Monday, July 17, 2017

Monday, July 17, 2017 — DT 28418 (Published Saturday, July 15, 2017)

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28418
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, May 4, 2017
RayT (Ray Terrell)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28418]
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
This puzzle appears on the Monday Diversions page in the Saturday, July 15, 2017 edition of the National Post.


Despite having blogged it on Big Dave's Crossword Blog when the puzzle was published in the UK in May, it presented nearly as much difficulty the second time around.

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   Extensive // weeds with rapid dispersing (10)

6a   Ace police department /getting/ sharp (4)

"police department" = CID (show explanation )

The Criminal Investigation Department (seemingly better known by its abbreviation CID[2]) is the detective branch of a British police force.

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9a   Show // envy oddly in French street (5)

The French word for 'street' is rue[8].

10a   Discover dig risks exposing // oxidation (9)

12a   Gag // being about the French (7)

"the French" = LE (show explanation )

In French, the masculine singular form of the definite article is le[8].

hide explanation

In my review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, I see that I committed the cardinal sin of including part of the solution in my hint.

What I was attempting to do in that review was to point out that the use of the word "being" as a conjunction is a US practice — and is regional dialect at that. None of the several British dictionaries that I consulted list "being" as a conjunction while it appears as such in both US dictionaries.

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language shows being[3] (chiefly Southern US, Upper Southern US, & New England) to be conjunction meaning because, since (often used with as or that).

Delving Deeper
Usage Note: Being that is sometimes used as a synonym for considering that or seeing that to introduce a clause, as in Being that it's a holiday, I let the kids sleep late. While this construction has seen widespread use in American regional English, the Usage Panel does not much care for it in more standard contexts. In our 2006 survey, 71 percent of the Panel found the above example unacceptable. Some 83 percent rejected the sentence Being that he has never attended law school, it's strange that he's giving legal advice.

13a   Rhubarb // seasoned by time (5)

Rhubarb[5] is an informal British term denoting nonsense ⇒ it was all rhubarb, about me, about her daughter, about art.

Here and There
From a British perspective, rhubarb[5] is an informal North American term for a heated dispute rhubarbs often broke out among these less than professional players.

15a   Former husband accompanies buxom // model (7)

17a   Controls film // credits rolling (7)

19a   Kind /of/ cold part having head shaved (7)

21a   Chimney support/'s/ more uneven (7)

Lum[5] is a Scottish and Northern English term for a chimney.

What did I say?
In my review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, I described a pier as a seaside support for a funfair.
Funfair[5] is a chiefly British term for a fair consisting of rides, sideshows, and other amusements ⇒ (i) a travelling funfair set up every year; (ii) a funfair ride.

Pleasure piers[7] were first built in Britain during the early 19th century with the earliest structure being the Ryde Pier on the Isle of Wight, opened in 1814. At that time the introduction of the railways for the first time permitted mass tourism to dedicated seaside resorts. The large tidal ranges at many such resorts meant that for much of the day, the sea was not visible from dry land. The pleasure pier was the resorts' answer, permitting holidaymakers to promenade over and alongside the sea at all times. Providing a walkway out to sea, pleasure piers often include amusements and theatres as part of the attraction. The world's longest pleasure pier is at Southend-on-sea, Essex, and extends 1.3 miles (2.1 km) into the Thames estuary.

Following the building of the world's first seaside pier at Ryde, the pier became fashionable at seaside resorts in England and Wales during the Victorian era, peaking in the 1860s with 22 being built in that decade. A symbol of the typical British seaside holiday, by 1914, more than 100 pleasure piers were located around the UK coast. In a 2006 UK poll, the public voted the seaside pier onto the list of icons of England.

22a   Help work turning // pedestals (5)

"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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24a   Fix /and/ repair shoe around top of vamp (7)

As an initial letter indicator, top[5] is used in the sense of beginning ⇒ (i) the top of the hour; (ii) at the top of the programme; (iii) okay, let's run through the piece once more time from the top.

27a   Traveller // can start to embark boarding moving train (9)

28a   Epic // one put down with heart flipping (5)

The Iliad[5] is a Greek hexameter epic poem in twenty-four books, traditionally ascribed to Homer, telling how Achilles killed Hector at the climax of the Trojan War.

29a   River // duck approaching east (4)

"duck" = NIL (show explanation )

In cricket, a duck[5] is a batsman’s score of nought [zero] ⇒ he was out for a duck. This is similar to the North American expression goose egg[5] meaning a zero score in a game.

In British puzzles, "duck" is often used to indicate the letter "O" based on the resemblance of the digit "0" to this letter. However, today's setter finds a different use for it.

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The Nile[5] is a river in eastern Africa, the longest [perhaps] river in the world, which rises in east central Africa near Lake Victoria and flows 6,695 km (4,160 miles) generally northwards through Uganda, South Sudan, Sudan, and Egypt to empty through a large delta into the Mediterranean.

Size Matters?
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.

30a   People purchasing pine // stuff (10)


1d   Guarded // last of booty after battle (4)

2d   Spoil // rendezvous catching sweetheart sweeping (9)

"sweetheart" = E (show explanation )

A common cryptic crossword construct is to use the word "sweetheart" to clue E, the middle letter (heart) of swEet.

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3d   Iron alloy /used for/ brace (5)

4d   Retribution // say, at no time promoted (7)

5d   High-quality scan catches hard clot (7)

"high quality" = 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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"hard" = H (show explanation )

H[2,5] is an abbreviation for hard, as used in describing grades of pencil lead ⇒ a 2H pencil.

hide explanation

Oh dear! I was not having a good evening when I composed the review for Big Dave's Crossword Blog. Once again I have included part of the solution in the hint. It is the word "scan" that is "a synonym for read (ironically either thoroughly or perfunctorily)".

7d   Dog // can often retrieve game, injured initially (5)

The corgi[5] (also Welsh corgi) is a dog of a short-legged breed with a foxlike head.

Behind the Picture
The picture illustrating my review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog shows Queen Elizabeth (aged 8) with a pair of corgis. Welsh Corgis have a strong association with Queen Elizabeth II, who has personally owned more than 30 dogs, either Corgis or Corgi/Dachshund crosses[7].

8d   Medical provider // putting small scribbles in journal (10)

I would parse the wordplay as {S (small; abbrev.) PENS (scribbles; verb)} contained in (putting ... in) DIARY (journal).

Alternatively, I suppose one might consider the containment indicator to be merely "in" with the word "putting" being deemed to be a link word. However, I prefer the former parsing.

11d   Painter imagines capturing // temporary period (7)

14d   Softly creep into dances /for/ view (10)

"softly" = P (show explanation )

Piano[3,5] (abbreviation p[5]), is a musical direction meaning either (as an adjective) soft or quiet or (as an adverb) softly or quietly.

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16d   Nobility /of/ courtier protecting English Queen (7)

Historically, a page[5] was a man or boy employed as the personal attendant of a person of rank.

"Queen" = ER (show explanation )

The regnal ciphers (monograms) of British monarchs are initials formed from the Latin version of their first name followed by either Rex or Regina (Latin for king or queen, respectively). Thus, the regnal cipher of Queen Elizabeth is ER[5] — from the Latin Elizabetha Regina.

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The peerage[5] is the nobility in Britain or Ireland, comprising the ranks of duke or duchess, marquess or marchioness, earl or countess, viscount or viscountess, and baron or baroness.

18d   Model // Conservative facing interior reshuffle (9)

"Conservative" = C (show explanation )

The abbreviation for Conservative may be either C.[10] or Con.[10].

A Tory[10] is a member or supporter of the Conservative Party in Great Britain or Canada.

Historically, a Tory[10] was a member of the English political party that opposed the exclusion of James, Duke of York from the royal succession (1679–80). Tory remained the label for subsequent major conservative interests until they gave birth to the Conservative Party in the 1830s.

The Conservative Party[5] is a a major British political party that emerged from the old Tory Party under Sir Robert Peel in the 1830s and 1840s. Since the Second World War, it has been in power 1951–64, 1970-74, and 1979–97. It governed in a coalition with the Liberal Democrats from 2010 until the general election of May 2015, in which it was returned with a majority.

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20d   End of account blunder over top // bank (7)

A bank[1] is a tier or rank, e.g. of oars, keys on a typewriter, etc. [or seats or terraces* in a stadium].

* see following definition

Terrace[5] (usually terraces) is a British term for a flight of wide, shallow steps providing standing room for spectators in a stadium, especially a soccer ground.

21d   Country // hotel managed to accommodate accordingly (7)

Lesotho[5] is a landlocked mountainous country forming an enclave in South Africa; population 2,100,000 (estimated 2015); official languages, Sesotho and English; capital, Maseru.

23d   Sick following doctor/'s/ practice (5)

25d   Invention /is/ airborne without force (5)

"force" = F (show explanation )

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

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26d   Chances /of having/ died in overdoses (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. Ray T puzzles often elicit the full range of difficulty ratings, from one to four stars. Found myself on his wavelength this morning and needed no help at all. (Took a guess at the chimney.) But the photo of the queen and corgis was worth a trip to the BD site.

  2. Falcon:

    Long may your rum leek!

    Now that the Post has the two diversion pages on Saturday, I am doing both puzzles. This one was challenging but solvable. I like reading the comments on the BD site as well.