Puzzle at a Glance
Daily Telegraph Puzzle NumberDT 26814
Publication Date in The Daily TelegraphThursday, March 15, 2012
Link to Full ReviewBig Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 26814]
Big Dave's Review Written ByDigby
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
NotesFollowing a two-day sojourn into the future, the National Post seems to have reverted to its previous publication schedule. This puzzle is next in sequence following DT 26813 which was published in the National Post on Tuesday.
I needed a little nudge from my electronic assistants on a handful of clues today, even though I pretty well understand how the wordplay worked. I just couldn't find the right words to plug in.
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.
10a Explorer with outfit imbibing drink in front of hotel (7)
Hotel is a code word representing the letter H, used in radio communication.
11a Decrease vote for military award (4,5)
Here "decrease" cryptically means to remove the creases from.
12a Shot along in Grand Prix from the back producing damage to car (5)
Prang is British slang which means (1) [as a verb] to crash (a motor vehicle or aircraft) • Ernie pranged his sports car last month or (2) [as a noun] a crash involving a motor vehicle or aircraft • he had numerous prangs and near misses in his motoring life.
14a Lunatic in cycling helmet? (7)
Digby has interpreted the second definition to be a description of "the role of a cycling helmet". However, Nutcase is actually the brand name of a bicycle helmet manufactured by Nutcase Helmets of Portland, Oregon. Perhaps one might be considered to be a lunatic to wear one as they apparently do not come highly recommended.
17a Value considerably parking facility around Harrods, say (3,5,5,2)
In the UK, a lay-by is an area at the side of a road where vehicles may pull off the road and stop.
Harrods is an upmarket department store located in Brompton Road in Brompton, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London. The store has over one million square feet (90,000 m2) of selling space in over 330 departments. The UK's second-biggest shop, Oxford Street's Selfridges, is a little over half the size with 540,000 square feet (50,000 m2) of selling space.
26a Welsh place left secure beside rough mound miles away (9)
I was very close to deciphering this on my own, but was looking for a four-letter word meaning safe to plug-in for "secure". Instead, "secure" is used in the sense of succeed in obtaining (secure a contract). Llandudno, "Queen of the Welsh Resorts", a title first implied as early as 1864, is now the largest seaside resort in Wales, and lies on a flat isthmus of sand between the Welsh mainland and the Great Orme peninsula.
2d Communist almost invading a business district, a terrible act (8)
The City is (1) short for the City of London or (2) the financial and commercial institutions located in the City of London • (i) the Budget got a stony reception from the City; (ii) [as modifier] a City analyst. Note that the City of London is not the city of London, but merely the part of London situated within the ancient boundaries and governed by the Lord Mayor and the Corporation (which, in Britain, is a group of people elected to govern a city, town, or borough • the City of London Corporation).
Trot is an informal, chiefly derogatory (and probably British) name for a Trotskyist or supporter of extreme left-wing views • (i) a band of subversive Trots; (ii) he declared that the Corporation was a ‘nest of long-haired Trots’.
18d Hasten start of punt in river before change in tide (8)
The River Exe is an English river that rises in Somerset, near the Bristol Channel coast, but flows more or less directly due south, so that most of its length lies in Devon. It reaches the sea at a substantial ria, the Exe Estuary, on the south (English Channel) coast of Devon.
22d Rob front of office in port (2,4)
Dover is a town and major ferry port in the home county of Kent, in South East England. It faces France across the narrowest part of the English Channel, and is home of the Dover Calais ferry which runs between Dover and Calais, France. The surrounding chalk cliffs have become known as the White cliffs of Dover.
In Britain, do something over is an informal way to say ransack a place, especially while searching for something worth stealing • Jacqui’s flat had been done over—the evidence was all too clear. To do someone over means to beat someone up • let’s do them over and dump them somewhere.
23d Some top assists, common feature of a football game (4)
This is a very versatile clue, which would seem to work whether your favourite sport is Association football (soccer), Canadian football, American football, or (to a limited extent) Aussie rules football.
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)