Thursday, March 1, 2018

Thursday, March 1, 2018 — DT 28583

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28583
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Monday, November 13, 2017
Rufus (Roger Squires)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28583]
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 Rufus serves up his usual gentle but enjoyable workout. I got a bit careless in not following up on my marginalia before sitting down to write the review, thereby finding myself with an incorrect solution for one clue. I also resorted to calling out my electronic assistants to help with what should have been among the easiest clues in the puzzle.

In the introduction to his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Miffypops writes of "rising at 5.55am on Saturday to pay Long Itchington’s Wroth Silver Tax on Knightlow Hill before sunrise". This ceremony which takes place annually on November 11 dates back over 800 years with the first written record being from 1210. The right to collect the tax rests with the Dukes of Buccleuch and Queensberry. The tax collected today is a nominal sum with the amounts paid by the 25 villages taking part adding up to a mere 46p (about 80 cents). The ceremony starts at 6:45 a.m. with a speech from the Duke’s agent. After a hearty breakfast there are more speeches, the Duke and the monarch are toasted in hot milk and rum, and clay pipes and tobacco are provided (though no longer smoked indoors).

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   Magnanimous woman // having two husbands? (6)

4a   How one may be seen to be lying, // eventually (2,6)

9a   A din that's audible /is/ irritating (6)

10a   One establishes ownership initially (8)

To use a Miffypopsism, I "bunged in" HOLOGRAM thinking there might possibly be some connection to a holographic will. I did put a question mark in the margin but then neglected to follow up to confirm the solution.

12a   Unusual, // retiring in Tipperary (4)

In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Miffypops ponders Retiring supposedly suggests the word is reversed. Why so?. As a reversal indicator, the word retire[5] is used in the sense (said of a military force) to retreat [go back] from an enemy or an attacking position lack of numbers compelled the British force to retire.

Scratching the Surface
Tipperary[5] is a county in the centre of the Republic of Ireland, in the province of Munster.

13a   Time // for me to reverse and get into top after manoeuvring (5)

14a   Very good person dogged by the old // complaint (4)

Ye[5] is a pseudo-archaic term for theYe Olde Cock Tavern.

Delving Deeper
The word 'ye' in this sense was originally a graphic variant of 'the' rather than an alternative spelling.

Thorn[5] is an Old English and Icelandic runic letter, þ or Þ, representing the dental fricatives /ð/ and /θ/. It was eventually superseded by the digraph th — and thus þe (the old spelling of 'the') became the modern spelling 'the'. 

In late Middle English þ (thorn) came to be written identically with y, so that þe (the) could be written ye. This spelling (usually ye*) was kept as a convenient abbreviation in handwriting down to the 19th century, and in printers' types during the 15th and 16th centuries. It was never pronounced as ‘ye’ in the past, but this is the pronunciation used today.

* I interpret "usually ye" to mean that the word was customarily not capitalized because the character "y" is not being used to represent the letter "y" in the modern English alphabet but rather as a graphic variant of thorn. Thus, in bygone days, the name of the drinking establishment above would presumably have been written ye Olde Cock Tavern.

17a   Endorses // notices put up by bank cashiers? (12)

20a   Study of Man // Ray photo long in development (12)

Scratching the Surface
Man Ray[5] (1890–1976) was an American photographer, painter, and film-maker; born Emmanuel Rudnitsky. A leading figure in the Dada and surrealist movements, he is known for his photographs in which images were manipulated and superimposed on one another.

23a   Thing // I encountered on the way back (4)

24a   Cried pitifully /for/ a drink (5)

25a   Third man // sounds competent (4)

In the Old Testament, Abel[5] was the second son of Adam and Eve, a shepherd, murdered by his brother Cain (Genesis 4:1–8).

What did he say?
I had a thought similar to that expressed in a response to Comment #19 on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, in which stanXYZ remarks I always thought that Harry Lime was “The Third Man”.
The Third Man[5] is a 1949 British film noir directed by English film director Sir Carol Reed and written by English novelist Graham Greene. It stars Joseph Cotten, Valli, Orson Welles, and Trevor Howard. The film takes place in post-World War II Vienna. It centres on Holly Martins, an American who is given a job in Vienna by his friend Harry Lime, but when Holly arrives in Vienna he gets the news that Lime is dead. Martins then meets with Lime's acquaintances in an attempt to investigate what he considers a suspicious death. It is considered one of the greatest films of all time, celebrated for its acting, musical score and atmospheric cinematography.

28a   The bogus criminal // begged (8)

29a   Following // live deer? (6)

30a   Little Sidney turned lock, /causing/ much trouble (8)

31a   Stations, /or just/ platforms (6)

Although I solved the clue with little hesitation, justifying the explanation proved more difficult as the first definition does seem to be a bit obscure. However, I found a couple of possible explanations in which stage might equate to station:
  • a stage[1] is a place of rest on a journey or road (although I am more familiar with a related meaning, namely the portion of a journey between two such places); a station[1] is a fixed stopping-place, especially one on a railway with associated buildings and structures
  • a stage[1] is a point reached in, or a section of, life, development, or any process; a station[1] is a position in life (especially a high position) or in the scale of nature
The second definition is pretty clear cut, a stage[5] being a raised floor or platform, typically in a theatre, on which actors, entertainers, or speakers perform.

Scratching the Surface
The surface reading is intended to suggest railway stations and the platforms that would be found there. The word "just" is included to further this misdirection.


1d   Sporting row involving Cambridge and Oxford (4,4)

The Boat Race[7] is an annual rowing race between the Oxford University Boat Club and the Cambridge University Boat Club, rowed between competing eights on the River Thames in London, England. It usually takes place on the last weekend of March or the first weekend of April.

2d   Mean the opposite? (8)

3d   Ex-Chinese leader goes round far side of Kerry, // Irish county (4)

Mao Zedong[5] (also Mao Tse-tung and commonly referred to as simply Mao) (1893–1976) was a Chinese statesman; chairman of the Communist Party of the Chinese People’s Republic 1949–76; head of state 1949–59. A cofounder of the Chinese Communist Party in 1921 and its effective leader from the time of the Long March (1934–35), he eventually defeated both the occupying Japanese and rival Kuomintang nationalist forces to create the People’s Republic of China in 1949, becoming its first head of state.

Mayo[5] is a county in the Republic of Ireland, in the north-west in the province of Connacht.

Scratching the Surface
Kerry[5] is a county of the Republic of Ireland, on the south-western coast in the province of Munster.

5d   Caught fighting? (4,8)

There is some discussion in the thread arising from Comment #4 at Big Dave's Crossword Blog about the correctness of the grammar here. The conclusion is that the grammar is correct if one reads the clue as being subjective rather than objective.

6d   They can become inflated, // say, and very large (4)

"very large" = OS (show explanation )

The sizes of clothing that North Americans would describe as plus-size[7] (or often big and tall in the case of men's clothing) would be called outsize (abbreviation OS[5]) in Britain.

hide explanation

7d   Broken heart shown by grand // Knight of the Round Table (6)

While the abbreviation G for "grand" is deemed by British dictionaries to be an Americanism, it seems to be one that is well known to Brits — undoubtedly from American gangster films. It is frequently seen in British crossword puzzles and never seems to garner the abuse that usually greets the appearance of American terms (show more ).

Grand[5] is an informal term for a thousand dollars or pounds he gets thirty-five grand a year. While the term "grand" itself would seem to be commonly used in the UK, the informal abbreviation G[5] meaning grand appears to be regarded as a North American usage I was up nine Gs on the blackjack tables.

G is defined in various British dictionaries as follows:
  • Oxford Dictionaries: (North American informal) abbreviation for grand, a thousand dollars)[5].
  • Chambers 21st Century Dictionary: (North American slang) abbreviation for a grand, 1000 dollars[2].
  • Collins English Dictionary: (mainly US slang) a symbol for grand (a thousand dollars or pounds)[4,10].
hide explanation

In Arthurian legend, Gareth[12] is a knight of the Round Table, nephew of King Arthur.

8d   Small village, // one made famous by Shakespeare (6)

Hamlet[7] (in full The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark) is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare at an uncertain date between 1599 and 1602. Set in Denmark, the play dramatises the revenge Prince Hamlet is called to wreak upon his uncle, Claudius, by the ghost of Hamlet's father, King Hamlet. Claudius had murdered his own brother and seized the throne, also marrying his deceased brother's widow.

11d   The rich glass contrived /for/ high-powered lamps (12)

15d   Pebble-strewn // way round New York (5)

16d   Give // last cry of pain (5)

18d   Knight caught by misplaced big blow /is/ staggering (8)

"knight" = N (show explanation )

A knight[5] is a chess piece, typically with its top shaped like a horse’s head, that moves by jumping to the opposite corner of a rectangle two squares by three. Each player starts the game with two knights.

N[5] is the abbreviation for knight used in recording moves in chess [representing the pronunciation of kn-, since the initial letter k- represents 'king'].

As an aside, it is interesting to note that the Chambers 21st Century Dictionary defines: 
  • K[2] as an abbreviation used in chess for knight. 
  • K[2] is a symbol used in chess to represent a king. 
  • N[2] is a symbol used in chess to represent a knight.
The dictionary fails to specify how one differentiates an abbreviation from a symbol.

On the other hand, both The Chambers Dictionary and the Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary list K or K.[1,11] as an abbreviation for knight without specifying the specific context in which this abbreviation is used. However, the context may well be in an honours list rather than in a game of chess. In the UK, for instance, KBE[5] stands for Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

hide explanation

19d   Bikes carrying a number from Rome /and/ part of Greece (8)

The Cyclades[5] are a large group of islands in the southern Aegean Sea, regarded in antiquity as circling around the sacred island of Delos. The Cyclades form a department of modern Greece.

21d   One is prone to use this example of inflation (3,3)

I must have suffered a brain cramp here. Despite knowing that I was looking for an inflatable bed, I could not think of the first word. Doh! I am sure that my electronic assistants had a good chuckle at being called out to help solve this one.

22d   Some injustice, as essayist // concludes (6)

26d   Kitty and Tom are pleased to do it (4)

What did he say?
In his review, Miffypops comments No you cannot have a cute picture. The pet shop opens tomorrow.
The review of "tomorrow's" puzzle is scheduled to be written by Mr Kitty — and no doubt lavishly illustrated with cat pictures.

27d   Master /provides/ cane (4)

The cane[5] is (or was) a form of corporal punishment used in certain schools, involving beating with a length of cane or a slender stick ⇒ wrong answers were rewarded by the cane. (show more )

Caning[7] is a form of corporal punishment consisting of a number of hits (known as "strokes" or "cuts") with a single cane usually made of rattan, generally applied to the offender's bare or clothed buttocks or palms of the hands.

The thin cane generally used for corporal punishment is not to be confused with a walking stick, sometimes also called (especially in American English) a "cane" but which is thicker and much more rigid, and more likely to be made of stronger wood than of cane.

The western educational use of the cane dates principally to the late nineteenth century, gradually replacing birching—effective only if applied to the bare bottom—with a form of punishment more suited to contemporary sensibilities, once it had been discovered that a flexible rattan cane can provide the offender with a substantial degree of pain even when delivered through a layer of clothing.

Caning as a school punishment is strongly associated in the English-speaking world with England, but it was also used in other European countries in earlier times, notably Scandinavia, Germany and the countries of the former Austrian empire.

In some schools corporal punishment was administered solely by the headmaster, while in others the task was delegated to other teachers. In many English and Commonwealth private schools, authority to punish was also traditionally given to certain senior students (often called prefects). In the early 20th century, such permission for prefects to cane other boys was widespread in British public schools*.

* In the UK, a public school[5] is a private fee-paying secondary school, especially one for boarders — what North Americans would call public schools are referred to in Britain as state (funded) schools.

In many state secondary schools in England and Wales caning was in use, mostly for boys, until 1987, while elsewhere other implements prevailed, such as the Scottish tawse*. The cane was generally administered in a formal ceremony to the seat of the trousers, typically with the student bending over a desk or chair. Usually there was a maximum of six strokes (known as "six of the best").

* a strip of leather, with one end split into a number of tails

Schoolgirls were caned much more rarely than boys, and if the punishment was given by a male teacher, nearly always on the palm of the hand. Rarely, girls were caned on the clothed bottom, in which case the punishment would probably be applied by a female teacher.

In the UK, all corporal punishment in private schools was finally banned in 1999 for England and Wales, 2000 in Scotland, and 2003 in Northern Ireland.

hide explanation
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)
[14] - (COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary)
Signing off for today — Falcon

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