Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wednesday, June 25, 2014 — DT 27414

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27414
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, February 15, 2014
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27414 - Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27414 - Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave (Hints)
crypticsue (Review)
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
As this was a Saturday "Prize Puzzle" in Britain, there are two entries related to it on Big Dave's Crossword Blog — the first, posted on the date of publication, contains hints for selected clues while the second is a full review issued following the entry deadline for the contest. The vast majority of reader comments will generally be found attached to the "hints" posting with a minimal number — if any — accompanying the full review.


The string of relatively gentle puzzles continues. I got the two long horizontal clues despite not knowing my positions in rugby or the British sock puppet.

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 all-in-one (& lit.) clues, semi-all-in-one (semi-& lit.) clues and cryptic definitions.


1a   Following leads in special operations, spies left party (6)

The Central Intelligence Agency[5] (abbreviation CIA) is a federal agency in the US responsible for coordinating government intelligence activities. Established in 1947 and originally intended to operate only overseas, it has since also operated in the US.

4a   Successfully woo girl holding diamonds - that can give you a lift (8)

Diamonds[2]) (abbreviation D[2]) is a suit of cards.

A windlass[5] is a winch, especially one on a ship or in a harbour.

9a   Roughen up a certain Mr Pitt with energy (6)

Brad Pitt[7] is an American actor and film producer.

10a   Some gent renovated jewel (8)

11a   Showing respect if no choir performing (9)

Although the solution can also be a noun, here it is used as an adjective.

13a   Good-for-nothing makes Bette lose head (S)

Bette Midler[7], also known by her informal stage name The Divine Miss M, is an American singer-songwriter, actress, comedian, film producer and entrepreneur.

14a   One back in rugby team leaving space between locks (6,7)

In the definition, "lock" refers to hair but in the surface reading, it is a position on a rugby team.

(Click to enlarge)
In rugby, a lock[5] (also called lock forward) is a player in the second row of a scrum (see diagram).

The positions on a rugby team[7] are divided into forwards and backs. There are four three quarter positions (situated between the half-backs and the fullback). Two of these positions are known as inside centre and outside centre (see diagram). Therefore a centre (either the inside one or the outside one) is a "back in [a] rugby team".

Parting[5] is the British term for a part[5] in the hair ⇒ his hair was dark, with a side parting.

17a   Children’s puppet directors win everything (5,3,5)

Sweep[7] is a British puppet and TV character popular in the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and other countries. Sweep is a grey glove puppet dog with long black ears who joined The Sooty Show in 1957, as a friend to fellow puppet Sooty.

21a   Grub of regular variety (5)

23a   Engineer fuelled in US city as a requirement (9)

24a   August? Put in danger around its beginning (8)

Interpret the clue as if it were written "August? Put in danger around the beginning of August".

25a   Person engaging lawyer right in court (6)

Ct[2] is the abbreviation for Court in street addresses — and seemingly in other senses as well.

26a   Restrained old hooligan given anaesthetic (8)

Ted[2] is short for Teddy boy[5], a slang term originally applied to a young man belonging to a subculture in 1950s Britain characterized by a style of dress based on Edwardian fashion (typically with drainpipe trousers, bootlace tie, and hair slicked up in a quiff) and a liking for rock-and-roll music.The name comes from from Teddy, pet form of the given name Edward (with reference to Edward VII's reign). Judging by the entry in the Chambers 21st Century Dictionary, it would appear that the term Teddy boy[2] is now applied to any unruly or rowdy adolescent male.

27a   Ploy to get one caught following diplomacy (6)

On cricket scorecards, the abbreviation c[5] denotes caught (by).


1d   Shop initially with two articles to wrap up (6)

2d   Dreadful cliche about king, concerning history (9)

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

3d   Unknown author takes director in bar with log fire (7)

5d   Sort of banal piece's impossible to get away from (11)

6d   Rough sleeper holds single record (7)

In Britain, dosser[5] is an informal and derogatory term for a tramp or someone who 'sleeps rough'[5] — a British expression meaning to sleep in uncomfortable conditions, typically out of doors "he spent the night sleeping rough on the streets".

7d   Bikini, perhaps, has a price (5)

Bikini[5] is an atoll in the Marshall Islands, in the western Pacific, used by the US between 1946 and 1958 as a site for testing nuclear weapons. Its name was given to the swimsuit because of the supposed 'explosive' effect created by the garment.

8d   Eagerest to make trip in cheapest place on ship (8)

12d   Habit of Victorians taking very cheap beer even for them! (11)

Historically, a farthingale[5] was a hooped petticoat or circular pad of fabric around the hips, formerly worn under women’s skirts to extend and shape them. As the discussion on Big Dave's blog concludes, this was an Elizabethan — not a Victorian — garment.

A farthing[5] is a former monetary unit and coin of the UK, withdrawn in 1961, equal to a quarter of an old [pre-decimal] penny.

15d   Dig tunnel for redevelopment that's gratifying (9)

16d   One looking into the future admitting son may become religious writer (8)

18d   Plain damage I repair (7)

19d   Ramsey perhaps doubled a source of fodder (7)

Sir Alfred "Alf" Ramsey[7] (1920–1999) was an English footballer and manager of the English national football team from 1963 to 1974. His greatest achievement was winning the 1966 World Cup with England.

20d   My staff endlessly hard to fathom (6)

22d   Drunk comes up to plant again (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)
Signing off for today — Falcon

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