This puzzle was originally published Monday, June 8, 2009 in The Daily Telegraph
Today's puzzle was about average in degree of difficulty. I clearly missed the wordplay on one clue and was unable to confirm my take on the wordplay for a second (although it would appear to be correct according to Tilsit).
Some possibly unfamiliar abbreviations, people, places, words and expressions used in today's puzzle
cupboard love - Brit. affection that is given purely to gain a reward
drifter - (noun, defn. 2) Brit. (?) a fishing boat equipped with a drift net
earth - (noun, defn. 6) a hole in which an animal lives, especially a badger or fox
soccer transfer - in soccer, a transfer appears to be what would be termed a "trade" in North America (i.e., teams exchanging players, perhaps with monetary or other considerations - such as draft picks - included). It is explained fairly well by the following excerpt from the referenced article, "Twice a year when the transfer window opens, the soccer world goes crazy with players changing clubs and newspapers and soccer websites all over the world speculating on the latest superstars playing the game of musical chairs.".
Tilsit's review of today's puzzle may be found at Big Dave's Telegraph Crossword Blog [DT 25949].
Commentary on Today's Puzzle
15a Event in which competitors run until they drop (3-3-5, 4)
Wow! For the first time that I can recall, errors that appeared in the puzzle published in the UK (see Tilsit's remarks) have been corrected in the syndicated version.
18a Upper class rejecting two prizes (3,6)
Although I came up with the correct solution, I needed Tilsit's review to understand the wordplay. My downfall was failing to recognize "rejecting" as a reversal indicator (from its meaning "to return" or "to throw back").
21a A ship, possibly a tramp (7)
Tilsit comments that as a tramp, drifter is more of an American term than a British one. While I could not definitely confirm it, as a ship, I suspect that drifter may be primarily a British term.
24a Italian man of affairs (8)
I very much like this type of clue, a cryptic definition in which the surface reading cleverly obscures a rather wry underlying cryptic meaning. I always feel a great deal of satisfaction in successfully solving such a clue.
26a Hide a broken heart (5)
For this clue, I seem to have been on the right track but I was unable to confirm my theory about the wordplay. I thought, as Tilsit suggests, that a hide might be an animal's lair. However, I was unable to find a source that defined it thus. The only thing that I came up with was "a concealed shelter used for observing birds and wild animals" (Chambers, entry 1, noun).
10d Sort of love one may hunger for? (8)
Tilsit seems perplexed by the reference to hunger in this clue. (I must say that I do delight in seeing the Brits puzzled by their own obscure expressions!). I had never before encountered this expression, and succeeded in finding a reference to it only through some fairly persistent digging. However, I think it is fairly clear from the Wikipedia article referenced in Today's Glossary where the hunger comes from. I suspect (or apprehend) that Tilsit's difficulty may be a case of being familiar with the expression itself without understanding its provenance. After all, I am sure that most of us could not explain the derivation of many expressions that we commonly use in day-to-day speech.
Signing off for today - Falcon
TEDxAlbertopolis (September 2013)
5 hours ago