Thursday, February 15, 2018

Thursday, February 15, 2018 — DT 28573

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28573
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Jay (Jeremy Mutch)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28573]
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


Today's puzzle from Jay is a bit more gentle than the one we were served yesterday.

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 (//).


1a   Rough guides for those needing a lift? (5,2,5)

I see this clue as a cryptic definition comprising a 'precise definition' ("rough guides") combined with 'cryptic elaboration' which I have marked with a dashed underline (see the extensive discussion on this type of clue in yesterday's blog).

9a   Giant // injured groin with sumo wrestling (9)

Ginormous[3,4] is an informal term or slang meaning extremely large.

Origin: 20th century, blend of giant or gigantic and enormous

10a   Understood // source of interest in diplomacy (5)

11a   A mistake, vacuously chasing crazy // Frenchwoman (6)

Madame[5] is a title or form of address used of or to a French-speaking woman, corresponding to Mrs.

12a   Saying /that's/ popular within total golf (8)

Golf[5] is a code word representing the letter G, used in radio communication.

13a   Greeting // mother, regrettably coming back (6)

Salaam[5] is a common greeting in many Arabic-speaking and Muslim countries.

15a   Critics /of/ these often found on the door (8)

18a   Wealth /of/ guild regularly viewed in old money (8)

Pence[5] is a plural form* of penny[5], a British bronze coin and monetary unit equal to one hundredth of a pound and the smallest denomination in Britain's modern decimal currency system.

* Both pence and pennies have existed as plural forms of penny since at least the 16th century. The two forms now tend to be used for different purposes: pence refers to sums of money (five pounds and sixty-nine pence) while pennies refers to the coins themselves (I left two pennies on the table). The use of pence rather than penny as a singular (the chancellor will put one pence on income tax) is not regarded as correct in standard English.

Scratching the Surface
A guild[10] (especially in medieval Europe) is an association of men sharing the same interests, such as merchants or artisans: formed for mutual aid and protection and to maintain craft standards or pursue some other purpose such as communal worship.

19a   Poles must anticipate urge // to grass (6)

Grass[5] is an informal British term meaning:
  • (noun) a police informer; and
  • (verb) to inform the police of someone’s criminal activities or plans ⇒ (i) someone had grassed on the thieves; (ii) she threatened to grass me up.

21a   The girl's in a depression, /being/ a follower (8)

23a   Enough to satisfy head of Interpol before power // boost (6)

"power" = P (show explanation )

In physics, P[10] is a symbol used to represent power [among other things] in mathematical formulae.

hide explanation

Scratching the Surface
Interpol[10] (acronym for International Criminal Police Organization) is an association of over 100 national police forces, devoted chiefly to fighting international crime.

26a   Good communist limits Eastern // hunger (5)

"good" = G (show explanation )

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

hide explanation

27a   Person who shares // Spooner's dislike of rodents? (9)

28a   Pair (English) confronting extravagant // forward (12)


1d   Resort merges restricting island // systems (7)

As an anagram indicator, "resort" is used in the somewhat whimsical sense of 'to sort again'.

2d   Curtains may be so // connected with no end of work (5)

3d   Second offence will include periodical // brawl (9)

4d   Fellow left work // a failure (4)

"fellow" = F (show explanation )

F[2] is the abbreviation for Fellow (of a society, etc). For instance, it is found in professional designations such as FRAIC (Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada).

hide explanation

"work" = OP (show explanation )

In music, an opus[5] (plural opuses or opera) is a separate composition or set of compositions.

The abbreviation Op.[5] (also op.), denoting opus, is used before a number given to each work of a particular composer, usually indicating the order of publication. The plural form of Op. is Opp..

Opus[5] can also be used in a more general sense to mean an artistic work, especially one on a large scale ⇒ he was writing an opus on Mexico.

hide explanation

5d   The man's Italian and worker/'s/ uncertain (8)

"Italian" = IT, in reference to either the country or the vermouth (show explanation )

This cluing might be explained in a couple of ways:
  • It.[10] is an abbreviation for Italian (or Italy).

  • Italian[10] is another name for Italian vermouth. It[5] is an informal, dated British term for Italian vermouth ⇒ he poured a gin and it.
hide explanation

"worker" = ANT (show explanation )

The word "worker" and the phrase "social worker" are commonly used in cryptic crossword puzzles to clue ANT or BEE.

A worker[5] is a neuter or undeveloped female bee, wasp, ant, or other social insect, large numbers of which do the basic work of the colony.

In crossword puzzles, "worker" will most frequently be used to clue ANT and occasionally BEE but I have yet to see it used to clue WASP. Of course, "worker" is sometimes also used to clue HAND or MAN.

hide explanation

6d   Time in simple // measure (5)

7d   Chance /of/ Ant and Dec being relocated around the Channel Islands? (8)

The Channel Islands[5] (abbreviation CI[5]) are a group of islands in the English Channel off the northwestern coast of France, of which the largest are Jersey, Guernsey, and Alderney. Formerly part of the dukedom of Normandy, they have owed allegiance to England since the Norman Conquest in 1066, and are now classed as Crown dependencies.

Scratching the Surface
Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, known collectively as Ant & Dec[7], are an English comedy TV presenting [hosting], television producing, acting and former music duo from Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

8d   Street's houses get old // steps (6)

14d   This may be canned /and/ used as medicine, proverbially (8)

By inference, the phrase "this may be" is part of the second definition which could be written as "This may be canned /and/ this can be used as medicine, proverbially".

16d   Happy to cross one new // area of our planet (9)

17d   A container like this /is needed for/ prickly plant (8)

The acanthus[5] is a herbaceous plant or shrub with bold flower spikes and spiny decorative leaves, found in warm regions of the Old World.

18d   Fruit /and/ duck on kitchen stove (6)

"duck" = O (show explanation )

In cricket, a duck[5] (short for duck's egg) is a batsman’s score of nought [zero] ⇒ he was out for a duck. This is similar to the North American expression goose egg[5] meaning a zero score in a game.

In British puzzles, "duck" is used to indicate the letter "O" based on the resemblance of the digit "0" to this letter.

hide explanation

Here and There
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, you may note that Miffypops specifically refers to a range as "a large kitchen stove".

Brits would use the term cooker[10] in the sense that North Americans use the word range, namely a stove used for cooking food. In Britain, the term range[5] has a much more restricted meaning, being a large cooking stove with burners or hotplates and one or more ovens, all of which are kept continually hot. This latter characteristic ("kept continually hot") seems to be the determining factor in deciding whether or not an appliance is considered to be a range. Thus stoves heated by solid fuel (wood or coal) and oil would almost certainly be ranges while stoves heated by gas or electricity would generally not be ranges (provided that the burners and ovens could be turned off when not in use).

Behind the Picture
Does the illustration used by Miffypops in his review constitute his idea of breakfast in bed?

20d   Unfortunate // student in poor shape finishes at last (7)

"student" = L (show explanation )

The cryptic crossword convention of L meaning learner or student arises from the L-plate[7], a square plate bearing a sans-serif letter L, for learner, which must be affixed to the front and back of a vehicle in various jurisdictions (including the UK) if its driver is a learner under instruction.

hide explanation

22d   Horseman/'s/ answer ignored by attacker (5)

24d   Partly fill an order /that's/ plain (5)

Llano[5] (from Spanish) is a South American term for a treeless grassy plain.

25d   Stick around a // Pacific island (4)

Gum[3] is used in the sense of to fix in place with gum.

Here and There
Technically, glue[3] and gum[3] are two different classes of adhesive, with the former being obtained by boiling collagenous animal parts such as bones, hides, and hooves while the latter is exuded by certain plants and trees.

I personally would be more likely to refer to any sticky substance (or the process of using it) as glue rather than gum. However, I suspect the term gum may be more commonly used in the UK than it is in North America.

Guam[5] is the largest and southernmost of the Mariana Islands, administered as an unincorporated territory of the US. Guam was ceded to the US by Spain in 1898.
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

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