This puzzle was originally published Friday, May 8, 2009 in The Daily Telegraph
It was at least a moderately difficult puzzle today. I had an incorrect solution to one clue and did not fully understand the wordplay on three others. There is also an error in one of the clues.
Some possibly unfamiliar abbreviations, people, places, words and expressions used in today's puzzle
burn - Scot. a small stream
cor - Brit. exclamation expressing surprise or pleasure
gong - Brit. a medal or decoration
hare - Brit. to run fast
MBE - Member of the Order of the British Empire
Trot - slang a Trotskyist (follower of Leon Trotsky)
I found no questions on AnswerBank discussing today's puzzle.
Libellule's review of today's puzzle may be found at Big Dave's Telegraph Crossword Blog [DT 25923].
Commentary on Today's Puzzle
1a Support for basic form of lighting (11)
Despite having the wrong number of letters, I think "candelabra" would be a fitting solution for this clue.
29a No sort of railway? Often that's so at that time! (4)
I found the solution from the first part of the clue, but was unable to decipher the wordplay in the second part of the clue. I learned from Libellule's review that the implication is that "There is no el at Noel" (i.e., the trains don't run at Christmas).
30a Agreement to smuggle in gin that's ill-gotten shipload (11)
There is an error in this clue (see comment from Giovanni, the setter of the puzzle, on Big Dave's Blog). The clue should read:
30a Agreement to smuggle in gin and money that's ill-gotten shipload (11)
Once again, the Daily Telegraph has syndicated a faulty puzzle - warts and all.
2d Host has upset distinguished painter? Gosh! (4)
I came up with an incorrect solution for this clue. My stab at an answer was ACME, based on MC (host) upset (reversal indicator). As for the rest of the wordplay, it obviously did not seem to fit - so I was (with good reason) not at all confident in this choice.
At least, "distinguished" was spelled correctly in the National Post - unlike in the DT online version, according to Libellule.
5d Left-winger's progress at steady pace (4)
I failed to connect TROT to Leon Trotsky, leaving me in the dark as to the meaning of the wordplay.
6d Gosh, fixed around front of leg, there's a piece of armour! (7)
The second clue including the exclamation "Gosh!" - and both caused me problems. Being unfamiliar with the British expression "cor", I did not fully comprehend the wordplay in this clue - despite getting the correct solution.
Signing off for today - Falcon
19 hours ago