Thursday, May 18, 2017

Thursday, May 18, 2017 — DT 28376

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28376
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, March 16, 2017
Shamus (Philip Marlow)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28376]
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


While solving this puzzle, I presumed it to be a RayT creation. After all, there is a bit of mild innuendo and Her Majesty does grace us with her presence. I even thought that he might have left a calling card at 10d. Nevertheless, upon reading Kath's review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, I discover that it was crafted by Shamus.

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.


7a   Star could conceivably emerge from this // ballet etc (10,4)

This clue is a reverse anagram (show explanation ). The solution (PERFORMING ARTS) can be viewed as an anagram (PERFORMING) of ARTS producing the word "star" which appears in the clue.

In a 'normal' clue, the wordplay appears in the clue and the result arising from the execution of the wordplay is found in the solution. For instance, in a clue of the anagram type, the anagram indicator (operator) and anagram fodder (the material on which the indicator operates) would appear in the clue and the result of performing the anagram operation would be found in the solution.

On the other hand, in a 'reverse anagram', this situation is reversed. The anagram indicator and fodder are found in the solution and the result of executing the anagram operation appears in the clue. This is not unlike the premise of the TV game show Jeopardy — where contestants are given the answer and must respond with a question. Here the solver is given the result of the anagram operation and must find the anagram indicator and fodder which would produce it.

Personally, I would much prefer to use the term 'inverse anagram' rather than 'reverse anagram' as this type of construct is analogous to the concept of inverse functions in mathematics. However, I have resigned myself to the fact that this idea is unlikely to find traction.

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9a   Fancy bankrupt // to risk everything (2,3,5)

What did she say?
In her review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Kath tells us that the final part of the solution is a word meaning bankrupt or totally skint.
Skint[4,11] is British slang meaning having no money or penniless.

11a   Kind // outsider in settlement? (4)

12a   Sound of skipper /in/ foreign thoroughfare (3)

Apparently, "skipper" is intended to denote a kangaroo (presumably based on its characteristic gait). However, as maarvarq points out in Comment #39 on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, "the marsupial in question doesn’t skip (despite the name of the 60s kids’ show), but rather hops, which is a significantly different gait".

Skippy the Bush Kangaroo[7] (known popularly as Skippy) is an Australian television series telling the adventures of a young boy and his intelligent pet kangaroo, and the various visitors to the fictional Waratah National Park in Duffys Forest, near Sydney, New South Wales. The programme aired in Australia from 1968–1970 and was subsequently shown in the United Kingdom, Canada and the Netherlands.

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

The French word for 'street' is rue[8].

The homophone is a bit of a stretch as evidenced by the remark — among others — of Frenchman jean-luc cheval at Comment #34 on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, "Sorry but the homophone in 12a just doesn’t work for a Frenchman. Unless you’re called Clouseau. Do you have a rum?".

13a   Washing that's best kept secret (5,5)

A cryptic definition comprising a straight definition (solid underline) and cryptic elaboration (dashed underline).

16a   Undesirable look about // lively dance (4)

17a   Traps repairer? (7)

18a   Treason disturbed // distinguished politician (7)

Some of ours have managed to distinguish themselves rather ignominiously.

20a   Promote /in/ work, though not over hospital (4)

In music, an opus[5] is a separate composition or set of compositions. Opus[5] can also be used in a more general sense to mean an artistic work, especially one on a large scale ⇒ he was writing an opus on Mexico.

"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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21a   Irish and French director in circle /proving/ troublesome (10)

Jacques Tati[5] (1908–1982) was a French film director and actor; born Jacques Tatischeff. He introduced the comically inept character Monsieur Hulot in Monsieur Hulot's Holiday (1953), seen again in films including the Oscar-winning Mon oncle (1958).

23a   Place to get round maybe // in Minnesota (3)

24a   No evidence of embargo /in/ Scottish port (4)

Oban[5] is a port and tourist resort on the west coast of Scotland, in Argyll and Bute, opposite the island of Mull; population 9,500 (est. 2009).

25a   Some young volunteers rejected in private fashionable set (10)

"volunteers" = TA (show explanation )

In the UK, Territorial Army[5] (abbreviation TA[5]) was, at one time, the name of a volunteer force founded in 1908 to provide a reserve of trained and disciplined military personnel for use in an emergency. Since 2013, this organization has been called the Army Reserve.

hide explanation

"private" = GI (show explanation )

A GI[5] is a private soldier in the US army ⇒ she went off with a GI during the war.

Contrary to popular belief, the term apparently is not an abbreviation for general infantryman, but rather derives from the term government (or general) issue (originally denoting equipment supplied to US forces).

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Glitterati[5] is an informal term (originally US) for the fashionable set of people engaged in show business or some other glamorous activity (i) the neighbourhood has become a favourite haunt of the glitterati; (ii) the glitterati of the art world. It is a portmanteau word formed by blending 'glitter' and 'literati'.

28a   Fast food maker /is/ strain on company approved by Queen (8,6)

This is a fast 'food maker' and not a 'fast food' maker.

"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.

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1d   Counterpart /of/ old Poe's 'Pit', revised edition (8,6)

Scratching the Surface
"The Pit and the Pendulum"[7] is a short story written by Edgar Allan Poe, first published in 1842, about the torments endured by a prisoner of the Spanish Inquisition.

2d   Group // showing a bit of patriotism (4)

3d   Mistake // to indicate vocal disapproval of book (4)

Boob[5] is an informal British term for an embarrassing mistake ⇒ the boob was spotted by a security expert at the show.

4d   Confiscate // one million quid (7)

Quid[5] (plural quid) is an informal British term for one pound sterling* we paid him four hundred quid.

* The pound[5] (also pound sterling) is the basic monetary unit of the UK, equal to 100 pence.

5d   In hearing, one after another, chaps with time /in/ detention (10)

What did she say?
In her review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Kath describes one element of the charade as being some chaps or blokes.

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 in fairly common usage 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

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Bloke[5] is an informal British* term for a man ⇒ he’s a nice bloke.

* British, but certainly very familiar to anyone on this side of the pond who has ever seen British films or television

6d   Domestic help /in/ priest's residence, six-footer following Bible (10)

A manse[5] is a house provided for a minister of certain Christian Churches, especially the Scottish Presbyterian Church.

RV[5] is the abbreviation for Revised Version* (of the Bible).

* The Revised Version is an English translation of the Bible published in 1881–95 and based on the Authorized Version (see box following).

Here and There
Authorized Version[5] (abbreviation AV)[5] is a chiefly British term for an English translation of the Bible made in 1611 at the order of James I and still widely used, though never formally ‘authorized’. It is also called the King James Biblea name by which it is undoubtedly far better known in North America.

8d   Teen hurt in port botched // manoeuvre in road (5-5,4)

10d   Fish // ready with regular filleting (3)

14d   The insects stirred up // irritability (10)

15d   Extravagant expenditure -- thing a soul has to reform (7,3)

Lash out[5,10] is an informal British term meaning to spend money extravagantly ⇒ (i) I decided to lash out and treat myself; (ii) let’s lash out on a taxi.

19d   Promotional material /in/ back of lorry? (7)

Here and There
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.

22d   Take off // cloak with cold gone (3)

Take off[10] (verb) in the informal sense of to mimic or imitate, especially in an amusing or satirical manner.

26d   For instance, 27 // also left (4)

The numeral "27" is a cross reference indicator directing the solver to insert the solution to clue 27d 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

27d   Explorer removing top /reveals/ emaciated figure (4)

Sir Francis Drake[5] (circa 1540–1596) was an English sailor and explorer. He was the first Englishman to circumnavigate the globe (1577–80), in his ship the Golden Hind. He played an important part in the defeat of the Spanish Armada.
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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