Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Wednesday, August 2, 2017 — DT 28430

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28430
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, May 18, 2017
RayT (Ray Terrell)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28430]
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


While there are lots of very good clues in this puzzle, none struck me as standing head and shoulders above the others. Thus picking a favourite is a somewhat daunting exercise. I think I will go with 23a for its smooth surface which conjures up an image of a vicar who's gotten into the communion wine before the morning service.

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 (//).


7a   Train // routes are endlessly reorganised (8)

Eurostar[5] (trademark) is the name of the high-speed passenger rail service that links London with various European cities via the Channel Tunnel.

9a   Catwalk // streak interrupted by posh northern women (6)

The setter's name might give you a clue as to what is being clued by "streak".

"posh" = U (show explanation )

In Britain, U[5] is used informally as an adjective (in respect to language or social behaviour) meaning characteristic of or appropriate to the upper social classes ⇒ U manners.

The term, an abbreviation of  upper class, was coined in 1954 by Alan S. C. Ross, professor of linguistics, and popularized by its use in Nancy Mitford's Noblesse Oblige (1956).

In Crosswordland, the letter U is frequently clued by words denoting "characteristic of the upper class" (such as posh or superior) or "appropriate to the upper class" (such as acceptable). 

hide explanation

10a   Old // French artist practically flipped (4)

Edgar Degas[5] (1834–1917) was a French painter and sculptor. An impressionist painter, Degas is best known for his paintings of ballet dancers.

11a   Rogue Hollywood guy /is/ relentless (10)

Hollywood[7] is a neighborhood in the central region of Los Angeles, California.

Delving Deeper
Hollywood[7] is notable for its place as the home of the U.S. film industry, including several of its historic studios. Its name has come to be a metonym for the motion picture industry of the United States.

Hollywood was a small community in 1870 and was incorporated as a municipality in 1903. It officially merged with the city of Los Angeles in 1910, and soon thereafter a prominent film industry began to emerge, eventually becoming the most recognizable film industry in the world.

Today, Disney is the only member of the Big Six film studios[7] whose parent entity is still located near Los Angeles. The five others report to conglomerates respectively headquartered in New York City, Philadelphia, and Tokyo.

Of the Big Six, Paramount is the only studio still based in Hollywood proper; furthermore, Paramount and Fox are the only ones still located within the Los Angeles city limits, while Disney and Warner Bros. are located in Burbank, Columbia in Culver City, and Universal in the unincorporated area of Universal City.

Implacable[5] is being used in the sense of unable to be stopped or relentlessthe implacable advance of the enemy rather than unable to be appeased or placatedhe was an implacable enemy of Ted's.

12a   Bordeaux // can't lose at rugby, eliminating Toulouse initially (6)

Scratching the Surface
Bordeaux[5] is a port of southwestern France on the Garonne River, capital of Aquitaine; population 235,878 (2006). It is a centre of the wine trade.

Toulouse[5] is a city in southwestern France on the Garonne River, the capital of the Midi-Pyrénées region; population 444,392 (2006).

Both cities have rugby union clubs. Union Bordeaux Bègles* is a rugby team that plays in the Top 14** in the Ligue Nationale de Rugby (National Rugby League). Stade Toulousain[7], which also plays in the Top 14, is considered one of the most successful rugby union clubs in all of Europe, having been crowned the Heineken Cup*** champions four times.

* Bègles is a suburb of the city of Bordeaux and is adjacent to it on the south.
** The Top 14 is the top level in the French professional rugby league system. By the way, I was surprised to discover that, in France, top[8] is deemed to be a French word meaning 'the best' — I wonder if its use is acceptable in Québec?
*** The Heineken Cup was a competition held prior to 2014 between rugby union clubs from England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, and Wales. It was replaced in 2014 by the European Rugby Champions Cup.

14a   Boozer /in/ a hole, drunk before work (8)

Boozer[5] is a British term for a pub or bar. 

Alehouse[5] is a dated term for an inn[5] [in the sense of a pub, typically one in the country, in some cases providing accommodation] or public house[5] [(British) formal term for pub].

15a   Most sage // in Kew is established (6)

Scratching the Surface
Kew[7] is a suburban district in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, 7.1 miles (11.4 km) west by south-west of Charing Cross [considered to mark the centre of London]. Kew is the location of the Royal Botanic Gardens ("Kew Gardens"), now a World Heritage Site, which includes Kew Palace. Kew is also the home of important historical documents such as Domesday Book, which is on public display at The National Archives.

17a   Voyage on board // takes off (6)

"on board" = 'contained in SS' (show explanation )

In Crosswordland, you will find that a ship is almost invariably a steamship, the abbreviation for which is SS[10]. Thus phrases such as "aboard ship" or "on board ship" (or sometimes merely "aboard" or "on board") are Crosswordland code for 'contained in SS'.

hide explanation

20a   Following hostilities, blusters /for/ sanctions (8)

22a   Three quarters welcoming united // nation (6)

23a   Conduct // dire matins when drunk (10)

Scratching the Surface
Matins[5] (also mattins) is a Christian service of morning prayer, especially in the Anglican Church.

24a   Marseille, perhaps // too French in retrospect (4)

In French,  trop[8] is an adverb meaning 'too'.

Marseilles[5] (French name Marseille) is a city and port on the Mediterranean coast of southern France, the capital of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur; population 860,363 (2007).

25a   Jail, /or/ bird, ends with isolation ahead (6)

26a   Excitedly greet men // coming out (8)


1d   Pay off a humble // abode (8)

Bung[10] (noun) is British slang for a bribe.

2d   Spy // person taking on M's successor (4)

Bod[5] is an informal British term for a person ⇒ some clever bod wrote a song about them.

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).

Scratching the Surface
M[7] is a fictional character in English author Ian Fleming's James Bond books; the character (who is Bond's boss) is the Head of Secret Intelligence Service—also known as MI6.

Over the course of the series, the actor playing the part has changed — although the changes have occurred less frequently than for the character of James Bond himself. In the Eon Productions series of films, M has been portrayed by four actors: Bernard Lee, Robert Brown, Judi Dench and Ralph Fiennes, the incumbent.

3d   Close // second cheated, reportedly (6)

4d   Nice touch /of/ Gold Label isn't half cut (8)

"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

Scratching the Surface
Gold Label is a blend of Scotch whisky produced under the Johnnie Walker[7] brand by British multinational alcoholic beverages company Diageo.

5d   Turning against one, /getting/ wind up (10)

The phrasal verb wind (someone) up[5] is an informal British expression meaning to tease or irritate (someone) ⇒ she's only winding me up.

6d   Soprano /is/ cold-blooded for the audience (6)

Maria Callas[5] (1923–1977) was an American-born operatic soprano, of Greek parentage; born Maria Cecilia Anna Kalageropoulos. She was a coloratura soprano whose bel canto style of singing was especially suited to 19th-century Italian opera.

8d   Beginning to perform in broadcast // encore (6)

13d   Taught again to accept school's head /being/ aloof (10)

Scratching the Surface
In Britain, head[5] is short for headmaster[5] (a man who is the head teacher in a school), headmistress[5] (a woman who is the head teacher in a school), or head teacher[5] (the teacher in charge of a school).

16d   Feeling // excited? That is not heartless (8)

18d   Ushering // English Queen into do (8)

"Queen" = 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.

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Do[5] is an informal British term meaning to swindle ⇒ a thousand pounds for one set of photos — Jacqui had been done.

19d   Plant taken by taste, oddly, /for/ fly (6)

The tsetse[5] (also tsetse fly) is an African bloodsucking fly which bites humans and other mammals, transmitting sleeping sickness and nagana*.

* Nagana[5] is a disease of cattle, antelope, and other livestock in southern Africa, characterized by fever, lethargy, and oedema, and caused by trypanosome parasites transmitted by the tsetse fly.

21d   Passionate // artist's over depression (6)

"artist" = RA (show explanation )

A Royal Academician (abbreviation RA[10]) is a member of the Royal Academy of Arts[5] (also Royal Academy; abbreviation also RA[10]), an institution established in London in 1768, whose purpose is to cultivate painting, sculpture, and architecture in Britain. 

hide explanation

22d   Dishes out // some appetiser vessels (6)

24d   Call // sweetheart after rift, upset (4)

"sweetheart" = E (show explanation )

A common cryptic crossword construct is to use the word "sweetheart" to clue E, the middle letter (heart) of swEet.

hide explanation
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. Bit a slog. Completed sans help, but bunged the last couple in (3d and 18d), so thanks for explaining the obscure definitions. Ray T never fails to confound.

    Funny how "claret" never caught on in NA, as it seems so common a term in the UK. Neither did "hock", come to that.