Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 — DT 27171

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27171
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27171]
Big Dave's 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
- unsolved or incorrect prior to visiting Big Dave's blog
- reviewed by Falcon for Big Dave's blog


Being unfamiliar with the novel at 20a, I felt justified in seeking some electronic assistance. However, I kicked myself for failing to decipher 2d without help.

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.


1a   Heading off to give credit for writer (6)

4a   Choose not to take part in work with aggressive seller (3,3)

In the field of music, Op. (also op.)[5] is an abbreviation meaning opus (work). It is used before a number given to each work of a particular composer, usually indicating the order of publication.

8a   Judge, we recalled, pointed instrument (4-4)

J[2] , as an abbreviation for Judge, is to be found in Chambers 21st Century Dictionary.

10a   Gold cross initially concealed in plant (6)

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.

11a   Cautious fighting against unknown quantity (4)

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 typically represented symbolically by the letters x, y and z.]

12a   A sailor can't take this on board (5,5)

13a   Both comrades injured, so out of action (4,2,6)

Hors de combat[5] is an adjectival phrase adopted from French meaning out of action due to injury or damage their pilots had been rendered temporarily hors de combat. In French, the phrase means literally 'out of the fight'.

16a   Pie (any sort) and chips cooked (7,5)

Cornish pasty[10] is a British term for a pastry case with a filling of meat and vegetables.

20a   Book country hotel (7,3)

Continuing the Cornish theme ...

Jamaica Inn[7] is a novel by the English writer Daphne du Maurier (1907 – 1989), first published in 1936. It was later made into a film, also called Jamaica Inn, by Alfred Hitchcock. It is an eerie period piece set in Cornwall in 1820; the real Jamaica Inn still exists and is a pub in the middle of Bodmin Moor. The plot follows a group of murderous wreckers who run ships aground, kill the sailors and steal the loot.

21a   Lover's knot, say (4)

22a   Failing  to change sides (6)

23a   Flower husband presented to poorly Cynthia (8)

In British English, poorly[5] can be used as an adjective meaning unwell she looked poorly. Although — at least, to my ear — the clue reads poorly, that may not be the case for a Brit.

24a   Annoy the Parisian after final (6)

In French, le[8] is the masculine singular form of the definite article.

Nett[5] is an alternative British spelling of net in the sense (of an amount, value, or price) remaining after the deduction of tax or other contributions or (of a weight) excluding that of the packaging.

25a   A college teacher is one killed while hunting (6)

A don[10] is a member of the teaching staff at a university or college, especially at Oxford or Cambridge.

In Greek mythology, Adonis[7] was a beautiful youth loved by both Aphrodite and Persephone. He was killed by a boar, but Zeus decreed that he should spend the winter of each year in the underworld with Persephone and the summer months with Aphrodite.


1d   Cabinetmaker inside fascinates her at once (8)

Thomas Sheraton[7] (1751 – 1806) was a furniture designer, one of the "big three" English furniture makers of the 18th century, along with Thomas Chippendale and George Hepplewhite.

2d   Easily irritated principal's dropped out of practice (5)

3d   Club about to lose support? Just the opposite (7)

In golf, brassie[5] is a name [somewhat dated, methinks] for a number two wood [so named because the wood was originally shod with brass].

5d   Gnome in lead crossing river beyond (7)

A gnome[3,4,11] [in a meaning that is new to me] is a pithy saying that expresses a general truth or fundamental principle or, in other words, an aphorism.

6d   Her co-star upset big band (9)

7d   Pinch this short girl (6)

9d   Snap decision at end of race? (5,6)

14d   Religious ceremony in US city, unfinished (9)

15d   Happy at last in idyllic island (8)

Two variants of this clue appeared in  the UK — this version in the printed edition of The Daily Telegraph and a slightly different version in the online edition of the puzzle in which "happy" was replaced by "merry". Deep Threat feels that happy is "perhaps less good as an anagram indicator". I presume that the rationale for the use of merry[5] as an anagram indicator comes from it being an adjective meaning slightly and good-humouredly drunk after the third beer he began to feel quite merry. However, happy[2] can have the same meaning. In fact, in North America, I am sure one would be more likely to see the latter rather than the former.

Atlantis[7] is a legendary island first mentioned by Plato about 360 BC. According to Plato, Atlantis was a naval power lying "in front of the Pillars of Hercules" that conquered many parts of Western Europe and Africa around 9600 BC. According to Oxford Dictionaries Online, Atlantis[5] was "beautiful and prosperous". In academia, the Atlantis story is seen as one of the many myths Plato incorporated into his work for stylistic reasons, in this case to represent his conceptualized ideal state. After a failed attempt to invade Athens, Atlantis sank into the ocean "in a single day and night of misfortune".

17d   Article misrepresented performance (7)

18d   Abbreviated answer printed in tough political publication (7)

Hansard[5] is the official verbatim record of debates in the British, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, or South African parliament. It is named after Thomas C. Hansard (1776 – 1833), an English printer whose company originally printed it in Britain.

19d   A vet disturbed over service in bar (6)

The Royal Navy (abbreviation RN)[5] is the British navy.

21d   Little child I found in farm building (5)

In the Scottish and Northern English dialects, bairn[5] means a child.
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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