Puzzle at a Glance
Daily Telegraph Puzzle NumberDT 26909
Publication Date in The Daily TelegraphWednesday, July 4, 2012
SetterJay (Jeremy Mutch)
Link to Full ReviewBig Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 26909]
Big Dave's Review Written ByFalcon
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
IntroductionI originally blogged this puzzle when it appeared in The Daily Telegraph in July. At the time, I commented that "I found the puzzle, while quite enjoyable, to be a bit less difficult than usual". Strangely enough, it seemed barely slightly easier the second time around.
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 Lie about London’s food (4,3)
Pork pie is a traditional British dish being a raised pie made with minced, cooked pork, typically eaten cold. Pork pie (customarily shortened to porky) is also British (specifically cockney) rhyming slang for a lie.
A cockney is a native of East London, traditionally one born within hearing of Bow Bells (the bells of St Mary-le-Bow church). Cockney is also the name of the dialect or accent typical of cockneys, which is characterised by dropping the H from the beginning of words and the use of rhyming slang.
Thus, in this double definition clue, the first definition is "lie about London" — very specifically referring to the East End of London.
5a Iris maybe making bread (7)
A bloomer is a plant that flowers, especially in a specified way ⇒
a night bloomer. In Britain, bloomer is also the name of a medium-sized loaf, baked on the sole of the oven, glazed and notched on top. Yet another British meaning for the word (though one which does not come into play today) is a stupid mistake or blunder.
11a A couple of tomatoes added to stew creates an awkward situation (3,6)
The American Heritage Dictionary thinks that hot pot [two words] is a chiefly British term for a stew of lamb or beef and potatoes cooked in a tightly covered pot, while Oxford Dictionaries defines hotpot [one word] as a British term for a casserole of meat and vegetables, typically with a topping of sliced potato. Chambers 21st Century Dictionary spells it hotpot and describes it as chopped meat and vegetables, seasoned and covered with sliced potatoes, and cooked slowly in a sealed pot. Finally, Collins English Dictionary defines hotpot as a baked stew or casserole made with meat or fish and covered with a layer of potatoes.
12a River horse, so to speak (5)
The Rhône is a river in SW Europe which rises in the Swiss Alps and flows 812 km (505 miles), through Lake Geneva into France, then to Lyons, Avignon, and the Mediterranean west of Marseilles, where it forms a wide delta that includes the Camargue. The comment "well mostly, at least" in my review on Big Dave's blog was intended to refer to the fact that the river is mostly in France (and not that one is supposed to use less than all the letters in the name).
17a Live in reduced surroundings? It’s hardly worth considering (5,4)
Small beer is a British expression used to describe a thing that is considered unimportant ⇒
even with £10,000 to invest, you are still small beer for most stockbrokerseven with £10,000 to invest, you are still small beer for most stockbrokers.
23a Nothing in beer — and no one runs for wine (5,4)
The pint is the standard measure for beer in Britain ⇒
we’ll probably go for a pint on the way home. In the United Kingdom, draught beer must be sold in Imperial measure and, by law, certain steps must be taken to ensure that a pint of beer is indeed a pint. Though this can be achieved using so-called "metered dispense" (calibrated pumps), the more common solution is to use certified one-pint glasses. [read more]
On cricket scorecards, R appears as an abbreviation for run(s).
25a Go and live abroad with no golf, in Dubai for example (7)
Golf is a code word representing the letter G, used in radio communication.
26a Identification required in a town generates sarcasm (7)
In Britain, a city is a town created a city by charter and usually containing a cathedral.
28a Boffin becoming chief of hen production (7)
In the UK, boffin is an informal term for (1) a person engaged in scientific or technical research ⇒
the boffins at the Telecommunications Research Establishmentor (2) a person with knowledge or a skill considered to be complex or arcane ⇒
a computer boffin.
1d Set the level and tried to sell (7)
In my review at Big Dave's site, I used the phrase "adjusted the frequency" as a hint for "set the level". I now see that there are a couple of far more appropriate senses of the word pitch that I could have used. Pitch may mean either (1) to set at a specified downward slant ⇒
pitched the roof at a steep angleor — better yet — (2) to set at a particular level, degree, or quality ⇒
pitched her expectations too high.
5d House call? (5)
The British version of bingo bears very little resemblance to the North American game of the same name (or one might say that they are about as similar as cricket and baseball). The British game (formerly called housey-housey) and the North American version both involve matching numbers drawn at random to those on tickets (Britain) or cards (North America). However, the format of British tickets is totally different from that of North American cards — and, consequently, so are the winning combinations. In Britain, it is common for winners to yell "House!" (rather than "Bingo!") when a winning combination is attained.
7d Sugar from whisky like this raised energy (7)
Malt, in addition to being barley or other grain that has been steeped, germinated, and dried for use in brewing or distilling and vinegar-making, is short for malt whisky. Maltose, also known as malt sugar, is produced from germinating cereals, such as barley, as part of the brewing process.
18d Funny thinking heralded by the first of April (7)
Herald means to precede or usher in. Thus "heralded by" indicates 'preceded by'.
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)