Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 — DT 28374

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28374
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28374]
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


After the debacle I encountered with yesterday's puzzle, this one went much smoother.

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   Lacking detail /of/ brief encounter by stretch of water in Norfolk (10)

In East Anglia* dialect, a broad[10] is a shallow lake.

* East Anglia[5] is a region of eastern England consisting of the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, and parts of Essex and Cambridgeshire.

Delving Deeper
The Broads[10] is a a group of shallow navigable lakes, connected by a network of rivers in Norfolk and Suffolk in eastern England. It is also the name of the region around these lakes, a tourist centre that is home to several bird sanctuaries.

6a   Boss axing one // restaurant worker (4)

9a   Small border // plant (5)

Sedge[5] is any of several genus of grass-like plant with triangular stems and inconspicuous flowers, growing typically in wet ground. Sedges are widely distributed throughout temperate and cold regions.

10a   Writer/'s/ tip after social function (9)

12a   I search out // purser (7)

13a   A key // passage (5)

A key[5] is a low-lying island or reef, especially in the Caribbean.

15a   Stop // a black bull heading off (7)

Bull[1] is military slang for (noun)  the polishing of kit, etc or (verb) to polish overzealously.

I suspect that the military usage might be related to — or even to have given rise to — bull[2] meaning tedious and sometimes unnecessary routine tasks.

17a   Intimate // intercity train (7)

19a   Case: // travelling sort he left inside (7)

21a   The old lady eating with the Spanish // statesman (7)

"the Spanish" = EL (show explanation )

In Spanish, the masculine singular form of the definite article is el[8].

hide explanation

Nelson Mandela[5] (1918–2013) was a South African statesman, president 1994–9. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1964 as an activist for the African National Congress (ANC). Released in 1990, as leader of the ANC he engaged in talks on the introduction of majority rule with President F. W. de Klerk, with whom he shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. He became the country's first democratically elected president in 1994.

22a   Dramatist /and/ writer for children almost returned (5)

Edith Nesbit[7] (1858–1924) was an English author and poet who wrote or collaborated on more than 60 books of children's literature, publishing under the name of E. Nesbit. Her best known work may be The Railway Children (1906) [meaning simply that it is the only one I have ever heard of].

Henrik Ibsen[5] (1828–1906) was a Norwegian dramatist. He is credited with being the first major dramatist to write tragedy about ordinary people in prose. Ibsen’s later works, such as The Master Builder (1892), deal increasingly with the forces of the unconscious and were admired by Sigmund Freud. Other notable works: Peer Gynt (1867), A Doll’s House (1879), Ghosts (1881).

24a   Biased against fine // amusement park (7)

Funfair[5] is a chiefly British term for a fair consisting of rides, sideshows, and other amusements ⇒ (i) a travelling funfair set up every year; (ii) a funfair ride.

27a   Duke is to retire /in/ ruin (9)

"duke" = D (show explanation )

A duke[5] (abbreviation D.[10]) is a male holding the highest hereditary title in the British and certain other peerages*.

* The peerage[5] is the nobility in Britain or Ireland, comprising the ranks of duke or duchess, marquess or marchioness, earl or countess, viscount or viscountess, and baron or baroness.

hide explanation

Repair to[5] is a formal or humorous term meaning to go to (a place), especially in company ⇒ we repaired to the tranquillity of a nearby cafe.

28a   Bit of help // on getting out of bed (3-2)

"on" = LEG (show explanation )

In cricket, the on[5] (also known as on side) is another name for the leg[5] (also called leg side), the half of the field (as divided lengthways through the pitch) away from which the batsman’s feet are pointed when standing to receive the ball ⇒ he played a lucky stroke to leg. The other half of the field is known as the off[5] (also called off side).

hide explanation

29a   To attack // king, assistance /is required/ (4)

"king" = R (show explanation )

Rex[5] (abbreviation R[5]) [Latin for king] denotes the reigning king, used following a name (e.g. Georgius Rex, King George) or in the titles of lawsuits (e.g. Rex v. Jones, the Crown versus Jones — often shortened to R. v. Jones).

hide explanation

Despite being positioned at the end of the clue, the phrase "is required" plays a role not unlike that of a link word. Think of it as meaning "is the solution we are looking for".

30a   Child /in/ joint with unruly tribe (5-5)

An ankle-biter[2,5] or ankle biter[10] is:
  • Chambers 21st Century Dictionary: slang for a child
  • Collins English Dictionary: Australian slang for a child
  • Oxford Dictionaries: a humorous North American, New Zealand, and Australian term for a child ⇒ travelling overseas with an ankle-biter has its advantages.

Strangely, the term does not appear in my American dictionaries.


1d   Smashed // sculpture (4)

The past participle of the verb bust[2,5] can be either bust or bustedthe film bust every box office record.

2d   Traditional // dolls Choo designed (3-6)

Scratching the Surface
Jimmy Choo[7] is a Malaysian fashion designer based in the United Kingdom. He is best known for co-founding Jimmy Choo Ltd, which became known for its handmade women's shoes.

3d   Clean // frock (5)

4d   Hurry to secure books I // dismiss as worthless (7)

Here and There
In North America, the word rubbish[3,11] is employed only as a noun whereas, in the UK, rubbish[4,5] is also used as a verb in an informal sense meaning to criticize severely and reject as worthless ⇒ he rubbished the idea of a European Community-wide carbon tax.

5d   Spend lavishly /in/ plant skirting lake (7)

Spurge[5] is any of numerous species of herbaceous plant or shrub with milky latex and very small, typically greenish, flowers. Many kinds are cultivated as ornamentals and some are of commercial importance.

7d   Those who have inherited // pretentious manners, by the sound of it (5)

8d   Annual pop celebration? (7,3)

11d   Drama training by new // enclosure (7)

"training" = PE (show explanation )

PE[5] is the abbreviation for physical education [or Phys Ed, as it was known in my school days]. 

hide explanation

14d   At hospital, female wearing brooch, attending the German // pioneer (10)

"the German" = DER (show explanation )

In German, der[8] is one of the several forms that the definite article may assume.

hide explanation

16d   Extremely earnest // in past, perhaps (7)

18d   Observes appropriate // military command (4,5)

Eyes front (or eyes left or eyes right)[5] is a military command to turn the head in the direction stated ⇒ ‘Eyes front!’ he screamed at the men before him.

20d   Do without // chorus (7)

I initially questioned whether "refrain" and "do without" are truly synonymous. After all, one would "refrain from (doing something)" whereas one would "do without (doing something)". I concluded, however, that where the action is implied the terms "refrain" and "do without" could be interchanged ⇒ When tempted to eat that second slice of cake, refrain.

21d   Pitman with a large // soft drink (7)

Here and There
Mineral[10] is a British term for a soft drink containing carbonated water and flavourings. In North America, this is known as soda pop[5] or simply as soda[5] or pop*[5].

* Note to the editors of Oxford Dictionaries: Pop*[5] doesn't have to come in a can. It is still pop when bottled or dispensed by a soda fountain.

23d   American brought over his cracked // Oriental dish (5)

25d   Spontaneous remark /from/ daughter in 'Ali Baba', at the start (2-3)

I interpreted the wordplay slightly differently than did Mr Kitty parsing it as {ALI (from the clue) + B (Baba at the start; the initial letter of Baba)} containing D (daughter; abbrev.). In my experience, an expression like "at the start" means to take only the initial letter of the fodder. If we need to take two or three letters, the setter will use indications such as "a couple of" or "a trio of".

26d   Box // son on equal footing (4)
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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