DT 30209 (full review) – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
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DT 30209 (full review)

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30209

A full review by Rahmat Ali

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This puzzle was published on 28th Jan 2023

BD Rating – Difficulty ** Enjoyment ****

Greetings from Kolkata. A super, straightforward Saturday puzzle from Cephas that I enjoyed solving and thereafter writing a review of the same for your kind perusal and significant feedback.

During my teenage days, while learning French at Alliance Française, I came across, for the first time, the adjectival and adverbial phrase à la carte, the answer to the clue of 2d, that literally says ‘at the card’ and denotes ‘according to the menu’. In restaurant terminology, à la carte is the practice of ordering individual dishes selected from a menu. As against this, table d’hôte or ‘host’s table’ arrangement offers multi-course meals with only a few choices at a fixed total price. I was also aware that à la carte got assimilated into the English language but wasn’t when. Now, I became inquisitive to know more about the phrase and hence, after solving the puzzle, took to the net. I learnt that the phrase is an early 19th century loan from the French language. I also learnt that the earliest examples of à la carte are from 1816 for the adjectival use, for instance, ‘à la carte meal’, and from 1821 for the adverbial use like ‘meals were served à la carte’. These examples pre-date the use of the word ‘menu’, also a French origin derived from Latin minitus, which became prominent in English in the 1830s. ‘Le français et la vie’ I, 2 and 3 of Mauger were the three books I studied during the three years of my study at Alliance Française.

I also came to learn about gendarme, the answer to the clue of 19d, from ‘Le français et la vie’. Although I was fascinated by its pronunciation, I was not aware of its etymology. Today, I stood enriched as I got to know through the net that the word is simply a singular extraction from Old French gens d’armes that translates to ‘men-at-arms’. From the late Middle Ages to the early Modern period, the term referred to a heavily armoured cavalry of noble birth, primarily serving in the French army. The word gained policing connotations only during the French Revolution, when the Maréchaussée of the Ancien Régime was renamed to Gendarmerie, a branch of the French Armed Forces placed under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Interior, with additional duties from the Ministry of Armed Forces. Even to this day, I am still fascinated by the pronunciation of gendarme.

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1a    Rustic got through said examination (8)
PASTORAL: A homophone heard by the audience (said) of PASSED (got through) as went or got through an obstacle, difficulty, test, ordeal, examination etc and ORAL (examination) as a spoken examination or test take to the definition of an adjective meaning relating to, depicting or evoking rural life, the countryside etc, especially originally shepherds or shepherd life

9a    One in rose-coloured spectacles? (8)
OPTIMIST: A cryptic definition of a person who always sees or notices the bright side of something

10a    Passenger vehicle returned at eleven (4)
TAXI: AT from the clue having come back (returned) as a reversal in the across clue and followed by XI (eleven) as the Roman numeral for eleven guide to the definition of a motor car, usually fitted with a taximeter, licensed to carry passengers on request to a specified destination

11a     One likely to make the charts (12)
CARTOGRAPHER: A cryptic definition of a person who has the skill or practice of making maps and charts

13a    Used car repaired by Romeo for campaigner (8)
CRUSADER: An anagram (repaired) of USED CAR having alongside (by) R (Romeo) as the letter represented by Romeo in the NATO phonetic alphabet leads to the definition of someone who carries out a planned set of activities over a period of time in order to achieve their aim of bringing about a social or political change

15a    About three miles for union (6)
LEAGUE: Double nounal definition; the first being a distance of 3.345 statute miles and the second a union for mutual advantage

16a    Some superior supernatural being (4)
PERI: Part of or hidden inside (some) [SU]PERI[OR] guides to the definition of a beautiful but malevolent being with supernatural powers in Persian mythology

17a    Travelling? Sure! (5)
BOUND: Double adjectival definition; the first referring to going or getting ready to go towards a specified place and the second denoting certain to be or to do or have something

18a    Notice group of bathers ignore (4)
SIGN: Part of or hidden inside (group of) [BATHER]S IGN[ORE] guides to the definition of a notice on public display that gives information and instructions in a written or symbolic form

20a    German article describing particular tranquilliser (6)
DOWNER: DER (German article) as the German definite article meaning ‘the’ that is used in front of masculine singular nouns in the nominative case and in front of feminine singular nouns in both genitive and dative cases outlining or enclosing (describing) OWN (particular) as particular to the person or thing mentioned takes to the definition of a slang for a depressant drug

21a    Blow that has to be faced (8)
HEADWIND: A cryptic definition of a wind blowing from directly in front, opposing forward motion

23a    Brush off as result of wearing a revealing dress? (4-8)
COLD-SHOULDER: Double definition; the second being an adjective denoting having sleeves with cut-outs at the shoulders or upper arms giving them a revealing or uncovered look, especially when referring to an item of clothing that leads to the first a noun referring to a show of intentional unfriendliness

26a    Exhaust that’s found on car in America (4)
TIRE: Double definition; the first being a verb meaning to wear out or exhaust the energy of someone or something and the second a noun referring to a rubber covering, typically inflated or surrounding an inflated inner tube, placed round a wheel to form a soft contact with the road as spelt in the United States

27a    Rising briefly, cheer Mexican banker (3,5)
RÍO BRAVO: RIO[T] (rising) as a violent disturbance of the peace by a crowd that is devoid of its last letter or represented in short (briefly) and BRAVO (cheer) as an exclamation used to express approval when a performer has done something well take to the definition of the name given in Mexico to the banker or river known in the United States as the Rio Grande

28a    One who has recently joined a union (5-3)
NEWLY-WED: A cryptic definition of a person who has recently been joined in a state of wedlock


2d    In accordance with ticket having freedom to pick and choose (1,2,5)
À LA CARTE: Double adjectival definition; the first denoting according to the menu, ticket or bill of fare or intimating with each dish charged individually at the price shown on the menu as the English elaboration to the French literal representation ‘at the card’ and the second figuratively indicating with the freedom to pick and choose

3d    Insensitive of daughter to support removing kitchen sink (5-7)
THICK-SKINNED: The definition of an adjective meaning insensitive to criticism or insults is arrived at from (of) D (daughter) as the genealogical abbreviation for daughter that is to follow (support) an anagram (removing) of KITCHEN SINK

4d    Butter put on angler’s stick (6)
RAMROD: RAM (butter) as a butter or an animal that butts or hits someone or something with the head or horns placed upon (put on) ROD (angler) as an angler who uses a slender pole or structure carrying a fishing line in the down clue, arriving at the definition of a stick for cleaning a gun or pushing gunpowder into an old-fashioned gun

5d    Record old trademark, perhaps (4)
LOGO: A charade of LOG (record) as a regular or systematic record of incidents or observations and O (old) as the abbreviation for old as OT in Old Testament guides to the definition of a symbol or other small design adopted by an organisation to identify its products, uniform, vehicles etc

6d    After the beginning was first taken aback (8)
STARTLED: START (the beginning) as the beginning or the point in time or space at which something has its origin is followed by (after) LED (was first) as was in the leading or first position, taking to the definition of an adjective meaning surprised and slightly frightened

7d    Of course, one might contain one (4)
DISH: A cryptic definition of a container and its content sharing the same name, whereby the container is a vessel that is flat or shallow or not circular, used for holding its content or food that is part of a course of a meal served at table

8d    Way to encourage dealing with swimmer (8)
STURGEON: A charade of ST (way) as the abbreviation for street that is a public way especially in a city, town or village usually including sidewalks and being wider than an alley or lane and URGE ON (to encourage) as to encourage someone or something to move ahead or to do something etc take to the definition of any member of a genus Acipenser of large fishes of North temperate waters, with a cartilaginous skull, long snout, heterocercal tail and rows of bony shields on the skin, yielding caviar and isinglass

12d    Why a report is unusually commendable (12)
PRAISEWORTHY: An anagram (unusually) of WHY A REPORT IS guides to the definition of an adjective meaning deserving approval and admiration

14d    Not even turbulent (5)
ROUGH: Double adjectival definition; the first being an adjective meaning having an uneven or irregular surface or not smooth or level and the second denoting wild and stormy, especially of weather or the sea

16d    Footwork (8)
PEDICURE: A cryptic definition of a cosmetic treatment of the feet and toenails that can also be represented as work or services related to the feet

17d    Barely a suit for one’s anniversary! (8)
BIRTHDAY: A cryptic definition of an adjective for a suit that literally denotes the dress for one who is bare or naked or jocularly indicates complete nakedness, referring to the state of a baby at the time or on the day of their birth

19d    Terrible danger with yours truly following one in uniform (8)
GENDARME: An anagram (terrible) of DANGER and (with) ME (yours truly) as the setter of this crossword referring to himself or as used by any other speaker referring to themselves as the object of a verb or preposition coming later (following) lead to the definition of a member of a corps of French military police or a similar policeman elsewhere

22d    An Arab vessel? Yes, certainly (3,3)
AND HOW: A charade of AN from the clue and DHOW (an Arab vessel) as an Arab lateen-sailed vessel of the Indian Ocean guides to the definition of a colloquial term denoting I should think so indeed

24d    See all right with this facial expression (4)
LOOK: A charade of LO (see) as an interjection exclaiming look! or see! and (with) OK (all right) as used to express agreement or acceptance guides to the definition of a person’s facial appearance considered

25d    Above using voucher with one-third off (4)
UPON: [CO]UPON (voucher) as a voucher certifying that payments will be made, services performed, goods sold etc having (with) two of the six letters (one-third) as removed (off), arriving at the definition of a preposition meaning above, thereon or on the surface

Some of the delightful clues in this puzzle were 1a, 10a, 11a, 23a, 3d, 8d, 16d and 22d; the topper being 22d. Many thanks to BD for the encouragement, to Cephas for the entertainment and to Gazza for the assistance. Looking forward to being here again. Have a nice day.

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