Saturday, June 24, 2017

Saturday, June 24, 2017 — Cox & Rathvon (Preliminary Post)

Introduction

Here is today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon. I will return later with the solution.

I invite you to leave a comment to let us know how you fared with the puzzle.

Signing off for the moment — Falcon

Friday, June 23, 2017

Friday, June 23, 2017 — DT 28402

Vacation Edition
Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28402
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, April 15, 2017
Setter
Unknown
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28396 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28396 – Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave (Hints)
crypticsue (Review)
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★ / ★★ Enjoyment - ★★★
Notes
As this was a Saturday "Prize Puzzle" in Britain, there are two entries related to it on Big Dave's Crossword Blog — the first, posted on the date of publication, contains hints for selected clues while the second is a full review issued following the entry deadline for the contest. The vast majority of reader comments will generally be found attached to the "hints" posting with a minimal number — if any — accompanying the full review.
I am currently on vacation. Today's abbreviated posting was prepared prior to my departure and provides a link to the review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog for the puzzle that I expect to be published today. However, the National Post has been known to alter its publication schedule unexpectedly, so there is no guarantee that my forecast will necessarily prove to be accurate.

Signing off for today — Falcon

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Thursday, June 22, 2017 — DT 28401

Vacation Edition
Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28401
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, April 14, 2017
Setter
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28401]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Deep Threat
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★★ Enjoyment - ★★★
Notes
I am currently on vacation. Today's abbreviated posting was prepared prior to my departure and provides a link to the review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog for the puzzle that I expect to be published today. However, the National Post has been known to alter its publication schedule unexpectedly, so there is no guarantee that my forecast will necessarily prove to be accurate.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Wednesday, June 21, 2017 — DT 28400

Vacation Edition
Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28400
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, April 13, 2017
Setter
Shamus (Philip Marlow)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28400]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Kath
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★ Enjoyment - ★★★★
Notes
I am currently on vacation. Today's abbreviated posting was prepared prior to my departure and provides a link to the review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog for the puzzle that I expect to be published today. However, the National Post has been known to alter its publication schedule unexpectedly, so there is no guarantee that my forecast will necessarily prove to be accurate.

Signing off for today — Falcon

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Tuesday, June 20, 2017 — DT 28399

Vacation Edition
Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28399
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Setter
Jay (Jeremy Mutch)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28399]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
2Kiwis
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★ Enjoyment - ★★★
Notes
I am currently on vacation. Today's abbreviated posting was prepared prior to my departure and provides a link to the review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog for the puzzle that I expect to be published today. However, the National Post has been known to alter its publication schedule unexpectedly, so there is no guarantee that my forecast will necessarily prove to be accurate.

Signing off for today — Falcon

Monday, June 19, 2017

Monday, June 19, 2017 — DT 28398

Vacation Edition
Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28398
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Setter
Unknown
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28398]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Mr Kitty
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★ Enjoyment - ★★★
Notes
I am currently on vacation. Today's abbreviated posting was prepared prior to my departure and provides a link to the review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog for the puzzle that I expect to be published today. However, the National Post has been known to alter its publication schedule unexpectedly, so there is no guarantee that my forecast will necessarily prove to be accurate.

Signing off for today — Falcon

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Saturday, June 17, 2017 — Cox & Rathvon (Preliminary Post)

Introduction

Here is today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon. I will return later with the solution.

I invite you to leave a comment to let us know how you fared with the puzzle.

Signing off for the moment — Falcon

Friday, June 16, 2017

Friday, June 16, 2017 — DT 28397

Vacation Edition
Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28397
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Monday, April 9, 2017
Setter
Rufus (Roger Squires)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28397]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Miffypops
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★ Enjoyment - ★★★★
Notes
I am currently on vacation. Today's abbreviated posting was prepared prior to my departure and provides a link to the review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog for the puzzle that I expect to be published today. However, the National Post has been known to alter its publication schedule unexpectedly, so there is no guarantee that my forecast will necessarily prove to be accurate.

Signing off for today — Falcon

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Thursday, June 15, 2017 — DT 28396

Vacation Edition
Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28396
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, April 8, 2017
Setter
Unknown
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28396 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28396 – Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave (Hints)
crypticsue (Review)
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★ / ★★ Enjoyment - ★★★
Notes
As this was a Saturday "Prize Puzzle" in Britain, there are two entries related to it on Big Dave's Crossword Blog — the first, posted on the date of publication, contains hints for selected clues while the second is a full review issued following the entry deadline for the contest. The vast majority of reader comments will generally be found attached to the "hints" posting with a minimal number — if any — accompanying the full review.
I am currently on vacation. Today's abbreviated posting was prepared prior to my departure and provides a link to the review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog for the puzzle that I expect to be published today. However, the National Post has been known to alter its publication schedule unexpectedly, so there is no guarantee that my forecast will necessarily prove to be accurate.

Signing off for today — Falcon

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Wednesday, June 14, 2017 — DT 28395

Vacation Edition
Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28395
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, April 7, 2017
Setter
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28395]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Deep Threat
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★ Enjoyment - ★★★
Notes
I am currently on vacation. Today's abbreviated posting was prepared prior to my departure and provides a link to the review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog for the puzzle that I expect to be published today. However, the National Post has been known to alter its publication schedule unexpectedly, so there is no guarantee that my forecast will necessarily prove to be accurate.

Signing off for today — Falcon

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Tuesday, June 13, 2017 — DT 28394

Vacation Edition
Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28394
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, April 6, 2017
Setter
RayT (Ray Terrell)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28394]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
pommers
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★★ Enjoyment - ★★★
Notes
I am currently on vacation. Today's abbreviated posting was prepared prior to my departure and provides a link to the review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog for the puzzle that I expect to be published today. However, the National Post has been known to alter its publication schedule unexpectedly, so there is no guarantee that my forecast will necessarily prove to be accurate.

Signing off for today — Falcon

Monday, June 12, 2017

Monday, June 12, 2017 — DT 28393

Vacation Edition
Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28393
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Setter
Jay (Jeremy Mutch)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28393]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
2Kiwis
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★ Enjoyment - ★★★★
Notes
I am currently on vacation. Today's abbreviated posting was prepared prior to my departure and provides a link to the review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog for the puzzle that I expect to be published today. However, the National Post has been known to alter its publication schedule unexpectedly, so there is no guarantee that my forecast will necessarily prove to be accurate.

Signing off for today — Falcon

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Saturday, June 10, 2017 — Cox & Rathvon from Eire

Introduction

Today I am staying near Sligo in the Republic of Ireland where I am fortunate enough to have Internet access. Here is today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon. I'm afraid you will likely be on your own for a solution.

I invite you to leave a comment to let us know how you fared with the puzzle.

Signing off for now — Falcon

Friday, June 9, 2017

Friday, June 9, 2017 — DT 28392

Vacation Edition
Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28392
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Setter
Mister Ron (Samuel) [Unconfirmed]
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28392]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Mr Kitty
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★ Enjoyment - ★★★★
Notes
I am currently on vacation. Today's abbreviated posting was prepared prior to my departure and provides a link to the review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog for the puzzle that I expect to be published today. However, the National Post has been known to alter its publication schedule unexpectedly, so there is no guarantee that my forecast will necessarily prove to be accurate.

Signing off for today — Falcon

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Thursday, June 8, 2017 — DT 28391

Vacation Edition
Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28391
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Monday, April 3, 2017
Setter
Rufus (Roger Squires)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28391]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Miffypops
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★ Enjoyment - ★★★★
Notes
I am currently on vacation. Today's abbreviated posting was prepared prior to my departure and provides a link to the review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog for the puzzle that I expect to be published today. However, the National Post has been known to alter its publication schedule unexpectedly, so there is no guarantee that my forecast will necessarily prove to be accurate.

Signing off for today — Falcon

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Wednesday, June 7, 2017 — DT 28390

Vacation Edition
Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28390
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, April 1, 2017
Setter
Unknown
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28390 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28390 – Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Big Dave (Hints)
crypticsue (Review)
BD Rating
Difficulty - Enjoyment - ★★
Notes
As this was a Saturday "Prize Puzzle" in Britain, there are two entries related to it on Big Dave's Crossword Blog — the first, posted on the date of publication, contains hints for selected clues while the second is a full review issued following the entry deadline for the contest. The vast majority of reader comments will generally be found attached to the "hints" posting with a minimal number — if any — accompanying the full review.
I am currently on vacation. Today's abbreviated posting was prepared prior to my departure and provides a link to the review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog for the puzzle that I expect to be published today. However, the National Post has been known to alter its publication schedule unexpectedly, so there is no guarantee that my forecast will necessarily prove to be accurate.

Signing off for today — Falcon

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Tuesday, June 6, 2017 — DT 28389

Vacation Edition
Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28389
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, March 31, 2017
Setter
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28389]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Deep Threat
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★ / ★★ Enjoyment - ★★★
Notes
I am currently on vacation. Today's abbreviated posting was prepared prior to my departure and provides a link to the review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog for the puzzle that I expect to be published today. However, the National Post has been known to alter its publication schedule unexpectedly, so there is no guarantee that my forecast will necessarily prove to be accurate.

Signing off for today — Falcon

Monday, June 5, 2017

Monday, June 5, 2017 — DT 28388

Vacation Edition
Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28388
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Thursday, March 30, 2017
Setter
Shamus (Philip Marlow)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28388]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Kath
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★★ Enjoyment - ★★★
Notes
I am currently on vacation. Today's abbreviated posting was prepared prior to my departure and provides a link to the review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog for the puzzle that I expect to be published today. However, the National Post has been known to alter its publication schedule unexpectedly, so there is no guarantee that my forecast will necessarily prove to be accurate.

Signing off for today — Falcon

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Saturday, June 3, 2017 — Puzzle

Introduction

Today I expect to be travelling somewhere in Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland where I may or may not have Internet access. If and when I have the opportunity to post the puzzle, I will do so. However, in the meantime, the forum is open for discussion.

I invite you to leave a comment to let us know how you fared with the puzzle.

Post Script

I spent the weekend in Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland. The Internet access at our B&B quit on Friday and never returned so I was unable to post the puzzle until now. Here is the June 3 puzzle from Cox & Rathvon.

Signing off for now — Falcon

Friday, June 2, 2017

Friday, June 2, 2017 — DT 28387

Vacation Edition
Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28387
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Setter
Jay (Jeremy Mutch)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28387]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
2Kiwis
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★★ Enjoyment - ★★★★
Notes
I am currently on vacation. Today's abbreviated posting was prepared prior to my departure and provides a link to the review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog for the puzzle that I expect to be published today. However, the National Post has been known to alter its publication schedule unexpectedly, so there is no guarantee that my forecast will necessarily prove to be accurate.

Signing off for today — Falcon

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Thursday, June 1, 2017 — DT 28386

Vacation Edition
Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28386
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Setter
Unknown
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28386]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Mr Kitty
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★★ Enjoyment - ★★ / ★★★
Notes
I am currently on vacation. Today's abbreviated posting was prepared prior to my departure and provides a link to the review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog for the puzzle that I expect to be published today. However, the National Post has been known to alter its publication schedule unexpectedly, so there is no guarantee that my forecast will necessarily prove to be accurate.

Signing off for today — Falcon

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Wednesday, May 31, 2017 — DT 28385

Vacation Edition
Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28385
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Monday, March 27, 2017
Setter
Rufus (Roger Squires)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28385]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Miffypops
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★ / ★★ Enjoyment - ★★★
Notes
I am currently on vacation. Today's abbreviated posting was prepared prior to my departure and provides a link to the review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog for the puzzle that I expect to be published today. However, the National Post has been known to alter its publication schedule unexpectedly, so there is no guarantee that my forecast will necessarily prove to be accurate.

Signing off for today — Falcon

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Tuesday, May 30, 2017 — DT 28384

Vacation Edition
Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28384
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Saturday, March 25, 2017
Setter
Unknown
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28384 – Hints]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28384 – Review]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Tilsit (Hints)
gnomethang (Review)
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★ Enjoyment - ★★★
Notes
As this was a Saturday "Prize Puzzle" in Britain, there are two entries related to it on Big Dave's Crossword Blog — the first, posted on the date of publication, contains hints for selected clues while the second is a full review issued following the entry deadline for the contest. The vast majority of reader comments will generally be found attached to the "hints" posting with a minimal number — if any — accompanying the full review.
I am currently on vacation. Today's abbreviated posting was prepared prior to my departure and provides a link to the review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog for the puzzle that I expect to be published today. However, the National Post has been known to alter its publication schedule unexpectedly, so there is no guarantee that my forecast will necessarily prove to be accurate.

Signing off for today — Falcon

Monday, May 29, 2017

Monday, May 29, 2017 — DT 28383

Vacation Edition
Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Daily Telegraph
DT 28383
Publication Date in The Daily Telegraph
Friday, March 24, 2017
Setter
Giovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full Review
Big Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 28383]
Big Dave's Crossword Blog Review Written By
Deep Threat
BD Rating
Difficulty - ★★★ Enjoyment - ★★★
Notes
I am currently on vacation. Today's abbreviated posting was prepared prior to my departure and provides a link to the review at Big Dave's Crossword Blog for the puzzle that I expect to be published today. However, the National Post has been known to alter its publication schedule unexpectedly, so there is no guarantee that my forecast will necessarily prove to be accurate.

Introduction

For the next two weeks or so, I will be travelling out of the country and taking a break from blogging. I expect to get back to blogging around mid-June. In the meantime, I will post links to the puzzles that I expect to appear each day. However, the editors at the National Post may get in a frisky mood and start leaping ahead again, thereby throwing my predictions off.

Signing off for today — Falcon

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Saturday, May 27, 2017 — Heating Things Up

Introduction

Today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon is hot stuff. I did find it considerably more of a challenge than usual.

The next two weeks will find me travelling outside the country. As I may not have access to the Internet on a regular basis, I may not be able to post the puzzles and reviews in a timely manner.

I invite you to leave a comment to let us know how you fared with the puzzle.

Solution to Today's Puzzle

Falcon's Experience
┌────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┐
███████████████████████████████████
└────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┘
Legend:
- 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
- solved but without fully parsing the clue
- yet to be solved

Legend: "*" anagram; "~" sounds like; "<" letters reversed

"( )" letters inserted; "_" letters deleted; "†" explicit in the clue

Primary indications (definitions) are marked with a solid underline in the clue; subsidiary indications (be they wordplay or other) are marked with a dashed underline in all-in-one (& lit.) clues, semi-all-in-one (semi-& lit.) clues and cryptic definitions. Explicit link words and phrases are enclosed in forward slashes (/link/) and implicit links are shown as double forward slashes (//).

Across

1a   Hot // range brand coming in green (7)

CHAR(GE)D — GE (range brand; General Electric) contained in (coming in) CHARD (green; leafy vegetable)

Hot could be used in the sense of acrimonious or as Henry suggests (see comments below) all fired up, as in excited, or electrically charged..

5a   Hot // up in tree (7)

POP(U)LAR — U (up; abbrev.) contained in (in) POPLAR (tree)

The setters appear to be using U as an abbreviation for "up", a usage for which I can find no justification in the several dictionaries that I consulted. Perhaps one might encounter this on elevator signage or on volume controls or channel selectors on electronic equipment, but usually one would merely see up and down arrows being used.

The list of acronyms at The Free Dictionary website shows U as being the abbreviation for upper and upper class but not up.

In particle physics, u is the symbol for the up quark[7]. However, I found nothing to suggest that the up quark is otherwise known simply as an up, although the up antiquark (the antiparticle of the up quark) is sometimes called antiup quark or simply antiup.

9a   Hot // one in East Germany (5)

E(A)GER — A (one) contained in (in) {E (East; abbrev.) + GER (Germany; abbrev.)}

I did initially try to use I instead of A thereby finding myself stranded atop a mountain in the Swiss Alps.

10a   Hostilities // get a ruler hot? (3-6)

WAR-M|A|KING —WARM (get ... hot) + A (†) + KING (ruler)

To properly appreciate the clue, read both the solution and the wordplay as complete phrases: WARM A KING (get a ruler hot).

11a   Vacation // quarrel broken up by me with love (4,3)

TI(ME| O)FF — TIFF (quarrel) containing (broken up by) {ME (†) + O (love; score of nil in tennis)}

12a   After most of trip, half-remember // boat (7)

TRI|REME — REME (half-remember; [first] half of the word REMEmber) following (after) TRI (most of trip; most of the letters in the word TRIp)

A trireme[5] is an ancient Greek or Roman war galley with three banks of oars.

13a  Star in Leo // prepared bed alone (8)

DENEBOLA* — anagram (prepared) of BED ALONE

I did not know this star, but I did know Deneb[5] and so tried to incorporate it into the solution. As it turns out, Deneb is located in another constellation, Cygnus.

Denebola[5,10] is the second-brightest* star in the constellation Leo.

* According to Wikipedia, Denebola[7] is the third-brightest star in Leo — and Wikipedia would appear to be correct. The editors at both Oxford Dictionaries and Collins English Dictionary seem to have fallen victim to the misconception that the Bayer designation[7] is an accurate indication of a star's relative brightness in a constellation.

15a   Abominable // Snowman’s head stuck in well again (6)

CUR(S)ED — S (Snowman's head; initial letter of the word Snowman) contained in (stuck in) CURED (well again)

Scratching the Surface
The Abominable Snowman[5] (also called yeti) is a large hairy creature resembling a human or bear, said to live in the highest part of the Himalayas.

18a   Lucy’s husband regarding // hot feeling (6)

DESI|RE — DESI (Lucy's husband) + RE (regarding)

Desi Arnaz[7] (1917–1986) was a Cuban-born American actor, musician, and television producer. He is best remembered for his role as Ricky Ricardo on the American television series sitcom I Love Lucy (which originally ran from 1951 to 1957). He co-starred on that show with Lucille Ball, to whom he was married at the time.

19a   Hot // at any time in search (8)

F(EVER)ISH — EVER (at any time) contained in (in) FISH (search; for information, perhaps)

22a   Relay including one // flame (7)

PASSION — PASS ON (relay) containing (including) I ([Roman numeral for] one)

24a   Mother’s new // container for hot drinks (7)

THERMOS* — anagram (new) of MOTHERS

26a   Pasta // tossed at the pigs (9)

SPAGHETTI* — anagram (tossed) of AT THE PIGS

27a   Composer /and/ I had gun returned (5)

{VER|DI}< — reversal (returned) of {ID (I had; contracted as I'd} + REV (gun; as you would an automobile engine)

Giuseppe Verdi[5] (1813–1901) was an Italian composer. His many operas, such as La Traviata (1853), Aida (1871), and Otello (1887), emphasize the dramatic element, treating personal stories on a heroic scale and often against backgrounds that reflect his political interests. Verdi is also famous for his Requiem (1874).

28a   Interjecting oneself, exchanges // hot outbursts (7)

T(I)RADES —TRADES (exchanges) containing (interjecting) I (myself)

29a   General puzzle // hot spot (7)

G|RIDDLE — G (general; abbrev.) + RIDDLE (puzzle)

G[11] is an abbreviation for general, a motion-picture rating advising that the film is suitable for general audiences, or for children as well as adults and, more generally, g.[11] is the abbreviation for general.

Down

1d   Took advantage of // cold and hot (7)

C|HEATED — C (cold; abbrev.; on a water faucet) + (and) HEATED (hot)

2d   Something to chew on in a Broadway hit’s // hot discussions (9)

A|R(GUM)ENT|S — GUM (something to chew on) contained in (in) {A (†) + RENT (Broadway hit) + S ('s)}

Rent[5] is a rock musical loosely based on Giacomo Puccini's opera La Bohème. It tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists struggling to survive and create a life in New York City's East Village under the shadow of HIV/AIDS.

3d   Dress old Hollywood legend (5)

GARB|O — GARB (dress) + O (old; abbrev.)

Greta Garbo[5] (1905–1990) was a Swedish-born American actress; born Greta Gustafsson. She is remembered for films such as Anna Christie (1930), Mata Hari (1931), and Anna Karenina (1935). After her retirement in 1941 she lived as a recluse.

4d   Ruin // insulating material, failing completely (8)

DOWN|F|ALL — DOWN (insulating material) + FAll (failing completely) F (failing; abysmal academic result) + ALL (completely)

Thank you to MG for suggesting the parsing which is superior to my original attempt.

5d   Hot in pursuit of penny // thief (6)

P|IRATE — IRATE (hot) following (in pursuit of) P (penny)

In Britain's current decimal currency system, a penny[5] (plural pennies [for separate coins] or pence [for a sum of money]) is a bronze coin and monetary unit equal to one hundredth of a pound. The abbreviation for penny or pence is p[5].

6d   Liberality behind pitcher/’s/ trite remark (9)

P|LATITUDE — LATITUDE (liberality) following (behind) P (pitcher; position on a baseball team)

7d   Tours river /and/ island, getting into folk knowledge (5)

LO(I)RE — I (island; abbrev.) contained in (getting into) LORE (folk knowledge)

The Loire[7], at a length of 1,012 kilometres (629 mi), is the longest river in France. It rises in the highlands of the southeastern quarter of the Massif Central in the Cévennes range (in the department of Ardèche) at 1,350 m (4,430 ft) near Mont Gerbier de Jonc; it flows north for over 1,000 km (620 mi) through Nevers to Orléans, then west through Tours and Nantes until it reaches the Bay of Biscay (Atlantic Ocean) at St Nazaire.

8d   Common allergen // we put inside got hot (7)

RAG(WE)ED — WE (†) contained in (put inside) RAGED (got hot)

14d   With freshening rub, shined? (9)

BURNISHED* — an anagram (with freshening) of RUB SHINED

This is what is known as an  &lit.[7] clue, a type of clue in which the entire clue not only provides the definition (according to one interpretation) but also serves as the wordplay (according to a different interpretation). Those of you who do the weekday cryptic crosswords in the National Post may recognize this as being what Big Dave's Crossword Blog likes to call an all-in-one clue.

16d   High inside, was hot /and/ appeared to quiver (9)

S(H)IMMERED — H (high; abbrev., symbol on a gearshift lever perhaps) contained in (inside) SIMMERED (was hot)

17d   Observe object // boiling (8)

SEE|THING — SEE (observe) + THING (object)

18d   So I worked over in department // store (7)

DEP(OSI*)T — anagram (worked over) of SO I contained in (in) DEPT (department; abbrev.)

20d   Most of hot, hot stuff /in/ medical facility (7)

HO|SPICE — HO (most of hot; most of the letters of the word HOt) + SPICE (hot stuff)

21d   Merges // iTunes mistakenly (6)

UNITES* — anagram (mistakenly) of ITUNES

23d   Commotion about baby’s second // step (5)

ST(A)IR — STIR (commotion) containing (about) A (baby's second; second letter of the word bAby)

25d   Final stanza, // in drunken voices (5)

_EN|VOI_ — hidden in (in) drunkEN VOIces

An envoi[3] (alternate spelling of envoy) is a short closing stanza in certain verse forms, such as the ballade or sestina, dedicating the poem to a patron or summarizing its main ideas.

Epilogue

The theme of today's puzzle is immediately seared upon one's consciousness. Of the clues that don't include the word "hot", many include related words such as "flame" and "boiling". We also have an insulating material found in garments meant to keep one warm and an actress who was one of Hollywood's hottest stars in her day.

The title of the review also alludes to the possibly questionable abbreviation at 5a.
Key to Reference Sources: 

[1]   - The Chambers Dictionary, 11th Edition
[2]   - Search Chambers - (Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)
[3]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (American Heritage Dictionary)
[4]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (Collins English Dictionary)
[5]   - Oxford Dictionaries (Oxford Dictionary of English)
[6]   - Oxford Dictionaries (Oxford American Dictionary)
[7]   - Wikipedia
[8]   - Reverso Online Dictionary (Collins French-English Dictionary)
[9]   - Infoplease (Random House Unabridged Dictionary)
[10] - CollinsDictionary.com (Collins English Dictionary)
[11] - TheFreeDictionary.com (Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary)
[12] - CollinsDictionary.com (Webster’s New World College Dictionary)
[13] - MacmillanDictionary.com (Macmillan Dictionary)
Signing off for today — Falcon