Thursday, July 27, 2017

Thursday, July 27, 2017 — DT 28426

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28426
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, May 13, 2017
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28426 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28426 – Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Tilsit (Hints)
gnomethang (Review)
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
As this was a Saturday "Prize Puzzle" in Britain, there are two entries related to it on Big Dave's Crossword Blog — the first, posted on the date of publication, contains hints for selected clues while the second is a full review issued following the entry deadline for the contest. The vast majority of reader comments will generally be found attached to the "hints" posting with a minimal number — if any — accompanying the full review.


Typical of a "Saturday" prize puzzle, this offering provides no daunting challenge.

Apologies for the faux pas in Tuesday's review in which I included information for a word which was not the solution to the clue. While solving the puzzle, I recall that having the letter "I" in place from the intersecting entry, I was looking for a word ending in -IST as the solution. The word that I came up with was the rather antiquated word "OCULIST" but, of course, it was quickly discarded as it had the wrong number of letters. Despite this, it seems that while writing the review, it was this word that stuck in my mind rather than the correct — but more mundane — word "OPTICIAN". Thank you to Richard for bringing the misstep to my attention.

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 (//).


3a   Classic western /produced by/ RADA tutor? (10)

The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art[7] (abbreviation RADA) is a drama school located in London, England. It is one of the oldest drama schools in the United Kingdom, founded in 1904.

Stagecoach[7] is a 1939 American Western film directed by John Ford, starring Claire Trevor and John Wayne in his breakthrough role. The film follows a group of strangers riding on a stagecoach through dangerous Apache territory.

8a   Difficult at college /being/ short of money (4,2)

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

9a   Facing // plot after work, work over (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.

hide explanation

10a   Famous guitarist with his group, // one presiding over celebrations (3,5)

Brian May[7] is an English musician, singer, songwriter and astrophysicist, best known as the lead guitarist of the British rock band Queen.

A May queen[5] is a pretty girl chosen and crowned in traditional celebrations of May Day.

11a   Time for a coffee /in/ the Spanish fair (6)

"the Spanish" = EL (show explanation )

In Spanish, the masculine singular form of the definite article is el[8].

hide explanation

In Britain, the morning tea or coffee break comes at 11:00 am and lunch is typically taken at 1:00 pm. The Brits refer informally to the morning break as elevenses[5].

12a   Anyway, // don't contemplate so much (10)

14a   Area round capital // no longer rated badly (7,6)

Naturally, the capital we are looking for is London[5], the capital of the United Kingdom, situated in southeastern England on the River Thames; population (Greater London) 7,619,800 (est. 2008).

Greater London is a metropolitan area comprising central London and the surrounding regions. It is divided administratively into the City of London, thirteen inner London boroughs, and twenty outer London boroughs.

20a   Try sailing at sea -- // it could make you hoarse (10)

22a   Police unit /using/ bad PR a lot (6)

There is a minor typo in gnomethang's review which should read "An anagram, indicated by ‘bad’, of PR A LOT.".

23a   Dishonest behaviour /in/ dreadful piece of drama (4,4)

24a   One with dimples that may get hooked on a course (4,4)

25a   Pleasant accompanying English university // girl (6)

26a   While not present // at work, a bishop posted one article (2,8)

"bishop" = B (show explanation )

B[5] is an abbreviation for bishop that is used in recording moves in chess.

hide explanation


1d   Yale gang, for a change, // fail badly (3,2,3)

From a British perspective, lay an egg[5] is an informal North American expression meaning to be completely unsuccessful.

2d   Correspond after a duke /gets/ fit (8)

"duke" = D (show explanation )

A duke[5] (abbreviation D.[10]) is a male holding the highest hereditary title in the British and certain other peerages*.

* 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.

hide explanation

3d   Extent /of/ odds studied (6)

SP[5] is the abbreviation for starting price[7], the odds prevailing on a particular horse in the on-course fixed-odds* betting market at the time a race begins.

* To the best of my limited knowledge in this field, this term would not be encountered in North America as betting on horse racing here is based on parimutuel betting rather than fixed-odds betting.

In Britain, to read[5] means to study (an academic subject) at a university ⇒ (i) I’m reading English at Cambridge; (ii) he went to Manchester to read for a BA in Economics.

4d   Rule clubs ignored // after a while (4)

A canon[5] is a general law, rule, principle, or criterion by which something is judged ⇒ the appointment violated the canons of fair play and equal opportunity.

In his review, gnomethang would appear to make reference to canon[5] as a Church decree or law (i) a set of ecclesiastical canons; (ii) legislation which enables the Church of England General Synod to provide by canon for women to be ordained.

"clubs" = C (show explanation )

Clubs[2]) (abbreviation C[1]) is one of the four suits of playing-cards.

hide explanation

5d   To support energy, squeeze in very // strong coffee (8)

"energy" = E (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

So[5] is an adverb (used for emphasis) meaning extremely or very much ⇒ she looked so pretty.

6d   Group inside enjoys terrific // shellfish (6)

7d   Ship -- // clipper, perhaps (6)

Contrary to gnomethang's determination, I would say that this is a double definition.

A cutter[5] is a light, fast coastal patrol boat a coastguard cutter.

A clipper[5] (also clippers) is an instrument for cutting or trimming small pieces off things (i) a nail clipper; (ii) a set of hair clippers

Scratching the Surface
In the surface reading, clipper[5] refers to a fast sailing ship, especially one of 19th-century design with concave bows and raked masts the Cutty Sark, a tea clipper built in 1869.

13d   Faux pas /made by/ enfant terrible blowing top (5)

An enfant terrible[5] (French, literally 'terrible child') is a person who behaves in an unconventional or controversial way the enfant terrible of contemporary art.

A faux pas[5] (French, literally 'false step') is an embarrassing or tactless act or remark in a social situation ‘I was suddenly sick in the back of their car’—it was years before he could confess his faux pas to them.

15d   Count late manoeuvring /as/ revealing (8)

Tell[3,5,11] is an archaic term meaning to enumerate or count (the members of a group) ⇒ (i) the shepherd had told all his sheep; (ii) telling one's blessings; (iii) 16 windows, all toldTell[10] can mean to count (votes), especially in a parliament.

Delving Deeper
It is this sense of the word "tell" that would seemingly give rise to the term teller*[5], a person employed to deal with customers' transactions in a bank [in other words, someone who counts money].

* The term teller (in the sense of a bank employee) is characterized by Oxford Dictionaries as being chiefly North American.[5] However, Collins English Dictionary makes no such claim, defining teller[10] as merely another name for a cashier[10] (also known as a bank clerk) an employee of a bank responsible for receiving deposits, cashing cheques, and other financial transactions.

16d   Daughter put on excellent // meaty spread (8)

I have diffidently marked this clue as a cryptic definition as I am hesitant to declare "meaty spread" to be a precise definition.

Ripping[5] is a dated informal British term meaning splendid or excellent she's going to have a ripping time.

Dripping[5] (US [& Canadian, I believe] drippings) is fat that has melted and dripped from roasting meat, used in cooking or eaten cold as a spread bread and dripping.

17d   Barking canine with us, // a source of irritation (8)

As an anagram indicator, barking[5] is used in an informal British sense meaning completely mad or demented ⇒ (i) we are all a bit barking; (ii) has she gone completely barking mad?.

18d   Primate/'s/ word of disapproval during Prohibition (6)

19d   Page about marvellous // small house (6)

"page" = P (show explanation )

The abbreviation for page is p[5]see p 784.

hide explanation

I have marked this as a cryptic definition as I believe that the word "small" in the definition may allude to the fact that the word "prefab" is a shortened form of "prefabricated" rather than that the house necessarily has to be small.

I also considered parsing the clue as:
  • 19d   Page about marvellous small // house (6)
in which the wordplay would be P (page; abbrev.) + RE (about) + FAB (marvellous small; shortened form of fabulous)

21d   Sickness // in Ghana? Use antibiotics (6)

Scratching the Surface
Ghana[5] is a country of West Africa, with its southern coastline bordering on the Atlantic Ocean; population 23,887,800 (est. 2009); languages, English (official), West African languages; capital, Accra. Former name (until 1957) Gold Coast.

Formerly a centre of the slave trade, the area became the British colony of Gold Coast in 1874. In 1957 it was the first British colony to gain independence as a member of the Commonwealth, under the leadership of Kwame Nkrumah.

23d   Half a century in Rome inhabiting big // residence (4)

Here and There
In Britain, the term flat[5] is used for what would be called an apartment[5] in North America. The term apartment is used in Britain, but seemingly in a more restricted sense than in North America  applying primarily to temporary or upscale accommodation. As Oxford Dictionaries puts it, an apartment[5] is:
  • a British term for a flat, typically one that is well appointed or used for holidays ⇒ self-catering holiday apartments; or
  • a North American term for any flat ⇒ the family lived in a rented apartment.
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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