Thursday, May 11, 2017

Thursday, May 11, 2017 — DT 28371

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28371
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, March 10, 2017
Setter
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28371]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Deep Threat
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★ Enjoyment - ★★★
Falcon's Experience
┌────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┐
███████████████████████████████████
└────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┘
Legend:
- 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

Introduction

Today's puzzle is a fairly gentle offering from Giovanni.

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.

This puzzle contains 28 clues.

Across

1a   Bird // some Londoners only half spotted (4)

Cockneys[5,10] are natives of East London [specifically that part of East London known as the East End[5]], traditionally those born within hearing of Bow Bells (the bells of St Mary-le-Bow[7] church).

3a   Daughter working for boss /is/ a stupid person (10)

9a   What sounds like regret /for/ kitchen preparation (4)

10a   Where some store items have just about got off the ground? (5,5)

I didn't really "get" this clue — but perhaps there was little to get. I thought perhaps it went over my head, but it may just be that my expectations were set too high.

Based on Deep Threat's comment in his review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog, I think we need to interpret the clue as saying "Where some store items have barely got off the ground?".

11a   Bill presented to king when servant's brought round // parcel (7)

"king" = K (show explanation )

K[5] is an abbreviation for king that is used especially in describing play in card games and recording moves in chess.

hide explanation

Historically, a page[5] was:
  • a boy in training for knighthood, ranking next below a squire in the personal service of a knight
  • a man or boy employed as the personal attendant of a person of rank
13a   The French island, safe /for/ recreation (7)

"the French" = LE (show explanation )

In French, the masculine singular form of the definite article is le[8].

hide explanation

14a   Nobleman accompanying unknown girl // somewhere in Ireland (6,5)

A count[5] is a foreign [from a British perspective] nobleman whose rank corresponds to that of a British earl.

"unknown" = Y (show explanation )

In mathematics (algebra, in particular), an unknown[10] is a variable, or the quantity it represents, the value of which is to be discovered by solving an equation ⇒ 3y = 4x + 5 is an equation in two unknowns. [Unknowns are customarily represented symbolically by the letters x, y and z.]

hide explanation

Clare[5] is a county of the Republic of Ireland, on the west coast in the province of Munster; county town, Ennis.

18a   Vessel of French scientist's workplace -- odd // thing hanging from ceiling (11)

"of French" = DE (show explanation )

In French, de[8] is a preposition meaning 'of'' or 'from'.

hide explanation

Rum[5] is a dated informal British term meaning odd or peculiar ⇒ it’s a rum business, certainly.

21a   Bit of paper // left untidily by meadow (7)

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Deep Threat writes that this is the sort of meadow that the lowing herd wound slowly o’er.
The first stanza of "Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard" by English poet Thomas Gray (1716–1771) is:

The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
         The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea,
The plowman homeward plods his weary way,
         And leaves the world to darkness and to me.

22a   Colonist /taking/ bench by river (7)

A settle[5] is a wooden bench with a high back and arms, typically incorporating a box under the seat.

23a   French author not superior, chided /and/ laid low (10)

Marcel Proust[5] (1871–1922) was a French novelist, essayist, and critic. He devoted much of his life to writing his novel À la recherche du temps perdu (published in seven sections between 1913 and 1927). Its central theme is the recovery of the lost past and the releasing of its creative energies through the stimulation of unconscious memory [now, there's an ability that would certainly be a boon to cryptic crossword devotees].

"superior" = 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

Rate[5] is an archaic term meaning to scold (someone) angrily he rated the young man soundly for his want of respect.

24a   Old necklace // kept in cabinet or cupboard (4)

Historically, a torc[5] (also torque) was a neck ornament consisting of a band of twisted metal, worn especially by the ancient Gauls and Britons.

25a   In the manner of loud protesters, // knowing about nuclear weapon (10)

The Trident missile[7] is a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) equipped with multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRV). Trident missiles are carried by fourteen US Navy Ohio-class submarines, with US warheads, and four Royal Navy Vanguard-class submarines, with British warheads.

26a   Vegetable // was starter, not good in the middle (4)

Scratching the Surface
Starter[5] is a chiefly British* term meaning the first course of a meal.

* according to Oxford Dictionaries, British, but certainly a term that I would say is by no means foreign to Canada

Down

1d   Shell /gets/ vehicle moving at speed (8)

Scratching the Surface
The surface reading would appear to be referring to a well-known brand of gasoline — or petrol to the Brits.

2d   Food // firm needed by you and me repeatedly (8)

Couscous[5] is:
  • a type of North African semolina* in granules made from crushed durum wheat
  • a spicy dish made by steaming or soaking couscous and adding meat, vegetables, or fruit

    * Semolina[5] is the hard grains left after the milling of flour, used in puddings and in pasta.
4d   Join // the fifth division? (5)

5d   Anger /in/ hell -- prayers effective ultimately? (9)

In Roman mythology, Dis[10] is:
  • (also called Orcus or Pluto) the god of the underworld
  • the abode of the dead or underworld
The equivalent in Greek mythology is Hades[10].

6d   Fret dreadfully, angrier possibly inside? // This will cool things down (11)

7d   Book // a journey across the Red Sea (6)

Exodus[5] is the second book of the Bible, which recounts the departure of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, their journey across the Red Sea and through the wilderness led by Moses, and the giving of the Ten Commandments. The events have been variously dated by scholars between about 1580 and 1200 BC.

8d   County // party with right clique (6)

Dorset[5] is a county of southwestern England; county town, Dorchester. Dorset borders Devon to the west, Somerset to the north-west, Wiltshire to the north-east, and Hampshire to the east.[7]

12d   Description of lorry // put in words (11)

Lorry[5] is the common name in the UK for the vehicle known in North America as a truck[5] — although the word truck would also seem to be well known to the Brits. In fact, Oxford Dictionaries rather circularly defines a lorry as being a truck and a truck as being a lorry.

Articulated[5] is a British* term meaning having two or more sections connected by a flexible joint (i) an articulated lorry [truck]; (ii) the trilobite's thorax has a number of articulated segments.

* However, we do have articulated buses in Ottawa.

15d   Restrict // what spotter at Paddington does? (9)

Paddington[7], also known as London Paddington, is a central London railway terminus and London Underground station complex, located on Praed Street in the Paddington area.

Delving Deeper
The children's book character Paddington Bear[7] was named after the station. In the books, by Michael Bond, he is found at the station, having come from "deepest, darkest Peru" and with a note attached to his coat reading "please look after this bear, thank you". A statue of him by Marcus Cornish, based on the original drawings by Peggy Fortnum, is located under the clock on platform 1.

Trainspotter*[5] is a British term for a person who collects train or locomotive numbers as a hobby.

* The name is also often used in a derogatory sense to refer to a person who obsessively studies the minutiae of any minority interest or specialized hobby ⇒ the idea is to make the music really really collectable so the trainspotters will buy it in their pathetic thousands.

"study"= CON (show explanation )

Con[5] is an archaic term meaning to study attentively or learn by heart (a piece of writing)  ⇒ the girls conned their pages with a great show of industry.

hide explanation

Thus a trainspotter at Paddington Station "cons train".

16d   Woman of dubious morals beginning to enchant // author (8)

Antony Trollope[5] (1815–1882) was an English novelist. He is best known for the six ‘Barsetshire’ novels, including Barchester Towers (1857), and for the six political ‘Palliser’ novels. He also worked for the General Post Office 1834–67 and introduced the pillar box* to Britain.

* A pillar box[5] is a large red cylindrical public postbox [mailbox] used in the UK.

17d   Rain came to disturb // someone living in Ohio? (8)

19d   Walk on board ship // is at an angle (6)

"on board ship" = 'contained in SS' (show explanation )

In Crosswordland, you will find that a ship is almost invariably a steamship, the abbreviation for which is SS[10]. Thus phrases such as "aboard ship" or "on board ship" (or sometimes merely "on board") are Crosswordland code for 'contained in SS'.

hide explanation

20d   Character getting left out -- /is that/ a kind act? (6)

22d   What's this containing iron? // It sounds like a bargain (5)
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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