Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily TelegraphDT 27126
Publication Date in The Daily TelegraphFriday, March 15, 2013
SetterGiovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full ReviewBig Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 27126]
Big Dave's Review Written ByGazza
|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
For the next couple of weeks, I will be travelling. I have prepared abbreviated postings for the puzzles that are slated to appear during my absence — assuming that the National Post does not deviate from its recent publication pattern. Service should return to normal around mid-June.
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 High positions for Sun-follower politicians (12)
9a Attend, being exhausted (4)
10a Bloggers en masse? Only half seem grown up, sadly (9)
12a Pieces of music being performed in practice sessions (6)
In cricket, a net is (1) a a pitch surrounded by netting, used for practice or (2) a practice session in a net.
13a Finish in German city that's more fashionable (8)
Trier is a city on the River Mosel in Rhineland-Palatinate, western Germany; population 103,500 (est. 2006). Established by a Germanic tribe, the Treveri, circa 400 BC, Trier is one of the oldest cities in Europe. It was a powerful archbishopric from 815 until the 18th century, but fell into decline after the French occupation in 1797.
15a Launches fantastic reductions (10)
16a It's better avoided by one who doesn't want alcohol (4)
18a Atmosphere by far side of the river (4)
Mistakenly having thought that the definition might be "atmosphere", I inserted AURA as the solution.
The River Aire is a major river in Yorkshire, England, 71 miles (114 km) in length. The river, which flows through Leeds, is a tributary of the River Ouse.
20a Underwater explorers sink at sea -- several (4-6)
23a Like many a noble type's greeting, conveyed audibly (4-4)
High-born is an adjective meaning having noble parents ⇒
a high-born Portuguese family.
24a Celebrate having left spouse finally, becoming this? (6)
26a Work's ending at four -- with story going round that's gossipy (9)
27a I lose hope with couple leaving -- a fateful day! (4)
As Gazza points out, this puzzle appeared in The Daily Telegraph on this fateful day.
28a Central beach could offer total freedom (5,7)
2d Helping to keep old books moving around (8)
In Crosswordland, the word "books" is a clear indication of either the Old Testament (abbreviation OT) or the New Testament (abbreviation NT). Today, Giovanni leaves no doubt as to which one is intended.
3d What gives fellow energy? Certainly in the case of Samson! (4)
4d A port that could be Salerno (3,7)
Gazza calls this type of clue a "reverse anagram". From my background in mathematics and engineering, I prefer the term "inverse anagram" (analogous to such terms as 'inverse transform' and 'inverse hyperbolic function'). Nevertheless, whatever one chooses to call it, Gazza gives a very clear and concise explanation of how it works in his review.
5d Things heard in church making gran so screwed up (6)
6d I complete story about Saint to be used in worship (7)
7d What will give you wonderful lawns? These folk will offer information (12)
In the UK, grass is used informally as a noun to mean a police informer and as a verb meaning to inform the police of someone’s criminal activities or plans ⇒
someone had grassed on the thieves. This expression may derive from rhyming slang (grasshopper = copper). It would seem to naturally follow that a supergrass is a police informer who implicates a large number of people ⇒
both turned supergrass and were the main prosecution witnesses.
8d Bit of food that has fish served up after gym (6)
Gym class might also be known as Phys Ed (abbreviation PE).
11d I can't hit a pet -- somehow that would be hostile (12)
14d 'Kill, burn!', he explodes in battle (6,4)
Bunker Hill was the first pitched battle (1775) of the War of American Independence (actually fought on Breed’s Hill near Boston, Massachusetts). Although the British won, the good performance of the untrained Americans gave considerable impetus to the Revolution.
17d I am at home getting stuck into bowl in sink (8)
19d Soldier to pull up, having got back outside (7)
21d Little bird to nibble, full of endless joy (6)
22d Fiery sailor needs to take it easy (6)
In the Royal Navy, able seaman (abbreviation AB), is a rank of sailor above ordinary seaman and below leading seaman.
25d Report of prominent Lib Dem being cut down (4)
This is a homophone clue, where the solution (HEWN) sounds like the name of a disgraced politician [no, not one of ours!].
The reference is to former British politician Chris Huhne who was a Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament from 5 May 2005 until 5 February 2013. He was appointed Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change in the coalition government following the 2010 general election.
In February 2012, Huhne resigned from the Cabinet when he was charged with perverting the course of justice over a 2003 speeding case. He vigorously and publicly denied the charge until the trial began on 4 February 2013, when he changed his plea to guilty and announced he would stand down as an MP and leave the Privy Council, which he promptly did. He was sentenced to eight months imprisonment, as was his former wife Vicky Pryce for the same offence, on 11 March 2013 [four days before the appearance of this puzzle in The Daily Telegraph]. Huhne and his ex-wife were released on 13 May 2013, having both served two months of their eight-month sentences, both are subject to Electronic tagging [electronic monitoring]. Huhne must stay in his home between 7 pm and 7 am. [Thus Huhne and his ex-wife served their entire prison sentences during the interval between the publication of this puzzle in the UK and its appearance in Canada.].
Huhne had twice stood unsuccessfully for election as leader of the Liberal Democrats. In the 2006 leadership race he came second to Sir Menzies Campbell and in 2007 he narrowly lost to Nick Clegg.
The Liberal Democrats (Lib Dems) are a social liberal political party in the United Kingdom which was formed in 1988 by a merger of the Liberal Party and the Social Democratic Party. Following the 2010 general election, in which no party achieved an overall majority, the Liberal Democrats formed a coalition government with the Conservatives, with Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg becoming Deputy Prime Minister and other Liberal Democrats taking up ministerial positions.
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)