Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sunday, May 31, 2009 (ST 4325)

This puzzle was originally published in The Sunday London Times on April 19, 2009


After quickly solving several clues, I thought this puzzle would be easy. However, I soon found that my initial rapid pace was not to endure. I did end up correctly solving all but one clue, even without completely understanding the wordplay associated with a number of them. Thankfully, most of my bewilderment was dispelled by Times for the Times.

Links to solutions:

A full solution and explanation is provided by Times for the Times.

Three of the clues are discussed at the Saturday Star Cryptic Forum. Among them, are two that gave me grief.

Commentary on Today's Puzzle

The Briticism's did me in today. Although I only failed to find the solution to one clue, there were several for which I did not completely follow the wordplay. The clue that I missed is:

25d Nearly leave the army in protest (4)

With virtually no confidence in its correctness, I had settled on VETO as the solution. The term 'demob' never occurred to me as I was solving the puzzle (although, in hindsight, I do remember having encountered it in the past). Also, I would personally use 'demo' as a short form for 'demonstration' only in the sense of a 'product demo' and never in the sense of a 'protest' - although I do see that this latter usage is supported by at least one dictionary. Interestingly, I was surprised to find that most of the dictionaries that I consulted did not include 'protest' among the meanings for 'demonstration'.

While I was able to obtain the correct solution, the wordplay in the following clues was largely lost on me.

1ac Do you get it with an attractive kipper? (6,5)

I did not know that 'kip' is British slang for 'sleep'. A search on 'kipper' did not turn up this meaning. Too late, I discovered that I would have easily found it by searching on 'kip' or 'kipping'.

10ac It could be Parisian cheer - or cheers! (6,5)

I didn't fully understand the wordplay until I saw it explained on Times for the Times. It was the definition of 'cheer' as 'food' that was unfamiliar to me. Even now, I'm not sure I would readily associate toast (even French toast) with "festive food and drink" (which is how I saw it defined in one dictionary).

18ac Oscar is bad about blocking station entrance, leads to certain conflict (9,6)

I solved this through a combination of the constraints imposed by the letters in the cross entries (I presume this may be what the author of Times for the Times refers to as "checking letters") and the phrase "leads to certain conflict". The complex wordplay in the first part of the clue went totally over my head until I saw the explanation on Times for the Times. I was also puzzled as to why 'Oscar' could be abbreviated as 'O' - until I suddenly remembered that it is a constituent of the phonetic alphabet.

27ac Nonsense, mate! (4)

Apparently 'tosh' means 'mate' (pal) to the British, but the only definition I could find, despite checking numerous sources (including dictionaries of British slang), was 'nonsense'.

20d Repair wall front but not top (6)

Kudos to the setter - the wordplay in this very clever clue totally escaped me. (See Times for the Times for an explanation).

Signing off until next Sunday - Falcon

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sunday, May 24, 2009 (ST 4324)

This puzzle was originally published in The Sunday London Times on April 12, 2009

Links to Solutions

A solution to today's puzzle may be found at Times for the Times [ST 4324].

From now on, I will not bother linking to the Toronto Star site unless I find some discussion of potential interest there. Usually this site just publishes the completed grid of the puzzle - which the Citizen prints in the same edition of the paper in which the puzzle appears. I presume the Toronto Star must delay publishing the solution to the puzzle, thus creating the demand for the blog to publish the solution. Rarely - very rarely - this blog has some discussion concerning the puzzle.

Comments on Today's Puzzle

15ac Raw beginners for example, getting taken in by swindles (7)

I take issue, as does Times for the Times, with the use of "i.e." (rather than "e.g.") to mean "for example" in the solution to this clue.

8d Headmaster brought into cooperation with the abused (8)

The comments posted on Times for the Times comprise, for the most part, a discussion concerning whether the usage of "Headmaster" in this clue is appropriate.

Citizen Cryptic Crossword by Susannah Sears

On Sundays, the Citizen also publishes a cryptic crossword puzzle created specifically for the paper by Susannah Sears whose website contains a variety of material of potential interest to cryptic crossword fans.

That's all for this week.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sunday, May 17, 2009 (ST 4323)

This puzzle was originally published in The Sunday London Times on April 5, 2009

Links to Solutions

A solution to today's puzzle, with an explanation for the wordplay, may be found at Times for the Times [ST 4323].

Although there is also a solution at Saturday Star Cryptic Forum [ST 4323], it provides no explanation of the wordplay, and is therefore merely equivalent to the solution published in the Citizen.

Raison d'etre for this Blog

This site is intended to be a forum open to anyone who enjoys solving The Sunday London Times Crossword that is published each Sunday in the Ottawa Citizen. This cryptic crossword puzzle runs in the Citizen six weeks following its original appearance in the UK. The puzzle also appears in the Toronto Star on Saturday of the weekend preceding its publication in the Citizen. This blog will post links to solutions. I invite readers to post comments or ask questions if they need assistance in understanding solutions to clues.