This puzzle, set by Rufus, was originally published Monday, February 15, 2010 in The Daily Telegraph
The National Post has skipped DT 26163 which was published in The Daily Telegraph on Saturday, February 13, 2010
Being a "Monday" puzzle, it leaned a bit towards the less difficult end of the scale. I did manage to complete the puzzle unaided - but not without making a few educated guesses (and one or two not-so-educated ones) which fortuitously proved to be correct.
Some possibly unfamiliar abbreviations, people, places, words and expressions used in today's puzzle
Used in Clues:
starting price - noun the final odds at the start of a horse race
Used in Solutions:
lag3 - noun Brit. informal a habitual convict
line-out - noun rugby union the way play restarts after the ball goes into touch, by the forwards of both teams forming two rows facing the touch-line and trying to catch or deflect the ball which is thrown in by someone from the team which did not cause the infringement
piano2 - (abbreviation p) music adverb softly or adjective soft
scot - noun Money assessed or paid [see also Oxford entry for scot-free which explains "ORIGIN from obsolete scot ‘a tax’, from an Old Norse word meaning ‘a shot’"]
seven-a-side - a variant of rugby union in which teams are made up of seven players, instead of the usual 15, with shorter matches
SP - abbreviation starting price
tide rip - noun 1. (rare) A body of water made rough by the conflict of opposing tides or currents
veg - noun (pl. same) Brit. informal a vegetable or vegetables
Rishi's review of today's puzzle may be found at Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 26164].
Commentary on Today's Puzzle
4d It results in a certain jumpiness among among rugby players (4-3)
A line-out in rugby union is "the way play restarts after the ball goes into touch, by the forwards of both teams forming two rows facing the touch-line and trying to catch or deflect the ball which is thrown in by someone from the team which did not cause the infringement". Libellule adds (in a comment at Big Dave's site), "At a line out, players jump, and then are lifted into the air to catch the ball".
26a Grouse meat (4)
This clue gave me an appetite for CRAB; however, I was to discover that our setter had decided to serve up quite a different dish.
Signing off for today - Falcon
NTSPP – 172
40 minutes ago