Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle number in The Daily Telegraph
Publication date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, June 23, 2020
Link to full review
Big Dave’s Crossword Blog review written by
|Difficulty – ★★★||Enjoyment – ★★★|
█ – 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
The National Post has skipped DT 29396 which was published in The Daily Telegraph on Monday, June 22, 2020.
I thought I was ahead of the game today, having a full review all queued up and ready to go, only to open the paper to find the editors at the National Post had — as the Brits would say — thrown a spanner in the works by skipping a puzzle. This action does realign the puzzles with the day of the week and day of the month on which they appeared in the UK (albeit eight months delayed).
I invite you to leave a comment to let us know how you fared with the puzzle.
Notes on Today’s Puzzle
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|1a||One clearing throat loudly? /It’s/ the chest (6)|
|I initially wrote in ELEVATOR despite some misgivings that it is an Americanism — the Brits would call this device a LIFT, although I have seen the term used in British puzzles. Fortunately, 7d came to my rescue before an overly lengthy amount of time had passed.|
|9a||Approximately // the other way (6)|
|10a||Musician // changed into rags (8)|
|12a||Considerate // sort (4)|
|13a||Looking back and forth, finding apparatus (5)|
I am pleased to see that Mr K, in his review on Big Dave’s Crossword Blog, concurs with my marking of this clue as a cryptic definition — the solution being a “finding apparatus” (e.g., an apparatus used to find incoming enemy bombers).
The first part of the clue elaborates on an attribute of the solution — i.e., that it is palindrome — rather than provide a second independent route to the solution.
|14a||House // knocked over in Mumbai — messy! (4)|
* Although both Lexico (new name for Oxford Dictionaries Online) and Collins English Dictionary consider this to be a British term, it is definitely in common usage in Canada. However, we would most certainly say ⇒
three-bedroom semi rather than
Scratching the Surface
|Mumbai is a city and port on the west coast of India.|
|17a||Essentials, // those used in construction (4,3,5)|
|20a||Head inserted, shifted // down (12)|
|23a||Irritating student // starts to name every racing driver (4)|
|24a||Thug // like a charging animal? (5)|
The second part of the clue is an inferred definition rather than a precise definition (one you might find in a dictionary). The setter infers (for example) that if woody means like wood then bully must mean like a bull (an animal that charges).
|25a||Female attending a // charity event (4)|
From a British perspective, gal is an informal North American term* for a girl or young woman.
* Although one that usually does not draw flack from the guardians of British English.
A gala is a social occasion with special entertainments or performances ⇒
a gala performance by the Royal Ballet. It may be — but is not necessarily — a charity event.
|28a||Call team // watching boxing match? (8)|
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 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 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.
The definition alludes to a location where those with deep pockets might sit to watch a boxing match.
|29a||Sea // otter’s tail in 16 Down (6)|
“16 Down” is a very explicit cross reference indicator. To complete the clue, a solver must replace the cross reference indicator with the solution to clue 16d.
The directional indication here is a bit unusual as one is generally provided only when there are both Across and Down clues originating in the light* being referenced.
* light-coloured cell in the grid
|30a||Something to play? // Opener not interested, reportedly (8)|
|31a||Shock, /finding/ first of falsehoods true (6)|
|1d||Marvellous // solving (8)|
Cracking is an informal British* term meaning excellent ⇒ (i)
he is in cracking form to win this race; (ii)
a cracking good story.
* Although British dictionaries consider it to be British, this usage of cracking is also found in the American Heritage Dictionary.
|2d||Pay for part of score // that’s relatively unimportant (8)|
|3d||Bird // a little concerned (4)|
|5d||Exorbitant // lease on urban complex (12)|
|6d||Stimulate // progress with promotion (4)|
|7d||Hang about, // there’s nothing in the measure of an American (6)|
Liter is the US spelling of litre.
|8d||Fashionable // comedian, success (4-2)|
|11d||Where one might stop cruel bear (4,8)|
Hard shoulder is a British term for a hardened strip alongside a motorway [highway] for stopping on in an emergency.
* I would have said that the equivalent North American term is paved shoulder; however, my sources inform me that hard shoulder is synonymous with shoulder and therefore includes gravel shoulders as well as paved shoulders. Wikipedia indicates that gravel shoulders are sometimes referred to as soft shoulders which is different from my understanding of soft shoulders as specifically being freshly laid gravel shoulders during road construction before they have been firmly packed.
|15d||Posed wearing // shiny material (5)|
|16d||Panic // country (5)|
|18d||Attractive // taking on new employee (8)|
|19d||A depression engulfing knave almost // touching (8)|
Knave is another name for a jack in a deck of cards.
|21d||Coat /with which/ a king dresses girl (6)|
An anorak is a waterproof jacket, typically with a hood, of a kind originally used in polar regions*.
* Although the terms anorak and parka are sometimes used interchangeably, they are actually quite different garments. Strictly speaking, an anorak is a waterproof, hooded, pull-over jacket without a front opening, and sometimes drawstrings at the waist and cuffs, and a parka is a hip-length cold-weather coat, typically stuffed with down or very warm synthetic fiber, and with a fur-lined hood.
|22d||In // conclusion, effort’s welcomed (6)|
Once must read the wordplay as “conclusion that effort has welcomed” or, a little more clearly, “conclusion that has been welcomed (taken in) by effort”.
|26d||On sale, oddly, old // European city (4)|
OFr[Old French]; (ii)
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 standing for old-age pensioner.
|27d||Just // transport charge, it’s said (4)|
Key to Reference Sources: