Friday, July 21, 2017

Friday, July 21, 2017 — DT 28422

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28422
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28422]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
KitKat (Kitty & 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


Both Kitty's are blogging today, so you just know you are going to get a cat picture or two on Big Dave's Crossword Blog. As it turns out, they were amazingly restrained.

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 semi-all-in-one (semi-&lit.) clues. All-in-one (&lit.) clues and cryptic definitions are marked with a dotted underline. Explicit link words and phrases are enclosed in forward slashes (/link/) and implicit links are shown as double forward slashes (//).


1a   Dropped // brush by garden plot (8)

Here and There
While the distinction does not come into play in this clue, a garden in Britain is somewhat different than a garden in North America.

In Britain, a garden[2,10] is an area of land, usually one adjoining a house, where grass, trees, flowers and other ornamental plants, fruit, vegetables, etc, are grown; i.e., what one would call a yard in Canada and the US. Note that a British garden includes the lawn as well as everything else whereas a North American garden would comprise only the flower and vegetable beds and any trees or shrubs contained therein and exclude the lawn and any trees or shrubs growing there.

6a   Travel with nomadic set /and/ meet with disaster (2,4)

Here and There
Go west[5] is an informal British term meaning to be killed or lost; or to meet with disaster ⇒ £200 million went west in an unprecedented gambling spree.

In some circumstances, this expression would seem to be roughly comparable to the informal North American term, go south[5], meaning to fall in value, deteriorate, or fail Lazio saw his poll numbers go south almost immediately.

9a   Room wanted by the leading character /in/ Greek region (6)

Attica[5] is a triangular promontory of eastern Greece. With the islands in the Saronic Gulf it forms a department of Greece, of which Athens is the capital.

10a   Steal // dress left after work inside (8)

A shift[5] (also shift dress) is a woman’s straight unwaisted dress.

"work" = OP (show explanation )

In music, an opus[5] (plural opuses or opera) is a separate composition or set of compositions.

The abbreviation Op.[5] (also op.), denoting opus, is used before a number given to each work of a particular composer, usually indicating the order of publication. The plural form of Op. is Opp..

Opus[5] can also be used in a more general sense to mean an artistic work, especially one on a large scale ⇒ he was writing an opus on Mexico.

hide explanation

11a   Cricket team/'s/ season reportedly arranged (8)

Somerset County Cricket Club[7] is one of eighteen first-class county clubs within the domestic cricket structure of England and Wales. It represents the historic county of Somerset. The club's limited overs* team was formerly the Somerset Sabres, but is now known only as Somerset.

* Limited-over (also limited-overs) cricket is a single-innings match in which there is a maximum limit on the number of overs** each side's innings can last.
** An over[5] is a division of play in cricket consisting of a sequence of six balls bowled by a bowler from one end of the pitch, after which another bowler takes over from the other end.

12a   Ponder about island's // waste (6)

13a   Ride on farm vehicle cutting early -- // it should be good for a laugh (5,7)

Strip cartoon[2,4,10] (or cartoon strip*[5] is another [presumably British] name for comic strip[2,3,4,5,10,11].

* Oxford Dictionaries stands alone among the British dictionaries in specifying this order of words.

In their review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, the KitKat duo point out that the setter flouts the convention for the use of "on" as a positional indicator in an across clue [see yesterday's review for a more in depth discussion of this issue]. This convention is observed so rarely that one may just as well assume that "on" can mean either before or after in an across clue.

16a   Supply what's lacking, /seeing/ woman with old car needing gallons put in (6,3,3)

What did they say?
In their review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, the KitKat duo write We need to start with the name of a woman, perhaps Jones or Christie.
Bridget Jones[7] is a fictional character created by British writer Helen Fielding. The character first appeared in the column Bridget Jones's Diary in the British newspaper The Independent in 1995. Fielding published the novelisation of the column in 1996, followed by a sequel in 1999 called Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. Both novels were adapted for the big screen (in 2001 and 2004 respectively) starring Renée Zellweger as Bridget Jones.

Bridget Christie[7] is an English stand-up comedian, actor and writer.

19a   Agent /of/ female player (6)

21a   Prayer // song after a verse to accompany English mass (3,5)

An aria[5] is a long accompanied song for a solo voice, typically one in an opera or oratorio.

"mass" = M (show explanation )

In physics, m[5] is a symbol used to represent mass in mathematical formulae.

hide explanation

Ave Maria[5] (also called Hail Mary) is a prayer to the Virgin Mary used in Catholic worship. The first line is adapted from Luke 1:28.

23a   Rose and Gail unsettled /in/ harem (8)

Seraglio[5] is a historical term for the women’s apartments (harem) in an Ottoman palace.

24a   Defy // sister, out of order (6)

25a   Author, // one adding fuel to the fire? (6)

Bram Stoker[5] (1847–1912) was an Irish novelist and theatre manager; full name Abraham Stoker. He was secretary and touring manager to the actor Henry Irving but is chiefly remembered as the author of the vampire story Dracula (1897).

26a   Use // fine ointment (8)

"fine" = F (show explanation )

F[5] is an abbreviation for fine, as used in describing grades of pencil lead [a usage that Oxford Dictionaries surprisingly characterizes as British].

hide explanation


2d   Against stocking too much // material (6)

"too much" = OTT (show explanation )

OTT[5] (short for over the top) is an informal British expression denoting excessive or exaggerated ⇒ presenting him as a goalscoring Superman seems a bit OTT.

hide explanation

3d   Join // upper-class twit going to top of Everest (5)

"upper class" = U (show explanation )

In Britain, U[5] is used informally as an adjective (in respect to language or social behaviour) meaning characteristic of or appropriate to the upper social classes ⇒ U manners.

The term, an abbreviation of  upper class, was coined in 1954 by Alan S. C. Ross, professor of linguistics, and popularized by its use in Nancy Mitford's Noblesse Oblige (1956).

In Crosswordland, the letter U is frequently clued by words denoting "characteristic of the upper class" (such as posh or superior) or "appropriate to the upper class" (such as acceptable). 

hide explanation

Nit[5] (short for nitwit)[10] is an informal British term for a foolish person ⇒ you stupid nit!.

Scratching the Surface
Mount Everest[5] is a mountain in the Himalayas, on the border between Nepal and Tibet. Rising to 8,848 m (29,028 ft), it is the highest mountain in the world.

4d   Face lake restaurant (9)

Face[3] is used in the sense of effrontery or impudence had the face to question my judgment.

Brass[3,4,11] is an informal term for bold self-assurance or effrontery; excessive self-assurance or impudence; or bold self-confidence, cheek, or nerve he had the brass to ask for more time.

Lake Erie[5] is one of the five Great Lakes.

A brasserie[11] is an unpretentious restaurant or tavern that serves drinks, especially beer, and simple food.

5d   Computer // database initially kept so badly (7)

6d   Good scope /for/ stable lad (5)

"good" = G (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

7d   After spring, business /will be/ strongly built (4-3-2)

Set-up[5] is used in the sense of an informal term for an organization or arrangement a set-up called Film Education.

8d   Liking // quiet place (4,4)

13d   Distract // team on course (9)

"team" = SIDE (show explanation )

Side[5] is a British term for a sports team ⇒ there was a mixture of old and young players in* their side.

* Note that, in Britain, a player is "in a side" rather than "on a team" as one would say in North America.

In North America, the term side[3] is used in a very general fashion that can denote one of two or more opposing individuals, groups, teams, or sets of opinions. While this same general usage would seem to exist as well in the UK, the term side[5] is also used there in a much more specific sense to mean a sports team, as we can clearly see from the following usage examples ⇒ (i) Previous England rugby sides, and England teams in many other sports, would have crumbled under the weight of such errors.; (ii) They'll face better sides than this Monaco team, but you can only beat what's put in front of you.

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14d   Metal bracket /in/ corner resting on golf club (5,4)

15d   Injured marten on // deck (8)

17d   Intercept // leader of force (4,3)

"force" = F (show explanation )

In physics, F[5] is a symbol used to represent force in mathematical formulae.

hide explanation

18d   As if agitated over company /exposing/ complete failure (6)

20d   Chief // measure (5)

22d   Useful thing // when fixed (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 comment:

  1. Rats! Never heard of 6a used in that manner and decided it must be "go bust". Then, of course, I was confounded by 7d. Bulk set up was all I could think of.

    Sometimes the Briticisms still defeat me.