This puzzle was originally published Wednesday, November 18, 2009 in The Daily Telegraph
This puzzle initially appeared daunting as I searched desperately for any clue that I might be able to solve. However, once I had found a starting point, the pieces seemed to snap together quite readily. In the end, I actually thought it was easier than the three stars awarded by Big Dave.
Some possibly unfamiliar abbreviations, people, places, words and expressions used in today's puzzle
Barnaby Rudge - a novel by Charles Dickens
Big Dave's review of today's puzzle may be found at Big Dave's Telegraph Crossword Blog [DT 26089].
The principal topics under discussion on Big Dave's site today are the use of "up" as an anagram indicator (pretty much unanimously given the thumbs down), and light meaning "part of a grid". Big Dave explains that "lights" are the white squares in a crossword grid. To complete the picture, according to Wikipedia "the shaded cells are sometimes called darks, blanks, blocks, or just simply black squares or shaded squares".
Commentary on Today's Puzzle
27a Recurrent stress (6)
To my mind, an extremely weak clue. It cannot be a double definition as "recurrent" is an adjective and "stress" is a noun. Therefore, it must be a cryptic definition. I suppose the setter intends for us to think of stress in the sense of "noun 2 a state of mental, emotional, or other strain". However, since the solution RHYTHM can mean "noun 2 the systematic arrangement of musical sounds, according to duration and periodical [i.e., recurrent] stress" (Oxford), there would appear to be little at all cryptic about the definition. I thought the clue might have been better had it perhaps been worded along the lines of "Recurrent stress caused by picking fingernails" or "Recurrent stress from beatings with sticks".
28a Envy novel, e.g. B. Rudge (8)
Never having heard of the novel Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens, the surface reading meant nothing to me. However, even without this knowledge, the clue is easily solved (in fact, it is almost trivial). Several visitors to Big Dave's site spoke rather disparagingly of this clue. I won't be too harsh on it as, if my memory serves me well, it was my entry point into the puzzle.
3d Girl's book (7)
Another weak clue, an intended cryptic double definition (?) where the first definition is a girl's name and the second definition is the same girl's name used as the title of a novel.
Signing off for today - Falcon
10 hours ago