Friday, July 26, 2013

Friday, July 26, 2013 — DT 27168

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27168
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, May 3, 2013
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27168]
Big Dave's 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
- unsolved or incorrect prior to visiting Big Dave's blog
- reviewed by Falcon for Big Dave's blog


Gazza tells us that he found this puzzle to be "just about the easiest Giovanni puzzle [he's] ever blogged" — to which my electronic aids can attribute their day off.

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.


6a   One in affair with members of the Government? Documentation is kept here (6,7)

8a   Exaggerate having left party (6)

9a   Old writer and editor at university talked freely (6,2)

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

10a   Call a boffin -- his place of work is in here (3)

Giovanni has twisted the word order around a bit for cryptic effect. If one were to straighten it out, the clue would read "His [a boffin's] place of work is [found] in [the phrase] 'call a boffin'".

Boffin[5] is British slang for (1) a person engaged in scientific or technical research the boffins at the Telecommunications Research Establishment or (2) a person with knowledge or a skill considered to be complex or arcane a computer boffin.

11a   A feature of some churches bringing hope (6)

12a   A dull truism, the French lacking ability! (8)

In French, the feminine singular form of the definite article is la[8].

14a   Proud Henry's No. 1 -- wicked too, wanting decapitation! (7)

16a   Terrible grief with peacemakers needed to stop this? (7)

This is an & lit. (all-in-one) clue. The entire clue is the definition (when read one way) and the wordplay (when read another way). The wordplay is an anagram (terrible) of GRIEF containing (with ... needed to stop this) UN (peacemakers). As Gazza points out, stop is used in the sense of to plug. In the cryptic reading the antecedent of the pronoun "this" is 'an anagram of GRIEF' (terrible grief).

20a   Chinese location is quiet -- excellent! -- be in suspense entering it (8)

A1[4][5] or A-one[3] meaning first class or excellent comes from a classification for ships in The Lloyd's Register of Shipping where it means equipped to the highest standard or first-class.

23a   Coal not prime requirement for fire (6)

I think that the phrase "not prime requirement" is meant to be interpreted as a more concise way of saying 'the requirement is that the first letter not be included".

24a   Sentimentality from nameless fool (3)

While American dictionaries do list 'a stupid or oafish person' as a (secondary) definition for the word, North Americans are more likely to think of a goon[3,4,11] as being a thug. Apparently, this latter usage doesn't exist — or is less common — in Britain.

The Goon Show[7] was a British radio comedy programme featuring Spike Milligan, Harry Secombe and Peter Sellers — originally produced and broadcast by the BBC Home Service from 1951 to 1960.

25a   Offer nasty pie to man -- it may well be poisonous (8)

26a   Silly person drinking too freely, surviving on the field (3,3)

As Gazza indicates not out[5] is a cricket term, meaning (with respect to a side [team] or a batsman) having begun an innings and not been dismissed Hussain scored 89 not out as Essex won by three wickets. An example of the use of the term is in reference to a batsman who is not out when the side has been dismissed. In cricket, batsmen bat in pairs. Thus, once ten of the eleven players on a side are out, the side is dismissed as there are no longer enough players left to form a pair. The remaining player is said to be "not out".

Although the term has no official status in baseball, it might well be used informally, for instance, with respect to a batter fouling off a pitch that would otherwise have been a called strike three — thereby surviving to face another pitch.

27a   No luck with this gag -- terrible joke (8,5)


1d   A weapon found hidden in heather is causing panic (8)

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

2d   13 receiving hand out over time, being work-shy (8)

The number "13" is a cross reference to clue 13d. It indicates that the solution to clue 13d is to be substituted in its place to complete the clue.

3d   Man clawed by a tiger? One of the circus performers (7)

Rob Brydon[7] (mentioned by Gazza in his review) is a Welsh actor, comedian, radio and television presenter [host or emcee], singer and impressionist.

4d   A bishop ecstatic out of his diocese? (6)

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

5d   End under canvas? (6)

6d   Festive harlot cavorting in high-class accommodation (4-4,5)

7d   So vehicle is broken into by crazy nerd? It makes one speechless (13)

13d   What sounds like trendy watering-hole (3)

15d   Animal house on front of garden (3)

17d   Perceived worry in industry -- for the nobs wanting awkward minions kept under? (8)

Nob is a chiefly British slang term for a person of wealth or social standing[3] or a person of social distinction[4].

18d   Party enjoyment? Fighting not the first requirement! (8)

If the definition is take to be "party" (function), then the wordplay is FUN (enjoyment) + CTION {[A]CTION (fighting) with the first letter deleted (not the first requirement)}. This is the same construction as was used in 23a.

Gazza suggests an alternative interpretation where the definition might also be seen to be "requirement" (function), in which case the wordplay would be FUN (party enjoyment) + CTION {[A]CTION (fighting) with the first letter deleted (not the first)}.

19d   Birds -- 15 flying ones (7)

Once again, the number in the clue is a cross reference indicator.

21d   Cloud and rain -- ultimately I am taking vehicle (6)

22d   Hospital crew achieving eminence (6)

Sports groups are often informally referred to by the number of players forming a team. Thus eleven for a cricket or soccer team, nine for a baseball team, and eight[5] for a rowing team.
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)
Signing off for today — Falcon

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