Monday, May 15, 2017

Monday, May 15, 2017 — DT 28373

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28373
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Monday, March 13, 2017
Rufus (Roger Squires)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28373]
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


This puzzle certainly appears to have been far more of a challenge for yours truly than it was for Miffypops. I was left with four clues at the end that I could not get my head around without resorting to some electronic pattern matching help. A couple of those clues might suggest that it would be helpful to attend church more regularly.

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   One buccaneering // vulgar song we hear (7)

5a   He and Carol suffering // disease (7)

9a   Steps taken /to make/ sunburn disappear? (5)

10a   Young stall-holders (9)

For the most part, I remained stuck in the stable, although I did make make a brief excursion to the marketplace. However, I needed outside guidance to reach the church.

11a   Uriah's mate, terribly // unprofessional (10)

12a   Cliff/'s/ evidence of having been hurt (4)

14a   Some pine /for/ a £500 crossword (6,6)

Monkey[5] is an informal British term for a sum of £500.

The monkey puzzle*[5,10] (also monkey puzzle tree) is a South American evergreen coniferous tree, Araucaria araucana, having branches shaped like a candelabrum covered in spirals of tough spiny leaf-like scales. The tree, native to Chile, is also known as the Chile pine.

* said to be so named in response to a remark that an attempt to climb the tree would puzzle a monkey.

18a   They take part in emergencies (12)

21a   Mind // how we must appear in Paris (4)

In philosophy, nous[5] (noun) is a term for the mind or intellect.

In French, nous[8] is a pronoun meaning 'we'.

22a   One who enters the services (10)

As mentioned at 10a, I needed outside assistance to find the church. Is there a theme here?

25a   Pursued, catching ten /to be/ punished (9)

26a   Cried /with/ this person getting married (5)

The wordplay parses as ME (this person) + (getting) WED (married).

"this person" = ME (show explanation )

It is a common cryptic crossword convention for the creator of the puzzle to use terms such as (the or this) compiler, (the or this) setter, (this) author, (this) writer, or this person to refer to himself or herself. To solve such a clue, one must generally substitute a first person pronoun (I or me) for whichever of these terms has been used in the clue.

hide explanation

One might explain the use of "with" as a link word in either of a couple of ways. First, with[11] could be used in the sense of characterized by or having ⇒ a person with intelligence and initiative. An even better explanation might be that the word "with" is expressing causality between the definition and wordplay. The preposition with[5] may be used to indicate the cause of a condition ⇒ he was trembling with fear. Used in this sense, the word "with" essentially means "resulting from".

27a   Migrant // who pays his debts (7)

28a   Book // public transport (7)

Omnibus[5] is a dated term for a bus ⇒ a horse-drawn omnibus.


1d   Being disturbed, can Pat // snooze? (6)

2d   True about National Trust /getting/ receipts for letter? (6)

A letter[1] is a person who lets, especially on hire*.

* Among my stable of dictionaries, this definition is found only in The Chambers Dictionary.

Here and There
Let[5] is a chiefly British* term meaning to allow someone to have the use of (a room or property) in return for regular payments ⇒ (i) she let the flat [apartment] to a tenant; (ii) they’ve let out their house.

* However, I seriously doubt that this word is quite as British as Oxford Dictionaries would have us believe.[3,11]

Hire[5] is a British term meaning:
  • to obtain the temporary use of (something) for an agreed payment ⇒ we flew to San Diego, hired a car, and headed for Las Vegas
  • to grant the temporary use of something for an agreed payment ⇒ most train stations hire out cycles
In North America, one would be far more likely to use the term 'rent' in place of either 'hire' or 'let' in the above contexts.

3d   /It's/ not beneath the directors, // to be honest (5,5)

The wordplay parses as ABOVE (not beneath) + BOARD (the directors). Despite appearing at the beginning of the clue, the word "it's" plays a role similar to that of a link word which may become clearer if we were to rearrange the clue. From an analytical perspective, one could rephrase the clue as:
  • Not beneath the directors /is/ to be honest (5,5)
or, with a better surface reading:
  • To be honest /is/ not beneath the directors (5,5)
4d   Happen to be unoriginal (5)

5d   Inward-looking (5-4)

6d   Means of propulsion // on a Roman ship originally (4)

7d   Banish spirits /with/ zero ice upsetting imbibing times (8)

I carelessly wrote in what I perceived to be the "British" spelling, EXORCISE, without checking that it matched the anagram fodder. Needless to say, this caused added grief at 14a.

It seems that this is a word that goes counter to the normal pattern of the use of 'S' and 'Z'. The preferred British spelling would appear to be exorcize[1,2,4,10] (based on the Greek spelling) rather than exorcise[5] (based on the French spelling) with only Oxford Dictionaries being alone among my British dictionaries in showing the latter as the primary spelling. American dictionaries list exorcise[3,11] as the principal — or only — spelling.

There seems to be no rhyme nor reason behind which spelling is preferred. One would think that the Brits merely adopt whichever version the Yanks reject — or vice versa.

8d   Insisted on // a fresh dessert (8)

I would say that Miffypops has cut the definition short in his review.

Assert[10] means to to insist upon (rights, claims, etc).

13d   One with powers // over the rest of us (10)

SUPERMAN came readily to mind. However, I was not able to fill in the missing letters without outside help. The word SUPERHUMAN literally means over or above (super-) the human race (the rest of us).

15d   General // thickener for cooking (9)

Herbert Kitchener[5], 1st Earl Kitchener of Khartoum (1850–1916) was a British soldier and statesman; full name Horatio Herbert Kitchener. At the outbreak of the First World War he was made Secretary of State for War. He had previously defeated the Mahdist forces at Omdurman in 1898, served as Chief of Staff in the Second Boer War, and been Commander-in-Chief (1902–9) in India.

16d   Tea dispenser is among features /in/ heaters (8)

17d   Notice worker accepting project /for/ military assistant (8)

"worker" = ANT (show explanation )

The word "worker" and the phrase "social worker" are commonly used in cryptic crossword puzzles to clue ANT or BEE.

A worker[5] is a neuter or undeveloped female bee, wasp, ant, or other social insect, large numbers of which do the basic work of the colony.

In crossword puzzles, "worker" will most frequently be used to clue ANT and occasionally BEE but I have yet to see it used to clue WASP. Of course, "worker" is sometimes also used to clue HAND or MAN.

hide explanation

An adjutant[5] is a military officer who acts as an administrative assistant to a senior officer.

19d   Network // company books in which you and I will have entry (6)

20d   Stared in shock /seeing/ exchanges (6)

23d   Send message to // a daughter in port (5)

Rio de Janeiro[5] (commonly known as Rio) is a city in eastern Brazil, on the Atlantic coast. The chief port of Brazil, it was the country’s capital from 1763 until 1960, when it was replaced by Brasilia.

24d   And others /after/ time turned up (2,2)

As a link word, "after" denotes 'resulting from' — in other words, what remains once the action specified in the wordplay has taken place.
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. Rufus is the master of the cryptic definition.
    This was one of those rare days when I found myself on his wavelength; almost and read and write. Slowed down at the end by 14a, which I finally bunged in from the crossing letters.

    1. I enjoy his puzzles immensely and usually do well on them. I guess I need to spend more time in church and less in the stables.

  2. I got stuck on 22a and 13d, haven't convinced myself it was a pangram was looking for a place for the "q". Knew 14a because of Araucaria, the master of cryptics.