Thursday, July 22, 2021

Thursday, July 22, 2021 — DT 29666

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 29666
Publication date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, May 4, 2021
Link to full review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 29666]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog review written by
Mr K
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


Several regional English dialects are featured in today's puzzle.

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 In tears, beg chap desperately /for/ some respite (9,5)

10a Forcefully take charge: // it should increase the score (9)

The wordplay alludes to a botched defensive play in cricket. Just as an overthrow in baseball might allow a runner to advance an extra base or two, an overthrow in cricket could allow extra runs to score.

11a Factory // scheme requires time (5)

12a Oh, Keely -- in trouble? // I may see you through this (7)

Scratching the Surface
Keely[7] is an Irish female given name meaning beautiful.

13a Strong wind on northern area /reveals/ mineral deposit (6)

Galena[5] is a bluish, grey, or black mineral of metallic appearance, consisting of lead sulphide. It is the chief ore of lead.

15a Potato possibly cut // underground (4)

Underground[5] (often the Underground) is a British name for an underground railway, especially the one in London, England ⇒ travel chaos on the Underground.

The Tube[5] is a British trademark for the underground railway system in London ⇒ a cross-London trek on the Tube.

17a /Get/ paper, perhaps, /from/ halt on eastern railway (10)

"Get ... from" is a split link phrase. This can be seen more easily if one rephrases the clue as:
  • Paper, perhaps, /got from/ halt on eastern railway (10)
Halt[5] is a British term for a minor stopping place on a local railway line.

The abbreviation for railway is Ry[5].

18aSay similar-sounding sounds? (10)

I initially failed to notice that this clue is, in fact, a double definition. The entire clue is both a precise definition and a definition by example (the latter explicitly indicated by the question mark).

20a Bowl over // in test underarm (4)

Scratching the Surface
The surface reading is an allusion to cricket.

In cricket, bowl[5] means (for a bowler) to propel (the ball) with a straight arm* toward the wicket defended by a batsman, typically in such a way that the ball bounces once.

* This would appear to be incorrect. In the sport of cricket, throwing[7], commonly referred to as chucking, is an illegal bowling action which occurs when a bowler straightens the bowling arm when delivering the ball.

In cricket, an over[5] is a division of play 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.

Test[5] (short for Test match[5]) denotes an international cricket or rugby match, typically one of a series, played between teams representing two different countries ⇒ the Test match between Pakistan and the West Indies.

In cricket, an underarm delivery[7] is one in which the bowler's hand does not rise above the level of the waist.*

* Although this was the only style of bowling used in the early days of cricket, the Laws of Cricket now declare that an underarm delivery is illegal unless otherwise agreed before the match (see following box).

The Story Behind the Video
The video in Mr K's review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog shows the underarm bowling incident of 1981[7] that occured in a match between Australia and New Zealand which led to the banning of the underarm delivery in international cricket. However, this style of delivery (albeit lobbing the ball rather than rolling it on the ground) is still used extensively in recreational cricket and children's cricket.

22a /Being/ arrested, // knight became ill (6)

To enhance the surface reading, the setter has placed the gerund phrase "being arrested" at the beginning of the clue thereby causing the link word "being" to appear at the beginning.

"knight " = N [chess notation]

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.


23a Charlie in holiday footwear? /That's/ a disgrace (7)

"Charlie* " = C [NATO Phonetic Alphabet]

In what is commonly known as the NATO Phonetic Alphabet[7]*Charlie[5] is a code word representing the letter C.

* officially the International Radiotelephony Spelling Alphabet


26a Dislikes // sending back a portion of Lebanese tahini (5)

Tahini[5] (also tahina) is a Middle Eastern paste or spread made from ground sesame seeds.

27a A quid sir, and I will mix up // cocktails (9)

A daiquiri[5] is a cocktail containing rum and lime juice.

Scratching the Surface
Quid[5] (plural quid) is an informal British term for one pound sterling we paid him four hundred quid.

28a /In/ survey, // I can see orcas swimming round northern tip of Newfoundland (14)

To enhance the surface reading, the setter has placed the prepositional phrase "in survey" at the beginning of the clue thereby causing the link word "in" to appear at the beginning. This is quite similar to the structure of 22a.


2d Having a hearty appetite no good, /getting/ very thin (5)

"good " = G [academic result]

The abbreviation G[a] for good comes from its use in education as a grade awarded on school assignments or tests.

[a] Collins English to Spanish Dictionary


3d Writer /achieving/ gold with mythical character (6)

"gold " = AU [chemical symbol]

The symbol for the chemical element gold is Au[5] (from Latin aurum).


In Scandinavian mythology, Thor[5], the son of Odin and Freya (Frigga), is the god of thunder, the weather, agriculture, and the home. Thursday is named after him.

4d They bring in the crops /and/ criminally starve her son (10)

"son " = S [genealogy]

In genealogies, s[5] is the abbreviation for son(s) m 1991; one s one d*.

* married in 1991; one son and one daughter.


5d Town produced // nothing up north (4)

Nowt[5] is a Northern English dialect term for nothing ⇒ it's nowt to do with me.

6d Concession managed by old // singer (7)

A sop[5] is a thing of no great value given or done as a concession to appease someone whose main concerns or demands are not being met ⇒ my agent telephones as a sop but never finds me work.

"old " = O [linguistics]

In linguistics, O[12] is the abbreviation for Old ⇒ (i) OFr [Old French]; (ii) OE [Old English].

However, a second entry from this same source shows o (lower case) meaning old (not capitalized) suggesting that the use of this abbreviation may not necessarily be confined to the field of linguistics.

Another possibility arises from the British abbreviation OAP[5] standing for old-age pensioner.


The Story Behind the Picture
The picture illustrating Mr K's review on Big Dave's Crossword Blog shows characters from The Sopranos[7] , an American crime drama television series that revolves around Tony Soprano, a New Jersey-based Italian-American mobster, portraying the difficulties that he faces as he tries to balance his family life with his role as the leader of a criminal organization.

7d Reduction /of/ stewed bat eaten with first bit of Marmite (9)

Scratching the Surface
Marmite[5] is a British trademark for a dark savoury spread made from yeast extract and vegetable extract.

8d This sounds a lot like Cockney // grinding up rusty hinges with ale (7,7)

A cockney[5,10] is a native of East London [specifically that part of East London known as the East End[5]], traditionally one born within hearing of Bow Bells (the bells of St Mary-le-Bow[7] church).

Cockney[5] is also the name of the dialect or accent typical of cockneys, which is characterised by dropping the aitch (H) from the beginning of words as well as the use of rhyming slang (show explanation ).

Rhyming slang[5] is a type of slang that replaces words with rhyming words or phrases, typically with the rhyming element omitted. For example, butcher’s, short for butcher’s hook, means ‘look’ in cockney rhyming slang.


Estuary English[7] is an English accent associated with the area along the River Thames and its estuary, including London. Estuary English may be compared with Cockney, and there is some debate among linguists as to where Cockney speech ends and Estuary English begins.

9d One setting off fireworks -- // maybe Stephenson? (6,8)

Stephenson's Rocket[7] was an early steam locomotive designed by English railway engineer Robert Stephenson in 1829.  (show more )

Though the Rocket was not the first steam locomotive, it was the first to bring together several innovations to produce the most advanced locomotive of its day.

It is the most famous example of an evolving design of locomotives by Stephenson that became the template for most steam engines in the following 150 years. The locomotive was preserved and is now on display in the Science Museum in London.


14d Figures // sit back during study of bodies at rest (10)

Statics[5] is the branch of mechanics concerned with bodies at rest and forces in equilibrium.

16d Type of missile, // large, is found in sea (9)

"large " = L [clothing size]

L[5] is the abbreviation for large (as a clothing size).


The Baltic Sea[5] is an almost landlocked sea of northern Europe, between Sweden, Finland, Russia, Poland, Germany, and Denmark. It is linked with the North Sea by the Kattegat strait and the Øresund channel.

19d The Yorkshire motive /may be seen as/ disloyalty (7)

In dialects spoken in Northern England (including Yorkshire), the word the is commonly shortened to t'. An old Yorkshire saying goes "The only good thing to come out of Lancashire is t’road back to Yorkshire".*

* Rivalry between these two northern counties dates back at least to the Wars of Roses[5], the 15th-century English civil wars between the Houses of York and Lancaster, represented by white and red roses respectively, during the reigns of Henry VI, Edward IV, and Richard III.

21d Gap /giving view of/ French lake and one French area? (6)

The French word for lake is lac[8].

"one French " = UN

The French word un[8] can be translated as the cardinal number one, a pronoun meaning one, or a masculine singular indefinite article.


A lacuna[10] is a gap or space especially in a book or manuscript.

24d Building style /of/ party with Republican in charge (5)

"party " = DO

Do[5,12] is an informal British[5] or chiefly British[12] term* for a party or other social event the soccer club Christmas do.

* Although one US dictionary (Webster’s New World College Dictionary[12]) supports the contention by Lexico (Oxford Dictionary of English)[5] that this usage is at least chiefly British, two other US dictionaries[3,11] do not.


"Republican " = R [member or supporter of US political party]

A Republican[5] (abbreviation R[5] or Rep.[5])  is a member or supporter of the Republican Party[5], one of the two main US political parties*, favouring a right-wing stance, limited central government, and tough, interventionist foreign policy. It was formed in 1854 in support of the anti-slavery movement preceding the Civil War.

* the other being the Democratic Party

Although, in the UK, republican[5] can refer to an advocate of a united Ireland, the abbreviation does not appear to apply to that usage.


"in charge " = IC

The abbreviation i/c[2,5] can be short for either:
  • (especially in military contexts) in charge (of) ⇒ the Quartermaster General is i/c rations
  • in command (of) ⇒ 2 i/c = second in command.

Doric[5] (noun) is a classical order of architecture characterized by a sturdy fluted column and a thick square abacus* resting on a rounded moulding.

* The abacus[5] is the flat slab on top of a capital[5] (the distinct, typically broader section at the head of a pillar or column), supporting the architrave[5] (a main beam resting across the tops of columns).

25d Thought /that's/ within: inside, always (4)

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

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