Puzzle at a Glance
Daily Telegraph Puzzle NumberDT 26807
Publication Date in The Daily TelegraphWednesday, March 7, 2012
Link to Full ReviewBig Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 26807]
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
This is a puzzle that I reviewed on Big Dave's blog when it appeared in The Daily Telegraph in March. I did recognise it as such fairly quickly, but a few clues still managed to provide a bit of mental exercise – even on the second time around.
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 Break journey and check insurance, with traffic finally disappearing (4,4)
In the UK, cover means protection by insurance against a liability, loss, or accident • your policy provides cover against damage by subsidence. This seems to be the equivalent of the North American term coverage, the amount of protection given by an insurance policy.
9a Status conferred by cardinal’s address? (8)
Eminence (His/Your Eminence) is a title or form of address given to a Roman Catholic cardinal • His Eminence, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey.
17a Hat, or top of trilby, seen in bog (5)
20a Batsman’s need for bottle? (6)
A batsman is a player, especially in cricket, who is batting or whose chief skill is in batting. The corresponding term in baseball for a player who is batting would be batter. In baseball, a player whose chief skill is batting would likely be called a slugger[3,4]. British readers might see bottle as the courage or confidence needed to do something difficult or dangerous • I lost my bottle completely and ran.
21a Gyrating banshees? They’re history! (3-5)
In Irish legend, a banshee is a female spirit whose wailing warns of a death in a house • the little girl dropped her ice cream and began to howl like a banshee.
26a The origins of interesting old tale about Whit (4)
This clue is making a bit more timely appearance in the National Post than it did in The Daily Telegraph. In Britain, Whit is short for Whitsuntide, the weekend or week including Whit Sunday. Whit Sunday (US Whitsunday) is the seventh Sunday after Easter, a Christian festival commemorating the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2). Also called Pentecost (which is the name that I know it as). Should you care a whit, the approaching weekend is Whitsuntide.
3d Spurs resting in play for budgetary control (5,7)
Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, commonly referred to as Spurs, is an English football [soccer] club based in Tottenham, London, that plays in the Premier League.
6d House of sin welcoming a tabloid paper? (8)
This clue generated just as much of a chuckle on its encore appearance as it did on its initial performance. A vicarage is the residence of a vicar, which (in the Church of England) is an incumbent of a parish where tithes formerly passed to a chapter or religious house or layman. This is in contrast to a rector, who is the incumbent of a parish where all tithes formerly passed to the incumbent. These terms have somewhat different meanings in other religious denominations.
8d Ladyboys getting married? In this part of Scotland! (8)
Question marks and exclamation points are indicators that something about the clue is a bit out of the ordinary. When the two appear in the same clue, it is a clear warning that we need to fully engage our powers of lateral thinking.
Ladyboy is a term used in Thailand for a transvestite or transsexual.
British readers didn't seem to appreciate my initial illustration so I added a second.
12d Acting on behalf of band touring Spain here (12)
The International Vehicle Registration (IVR) code for Spain is E (from Spanish España).
19d Barrel — good gun metal (8)
A Sten gun is a type of lightweight British sub-machine gun.
22d Rod’s gardens in Kent area finally flower (6)
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, usually referred to as Kew Gardens, is 121 hectares of gardens and botanical glasshouses [greenhouses] between Richmond and Kew in southwest London, England which is home to the world's largest collection of living plants. Kent is a county on the SE coast of 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)