This puzzle was originally published Thursday, February 11, 2010 in The Daily Telegraph
Despite it being a relatively easy puzzle today - Big Dave's site awards it two stars for difficulty - I once again hit the wall with two clues remaining unsolved. However, the solutions to those clues were easily found with the aid of a word search tool from my Tool Chest. Interestingly, these clues (27a and 17d) are the same ones that several visitors to Big Dave's blog identify as their final clues to be solved.
The setter may have been sitting on the fence today as I note he (or she) puts forward views from various angles (at 30a and 23d).
Some possibly unfamiliar abbreviations, people, places, words and expressions used in today's puzzle
Used in Solutions:
Seve Ballasteros - Spanish professional golfer
cub - noun 3 old use, derogatory an impudent young man
fit1 - adjective 4 Brit. informal sexually attractive
minster - noun a large or important church, typically one of cathedral status in the north of England that was built as part of a monastery
Libellule's review of today's puzzle may be found at Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 26161].
Commentary on Today's Puzzle
13a Boy and father returned to confess (5)
Although I haven't found it in any dictionary, I believe that "da" meaning father is probably a British expression - perhaps chiefly Scottish or Irish. It may well be a contraction of dad and written da'. It is certainly an expression that one often hears in British films and television programs. As I recall, it also appeared in another puzzle not long ago.
27a Reveal highly attractive dress (6)
In Britain, apparently, the word fit is used to describe someone who is sexually attractive (see Today's Glossary). In North America, describing someone as being "fit" merely means that they are in good physical condition - and does not carry a strong sexual connotation. Here, someone who is especially sexually attractive might be said to be "hot".
29a In front of son, Ballasteros, holding driver finally, puts the ball into play (6)
Having retired from professional golf (at least, temporarily), it would appear that Spanish golfer Seve Ballasteros has moved from the links to the courts. However, he would be well advised to ditch the driver for a tennis racket.
8d Times quoting E-lister initially on the front - sensational! (8)
I didn't know what the setter intended by the term "E-lister", although it really didn't seem to matter as the clue would work with any word beginning with "E" replacing this word. Wikipedia redirects searches for "e-list" to an entry for electronic mailing list while search engines return results which suggest a variety of possible web-related meanings for "e-lister" including someone who lists items for sale on electronic auction sites such as eBay. It also occurred to me that it might have some connection with the term "A-list" as used when referring to celebrities. As it turns out, the latter is, in all likelihood, the the correct interpretation. Several correspondents on Big Dave's site suggest that an E-lister is a minor celebrity, one who ranks a few notches below those on the A-list but certainly ensconced well above the Z-listers.
Signing off for today - Falcon
13 hours ago