Puzzle at a Glance
Daily Telegraph Puzzle NumberDT 26651
Publication Date in The Daily TelegraphWesnesday, September 7, 2011
Link to Full ReviewBig Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 26651]
Big Dave's Review Written ByFalcon
Big Dave's Rating
|Difficulty - ★★||Enjoyment - ★★★|
█ - solved without assistance
█ - incorrect prior to use of puzzle solving tools
█ - solved with assistance from puzzle solving tools
█ - solved with aid of checking letters provided by puzzle solving tools
█ - unsolved or incorrect prior to visiting Big Dave's blog
█ - reviewed by Falcon for Big Dave's blog
The first clue looked like one that I had seen before, and I soon realized that I had seen the entire puzzle before - it being one that I had reviewed for Big Dave's Crossword Blog when the puzzle had originally appeared in the UK.
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.
1a Finding two pence in water brings a lump in one’s throat (5,5)
In Britain, pence is a plural form of penny. Oxford advises that both pence and pennies have existed as plural forms of penny since at least the 16th century. The two forms now tend to be used for different purposes: pence refers to sums of money (five pounds and sixty-nine pence; ) while pennies refers to the coins themselves (I left two pennies on the table; ). The use of pence rather than penny as a singular (the chancellor will put one pence on income tax) is not regarded as correct in standard English.
In Britain's current decimal currency system, a penny is a bronze coin and monetary unit equal to one hundredth of a pound (and is abbreviated p). In the system formerly used, a penny was equal to one twelfth of a shilling or 240th of a pound (and was abbreviated d, for denarius).
21a Establishment figure? (7,6)
A founder member is one of the members of a society, organization, etc who was instrumental in its foundation. I expect that North Americans would call such a person a founding member.
25a A tall story — over very quick (5)
As I said when I wrote my review for Big Dave's site, I think that quick is used in the sense of 'intelligent, alert or sharp' (alive). Quick (as a noun) also has an archaic sense where it means 'those who are alive' (or, in other words, the living). Thus, "the quick and the dead" means "the living and the dead". Several British readers commented that they thought that the clue was referring to this use of the word. In fact, I had considered and rejected that interpretation as 'quick' used in that way is a noun and I could find no evidence that 'alive' can be anything other than an adjective.
3d Bank facility for putting up with brothers, for example (8,5)
In the UK, a standing order is an instruction to a bank by an account holder to make regular fixed payments to a particular person or organization.
11d Avoiding directors, this may go to the wall (8,5)
The British term for a wooden board running along the base of an interior wall is skirting or skirting board. In North America, it would be called a baseboard.
13d Picture young bird with fine taste (5,5)
In addition to its standard meaning, bird is an informal British expression meaning a young woman or a man’s girlfriend.
22d Paper encompassing student’s sphere of knowledge (5)
The cryptic crossword convention of L meaning learner or student arises from the L-plate, a square plate bearing a sans-serif letter L, for learner, which must be affixed to the front and back of a vehicle in many countries if its driver is a learner under instruction. Learner plates are rare in North America, with Wikipedia mentioning only British Columbia and New Jersey as jurisdictions requiring their use.
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 (Oxford Dictionary of English)
 - Oxford Dictionaries (Oxford American Dictionary)
 - Wikipedia
 - Reverso Online Dictionary (Collins French-English Dictionary)