Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Wednesday, May 24, 2017 — DT 28380

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28380
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Mister Ron (Samuel)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28380]
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


Aside from the river in northern England at 28a, I had no real difficulty with this puzzle.

The puzzle is set by Mister Ron, the pseudonym used by the setter when posting on Big Dave's Crossword Blog. This is known to be the same individual who uses the nom de plume Samuel on other occasions.

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   Cave if fool goes berserk /in/ leader's workplace (4,6)

The Oval Office[5] is the office of the US president in the White House.

6a   Sailor the Spanish /portrayed as/ murder victim (4)

"sailor" = AB (show explanation )

In the Royal Navy, according to Oxford Dictionaries, able seaman[5] (abbreviation AB[5]), is a rank of sailor above ordinary seaman and below leading seaman. On the other hand, Collins English Dictionary tells us that an able seaman[10] (also called able-bodied seaman) is an ordinary seaman, especially one in the merchant navy, who has been trained in certain skills.

hide explanation

"the Spanish" = EL (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

In the Bible, Abel[5] was the second son of Adam and Eve, murdered by his brother Cain.

9a   Pretty thing in garden/'s/ become tedious after photo (10)

10a   Sell // loud record (4)

"loud" = F (show explanation )

Forte[5] (abbreviation f[5]) is a musical direction meaning (as an adjective) loud or (as an adverb) loudly.

hide explanation

12a   Hostility /shown by/ bowler, perhaps English (4)

Bowler[5] (also bowler hat) is a chiefly British name for a man’s hard felt hat with a round dome-shaped crown. The North American name for this item of apparel is derby[5] — said to arise from American demand for a hat of the type worn at the Epsom Derby [a prestigious British horse race — not to mention a major event on the British social calendar].

13a   Sensitive about male // emotion (9)

15a   Allow island journey? // Go for it! (3,2,3)

An Americanism?
Let it rip[a] (or let her rip) is an informal, mainly American expression. If someone lets a vehicle rip, they make it move very fast ⇒ She put her foot on the car's accelerator, and he said, 'OK, let her rip'.

[a] Cambridge Idioms Dictionary

Let it rip[b] (also let her[c] rip) means:
  • to make a vehicle or machine move very fast ⇒ He would get up early Sunday mornings, fire up the lawnmower, and let her rip.
  • to do something with energy and enthusiasm ⇒ Hendrix would walk into a recording studio, turn on his amp, and let it rip while the tape recorder rolled.

    [b] Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms
    [c] the pronoun her is often used to refer to a machine
Let it rip[d] (also let her[e] rip) means to go ahead, proceed unchecked ⇒ Once you get the tractor started, let it rip. The use of her in the variant comes from a tradition of referring to vehicles as feminine.

[d] The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
[e] the use of her in the variant comes from a tradition of referring to vehicles as feminine

16a   Shout // about being taken in by fraud (6)

18a   Books // bishop to visit area with dreadful slum (6)

"bishop" = B (show explanation )

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

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20a   Doctor Smooth on // mission to attain heavenly body? (8)

Scratching the Surface
I seriously doubt that the setter had the Canadian soft drink in mind when he composed the clue. In fact, I expect that he has never heard of it — I certainly hadn't.

Doctor Smooth[7] is a Canadian soda produced by President's Choice. With a flavor in the same vein as the American Dr Pepper, Doctor Smooth derives its name from the very little carbonation the beverage possesses.

23a   Uncompromising // line by hospital department (9)

"hospital department" = ENT (show explanation )

Should you not have noticed, the ear, nose and throat (ENT[2]) department is the most visited section, by far, in the Crosswordland Hospital.

hide explanation

24a   Promise // 'Road to Hell' in prime locations (4)

A prime number[3,5] (or simply prime[5]) is a positive integer that is greater than 1 and is not divisible without a remainder by any positive integer other than itself and 1 (e.g. 2, 3, 5, 7, 11).

Scratching the Surface
The surface reading alludes to the aphorism the road to Hell is paved with good intentions.[7]

While I found a film and several musical works with the title "Road to Hell"[7], none would appear to be of sufficient significance to be the inspiration for the clue.

26a   Scrap coming back by motorway /for/ test (4)

Motorway[2,5] (abbreviation M[5]) is a British, Australian, and New Zealand term for a dual-carriageway road [divided highway] designed for fast-moving traffic, especially one with three lanes per carriageway [direction of travel] and limited access and exit points [controlled access].

27a   Standard moan about current // legislative body (10)

In physics, I[5] is a symbol used to represent electric current in mathematical formulae.

28a   Support southern // banker (4)

I set this one aside to come back to later but then inadvertently saw Mr Kitty's hint on Big Dave's site.

Banker is a whimsical Crosswordland term for a river — something that has banks.

The Tees[5] is a river of northeastern England which rises in Cumbria and flows 128 km (80 miles) generally south-eastwards to the North Sea at Middlesbrough.

29a   Dear God! Man engineered // the end of the world (10)

Armageddon*[5] is a dramatic and catastrophic conflict, especially one seen as likely to destroy the world or the human race nuclear Armageddon.

* In the New Testament, Armageddon[5] is the last battle between good and evil before the Day of Judgement.


1d   Evict // rogues regularly behind in rent (4)

2d   Some dread a man temping /for/ firm (7)

3d   Writings // that could become modest talent (3,9)

4d   Important // part of body tires first (8)

5d   Jokers /and/ clubs depressed bridge partners (6)

"clubs" = C (show explanation )

C[1] is the abbreviation for clubs, a suit in a deck of cards.

hide explanation

In the card game bridge, North[5] and South[5] comprise one partnership and play against East[5] and West[5] who form the other partnership.

7d   Accept // busy person embodies terrible evil (7)

8d   Run off with one friend /that's/ genuine (10)

Leg it[5] is an informal British term meaning to:
  • travel by foot or walk ⇒ I am part of a team legging it around London; or
  • run away ⇒ he legged it after someone shouted at him.
In Britain, mate[5] — in addition to being a person’s husband, wife, or other sexual partner — is an informal term for a friend or companion ⇒ my best mate Steve.

11d   Down // one last rum after dance (12)

As an anagram indicator, rum[5] is used in a dated informal British sense meaning odd or peculiar ⇒ it’s a rum business, certainly.

In Britain, disco[5] — in addition to being a style of music or dancing or a club at which such music is performed — can also refer to a party at which people dance to such music.

14d   Wash bedding // that team wants to keep? (5,5)

Clean sheet[10] (especially in the phrase keep a clean sheet) denotes an instance of a sports team conceding no goals or points in a match or competition.

17d   Wrap // run up with ailing leader in agony (8)

19d   Gunners on board boat // continued attack (7)

The Royal Regiment of Artillery, commonly referred to as the Royal Artillery[7] (abbreviation RA), is the artillery arm of the British Army. Despite its name, it comprises a number of regiments.

"on board" = 'contained in SS' (show explanation )

In Crosswordland, you will find that a ship is almost invariably a steamship, the abbreviation for which is SS[10]. Thus phrases such as "aboard ship" or "on board ship" (or sometimes merely "on board") are Crosswordland code for 'contained in SS'.

hide explanation

21d   One's short-tempered, // a result of too much sun? (7)

22d   Patch up and get married again? (6)

25d   Shock // Scot and Ulsterman on vacation (4)
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 comment:

  1. An enjoyable puzzle from this irregular setter. Managed with little difficulty -- I remembered the river from past cryptics.

    Brian, predictably, took great exception to the clues for 24a and 25d. Too cryptic for his taste, apparently. Personally, I love it when setters introduce novel constructions. They keep the game alive and fun.

    Are you still travelling?