Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Tuesday, July 18, 2017 — DT 28419

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28419
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, May 5, 2017
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28419]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Deep Threat
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


Oh dear! I sat down to compose tomorrow's blog only to discover that I had yet to do today's. Moreover, in the midst of writing the review, I found that I had left one clue unfinished. As it turns out, it was left unfinished due to having an incorrect solution for one of the intersecting clues.

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   Somewhere in Kent // with unusual farm building (10)

Whitstable[7] is a seaside town on the north coast of Kent in south-east England, 8 kilometres (5 mi) north of Canterbury. It has a population of about 32,000.

Whitstable was famous for its 'Native Oysters' which were collected from beds beyond the low water mark from Roman times until the mid-20th century. This is celebrated at the annual Whitstable Oyster Festival. 'Native Oyster' collection drastically declined in the first half of the 20th century and then ceased due to pollution, disease, bad weather and underinvestment.

6a   Greeting given by Matthew etc /bringing/ a suggestion (4)

Matthew[5]  is the first Gospel in the Christian Bible, traditionally ascribed to St Matthew, an Apostle, a tax-gatherer from Capernaum in Galilee.

9a   Drink // overdue -- time to intervene (5)

10a   Using fingers /or/ employing electronic equipment? (9)

12a   Embarrassed maiden has to consume // non-vegetarian food (3,4)

"maiden"  = M (show explanation )

In cricket, a maiden[5], also known as a maiden over and denoted on cricket scorecards by the abbreviation m.[10], is an over* in which no runs are scored.

* An over[5] is a division of play consisting of a sequence of six balls bowled by a bowler from one end of the pitch, after which another bowler takes over from the other end.

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13a   Fashion of yesteryear // conveyed by Margaret Rose (5)

Scratching the Surface
Margaret Rose[7] was the name of Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon (1930–2002), the younger daughter of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom and the only sibling of Queen Elizabeth II.

15a   Problems // unchanged about drink being knocked back (7)

17a   Faulty electric plug may have to be thus // rejected (7)

If the fuse in your electric plug has blown, the plug will have to be re-fused (see following box for explanation).

Here and There
To comprehend the first part of this clue, one must have an understanding of British electrical wiring practices and, in particular, be aware that — in Britain — electrical plugs contain a fuse.

While that is true in Britain, it is not the case in most other parts of the world where fuses (or, nowadays, circuit breakers) are located at the distribution panel. Very few other countries use the British system of electrical wiring;  among those that do are Ireland, Malta, Gibraltar, and Cyprus.

To understand why this is so, one must understand how houses are wired. In most of the world, houses are wired with multiple individual circuits radiating from the distribution panel — each circuit typically serving only one or two rooms in the house. In the case of the kitchen, there will typically be several separate circuits serving it alone. High current devices such as electric stoves have their own dedicated circuit. Thus the current on any individual circuit is not overly high.

On the other hand, in Britain, a single circuit serves the entire house. Every appliance in the house — including high current devices such as electric stoves — plug into this one circuit. As a result, this circuit carries a very large current, a current that under fault conditions is capable of melting the cords on small appliances. Thus the plugs on these cords are fused to protect the cord.

Why, you might ask, did Britain adopt this inherently unsafe system.when virtually the entire rest of the world chose a safer option. Because the British system is cheaper to install.

19a   Idiot, dispatched to be locked up, // agrees (7)

21a   Feature of seasonal dance, // mum meeting unknown European (7)

"unknown" = Y (show explanation )

In mathematics (algebra, in particular), an unknown[10] is a variable, or the quantity it represents, the value of which is to be discovered by solving an equation ⇒ 3y = 4x + 5 is an equation in two unknowns. [Unknowns are customarily represented symbolically by the letters x, y and z.]

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A maypole[5] is a painted pole, decorated with flowers, round which people traditionally dance on May Day, holding long ribbons that are attached to the top of the pole.

22a   Get lost /in/ hole at back of house (3,2)

"house" = HO (show explanation )

Although not found in most of the dictionaries that I consulted, ho.[10] is the abbreviation for house.

hide explanation

Hop it[10] (or hop off) is British slang meaning to go away.

24a   Two groups of soldiers nibbled // Welsh food? (7)

The Royal Regiment of Artillery, commonly referred to as the Royal Artillery[7] (abbreviation RA), is the artillery arm of the British Army. Despite its name, it comprises a number of regiments.

The Corps of Royal Engineers[7], usually just called the Royal Engineers (abbreviation RE), and commonly known as the Sappers[7], is a corps of the British Army that provides military engineering and other technical support to the British Armed Forces.

Rarebit[5] (also Welsh rarebit) is a dish of melted and seasoned cheese on toast, sometimes with other ingredients. The name is an alteration of Welsh rabbit[5] (probably originally used humorously).

27a   Get cork in -- when loosened it could be this! (9)

I will respectfully diverge from Deep Threat's marking on this clue. I would say that the entire clue provides the definition making this a semi-&lit. (or, if you prefer, semi-all-in-one) clue with embedded wordplay (marked by the dashed underline). I refuse to accept that the demonstrative pronoun "this" can be considered to stand on its own as a definition.

28a   This person's past /appearing in/ ideal representation (5)

I wrote in IMAGE and made a mental note to come back and justify the parsing later. Note to self: mental notes are as useful as the paper on which they are written. Of course, this error did me no favours at 26d.

"this person's" = IM (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 "this person" with the verb "to be" producing "this person's" (a contraction of "this person is") which must be replaced by "I'm" (a contraction of "I am").

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In psychoanalysis, an imago[5] is an unconscious idealized mental image of someone, especially a parent, which influences a person's behavior.

29a   Stupid person about to get lost /in/ mound of sand (4)

30a   Subsidence /in/ local community (10)


1d   Report of one-time occupant of Reading gaol /being/ unruly (4)

Gaol[10] is a British variant spelling of jail.

Oscar Wilde[5] (1854–1900) was an Irish dramatist, novelist, poet, and wit; full name Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde. His advocacy of ‘art for art’s sake’ is evident in his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890). As a dramatist he achieved success with the comedies Lady Windermere’s Fan (1892) and The Importance of Being Earnest (1895). Wilde was imprisoned (1895-7) for homosexual offences and died in exile.

Wilde spent most of his period of incarceration in Reading Gaol, 30 miles (48 km) west of London. Upon his release he left immediately for France, never to return to Ireland or Britain. There he wrote his last work, The Ballad of Reading Gaol (1898), a long poem commemorating the harsh rhythms of prison life. He died destitute in Paris at the age of 46.[7]

2d   Pauses // in school period -- sit sloppily (9)

Intermit[5] (verb) means:
  • to suspend or discontinue (an action or practice) for a time he was urged to intermit his application
  • (especially of a fever or pulse) to cease or stop for a time.
3d   Horse /in/ street starts to exasperate every driver (5)

4d   Attend to // a daughter wanting party attire, say? (7)

5d   Land with little hesitation, // carrying less weight (7)

7d   Home rented out -- // bit of a lake here? (5)

While I tend to share Deep Threat's view expressed in his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog that "I think of this as being typically an arm of the sea rather than a lake", an inlet[5] can be a small arm of the sea, a lake, or a river.

8d   Model Major-General? (3,7)

Scratching the Surface
The clue is an allusion to the "Major-General's Song"[7] from Gilbert and Sullivan's 1879 comic opera The Pirates of Penzance. It is perhaps the most famous song in Gilbert and Sullivan's operas.

11d   Fault limited by your /being/ frugal (7)

14d   King, by Jove, going round that place /to be/ met again (10)

"king" = R (show explanation )

In the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms*, Rex[5] (abbreviation R[5]) [Latin for king] denotes the reigning king, used following a name (e.g. Georgius Rex, King George — often shortened to GR) or in the titles of lawsuits (e.g. Rex v. Jones, the Crown versus Jones — often shortened to R. v. Jones).

* A Commonwealth realm[7] is a sovereign state that is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations and shares the same person, currently Elizabeth II, as its head of state and reigning constitutional monarch, but retains a crown legally distinct from the other realms. There are currently sixteen Commonwealth realms, the largest being Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom with the remainder being smaller Caribbean and Pacific island nations.

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16d   Chap dined on Eastern // sea creature (7)

Chap[3,4,11] is an informal British[5] or chiefly British[3] term for a man or boy (show explanation ) — although one that is certainly commonly used in Canada.

Chap[3,4,11] is a shortened form of chapman[3,4,11], an archaic term for a trader, especially an itinerant pedlar[a,b].

[a] Pedlar is the modern British spelling of peddler[c] which, in most senses, is a US or old-fashioned British spelling. The exception is in the sense of a dealer in illegal drugs which the Brits spell as drug peddler.
[b] The current meaning of chap[2] dates from the 18th century. In the 16th century, chap meant 'a customer'. The dictionaries do not explain how a shortened form of 'chapman' (pedlar) came to mean 'customer'.
[c] Collins COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary

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18d   Her cat's OK, having got crumbled // biscuit (9)

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.

Here and There
In Britain, shortcake[5] is another term for shortbread.

Shortcake[5] in the sense of a rich dessert made from short pastry and topped with fruit and whipped cream is a North American term.

20d   A diner's stewed // fish (7)

21d   Ideal partner /with/ strength to restrict bishop (2,5)

"bishop" = RR (show explanation )

Right Reverend[5] (abbreviation RR[2]) is a title given to a bishop, especially in the Anglican Church ⇒ the Right Reverend David Jenkins, Bishop of Durham.

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23d   Nutty type /in/ church in little sleep, having rolled over (5)

"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

25d   Female at match // to bristle, getting left out (5)

26d   Military building // supporting regiment finally (4)

I realized halfway through composing the review (at 28a) that I had left this clue to come back to and never did. Actually, this clue was easy once I had sorted out my error on 28a.
Key to Reference Sources: 

[1]   - The Chambers Dictionary, 11th Edition
[2]   - Search Chambers - (Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)
[3]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (American Heritage Dictionary)
[4]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (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] - CollinsDictionary.com (Collins English Dictionary)
[11] - TheFreeDictionary.com (Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary)
[12] - CollinsDictionary.com (Webster’s New World College Dictionary)
[13] - MacmillanDictionary.com (Macmillan Dictionary)
Signing off for today — Falcon

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