This puzzle was originally published Tuesday, February 24, 2009 in The Daily Telegraph
For the remainder of the summer, the National Post will not produce a printed edition on Mondays. For this week, at least, the puzzle that would normally appear on Monday has been included in Saturday's paper - thus explaining why you are seeing this post a couple of days earlier than usual.
Today's puzzle was a fairly easy effort, although I did make a couple of wrong choices early on that slowed my progress until I discovered them. And I failed to solve one clue due to my ignorance of British baby-talk.
Having spent the afternoon pruning a large maple tree in my back yard, I am going to go out on a limb once again and suggest some differences in the wordplay on one or two clues from what appears on Big Dave's site.
I found only one question on AnswerBank discussing today's puzzle. It (together with the clues to which it relates) are:
AnswerBank [DT 25860]-a: 4ac, 23ac, 2d, 3d, 13d
Gazza's review of today's puzzle may be found at Big Dave's Telegraph Crossword Blog [DT 25860].
Commentary on Today's Puzzle
10ac Wire cable (8)
This has to be about the weakest double definition that I have ever seen - the two words ("wire" and "cable") mean exactly the same thing, don't they!
I have always understood that the two elements of a double definition should each be synonyms of the solution without being synonyms of each other.
18ac Turning Labour leader in rebellion (10)
Speed bump #1 - I thought the solution might be REVOLUTION - it isn't.
22ac Passes on for strikers (8)
Author's Note: The following is not an explanation of the correct wordplay for this clue - which can be found on Big Dave's blog. Rather, it describes the round-about route that I took to arrive at the solution, having overlooked the obvious wordplay. Although the first sentence was intended to be tongue-in-cheek, the effort seems to have fallen flat. Furthermore, on rechecking the references, I see that one of the individuals is not even British. My sincere apologies to British football fans. - Falcon
Could these strikers be British footballers Jamie Ward and Stephen Ward? - "for strikers" then becoming "for wards". And, of course, I expect that "passes" itself may be intended to strengthen the football (soccer) reference.
23ac Horse, say, in Lego components creates wonder (6)
Apparently British children refer to a horse as a GG - a fact that was totally unknown to me.
Big Dave's blog suggests that "components" is an anagram indicator. However, I would like to propose a different interpretation. I see the components of "Lego" as LE and GO. If we insert GG in the components of Lego (the order being unspecified in the clue, but only one of the two possible orders makes sense), we get GO(GG)LE. So, if I am correct, this is a container-type clue rather than an anagram-type clue. [And I am also sure that Greenhorn might feel much better if it is true.]
26ac Risk bitterness following scrap (8)
In addition to the wordplay suggested by Gazza on Big Dave's blog, "scrap" can also mean END in the sense of a small piece left at the end of a roll of carpet or fabric - as in the expressions "odds and ends".
7d Force to confess, say (6)
Talk about a twisted clue! This is a "sounds like" clue, as indicated by the word "say". However, I hazard to say that the solution likely rolls off the British tongue easier than it is picked up by the North American ear - sounding a bit wrenching to us, I'm afraid.
19d Post's cancelled preceding frost (6)
Speedbump #2: My initial choice of NOTICE as the solution to this clue messed me up until I found the error.
21d Empty pub with topless bird (6)
To fully appreciate the wordplay in this clue, North Americans should keep in mind that "bird" in the UK is an informal term for a young woman (although that knowledge may only prove distracting - especially to male readers).
Solution to Today's Puzzle
A full review of today's puzzle is published on Big Dave's blog (see link above).
I have stopped producing solutions for the DT puzzles as it seems to me that the review on Big Dave's site is likely more than sufficient for most readers. However, I am giving readers an opportunity to comment on this decision. You will find a survey gadget at the top of the sidebar to the right where you can indicate whether or not you agree with this decision.
Signing off for today - Falcon
16 hours ago