Puzzle at a Glance
Daily Telegraph Puzzle NumberDT 26839
Publication Date in The Daily TelegraphFriday, April 13, 2012
Link to Full ReviewBig Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 26839]
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
NotesThe National Post has skipped DT 26814 through DT 26838 which were published in The Daily Telegraph from
Thursday, March 15, 2012 through Thursday, April 12, 2012
Today the National Post takes a great leap forward, skipping virtually an entire month of puzzles.
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.
9a Gosh, an honoured member is in the valley! (6)
Gosh, could the setter have crammed any more Briticisms into one clue! Coo is an informal British exclamation used to express surprise • ‘Coo, ain’t it high!’ Mary squeaked. MBE is an abbreviation for Member of the Order of the British Empire (see below). Coombe (also combe or coomb) is a British term for a short valley or hollow on a hillside or coastline, especially in southern England.
I tried very hard to squeeze in cor, another informal British exclamation, but one with a seemingly broader repertoire of.emotions – being able to express excitement, admiration, or alarm in addition to surprise.
The Order of the British Empire is an order of knighthood instituted in 1917 and divided into five classes, each with military and civilian divisions. The classes are: Knight or Dame Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE), Knight or Dame Commander (KBE/DBE), Commander (CBE), Officer (OBE), and Member (MBE). The two highest classes entail the awarding of a knighthood.
Foreign recipients are classified as honorary members of the Order they receive, and do not contribute to the numbers restricted to that Order as full members do. Awards in the Order of the British Empire in the Commonwealth Realms were discontinued with the establishment of national systems of honours and awards such as the Order of Australia, the Order of Canada and the New Zealand Order of Merit. The Order of the British Empire is the most junior of the British orders of chivalry, and the largest, with over 100,000 living members worldwide.
12a Clown playing with a rock band, famous travellers from across the Atlantic (6,3,5)
British aviators Alcock and Brown (John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown) made the first non-stop transatlantic flight in June 1919. They flew a modified World War I Vickers Vimy bomber from St. John's, Newfoundland, to Clifden, Connemara, County Galway, Ireland.
17a Restrictions in no-go areas (5)
I totally missed the subtraction type wordplay, and never really committed to a solution on this one. I was wavering between REINS and RAILS. I was leaning toward the later, thinking that railway tracks were a place where one should not walk.
23a Involuntary action that leads to a blessing? (8)
Despite this being a bit of an old chestnut, I was held up for some time by having inserted MODS at 24d.
25a Irish peninsula’s wooded hollow (6)
I knew the Irish peninsula but not the wooded hollow. A dingle is a deep wooded valley or dell. This is not specifically a British word, but it is one with which I am not familiar. Oxford characterises it as literary or dialect. I grant that I'm not particularly literary and I must speak the wrong dialect.
27a Raider at sea makes very good speed (6)
Pi is an informal British short form for pious.
1d Old emperor in plain car (4)
Inca can mean any of (1) a member of an indigenous South American people living in Peru before the Spanish conquest in the 16c, who had a complex civilization and empire; (2a) a king or emperor of the Incas; (2b) a member of the Incan royal family; or (3) the language of the Incas, Quechua.
4d Mark on sailor was something symbolically sacred (6)
In the Royal Navy, able seaman (abbreviation AB). is a rank of sailor above ordinary seaman and below leading seaman.
24d Very influential people in the gallery (4)
The gods is an informal term for the gallery (the highest balcony in a theatre, containing the cheapest seats) • they sat in the gods.
I stumbled here initially, thinking that gallery might be a reference to the Tate Modern in London and – applying a wry, cryptic sense of humour – that mods might be very influential people there. In 1960s Britain, mods were young people of a subculture characterized by a smart stylish appearance, the riding of motor scooters, and a liking for soul music.
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)