Puzzle at a Glance
Daily Telegraph Puzzle NumberDT 26899
Publication Date in The Daily TelegraphFriday, June 22, 2012
SetterGiovanni (Don Manley)
Link to Full ReviewBig Dave's Crossword Blog [DT 26899]
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
IntroductionAfter seeing that Gazza had awarded this puzzle four stars for difficulty, I was quite satisfied with my performance today — needing to invoke the aid of my electronic assistants on only three clues (1a, 3d, and 21a).
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.
10a What, by implication, could be images for modern movement (3,6)
This clue contains a reverse anagram (i.e., the result of the anagram operation is found in the clue and the anagram indicator and fodder make up the solution to the clue). This is opposite to the more usual state of affairs, where the anagram indicator and fodder are found in the clue and the result of the anagram operation forms the solution (or part of it).
As a solution, we are looking for "modern movement" (the definition) which is also "what, by implication, could be images" (the wordplay). An anagram of AGEISM"could be IMAGES" and this might be clued in a cryptic crossword as "new ageism" (which also happens to be a modern movement).
12a A titchier man, I fancy, may be one who has no trouble with tots! (13)
Titch is British slang for very small ⇒
a titchy theatre. In Britain, a tot is the addition of a long column.
15a Achieve end of disease with very loud form of therapy (6)
Fortissimo (abbreviation ff) is a direction used in music to mean either (as an adjective) very loud or (as an adverb) very loudly. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), formerly known as electroshock, is a psychiatric treatment in which seizures are electrically induced in anesthetized patients for therapeutic effect.
19a Like intimate combat in time immediately before start of lunch break? (3-2-3)
The Brits seem to prefer a late lunch — at least, by my standards.
24a Journey to lake with tour guide (talked nonsense!) (9)
I initially read this as "Journey to take ...", and no matter how many times I came back to it, I saw the same thing. I guess it must be time for an eye exam.
26a Bout of illness? Sleep cut short, little energy (4)
Doss is British slang meaning to sleep in rough accommodation or on an improvised bed ⇒
he dossed down on a friend’s floor.
27a Love joining meeting, swallowing one drink to begin with (10)
In tennis, squash, and some other sports, love is a score of zero or nil ⇒
love fifteen. The resemblance of a zero written as a number (0) to the letter O leads to the cryptic crossword convention of love equating to this letter.
1d Top account this writer’s provided (4)
It is a common cryptic crossword convention for the creator of the puzzle to use terms such as setter, compiler, 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.
3d Believe lover may create some sort of financial control (6,7)
A credit squeeze is the control of credit facilities as an instrument of economic policy, associated with restrictions on bank loans and overdrafts, raised interest rates, etc.
4d Cow that presents something of a big dilemma? (8)
My take on the wordplay is that "something of a dilemma" can be interpreted to mean something belonging to a dilemma. From the expression, "horns of a dilemma" we can surmise that a horn is something belonging to a dilemma, leading us to conclude that "something of a big dilemma" might be a long horn.
5d Old-fashioned punishment could get contrary English pupil working hard (5)
If you are a devotee of Oxford, you will never solve this clue. Swot (or swat, according to The Chambers 21st Century Dictionary and Collins English Dictionary) means (as a verb) to cram (in the sense of to study a subject intensively, as for an examination) and (as a noun) a person who works or studies hard. However, Oxford Dictionaries cautions "Do not confuse swat with swot. Swat means 'hit something with a flat object' ( he swatted some flies buzzing around him), whereas swot means 'study hard' ( kids swotting for GCSEs [General Certificate of Secondary Education]) or 'a person who studies hard'." Obviously, Chambers and Collins failed to heed Oxford's directive.
Giovanni has chosen to go with the latter spelling, giving us a reversal (contrary) of E (English) + SWAT (pupil working hard) which results in the solution TAWSE. Tawse is a mainly Scottish term for a leather strap having one end cut into thongs, formerly used as an instrument of punishment by a schoolteacher.
Having been misdirected by Oxford [a convenient excuse!], I elected to use the former spelling, and came up with TOWSE as my solution. From The Chambers Dictionary, I concluded that towse might be an obsolete name for punishment on the rack, certainly a much more gruesome instrument of punishment than the tawse (however, a rather extreme measure to inflict on a school pupil who demonstrates lack of effort).
touse, touze, towse, or towze /towz/ vt to haul, to pull about; to dishevel, rumple, tumble; to worry; to rack (obs); to tease out (obs). ♦ vi to touse each other; to be toused; to tussle; to rummage. ♦ n a tousing [could this mean an instance of being tortured on the rack?].
7d A province having policy for chemical that can be used in dyeing (7)
Not a Canadian province, but a province of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Gazza points out that the UK and Great Britain are not the same thing (although, it seems, sometimes they are!).
Although the United Kingdom, as a sovereign state, is a country, England, Scotland, Wales and (more controversially) Northern Ireland are also referred to as countries, although they are not sovereign states and only Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have devolved self-government. The British Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom. With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice often revealing one's political preferences." Other terms used for Northern Ireland include "region" and "province".
The United Kingdom is often referred to as Britain. British government sources frequently use the term as a short form for the United Kingdom, whilst media style guides generally allow its use but point out that the longer term Great Britain refers only to the main island which includes England, Scotland and Wales. However, some foreign usage, particularly in the United States, uses Great Britain as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom. Also, the United Kingdom's Olympic team competes under the name "Great Britain" or "Team GB". GB and GBR are the standard country codes for the United Kingdom (see ISO 3166-2 and ISO 3166-1 alpha-3) and are consequently commonly used by international organisations to refer to the United Kingdom.
11d Feeling very sad if Reg is this? (5-8)
This is another reverse anagram (see comment for 10a) — and one that I failed to see. In part, I was misled by thinking that the word "is" was included in the anagram fodder. That left me six letters short in the fodder department.
18d Service is gripping congregation finally after dull start (7)
Mattins (chiefly British according to the American Heritage Dictionary) is the service of morning prayer in the Church of England. The more common spelling is matins.
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)