Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wednesday, April 28, 2010 (DT 26134)

This puzzle, set by Rufus, was originally published Monday, January 11, 2010 in The Daily Telegraph

The National Post has skipped DT 26133 which was published in The Daily Telegraph on Saturday, January 9, 2010

Introduction

We have a fairly typical Rufus creation today, with enough easy clues to give one a firm foothold but enough more difficult clues to make one struggle a bit to complete the puzzle.

Today's Glossary

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

batman - noun dated (in the British armed forces) an officer’s personal valet or attendant

frillies - plural noun women's underwear with lacey frills

green fingers - plural noun Brit. informal natural ability in growing plants [equivalent to the North American expression green thumb]

jar - noun 2 Brit. informal a glass of beer

kite - noun 2 Brit. informal, dated an aircraft

Today's Links

Rishi's review of today's puzzle may be found at Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 26134].

Commentary on Today's Puzzle

10a Girls maybe right to accept glamorous underwear (8)

I must admit that frillies was a new term to me - but definitely something that bears further investigation.

17a Inexperienced hands reveal growing talent (5,7)

Gardeners in Britain who display an exceptional natural ability for growing plants are said to have green fingers, whereas those in North American are described as having a green thumb. Given that to be all thumbs is to be "awkward and clumsy" (seemingly on either side of the Atlantic), I think that I may prefer the British take on this expression.

16d Box kite? (5)

This cryptic definition seems to rely on a British expression for an aircraft. According to Chambers, a kite may be either "a light frame covered in paper or some other light material, with a long holding string attached to it, for flying in the air for fun, etc." or "(also box kite) a more complicated structure built of boxes, sometimes used for carrying recording equipment or a person in the air". Oxford tells us that kite is a dated, informal British term for "an aircraft". It goes without saying that a box may be a crate. Furthermore, Oxford informs us that a crate can be an informal term for "an old and dilapidated vehicle", while Chambers extends the meaning a bit by specifying that crate is derogatory slang for "a decrepit vehicle or aircraft". This meaning seems fairly universal as similar meanings for crate are also found in both the American Heritage Dictionary and Collins English Encyclopedia on the Free Online Dictionary site. I must say that it is scary enough to know that there are crates on the highway, without thinking about there being crates in the air as well!

Signing off for today - Falcon

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