Monday, May 8, 2017

Monday, May 8, 2017 — DT 28368

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28368
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Mister Ron (Samuel)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28368]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Mr Kitty
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


There are several traps in this puzzle into which the unsuspecting solver might tumble. I found one of them and only avoided another because it would not fit with one of the intersecting words. Ironically, that crossing word that came to my rescue was later found to be incorrect itself.

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   Without waiters or waitresses? /That's/ inconsiderate (4-7)

One could view the first part of the clue (marked with a dotted underline) as a literal interpretation of the solution.

Falling Into the Trap
Quite a number of commenters on Big Dave's Crossword Blog report that they entered SELF-SERVICE rather than SELF-SERVING. If one's attention is directed primarily to the first part of the clue, I can easily see how the former choice would be first to mind. However, if (like myself) one focuses on the final part of the clue, then the latter is clearly called for.

9a   Attorney-General mourns /and/ causes distress (9)

10a   Priest welcomed by Roman Catholic, // 15 (5)

The numeral "15" is a cross reference indicator directing the solver to insert the solution to clue 15a in its place to complete the clue. The directional indicator is customarily omitted in situations such as this where only a single clue starts in the light* that is being referenced.

* light-coloured cell in the grid

In the Bible, Eli[5] is a priest who acted as a teacher to the prophet Samuel (1 Sam. 1-3).

11a   Most recent // battles upset missing leader (6)

12a   Boring // book about Kindles missing the beginning (8)

Falling Into The Trap
I was in the MINDLESS camp here until 6d and 8d forced their way to the forefront. From the comments on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, it would appear that I was far from alone in heading down that path.

The "alternative" solution that I — and many others — fell for is MS (book; abbreviation for manuscript) containing (about) [K]INDLES (from the clue) with the initial letter removed (missing the beginning).

Scratching the Surface
The Amazon Kindle[7] is a series of e-readers designed and marketed by

13a   Aussie animal/'s/ wife fights without limits (6)

A wombat[5] is a burrowing plant-eating Australian marsupial which resembles a small bear with short legs.

15a   Hold on to Oriental drink /as/ memento (8)

Sake[5] (or saki[5]) is a Japanese alcoholic drink made from fermented rice, traditionally drunk warm in small porcelain cups.

18a   Induce scuffling in hospital department // hearing (8)

A & E[5] (accident and emergency) is the British term for the Emergency Department in a hospital ⇒ (i) a nurse at work told me I should go to A & E; (ii) an A & E department.

The wordplay parses as an anagram (scuffling) of INDUCE contained in (in) {A + (&) E}.

19a   Reportedly break // part of gun? (6)

21a   Go with commanding officer and arrest gutless // traitor (8)

23a   Dress warmly /and/ put to bed (4,2)

26a   Regularly regretful over getting knocked back? // Strange! (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.

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27a   General perhaps left following // attack (9)

28a   Share tweets breaking down // Romeo and Juliet, for instance (11)

Romeo and Juliet[7] is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare early in his career about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately reconcile their feuding families. It was among Shakespeare's most popular plays during his lifetime and along with Hamlet, is one of his most frequently performed plays. Today, the title characters are regarded as archetypal young lovers.


1d   Everything in performance /is/ superficial (7)

2d   Run // above board (5)

Split (3,2), the solution would be leg it[5], an informal British term meaning to:
  • travel by foot or walk ⇒ I am part of a team legging it around London; or
  • run away ⇒ he legged it after someone shouted at him.
3d   Pointed at the front, square at the back? // Neat! (9)

The portion of the clue with the dotted underline is a literal interpretation of the solution.

4d   Shout // 'Party!' (4)

5d   Brilliant /and/ trendy, like a church? (8)

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Mr Kitty describes the latter part of the wordplay as an adjective that could describe the architecture of churches. In Oxford it might be preceded by “dreaming”.
Oxford is the county town of Oxfordshire, England and famous worldwide for its prestigious university, the oldest in the English-speaking world. In his poem ‘Thyrsis’ the Victorian poet Matthew Arnold called Oxford ‘the city of dreaming spires’ after the stunning architecture of these university buildings.

6d   Wolf/'s/ throat (5)

Gorge[5] is an archaic name for the throat.

7d   Cover up /in/ Home Counties holiday destination (7)

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. (show more )

No exact definition of the term exists and the composition of the Home Counties remains a matter of debate. While Oxford Dictionaries restrictively lists them as being chiefly Essex, Kent, Surrey, and Hertfordshire, Wikipedia tells us that the Home Counties[7] are generally considered to include Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Surrey and Sussex (although Sussex does not border London).

Other counties more distant from London, such as Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Dorset, Hampshire and Oxfordshire are also sometimes included in the list due to their close proximity to the capital and their connection to the London regional economy.

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Crete[5] is a Greek island in the eastern Mediterranean; population 630,000 (est. 2009); capital, Heraklion. It is noted for the remains of the Minoan civilization which flourished there in the 2nd millennium BC. It fell to Rome in 67 BC and was subsequently ruled by Byzantines, Venetians, and Turks. Crete played an important role in the Greek struggle for independence from the Turks in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, becoming administratively part of an independent Greece in 1913. Crete[7] is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Greece.

Falling Into the Trap
Like many of the commenters on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, I wanted to enter SEASIDE here but was prevented from doing so as it did not fit with 12a. In a strange twist of fate, the solution that I had entered for 12a later proved to be incorrect.

8d   Assign // contributors to meet a collaborator from the south (8)

14d   Reduce the level /of/ river in China (8)

The Oder[5] is a river of central Europe which rises in the mountains in the east of the Czech Republic and flows northwards through western Poland to meet the River Neisse, then continues northwards forming the northern part of the border between Poland and Germany before flowing into the Baltic Sea.

In Britain, china[5] is an informal term for a friend (or, as the Brits would say, a mate*). This meaning comes from cockney rhyming slang (show explanation ), where china is the shortened form of china plate which rhymes with 'mate'.

* In Britain, mate[5] — in addition to being a person’s husband, wife, or other sexual partner — is an informal term for a friend or companion ⇒ my best mate Steve.

Rhyming slang[5] is a type of slang that replaces words with rhyming words or phrases, typically with the rhyming element omitted. For example, butcher’s, short for butcher’s hook, means ‘look’ in cockney rhyming slang.

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16d   Flier/'s/ role -- crossing where British will have flown (9)

17d   Hustle // son on cold walk (8)

18d   Tour has upset // writers (7)

20d   Doctor helps to restrain a second // unfortunate (7)

22d   Revolutionary seems to lose heart /in/ game (5)

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.

24d   Former // nosy parker, we hear (5)

Nosy parker[57] is an informal British term for an overly inquisitive person. The expression comes from an early 20th century postcard caption ‘The Adventures of Nosey Parker’, referring to a peeping Tom in London's Hyde Park.

25d   Low temperature /is/ debatable (4)
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

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