Puzzle at a Glance
Daily Telegraph Puzzle NumberDT 26813
Publication Date in The Daily TelegraphWednesday, March 14, 2012
Link to Full ReviewBig Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 26813]
Big Dave's Review Written ByPommers
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
Today's puzzle may not have been quite as easy for me as Pommers seems to have found it, but I did complete it without resorting to my Tool Chest. It doesn't seem to have quite the usual quantity of 'take the inner (or outer) letters' or 'replace X with Y' type clues that we have come to expect from Jay. However, there are certainly enough Briticisms to justify adding an extra star for difficulty for solvers on this side of the Atlantic.
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 The reverse of bargain items of jewellery (4)
This was my last one in, solved from the definition and checking letters. Only then did I vaguely recall having previously encountered the bit of British slang appearing in the wordplay. In the UK, a snip is an informal term for a surprisingly cheap item or, in other words, a bargain • the wine is a snip at £3.65.
9a Charlie got married again and worked on a yacht (6)
In radio communication, charlie is a code word representing the letter C ...
11a The French agree, accepting hotel with fatal consequences (8)
... and hotel is a code word representing the letter H.
23a Withdraw story after six-pack, and make a rapid climbdown (6)
In Britain, to abseil is to descend a rock face or other near-vertical surface by using a doubled rope coiled round the body and fixed at a higher point. Another term for this (and the one which is commonly used in North America) is rappel.
24a European spies held by China grow weak (8)
The capitalisation of "China" is a bit of cryptic deception. In Britain, china is an informal term for a friend (or, as the Brits would say, a mate). This comes from Cockney rhyming slang, where china is the shortened form of china plate which rhymes with 'mate'.
25a Dwelling on estimate being wrong (10)
Maisonette is a chiefly British expression for an apartment occupying two or more floors of a larger building and often having its own entrance from outside.
26a Dinner date with an anorak (4)
An anorak is a waterproof jacket, typically with a hood, of a kind originally used in polar regions. An anorak (the word being of Greenland Eskimo origin) would seem to be similar to, if not simply another name for, a parka (which is of Aleutian origin, and is the name commonly used in Canada). In Britain, anorak is also an informal, derogatory term for a studious or obsessive person with unfashionable and largely solitary interests • with his thick specs, shabby shoes, and grey suit, he looks a bit of an anorak. This British English informal sense dates from the 1980s and derives from the anoraks worn by trainspotters, regarded as typifying this kind of person. In Britain, a trainspotter is a person who collects train or locomotive numbers as a hobby (huddling in the cold and rain in their anoraks, they stand beside the railway tracks and write down the numbers of the locomotives that pass by). The term is also used, often in a derogatory fashion, for a person who obsessively studies the minutiae of any minority interest or specialized hobby • the idea is to make the music really really collectable so the trainspotters will buy it in their pathetic thousands.
2d Presents for fussy sticklers in golf (8,7)
A stocking filler is the British equivalent of a stocking stuffer.
4d Wanted to pinch student, annoyed (7)
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 various countries (including the UK) if its driver is a learner under instruction.
6d Thought process of club charging nothing? (4,11)
In his review, Pommers states "[The solution] also describes a club that doesn’t charge subs." In Britain, sub is short for subscription (membership dues or fees) • the annual sub for the golf club will be £200. This sense of the word subscription is chiefly a British usage.
7d Drink rum in case of tragedy (5)
Rum is a dated British term meaning odd or peculiar.
12d Ladies left spectacles (3)
This clue incorporates a relatively rarely seen type of clue, a visual clue. "Spectacles" is used to clue 'OO' as these letters look like a drawing of a pair of spectacles. In Britain, ladies is an informal way to refer to a women's public lavatory.
21d Warning from French-style Marine (5)
The Royal Marines (RM) is a British armed service (part of the Royal Navy) that was founded in 1664, and trained for service at sea, or on land under specific circumstances.
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)