Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily TelegraphDT 27103
Publication Date in The Daily TelegraphSaturday, February 16, 2013
Link to Full ReviewBig Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27103 - hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27103 - review]
Big Dave's Review Written ByBig Dave (hints)
|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
The puzzle being a Saturday prize puzzle in the UK, we have two postings related to it on Big Dave's Crossword Blog — a day of publication posting containing hints to selected clues (and most of the comments from British solvers) and a post contest closing date review.
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 How ladies rode interests designated driver taken in drink (10)
In the cryptic reading, interests is used in the sense of a group or organization having a common concern, especially in politics or business ⇒
food interests in Scotland must continue to invest. The abbreviation DD for "designated driver" is apparently common enough to make the dictionary ⇒
I’m the DD tonight.
6a Experts regularly cut out pancreas (4)
9a One revolting bachelor in dance (5)
Chambers lists B as an abbreviation for Bachelor. I suspect that this may be in the sense of an academic degree, although one would normally expect to see it used only in combination with an indication of the field in which the degree was awarded (BA, BS, BSc, etc.).
10a Limit Tory's retinue (9)
12a Walk clumsily after boot's last seen in garbage (7)
Garbage is used here in the sense of worthless or meaningless material or ideas.
13a Bucket containing small aromatic plant (5)
15a What could produce fir cone (7)
This is a true & lit. (all-in-one) clue. The entire clue, when read one way, is the definition and, when read a second way, is the wordplay.
17a Noblewoman of the French moving kings, queens, etc (7)
In French, the word combination de (of) and le (the) is contracted to du.
19a Excuse put forward before modern communications method (7)
Both Big Dave and crypticsue saw the definition as being "excuse put forward". That also happened to be my initial thought. However, it later occurred to me that the definition could simply be "excuse" and that the wordplay might be start with (put forward; begin the word with) PRE (before) + TEXT (modern communication method). I think that a cogent argument could well be made for either interpretation.
21a Religious follower, a saint captivated by John Paul II perhaps (7)
John Paul II (1920 – 2005), reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church from 1978 until his death in 2005. He was the second-longest serving Pope in history and the first non-Italian since 1523. John Paul II was acclaimed as one of the most influential leaders of the 20th century. He is credited with helping to end Communist rule in his native Poland and eventually all of Europe.
22a Top awards left in gallery (5)
The gods is an informal term for the gallery (the highest balcony in a theatre, containing the cheapest seats) ⇒
they sat in the gods.
24a In the style of President neglecting first state (7)
Barack Obama is the 44th and current President of the United States.
27a Hear a word broadcast as a tip for The Archers (9)
In the cryptic reading, one must ignore the misleading capitalization of The Archers. In the surface reading, the clue alludes to The Archers, a long-running British radio soap opera broadcast on the BBC's main spoken-word channel, Radio 4. It was originally billed as "an everyday story of country folk", but is now described on its Radio 4 web site as "contemporary drama in a rural setting". With over 17,000 episodes, it is both the world's longest-running radio soap opera and, since the cancellation of the American soap opera Guiding Light in September 2009, the world's longest-running soap opera in any format.
28a Young creature found in pool (5)
29a Plunder alcoholic drink (4)
Sack is a historical term for a dry white wine formerly imported into Britain from Spain and the Canaries.
30a Contribution to argument from page -- won't Henry get upset (10)
In the UK, one's pennyworth is a person’s contribution to a discussion ⇒
Bob would have to put his two pennyworth in first. The expression seems to have a less negative connotation than the North American expression two cents (or two cents' worth) which means an unsolicited opinion ⇒
Mom got her two cents in.
1d Chap perhaps giving rise to Love (4)
2d Posh girl's English yet enthralled by Italian poet (9)
Dante (1265 – 1321), full name Dante Alighieri, was an Italian poet. His reputation rests chiefly on The Divine Comedy (circa 1309–20), an epic poem describing his spiritual journey through Hell and Purgatory and finally to Paradise. His love for Beatrice Portinari is described in Vita nuova (circa 1290-4).
3d South American sex appeal envelops line dance (5)
SA is an abbreviation for sex appeal (characterised by Oxford as an informal, dated usage).
4d After end of year, old communist upset GCHQ worker perhaps (7)
In the UK, the acronym GCHQ stands for Government Communications Headquarters, a British intelligence agency responsible for providing signals intelligence (SIGINT) and information assurance to the UK government and armed forces.
5d Diesel manufactured including new source of oil (7)
7d Charles keeps nothing in disorderly state (5)
8d Aids to anonymity for celebrated girls (10)
11d Early explorer of America brought back to company -- this? (7)
John Cabot is the anglicized name of Giovanni Caboto (circa 1450-circa 1498), an Italian explorer and navigator who sailed from Bristol, England in 1497 in search of Asia, but in fact landed on the mainland of North America, the first European to do so.
14d Limit self-confidence in school tests -- they take the blame (10)
National Curriculum assessments are a series of educational assessments, colloquially known as Sats or SATs, used to assess the attainment of children attending maintained schools in England. They comprise a mixture of teacher-led and test-based assessment depending on the age of the pupils. While the term SAT supposedly comes from the term Standard Assessment Tasks, it is popularly believed to be an acronym for a variety of other terms (Statutory Assessment Tests, Standard Attainment Tests, Standardised Achievement Tests and Standard Assessment Tests).
This is not to be confused with the US SAT, a standardized test to assess a student's readiness for college. It was first introduced in 1926, and its name and scoring have changed several times. It was first called the Scholastic Aptitude Test, then the Scholastic Assessment Test.
16d Fine good-for-nothing comes up with delicate tool (7)
A fretsaw is a saw with a narrow blade stretched vertically on a frame, for cutting thin wood in patterns.
18d Fan of old farm vehicle (9)
20d Net to provide security from sound circus apparatus (7)
21d Leave a group of musicians playing (7)
23d Some profoundly rich piece of poetry (5)
25d Not level like famous gardens (5)
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, usually referred to as Kew Gardens, are a major botanical institution located at Kew, in London, England.
26d Monstrous yarn that's historical originally? (4)
This is another true & lit. clue (see comment at 15a).
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)
 - TheFreeDictionary.com (Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary)