Friday, May 26, 2017

Friday, May 26, 2017 — DT 28382

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28382
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, March 23, 2017
RayT (Ray Terrell)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28382]
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


I reviewed this puzzle on Big Dave's Crossword Blog back in March when it was published in The Daily Telegraph. I found it difficult then and I found it nearly as difficult the second time around.

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   Action // for each soldier in army (11)

10a   Bare grip holding plug over // wireless (5)

"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

11a   Working // empty parable into sermon (9)

12a   Risks // limits tackling drive round the bend (9)

13a   Rock and roll, largely old // hat for soldier (5)

A shako[10] is a tall usually cylindrical military headdress, having a plume and often a peak [visor], popular especially in the 19th century.

14a   In due course catching hot // fever (6)

16a   Give up? // It could be far worse (8)

18a   Concrete // enclosure containing chamberpot (8)

In Britain, po[5] is an informal name for a chamber pot.

20a   Rabble // rose and got toffs abruptly guillotined initially (6)

The rabble[5] denotes ordinary people, especially when regarded as socially inferior or uncouth ⇒ the British feel no compunction about ushering the gentry into the coach and packing the rabble off to debtor's prison.

Ragtag[10] (noun) is a derogatory term for the common people; in other words, rabble (especially in the phrase ragtag and bobtail*).

* Ragtag and bobtail[3,11] (noun) denotes the lowest social class; the riffraff or rabble.

Scratching the Surface
Toff[5] is a derogatory, informal British term for a rich or upper-class person.

23a   Follow // sign with sweetheart sent to the back (5)

In astrology, Aries[10] (also called the Ram) is the first sign of the zodiac, symbol , having a cardinal fire classification, ruled by the planet Mars. The sun is in this sign between about March 21 and April 19.

"sweetheart" = E (show explanation )

A common cryptic crossword construct is to use the word "sweetheart" to clue E, the middle letter (heart) of swEet.

hide explanation

24a   Gold one found inside quiet // tomb (9)

The symbol for the chemical element gold is Au[5] (from Latin aurum).

26a   One cleans // material turning round less (9)

27a   God /of/ sex in reflection -- bronze (5)

It[2,5] (usually written in quotation marks, "it") is an informal term for sexual intercourse or sex appeal ⇒ (i) the only thing I knew nothing about was ‘it’; (ii) they were caught doing ‘it’ in the back seat of his car.

28a   Pugnacious /in/ ring, one chap grabs rope, gutted (11)

Bell[5] is an informal British term meaning to telephone (someone) ⇒ no problem, I’ll bell her tomorrow.

Chap[3,4,11] is an informal British[5] or chiefly British[3] term for a man or boy (show explanation ) — although one that is commonly used in Canada.

Chap[3,4,11] is a shortened form of chapman[3,4,11], an archaic term for a trader, especially an itinerant pedlar[a,b].

[a] Pedlar is the modern British spelling of peddler[c] which, in most senses, is a US or old-fashioned British spelling. The exception is in the sense of a dealer in illegal drugs which the Brits spell as drug peddler.
[b] The current meaning of chap[2] dates from the 18th century. In the 16th century, chap meant 'a customer'. The dictionaries do not explain how a shortened form of 'chapman' (pedlar) came to mean 'customer'.
[c] Collins COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary

hide explanation


2d   Need to get drunk before day /is/ over (5)

3d   Stalk // fluid snow leopard (7)

Ounce[5] is another term for snow leopard[5], a rare large cat which has pale grey fur patterned with dark blotches and rings, living in the Altai mountains, Hindu Kush, and Himalayas.

4d   Little marsupial nourished /and/ covered (6)

Roo[5] is an informal Australian term for a kangaroo.

5d   Hatred // is over and almost dissipated (8)

6d   Cold airhead absorbed by the man/'s/ body (7)

Chassis[10] is a slang term for the the body of a person, especially a woman.

7d   Precious // peace Liberal shattered embracing Republican (13)

"Republican" = R (show explanation )

A Republican[5] (abbreviation R[5])  is a member or supporter of the Republican Party[5], one of the two main US political parties*, favouring a right-wing stance, limited central government, and tough, interventionist foreign policy. It was formed in 1854 in support of the anti-slavery movement preceding the Civil War.

* the other being the Democratic Party

In the UK, republican[5] can refer to an advocate of a united Ireland but the abbreviation does not seem to apply to that usage.

hide explanation

Scratching the Surface
The Liberal Party[5] in Britain emerged in the 1860s from the old Whig Party and until the First World War was one of the two major parties in Britain. In 1988 the party regrouped with elements of the Social Democratic Party to form the Social and Liberal Democrats, now known as the Liberal Democrats. However, a small Liberal Party still exists although it has no representation in the UK Parliament, no Members of the European Parliament (MEP), no members of the Scottish Parliament, nor any members of the National Assembly for Wales.[7]

8d   Bond // afire about plucky M's successor (8)

Scratching the Surface
James Bond[5] (known also by his code name 007) is a fictional British secret agent in the spy novels of English author Ian Fleming (1908–1964).

M[7] is a fictional character in the James Bond books; the character (who is Bond's boss) is the Head of Secret Intelligence Service—also known as MI6.

9d   Support /of/ United in recent game on ground (13)

"United" = U (show explanation )

In the names of sports clubs, U[5] is the abbreviation for United[5] — in Britain, a word commonly used in the names of soccer and other sports teams formed by amalgamation ⇒ Man U [Manchester United].

hide explanation

As an anagram indicator, ground is the past tense or past participle of the verb grind[5]. An anagram indicator is a word that denotes movement or transformation. Grind denotes transformation, for example, in the sense of wheat being ground into flour.

15d   First of tenors leading Queen without // end (8)

"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.

hide explanation

17d   Flash artist in Globe -- // top coverage for Scotsman (8)

Mo[5] (abbreviation for moment) is an informal, chiefly British term for a short period of time ⇒ hang on a mo!.

"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

A balmoral[5] is a round brimless hat with a cockade or ribbons attached, worn by certain Scottish regiments.

Scratching the Surface
I can't say for certain to what — if anything — the surface reading is alluding but it is likely not the Toronto newspaper, or for that matter, the Boston or defunct New York newspapers. Here are a couple of intriguing, if unlikely, possibilities.

The Globe[5] was a British newspaper founded in 1803 that merged with the Pall Mall Gazette in 1921.

The Globe Theatre[7] was a theatre in London associated with William Shakespeare. It was built in 1599 by Shakespeare's playing company, the Lord Chamberlain's Men and was destroyed by fire in 1613. A second Globe Theatre was built on the same site by June 1614 and closed by Ordinance in 1642*. A modern reconstruction of the Globe, named "Shakespeare's Globe", opened in 1997 approximately 750 feet (230 m) from the site of the original theatre.

* In September 1642 the Long Parliament ordered a closure of the London theatres. The order cited the current "times of humiliation" and their incompatibility with "public stage-plays", representative of "lascivious Mirth and Levity". The ban, which was not completely effective, was reinforced by an Act of 11 February 1648. It provided for the treatment of actors as rogues, the demolition of theatre seating, and fines for spectators. In 1660, after the English Restoration brought King Charles II to effective power in England, the theatrical ban was lifted.

19d   Lover duelling covers // behind (7)

21d   One takes up // a drug, checking temperature right (7)

22d   Timbuktu, a region including // nomadic people (6)

The Tuareg[5] are a Berber people of the western and central Sahara, living mainly in Algeria, Mali, Niger, and western Libya, traditionally as nomadic pastoralists.

Scratching the Surface
Timbuktu (also Timbuctoo) is a town in northern Mali; population 35,600 (est. 2009). It was formerly a major trading centre for gold and salt on the trans-Saharan trade routes, reaching the height of its prosperity in the 16th century but falling into decline after its capture by the Moroccans in 1591.

The name has become emblematic of a remote or extremely distant place from here to Timbuktu.

25d   Picked // public school, one hears (5)

Eton College[7], often informally referred to simply as Eton, is an English independent boarding school for boys located in Eton, Berkshire, near Windsor. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as "The King's College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor". It is one of ten English schools, commonly referred to as public schools, regulated by the Public Schools Act of 1868.

Here and There
In Britain, an independent school[10] is a school that is neither financed nor controlled by the government or local authorities; in other words, an independent school[2] is not paid for with public money and does not belong to the state school system.

In Britain, a public school[2] is a particular category of independent school, namely a secondary school, especially a boarding school, run independently of the state and financed by a combination of endowments and pupils' fees.

Another category of independent school is the private school[2,5] which is a school run independently by an individual or group, especially for profit and supported wholly by the payment of fees.

What we in North America would call a public school[2], is known in the UK as a state school[5] or a maintained school*.

* In England and Wales, a maintained school[5] is a school that is funded by a local education authority.

Pick[5] is used in the sense of to eat food in small amounts or without much appetite she picked at her breakfast.
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

1 comment:

  1. All of four stars for me. Managed to complete with lots of on-line assistance and bunging the last few in. Thanks for parsing the clues that eluded me. You're amazing!

    I, too, wonder if Brian was taking the mickey. He normally rants about obscure synonyms and this puzzle had a bunch of those.