Monday, June 26, 2017

Monday, June 26, 2017 — DT 28403

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28403
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Monday, April 17, 2017
Rufus (Roger Squires)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28403]
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


The long layoff may have caused my puzzle solving skills to become a bit rusty as I needed a bit of help from my electronic assistants to decipher the southwest corner — although the comments on Big Dave's Crossword Blog indicate that I am far from alone in having difficulty in this area.

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   Give way under pressure and opt out -- /it's/ laughable (8)

6a   Place and time /for/ an insect (6)

9a   Make attractive // object -- listening device (6)

10a   Fruit // that was once revered in China (8)

11a   Got there, unusually, /but/ not by oneself (8)

12a   A very loud manner, /yet one may find/ romance (6)

"very loud | very loudly" = FF (show explanation )

Fortissimo[5] (abbreviation ff[5]) is a direction used in music to mean either (as an adjective) very loud  or (as an adverb) very loudly.

hide explanation

13a   Unswerving // with determination to stay unmarried (6-6)

16a   Union demonstration? (7,5)

19a   This by itself would be in a gradual process (6)

21a   Prepare to create a scene (8)

23a   Terrible /outcome for/ lad Freud confused (8)

24a   Pretentious air put in as // private remarks (6)

Side[5] is an informal British term for a boastful or pretentious manner or attitude ⇒ there was absolutely no side to him.

25a   Give the call sign (6)

26a   Embark on an expedition -- /or/ an explanation (3,5)

The implied sense of the clue is "Embark on an expedition -- or [embark on (offer)] an explanation".


2d   And nothing in Royal Marines /is/ left to chance (6)

"Royal Marines" = RM (show explanation )

The Royal Marines[5] (abbreviation RM)[5] is a British armed service (part of the Royal Navy) founded in 1664, trained for service at sea, or on land under specific circumstances.

hide explanation

3d   Firm's con supported by this // island? (5)

4d   Ruined temple // right in way, nobody turns up (9)

5d   Met Blur, excitedly -- // many were carried away by it and lost their heads (7)

A tumbrel[10] is a farm cart for carrying dung, especially one that tilts backwards to deposit its load. A cart of this type was used to take condemned prisoners to the guillotine during the French Revolution.

Scratching the Surface
Blur[7] are an English rock band, formed in London in 1988. In the early 1990s, the band became central to the Britpop music and culture movement, and achieved mass popularity in the UK, aided by a chart battle with rivals Oasis in 1995 dubbed the "Battle of Britpop". In 1997, their single "Song 2"[7] went to #6 in the US and #1 in Canada on the alternative rock charts.

I must admit that I have never heard of the band. It does not constitute even a blur in my mind!

6d   Fashionable lad welcomes in // girl (5)

7d   Measure husks first /for/ the bird (9)

The chaffinch[5] is a Eurasian and North African finch, typically with a bluish top to the head and dark wings and tail.

8d   Animated /by/ pride -- it's not right (8)

13d   Divert /from/ byway (9)

As a noun, sidetrack[5] denotes a minor path or track ⇒ the horse took a sidetrack which led uphill.

14d   Parade, /seeing/ April here (5,4)

If April [is] here, then March [is] past — as are January and February.

15d   High-class // sports science award, we hear (8)

Sports science[7] (also known as sports and exercise science, sports medicine or exercise physiology) would appear to be a primarily British term for a discipline that studies how the healthy human body works during exercise, and how sport and physical activity promote health and performance from cellular to whole body perspectives. The study of sports science traditionally incorporates areas of physiology (exercise physiology), psychology (sport psychology), anatomy, biomechanics, biochemistry and biokinetics.

In the thread arising from Comment #24 on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, LabradorsruleOK suggests that "PE could loosely be said to be the forerunner of Sports Science" and "thence sports science award = PE degree".

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

17d   Ball game // lost by the witless? (7)

18d   Maintain // a lock that must turn (6)

20d   Small // arch (5)

Arch[7] is an adjective meaning deliberately or affectedly playful and teasing [i.e., mischievous] ⇒ a somewhat arch tone of voice.

Elfin[5] is an adjective denoting (of a person or their face) small and delicate, typically with a mischievous charm her black hair suited her elfin face.

22d   Foreign friend /and/ another on leave (5)

The implied reading of the clue is "Foreign friend and another [friend] on leave".

Ami[8] is the masculine form of the French word meaning 'friend'.

Amigo[8] is the masculine form of the Spanish word meaning 'friend'. 
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. Welcome back, Falcon. Good holiday?

    Managed this challenging Rufus without help, but for 19a, I plugged in "tiptoe". Not sure why...

    15e seems a bit clunky. Not really a homophone as the clue implies.

  2. Thanks, Richard, it was a good holiday — two weeks travelling through the stunningly beautiful countryside of Northern Ireland and northern Ireland. However, driving — on the wrong side of the road while seated in the wrong side of the car — on the incredibly narrow, hedge-lined country roads of Ireland is certainly a test of one's nerve!

    Yes, 15d is truly only a partial homophone which actually parses as PE (sports science; a somewhat questionable linkage in itself) + a homophone (we hear) of DEGREE (award).

  3. We've taken several holidays in the UK and enjoyed them immensely, but I found the driving stressful and exhausting. Still the best way to see the country, though.