Puzzle at a Glance
Daily Telegraph Puzzle NumberDT 26788
Publication Date in The Daily TelegraphTuesday, February 14, 2012
Link to Full ReviewBig Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 26788]
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
Given that this puzzle appeared in the UK on Valentine's Day, one might have expected a bit more love. Instead, we see a single included — rather than couples. The only thing that seems even remotely romantic is the mention of passion fruit in a clue — and perhaps the inclusion of a woman's undergarment in a solution.
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.
3a Crime writer Graham is on broadcast (5,5)
Dame Ngaio Marsh (1895 – 1982), born Edith Ngaio Marsh, was a New Zealand crime writer and theatre director.
10a No longer working with child? (2,3,5)
Fortunately, I guessed this one correctly based on the checking letters. Up the spout is a British expression that can mean either (1) no longer working or likely to be useful or successful • his petrol gauge is up the spout, (2) [of a woman] pregnant, or (3) [of a bullet or cartridge] in the barrel of a gun and ready to be fired. The setter manages to incorporate two of the three meanings in the clue.
11a Vehicle coming out of motorists’ club and trade centre, reversed (7)
The Royal Automobile Club (RAC) is a British private club. Like many other "gentlemen's clubs" in London today, the Royal Automobile Club now has women as well as men as members. From the club's website we learn:
Founded in 1897 with the aim of encouraging the development of motoring in Britain, today the Royal Automobile Club is one of London’s finest private members' clubs, combining over 100 years of luxury and tradition with exceptional facilities and outstanding service. Members enjoy unlimited access to two superb clubhouses; the Pall Mall clubhouse, in the very heart of London, contains a unique range of accommodation, dining and sporting facilities, including what is arguably the finest swimming pool in London. The Woodcote Park clubhouse is set in 350 acres of Surrey parkland, complete with two 18 hole golf courses, together with a variety of other sports facilities, dining and accommodation.
13a Dish produced by young man in French city, unfinished (7)
A roulade is a dish cooked or served in the form of a roll, typically made from a flat piece of meat, fish, or sponge, spread with a soft filling and rolled up into a spiral. Rouen is a port on the River Seine in NW France, chief town of Haute-Normandie; population 110,276 (2006). Rouen was in English possession from the time of the Norman Conquest until captured by the French in 1204, and again 1419–49; in 1431 Joan of Arc was tried and burnt at the stake there.
14a Stuarts are assembled round front of historic Scottish landmark (7,4)
Arthur's Seat is the main peak of the group of hills which form most of Holyrood Park in Edinburgh, Scotland.
22a On board coach under way (2,5)
In train (said of arrangements) means in progress • an investigation is in train. While this expression did not sound odd to me, I include it as it doesn't seem to appear in many dictionaries.
26a Bond to strike back (4)
Tonk (which I think must be a British word, although it does not appear to be thus identified in the dictionaries) means (1) hit hard or (2) defeat heavily; trounce • Villa were tonked by local rivals Birmingham City.
My first attempt at a solution was KNIT, which turned out to be incorrect - although I spent a fair amount of time trying to justify TINK meaning "to strike". I thought it might work as a tinker is a person who makes a living by travelling from place to place mending pans and other metal utensils (and I thought that to tink might possibly mean to hammer metal).
2d Friend Oscar, singer from a city in California (4,4)
Oscar is a code word representing the letter O, used in radio communication.
4d Fish in Volga, perhaps (5)
Gaper is (1) another term for comber, a small fish (Serranus cabrilla, family Serranidae) that gapes when dead, occurring in shallow waters from the western English Channel to the Mediterranean or (2) a deep-sea anglerfish (Family Chaunacidae and genus Chaunax) that is able to inflate itself with water.
5d Working together at home with tackle (2,7)
In harness can mean either (1) in the routine of daily work • a man who died in harness far beyond the normal age of retirement or (2) so as to achieve something together • local and central government should work in harness.
6d Screen doctor’s left one tense (8,3)
A medical officer (abbreviation MO) is a doctor in charge of the health services of a civilian or military authority or other organization.
7d Guard two rings graduate found in Rolls-Royce (3,3)
A roo bar is Australian term for bull bar, a strong metal grille fitted to the front of a motor vehicle to protect it against impact damage. This suggests that just as we have to contend with deer and moose on our highways, Australians have to deal with kangoroos and the Brits with bulls (although I somehow doubt that bulls are running freely on British roadways).
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)