Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Tuesday, May 2, 2017 — DT 28364

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28364
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, March 2, 2017
Shamus (Philip Marlow)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28364]
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


Another rather gentle workout today. However, I'm bracing myself for a stiffer challenge tomorrow 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.


1a   Battle /in/ street leading to goods impounded by law (8)

"good" = G (show explanation )

The abbreviation G[10] for good likely relates to its use in grading school assignments or tests.

hide explanation

5a   Clever // group of diners disregarding time (4)

9a   Musical success by star covering tango // up to now (8)

Tango[5] is a code word representing the letter T, used in radio communication.

10a   Trouble /in/ Belgium with alternative on the right (6)

The International Vehicle Registration (IVR) code for Belgium is B[5].

11a   Model train in state /that's/ healthy (8)

As an anagram indicator, model[5] (verb) means to fashion or shape (a three-dimensional figure or object) in a malleable material such as clay or wax.

12a   Agreement /in/ a combination of notes, we hear (6)

14a   Make more efficient // floundering men's retail (10)

18a   Solicit group of brothers /for/ judicial direction? (5,5)

An order[5] (also Order) is a society of monks, nuns, or friars living under the same religious, moral, and social regulations and discipline ⇒ the Franciscan Order.

22a   Hear about the Italian bishop/'s/ hat (6)

In Italian, the masculine singular form of the definite article is il[8].

"bishop" = B (show explanation )

B[5] is an abbreviation for bishop that is used in recording moves in chess.

hide explanation

Trilby[5] is a British name for a soft felt hat with a narrow brim and indented crown.

23a   Expedient /required for/ fleet facing difficulty (5,3)

24a   Where eight might be found // as an unbroken sequence (2,1,3)

I have diverged somewhat from Kath in the way I have chosen to classify this clue, marking the first part with a dashed underline to show that I believe it to be a cryptic definition. I also think that the second definition should include the word "as".

An eight[5] is an eight-oared rowing boat or its crew.

25a   In America, single, drunk, /showing/ brutish quality (8)

Scratching the Surface
While it may not have been  the intent of the setter, for me this clue brought to mind The Ugly American[7], a 1958 political novel by Eugene Burdick and William Lederer which depicts the failures of the U.S. diplomatic corps in Southeast Asia.

The book caused a sensation in diplomatic circles, and had major political implications. The Peace Corps was established during the Kennedy administration partly as a result of the book. It was one of the biggest bestsellers in the country, has been in print continuously since it appeared and is one of the most politically influential novels in all of American literature.

26a   Attack vehicle /in/ reservoir (4)

Behind the Name
The word tank[7] was first applied to the British "landships" in 1915, before they entered service, to keep their nature secret. However, just who coined the term is in dispute. Some claim the term originated with officials working on a senior government interdepartmental committee while others credit the men on the shop floor where the first units were built. According to one story, the original plan was to call them "water carriers" but as that would inevitably be shortened to WC (a British term for a toilet), the name was changed to "tank".

27a   Support the man clearly discontented /in/ view of the future? (8)

The setter uses "discontented" to indicate that the inner letters of "ClearlY" are to be removed. This cryptic device is based on the whimsical logic that if disembowel means to remove one's innards, then it only stands to reason that discontent must mean to remove one's contents.


2d   One on board /giving/ measure of programme's success (6)

Rating[5] is a British term for a non-commissioned sailor in the navy the rest of the new crew was made up of naval ratings. [So named from the position or rating held by a sailor, recorded on a ship's books.]

3d   Hotel in reach /in/ poor quarter (6)

Hotel[5] is a code word representing the letter H, used in radio communication.

4d   A trite rule that's spoiled // written material (10)

6d   Sack male in top // disciplinary facility (4,4)

Cap[3] means to to follow with something better; in other words, to surpass or outdo ⇒ capped his last trick with a disappearing act that brought the audience to its feet.

7d   Greeting penned by a poet I fancy /in/ African country (8)

8d   Device /that could make/ mum more embarrassed (8)

9d   Mess // when accommodated in two hospitals (4)

13d   Serve e.g. grub cooked using no animals ultimately -- as this? (10)

I choose to see this as a semi-&lit. (semi-all-in-one) clue with embedded wordplay as surely the entire clue provides the definition. I just cannot accept that the pronoun "this" on its own can possibly be considered to be a definition.

15d   Very critical // about supporting son, and object (8)

16d   Rejoicing // in lab crazily interrupts project (8)

17d   Rigid // objections raised and tolerated endlessly (8)

19d   Be economical, /having/ munched crisp over minute (6)

Here and There
Crisp[5] (also known as potato crisp) is the British name for a potato chip*[5], a wafer-thin slice of potato fried or baked until crisp and eaten as a snack ⇒ cut down on fatty snacks such as crisps.

* In Britain, chips[5] are French fries[5]. In Canada, the term chips can refer to either French fries or what the British call crisps.

20d   Decadent // English fellows having summer in Paris (6)

"fellow" = F (show explanation )

F[2] is the abbreviation for Fellow (of a society, etc). For instance, it is found in professional designations such as FRAIC (Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada).

hide explanation

The French word for summer is été[8].

21d   A big strike upset // international alliance (4)

In cricket, a six[5] is a hit that reaches the boundary without first striking the ground, scoring six runs ⇒ he hit a six and seven fours.

Cricket 101
In cricket, the term boundary[10] can refer to:
  • the marked limit of the playing area;
  • a stroke that hits the ball beyond this limit; or
  • the four or six runs scored with such a stroke.
If the ball touches the ground before crossing the boundary (similar to a ground rule double in baseball), four runs are scored. However, if the ball crosses the boundary without touching the ground (similar to a home run in baseball), six runs are scored.
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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