Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 — DT 28375

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28375
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Jay (Jeremy Mutch)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28375]
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


I completed three-quarters of this puzzle quite handily and was left with the southeast quadrant virtually untouched. After putting my brain in a higher gear, it eventually succumbed.

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   Run with pack, /causing/ arterial blockage (7,3)

To put a fine point on it, I would say that the terms "running" and "trafficking" refer to different stages in the importation and distribution of illegal drugs. Perhaps the latter term is broad enough to encompass the former but I wouldn't think that the reverse is true..

Run[5] (verb) is used in the sense of to bring (goods) into a country illegally and secretly; in other words, smugglethey run drugs for the cocaine cartels.

Traffic[5] (verb) means to deal or trade in something illegal the government will vigorously pursue individuals who traffic in drugs.

6a   Argument /of/ water suppliers rejected (4)

10a   Sort of house -- // one with mostly depressive atmosphere (5)

What did they say?
In their review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, the 2Kiwis suggest that the latter part of the clue refers to the depressive atmosphere one associates with Eeyore.
Eeyore[7] is a character in the Winnie-the-Pooh books by English author A. A. Milne (1882–1956). He is generally characterized as a pessimistic, gloomy, depressed, anhedonic*, old grey stuffed donkey who is a friend of the title character, Winnie-the-Pooh.

* Anhedonia[7] is a psychiatric term denoting the inability to feel pleasure in normally pleasurable activities.

11a   Travel across west of Germany with European // item of camping gear (9)

12a   Case of cosmetic // agreement (7)

13a   Beams, /seeing/ pudding following starter of risotto (7)

Here and There
Whereas in North America, the term pudding[5] denotes specifically a dessert with a soft or creamy consistency, in Britain the term pudding refers to either:
  • a cooked sweet dish served after the main course of a meal; or 
  • the dessert course of a meal ⇒ what’s for pudding?.
Afters[5] is an informal British term for the sweet course following the main course of a meal; or, in British parlance, pudding ⇒ there was apple pie for afters.

The terms dessert, pudding and afters are synonymous in Britain and the response to What’s for pudding? could well be Apple pie.

Scratching the Surface
Risotto[5] is an Italian dish of rice cooked in stock with ingredients such as vegetables and meat or seafood.

14a   Hierarchy /of/ kissing brothers? (7,5)

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.

18a   Service outlets // are unsettled after redevelopment (12)

21a   Note about fire-raising // priests (7)

Fire-raising[2,5] is a British term for arson. Chambers 21st Century Dictionary attributes the term to Scots law.

A parson[5,10] is a parish priest in the Church of England, formerly applied only to those who held ecclesiastical benefices* — that is, a rector or a vicar.

* A benefice[5] is a permanent Church appointment, typically that of a rector or vicar, for which property and income are provided in respect of pastoral duties.

23a   Tired and worn out, /in/ summary (7)

This clue is not considered to be a double definition only because the numeration fails to match the spelling of the term as an adjective. My British dictionaries are somewhat in agreement on the spelling as a noun (always or usually rundown) with some offering various alternative spellings. When it comes to the spelling as an adjective, three out of four show run-down as the only, usual, or primary spelling, again with a variety of alternative spellings being offered — including the (3,4) numeration used by the 2Kiwis in their review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog. (show details )

According to various dictionaries, the spelling is as follows:
  • The Chambers Dictionary[1]: noun run-down (usually rundown); adjective run-down
  • Chambers 21st Century Dictionary[2]: noun run down (usually rundown); adjective run down
  • Collins English Dictionary[10]: noun rundown; adjective run-down (or run down)
  • Oxford Dictionaries[5]: noun rundown; adjective rundown (usually run-down)*

    * The information regarding the spelling as an adjective was copied from a previous incarnation of the Oxford Dictionaries website and is no longer explicitly present on the site although it can be inferred from the current entry there.
hide explanation

24a   Outstanding features /of/ stricken ghost ship (4,5)

25a   Index tracker sheltering // surplus (5)

Scratching the Surface
An index-tracker[10] (or index-tracker fund or index-tracking fund) is an investment fund that is administered so that its value changes in line with a given share index.

26a   Reversing a touch /to get/ information (4)

27a   Basic practicalities /of/ supporters going to masses (5,5)


1d   Nervous reaction /from/ bad speller after beginning of term? (6)

What did they say?
In their review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, the 2Kiwis write the sort of bad speller found in the opening scene of the Scottish Play.
Macbeth[7] (full title The Tragedy of Macbeth) is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare.

In the superstitious backstage world of theatre, some believe that the play is cursed, and will not mention its title aloud, referring to it instead as "The Scottish Play".

The play opens amidst thunder and lightning, and the Three Witches decide that their next meeting shall be with Macbeth.

2d   A celebrity crossing lake /makes one/ very excited (6)

3d   Waste energy /and/ try to sell Trigger? (4,1,4,5)

Trigger[7] (originally named Golden Cloud, 1934–1965) was a palomino horse made famous in American Western films with his owner and rider, cowboy star Roy Rogers.

Yes, You Can Successfully Flog a Dead Horse!
After Trigger died in 1965, Rogers arranged for a taxidermist to preserve and mount the horse. The hide was professionally stretched over a foam likeness of Trigger, and the resulting mount was put on display in the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum. After the closing of the museum in 2009, its contents were placed at public auction at Christie's auction house in New York City. Trigger's preserved taxidermy remains were indeed sold — for $266,500 — to American digital cable and satellite television channel RFD-TV.

4d   Custodian /is/ a king lodging in ramshackle terrace (9)

"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

Scratching the Surface
Terrace[5] is a British term for:
  • a row of houses built in one block in a uniform style ⇒ an attractive Regency terrace 
  • an individual house in a terrace ⇒ modern furniture looks out of place in your Victorian terrace.

5d   Creature /seen in/ summer? (5)

The adder[5] (also called viper) is a small venomous Eurasian snake (Vipera berus) which has a dark zigzag pattern on its back and bears live young. It is the only poisonous snake in Britain.

In electronics, adder[5] is a term for a unit which adds together two input variables.

Scratching the Surface
The surface reading constitutes a very accurate description of this creature's behaviour. In fact, one might even consider the entire clue to be the definition here.

The adder[7] is cold-adapted and hibernates in the winter. In Great Britain, males and females hibernate for about 150 and 180 days respectively. In northern Sweden hibernation lasts 8–9 months. [Thus, the adder would almost certainly be seen in summer but not in winter.]

7d   Starts /wanting/ cash from sale (8)

8d   Value // certain to be seen after rate changes (8)

9d   What people may seek, as a rule? (4-10)

. . . or stated less obtusely, "as a [form of] rule".

What did they say?
In their review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, the 2Kiwis tell us that the solution is what many Scottish people are reported to be seeking.
A referendum on Scottish independence[7] from the United Kingdom took place on 18 September 2014. The referendum question, which voters answered with "Yes" or "No", was "Should Scotland be an independent country?" The "No" side won, with 55.3% voting against independence and 44.7% voting in favour.

Following the June 2016 vote by the UK to leave the European Union, the Scottish Parliament authorised the Scottish Government to seek to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence[7].

15d   Officially substantiates // its reason for a change (9)

16d   Slide, wearing shoes, /being/ careless? (8)

17d   Dismissed legality // without reservation (8)

In cricket, dismiss[5] means to end the innings of (a batsman or a side [team]) ⇒ Australia were dismissed for 118.

In cricket and baseball, out[5] means no longer batting or at bat; having had one’s innings or at bat ended by the fielding side ⇒ England were all out for 159.

19d   Officer's on credit, we hear, /from/ this church (6)

Tick*[5] (used in the phrase on tick) is an informal British term meaning credit ⇒ the printer agreed to send the brochures out on tick.

* The term apparently originates as a short form for ticket in the phrase on the ticket, referring to an IOU or promise to pay.

The Coptic Church[7] is the native Christian Church in Egypt, traditionally founded by St Mark, and adhering to the Monophysite doctrine rejected by the Council of Chalcedon. Long persecuted after the Muslim Arab conquest of Egypt in the 7th century, the Coptic community now make up about 5 per cent of Egypt's population.

20d   Records /of/ non-u plants? (6)

Scratching the Surface
Non-U[5] is an informal British term meaning (of language or social behaviour) not characteristic of the upper social classes or not socially acceptable to certain people ⇒ he’s always teasing her for her Cockney accent and her non-U turns of phrase.

22d   Clean // comb (5)
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


  1. A delightful puzzle from Jay. 3d and 9d had me laughing. Managed to complete the grid without assistance. Not being a camper, I was held up for a short time by 11a.

    For more laughs, read Brian's comments on the BD blog. Sometimes I wonder if he just falls in a funk and can't see a way out.

    1. Hi Richard,

      Nice to have you back commenting on a regular basis.

      I expect you may not have been able to follow Big Dave's blog closely during tax season. On several occasions Brian floored the others with comments on how much he now enjoyed doing RayT puzzles!

    2. You've got to be kidding!

      Yes, I've been solving tax puzzles the last few months. Fun in their own way, I suppose.