Monday, July 31, 2017

Monday, July 31, 2017 — DT 28428

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28428
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Mister Ron (Chris Lancaster)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28428]
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
This puzzle appears on the Monday Diversions page in the Saturday, July 29, 2017 edition of the National Post.


Mister Ron delivers another enjoyable offering.

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   Famous explorer, // by Jove! (5,5)

Sir Robert Falcon Scott[5] (1868–1912) was an English explorer and naval officer. In 1910–12 Scott and four companions made a journey to the South Pole by sledge, arriving there in January 1912 to discover that Roald Amundsen had beaten them by a month. Scott and his companions died on the journey back to base.

By Jove[5] is a dated exclamation indicating surprise or used for emphasis by Jove, yes, it's been warm all right.

Great Scott![5] is a dated exclamation expressing surprise or amazement Great Scott! You scored two hundred and seventy-three!.

6a   Celebrity // of American shows (4)

9a   He or she maybe died after Church // passed judgment? (10)

"church" = CE (show explanation )

The Church of England[10] (abbreviation CE[10]) is the reformed established state Church in England, Catholic in order and basic doctrine, with the Sovereign as its temporal head.

hide explanation

I interpret the question mark in the clue to indicate that "judgment" is but an example of what might be "passed". Thus one would interpret the definition as "passed (judgment, for example)" since one might "pass judgment" or "pronounce judgment".

10a   Space // mission finally leaves ground (4)

Here and There
Ground[5] denotes an area of land, often with associated buildings, used for a particular sport (i) a football ground; (ii) Liverpool’s new ground is nearing completion.

Although this usage of the word ground is not exclusively British, it does seem to be a usage that has fallen into disfavour in North America. In North America, it would be much more likely for such a venue to be called a field or a stadium.

Collins COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary says that a ground is an area of land which is specially designed and made for playing sport or for some other activity. In American English grounds is also used. ⇒ (i) the city's football ground; (ii) a parade ground.

I can think of only two instances of this usage for sports facilities in North America.

The Wanderers Grounds[7] is a sports field in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The Polo Grounds[7] was the name of three stadiums in Upper Manhattan, New York City, used mainly for professional baseball and American football from 1880 until 1963. As the name suggests, the original Polo Grounds, opened in 1876 and demolished in 1889, was built for the sport of polo. It was converted to a baseball stadium in 1880. In baseball, the stadium served at various times as the home of the New York Giants (now San Francisco Giants), the New York Yankees, and the New York Mets. In football, it was home to the New York Giants (NFL) and New York Jets (AFL).

Shea Stadium opened in 1964 and replaced the Polo Grounds as the home of the Mets and Jets. The Polo Grounds was demolished  that year and a public housing complex built on the site.

12a   Singer // keen on retirement (4)

13a   Question again // regarding African dictator found in river (2-7)

Idi Amin Dada[7] (c. 1925–2003) was the third President of Uganda, ruling from 1971 to 1979. As commander of the Ugandan Army, he led a military coup in January 1971 that deposed Milton Obote.

Delving Deeper
In 1977, when Britain broke diplomatic relations with Uganda, Amin declared he had defeated the British and added "CBE", for "Conqueror of the British Empire", to his title.

Amin's rule was characterized by human rights abuses, political repression, ethnic persecution, extrajudicial killings, nepotism, corruption, and gross economic mismanagement. The number of people killed as a result of his regime is estimated by international observers and human rights groups to range from 100,000 to 500,000.

The River Exe[7] rises on Exmoor in Somerset, 8.4 kilometres (5 mi) from the Bristol Channel coast, but flows more or less directly due south, so that most of its length lies in Devon. It reaches the sea at a substantial ria, the Exe Estuary, on the south (English Channel) coast of Devon.

15a   9 gifts /for/ company (8)

The numeral "9" is a cross reference indicator directing the solver to insert the solution to clue 9a in its place to complete the clue. The directional indicator is customarily omitted in situations such as this where only a single clue starts in the light* that is being referenced.

* light-coloured cell in the grid

16a   Associate/'s/ not entirely sweet -- hard to get backing (6)

Here and There
Sweet[5] is a British term for a small shaped piece of confectionery made with sugar ⇒ a bag of sweets. In North American parlance, sweets would be candy[5] and a sweet would be a piece of candy*.

* In Britain, candy[5] means sugar crystallized by repeated boiling and slow evaporation ⇒ making candy at home is not difficult—the key is cooking the syrup to the right temperature.

In Britain, bonbon[5] is another word for a piece of confectionery — or, in British terms, a sweet.

In North America, a bonbon[3,11] is a specific type of candy, namely one that has a center of fondant, fruit, or nuts and is coated with chocolate or fondant.

"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

Behind the Picture
You may well wonder why Mr Kitty illustrates his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog with a picture of rolled oat cookies.

Hobnobs[7] is the name of a biscuit* [cookie] made from rolled oats and jumbo oats** marketed under the McVitie's brand by British multinational food manufacturer United Biscuits. Apparently, they have been available in Canada since November 2012 in the British food section of Wal-Mart.

* The British use the term biscuit[3,4,11] to refer to a range of foods that include those that would be called either cookies or crackers in North America. A North American biscuit[5] is similar to a British scone.
** Oats[7] used for cooking may be whole (groats), cut into two or three pieces (called "pinhead", "steel-cut" or "coarse" oatmeal), ground into medium or fine oatmeal, or steamed and rolled into flakes of varying sizes and thicknesses (called "rolled oats", the largest size being "jumbo").

18a   Ultimately abandon one fool /for/ another (6)

The implied definition is "another [fool]".

The wordplay is N (ultimately abandon; final letter of abandoN) + I ([Roman numeral for] one) + TWIT (fool).

Here and There
From the dictionary entries,  I would guess that the word "twit" may have a slightly different connotation in the UK than it does in North America.

British dictionaries define twit as an informal term meaning variously (1) a fool or idiot[2]; (2) a foolish or stupid person, an idiot[10]; and (3) a silly or foolish person[5]. Both Oxford Dictionaries and Collins English Dictionary characterize the term as being chiefly British.

American dictionaries, on the other hand, define twit as an informal term for (1) a foolishly annoying person[3] or (2) an insignificant or bothersome person[11]. Thus the emphasis in North America seems to focus more on the fact that the person is a pest — as opposed to the intellectual capacity of the person.

20a   TV bulletin, perhaps, // wants majority of sect shot (8)

23a   Fashionable area enveloped by evil -- to criminal /that's/ pure (9)

I would have described the parsing of the wordplay a bit differently than Mr Kitty does, namely "a word for fashionable, followed by A(rea) inside (enveloped by) an anagram (criminal) of  EVIL TO".

24a   Part of church // fails when not taking sides (4)

26a   Terrible // anger shown by daughter (4)

27a   Crowd, //late in the evening, have a ball (10)

28a   Record // some police about to arrest son (4)

"some police" = CID (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

29a   Overwrought // doctor eats richly (10)


1d   Look amazed /and/ go crazy without love (4)

"love" = O (show explanation )

In tennis, squash, and some other sports, love[5] is a score of zero or nil ⇒ love fifteen. The resemblance of a zero written as a numeral (0) to the letter O leads to the cryptic crossword convention of the word "love" being used to clue this letter.

Although folk etymology has connected the word with French l'oeuf 'egg', from the resemblance in shape between an egg and a zero, the term apparently comes from the phrase play for love (i.e. the love of the game, not for money).

hide explanation

2d   Book promoted by the setter's // controversial (7)

"the setter's" = IVE (show explanation )

It is a common cryptic crossword convention for the creator of the puzzle to use terms such as (the or this) compiler, (the or this) setter, (this) author, (this) writer, or this person to refer to himself or herself. To solve such a clue, one must generally substitute a first person pronoun (I or me) for whichever of these terms has been used in the clue.

Today, the setter has made the scenario slightly more complicated by combining "setter" with the verb "to have" producing "setter's" (a contraction of "setter has") which must be replaced by "I've" (a contraction of "I have").

hide explanation

3d   Inventor/'s/ mistaken: atoms do shine (6,6)

Thomas Edison[5] (1847–1931) was an American inventor. He took out the first of more than a thousand patents at the age of 21. His inventions include automatic telegraph systems, the carbon microphone for telephones, the phonograph, and the carbon filament lamp.

4d   Catch // Bond? (8)

Misdirection by Convention
By convention, it is an acceptable practice for the setter of a cryptic crossword to unnecessarily capitalize words to create misdirection. However, it is deemed unacceptable to omit necessary capitalization.

In this clue, the setter needlessly capitalizes the word "bond" in order to misdirect our attention to James Bond[5] (known also by his code name 007), a fictional British secret agent in the spy novels of English author Ian Fleming (1908–1964).

5d   Weary, saving energy // in rows (6)

"energy" = E (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

7d   Prosecute // a rule in hearing (7)

8d   Aggravate // former partner over account and berate in error (10)

11d   The Genesis version of Stairway to Heaven (6,6)

Jacob's ladder[10] is the ladder reaching up to heaven that Jacob saw in a dream (Genesis 28:12–17).

Scratching the Surface
Genesis[7] were an English rock band formed in 1967. The most commercially successful and longest-lasting line-up includes keyboardist Tony Banks, bassist/guitarist Mike Rutherford and drummer/singer Phil Collins. Other important members were the original lead singer Peter Gabriel and guitarist Steve Hackett. The band underwent many changes in musical style over its career, from folk music to progressive rock in the 1970s, before moving towards pop at the end of the decade.

"Stairway to Heaven"[7] is a song by the English rock band Led Zeppelin, released in late 1971. It was composed by guitarist Jimmy Page and vocalist Robert Plant for the band's untitled fourth studio album (often called Led Zeppelin IV). It is often referred to as one of the greatest rock songs of all time.

14d   Liberal // old writer cared (4-6)

17d   Backtrack about bridge opponents // showing respect (8)

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.

19d   Stave off entertaining sailors /in/ bars (7)

"sailors" = RN (show explanation )

The Royal Navy[5] (abbreviation RN) is the British navy. It was the most powerful navy in the world from the 17th century until the Second World War.

hide explanation

21d   Poison/'s/ drunk in scare (7)

22d   Poor // attempt to support friend (6)

25d   Concrete // coin once used in Madrid (4)

The real[5] was a former coin and monetary unit of various Spanish-speaking countries [among them, Spain].
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

No comments:

Post a Comment