Daily Telegraph Puzzle NumberDT 26400
Publication Date in The Daily TelegraphWednesday, November 17, 2010
Link to Full ReviewBig Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 26400]
Big Dave's Review Written ByBig Dave
Big Dave's Rating
|Difficulty - ***||Enjoyment - ***|
I almost completed this without popping open my Tool Chest. However, I needed a bit of electronic assistance to solve 13a. Although a lot of the Brits expressed a dislike for this clue, I found nothing wrong with it and it is hardly the most difficult clue in the puzzle. However, sometimes one is able to scale mountains while stumbling over molehills.
Selected abbreviations, people, places, words and expressions appearing in today's puzzle
Appearing in Clues:
The meanings listed in this section may reflect how the word is used in the surface reading of the clue. Of course, that meaning may be contributing to the misdirection that the setter is attempting to create.
high street - noun British the main street of a town, especially as the traditional site for most shops, banks, and other businesses: the approaching festive season boosted the high street
Appearing in Solutions:
Bath - a spa town in SW England; population 81,600 (est. 2009). The town was founded by the Romans, who called it Aquae Sulis, and was a fashionable spa in the 18th and early 19th centuries.
bath chair - noun dated a kind of wheelchair for invalids, typically with a hood; Origin (early 19th century): named after the city of Bath, which attracted many invalids because of the supposed curative powers of its hot springs
bureau de change - noun an establishment at which customers can exchange foreign money
el - article Spanish the
lo - exclamation archaic used to draw attention to an interesting or amazing event: and lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them
optic - noun 3 British trademark a device fastened to the neck of an inverted bottle for measuring out spirits
or2 - noun gold or yellow, as a heraldic tincture
rate - verb 2 [4th entry] [probably British] informal have a high opinion of: Mike certainly rated her, goodness knows why
The Red Flag - a protest song associated with left-wing politics, in particular with socialism. It is the semi-official anthem of the British Labour Party, sung at the end of conference, as well as the official anthem of the Irish Labour Party (Ireland) and sung at the close of national conference.
A rather more unlikely possibility (though one that actually better matches the wordplay, as it has no "the" in the title) would be Red Flag - the second single released from the Canadian rock group Billy Talent's second album, Billy Talent II - which reached Number 49 on the UK Singles Chart in 2006.
U2 - abbreviation British universal (denoting films classified as suitable without restriction)
Appearing on Big Dave's Blog
propelling pencil - noun British a pencil with a plastic or metal case and a thin replaceable lead that may be extended as the point is worn away by twisting the outer casing [in North America, known as a mechanical pencil].
rubber - noun
- 2 British a piece of rubber used for erasing pencil or ink marks: a pencil with a rubber at the end [in North America, known as an eraser]
- 3 (rubbers) North American rubber boots; galoshes
- 4 North American informal a condom
Tippex (also Tipp-Ex) - noun British trademark a type of correction fluid
Commentary on Today's Puzzle
This commentary should be read in conjunction with the review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog, to which a link is provided in the table above.
15a Return to help in highly thought of broadcast (8)
The definition is "broadcast" for which the solution is RADIATED. The wordplay is a reversal (return) of AID (to help) contained in (in) RATED (highly thought of).
This strikes me as a case where British usage may well vary from that in North America. Certainly, the example given by Oxford ("Mike certainly rated her, goodness knows why") meaning to "have a high opinion of" does not sound like something I would expect to hear in Canada. Collins English Dictionary gives a similar meaning for rate: "Slang to think highly of (the clients do not rate the new system)".
The closest North American sense of the word rate that I can find (in The American Heritage Dictionary) is "to have status, importance, or influence". Thus a North American might say, "He rates" meaning "He is an important or influential person".
28a Difficult patient gets tough (4,4)
It took a bit of thought to figure out whether "tough" is meant to be a noun or an adjective here. Actually,it is likely an adjective in the surface reading and a noun in the cryptic reading. The definition is "tough" (a noun meaning 'a rough violent person, especially a bully or criminal') with the solution being HARD CASE (a tough, often violent, person who is difficult to reform). The wordplay is HARD (difficult) + CASE (patient).
2d Killer who's no stranger to drama? (7)
Although Big Dave doesn't seem to see it this way, my interpretation of this clue is exactly the same as the one postulated by Pommers in a comment left at Big Dave's site. That is, that the clue is a semi & lit. where the entire clue serves as a (somewhat cryptic) definition and buried with the clue is the wordplay; namely, an anagram (stranger) of TO DRAMA. This gives us the solution MATADOR, a "killer who is no stranger to drama" given that his goal is to dispatch the bull with as much drama as possible.
22d Delivery address (6)
This is an excellent example of a double definition, a clue type in which the two elements of the clue, while not synonyms of each other, are each a synonym of a third word (the solution). Here, the solution is SPEECH, with the first definition (delivery) meaning 'speech' in the sense of 'a person's style of speaking' (she wouldn't accept his correction of her speech) and the second (address) meaning 'a formal address or discourse delivered to an audience' (he gave a speech about the company).
Signing off for today - Falcon