Thursday, April 8, 2021

Thursday, April 8, 2021 — DT 29429

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 29429
Publication date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, July 30, 2020
Link to full review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 29429]
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


I am with the those in the "more difficult than usual" camp on this puzzle. It also did not fare very well in terms of enjoyment level among a goodly portion of the comments on Big Dave's Crossword Blog.

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.

Markup Conventions
  • "//" - marks the boundary between wordplay and definition when no link word or link phrase is present
  • "/[link word or phrase]/" - marks the boundary between wordplay and definition when a link word or link phrase is present
  • "solid underline" - precise definition
  • "dotted underline" - cryptic definition
  • "dashed underline" - wordplay
  • "wavy underline" - whimsical and inferred definitions
Click here for further explanation and usage examples of markup conventions used on this blog.


1a A hundred security devices -- // tickers? (6)

5aA new wife in a state that doesn't bespeak peace? (3,5)

9a Family around start of evening eats // plants (10)

Don't Try This At Home
Consumption of celandine would be highly inadvisable.

Celandine[5,7] (also known as lesser celandine or pilewort) is a low-growing, hairless perennial flowering plant in the buttercup family native to Europe and west Asia. It has fleshy dark green, heart-shaped leaves and distinctive flowers with bright yellow, glossy petals. Emerging in late winter with flowers appearing March through May, its appearance across the landscape is regarded by many as a harbinger of spring.

Celandine prefers bare, damp ground and is considered by horticulturalists in the United Kingdom as a persistent garden weed. It is now introduced in North America, where it is known by the common name fig buttercup and considered an invasive species. The plant is poisonous if ingested raw and potentially fatal to grazing animals and livestock such as horses, cattle, and sheep. For these reasons, several US states have banned the plant or listed it as a noxious weed.

10a Exercise on street /to get/ troublemaker (4)

"exercise " = PE [physical education]

PE[5] is an abbreviation* for physical education.

* In my experience, phys ed[3][11][12][14] is the more common shortened form in North America.


11a Biker's gear // abandoned in a shelter (8)

As an anagram indicator, abandoned[10] is used as an adjective meaning unrestrained or uninhibited ⇒ wild, abandoned dancing.

Leathers[5] are leather clothes, especially those worn by a motorcyclist ⇒ he was dressed head to toe in black leathers.

Post Mortem
I failed to recognize this clue as an anagram. I have no issue with the use of "abandoned" as an anagram indicator. However, I do object to the insertion of the word "in" between the anagram indicator and anagram fodder.

I did identify LEATHERS as a fit for the checking letters but did not write it in as I was unable to figure out the parsing.

12a Record companies /in/ East or West locations? (6)

An indie[5] is a small independent* pop group, record label, or film company.

* not belonging or affiliated to a major record or film company

13a Recognition of sporting achievement presented by English // head (4)

Cap[5] is a British term for:
  • a cap awarded as a sign of membership of a particular sports team, especially a national team [a team representing a country in international competition] ⇒ he has won three caps for Scotland
  • a player to whom a cap is awarded ⇒ a former naval officer and rugby cap.

"head " = NESS

Ness[5] (a term usually found in place names) means a headland or promontory Orford Ness.


15a Member of community /providing/ money to save team (8)

"team " = SIDE

Side[5] is a British term for a sports team ⇒ there was a mixture of old and young players in* their side.

* Note that, in Britain, a player is said to be "in a side" or "in a team" rather than "on a team" as one would say in North America.

In North America, the term side[3] is used in a very general fashion that can denote one of two or more opposing individuals, groups, teams, or sets of opinions. While this same general usage is also found in the UK, the term side[5] is also used there in a much more specific sense to mean a sports team, as we can clearly see from the following usage examples ⇒ (i) Previous England rugby sides, and England teams in many other sports, would have crumbled under the weight of such errors.; (ii) They'll face better sides than this Monaco team, but you can only beat what's put in front of you.


What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Miffypops states that the money mentioned in the clue is provided in return for hire.
Hire[5] is a British term meaning:
  • to obtain the temporary use of (something) for an agreed payment ⇒ we flew to San Diego, hired a car, and headed for Las Vegas
  • to grant the temporary use of something for an agreed payment ⇒ most train stations hire out cycles

18a Old city // vehicle taking hours, long time (8)

Carthage[5] was an ancient city on the coast of North Africa near present-day Tunis. Founded by the Phoenicians c.814 BC, Carthage became a major force in the Mediterranean, and came into conflict with Rome in the Punic Wars. It was finally destroyed by the Romans in 146 BC.

What did he say?
In his review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog, Miffypops indicates that the first element of the charade is A popular means of transport.
This mode of transport really doesn't strike me as being particularly popular. It would certainly be far more popular without its final letter.

19a Leaders of good old dramatic society /given/ top position in theatre (4)

The gods[5] is a [presumably British*] theatrical term for the gallery[5] (the highest balcony in a theatre, containing the cheapest seats) ⇒ they sat in the gods.

* judging by the absence of the term from American dictionaries

21a Old city // I'd help to rebuild (6)

Delphi[5] was one of the most important religious sanctuaries of the ancient Greek world, dedicated to Apollo and situated on the lower southern slopes of Mount Parnassus above the Gulf of Corinth. It was the seat of the Delphic Oracle, whose riddling responses to a wide range of questions were delivered by the priestess Pythia.

23a Become less believable /with/ victory involving something dirty (4,4)

25a Band /in/ rush (4)

26a Investor /being/ excellent is beginning to thrive (10)

Capital[5] is a dated informal term meaning excellent ⇒ he's a really capital fellow.

27a Material comes adrift around // big person (8)

Rep[5] (also repp) is a fabric with a ribbed surface, used in curtains and upholstery.

28a Travelling regularly -- // going by air, making a new start (6)


2d Old lord, // say, in story (5)

The term liege[10] can mean either a liege lord* or a liegeman** — in this clue, it is the former.

* Liege lord[10] is a historical term for a feudal lord [nobleman] entitled to allegiance and service.
** Liegeman[5] is a historical term for a vassal [holder of land by feudal tenure] who owed feudal service or allegiance to a nobleman [liege lord].

3d Most gossipy /and/ most spiteful about husband (9)

"husband " = H [genealogy]

The abbreviation for husband is h[1,2] or h.[3,4,10,11,12] or H[12] or H.[4,10,11,12]) [although no context is provided, it may well come from the field of genealogy].


4d Man /created by/ cartoonist doing a semi-flip (6)

Walt Disney[5] (1901–1966) was an American animator and film producer. (show more )

He made his name with the creation of cartoon characters such as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, and Pluto. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) was the first full-length cartoon feature film with sound and colour. Other notable films: Pinocchio (1940), Dumbo (1941), and Bambi (1942).


5d Inspired new crew refitted // device on vehicle's surface (10-5)

Windscreen[5] and windscreen wiper[5] are the British names for windshield and windshield wiper respectively.

6d One gets to slide during sleep? /It's/ most hazardous (8)

7d Speech to musical background -- I had /to be/ quick (5)

8d Norfolk town deserved to be heard /and/ recognised (9)

Diss[7] is a market town in Norfolk, England close to the border with the neighbouring East Anglian county of Suffolk.

14d A feature of Hampton Court intended, we hear, /to create/ perplexity (9)

Hampton Court[5] is a palace on the north bank of the Thames in the borough of Richmond-upon-Thames, London, a favourite royal residence until the reign of George II. Its gardens contain a well-known maze.

16d How IT works // -- no longer understand it, mate? (9)

Dig[2] is an old (thus, no longer [in use]) slang term meaning to understand.

"mate " = ALLY

In Britain, mate[5] — in addition to meaning a person’s husband, wife, or other sexual partner — can also be an informal term for a friend or companion ⇒ my best mate Steve.


IT[5] is the abbreviation for information technology.

17d Record spell of good fortune securing a very small // sporting trophy (5,3)

The Davis Cup[5] is a trophy awarded to the winner of an annual tennis championship for men, first held in 1900, between teams from different countries.

20d Computer // chum set up, prime requirement for tackling work (6)

"work " = OP [opus]

In music, an opus[5] (Latin 'work', 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 other contexts to denote an artistic work, especially one on a large scale ⇒ he was writing an opus on Mexico.


22d Old city /is/ favourite with artist (5)

"artist " = RA

A Royal Academician (abbreviation RA[10]) is a member of the Royal Academy of Arts[5] (also Royal Academy; abbreviation also RA[10]), an institution established in London in 1768, whose purpose is to cultivate painting, sculpture, and architecture in Britain.


Petra[5] is an ancient city of southwestern Asia, in present-day Jordan. The city, which lies in a hollow surrounded by cliffs, is accessible only through narrow gorges. Its extensive ruins include temples and tombs hewn from the rose-red sandstone cliffs.

24d Writer /using/ a selection of nibs enthusiastically (5)

Henrik Ibsen[5] (1828–1906) was a Norwegian dramatist. (show more )

He is credited with being the first major dramatist to write tragedy about ordinary people in prose. Ibsen’s later works, such as The Master Builder (1892), deal increasingly with the forces of the unconscious and were admired by Sigmund Freud. Other notable works: Peer Gynt (1867), A Doll’s House (1879), Ghosts (1881).


Key to Reference Sources: 

  [1]   - The Chambers Dictionary, 11th Edition
  [2]   - Search Chambers - (Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)
  [3]   - (American Heritage Dictionary)
  [4]   - TheFreeDictionarycom (Collins English Dictionary)
  [5]   - Lexico (formerly Oxford Dictionaries Online) (Oxford Dictionary of English)
  [6]   - Lexico (formerly Oxford Dictionaries Online) (Oxford Advanced 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)
[15]   - (Penguin Random House LLC/HarperCollins Publishers Ltd )

Signing off for today — Falcon

1 comment:

  1. I didn’t like this one at all. Too many dodgy clues, even among those I solved. I needed help for several, including 9A, 4D, and 17D. Wasted time trying to fit the North American term for 5D until I remember the British one. Overall ****/*.