Puzzle at a Glance
Daily Telegraph Puzzle NumberDT 26865
Publication Date in The Daily TelegraphMonday, May 14, 2012
Link to Full ReviewBig Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 26865]
Big Dave's Review Written ByLibellule
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 26864 which was published in The Daily Telegraph on Saturday, May 12, 2012.
Today we have a very enjoyable offering from Rufus that you may find to be slightly more of a challenge than his customary fare.
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.
11a The fisherman who does will be more pleased than the boatman (5,1,4)
Although I may be stretching things a bit by claiming to have solved this clue, I did see the correct solution — I just had absolutely no idea why it was correct. The boatman here is a participant in a rowing competition. Dictionaries from either side of the Atlantic agree that "catch a crab" is a faux pas in rowing — they just don't agree on the details. According to Collins English Dictionary, it means to make a stroke in which the oar either misses the water or digs too deeply, causing the rower to fall backwards. On the other hand, The American Heritage Dictionary says it is to make a faulty stroke in rowing that causes the blade of the oar to strike the water on the recovery stroke.
18a Uninhibited side-to-side movement by footballer (4,8)
Another case where I didn't understand the wordplay but still managed to find the correct solution. Here "side-to-side" means from one team to another. In professional association football (soccer), a free transfer involves a club releasing a player once the player's contract has expired or making a player available just before the end of the contract.
26a Direction from a governor that must be obeyed (5)
I missed the hidden word wordplay and concocted a theory that the clue might be a reference to Lord North who was Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1770 to 1782, leading Great Britain through most of the American War of Independence.
28a Is no longer a back number? (3-4)
In Britain, an issue of a periodical earlier than the current one is called a back number (known in North America as a back issue). The term back number is also used informally in the UK to denote a person or thing seen as outdated or past their prime.
2d A learner can get many grants (6)
Apologies if you've seen this before! 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.
3d Quiet, shy chap to turn into a violent one (10)
More apologies! Piano[3,5] (abbreviation p), is a musical direction meaning either soft or quiet (as an adjective) or softly or quietly (as an adverb).
4d There’s a moral in the thickness of thieves (5)
This time I did see the hidden word. I expect that some will complain that the final two words of the clue are totally unnecessary to the cryptic reading of the clue. Nevertheless, the hidden word is found in the phrase "the thickness of thieves" which, of course, is a variation on the well-known expression "thick as thieves".
5d Irregularities in a semolina recipe (9)
It seems to me that the use of "recipe" as an anagram indicator might be considered to be a bit of an irregularity. Anagram indicators are normally verbs expressing some idea of movement or mixing. A recipe might provide the instructions to create an anagram but it is hardly going to accomplish the task.
6d Bespectacled greeting in American state (4)
Here we have a fairly rare sighting of a type of clue known as a visual clue. The letter combination OO looks like a drawing of a pair of spectacles. As "bespectacled" means wearing spectacles, the wordplay is interpreted as HI (greeting) contained in (wearing) OO (spectacles).
20d Part of 100-metre dash (6)
It took a long time for the penny to drop on this clue. As my mother used to say, the solution is "hiding in plain sight".
23d Huge cost of electrical safety precaution (5)
In Britain, the earth represents a very large amount • her hat cost the earth.
24d Drop out of old American college (4)
To complete Libellule's thought, Cambridge, Massachusetts is the home of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
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)