Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thursday, April 22, 2010 (DT 26129)

This puzzle, attributed to Ray T, was originally published Tuesday, January 5, 2010 in The Daily Telegraph

Introduction

Although Gazza felt that today's puzzle deserved only two stars for difficulty, I found it considerably more challenging than that. Of course, any puzzle containing Cockney rhyming slang automatically gets an extra star in my book.

Today's Glossary

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

AB2 - abbreviation 1 Brit able seaman

afters - plural noun Brit. informal the dessert course of a meal

bod - noun informal 2 chiefly Brit. a person

bodega - noun (in Spanish-speaking countries) a cellar or shop selling wine, or both wine and groceries

DI - abbreviation 2 Detective Inspector

grass - verb 2 (often grass on) Brit. informal inform the police of someone’s criminal activity or plans

Hans Geiger - German physicist who developed the Geiger counter

Harrow School - a public (meaning private) school located in Harrow, England

ironmonger - noun Brit. a retailer of tools and other hardware

lift - noun 1 Brit. a platform or compartment housed in a shaft for raising and lowering people or things [Note: it would be called an elevator in North America]

porky -noun (also porky-pie) Brit. rhyming slang a lie [Note: "Rhyming slang is a form of slang in spoken and written English in which a word is replaced by a rhyming word, typically the last word of a two- or three-word phrase with the effect that the meaning of the spoken or written words is not obvious to receivers who are not familiar with the code. ... The part of the coded phrase that rhymes with the original word is typically, but not always, omitted to further strengthen the code ..." Thus, "Porky pie" (which rhymes with "lie") serves as a substitute for the word "lie". When the word "pie" is dropped, we are left with "Porky" meaning "lie". ]

PT - abbreviation physical training

RU - abbreviation rugby union

Today's Links

Gazza's review of today's puzzle may be found at Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 26129].

There is a fair bit of discussion on Big Dave's blog about the use of the word "bum" as an anagram indicator - with the consensus appearing to be that it was not only appropriate but rather amusing. The way the puzzle was printed in the National Post, the clue for 16d appeared almost directly beside the one for 1d. I must say that the juxtaposition of these two clues makes for quite an amusing image. For the benefit of those who may no longer have the puzzle near at hand the two clues are "Lower skirt, being embraced by stunner" followed by "Lift to reveal bum".

Commentary on Today's Puzzle

26a He barely takes part in match! (8)

While it didn't take place in a sports stadium, one of my favourite episodes of streaking occurred during the 46th Academy Awards Ceremony in 1974 (which you can watch here). Although I must say that it is a bit disconcerting to learn that, rather than being a spontaneous exhibition capped by a marvelous ad lib by David Niven, the whole episode may have been not only scripted, but rehearsed.

5d He's nuts! (10)

Here, it would appear that the 's is a contraction for the word "is". However, that is not the case, and it is actually a contraction for the word "has", meaning that the clue is really telling us that "He has nuts!". Resisting the temptation to engage in puerile humour, I note that the clue could be referring to a grocer (who might sell fruits and nuts, among other things). But today the setter has another kind of nut in mind - the kind North Americans would buy at a hardware store.

Signing off for today - Falcon

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