This puzzle was originally published Friday, September 18, 2009 in The Daily Telegraph
I was rather surprised to see that the Brit's had given this puzzle a degree of difficulty rating of four stars, as I was able to complete almost the entire puzzle without the aid of my puzzle solving tools. Perhaps I was just on the same wavelength with the setter today.
Some possibly unfamiliar abbreviations, people, places, words and expressions used in today's puzzle
A - abbreviation adult: British Board of Film Classification certificate in use prior to 1970 signifying that children must be accompanied by an adult
Desperate Dan - character in a British comic strip
Home Counties - plural noun the counties around London, including Essex, Kent, Surrey and Hertfordshire (in the South East of England)
L - abbreviation pound (sterling); Note: I didn't find this in any of the dictionaries that I consulted, perhaps because it is really only a rough approximation to the official symbol for pound sterling (£)
M1 - a major motorway in England primarily connecting London to Leeds
maiden - noun 3 (also maiden over) Cricket an over in which no runs are scored
OR - abbreviation 3 military other ranks
pi2 - adjective Brit slang a short form of pious
RU - abbreviation rugby union: a form of rugby played in teams of fifteen
Gazza's review of today's puzzle may be found at Big Dave's Telegraph Crossword Blog [DT 26037].
Commentary on Today's Puzzle
11a Slope outside to accommodate sport (3,3)
Having missed the wordplay here (before reading Gazza's review), the clue at first didn't appear very cryptic to me. The sport in question in the wordplay is not skiing, although the solution does relate to skiing. Oh dear, just when we start to get into cricket, the setter throws rugby union at us.
21a Wet - say, after working (6)
Here we have an example of the rarely seen & lit. (or all-in-one) clue. The entire clue read one way provides a definition of the solution, while read another way is cryptic wordplay for the solution. "Wet - say, after working" is both a definition for SWEATY and wordplay indicating an anagram (after working) of WET SAY.
1d Desperate man, 101, no good doing the foxtrot maybe (7)
Desperate Dan (whom I recall him from a previous puzzle) appears once again today. He must be desperate as, according to Gazza's review, he eats cow pies. I suppose he follows those up with an order of meadow muffins.
5d Brute upset a top man participating in water sport (8)
I thought that perhaps yak might be a British slang expression, but I found no evidence of it. It seems that brute is probably just intended to mean "a savage animal", an example of which being a yak.
Signing off for today - Falcon
8 hours ago