The National Post has skipped DT 26169 which was published in The Daily Telegraph on Saturday, February 20, 2010
The Tool Chest was used sparingly today - and then only to solve the Briticisms, if memory serves me correctly.
Some possibly unfamiliar abbreviations, people, places, words and expressions used in today's puzzle
Used in Solutions:
barrack2 - verb 1 Brit. & Austral./NZ jeer loudly at (a performer or speaker). 2 (barrack for) Austral./NZ support and encourage. [Note: it looks like the Aussies and Kiwis would like to have it both ways.]
cherry stone -
holdall - [Collins English Dictionary] noun Brit a large strong bag with handles; Usual US and Canadian name is carryall
NUT - abbreviation National Union of Teachers: a trade union for school teachers in England and Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man
RA - abbreviation 2 (in the UK) Royal Artillery
ta - exclamation Brit. informal thank you
Wensleydale - noun 1 a white crumbly variety of cheese made in Wensleydale. 2 a breed of long-woolled sheep originally developed in Wensleydale. (ETYMOLOGY: 19c: named after Wensleydale, North Yorkshire)
Rishi's review of today's puzzle may be found at Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 26170].
Today the Brits are complaining variously about the snow, the cold, and the rain - and wishing Rufus a happy birthday. Prolixic points out that Rufus, whose real name is Roger Squires, has his own Wikipedia entry.
Commentary on Today's Puzzle
25d If there's a man around, he's from the U.S. (4)
Yesterday, we saw an inverse anagram clue. Today we have what I suppose might be called an inverse container clue. In a normal container clue, we are given both the container and the contents and, to find the solution, are required to construct the end result that would be achieved by putting these parts together. In this inverse container clue, we are given the container and the end result obtained by putting the parts together and, to find the solution, we must identify what contents would be needed in order to produce that result. Thus the clue effectively says, "If there is A MAN around [a man's name], [what would that name be if] he's an American (from the U.S.)". The solution is ERIC, since AMAN containing ERIC would produce AM(ERIC)AN.
12d One more may make a soldier a sailor (6,5)
This clue is a reference to "Tinker Tailor", which is a counting game, nursery rhyme and fortune telling song traditionally played in England, that can be used to count cherry stones, buttons, daisy petals and other items. The rhyme goes:
Tinker, Tailor,Thus three cherry stones would equal a soldier, while one more would bring you to sailor.
Rich Man, Poor Man,
Beggar Man, Thief.
Such a counting game would seem to be akin to the practice of picking daisy petals while chanting "She loves me, she loves me not, ...". On Big Dave's blog, Vince comments that "... the number of stones left after eating a dessert with cherries in, would determine either what a boy would be when he grew up or what kind of man a girl would marry".
Signing off for today - Falcon