Thursday, May 25, 2017

Thursday, May 25, 2017 — DT 28381

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28381
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Jay (Jeremy Mutch)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28381]
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


One always expects a highly entertaining puzzle from Jay — and he rarely, if ever, fails to deliver.

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   Treacherous person upended Scotsman/'s/ stuff on the road (6)

In Crosswordland, a Scotsman rarely goes by any name other than Ian or Mac.

Here and There
Tarmac[5] is a trademark in the UK for material used for surfacing roads or other outdoor areas, consisting of broken stone mixed with tar. 

The equivalent term in North America is asphalt — or, more properly from a technical perspective, asphalt concrete*.

* Asphalt concrete[7] (commonly called asphalt)  is is a composite material consisting of mineral aggregate bound together with asphalt, laid in layers, and compacted. Asphalt concrete pavement mixes[7] are typically composed of 5% asphalt/bitumen cement and 95% aggregates (stone, sand, and gravel).

In North America, the term tarmac[7] would be used only for a paved surface of a runway, taxiway, or apron at an airport.

Scratching the Surface
Tarmac (a contraction of tarmacadam) was invented — or, perhaps more accurately, discovered* — by English inventor Edgar Purnall Hooley. Tarmac roads superseded macadam roads which were pioneered by Scottish engineer John Loudon McAdam.

So the "surface" reading actually may allude to a 'treacherous' Englishman who disrupted the road building industry by obsoleting the "Scotsman's stuff on the road".

* In 1901, Edgar Purnell Hooley was walking in Denby, Derbyshire when he noticed a smooth stretch of road close to an ironworks. He was informed that a barrel of tar had fallen onto the road, and someone poured waste slag from the nearby furnaces to cover up the mess. Hooley noticed this unintentional resurfacing had solidified the road, and there was no rutting and no dust (problems which had long plagued macadam roads).

5a   Inflates // benefits to include everybody (8)

9a   Mostly firm rear -- hard // to express disapproval! (8)

"hard" = H (show explanation )

H[2,5] is an abbreviation for hard, as used in describing grades of pencil lead ⇒ a 2H pencil.

hide explanation

10a   High-ranking officer dismissing line /in/ groups (6)

In biology, a genus[10] (plural genera or genuses) is any of the taxonomic groups into which a family is divided and which contains one or more species. For example, Vulpes (foxes) is a genus of the dog family (Canidae).

11a   Navigator // chap welcomes legal wrangling (8)

Ferdinand Magellan[5] (c.1480–1521) was a Portuguese explorer. In 1519 he sailed from Spain, rounding South America through the strait which now bears his name, and reached the Philippines in 1521. He was killed in a skirmish on Cebu; the survivors sailed back to Spain round Africa, completing the first circumnavigation of the globe (1522).

12a   Glutton needing long time /to get/ responsibility (6)

13a   Dramatic // summoning by old flame (8)

15a   Sort of hug // stomach? (4)

17a   Diplomatic approach /sees/ bill on time (4)

19a   Flag /of/ current Queen (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

20a   The French will get fit /for/ this sporting competition (6)

"the French" = LE (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

I would say that league[5] is being used in the sense of the contest for the championship of a league the year we won the league.

21a   Church must accept shortly one's // to make saint (8)

"church" = CE (show explanation )

The Church of England[10] (abbreviation CE[10]) is the reformed established state Church in England, Catholic in order and basic doctrine, with the Sovereign as its temporal head.

hide explanation

In the Roman Catholic Church, canonise (an alternative* spelling of canonize) means to officially declare (a dead person) to be a saint he was the last English saint to be canonized prior to the Reformation.

* All my British dictionaries show the principal spelling to be canonize. However, despite that, I expect many Brits will insist that the word should be spelled canonise. As I understand it, the -ize ending is derived from the Greek spelling while the -ise comes from the French spelling (presumably brought to England in the Norman Conquest).

22a   Gives a lift to American country folk full of love? (6)

From a British perspective, hick[5] is an informal North American term for a person who lives in the country, regarded as being unintelligent or parochial ⇒ she puts on a hick accent.

"love" = O (show explanation )

In tennis, squash, and some other sports, love[5] is a score of zero or nil ⇒ love fifteen. The resemblance of a zero written as a numeral (0) to the letter O leads to the cryptic crossword convention of the word "love" being used to clue this letter.

Although folk etymology has connected the word with French l'oeuf 'egg', from the resemblance in shape between an egg and a zero, the term apparently comes from the phrase play for love (i.e. the love of the game, not for money).

hide explanation

Hoick[5] is an informal British term meaning to lift or pull abruptly or with effort she hoicked her bag on to the desk.

23a   Little songbird /making/ teachers brood? (8)

In the UK, the National Union of Teachers is commonly known by the acronym NUT[5] [much to the delight of their students, I am sure].

A hatch[5] is a newly hatched brood ⇒ a hatch of mayflies.

The nuthatch[5] is a small songbird with a stiffened tail, which climbs up and down tree trunks and feeds on nuts, seeds, and insects.

24a   Sporting meet // worried slimy cop (8)

25a   Feel an aversion towards // international following first couple of defeats (6)

International[5] is a British term for a game or contest between teams representing different countries in a sport ⇒ the Murrayfield rugby international.

Test[5] (short for Test match)[5] denotes an international cricket or rugby match, typically one of a series, played between teams representing two different countries ⇒ the Test match between Pakistan and the West Indies.


2d   This list should show the fare for Paris (1,2,5)

The entire clue is a cryptic definition comprised of a broad straight definition (solid underline) combined with cryptic elaboration (dashed underline) which is a play on different meanings of the word "fare".

3d   One makes a killing// twice regarding instrument that's beaten up (8)

4d   Firm with politician within the law, /but/ sharing guilt (9)

"politician" = MP (show explanation )

In Britain (as in Canada), a politician elected to the House of Commons is known as a Member of Parliament[10] (abbreviation MP[5]) or, informally, as a member[5].

hide explanation

5d   Posterior and chest seen, sadly // in secret (6,3,6)

6d   Liberal European circle supports end of inane // ogling (7)

"liberal | Liberal" = L (show explanation )

The Liberal Party[5] (abbreviation Lib.[5] or L[2])* 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]

* Although Lib.[5] may be the more common abbreviation for the Liberal Party in Britain — likely to distinguish it from the the Labour Party[5] (abbreviation Lab.[5]) — Chambers 21st Century Dictionary indicates that L[2] may also be used.

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7d   Little work of note? (8)

8d   Inactive // sort of party needing new worker (8)

"worker | social 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

14d   Proposed // to show agreement with poor inmate locked in (9)

15d   Times grabs a couple of students who heard // commotion (8)

"student" = L (show explanation )

The cryptic crossword convention of L meaning learner or student arises from the L-plate[7], a square plate bearing a sans-serif letter L, for learner, which must be affixed to the front and back of a vehicle in various jurisdictions (including the UK) if its driver is a learner under instruction.

hide explanation

What did they say?
In their review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, the 2Kiwis describe "by" as A two letter word that is the equivalent to ‘times’ in Maths.
In Britain, the short form for mathematics is maths[5]her mother was a maths teacher, rather than math[5] as is the case in North America ⇒ she teaches math and science.

16d   Financial check covering account year -- /that's/ daring (8)

17d   Discharge business // coaches with one missing turn (8)

A turn[5] is a short performance, especially one of a number given by different performers in succession ⇒ (i) Lewis gave her best ever comic turn; (ii) he was asked to do a turn at a children’s party.

18d   Greek island fires // cavalry (8)

Cos is an alternative spelling of Kos[5], a Greek island in the southeastern Aegean, one of the Dodecanese group. It is the home of cos lettuce[5] (known to North Americans as romaine[5]).

A Cossack[5] is:
  • a member of a people of Ukraine and southern Russia, noted for their horsemanship and military skill
  • a member of a Cossack military unit
19d   Snobbish -- /and/ mystified at university (5-2)

In Britain, up[5] means at or to a university, especially Oxford or Cambridge ⇒ they were up at Cambridge about the same time.
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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