Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday, September 25, 2015 — DT 27779

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 27779
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, April 18, 2015
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27779 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27779 – Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave (Hints)
gnomethang (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.


An early 20th century British play blocked my progress today. Once my electronic assistants had helped me past that obstacle, it was clear sailing.

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 all-in-one (&lit.) clues, semi-all-in-one (semi-&lit.) clues and cryptic definitions. Explicit link words and phrases are enclosed in forward slashes (/link/) and implicit links are shown as double forward slashes (//). Definitions presented in blue text are for terms that appear frequently.


1a   A doctor tucking into mother's // curry (6)

Madras[10] [not found in my American dictionaries] is a medium-hot curry.

5a   Marxist film /offers/ nothing before starting course (4,4)

I loved this clue. One of the last to be solved, the penny dropped with a resounding clang when it finally surrendered.

In cricket, a duck[5] is a batsman’s score of nought [zero] ⇒ he was out for a duck. This usage is similar to the North American expression goose egg[5] meaning a zero score in a game. In British puzzles, the word "duck" is frequently used to clue  the letter "O" based on the resemblance of the digit "0" to this letter. However, today's setter shows us the flip side of the coin.

Soup[10] is a a liquid food made by boiling or simmering meat, fish, vegetables, etc, usually served hot at the beginning of a meal.

Duck Soup[7] is a 1933 comedy film starring what were then billed as the "Four Marx Brothers" (Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Zeppo). It was the last Marx Brothers film to feature Zeppo, and the last of five Marx Brothers movies released by Paramount Pictures.

While contemporaneous critics of Duck Soup felt it did not quite meet the standards of its predecessors, critical opinion has evolved and the film has since achieved the status of a classic. Duck Soup is now widely considered among critics to be a masterpiece, and the Marx Brothers' finest film.

9a   Food on board ship /for/ a horse (10)

A Lipizzaner[5] (also Lippizaner) is a horse of a fine white breed used especially in displays of dressage.

10a   Time /for/ fruit (4)

In the first definition, date[5] is used in the sense of the period of time to which an artefact or structure belongs ⇒ the church is the largest of its date.

11a   Pest // is hidden by shade (8)

12a   Perfect // surface texture (6)

13a   Fine Greek character /producing/ his cheese (4)

I only noticed while composing the blog that the clue reads "his cheese" rather than "this cheese". This is a gift from the setter telling us that the cheese in question is actually a Greek cheese.

"fine" = F (show explanation )

F[5] is an abbreviation for fine, as used in describing grades of pencil lead [a usage that Oxford Dictionaries Online surprisingly characterizes as British].

hide explanation

Eta[5] is the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet (Η, η).

15a   Summary /of/ extra scene (8)

Contrary to what gnomethang indicates in his review (see immediately below), I would say that over[10] is simply an adjective or adverb meaning remaining or surplus (often in the phrase left over).

What did he say?
In his review, gnomethang describes an over as an extra run in cricket.
Unless I am seriously mistaken, it would appear that he has confounded his cricket terms.

An over[5] is a division of play in cricket consisting of a sequence of six balls bowled by a bowler from one end of the pitch, after which another bowler takes over from the other end.

An extra[5] is a run scored other than from a hit with the bat, credited (in most cases) to the batting side rather than to a batsman. The types of extra[7] are no ball, wide, bye, leg-bye, and penalty runs.

18a   Two channels, second // horizontally (8)

Side[5] is an informal British term for a a television channel considered as one of two or more that are available ⇒ what’s on the other side?. [Perhaps the expression dates from an era when there were only two channels to choose from — and these channels were thought of as the two sides of a phonograph record.]

A way[5,10] is a means or line of passage. Although the examples given in dictionaries are generally confined to terrestrial routes, such as a road, track, or path, there would seem to be no reason that it could not also refer to a route over water, such as a channel. In fact, Collins English Dictionary specifically mentions waterway.

19a   Travel // free, heading east (4)

The wordplay is RID (free) preceding (heading; coming before) E (east; abbrev.)

21a   Carnival // site wrecked in outskirts of Fuengirola (6)

A fiesta[10] is a holiday or carnival.

Scratching the Surface
Fuengirola[7], a large town on the Costa del Sol in southern Spain, is a major tourist resort, with more than 8 km of beaches and a mediaeval Moorish fortress.

23a   Used bidet, one /being/ well-trained (8)

25a   Temporary quarters // affected (4)

26a   Top drawer that opens up first? (10)

Boothill Cemetery, Tombstone, Arizona
I had much the same thought as gazza, who at Comment#1 on Big Dave's Crossword Blog says "a gunfighter doesn’t necessarily shoot first, especially if he’s a poor gunfighter". Of course, that being that being the case, he may well soon end up at Boothill with this poor chap.

27a   I agree // to pick up judge (4,4)

28a   Head of smooth snake /is/ more blue (6)

The adder[5] (also called viper) is a small venomous Eurasian snake (Vipera berus) which has a dark zigzag pattern on its back and bears live young. It is the only poisonous snake in Britain.


2d   So long, // notice that is for all to see (5)

Adieu[5] (from French: 'goodbye' or 'farewell') is a chiefly literary term that may be used:
  1. as an exclamation meaning goodbye; or
  2. as a noun meaning a goodbye ⇒ he whispered a fond adieu .
"for all to see" = U (show explanation )

Under the British system of film classification[7] a U (for 'universal') rating indicates that a film is suitable "for all the family" — or, at any rate, for children over 4 years of age.

hide explanation

3d   Restore // control over situation (9)

4d   Measuring // spirit after one's served up (6)

5d   Priestley play // used organ, unsettling angle (9,6)

The first word in the title of this play was easy enough to decipher but the second word flummoxed me.

Dangerous Corner[7], which premiered in May 1932, was the first play by English writer J. B. Priestley (1894–1984). It received extremely poor reviews and after three days he was told that the play would close, a fate that he averted by buying out the sponsoring syndicate. It then ran for six months. Priestley's action was further vindicated by the worldwide success the play was to enjoy, although he soon lowered his estimate of this work and as early as 1938 remarked "It is pretty thin stuff when all is said and done.

6d   Laid-back // about a judge appearing heartless (8)

7d   Irish John entertaining daughter /in/ saloon (5)

Sean[7] is an Irish name which is the counterpart to the English name John.

Saloon[5] (also saloon car) is a British term for a car [known in Canada, the US, and New Zealand as a sedan[10]] having a closed body and a closed boot [trunk] separated from the part in which the driver and passengers sit ⇒ a four-door saloon.

8d   Functioning at an acceptable level, // good enough for race (2,2,5)

14d   Friend ringing home after priest /is/ put out (9)

In Britain, mate[5] is:
  1. an informal term for a friend or companion ⇒ my best mate Steve; or
  2. a friendly form of address between men or boys ⇒ ‘See you then, mate.’.
In the Bible, Eli[5] is a priest who acted as a teacher to the prophet Samuel (1 Sam. 1-3).

16d   Top of vase decorated, though no good // lacquered (9)

Top[10] is used in the sense of the beginning ⇒ (i) the top of the hour; (ii) at the top of the programme; (iii) okay, let's run through it once more from the top.

"good" = G (show explanation )

The abbreviation G[10] for good likely relates to its use in grading school assignments or tests.

hide explanation

17d   Aggressive speech /from/ former Tory leader about Iran I ignored (8)

William Hague[7] is a British Conservative politician who was Member of Parliament (MP) from 1989 to 2015. He also served as Leader of the House of Commons from 2014 to 2015, as Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs from 2010 to 2014, and as Leader of the Conservative Party and Leader of the Opposition from 1997 to 2001.

20d   Foremost of infants in group, // a prodigy (6)

In biology, genus[5] denotes a principal taxonomic category that ranks above species and below family, and is denoted by a capitalized Latin name.

22d   Marvellous // word for an American caretaker (5)

Super is an informal short form of superintendent[2,3,4,5,10,11] or supervisor[4,10,11].

Superintendent[5] is a North American term for the caretaker of a building.

What did he say?
In his review, gnomethang tells us that supervisor is the name for a condominium caretaker in the US.
With two options to pick from, he made the wrong choice.

24d   Relative, // kind to conserve energy (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

1 comment:

  1. Только лишь достаточный показатель навыков обеспечит клиентам защиту частной информации. Охрана данных уже выделяется собственным направлением для обеспеченности удобной функциональности в интернете. Скажем, располагает конкретными инструкциями, как не стать целью преступников в интернете.


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