Monday, April 10, 2017

Monday, April 10, 2017 — DT 28348

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28348
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, February 11, 2017
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28348 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28348 – 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.


For the most part, fairly gentle fare today.

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   Ruin // atmosphere getting upset (4)

3a   Item found in medicine cupboard -- // toss sample out (5,5)

Epsom salts[5] are crystals of hydrated magnesium sulphate used as a purgative [laxative] or for other medicinal use. The substance is named after the English town of Epsom, where it was first found occurring naturally.

8a   Hear what slurring soprano did /in/ Asian city (8)

My first idea led to a dead end. I had thought the singer might be Italian and thus she might be considered by her countrymen to SING A-POOR-ruh.

Shanghai[5] is a city on the east coast of China, a port on the estuary of the Yangtze; population 11,283,700 (est. 2006). Opened for trade with the west in 1842, Shanghai contained until the Second World War areas of British, French, and American settlement. It was the site in 1921 of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party.

9a   Advertising // spot (6)

10a   Source /making/ old gear fashionable (6)

11a   Creature /needing/ place to sleep over with utility (8)

"over" = O (show explanation )

On cricket scorecards, the abbreviation O[5] denotes over(s), an over[5] being a division of play consisting of a sequence of six balls bowled by a bowler from one end of the pitch, after which another bowler takes over from the other end.

hide explanation

13a and 25a   Novel // theory of retirement after working (4,4,2,8)

From Here to Eternity[7] is the debut novel of American author James Jones, published in 1951. Set in 1941, the novel focuses on several members of a U.S. Army infantry company stationed in Hawaii in the months leading up to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. It won the National Book Award and was named one of the 100 Best Novels of the 20th century by the Modern Library Board. The book was later made into an Academy Award-winning film starring Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Deborah Kerr, Donna Reed and Frank Sinatra.

14a   Garden tool used around yard by northern // tomboy (6)

I do not recall ever having come across this word before. However, I made a valiant effort, putting HOSE around Y(ard) and following up with N(orthern). Sad to say, but HOYSEN turned out to be a figment of my imagination.

A hoyden[2] is a wild lively girl; a tomboy.

16a   Strong desire /to have/ time with modern British artist (6)

Damien Hirst[5] is  English painter and sculptor. He is chiefly known for using the bodies of dead animals in his work; perhaps his most famous piece is The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (1991), which consists of a shark in a tank of preserving fluid.

No Starving Artist, He
Hirst[7] is the most prominent member of the group known as the Young British Artists (or YBAs), who dominated the art scene in the UK during the 1990s. He is internationally renowned, and is reportedly the United Kingdom's richest living artist, with his wealth valued at £215m in the 2010 Sunday Times Rich List.

19a   Where to get cleaner /putting/ brush around at hotel (8)

Hotel[5] is a code word representing the letter H, used in radio communication.

Here and There
In North America, somewhat bizarrely, a bathroom[5] is a room containing a toilet and washbasin which may or may not also contain a bathtub or shower. A room containing just a toilet and washbasin might be referred to as a half bath (generally when enumerating the total number of rooms in a dwelling, such as in a real estate listing ⇒ a split-level with two and a half baths).

In Britain, on the other hand, a bathroom[5] is a room containing a bathtub or shower which may or may not also contain a washbasin and a toilet.

Pity the desperate North American visiting the UK who asks to use the bathroom and is handed a towel and a bar of soap and directed to a room without a toilet.

Other North American euphemisms for a toilet are washroom[5] and restroom[5]. The former may well be a term that is not used by Brits and the latter has quite a different meaning in the U.K. than it does in North America.

21a   Sample // mince pies cooked -- one missing (8)

Here and There
Mince pie[5] is a British term for a small round pie or tart containing sweet mincemeat, typically eaten at Christmas. My initial reaction on seeing the definition was that this is scarcely British, but after seeing an illustration of it, I came to the realization that I would call this delicacy a mincemeat tart.

22a   Tell // high-ranking churchman to dismiss priest initially (6)

Prelate[5] is a formal or historical term for a bishop or other high ecclesiastical dignitary.

23a   Again charge // football official with evil (6)

24a   Provoke trouble /with/ vocal quartet in a comedy item (3,3,2)

25a   See 13a

26a   Antelope's short // dash (4)

The eland[5] is a large spiral-horned African antelope which lives in open woodland and grassland.


1d   Sweet daughter is first // to perplex (9)

Comfit[5] is a dated term for a sweet [piece of candy] consisting of a nut, seed, or other centre coated in sugar.

Here and There
Sweet[5] is a British term for either:
  • a piece of candy[5]a bag of sweets; or
  • a sweet dish forming a course of a meal; in other words, a pudding or dessert.
In Britain, candy[5] means sugar crystallized by repeated boiling and slow evaporation ⇒ making candy at home is not difficult—the key is cooking the syrup to the right temperature.

2d   Comfortingly met distressed // star of 13, 25 (10,5)

See the entry at 13a.

3d   Improve // in French given opportunity, missing start (7)

The French preposition en[8] means 'in'.

4d   Rod/'s/ back, entertaining 550 (7)

5d   Top person // working in parade (7)

6d   Internet nuisance trapped by honeypot -- an undoing /for/ novelist (7,8)

A troll[5] is a person who makes a deliberately offensive or provocative online post ⇒ one solution is to make a troll's postings invisible to the rest of community once they've been recognized.

Antony Trollope[5] (1815–1882) was an English novelist. He is best known for the six ‘Barsetshire’ novels, including Barchester Towers (1857), and for the six political ‘Palliser’ novels. He also worked for the General Post Office 1834–67 and introduced the pillar box* to Britain.

* A pillar box[5] is a large red cylindrical public postbox [mailbox] used in the UK.

Scratching the Surface
In computer terminology, a honeypot[7] is a computer security mechanism set to detect*, deflect, or, in some manner, counteract attempts at unauthorized use of information systems. Generally, a honeypot consists of data (for example, in a network site) that appears to be a legitimate part of the site, but is actually isolated and monitored, and that seems to contain information or a resource of value to attackers, who are then blocked. This is similar to the police baiting a criminal, conducting undercover surveillance, and finally punishing the criminal.

* The objective being to not only detect the attempt at unauthorized access but ideally to trace the attack to its source.

7d   Strain // is rising on first lady (5)

In the Bible, Eve[5,10] is the first woman, mother of the human race, fashioned by God from the rib of Adam, companion of Adam and mother of Cain and Abel*.

* not to mention Seth and her other sons and daughters[Gen 5:4]

12d   Take action // to court // girl (3)

Sue[10] is an archaic term meaning to pay court* (to).

* Court[10] means homage, flattering attention, or amorous approaches (especially in the phrase pay court to someone).

15d   May is here -- // figure to catch up (6,3)

Theresa May[7] is the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party, having served as both since July 2016. She is the second female Prime Minister and Conservative Party leader after Margaret Thatcher.

10 Downing Street[7], colloquially known in the United Kingdom as Number 10, is the headquarters of Her Majesty's Government and the official residence and office of the First Lord of the Treasury, a post which, for much of the 18th and 19th centuries and invariably since 1905, has been held by the Prime Minister.

17d   Trendy // joint (3)

18d   Glass // component of lock (7)

19d   Asian person /and/ English briefly visiting island (7)

Bali[5] is a mountainous island of Indonesia, to the east of Java; chief city, Denpasar; population 3,470,700 (est. 2009).

A Bengali[5] is a native of Bengal[5], a region in South Asia, containing the Ganges and Brahmaputra River deltas. In 1947 the province was divided into West Bengal, which has remained a state of India, and East Bengal, now Bangladesh.

20d   Knight detained by Middle-Eastern country //  jailer (7)

"knight" = N (show explanation )

A knight[5] is a chess piece, typically with its top shaped like a horse’s head, that moves by jumping to the opposite corner of a rectangle two squares by three. Each player starts the game with two knights.

N[5] is the abbreviation for knight used in recording moves in chess [representing the pronunciation of kn-, since the initial letter k- represents 'king'].

As an aside, it is interesting to note that the Chambers 21st Century Dictionary defines: 
  • K[2] as an abbreviation used in chess for knight. 
  • K[2] is a symbol used in chess to represent a king. 
  • N[2] is a symbol used in chess to represent a knight.
The dictionary fails to specify how one differentiates an abbreviation from a symbol.

On the other hand, both The Chambers Dictionary and the Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary list K or K.[1,11] as an abbreviation for knight without specifying the specific context in which this abbreviation is used. However, the context may well be in an honours list rather than in a game of chess. In the UK, for instance, KBE[5] stands for Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

hide explanation

21d   Swagger /in/ bar (5)
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)
[13] - (Macmillan Dictionary)
Signing off for today — Falcon

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