Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday, January 16, 2011 (ST 4411)

The Sunday London Times Puzzle Number
ST 4411
Publication Date in The Sunday London Times
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Link to Full Review
Times for the Times [ST 4411]
Times for the Times Review Written By
Publication Date in the Toronto Star
Saturday, January 8, 2011


I found it to be a relatively challenging puzzle today, and needed a fair amount of assistance from the electronic aids in my Tool Chest.

Today's Errata

27d   Love to visit distant Portuguese, 22 (4)

There is an extraneous comma in the clue, which should read:
  • 27d   Love to visit distant Portuguese 22 (4)
Today's Glossary

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

Appearing in Clues

Long John Silver - a fictional character and the primary antagonist of the novel Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Appearing in Solutions

advert1 - noun British informal an advertisement

sitter - noun 3 British informal (in sport) an easy catch or shot

Abbreviations, Acronyms & Symbols

AA - abbreviation [3rd entry] (in the UK and South Africa) Automobile Association [a counterpart to the CAA (in Canada) or AAA (in the U.S.)]

CAL (Cal.) - abbreviation California

CE - abbreviation [1st entry] Church of England

CU (Cu) - Symbol the chemical element copper

H2 - abbreviation 4 hospital

L (lower case) - abbreviation [1st entry] (giving position or direction) left: l to r: Gordon, Anthony, and Mark

MB - abbreviation Bachelor of Medicine [from Latin Medicinae Baccalaureus], the professional degree held by medical practitioners in Britain [equivalent to a North American MD (Medical Doctor, from Latin Medicinae Doctor]

RD (Rd) - abbreviation Road (used in street names)

S (lower case) - abbreviation [1st entry] second(s)

SP (sp.) - abbreviation 2 special

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.

15a   Copper left in genuine panacea (4-3)

Be aware that Talbinho's analysis of this clue at Times for the Times is incorrect (as he himself acknowledges). If you visit the site, make sure to read the comments section.

26a   Wage war when overdrawn? (6)

I confess that I failed to figure out the wordplay in this clue, which is a somewhat tricky one. In general, when we are required to make substitutions, they involve solely elements of the 'fodder' (as opposed to 'indicators'). However, here the substitution involves both fodder and the indicator. In fact, the indicator is not present in the clue as it is originally presented, and is introduced through the substitution. In order to solve the clue, we must first substitute the phrase 'in the red' for "overdrawn?", to get:
  • Wage war when in the red
with the wordplay now being WAR contained in (when in) RED or REWARD. The question mark is provided by the setter as a hint that we should expect an unusual feature in the clue.

2d   Drivers taking tank in last part of war movie (6)

Be careful how you read this clue. I had initially had reservations about the wording, not having properly appreciated the role of the word "in". The definition is "movie" and the wordplay is {AA (drivers; Automobile Association - British counterpart to the CAA) containing (taking ... in) VAT (tank)} + R {last part of (wa)R}. I had at first presumed that the containment indicator was merely "taking" and that "in" would therefore have to be serving as a charade indicator (which, of course, would be nonsensical).

3d   Mysteriously, is around no longer (8)

Talbinho clearly does not like this clue ("tragic"). This seems to be a semi & lit. where part of the definition is implicit. We are required to interpret the clue as "[The solution is something that,] mysteriously, is around no longer". Thus the entire clue (and more) serves as the definition and the wordplay is an anagram (mysteriously) of IS AROUND. Perhaps, the clue might have been phrased:
  • 3d   It, mysteriously, is around no longer (8)
27d   Love to visit distant Portuguese 22 (4) [corrected per Today's Errata]

The "22" is a cross-reference indicator to clue 22d. To solve this clue, one must substitute the solution obtained in 22d in place of the cross-reference indicator, following which the clue becomes:
  • 27d   Love to visit distant Portuguese resort (4)
Signing off for this week - Falcon

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