Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010 (DT 26103)

This puzzle by Giovanni was originally published Friday, December 4, 2009 in The Daily Telegraph

Introduction

Although Gazza put the level of difficulty for today's puzzle at four stars, I found it a bit easier than yesterday's puzzle, which Libellule rated as three stars. If, like me, you stumbled over a couple of pretty obscure British personalities, don't feel too bad - so did many of the Brits.

Today's Glossary

Some possibly unfamiliar abbreviations, people, places, words and expressions used in today's puzzle

buffet - noun 2 a room or counter selling light meals or snacks [Note: although not flagged by Oxford as a Briticism, this is a meaning for the word that is new to me]

garden - noun 1 chiefly Brit. a piece of ground adjoining a house, typically cultivated to provide a lawn and flowerbeds
Note: In the U.K., the term garden is applied to what in North America would be called a yard. In North America, the term garden would generally be used in relation to an area of land specifically used to grow flowers or vegetables. The term flower garden would generally imply a fairly large area, while a smaller area either adjacent to a house or in the middle of a lawn would probably be referred to as a flower bed. The term garden might also be used in the case of public parks or large estates to describe an area consisting of large (generally formal) flower beds set in an area of lawn. Although, in this case, the area of lawn would be considered part of the garden, it is essentially incidental to the main purpose of the property which is to display the flowers.
Notting Hill Gate - one of the main thoroughfares of Notting Hill, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, a borough of London, England
Note: Being Britain, one should not be surprised to learn that although Notting Hill Gate is often abbreviated as Notting Hill, Notting Hill is distinct from Notting Hill, with Notting Hill (the street) being well south of the hill giving its name to the area known as Notting Hill. Could anything be more clear than that?
pant - verb 2 (usu. pant for) long for or to do something [Note: yet another meaning with which I was unfamiliar]

pants - plural noun 1 Brit. underpants or knickers 2 chiefly N. Amer. trousers
Note: In Britain, the term pants means underpants and what we call pants, they would call trousers. In North America, the terms pants and trousers are used interchangeably (with pants probably being used more frequently). To describe the item of underwear that the Brits call pants, we would generally say either undershorts (often shortened to just shorts) or underpants (in the case of men's garments) and panties or (perhaps) underpants (in the case of women's garments).
John Snagge - a long-time British newsreader and commentator on BBC Radio

Robert Tear - Welsh tenor

Today's Links

Gazza's review of today's puzzle may be found at Big Dave's Telegraph Crossword Blog [DT 26103].

Commentary on Today's Puzzle

24d Problem with erstwhile commentator John on the radio (4)

It was quite clear to me that the definition is "problem" and that the wordplay may be pointing to an individual named John whose surname sounds like (on the radio) the solution. My first guess was John Knox, although I was not entirely comfortable in characterizing him as a "commentator". Moreover, for this wordplay to work, the clue would seemingly need to read "problems" rather than "problem". KNOCKS (problems) would certainly sound like KNOX.

However, the correct solution turns out to be SNAG, with the person referenced being former BBC radio commentator John Snagge. In this case, the sounds like indicator (on the radio) also serves as a further hint to the identity of this individual.

Signing off for today - Falcon

1 comment:

  1. Falcon

    To add to your list of meanings of the word pants, it can now mean rubbish, in the sense of "The movie was pants". This has led to it being used, on more than one occasion, as an anagram indicator.

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