Monday, April 17, 2017

Monday, April 17, 2017 — DT 28285 (Easter Monday Bonus Puzzle)


With today being Easter Monday, the National Post has not published an edition. However, here is an Easter treat for those craving a bit of mental stimulation in the absence of your usual puzzle. This is DT 28285 which is the first of four puzzles that the National Post skipped on Tuesday, February 21, 2017.

For those of you for whom this is a holiday, enjoy it.
Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28285
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Jay (Jeremy Mutch)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28285]
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
The National Post skipped this puzzle on Tuesday, February 21, 2017.


Today's offering from Jay is excellent exercise for the grey cells and a lot of fun to boot.

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   Gloomy // American's angry about graduate physician (6)

From a British perspective, sore[5] is an informal North American term meaning upset and angry ⇒ I didn't even know they were sore at us.

"graduate physician" = MB (show explanation )

In Britain, the degree required to practice medicine is a Bachelor of Medicine[7] (MB, from Latin Medicinae Baccalaureus), which is equivalent to a North American Doctor of Medicine (MD, from Latin Medicinae Doctor). The degree of Doctor of Medicine also exists in Britain, but it is an advanced degree pursued by those who wish to go into medical research. Physicians in Britain are still addressed as Dr. despite not having a doctoral degree. 

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4a   Solicitor's unexpected approach? (4,4)

10a   European country backed by money from Yorkshire // eatery (9)

Éire[5] is the Gaelic name for Ireland and was the official name of the Republic of Ireland from 1937 to 1949.

I knew that "brass" is British slang for money; however, I did not realize that it  is specifically Northern English slang, initially leaving me puzzled as to why the term "brasserie" should apply to a Yorkshire eatery in particular.

Brass is a colloquial British term, especially in Northern English* dialects, for money or cash.

* Yorkshire and Lancashire are considered to be northern England — despite there being large tracts of England even further north.

11a   Female pinched by many // in the air (5)

12a   Leader of Tories with excuse /for/ disloyalty (7)

Scratching the Surface
A Tory[10] is a member or supporter of the Conservative Party in Great Britain (show more ) or Canada.

Historically, a Tory[10] was a member of the English political party that opposed the exclusion of James, Duke of York from the royal succession (1679–80). Tory remained the label for subsequent major conservative interests until they gave birth to the Conservative Party in the 1830s.

The Conservative Party[5] is a a major British political party that emerged from the old Tory Party under Sir Robert Peel in the 1830s and 1840s. Since the Second World War, it has been in power 1951–64, 1970-74, and 1979–97. It governed in a coalition with the Liberal Democrats from 2010 until the general election of May 2015, in which it was returned with a majority.

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13a   Synthetic // hair worn by mother and daughter (3-4)

14a   A famous actor runs to take the lead /as/ religious follower (5)

"runs" = R (show explanation )

On cricket scorecards [not to mention baseball scoreboards], the abbreviation R[5] denotes run(s).

In cricket, a run[5] is a unit of scoring achieved by hitting the ball so that both batsmen are able to run between the wickets, or awarded in some other circumstances.

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Rasta[5] is an informal short form for Rastafarian[5], an adherent of Rastafarianism — a religious movement of Jamaican origin. Rastafarians believe that Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia was the Messiah and that blacks are the chosen people and will eventually return to their African homeland. They have distinctive codes of behaviour and dress, including the wearing of dreadlocks and the smoking of cannabis, and they follow a diet that excludes pork, shellfish, and milk.

15a   Boundary // dispute -- back both sides to come first (8)

A hedgerow[5] is a rough or mixed hedge of wild shrubs and occasional trees, typically bordering a road or field.

18a   Fancy it, say, with her // neurotic disorder (8)

20a   Unable to sleep /needing/ a wash (5)

23a   Super oddly breaking laws -- // lies awkwardly (7)

25a   Study in bed, // covered in crumbs! (7)

In Britain, to read[5] means to study (an academic subject) at a university ⇒ (i) I’m reading English at Cambridge; (ii) he went to Manchester to read for a BA in Economics.

26a   Picture // review printed within cover of issue (5)

27a   I need bill to be adjusted, /but it's/ fixed (9)

28a   First part of site /to be/ in leaf (4,4)

29a   Coming // a day before opening (6)


1d   Call for help interrupted by British politician/'s/ tale of woe (3,5)

"British" = B (show explanation )

Both B.[10] and Br.[10] are abbreviations for British.

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The politician who made excuses for his disloyalty in 12a now shows up with a tale of woe.

2d   People not satisfied /with/ answer given in dodgy sermon (7)

3d   Rave around sites for development /is/ unaffected (9)

5d   Never  // look for mourners here (4,2,4,4)

6d   Sketched // river during daybreak (5)

7d   A very old cheese and dill ordered for starters -- /and/ fruit (7)

8d   Lost title? Right // to have kittens (6)

I was not aware that litter[3] can be a verb meaning to give birth to a litter.

9d   Saucy embellishment /of/ haute couture? (6,8)

I think we can consider this to be a double definition in which the second definition is cryptic. Haute couture, a French term that has been adopted into English, means fashion design — in particular, high end fashion design or the business of dressing the rich and famous. Thus "haute couture" could conceivably be interpreted to be "French dressing".

16d   Screamed head off about tag /and/ put a coat on (9)

17d   Vagrant/'s/ gone round for policeman (8)

One would typically associate the word "round" with a medical context rather than law enforcement. In fact, we are looking for the term that is more usually applied to a policeman's tour of inspection.

A round[5] is a regular tour of inspection in which the well-being of those visited is checked ⇒ the doctor is just making his rounds in the wards.

19d   Branch of police HQ // that may be rigged? (4-3)

Split (4,3) the solution would give us a phrase that denotes a branch of the London police HQ.

The Metropolitan Police Service[7] (widely known informally as the Met[5]) is the territorial police force responsible for law enforcement in Greater London, excluding the "square mile" of the City of London, which is the responsibility of the City of London Police. The Met also has significant national responsibilities such as co-ordinating and leading on counter-terrorism matters and protection of the British Royal Family and senior figures of Her Majesty's Government.

The Met is also referred to by the metonym Scotland Yard (or, presumably, simply the Yard) after the location of its original headquarters in a road called Great Scotland Yard in Whitehall. The Met's current headquarters is New Scotland Yard, in Victoria.

21d   Heard // beer includes acceptable offer turning up (7)

"acceptable" = U (show explanation )

In Britain, U[5] is used informally as an adjective (in respect to language or social behaviour) meaning characteristic of or appropriate to the upper social classes ⇒ U manners.

The term, an abbreviation of  upper class, was coined in 1954 by Alan S. C. Ross, professor of linguistics, and popularized by its use in Nancy Mitford's Noblesse Oblige (1956).

In Crosswordland, the letter U is frequently clued by words denoting "characteristic of the upper class" (such as posh or superior) or "appropriate to the upper class" (such as acceptable). 

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22d   Book // is excellent -- a source of happiness (6)

"excellent" = AI (show explanation )

A1[4][5] or A-one[3] meaning first class or excellent comes from a classification for ships in The Lloyd's Register of Shipping where it means equipped to the highest standard or first-class.

Setters use this as a shorthand for A (given) + I ([Roman numeral for] one).

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Isaiah[5] is a book of the Bible containing the prophecies the Hebrew prophet Isaiah* (and, it is generally thought, those of at least one later prophet).

* Isaiah[5] was a a major Hebrew prophet of Judah in the 8th century BC, who taught the supremacy of the God of Israel and emphasized the moral demands on worshippers.

24d   Women needing assistance, /seeing/ impudent young lad (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)
Signing off for today — Falcon

1 comment:

  1. Hello Falcon, I was pleased that I was able to complete the grid in one session (of a couple of hours, to be sure), even more so after seeing the 3-star difficulty rating on Big Dave's site. Last in for me were 15a and 17d. There were two clues I wasn't able to parse completely (28 a: "to be in" and 17d: I misinterpreted "gone round" as a phrase instead of "round for policeman"). I'll savor this small moment of triumph for a bit before tackling Good Friday's puzzle. Thanks again for directing me to these bonus cryptics - I enjoy the least after I get the crucial toehold :)