Friday, July 7, 2017

Friday, July 7, 2017 — DT 28412

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28412
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, April 27, 2017
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28412]
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 had nearly completed this puzzle when a feeling of déja vu come over me. That is a feeling that I often experience when it dawns on me that I have previously solved the puzzle and blogged it on Big Dave's Crossword Blog. However, it did seem to be very late in the solving process when the feeling occurred and I did think it strange that there were so many clues of which I had absolutely no recollection. It turns out that I had not, in fact, previously seen the puzzle. Nevertheless, there must be a fair number of clues in the puzzle that are similar to ones I had encountered previously in other puzzles.

I invite you to leave a comment to let us know how you fared with the puzzle.

Error in Today's Puzzle

In the puzzle which appears in the National Post, there is a typo in clue 26a in which the word "immaculately" is misspelled as "immacutely". This error was also present in the print version of the puzzle in the UK but was belatedly corrected in the version on the Telegraph Puzzles website.

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 (//).


8a   Put forward // comment about ministry, centre of affairs (8)

Ministry[5] is used in the sense of a government department headed by a minister.

9a   Belligerent female // extended flower (6)

In the second definition, flower is used in the whimsical cryptic crossword sense of something that flows — in other words, a river.

The Amazon[5] is a river in South America, flowing over 6,683 km (4,150 miles) through Peru, Colombia, and Brazil into the Atlantic Ocean. It drains two fifths of the continent and in terms of water flow it is the largest river in the world.

Length matters?
In her review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Kath refers to the Amazon as "the second longest river in the world". However, Wikipedia shows the Amazon to be the longest.

There are many factors, such as the source, the identification or the definition of the mouth, and the scale of measurement of the river length between source and mouth, that determine the precise meaning of "river length"[7]. As a result, the length measurements of many rivers are only approximations. In particular, there has long been disagreement as to whether the Nile or the Amazon is the world's longest river. The Nile has traditionally been considered longer, but in recent years some Brazilian and Peruvian studies have suggested that the Amazon is longer by measuring the river plus the adjacent Pará estuary and the longest connecting tidal canal.

The Amazon bore various names after it was first encountered by Europeans in 1500 and was finally called Amazon after a legendary race of female warriors believed to live on its banks.

In Greek mythology, the Amazons*[10] were a race of female warriors supposed to have lived in Scythia, near the Black Sea.

* The word Amazon[10] was explained by the Greeks as meaning ‘without a breast’ (as if from a- ‘without’ + mazos ‘breast’), referring to the fable that the Amazons cut off the right breast so as not to interfere with the use of a bow, but this is probably simply a folk etymology of an unknown foreign word.

European explorers later applied the name Amazons to a legendary tribe of female* warriors of South America.[7]

*  In 1542, Spanish explorer Francisco de Orellana reached the Amazon River (Amazonas in Spanish), naming it after a tribe of warlike women he claimed to have encountered and fought on the Nhamundá River, a tributary of the Amazon. It has been suggested that what Orellana actually engaged was an especially warlike tribe of Native Americans whose warrior men had long hair and thus appeared to him as women.

What did she say?
In her review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Kath describes an Amazon as a stroppy woman.
Stroppy[5] is an informal British term meaning bad-tempered and argumentative ⇒ Patricia was getting stroppy.

10a   Some antisocial characters heading west // somewhere in Greece (3)

Cos is an alternative spelling of Kos[5], a Greek island in the southeastern Aegean, one of the Dodecanese group. It is the home of cos lettuce[5] (known to North Americans as romaine[5]).

11a   Work a lot in being trained? /It's/ not mandatory (8)

"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.

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12a   One puncturing plumbing, maybe /delivering/ angry speech (6)

13a   Derogatory // lie countryman concocted about politician (15)

"politician" = MP (show explanation )

In Britain (as in Canada), a politician elected to the House of Commons is known as a Member of Parliament[10] (abbreviation MP[5]) or, informally, as a member[5].

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15a   Obstructs // rowers' benches (7)

18a   Excellent ship backed by energy /and/ skill (7)

"ship" = SS (show explanation )

In Crosswordland, a ship is almost invariably a steamship, the abbreviation for which is SS[5]the SS Canberra.

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"energy" = E (show explanation )

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

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21a   Following a correct course // like a disciplined athlete? (2,3,5,5)

I would concur with Kath's assessment that this is a double definition — one in which the second definition is cryptic being a literal interpretation of the solution.

24a   Outstanding // Eastern European housing at college (6)

A Serb[5] is a native or inhabitant of Serbia, or a person of Serbian descent.{Main text* }

* Serbia[5] is a republic in the Balkans; population 7,200,000 (estimated 2015); official language, Serbian; capital, Belgrade. [Formerly part of Yugoslavia.]

In Britain, up[5] means at or to a university, especially Oxford or Cambridge ⇒ they were up at Cambridge about the same time.

25a   Rash // ambassador meeting journalist not so often (8)

HE[2] is the abbreviation for His or Her Excellency, where Excellency[2] (usually His, Her or Your Excellency or Your or Their Excellencies) is a title of honour given to certain people of high rank, e.g. ambassadors.

26a   River /is/ immaculately clean, ignoring the source (3)

The River Ure[7] is a stream in North Yorkshire, England, approximately 74 miles (119 km) long from its source to the point where it changes name to the River Ouse.

27a   More advanced figure // rose in ground (6)

The solution is a noun (with the definition being given by the first three words of the clue) rather than an adjective (as it would be were the definition to be only the first two words of the clue).

28a   Pursuit of an ace? (8)

A cryptic definition, I would say.


1d   Publishers engaged in fraud /making/ slip (6)

Oxford University Press[7] (abbreviation OUP) is the largest university press in the world, and the second oldest after Cambridge University Press. It is a department of the University of Oxford.

Thi should have been a gimme to Kath who is a resident of Oxford, England.

2d   I book to get into pool, /showing/ natural desire (6)

Lido*[5] is a British term for a public open-air swimming pool or bathing beach.

* The name comes from the Italian word lido, meaning 'shore'. Lido[5] is also the name of a beach resort in northeastern Italy located on an island reef (also named Lido) in the northern Adriatic which separates the Lagoon of Venice from the Gulf of Venice.

3d   Christian basilica put up food /in/ historic city (5,10)

St Peter's Basilica[5] (often simply St Peter's) is a Roman Catholic basilica in the Vatican City. Built in the 16th century on the site of a structure erected by Constantine on the supposed site of St Peter’s crucifixion, it is the largest Christian church.

Saint Petersburg[10] (usually abbreviated to St Petersburg) is a city and port in Russia, on the Gulf of Finland at the mouth of the Neva River that was founded by Peter the Great in 1703.

4d   Speak aggressively /in/ French of allegation (7)

"French of" = DE (show explanation )

In French, de[8] is a preposition meaning 'of'' or 'from'.

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5d   Intricate hassle having to alter // unrealistic plans (7,2,3,3)

Castles in the air[5] are visionary unattainable schemes; or, in other words, daydreams ⇒ my father built castles in the air about owning a boat.

6d   Artist /making/ final move on board grabbing bottle (8)

In chess, mate[5] (short for checkmate[5]) is a position in which a player’s king is directly attacked by an opponent’s piece or pawn and has no possible move to escape the check. The attacking player thus wins the game.

Bottle[5] is an informal British term denoting the courage or confidence needed to do something difficult or dangerous ⇒ I lost my bottle completely and ran.

René Magritte[7] (1898–1967) was a Belgian surrealist artist. He became well known for a number of witty and thought-provoking images that fall under the umbrella of surrealism. His work is known for challenging observers' preconditioned perceptions of reality.

7d   Sour hand misbehaving /in/ country (8)

Honduras[5] is a country of Central America, bordering on the Caribbean Sea and with a short coastline on the Pacific Ocean; population 8,100,000 (estimated 2015); official language, Spanish; capital, Tegucigalpa.

14d   Subdue // animal (3)

16d   Queen, say, starts off every duty // held in admiration (8)

In bridge and poker, an honour[10] (or honour card) is any of the top five cards (ace, king, queen, jack, and ten) in a suit or any of the four aces at no trumps. In whist, it is any of the top four cards (ace, king, queen, and jack). In bridge, a bonus is awarded to a hand holding either four or five honours in the trump suit or all the aces at no trumps.

17d   Like runners and jumpers, // half of them allowed in capital clubs (8)

"capital [in the sense of 'first class or excellent']" = AI (show explanation )

A1[4][5] or A-one[3] meaning first class or excellent comes from a classification for ships in The Lloyd's Register of Shipping where it means equipped to the highest standard or first-class.

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"clubs" = C (show explanation )

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

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19d   Deep // regard, it's said (3)

The deep[5] is a literary term for the sea ⇒ denizens of the deep.

20d   Bookworm, // for instance, supported by good authoritative teacher (7)

"good" = G (show explanation )

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

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In Britain, head[5] is short for headmaster[5] (a man who is the head teacher in a school), headmistress[5] (a woman who is the head teacher in a school), or head teacher[5] (the teacher in charge of a school).

22d   Tell // where a warring couple might go? (6)

Relate[7] is a charity providing relationship support throughout the United Kingdom. Services include counselling for couples, families, young people and individuals, sex therapy, mediation and training courses.

23d   Copper most unpredictable, // one's regularly observed (6)

"copper" = CU (show explanation )

The symbol for the chemical element copper is Cu[5] (from late Latin cuprum).

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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

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