Friday, April 14, 2017

Friday, April 14, 2017 — DT 28318 (Good Friday Bonus Puzzle)


This being Good Friday, the National Post has not published an edition today. Should you find yourself craving some mental stimulation in the absence of your usual puzzle, here is DT 28318 which the first of twenty puzzles that the National Post skipped on Monday, March 27, 2017.

Enjoy the holiday.

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28318
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, January 7, 2017
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28318 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28318 – Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave (Hints)
crypticsue (Review)
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
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.

The National Post skipped this puzzle on Monday, March 27, 2017.


It is always disheartening, after having called in the electronic reinforcements, to see the puzzle rated at a measly one star for difficulty.

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   Day briefly cloudy reaching the French // fortress (5,6)

"the French" = LE (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

Dover Castle[7] is a medieval castle in Dover, Kent. It was founded in the 11th century and has been described as the "Key to England" due to its defensive significance throughout history. It is the largest castle in England.

7a   Church with popular comedian /giving/ chat (7)

Chinwag[5,10] is an informal British* term for a chat or gossipy conversation⇒ it was time they got together for a good old chinwag.

* Despite being characterized by Oxford Dictionaries and Collins English Dictionary as British, the term is found in the Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary[11]

8a   Objection /made by/ expert before trial (7)

10a   Once made rum /in/ Utah, for example, during the war (4,4)

As an anagram indicator, "rum"[5] is used in dated informal British sense in which it means odd or peculiar ⇒ it’s a rum business, certainly.

'Utah' Beach[5] is a name given to the westernmost of the beaches, north of Carentan in Normandy, where US troops landed on D-day in June 1944.

11a   Mark/'s/ two little boys (6)

13a   Sign /of/ females losing weight (4)

14a   Shelved, article on power by one // behind leading group (3,3,4)

"Shelved" is used in the sense of cancelled.

"power" = P (show explanation )

In physics, P[10] is a symbol used to represent power [among other things] in mathematical formulae.

hide explanation

16a   Relax wearing mate/'s/ fur (10)

In Britain, china[5] is an informal term for a friend (or, as the Brits would say, a mate*). This 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

18a   Thought // model short (4)

21a   Gold leaf /in/ unusual room, with centre in blue (6)

The original meaning of ormolu[2] was gold or gold leaf prepared for gilding bronze or brass, etc. The term later came to mean:
  • a gold-coloured alloy, e.g. copper, zinc or sometimes tin, that is used to decorate furniture, make ornaments, etc.; or
  • articles made from or decorated with this.
22a   Female, the leading character in rare // film (8)

Scarface[7] (also known as Scarface: The Shame of the Nation and The Shame of a Nation) is a 1932 American pre-Code gangster film starring Paul Muni as Antonio "Tony" Camonte. It was produced by Howard Hughes and Howard Hawks, directed by Hawks, and Richard Rosson. The story is based on Armitage Trail's 1929 novel of the same name, which is loosely based on the rise and fall of Al Capone. The plot centers on gang warfare and police intervention when rival gangs fight over control of Chicago.

Scarface[7] is a 1983 American crime film directed by Brian De Palma and written by Oliver Stone, a remake of the 1932 film of the same name. The film tells the story of Cuban refugee Tony Montana (Al Pacino) who arrives in 1980s Miami with nothing and rises to become a powerful drug kingpin.

Yet another remake of Scarface is set to hit the screens in the summer of 2018, this time set in Los Angeles with a Mexican protagonist.

24a   King -- Urdu not quite his original // language (7)

"king" = K (show explanation )

K[5] is an abbreviation for king that is used especially in describing play in card games and recording moves in chess.

hide explanation

Kurdish[5] is the Iranian language of the Kurds[5], a mainly Islamic people living in parts of eastern Turkey, northern Iraq, western Iran, and eastern Syria.

Scratching the Surface
Urdu[5] is an Indic language closely related to Hindi but written in the Persian script and having many loanwords from Persian and Arabic. It is the official language of Pakistan, and is also widely used in India and elsewhere, with about 50 million speakers worldwide.

25a   Up against it // flying to Spain (2,1,4)

26a   Trickery /of/ member, dear me, surprisingly elected (11)


1d   Weaken // in bad wind (levanter) (7)

Scratching the Surface
A levanter[5] is a strong easterly wind in the Mediterranean region ⇒ strong levanters can cause squalls in Gibraltar bay.

2d   Promising // volume overdue (6)

"volume" = V (show explanation )

In physics, V[5] is a symbol used to represent volume in mathematical formulae ⇒ pV = nRT.

hide explanation

3d   Street kid/'s shown in/ newspaper with a bun (10)

4d   Poisonous things, // flying insects heading off (4)

The asp is any of four snakes:
  • the European asp[7], a small southern European viper (Vipera aspis) with an upturned snout.
  • the Egyptian cobra[7] (Naja haje), one of the largest cobra species native to Africa, second to the forest cobra (Naja melanoleuca).
  • the Saharan horned viper[7] (Cerastes cerastes), a venomous viper species native to the deserts of Northern Africa and parts of the Middle East.
  • the Saharan sand viper[7] (Cerastes vipera), also known as the Egyptian asp or Cleopatra's asp, a venomous viper species endemic to the deserts of North Africa and the Sinai Peninsula.
5d   Pair watch, maybe, /and/ cheat (3-5)

6d   Choose artist /showing/ a complex character? (7)

"artist" = RA (show explanation )

A Royal Academician (abbreviation RA[10]) is a member of the Royal Academy of Arts[5] (also Royal Academy; abbreviation also RA[10]), an institution established in London in 1768, whose purpose is to cultivate painting, sculpture, and architecture in Britain. 

hide explanation

In Greek mythology, Electra[5] is the daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra. She persuaded her brother Orestes to kill Clytemnestra and Aegisthus (their mother’s lover) in revenge for the murder of Agamemnon.

In psychoanalysis, Electra complex[5] is an old-fashioned term for the Oedipus complex (show explanation ) as manifested in young girls.

In psychoanalysis, the term Oedipus complex[5] refers in Freudian theory to the complex of emotions aroused in a young child, typically around the age of four, by an unconscious sexual desire for the parent of the opposite sex and wish to exclude the parent of the same sex. (The term was originally applied to boys, the equivalent in girls being called the Electra complex.)

hide explanation

7d   Timepiece -- // not right upstairs, notice (6,5)

Clock[5] is an informal British term meaning to notice or watch ⇒ I noticed him clocking her in the mirror.

9d   Moving pentameter about male // outlook (11)

12d   Underground deposit, // old -- work on it inside (10)

A stalactite[5] is a tapering structure hanging like an icicle from the roof of a cave, formed of calcium salts deposited by dripping water.

15d   Reprimand // son, unfriendly in general, at first (8)

17d   One with military decoration said /to be/ corrupt (7)

In the UK and Commonwealth countries, the Military Medal[5] (abbreviation MM) is a decoration for distinguished active service on land, instituted in 1916 (originally for enlisted soldiers).

19d   Notice the old man in study, // expressionless (7)

20d   Engaged in war, Madagascan // navy (6)

Madagascar[5] is an island country in the Indian Ocean, off the east coast of Africa; population 20,653,600 (est. 2009); official languages, Malagasy and French; capital, Antananarivo.

Settled by peoples of mixed Indo-Melanesian and African descent, Madagascar was visited by the Portuguese in 1500 but resisted colonization until the French established control in 1896. It regained its independence as the Malagasy Republic in 1960, changing its name back to Madagascar in 1975. Madagascar is the fourth-largest island in the world, and many of its plants and animals are not found elsewhere.

23d   One cleans // vehicle husband's collected (4)

Char[5] is an informal British term for charwoman[5], a dated British name for a woman employed as a cleaner in a house or office.
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

1 comment:

  1. Fun! Most of this one went fairly quickly (for me, on one of these cryptics), but I spent a lot of time struggling with 14a - just couldn't figure out how to parse it, especially since "off the table" for "shelved" kept getting in the way. I finally gave up on "shelved" as the definition and managed to piece the parts of the clue together. I needed the review to understand 10a's "Utah" (I was only familiar with Omaha Beach, 16a's "mate," and 6d's "artist" (forgot about the RA from an earlier puzzle). It took a while for the penny to drop on 11a's two little boys, and I learned that in the UK a muffin is a bun (3d).