The Citizen has skipped puzzle ST 4360, a jumbo puzzle on an oversize grid with a Christmas theme, which was published in The Sunday London Times on December 20, 2009
For the most part, today's puzzle was not terribly difficult. It was marred by an error in one clue.
There is an error in today's puzzle at 1d, where the clue should read:
1d Seat used by persons of authority (4)
This error apparently appeared in both the print and online editions of The Sunday London Times and is acknowledged
Some possibly unfamiliar abbreviations, people, places, words and expressions used in today's puzzle
Ron Moody - British actor best known for his portrayal of Fagin in the stage and film versions of the musical Oliver!
pork-pie hat -
Spurs - nickname for the Tottenham Hotspurs Football Club
Bertie Wooster - fictional English gentleman in the Jeeves novels of British author P. G. Wodehouse
Links to Solutions
A review of today's puzzle by talbinho can be found at Times for the Times [ST 4361].
Commentary on Today's Puzzle
14a Put down a little son on manger - the Lord finally seen (8)
"Put down", used in the sense of attribute to rather than denigrate, is ASCRIBE. The wordplay is A S (little son) attached to (on) CRIB (manger) E D (the final letters of the words "thE lorD").
A manger or crib is a trough or open box for feeding livestock. Not having grown up on a farm, I can't say definitively whether either term is commonly used in North America. However, my only acquaintance with the word manger is in the Christmas story and, for me, the term crib brings to mind a corn crib (a facility for storing corn).
I was also surprised to discover that, in Britain, a baby's bed is not called a crib - but rather a cot. In the U.K., it seems that the word cot can also mean a portable bed as it does in North America.
15a Not much of a turn? It gets an award at Edinburgh, maybe (6)
In this clue, the setter may be intending to misdirect us to the Edinburgh International Film Festival (at least, that was my first thought). In reality, our actual destination is the University of Edinburgh.
I believe that the clue parses as:
Not much of a turn, it /gets\ an award at Edinburgh
where a turn of merely a degree is not much of a turn at all and a degree is an award from a university (Edinburgh, maybe).
16d Feeling great excitement? No, by implication! (6,2)
"Feeling great excitement" is a definition of TURNED ON. If we were to turn the word "on" around (i.e., reverse the order of the letters) the result or consequence (implication) would be "no". Therefore, the wordplay "no, by implication" tells us that should we treat the solution to the clue itself as if it were wordplay (TURNED ON or, in other words, ON turned [around]), the result (implication) would be NO.
23d Little woman eager (not half) to get something in cracker (4)
As this puzzle appeared in the U.K. during the Christmas season, British readers would no doubt have readily seen the meaning of cracker in this clue. Christmas crackers were not a tradition in my family - nor any other family that I knew of. However, being generally aware of them (mainly through seeing them on television programs or in movies), I knew they made a bang when opened and contained favours (such as small toys). Wikipedia lists the typical contents as "
Thus the little woman is JO (Jo March, one of the four sisters who are the principal characters in Louisa May Alcott's novel Little Women) which is followed by KE (KEEN without the last half) giving JOKE (something in cracker).
Signing off for this week - Falcon