Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tuesday, April 27, 2010 (DT 26132)

This puzzle, set by Giovanni, was originally published Friday, January 8, 2010 in The Daily Telegraph

Introduction

This puzzle appeared less difficult when viewed in the rear view mirror than it did when I initially approached it. Perhaps that is the mark of a good puzzle - the clues are obscure until you decipher them, at which point all becomes clear.

Today's Glossary

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

bowl2 - noun 4 (often bowl someone out) cricket to put (the batsman) out by hitting the wicket with the ball

Desperate Dan - a wild west character in the British comic The Dandy

form - noun 6 chiefly Brit. a class or year in a school

maiden (abbreviation M) - noun 3 (also maiden over) Cricket an over in which no runs are scored

scullion - [Collins English Dictionary] noun 1. a mean or despicable person

smack3 - [Collins English Dictionary] noun 1. a sailing vessel, usually sloop-rigged, used in coasting and fishing along the British coast

River Tay - the longest river in Scotland

Today's Links

Gazza's review of today's puzzle may be found at Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 26132].

Commentary on Today's Puzzle

8a A learner next to where he should be is relaxed (8)

Not that there is necessarily anything wrong in doing so, but I think the wordplay here may use the word "learner" in two different contexts. In the first, "learner" is used in the sense of "learner driver" (what I would call a "beginner driver") and is replaced by L (from the symbol that British learner drivers must attach to their vehicles). In the second sense, "learner" seems to be used to mean a "school student" who should be "in form" (in class). If one were to carry a consistent theme through the clue, one might expect the "learner" to be "behind the wheel" or "in the driver's seat".

Signing off for today - Falcon

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