Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Wednesday, July 26, 2017 — DT 28425

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28425
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, May 12, 2017
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28425]
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


With today's puzzle, we find Giovanni in a mellow mood — and Miffypops occupying the blogging chair on an unusual day for him.

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   Destructive types // raid coast furiously, led by monarch (11)

"monarch" = 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.

hide explanation

9a   Ultimately manager riles // football team (7)

I would think that the clue might refer to either of two British soccer clubs, but the Brits always seem to associate the name with the northern one.

Rangers Football Club[7] is an association football [soccer] club in Glasgow, Scotland that plays in the Scottish Premiership, the first tier of the Scottish Professional Football League.

Queens Park Rangers Football Club[7] (also known as QPR) is a professional association football [soccer] club in White City, London that plays in the Championship, the second tier of English football.

10a   An alto sadly // lacking a certain musical quality (6)

12a   Policeman /and/ doctor let loose (7)

"doctor" = MO (show explanation )

A medical officer[5] (abbreviation MO[5]) is a doctor in charge of the health services of a civilian or military authority or other organization.

hide explanation

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Miffypops explains the abbreviation by making reference to a Medical Orderly.
A medical orderly is hardly a doctor. Oxford Dictionaries defines medical orderly[5] as an attendant in a hospital responsible for the non-medical care of patients and the maintenance of order and cleanliness.

By the way, Oxford Dictionaries is the only dictionary in which I found the term medical orderly. Other dictionaries list the term merely as orderly.

13a   Ray maybe keeps work quiet, /being/ wet (7)

"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

"quiet" = 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.

hide explanation

Wet[5] (adjective) is an informal British term meaning showing a lack of forcefulness or strength of character; in other words, feeble ⇒ they thought the cadets were a bit wet.

Delving Deeper
Wet[5] (noun)  is an informal British term for a person lacking forcefulness or strength of character ⇒ there are sorts who look like gangsters and sorts who look like wets.

In British political circles, the name wet[5] is applied to a Conservative with liberal tendencies ⇒ the wets favoured a change in economic policy. It was a term frequently used by former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher for those to the left of her in the British Conservative Party [which must have been just about everyone].

14a   Working for // characters in Sunderland (5)

Scratching the Surface
Sunderland[5] is an industrial city and metropolitan district in north-eastern England, a port at the mouth of the River Wear; population 171,300 (est. 2009).

15a   Most worthless // fool finally attempts to get in touch (9)

17a   Footballer getting sacked // had an unfortunate effect (9)

Footballer here would refer to a soccer player and it is a virtual certainty that sacked is intended to mean dismissed from employment in the surface reading as well as in the cryptic reading. Only a fan of North American football would see the clue as describing a quarterback being tackled for a loss.

A back[5] is a player in a team game who plays in a defensive position* behind the forwards ⇒ their backs showed some impressive running and passing.

* except, of course, in North American football where there are both offensive backs and defensive backs.

In his review, Miffypops cuts the definition a tad short.

20a   Stein's original potato dish /is/ a hit (5)

Mash[5] is an informal British term for mashed potato ⇒ for supper there was sausages and mash.

Scratching the Surface
Rick Stein[7] is an English celebrity chef, restaurateur and television presenter. He is head chef and co-owner of "Rick Stein at Bannisters" at Mollymook, New South Wales, Australia, and owns restaurants and fish and chip shops located in several towns in Cornwall, England. He has written cookery books and presented [hosted] television programmes.

22a   Run meal organised /for/ 2 or 3, say (7)

24a   Circle /with/ peer and politician, both inadequate (7)

"politician" = TORY (show explanation )

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.

hide explanation

25a   Little woman closed, having not finished, a // book (6)

Little Women[7] is a novel by American author Louisa May Alcott (1832–1888), which was originally published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869. The novel follows the lives of four sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy March—detailing their passage from childhood to womanhood, and is loosely based on the author and her three sisters. Little Women is set in the Alcott family home, Orchard House, in Concord, Massachusetts.

Joshua[5] is the sixth book of the Bible, telling of the conquest of Canaan and its division among the twelve tribes of Israel. Joshua (fl.c.13th century BC) was the Israelite leader who succeeded Moses and led his people into the Promised Land.

26a   Put a hard coat on // metal, front edge being lost with corrosion (7)

Incrust is an alternative spelling of encrust[5] meaning to cover or decorate (something) with a hard surface layer (i) the mussels encrust navigation buoys; (ii) the dried and encrusted blood.

27a   Spy // dispatched, having collected odd bits of gear etc (6,5)


2d   Become a member again, /as/ penitent person but no pawn (2-5)

"pawn" = P (show explanation )

In chess, P[10] is the symbol for pawn.

A pawn[5] is a chess piece of the smallest size and value, that moves one square forwards along its file if unobstructed (or two on the first move), or one square diagonally forwards when making a capture. Each player begins with eight pawns on the second rank, and can promote a pawn to become any other piece (typically a queen) if it reaches the opponent’s end of the board.

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3d   Paint /is/ something that can affect dogs badly (9)

Distemper[5] is a kind of paint using glue or size instead of an oil base, for use on walls or for scene-painting.

Distemper[5] is a viral disease of some animals, especially dogs, causing fever, coughing, and catarrh.

4d   Guy /with/ a couple of females after church (5)

Guy[3,4,11] (verb) means to make fun of, to hold up to ridicule, or to mock.

Chaff[5] (verb) is used in the sense of tease ⇒ the pleasures of drinking and betting and chaffing your mates [buddies].

5d   Soldier // held up by fire, poor thing (7)

6d   Understand // what could be easier will engage learner (7)

"learner" = L (show explanation )

The cryptic crossword convention of L meaning learner or student arises from the L-plate[7], a square plate bearing a sans-serif letter L, for learner, which must be affixed to the front and back of a vehicle in various jurisdictions (including the UK) if its driver is a learner under instruction.

hide explanation

7d   Highest-quality 27 /as/ investment in lottery (7,4)

The numeral "27" is a cross reference indicator directing the solver to insert the solution to clue 27a 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

James Bond[5] (known also by his code name 007) is a fictional British secret agent in the spy novels of English author Ian Fleming (1908–1964).

In the UK, a Premium Bond[5] (also known as Premium Savings Bond) is a government security that offers no interest or capital gain but is entered in regular draws for cash prizes. [It sounds more like a perpetual lottery ticket than a government security.]

8d   Provided // the last bit expected to be brought in (6)

Endue[5] (also indue) is a literary term meaning endow or provide with a quality or ability Martin Luther once wrote, ‘The defects in a preacher are soon spied; let a preacher be endued with ten virtues, and but one fault, yet this one fault will eclipse and darken all his virtues and gifts.’.

11d   Yon revolutionary has ceremony /befitting/ right-wing politician (11)

Che Guevara[7] (1928–1967) was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary, physician, author, guerrilla leader, diplomat, and military theorist. A major figure of the Cuban Revolution, his stylized visage has become a ubiquitous countercultural symbol of rebellion and global insignia within popular culture.

A Thatcherite[5] is a supporter of the political and economic policies of the former British Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, particularly those involving the privatization of nationalized industries and trade union legislation he was a Thatcherite on economic issues.

16d   Heather, full of terrible dread, /is/ running (9)

Ling[5] is another name for the common heather[5] (Calluna vulgaris), a purple-flowered Eurasian heath that grows abundantly on moorland and heathland.

In Britain, a vertical strip of unravelled fabric in tights or stockings is known as a ladder[5] ⇒ one of Sally’s stockings developed a ladder. As a verb, ladder (with reference to tights or stockings) means to develop or cause to develop a ladder ⇒ (i) her tights were always laddered; (ii) they laddered the minute I put them on.

18d   Design // firm wants male model (7)

19d   Help // to a greater extent (7)

20d   A little bit /in/ cup soon dissolving (7)

A soupçon*[5] is a very small quantity of something ⇒ a soupçon of mustard.

* Soupçon[8] is a French word meaning 'suspicion'.

21d   King /with/ skill, taking time, missing nothing (6)

Arthur[5] was a legendary king of Britain, historically perhaps a 5th- or 6th-century Romano-British chieftain or general. Stories of his life, the exploits of his knights, and the Round Table of his court at Camelot were developed by Malory, Chrétien de Troyes, and other medieval writers and became the subject of many legends.

23d   Most insignificant // saint buried under meadow (5)
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 comment:

  1. Solved without help, but needed your notes to explain a few Briticisms. So, yes, two stars difficulty and plenty of entertainment.

    Didn't realize Martin Luther wrote English so fluently.