Puzzle at a Glance
Daily Telegraph Puzzle NumberDT 26901
Publication Date in The Daily TelegraphMonday, June 25, 2012
SetterRufus (Roger Squires)
Link to Full ReviewBig Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 26901]
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 26900 which was published in The Daily Telegraph on Saturday, June 23, 2012.
IntroductionIt is a very typical Rufus offering today. I needed a bit of a push from my electronic assistants in order to complete the southwest quadrant (18a, 14d and 18d). Once I had the solutions to the the latter two clues, the solution to 26a became obvious.
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 Dashing young men, ardent and inflamed (9)
Blood is a dated term for a fashionable and dashing young man ⇒
a group of young bloods. Collins English Dictionary characterizes the term as being mainly British and rare.
10a Levels the score and quits (5)
This is a double definition where the definitions are "levels the score" and "quits". Quits is used in the sense of (in reference to two people) on even terms, especially because a debt or score has been settled ⇒
I think we’re just about quits now, don’t you?. This would seem to suggest that quits is a synonym of even (rather than evens) as one would surely say
I think we’re just about even now, don’t you?and not
I think we’re just about evens now, don’t you?. However, dig a bit further, and one finds that The Chambers Dictionary defines evens as an adjective or adverb meaning quits.
even1 ... ■ ... evens n pl even money. ♦ adj and adv quits.
Note: the ■ symbol indicates that the entries which follow it are direct derivatives of the main entry and the ♦ symbol shows that the entries which follow it are a different part of speech from the entries which precede it.
11a He writes of gold going to hammer-thrower (6)
This puzzle appeared in Britain about one month before the start of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London — and the surface reading is clearly intended to evoke that event. The symbol for the chemical element gold is Au. In Norse mythology, Thor is a hammer-wielding god associated with thunder, lightning, storms, oak trees, strength, the protection of mankind, and also hallowing, healing, and fertility. I don't know that he ever threw his hammer but he certainly used it ruthlessly to great effect.
12a Expel from university and convey to prison (4,4)
Send down is a British expression that can mean either (1) to expel a student from a university or (2) to sentence someone to imprisonment ⇒
you’re going to get sent down for possessing drugs.
As one more example of the differences between British and North American English, a convicted offender in North America gets "sent up" rather than "sent down".
19a He’s in charge but often has a leader (6)
Leader (or leading article) is a mainly British term for the leading editorial in a newspaper.
23a Several kinds of birds (6)
I thought that this clue might be referring in a general sense to birds being divers, such as the loon or the diving ducks. As it turns out, I was dead on without knowing it. Diver is the British name for the loon. [Does this mean that a Canadian one dollar coin would be called a diverie in the UK?]
28a Hearty listener chose to step out (11)
"Hearty listener" is a whimsical definition of a medical instrument used for listening to the organ that beats in one's chest.
3d Wild lion scared no one, certainly not him (9)
Androcles is a runaway slave in a story by Aulus Gellius (2nd century AD) who extracted a thorn from the paw of a lion, which later recognized him and refrained from attacking him when he faced it in the arena.
4d Some ricochets in the line of darts (4)
Even though I'd encountered the term in previous puzzles, would I have been able to name this line in the game of darts? Not on your life. Was I able to find it hidden in "ricochet". Piece of cake. In Britain, an oche is the line behind which darts players stand when throwing.
According to the British speech sample given at TheFreeDictionary.com, oche sounds like it rhymes with 'rock' (well, sort of). However, since Oxford Dictionaries says that an alternative spelling is hockey, I began to wonder if oche might not actually rhyme with 'rocky'. My suspicions seem to be supported by The Chambers Dictionary which shows the pronunciation of oche as /ok'i/ and that of hockey as /hok'i/. According to both The Chambers Dictionary, 11th Edition and Chambers 21st Century Dictionary, oche[1,2] is also called hockey or hockey line.
5d Limited the movement of stock (8)
My first thought was corralled. However, not only does it not fit, it is a North American term and therefore somewhat unlikely to be found in a British puzzle.
8d Tom cared about being a politician (8)
The subject is rather timely, what with the 2012 Democratic National Convention wrapping up yesterday.
14d Hard task master? (8)
This is a cryptic definition (flagged by the question mark) of someone who mastered hard tasks himself (rather than, as it might appear, someone who imposed hard tasks on others). In Greek and Roman mythology, Hercules is a hero of superhuman strength and courage who performed twelve immense tasks or ‘labours’ imposed on him and who after death was ranked among the gods.
16d Rows in the gallery? Goodness! (9)
The gods is an informal term for the gallery (the highest balcony in a theatre, containing the cheapest seats) ⇒
they sat in the gods.
24d Time to find poetic inspiration perhaps (5)
In Greek and Roman mythology, Erato is the Muse of lyric poetry and hymns.
25d Reluctant to leave the Heart of Midlothian (4)
Loth is an alternative spelling of loath. Midlothian is a council area and former county of central Scotland. The County of Midlothian formerly encompassed the city of Edinburgh, which lies directly north of the current council area.
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)