This puzzle was originally published Friday, June 12, 2009 in The Daily Telegraph
I got off to a remarkably speedy start today, but about halfway through the puzzle my progress slowed markedly. I completed the puzzle (even managing to solve clue 17a with its references to both rugby and cricket). A strong suspicion that there was an error in the published clue at 29a was confirmed by a visit to Big Dave's blog.
As the Brit's would say, yet another cock-up in today's puzzle:
29a Greek character, breaker of promise, about to be spiritually reborn (10)
The Post repeated the error that originally appeared in the print edition of the Daily Telegraph, omitting the final word (reborn).
Some possibly unfamiliar abbreviations, people, places, words and expressions used in today's puzzle
clot - (noun, defn. 2) Brit. a fool
cock-up - Brit. slang a mess or muddle resulting from incompetence
It - Italian vermouth; as in the cocktail Gin and It, a Sweet Martini (or Martinez), made with Italian (sweet) vermouth as opposed to dry vermouth
lock - (entry 1, noun, defn. 7) a position in the sport of rugby
Tony Lock - former cricket player for England (on this occasion, I seem to have identified the correct player, as confirmed by Libellule)
Libellule's review of today's puzzle may be found at Big Dave's Telegraph Crossword Blog [DT 25953].
Commentary on Today's Puzzle
15a Visitors to Buckingham Palace may have poetic quality (5)
The key to solving this clue is knowing where to break it.
15a Visitors to Buckingham Palace may have /\ poetic quality (5)
The solution is something that "visitors to Buckingham Palace may have [done]" which is also the rhythm of a piece of poetry. Interestingly, the clue uses the American spelling - which sparked a storm of protest among the Brits on Big Dave's blog (and drew an apology from the setter).
19a Song when Sarah is embraced by her husband! (5)
Although I obtained the correct solution, I did not get the reference to British Prime Minister (PM) Gordon Brown whose wife is named Sarah. I had postulated that Sarah might be a character in a British afternoon (PM) soap opera, which would account for the "when Sarah is embraced by her husband". Of course, if my theory were correct, I am sure the clue would more likely have read "when Sarah is embraced by her lover".
12d Gangster getting close in rural homestead? Nothing to worry about! (5,5)
My initial approach to this clue was a thought that "rural homestead" might be GRANGE, and the answer might be of the form G???? RANGE, where ???? is a four letter word meaning "close" which is contained "in" GRANGE. Further encouraging this approach was the fact that GRANGE can also be formed by using some of the letters of "gangster". Anyway, all of these misguided efforts led absolutely nowhere.
Signing off for today - Falcon
10 hours ago