Puzzle at a Glance
Daily Telegraph Puzzle NumberDT 26794
Publication Date in The Daily TelegraphTuesday, February 21, 2012
Link to Full ReviewBig Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 26794]
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
█ - 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
I did not too badly today. However, English pool players and Australian surfers did cause me to waver for a while.
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.
12a Road in front of Northern oak, say, and course (7)
The A1 is the longest numbered road in the UK, at 410 miles (660 km). It connects London, the capital of England and the United Kingdom, with Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland.
Under the road numbering scheme used to classify and identify roads in England, Scotland and Wales, each road is assigned a single letter, which represents the road's category, and a subsequent number, with a length of between 1 and 4 digits. Two schemes exist; one for motorways (multi-lane divided highways), and another for non-motorway roads. Motorways are identified by the prefix M, and non-motorway roads by the prefixes A, B, C, D and U (unclassified).Aintree Racecourse, a racecourse in Aintree, Merseyside, England is the home of the Grand National steeplechase, one of the most famous horse races in the world.
Alternative systems are used in Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and Jersey, Channel Islands.
13a Noted potter in house (5)
Once I had the checking letters, I was able to get this from the second definition ("house"). I had no idea that a potter is a pool player nor had I ever heard of this "noted" pool player.
John Virgo is an English former professional snooker player and more recently a snooker commentator and TV personality. The clue seems to be a rather uncomplimentary comment as potter is a slang term used primarily in the UK to reference a pool player with little or no experience of the game. A potter also lacks understanding of the game and its rules. Due to the lack of experience and understanding of the game of billiards or snooker, the potter does not use the methods of a skilled player such as safety play or position play. This would seem to be akin to referring to Tiger Woods as a duffer.
17a Outward appearance characterising Bondi champion? (7)
Bondi Beach is a popular beach and surfing locale in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
19a Manage at least twelve deliveries before middle of week (7)
In cricket, an over is a sequence of six balls bowled (or delivered) by a bowler from one end of the pitch, after which another bowler takes over from the other end. Thus twelve deliveries constitute two overs.
27a Elaborate revolutionary writer and inventor is hard to follow (9)
As a cryptic crossword convention, the creator of the puzzle will often use terms such as setter, compiler, author, or (in this case) "writer" to refer to himself or herself. To solve the clue, one must substitute a first person pronoun (I or me) for whichever of these terms is found in the clue. Today, we get an additional wrinkle with "revolutionary" indicating that the pronoun must be reversed (but that also pretty much narrows the choices to a single possibility).
In his review, Gazza identifies Alexander Graham Bell as a Scot. Scottish-born would be more accurate. In his review of DT 26258 [published in the The Daily Telegraph on Friday, June 4, 2010 and in the National Post on Monday, September 6, 2010], Gnomethang did likewise. The following is what I wrote then.
Gnomethang [in his review of DT 26258] identifies Alexander Graham Bell as "a Scottish Inventor". Those of us on this side of the Atlantic would describe him as either Scottish-Canadian or Scottish-American (depending on which side of the border one resides). Bell emigrated to Canada in 1870 at the age of 23, establishing a residence near Brantford, Ontario. For a number of years, he divided his time between the U.S. and Canada, teaching in the States and returning to Canada for the summer. Following his marriage to Mabel Hubbard (an American) in 1877, his permanent place of residence became the U.S. (first Cambridge, Massachusetts and later Washington, D.C.). In 1882, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States. In the late 1880's, Bell and his wife built a summer home near the community of Baddeck on Cape Breton Island in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia. Bell named this estate Beinn Bhreagh which is gaelic for beautiful mountain. The original summer home was expanded to include a laboratory complex at which Bell could pursue his scientific endeavours. "Until the end of his life, Bell and his family would alternate between the two homes [Washington and Nova Scotia], but Beinn Bhreagh would, over the next 30 years, become more than a summer home as Bell became so absorbed in his experiments that his annual stays lengthened". Bell passed away at Beinn Bhreagh in 1922 at age 75.
29a Some sheep escaped round part of fencing (4)
I wondered if epees might have a round cross-section. It turns out that they have a triangular cross-section (with one side open). But, of course, that matters not as "round" here is a reversal indicator and not part of the definition.
26d Scottish landowner restricted retreat (4)
In Scotland, a laird is a person who owns a large estate.
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)