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
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
- 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 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.


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)


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

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