Puzzle at a Glance
Daily Telegraph Puzzle NumberDT 26838
Publication Date in The Daily TelegraphThursday, April 12, 2012
Link to Full ReviewBig Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 26838]
Big Dave's Review Written ByBig Dave
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
Ray T is in fine form today, providing us with a generous taste of innuendo and his signature mention of Queen.
By the way, I hope everyone noticed that the National Post also published Monday's puzzle in today's paper. As has been its practice for a number of years, the National Post will not be publishing a print edition on Mondays during the summer.
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 Dictatorial leader of French facing awkward situation (6)
De is a French preposition meaning 'of'.
9a Does up semi with dens or otherwise (10)
To do (something) up is an informal British expression meaning to renovate or redecorate a room or building • Mrs Hamilton did the place up for letting. A semi (in Britain or Canada) is a semi-detached house • a three-bedroomed semi. However, in Canada, the foregoing would be called a three-bedroom semi (without the -ed).
12a Return of Queen with fellow Prince? (6)
A regent is a person appointed to administer a state because the monarch is a minor or is absent or incapacitated. A Prince Regent is a prince who acts as regent, in particular the title of the future George IV, who was regent from 1811 until he became king in 1820 (during which period his father, George III, was incapacitated by mental illness).
15a Compiler’s clue taking time for cheat (8)
It is a common cryptic crossword convention for the creator of the puzzle to use terms such as setter, compiler, author, or 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. The "compiler's clue" is "I'm poser" or, in other words "I'm the one who posed the questions (crossword clues)". When run together around T(ime), this becomes IMPOSTER (cheat).
18a Kept woman by force on motorway (8)
The M1 is a north–south motorway (controlled access highway) in England connecting London to Leeds.
27a Blokes keep score in mind (8)
In Britain, bloke is an informal term for a man • he’s a nice bloke.
28a Cover includes wide brief (6)
Brief is an informal British name for a solicitor or barrister • it was only his brief’s eloquence that had saved him from prison.
7d Correct errors from young lady, posh and grand (5)
In Britain, U is used informally as an adjective with respect to language or social behaviour meaning characteristic of or appropriate to the upper social classes (U manners). In today's puzzle, the setter clues it as "posh". The term, an abbreviation of upper class, was coined in 1954 by Alan S. C. Ross, professor of linguistics, and popularized by its use in Nancy Mitford's Noblesse Oblige (1956).
8d Criminals among American car parts (9)
The part of an automobile known in North America as a fender would be called a wing in the UK.
14d Kill time with Alien flicks (9)
In the Daily Telegraph, it would appear that the word Alien was enclosed in single quotation marks. The anagram indicator is "flicks", presumably based on flick meaning of to make or cause to make a sudden quick movement.
16d One’s repulsive to birds (9)
The Brits might have been deceived into thinking that "birds" is a reference to chicks of a different kind. In Britain, bird is an informal term for a young woman or a man’s girlfriend.
Worzel Gummidge [mentioned by Big Dave in his review] is a British children's fictional character who originally appeared in a series of books by the novelist Barbara Euphan Todd (and later adapted for radio and television). A walking, talking scarecrow, Gummidge has a set of interchangeable turnip, mangel worzel (a mangel-wurzel is a variety of beet with a large yellow root, used as cattle food) and swede (rutabaga) heads, each of which suit a particular occasion or endow him with a specific skill.
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)