Thursday, July 13, 2017

Thursday, July 13, 2017 — DT 28416

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28416
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Mister Ron (Samuel)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28416]
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


A nice 'Tuesday' puzzle from Mister Ron — who is not to be confused with Mr Ron.

The foregoing comment likely requires some explanation. The Daily Telegraph Cryptic Crossword (unlike the Toughie Crossword which appears in the same paper) is published without attribution. However, the identity of some of the setters has become known. In some cases, the setter is known by the nom de plume he uses when setting Toughie Crosswords or crosswords in other publications while in other cases he is known by an alias he has adopted when commenting on Big Dave's Crossword Blog. In many cases, the true identity of the setter is also known.

Nevertheless, the identity of some setters remains a mystery and some time ago it became the practice on Big Dave's Crossword Blog to refer to these unknown setters as "mysterons". The Mysterons are a fictional race of extraterrestrials that were featured in the British science-fiction Supermarionation television series Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons (1967–68). Sometime later, the 2Kiwis (Big Dave's New Zealand blogging duo) took to calling the individuals in this group Mr Ron (which sounds like 'mysteron'). One of these mystery setters (now known to be Chris Lancaster who uses the alias Samuel when setting the Toughie Crossword) subsequently adopted the alias Mister Ron when commenting on Big Dave's Crossword Blog. Thus Mister Ron refers to a specific (no longer unidentified) setter and Mr Ron refers to any of the remaining unidentified setters.

Information on the setters can be found in the article How do you know the names of the setters? on Big Dave's Crossword Blog.

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   Love black fish aroma // approaching the sell-by date? (11)

"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

7a   Magic // turn (5)

Spell[1,2] and magic[1] did not initially strike me as being synonyms. However, I suppose they are in the sense of enchantment or fascination ⇒ he found the spell of her personality incredibly powerful.

8a   Set up mother with part /in/ performance (9)

10a   Mean // to declare true time (7)

11a   Go back // on something nice (7)

12a   Beg // daughter to enter enclosure (5)

13a   Charge around area followed by gold // flashing light (9)

"gold" = OR (show explanation )

Or[5] is gold or yellow, as a heraldic tincture.

In heraldry, a tincture[5] is any of the conventional colours (including the metals and stains, and often the furs) used in coats of arms.

hide explanation

16a   Sailor falls trapping animal, /and/ gives up (9)

"sailor" = AB (show explanation )

In the Royal Navy, according to Oxford Dictionaries, able seaman[5] (abbreviation AB[5]), is a rank of sailor above ordinary seaman and below leading seaman. On the other hand, Collins English Dictionary tells us that an able seaman[10] (also called able-bodied seaman) is an ordinary seaman, especially one in the merchant navy, who has been trained in certain skills.

hide explanation

18a   Country/'s/ friend (5)

In Britain, china[5] is an informal term for a friend (or, as the Brits would say, a mate*). This meaning comes from cockney rhyming slang (show explanation ), where china is the shortened form of china plate which rhymes with 'mate'.

* In Britain, mate[5] — in addition to being a person’s husband, wife, or other sexual partner — is an informal term for a friend or companion ⇒ my best mate Steve.

Rhyming slang[5] is a type of slang that replaces words with rhyming words or phrases, typically with the rhyming element omitted. For example, butcher’s, short for butcher’s hook, means ‘look’ in cockney rhyming slang.

hide explanation

19a   Sat shaking after dance? // This could be heavy! (7)

22a   Stomach // terribly bad portent (7)

23a   Slow // cattle run around (9)

24a   Number // three's in a mess (5)

"Number" is used in the whimsical cryptic crossword sense of 'something that numbs'.

25a   Criminal class looted // holiday place (5,3,3)

Costa del Sol[5] is a resort region on the Mediterranean coast of southern Spain.


1d   Old writer finished // without deadline (4-5)

2d   Rescue // original piece of valuable silver found in auction (7)

The symbol for the chemical element silver is Ag[5] from Latin argentum.

3d   Thief/'s/ run inside as client worked (9)

"run" = R (show explanation )

On cricket scorecards [not to mention baseball scoreboards], the abbreviation R[5] denotes run(s).

In cricket, a run[5] is a unit of scoring achieved by hitting the ball so that both batsmen are able to run between the wickets, or awarded in some other circumstances.

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4d   Tease you and me over // term of endearment (5)

5d   Feel a stick-in-the-mud's somewhat // flexible (7)

6d   Every now and then, stubborn veggie finally /gets/ something meaty (1-4)

7d   Court /in/ celebrity bedroom (4,7)

The Star Chamber[5] was an English court of civil and criminal jurisdiction that developed in the late 15th century, trying especially those cases affecting the interests of the Crown. It was noted for its arbitrary and oppressive judgements and was abolished in 1641.

9d   Record and somehow retain // performer (11)

14d   Destroy // detective's cover (9)

"detective" = DI (show explanation )

A detective inspector (DI[5]) is a senior police officer in the UK. Within the British police, inspector[7] is the second supervisory rank. It is senior to that of sergeant, but junior to that of chief inspector. Plain-clothes detective inspectors are equal in rank to their uniformed counterparts, the prefix 'detective' identifying them as having been trained in criminal investigation and being part of or attached to their force's Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

hide explanation

15d   Victorious // president holds one in thrall on a regular basis (9)

Scratching the Surface
Donald Trump was a victorious candidate; is he a victorious president?

17d   Risks // part of church abandoning liberal son (7)

The chancel[5] is the part of a church near the altar, reserved for the clergy and choir, and typically separated from the nave by steps or a screen.

"liberal" = L (show explanation )

The Liberal Party[5] (abbreviation Lib.[5] or L[2])* in Britain emerged in the 1860s from the old Whig Party and until the First World War was one of the two major parties in Britain. In 1988 the party regrouped with elements of the Social Democratic Party to form the Social and Liberal Democrats, now known as the Liberal Democrats. However, a small Liberal Party still exists although it has no representation in the UK Parliament, no Members of the European Parliament (MEP), no members of the Scottish Parliament, nor any members of the National Assembly for Wales.[7]

* Although Lib.[5] may be the more common abbreviation for the Liberal Party in Britain — likely to distinguish it from the the Labour Party[5] (abbreviation Lab.[5]) — Chambers 21st Century Dictionary indicates that L[2] may also be used.

hide explanation

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Mr Kitty writes Either there’s a typo in the clue (liberal instead of Liberal) or the convention about not decapitalising proper nouns is being violated here..
He is referring to convention that holds that while it is permissible to add capital letters to words in a clue to create misdirection, it is not permissible to remove capital letters from proper nouns.

Technically, L is the abbreviation for 'Liberal' (a member of the political party) but not for 'liberal' (as a generic term).

However, I don't think that this is the first time that I have seen 'liberal' — or, for that matter, 'conservative' — used in this manner.

18d   Gets thicker after what's chewed // sticks (7)

20d   Ring up about painter's third // colour (5)

21d   Qataris discovered broken // crown (5)

The setter uses "discovered" in a whimsical sense directing the solver to strip away the outer letters of the word that precedes it. This cryptic device is based on the logic that if disrobe means to remove one's robe (or other clothing), then it only stands to reason that discover must mean to remove one's cover.

Scratching the Surface
A Qatari[5] is a native or inhabitant of Qatar*.

* Qatar[5] is a sheikhdom occupying a peninsula on the west coast of the Persian Gulf; population 2,200,000 (estimated 2015); official language, Arabic; capital, Doha. The country was a British protectorate from 1916 until 1971, when it became a sovereign independent state. Oil is the chief source of revenue.
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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