Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 — DT 28379

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28379
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Monday, March 20, 2017
Rufus (Roger Squires)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28379]
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


As usual, Rufus delivers an entertaining puzzle that does not require one to over-exert oneself. As Miffypops says in his intro, Rufus may be seen by some to be "somewhat overdoing the cryptic definitions" — but that is alright by me as I quite enjoy that style of clue.

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   Conservative, wise one, /shows/ craft (7)

"Conservative" = C (show explanation )

The abbreviation for Conservative may be either C.[10] or Con.[10].

A Tory[10] is a member or supporter of the Conservative Party in Great Britain or Canada.

Historically, a Tory[10] was a member of the English political party that opposed the exclusion of James, Duke of York from the royal succession (1679–80). Tory remained the label for subsequent major conservative interests until they gave birth to the Conservative Party in the 1830s.

The Conservative Party[5] is a a major British political party that emerged from the old Tory Party under Sir Robert Peel in the 1830s and 1840s. Since the Second World War, it has been in power 1951–64, 1970-74, and 1979–97. It governed in a coalition with the Liberal Democrats from 2010 until the general election of May 2015, in which it was returned with a majority.

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An oracle[5] was a priest or priestess acting as a medium through whom advice or prophecy was sought from the gods in classical antiquity.

Coracle[5] (a term used especially in Wales and Ireland) denotes a small round boat made of wickerwork covered with a watertight material, propelled with a paddle.

5a   There's no catch in it (4,3)

The Dead Sea[5] is a salt lake or inland sea in the Jordan valley, on the Israel–Jordan border. Its surface is 1,300 feet (400 m) below sea level. The sea is called "dead" because its high salinity prevents macroscopic aquatic organisms, such as fish and aquatic plants, from living in it, though minuscule quantities of bacteria and microbial fungi are present.[7]

9a   Mopes around // the course (5)

Epsom Downs*[7] [which most certainly would be referred to informally simply as Epsom] is a Grade 1 racecourse near Epsom, Surrey, England. The course is best known for hosting the Derby Stakes (popularly known as the Epsom Derby), the United Kingdom's premier thoroughbred horse race — a Group 1 competition for three-year-old colts and fillies, over a mile and a half (2400m). It also hosts two other Group 1 events, the Oaks Stakes (popularly known as the Epsom Oaks) for three-year-old fillies and the Coronation Cup for horses aged four years and upwards over the same distance.

* The "downs" referred to in the name are part of the North Downs, a ridge of chalk hills in south east England.

10a   A charming utterance /but/ it's inflammable (9)

Touch wood[5] is a British* expression said in order to prevent a confident statement from bringing bad luck I haven't been banned yet, touch wood.

* I know! We use it all the time. I'm just repeating what the dictionary says.

Touchwood[5] is an archaic term for readily flammable wood used as tinder, especially when made soft by fungi.

11a   Kitchen accessories, // subsequently put into bundles (5-5)

Plate rack[5] is a British term for a rack in which plates are stored or placed to drain after being washed.

12a   Low-key // dwelling? (4)

Said of musical sound, flat[5] denotes below true or normal pitch.

Flat[5] is the British term for what would be called an apartment[5] in North America.

14a   One who makes it in the cinema world? (4,8)

18a   Acted like others /and/ kept up with court action (8,4)

21a   Newspaper's shortened deadline? (4)

22a   Houseplant // died with apiarists assembling netting (10)

An aspidistra[5] is a bulbous plant of the lily family with broad tapering leaves, native to eastern Asia and widely grown as a houseplant.

25a   Rank upon rank // that's found running through Hyde Park (6,3)

Hyde Park[5] is the largest British royal park, in west central London. It contains the Serpentine, Marble Arch, the Albert Memorial, and Speakers' Corner.

Rotten Row*[5] is a broad track in Hyde Park, London, running from Hyde Park Corner to Kensington Palace, and traditionally used for horse riding.

* Big Dave points out that "Ironically the name is an 18th century corruption of  Route de Roi [French for 'King's Way']".

26a   Steadfast belief that's unaffected by a setback (5)

The entire clue is a cryptic definition comprised of a precise definition (solid underline) combined with cryptic elaboration (dashed underline). In this case, the cryptic elaboration tells us that the solution is a palindrome.

27a   One hears /of/ a murder at sea (7)

28a   Went quickly back to class // to rehearse (7)

The Chambers Dictionary defines rehearse[1] as to repeat, say over or read aloud; to enumerate; to recount, narrate in order; to perform privately for practice or trial; to practice beforehand; to train by rehearsal.


1d   Moves stealthily /and/ quietly among N American Indians (6)

"quietly" = P (show explanation )

Piano[3,5] (abbreviation p[5]), is a musical direction meaning either (as an adjective) soft or quiet or (as an adverb) softly or quietly.

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A Cree[3] is a member of a Native American people inhabiting a large area from eastern Canada west to Alberta and the Great Slave Lake. Formerly located in central Canada, the Cree expanded westward and eastward in the 17th and 18th centuries, the western Cree adopting the Plains Indian life and the eastern Cree retaining their woodland culture.

2d   Clara's upset /by/ rogue (6)

3d   Entrant in race // scheming to crop time (10)

4d   Player /that offers/ more (5)

5d   Draughtsmen who've been overindulgent? (9)

6d   Part of influenza, chest // pain (4)

7d   Oxford tie? (8)

8d   German car, sort engineered /for/ accounts people (8)

13d   Notice government official/'s/ conduct (10)

15d   Corrupt morals met /in/ disorder (9)

16d   About series of lessons, // naturally (2,6)

17d   Enclosed place // that might be costlier (8)

19d   Way a New Zealand article /portrays/ verse (6)

20d   Tom let loose /to become/ something on the ranch? (6)

23d   I have written about area/'s/ statesman (5)

24d   In France I will precede the Queen, /generating/ ridicule (4)

Je[8] is a French pronoun meaning 'I'.

"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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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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