Puzzle at a Glance
Daily Telegraph Puzzle NumberDT 26805
Publication Date in The Daily TelegraphMonday, March 5, 2012
Link to Full ReviewBig Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 26805]
Big Dave's Review Written ByLibellule
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
NotesThe National Post has skipped DT 26804 which was published in The Daily Telegraph on Saturday, March 3, 2012
En dash : –
Em dash : —
Bullet : •
Superscript :  .
I sat down to write today's blog only to discover that I had solved the wrong puzzle. With the coming Monday being Victoria Day, a national holiday in Canada, and a day on which the National Post does not publish, both the Friday and Monday puzzles appeared in today's paper. I found that I had inadvertently completed Monday's puzzle having failed to notice that there were two pages of puzzles and other diversions.
Fortunately, I was able to do today's puzzle fairly quickly given that it was by Rufus and not overly difficult. However, there were a couple of clues for which the wordplay was unfathomable for me.
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.
14a Exaggerate one’s role playing at cover (7)
To understand the surface reading of the clue, it helps to know a bit about cricket. Cover is short for cover point, which is (1) a fielding position a little in front of the batsman on the off side and halfway to the boundary or (2) a fielder at cover point. The boundary is the marked limits of a cricket field. See 12d for a definition of off side.
22a He has publicity consultant as boss (7)
The American Heritage Dictionary and Collins English Dictionary both have a tribal chief as the first listed meaning of headman[3,4] and each also gives one other meaning. However, these alternate meanings bear no resemblance. The British reference work gives a foreman or overseer while the American reference has a headsman[3,4] (executioner).
23a Studio that is later converted (7)
Technically, is this not an indirect anagram - a sin for which Rufus was roundly chastised four weeks ago in DT 26781. An indirect anagram is a clue in which the anagram fodder does not appear explicitly in the clue. In DT 26781, the solver was required to substitute a synonym for a word in the clue to obtain the anagram fodder. In today's clue, we must substitute an abbreviation for a word in the clue to produce the fodder. In the previous instance, many people were willing to forgive the transgression, given the obvious nature of the substitution required. I would say that today's occurrence is an even less serious violation. On the other hand, it is a second offence. Then again, it did not raise a peep from those who commented at Big Dave's site.
24a It may be kept or eaten (4)
I thought I was being very clever when I wrote in CAKE, based on the old adage you can't have your cake and eat it too. Unfortunately, that is not what the setter had in mind. I eventually discovered the error of my ways when the penny dropped on 13d.
30a Those on the board who make plans (11)
Draughtsman is the British spelling of draftsman, a person who makes detailed technical plans or drawings. In Britain, a draftsman is a person who drafts legal documents • parliamentary draftsmen seem to delight in complicating even the simplest provision. In Britain, draughts is the name of the board game known in North America as checkers.
I failed to see the reference to the board game and supposed that the clue was referring to a drafting board (or drawing board).
5d Player giving lead on pitch (4)
Like Libellule, I guessed the solution from the checking letters but did not understand the wordplay. The surface reading is clearly intended to misdirect us to a sports theme. In Britain, a pitch is either (1) an area of ground marked out or used for play in an outdoor team game : a football [soccer] pitch or (2) in cricket, the strip of ground between the two sets of stumps • both batsmen were stranded in the middle of the pitch. See Libellule's review for an explanation of the musical interpretation of the wordplay.
6d Church to lease out a place in London (7)
Chelsea is an area of West London, England.
12d Eliminated outstanding cricket side (8,3)
The cricket lesson continues. Here "side" refers not to a team but to a side of the cricket field itself. In cricket, the off (also off side) is the half of the field (as divided lengthways through the pitch ) towards which the batsman's feet are pointed when standing to receive the ball. The other side of the field is known either as the leg (also leg side) or on (also on side).
20d Fellow tripper, perhaps (7)
I had the correct solution, as the only words that seemed to fit the checking letters were PARTNER and PARDNER. However, I failed to see the dance reference in the wordplay.
26d River claims lives twice (4)
The Isis is the name given to the part of the River Thames which flows through the city of Oxford, England.
Key to Reference Sources: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)
 - Infoplease (Random House Unabridged Dictionary)
 - CollinsDictionary.com (Collins English Dictionary)