Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday, December 12, 2010 (ST 4406)

The Sunday London Times Puzzle Number
ST 4406
Publication Date in The Sunday London Times
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Link to Full Review
Times for the Times [ST 4406]
Times for the Times Review Written By


A relatively less difficult puzzle today, in that I was able to complete it without electronic aids. As often is the case, there are some questionable clues in today's puzzle. Not out-and-out errors; just poorly crafted clues. Talbinho discusses several of these in his review.

Today's Glossary

Selected abbreviations, people, places, words and expressions appearing in today's puzzle

Appearing in Solutions

hurling - noun an Irish game resembling [field] hockey, played with a shorter stick with a broader oval blade. It is the national game of Ireland and may date back to the 2nd millennium BC.

steam radio - noun chiefly UK, informal radio, as opposed to television; a radio set, especially an old fashioned one; a radio broadcast.
The expression steam radio is apparently based on the belief, widespread at the advent of television, that radio would be displaced by the new medium just as steam locomotives had been obsoleted by diesel locomotives.
Commentary on Today's Puzzle

This commentary should be read in conjunction with the full review at Times for the Times, to which a link is provided in the table above.

1d Strike a questioning attitude (4)

Talbinho attempts to analyze this clue as if it were a double definition, with self-professed unsatisfying results. I had supposed it to be a cryptic definition, where "to strike an attitude" is to pose and the insertion of the adjective "questioning" plays on another sense of the word, namely "to pose a question".

13d Old medium-wave broadcast during asteroid storm (5,5)

This is another clue where one cannot be too rigorous about the parsing. What we know for sure is that the solution is STEAM RADIO, a British expression alluding to the belief that radio would be displaced by television, just as steam locomotives were displaced by diesel locomotives. Apparently, in addition to this instance, "steam" is used in other British expressions to denote "old-fashioned". Thus "old" could be STEAM and "medium-wave broadcast" could be radio. However, this seemingly can't be the case, as the wordplay must be AM (medium-wave broadcast) contained in (during) an anagram (storm) of ASTEROID. This would seem to leave the word "old" alone to be the definition for STEAM RADIO - an implausible idea. Moreover, the clue doesn't appear to work as either a cryptic definition or an & lit. clue. So I think we just have to accept it as a poorly crafted clue.

Signing off for this week - Falcon

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