Puzzle at a Glance
Daily Telegraph Puzzle NumberDT 26946
Publication Date in The Daily TelegraphThursday, August 16, 2012
SetterRayT (Ray Terrell)
Link to Full ReviewBig Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 26946]
Big Dave's Review Written ByPommers
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
IntroductionRayT delivers a rather tame offering today. I would say that it barely makes it into three star territory for difficulty — more realistically, I would position it in the upper two star region. It is also noticeably short on innuendo, but does have the always-present mention of Queen.
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 ‘Smooth Criminal’ about one’s point of no return (7)
The Rubicon is a shallow river in northeastern Italy, about 80 kilometres long, running from the Apennine Mountains to the Adriatic Sea through the southern Emilia-Romagna region, between the towns of Rimini and Cesena. During the Roman republic, the river Rubicon marked the boundary between the Roman province of Cisalpine Gaul to the north-east and Italy proper. Under Roman law, Caesar — as a provincial governor and general — was forbidden to enter Italy in command of his army.
The idiom "Crossing the Rubicon" means to pass a point of no return, and refers to Julius Caesar's army's crossing of the river in 49 BC, which was considered an act of insurrection and precipitated a civil war in which Caesar emerged victorious..
10a Finish cooking meat in iron container (6)
As our first chemistry lesson of the day, we learn that the symbol for the chemical element iron is Fe.
22a He is one, and I too! (7)
Continuing our chemistry studies, He and I are the symbols for the chemical elements helium and iodine respectively.
25a Ass perhaps, Shakespearean character (6)
Nick Bottom is a character in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream who provides comic relief throughout the play, and is famously known for getting his head transformed into that of an ass by the elusive Puck within the play.
26a The compiler’s connected to a certain degree (7)
It is a common cryptic crossword convention for the creator of the puzzle to use terms such as compiler, setter, author, or writer to refer to himself or herself. To solve such a clue, one must usually substitute a first person pronoun (I or me) for whichever of these terms has been used in the clue.
2d Sale of uranium in warfare (7)
In our final chemistry lesson of the day, we discover that U is the symbol for the chemical element uranium.
5d Publicity likely over Queen arranger (7)
The cipher (monogram) of Queen Elizabeth is comprised of the initials ER — from the Latin version of her name and title, Elizabetha Regina.
11d See letter reproduced in daily newspapers once here (5,6)
The Financial Times (FT) is a British international business newspaper [conspicuously published on pink newsprint].
Fleet Street is a street in the City of London which was the origin and home of the British newspapers until the 1980s. Even though the last major British news office, Reuters, left in 2005, the term Fleet Street continues to be used as a metonym for the British national press.
18d Demanding America supports old foreign leader (7)
Nero (37 – 68) was Roman Emperor from 54 to 68. In 64, most of Rome was destroyed in the Great Fire of Rome, which many Romans believed Nero himself had started in order to clear land for his planned palatial complex, the Domus Aurea.
19d Fantastic woman’s plump for artist (7)
Plump for means to decide definitely in favour of (one of two or more possibilities) ⇒
offered a choice of drinks, he plumped for brandy.
A Royal Academician (abbreviation RA) is a member of the Royal Academy of the Arts, an institution established in London in 1768, whose purpose is to cultivate painting, sculpture, and architecture in Britain.
In Greek mythology, Electra was the daughter of King Agamemnon and Queen Clytemnestra, and thus princess of Argos. She and her brother Orestes plotted revenge against their mother Clytemnestra and stepfather Aegisthus for the murder of their father, Agamemnon.
21d Hard to embrace alien deviation (6)
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (often referred to simply as E.T.) is a 1982 American science fiction film co-produced and directed by Steven Spielberg that tells the story of Elliott, a lonely boy who befriends an extraterrestrial, dubbed "E.T.", who is stranded on Earth. Elliott and his siblings help the extraterrestrial return home while attempting to keep it hidden from their mother and the government.
23d Issue raised on front of Sunday paper (5)
The Times is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register (it became The Times on 1 January 1788). The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times (founded in 1821) are published by Times Newspapers, since 1981 a subsidiary of News International, itself wholly owned by the News Corporation group headed by Rupert Murdoch. The Times and The Sunday Times do not share editorial staff, were founded independently and have only had common ownership since 1967.
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)