Thursday, April 6, 2017

Thursday, April 6, 2017 — DT 28346

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28346
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, February 9, 2017
RayT (Ray Terrell)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28346]
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


As Kath says in her review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog, this puzzle is "very much at the easier end of [RayT's] range of 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   Free // nude in arrest, surprisingly (12)

8a   Amused // lass in grass (7)

9a   Extract offspring vocally /expressing/ triumph (7)

I parsed the clue (as indicated above) with the wordplay being a homophone (vocally) of "extract offspring" and the word "expressing" serving as a link word providing an explicit link between the wordplay and definition.

On the other hand, Kath — in her review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog —provides a slightly different interpretation:
  • Extract offspring vocally expressing // triumph (7)
in which the homophone indicator is the phrase "vocally expressing" and the link between the wordplay and definition is implicit.

11a   Illicit boozer/'s/ brilliance hiding empty bottle (7)

Especially in Ireland, Scotland and South Africa, a shebeen[5] is an unlicensed establishment or private house selling alcohol and typically regarded as slightly disreputable.

12a   Petty /and/ oddly vain during rehearsal (7)

13a   Reportedly composes // ceremonies (5)

14a   Painkiller // that could produce endlessly calm easing (9)

16a   Representation // from Left facing abuse, some say (9)

Apparently, some people pronounce (some say) the solution as two syllables (ra•il).

Rail[2] (verb; usually rail at or against something or someone) means to complain or criticize it or them abusively or bitterly.

19a   Discretion accepting one/'s/ understood (5)

21a   Criminal /in/ trouble, say, famous gangster (7)

Al Capone[5] (1899–1947), nicknamed  Scarface (show explanation ), was an American gangster of Italian descent. He dominated organized crime in Chicago in the 1920s and was indirectly responsible for many murders, including the St Valentine’s Day Massacre.

Capone[7] was born in Brooklyn (New York) and began his life of crime in New York City before moving to Chicago. Capone inadvertently insulted a woman while working the door at a Brooklyn night club and was slashed by her brother Frank Gallucio. The wounds led to the nickname that Capone loathed: "Scarface". Capone's boss, racketeer Frankie Yale, insisted that Capone apologize to Gallucio, and later Capone hired him as a bodyguard. When photographed, Capone hid the scarred left side of his face, saying that the injuries were war wounds. Capone was called "Snorky", a term for a sharp dresser, by his closest friends.

hide explanation

23a   Goes off eating ends of edible // dishes (7)

As soon as I saw " eating ends of edible", I immediately jumped to the conclusion that the solution must be ENTREES. My faith in this result was bolstered when it satisfied two of the intersecting clues. Of course, this false confidence proved to be a major obstacle to completing the southeast quadrant.

24a   Fat cat, exhausted, /getting/ collared (7)

Nob[5] is an informal British term for a person of wealth or high social position ⇒ it was quite a do—all the nobs were there.

Nobble[5] (verb) is an informal British term that can assume a variety of meanings (of which, it is the latter that we are interested in today):
  • try to influence or thwart by underhand or unfair methods ⇒ an attempt to nobble the jury.
  • tamper with (a racehorse or greyhound) to prevent it from winning a race, especially by giving it a drug a doping ring nobbled three of the trainer's horses in 1990.
  • obtain dishonestly; steal he intended to nobble Rose's moneyX.
  • seize or accost (someone) (i) they nobbled him and threw him on to the train; (ii) people always tried to nobble her at parties.
25a   Record, single, needs volume /for/ example (7)

"record" = EP (show explanation )

EP[10] (abbreviation for extended-play) is one of the formats in which music is sold, usually comprising four or five tracks.

hide explanation

26a   Musician/'s/ recital isn't ruined by tenor initially (12)

Clarinettist[5] is the British spelling of clarinetist.


1d   A French bloke eats high-class // cream (7)

"a French" = UN (show explanation )

In French, the masculine singular form of the indefinite article is un[8].

hide explanation

Bloke[5] is an informal British* term for a man ⇒ he’s a nice bloke.

* British, but certainly very familiar to anyone on this side of the pond who has ever seen British films or television

"high-class" = 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). 

hide explanation

An unguent[5] is a soft greasy or viscous substance used as ointment or for lubrication.

2d   Posh car carrying Queen /giving/ waves (7)

Rolls[10] is an informal name for a Rolls-Royce[10], a make of very high-quality, luxurious, and prestigious British car. The Rolls-Royce company is no longer British-owned.

"Queen" = ER (show explanation )

The regnal ciphers (monograms) of British monarchs are initials formed from the Latin version of their first name followed by either Rex or Regina (Latin for king or queen, respectively). Thus, the regnal cipher of Queen Elizabeth is ER[5] — from the Latin Elizabetha Regina.

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3d   Still /in/ garden in sun before day's end (9)

Eden[5] (also Garden of Eden) is the place where Adam and Eve lived in the biblical account of the Creation, from which they were expelled for disobediently eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge.

4d   Others without beginning of idea // take test again (5)

Resit[5] is a British* term which means:
  • (verb) to take (an examination) again after failing it  ⇒ she is resitting her maths GCSE [General Certificate of Secondary Education]; and
  • (noun) an examination that is resat ⇒ the system allows the office to timetable all resits in a single block.

* Despite being characterized by the dictionaries as British, I must say that this term does not sound at all foreign to me.

5d   'Chin-chin' -- gently swallows // going slowly (7)

Scratching the Surface
Chin-chin[5] is a dated, informal British expression used to express good wishes before drinking ‘Chin-chin,’ he said, and drank.

6d   See mine blowing up // foes (7)

7d   Copier prints erratically -- // instruction /needed/ (12)

Despite appearing at the end of the clue, the word "needed" plays a role very similar to that of a link word.

10d   Dines with a select spread from here? (12)

In her review, Kath shows the definition as being merely the single word "here". However, I would say that the entire clue provides the definition making this a semi-&lit. clue — or, as some prefer to call it, a semi-all-in-one clue — in which the entire clue acts as the definition while the portion with the dashed underline provides the wordplay (show further explanation ).

In an &lit. clue[7] (or, as some prefer to call it, all-in-one clue) the entire clue provides not only the definition (when read one way), but under a different interpretation also serves as the wordplay.

In a semi-&lit. clue (or, as some prefer to call it, semi-all-in-one clue), either:
  • the entire clue acts as the definition while a portion of the clue provides the wordplay; or
  • the entire clue acts as the wordplay while a portion of the clue provides the definition.
hide explanation

15d   Garden /is/ completely excessive, with chaps digging in (9)

"excessive" = OTT (show explanation )

OTT[5] (short for over the top) is an informal British expression denoting excessive or exaggerated ⇒ presenting him as a goalscoring Superman seems a bit OTT.

hide explanation

Allotment[5] is a British term for a plot of land rented by an individual for growing vegetables or flowers. This term is also used in Canada — at least in Ottawa — although one would be more apt to hear it referred to by the full version of the name, allotment garden[7].

17d   Give new name /for/ party in spin (7)

The Labour Party[5] (abbreviation Lab.[5]) in Britain is a left-of-centre political party formed to represent the interests of ordinary working people that since the Second World War has been in power 1945–51, 1964–70, 1974-9, and 1997–2010. Arising from the trade union movement at the end of the 19th century, it replaced the Liberals as the country’s second party after the First World War.

18d   Pull up in back, /as/ frequent pub-goer (7)

19d   Minister: 'Ministry includes // transport depots' (7)

20d   Revolutionary radical/'s/ cigar (7)

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.

A cheroot[2,5,10] is a cigar with both ends open (cut off squarely at both ends).

22d   Weighed down /and/ left a hole (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)
Signing off for today — Falcon

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