Puzzle at a Glance
Daily Telegraph Puzzle NumberDT 26620
Publication Date in The Daily TelegraphTuesday, August 2, 2011
Link to Full ReviewBig Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 26620]
Big Dave's Review Written ByGazza
Big Dave's Rating
|Difficulty - ★★||Enjoyment - ★★|
█ - solved without assistance
█ - incorrect prior to use of puzzle solving tools
█ - solved with assistance from puzzle solving tools
█ - unsolved or incorrect prior to visiting Big Dave's blog
█ - reviewed by Falcon for Big Dave's blog
My struggle with this puzzle was a bit more strenuous than Gazza's two stars would suggest. However, after burning the midnight oil (and more) last night doing the review for Big Dave's site, my brain may understandably not be in top form. Meanwhile the Brits on Big Dave's Blog are reliving their childhood.
Notes on Today's Puzzle
This commentary is intended to serve as a supplement to the review of this puzzle found at Big Dave's Crossword Blog, to which a link is provided in the table above.
11a Dealing with fish food? The reverse (8)
The website Search Chambers (which is based on Chambers 21st Century Dictionary) has only two entries under tack, whereas The Chambers Dictionary, 11th Edition has seven. The third of these defines tack as "noun food generally, fare especially of the bread kind, such as hard tack (ship biscuit), soft tack (loaves)".
15a Addict starts to undergo self-elected rehabilitation (4)
Self-elected rehabilitation would seem not to be a standard clinical term. A google search returned only a single instance of it being used - which happens to be in Gazza's review of today's puzzle on Big Dave's site. I may have just doubled its frequency of appearance on the Internet.
19a Regularly took only spade? (4)
"Regularly" indicates that the solver must select a regular series of letters - which may be either the odd ones (as today) or the even ones. Such clues generally contain no specific direction as to which of the two possible series is required. Sometimes a setter will use terms such as "oddly" or "evenly" which, of course, do clearly specify which series is intended.
25a At full speed, completely exhausted (3,3)
I thought that "completely exhausted" should be "all in" ('He was all in after a hard day at work') rather than all out. In fact, Collins and Oxford define all in in this manner as "completely exhausted; tired out" and "exhausted" respectively. But, never fear, Chambers defines all in as "exhausted" and all out as "completely exhausted". I'm guessing that all in may mean exhausted in the sense of tired out and all out in the sense of used up - but that is only a guess. However, it does seem to create the possibility for a cryptic clue along the lines of 'All in or all out' with the solution being 'exhausted'.
2d Woodpecker’s very loud in university surroundings (6)
Yaffle in British dialect is another term for green woodpecker, a large green and yellow woodpecker with a red crown and a laughing call, found from Europe to central Asia.
Bagpuss (mentioned in several comments on Big Dave's blog) is a 1974 UK children's television series, frequently rerun there, about toys that come to life when their owner leaves the room. The title character is "an old, saggy cloth cat, baggy, and a bit loose at the seams". Another character is a wooden woodpecker bookend that becomes the drily academic Professor Yaffle (based on the philosopher Bertrand Russell).
3d Violently tend to cause damage (4)
The term prang (used by Gazza in his review) is British slang for a crash involving a motor vehicle or aircraft.
6d Flower’s quality to represent diamond — that’s fake (10)
Here we encounter a cryptic crossword convention where "flower" is used to mean 'river' - something which flows (think of it rhyming with blower).
13d Snoop and snitch, roughly (4,6)
Snitch is British slang for the nose.
References:Signing off for today - Falcon
 - The Chambers Dictionary, 11th Edition
 - Search Chambers - (Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)
 - TheFreeDictionary.com (American Heritage Dictionary)
 - TheFreeDictionary.com (Collins English Dictionary)
 - Oxford Dictionaries Online (Oxford Dictionary of English)
 - Oxford Dictionaries Online (Oxford American Dictionary)
 - Wikipedia