleric and writer Charles Caleb Colton (1780–1832) that imitation is the sincerest of flattery (usually stated as imitation is the sincerest form of flattery).

The ever-so-humble Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) extended this to imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.

28a   Eye-catching gadgets (5)

A hook and eye[5] is a small metal hook and loop used together as a fastener on a garment.

29a   Awkward ones /giving/ negative votes (4)

How's that again?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, 'The Klondike Kid' writes Anagram (awkward) of NOES.
... or, just maybe, an anagram (awkward) of ONES.

30a   Nine crates mixed // fruit (10)

Down

1d   The Spanish scholar brought up // showing talent (4)

"the Spanish" = EL (show explanation )

In Spanish, the masculine singular form of the definite article is el[8].

hide explanation

2d   Recommends // Scottish silks, perhaps (9)

In Britain, silk[5] is an informal term for a Queen’s (or King’s) Counsel [so named because of the right accorded to wear a gown made of silk].

* A Queen's Counsel[7] (postnominal QC), or King's Counsel (postnominal KC) during the reign of a king, is an eminent lawyer (most often a barrister) who is appointed by the Queen to be one of "Her Majesty's Counsel learned in the law."

Advocate[5] is the the Scottish and South African term for barrister.

Here and There
Barristers and solicitors[7] are two classes of lawyer. However, the distinction between them varies in different jurisdictions around the world. The following attempt to differentiate the two classes is likely highly oversimplified.

The UK has a split legal profession in which barristers and solicitors have separate and distinct roles. Solicitors are attorneys which means they can act in the place of their client for legal purposes. However, a solicitor is not a member of the bar and therefore [generally (see below)] cannot speak on behalf of a client in court. A barrister is not an attorney and is usually forbidden, either by law or professional rules or both, from "conducting" litigation. This means that while the barrister speaks on the client's behalf in court, he or she can do so only when instructed by a solicitor or certain other qualified professional clients, such as patent agents.

However, the foregoing would appear to be not entirely correct. Collins English Dictionary defines a solicitor[10], in Britain, as a lawyer who advises clients on matters of law, draws up legal documents, prepares cases for barristers, etc, and who may represent clients in certain courts and a barrister[10] (also called barrister-at-law), in England [not Britain], as a lawyer who has been called to the bar and is qualified to plead in the higher courts.

In the US and Canada (with the exception of Quebec), there is generally no legal or regulatory distinction between a barrister and a solicitor - with any qualified lawyer being entitled to practice in either field. In the US, most lawyers call themselves attorneys while in Canada, lawyers will adopt different titles depending on the type of legal practice on which they choose to concentrate (barrister, solicitor, or barrister and solicitor).

3d   Troubled // the French to get help outside (5)

"the French" = LE (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

4d   Point // wrongly claimed (7)

5d   Transport // Clive arranged to accommodate ambassador's return (7)

HE[2] is the abbreviation for His or Her Excellency, where Excellency[2] (usually His, Her or Your Excellency or Your or Their Excellencies) is a title of honour given to certain people of high rank, e.g. ambassadors.

7d   In any case there's no // trouble (5)

8d   Went too far round /and/ toppled (10)

In the wordplay, the setter imagines that the solution could apply to a situation where a driver merely needs to make a left-hand turn but instead makes a U-turn.

9d   Area isn't developed // well? (8)

14d   Firm belief /in/ guilty verdict (10)

16d   Revolutionary's son to join staff /and/ figure on the board (8)

Che Guevara[7] (1928–1967) was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, guerrilla leader, diplomat, and military theorist. A major figure of the Cuban Revolution, his stylized visage has become a ubiquitous countercultural symbol of rebellion and global insignia within popular culture.

18d   Feel feathers /should be used in/ landing (9)

20d   Glorious /rendering of/ 'Under the Linden-tree' (7)

Linden[5] is another term for the lime tree, especially in North America.

Scratching the Surface
"Under der Linden"[7] ("Under the Linden-tree") is a famous poem written by the medieval German lyric poet Walther von der Vogelweide (c. 1170 – c. 1230). It is written in Middle High German. Although it was originally written as a song, the melody for it has not survived; only the lyrics remain.

Unter den Linden[7] ("under the linden trees") is a boulevard in the central Mitte district of Berlin, the capital of Germany. Running from the City Palace to Brandenburg Gate, it is named after the lime trees that line the grassed pedestrian mall on the median and the two broad carriageways. The avenue links numerous Berlin sights and landmarks.

Delving Deeper
 By Walter von der Vogelweide (1170–1228)

UNDER the linden-tree
Upon the heath,
There I lay with him.—Alas,
When you go there, you’ll see
The flowers beneath
Crushed and trodden with the grass.
By the forest in the dale,
Tandarady!
Sweetly sang the nightingale.

I strolled unto the green:
My lover true
Was waiting there impatiently.
Such welcome ne’er was seen—
Ah, if you knew!
My heart still throbs in ecstasy.
Kisses?—Thousands—more!—he took:
Tandarady!
See, how red my lips now look!

How he caressed me there,
If anyone
Should know: alas, how I should blush!
And all our pastime fair!
Ah, none, none, none
Shall know, but he and I—hush, hush!—
And the birdie on the tree.
Tandarady!
May that ever silent be!

21d   Crown taking firm course with uprising (7)

Tenor[5] is a settled or prevailing character or direction, especially the course of a person's life or habits ⇒ the even tenor of life in the kitchen was disrupted the following day.

A coronet[5] is a small or relatively simple crown, especially as worn by lesser royalty and peers or peeresses.

23d   A newly married woman has no right // to stay (5)

I initially wrote in BRIDE supposing — based on a rather cursory perusal of the clue — that the clue parsed as:
  • A newly married woman has no right to stay (5)
a cryptic definition in which the portion with the dashed underline is cryptic elaboration telling us that were we to remove R (right), we would end up with BIDE (stay). At the time, the clue did seem a bit unusual — but, after all, the setter is Rufus so this did not really trouble me all that much. On closer examination, however, I can see that this interpretation probably does not quite work.

Needless to say, this erroneous solution caused me no end of grief on 22a until I finally managed to sort it out.

25d   He introduces // you and me with that girl (5)

26d   Oxford banker (4)

Banker is a whimsical Crosswordland term for a river — something that has banks.

 Isis[10] is the local name for the River Thames at Oxford, England.
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)
[13] - MacmillanDictionary.com (Macmillan Dictionary)
Signing off for today — Falcon

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wednesday, April 26, 2017 — DT 28360

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28360
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, February 25, 2017
Setter
Unknown
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28360 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28360 – Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave (Hints)
crypticsue (Review)
BD Rating
Difficulty - Enjoyment - ★★★ / ★★★★
Falcon's Experience
┌────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┐
███████████████████████████████████
└────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┘
Legend:
- 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
Notes
As this was a Saturday "Prize Puzzle" in Britain, there are two entries related to it on Big Dave's Crossword Blog — the first, posted on the date of publication, contains hints for selected clues while the second is a full review issued following the entry deadline for the contest. The vast majority of reader comments will generally be found attached to the "hints" posting with a minimal number — if any — accompanying the full review.

Introduction

Aside from the clue with the error, this puzzle is not too taxing.

I invite you to leave a comment to let us know how you fared with the puzzle.

Error in Today's Puzzle

There is an error in clue 20d which should read:
  • Criticise one politician over international body that’s holding good (6)

In her review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, crypticsue reports that the error was acknowledged in The Daily Telegraph on Monday, February 27, 2017.

As usual, the editors at the National Post spare no effort to give us the authentic British experience, publishing the puzzle warts and all.

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.

Across

1a   Reach route through mountains -- // result! (4,2,4)

6a   Eats // fast food item around one third off (4)

9a   Lucky shape: // clubs logo's origin on next page (10)

"clubs" = C (show explanation )

C[1] is the abbreviation for clubs, a suit in a deck of cards.

hide explanation

10a   Clinton/’s/ draft law (4)

Bill Clinton[5] is an American Democratic statesman, 42nd President of the US 1993–2001.

12a   Cooked a nice lobster /for/ special occasions (12)

15a   Person playing // is taken in by android that won't start (6)

16a   Women I am with get very hot outside /in/ beach clothes (8)

My parsing varied somewhat from that which crypticsue shows in her review. For me, it was {W (women) + IM (I am [contracted to I'm]) + W (with)} contained in (get ... outside) SEAR (very hot).

I did make an attempt to justify crypticsue's explanation. In her review, she interprets "women" as denoting specifically "two women (W and W)" and "with" as meaning "between". Apart from the stretch involved in equating "with" and "between", dictionaries (in particular, The Chambers Dictionary) show W as an abbreviation for women and women's (the later being a clothing size), but not woman.

18a   Depression shown by North American spies /in/ Spanish city (8)

"American spies" = CIA (show explanation )

The Central Intelligence Agency[5] (abbreviation CIA) is a federal agency in the US responsible for coordinating government intelligence activities. Established in 1947 and originally intended to operate only overseas, it has since also operated in the US.

hide explanation

Valencia[5] is a port in eastern Spain, on the Mediterranean coast.

19a   Agreement // with current line (6)

21a   Man sent tweet spinning // religious writing (3,9)

24a   For seamstress it’s the case // in perpetuity (4)

Etui[5] is a dated term for a small ornamental case for holding needles, cosmetics, and other articles ⇒ an exquisite etui fitted with scissors, bodkin, and thimble.

25a   Another case // concerning money running short before end of voyage (10)

26a   Pretentious rubbish displayed by English // gallery (4)

Tat[5] is an informal British term for tasteless or shoddy clothes, jewellery, or ornaments ⇒ the place was decorated with all manner of gaudy tat.

"gallery" = TATE (show explanation )

27a   Make bloomer over // biscuit (6,4)

A bloomer[5] is a plant that produces flowers at a specified time ⇒ fragrant night-bloomers such as nicotiana.

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.

Brandy snap[5] is a British term for a crisp rolled gingerbread wafer, usually filled with cream.

Scratching the Surface
In the surface reading, bloomer[5] is a dated informal British term for a serious or stupid mistake ⇒ he never committed a bloomer.

Down

1d   Bird /found in/ pile of hay (4)

2d   Tie up // North African (4)

A Moor[5] is a member of a northwestern African Muslim people of mixed Berber and Arab descent. In the 8th century they conquered the Iberian peninsula, but were finally driven out of their last stronghold in Granada at the end of the 15th century.

3d   Leader of excavation in ancient city, keen to break out spades /as/ just what's needed (3,4,5)

Thebes[5] is the name of two ancient cities.
  • It is the Greek name for an ancient city of Upper Egypt, whose ruins are situated on the Nile about 675 km (420 miles) south of Cairo. It was the capital of ancient Egypt under the 18th dynasty (circa 1550–1290 BC) and is the site of the major temples of Luxor and Karnak.
  • It is the name of a city that was situated in Greece, in Boeotia, north-west of Athens. This Thebes became a major military power in Greece following the defeat of the Spartans at the battle of Leuctra in 371 BC. It was destroyed by Alexander the Great in 336 BC.
"spades" = S (show explanation )

Spades[2]) (abbreviation S[1]) is one of the four suits of playing-cards.

hide explanation

Insignificant Joints No More
I had long supposed the expression the bee's knees to be US slang dating from the flapper era of the 1920s. Surprisingly, not only is the term not to be found in my American dictionaries, but none of my British dictionaries considered it to be a dated term. Moreover, Collins 21st Century Dictionary characterizes the bee's knees[2] as a colloquial British term and the Cambridge Idioms Dictionary identifies be the bee's knees as an informal British and Australian expression. On the other hand, Oxford Dictionaries (in a notation that has vanished in the current incarnation of its website) at one time alluded to the present meaning of the term being American in origin.

The meaning of this term has undergone a reversal over time. The Farlex Trivia Dictionary tells us that the expression bee's knees has been used from 1797 for "something insignificant". Oxford Dictionaries (prior to the revamp of its website) stated that the term was first used to denote something small and insignificant, and was transferred to the opposite sense in US slang. This is not unlike cool becoming synonymous with hot (popular) and sick meaning excellent.

4d   China leased // equipment used in warehouse (6)

In Britain, china[5] is an informal term for a friend (or, as the Brits would say, a mate*). This meaning comes from cockney rhyming slang (show explanation ), where china is the shortened form of china plate which rhymes with 'mate'.

* In Britain, mate[5] — in addition to being a person’s husband, wife, or other sexual partner — is an informal term for a friend or companion ⇒ my best mate Steve.

Rhyming slang[5] is a type of slang that replaces words with rhyming words or phrases, typically with the rhyming element omitted. For example, butcher’s, short for butcher’s hook, means ‘look’ in cockney rhyming slang.

hide explanation

Let[5] is a chiefly British* term meaning to allow someone to have the use of (a room or property) in return for regular payments ⇒ (i) she let the flat [apartment] to a tenant; (ii) they’ve let out their house.

* However, I seriously doubt that this word is quite as British as Oxford Dictionaries would have us believe.[3,11]

5d   Birds /make/ disturbance in yards (8)

A yard[10] is a cylindrical wooden or hollow metal spar, tapered at the ends, slung from a mast of a square-rigged or lateen-rigged vessel and used for suspending a sail.

7d   Frightful horn is core /to identify/ this animal (10)

I would think that one might well be justified to categorize this as a semi-&lit. clue (or, if you prefer, semi-all-in-one clue) where the entire clue forms the definition and in which the wordplay (marked below with a dashed underline) is embedded.
  • Frightful horn is core to identify this animal (10)
8d   Rail /links/ globe endlessly with American business (10)

I suppose "links" must be the ultimate in link words!

11d   Sort of power // my generation endlessly put out without carbon (6,6)

"carbon" = C (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

13d   Handy // place where nuns stay around eastern Ulster (10)

Properly Ulster[10] is an area that was a province and former kingdom of northern Ireland which passed to the English Crown in 1461. Following centuries of conflict, Ulster was partitioned in 1921, with six counties [Antrim, Down, Armagh, Londonderry, Tyrone, and Fermanagh] forming Northern Ireland (a region within the United Kingdom) and three counties [Cavan, Donegal, and Monaghan] joining the Republic of Ireland. Despite this, Ulster is a widely-used (albeit inaccurate) name for Northern Ireland.

14d   Do like everyone else /and/ take interest in court case (6,4)

17d   Special equipment for police /in/ South American city with great rampaging (4,4)

Rio de Janeiro[5] (commonly known as Rio) is a city in eastern Brazil, on the Atlantic coast. The chief port of Brazil, it was the country’s capital from 1763 until 1960, when it was replaced by Brasilia.

20d   Criticism /made by/ one politician over international body that's holding good (6)

Presumably, the clue was meant to be parsed as I have marked it above. However, the definition is a noun and the intended solution is a verb, so the clue does not work.

As pointed out earlier, the clue should have read:
  • Criticise // one politician over international body that’s holding good (6)
"politician" = MP (show explanation )

In Britain (as in Canada), a politician elected to the House of Commons is known as a Member of Parliament[10] (abbreviation MP[5]) or, informally, as a member[5].

hide explanation

"international body" = 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

"good" = G (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

22d   Member of clergy losing head /in/ a short time (4)

A canon[5] is a member of the clergy who is on the staff of a cathedral, especially one who is a member of the chapter*he was appointed canon of Christ Church, Oxford.

* The chapter[5] is the governing body of a religious community or knightly order.

23d   Look up and down (4)

I see this clue as a cryptic definition in which a "straight" definition (marked with a solid underline) is combined with cryptic elaboration (marked with a dotted underline). The clue states that the solution is a synonym for "look" that furthermore happens to be a palindrome ([reads the same] up and down).
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)
[13] - MacmillanDictionary.com (Macmillan Dictionary)
Signing off for today — Falcon

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 — DT 28359

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28359
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, February 24, 2017
Setter
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28359]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Deep Threat
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★ Enjoyment - ★★★
Falcon's Experience
┌────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┐
███████████████████████████████████
└────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┘
Legend:
- 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

Introduction

As is usually the case with Giovanni puzzles, it took a while to find a starting point and then the clues began to fall at a slow steady pace. If it were music, one might describe it as largo.

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.

Across

1a   Important // time for using combine harvester (6)

Here and There
Combine harvester[5] is the British name for a combine[3,11], an agricultural machine that reaps, threshes, and cleans a cereal crop in one operation. However, the later term would also seem to be used in the UK as British dictionaries define combine[1,2,4,5,10] as a short or colloquial term for combine harvester.

4a   Kid endlessly pursued by yob? // Calm down! (5,3)

Yob[5] (back slang* for boy) is an informal British term for a rude, noisy, and aggressive youth.

* Back slang[5] is slang in which words are spoken as though they were spelled backwards.

9a   Man initially cornered /in/ big building (6)

A man[5] is a figure or token used in playing a board game.

In chess, castle[5] is an old-fashioned informal term for a rook[5], a chess piece, typically with its top in the shape of a battlement, that can move in any direction along a rank or file on which it stands. Each player starts the game with two rooks at opposite ends of the first rank [i.e., at the corners of the chessboard].

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Deep Threat writes that castle is the shape (definitely not the name!) of the piece which starts a game of chess in the corner of the board.
I have learned from discussions pertaining to past puzzles that chess purists hold that the proper name for this piece is a rook and that under no circumstances whatsoever is it ever to be referred to as a castle. Furthermore, they take great umbrage should those of us less attuned to the niceties of the game happen to commit this cardinal sin.

While the topic does arise today in the comments section of Big Dave's Crossword Blog, the discussion does seem to be somewhat less heated than in the past. I think the protagonists may have worn each other down.

10a   Biscuits /as/ unusual treat for French friend to eat (8)

Ami[8] is the masculine form of the French word meaning 'friend'.

Amaretti[5] are Italian almond-flavoured biscuits.

* 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.

11a   Fruit // for each simple boy outside back of farm (9)

"Simple Simon"[7] is a popular English language nursery rhyme.

Delving Deeper
Simple Simon met a pieman,
Going to the fair;
Says Simple Simon to the pieman,
Let me taste your ware.
Says the pieman to Simple Simon,
Show me first your penny;
Says Simple Simon to the pieman,
Indeed I have not any.

A persimmon[5] is:
  • an edible fruit that resembles a large tomato and has very sweet flesh
  • the tree which yields this fruit, related to ebony
13a   Nest // well-ventilated by the sound of it sometimes? (5)

Eyrie[5] is the British spelling of aerie, a large nest of an eagle or other bird of prey, built high in a tree or on a cliff.

The word eyrie apparently has three possible pronunciations, only one of which satisfies this clue — and Giovanni has covered himself by the use of the word "sometimes".

14a   A case of identity with financial implications? (9,4)

17a   Ancient // hotels had fluctuating misfortunes (3,2,3,5)

21a   Form of greeting // he will love (5)

"love" = O (show explanation )

In tennis, squash, and some other sports, love[5] is a score of zero or nil ⇒ love fifteen. The resemblance of a zero written as a numeral (0) to the letter O leads to the cryptic crossword convention of the word "love" being used to clue this letter.

Although folk etymology has connected the word with French l'oeuf 'egg', from the resemblance in shape between an egg and a zero, the term apparently comes from the phrase play for love (i.e. the love of the game, not for money).

hide explanation

23a   Gets together, /taking/ walks around southern Home Counties (9)

The Home Counties[5] are the counties surrounding London in southeast (SE) England, into which London has extended. They comprise chiefly Essex, Kent, Surrey, and Hertfordshire.

24a   Underground tunnel // undamaged when penetrated by soldiers -- 1,000 (8)

"soldiers" = OR (show explanation )

In the British armed forces, the term other ranks[5] (abbreviation OR[5]) refers to all those who are not commissioned officers.

hide explanation

25a   Set of programmes -- // something corny on the radio? (6)

Here and There
The word "corn" has quite a different meaning in Britain than it does in North America. The plant known in North America (as well as Australia and New Zealand) as corn[5], is called maize[5] in the UK. In Britain, corn refers to the chief cereal crop of a district, especially (in England) wheat or (in Scotland) oats.

Despite this difference, this clue works equally well on either side of the pond.

26a   Exhibition, something hairy /bringing/ confrontation (8)

Down[10] is any growth or coating of soft fine hair, such as that on the human face.

27a   One making an impression artistically (6)

Down

1d   Put up with // a troublesome pet catching cold repeatedly (6)

2d   A bad mood when divine fellow's eaten that // snail? (9)

I parse the wordplay as {A (from the clue) + STROP (bad mood)} contained in (when ... has eaten that [when that has been eaten by]) GOD (divine fellow) with the pronoun "that" referring back to "a bad mood".

Strop[5] is an informal British term for a bad mood or a temper ⇒ Nathalie gets in a strop and makes to leave.

3d   Therefore catalogue must include old // performer (7)

5d   Requirement for personal freedom -- // tricky to make him trash gun (5,6)

6d   /What is/ awfully clear -- New York // crime (7)

Despite coming at the beginning of the clue, the words "what is" fulfills a function similar to that of a link phrase.

Although the surface reading would scarcely make sense, from a cryptic perspective the clue could be restructured as:
  • Crime /that is/ awfully clear -- New York (7)
7d   Animal // more passionate, hard to avoid (5)

"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

8d   Entering temporary accommodation, deliver // spears (8)

12d   Sweet food item // wrecks him, not one to permit (11)

15d   He's sinful, unlikely /to be/ thinking mostly of other people (9)

16d   Birds // disappear and lurk finally in woods (8)

Shaw[10] is an archaic or dialect term for a small wood, thicket, or copse.

The goshawk[5] is a large short-winged hawk that resembles a large sparrowhawk in appearance.

18d   Overly upset, being stuck in building -- /must be/ pacified (7)

19d   Glowing // elegy when bishop is buried (7)

"bishop" = B (show explanation )

B[5] is an abbreviation for bishop that is used in recording moves in chess.

hide explanation

Lambent[5] is a literary term meaning (of light or fire) glowing, gleaming, or flickering with a soft radiance ⇒ (i) the magical, lambent light of the north; (ii) his eyes were huge and lambent in his starved face.

20d   One sort of wood and another with church lacking // stonework (6)

Ashlar[5] is masonry made of large square-cut stones, used as a facing on walls of brick or stone rubble seven windows are set in ashlar along the upper floor.

22d   Piece of music // from particular goddess (5)

A largo[5] is a musical passage, movement, or composition marked to be performed in a slow tempo and with a dignified style.
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)
[13] - MacmillanDictionary.com (Macmillan Dictionary)
Signing off for today — Falcon