Puzzle at a Glance
Daily Telegraph Puzzle NumberDT 26908
Publication Date in The Daily TelegraphTuesday, July 3, 2012
Link to Full ReviewBig Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 26908]
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
IntroductionWhile overall not terribly difficult, there are a couple of clues in today's puzzle with quite tricky wordplay.
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.
7a After breakdown, rev woeful hired vehicle (4-5,5)
A "breakdown" is what North Americans would be more likely to refer to as car trouble. In Britain, emergency roadside assistance would be called breakdown service. Sainsbury's, mentioned by Gazza in his review, is the third largest chain of supermarkets in the United Kingdom.
9a Pine by hill starts to overshadow wood for poet (10)
A fell is a hill or stretch of high moorland, especially in northern England.
11a Decrease inflexible element in club (4)
I was expecting maybe a double definition. Having concluded that one definition was [golf] club, I was desperately trying to make sense of the rest of the clue. While I have occasionally seen triple definitions in the past, I believe that this is the first time I have ever encountered a quadruple definition. The four meanings of iron are "decrease" (cryptic description of removing creases from articles of clothing), "inflexible" (e..g., iron will), "element" (as a chemistry term), and "club" (used in playing golf).
12a Take in celebrity magazine bar cover (3)
Heat is a British entertainment magazine published by German company Bauer Media Group. As of 2004 it is one of the biggest selling magazines in the UK, with a regular circulation over half a million. Its mix of celebrity news, gossip, beauty advice and fashion is primarily aimed at women, although not as directly as in other women's magazines. It also features movie and music reviews, TV listings and major celebrity interviews.
17a Live in front of a filthy place round lake? That’s vile (7)
In Britain, beastly means very unpleasant ⇒
this beastly war.
23a Face fool (3)
Mug is British slang for a stupid or gullible person ⇒
they were no mugs where finance was concerned.
25a Care taken about poster with old racing driver subject to recruitment (10)
James Hunt (1947 – 1993) was a British racing driver from England who won the Formula One World Championship in 1976. Hunt's often action packed exploits on track earned him the nickname "Hunt the Shunt." After retiring from driving, Hunt became a media commentator and businessman. Hunt died in 1993 at the age of 45, of a heart attack.
28a Criminal behind top site around Spain? It’s irrelevant (6,3,5)
The International Vehicle Registration (IVR) code for Spain is E (from Spanish España).
1d Old fellow arranged to be with a person during time held up without a home (2,2,5,5)
Of no fixed abode is an expression [seemingly British] describing a person having no permanent residence ⇒
both defendants were said to be of no fixed abode. The North American equivalent would be no fixed address.
3d Very sentimental daughter jumping out of river (4)
The Tweed is a river which rises in the Southern Uplands of Scotland and flows generally eastwards, crossing into NE England and entering the North Sea at Berwick-upon-Tweed. For part of its lower course it forms the border between Scotland and England. Twee is a British expression denoting excessively or affectedly quaint, pretty, or sentimental (although the film’s a bit twee, it’s watchable).
4d Office employee still getting uppity about a boy (3,4)
In Britain, a tea lady is a woman employed to make and serve tea in a workplace.
5d Fair source of sprays etc? (6,4)
My Fair Lady is a musical based upon George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion and with book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe. The story concerns Eliza Doolittle, a Cockney flower girl who takes speech lessons from professor Henry Higgins, a phoneticist, so that she may pass as a well-born lady.
15d A large smoker’s resource seen around back of inn in event around the clock? (10)
The term all-nighter seems to have a different connotation in Britain than it does in North America. Collins English Dictionary defines all-nighter as an entertainment, such as a pop concert or film screening, that lasts all night (which is the sense in which it is used in the discussion on Big Dave's blog). Oxford Dictionaries (British and World English version) defines all-nighter as an event or activity that continues throughout the night [leaving the nature of the activity unspecified]. However, Oxford Dictionaries (US English) defines all-nighter as an event or task that continues throughout the night, especially a study session before an examination ⇒
he would do an all-nighter, the way he used to in school(which is the meaning with which I am familiar).
19d Criticism curtailed by ambassador — or other member of embassy? (7)
HE is the abbreviation for His or Her Excellency, where Excellency (usually His, Her or Your Excellency or Your or Their Excellencies) is a title of honour given to certain people of high rank, e.g. ambassadors.
26d Confidence shown by comic actor (4)
Bob Hope (1903 – 2003) was an English-born American comedian and actor. His name never came to mind and I ended up entering HYPE (perhaps attributable to having run out of letters).
27d Expose as a lie Nationalist trouble (4)
Nail means to expose or detect (a lie or liar).
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)