Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday, February 20, 2011 (ST 4416)

The Sunday London Times Puzzle Number
ST 4416
Publication Date in The Sunday London Times
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Link to Full Review
Times for the Times [ST 4416]
Times for the Times Review Written By
Dave Perry
Publication Date in the Toronto Star
Saturday, February 12, 2011


Today's puzzle was definitely more difficult than usual - as attested to by several individuals on Times for the Times. Not only was there a lot of difficult wordplay, there are a lot of British terms appearing in the puzzle (as one can readily see from the exceptionally long glossary today). I felt that some readers might need more explanation than provided by Dave Perry in his review at Times for the Times, so I have produced a more extensive review than I normally do. However, I can't promise to do this every week.

Today's Glossary

Selected abbreviations, people, places, words and expressions appearing in today's puzzle.
[Items marked with an asterisk are from a Cumulative Glossary of entries appearing, since the beginning of this year, in either this blog or its companion blog, the National Post Cryptic Crossword Forum.]

Appearing in Clues

bob3 - noun British informal a shilling
  • used with reference to a moderately large but unspecified amount of money: those vases are worth a few bob
*on - (also on side) noun Cricket the leg side (also leg) [see definition in following section]

Appearing in Solutions

beer cellar - noun
  1. an underground room for storing beer
  2. a basement bar where beer is served
bidet - noun a low oval basin used for washing one's genital and anal area

bowdlerise - (alternative spelling of bowdlerize) remove material that is considered improper or offensive from (a text or account), especially with the result that the text becomes weaker or less effective

cave2 - exclamation British school slang, dated look out! [Origin: Latin, imperative of cavere 'beware']

Edith Cavell (1865–1915) - English nurse; full name Edith Louisa Cavell. During the First World War she helped Allied soldiers to escape from occupied Belgium. She was subsequently executed by the Germans and became a heroine of the Allied cause. Mount Edith Cavell, a mountain located in Canada's Jasper National Park, was named in her honour in 1916.

Cilla - English female given name, originally the diminutive form of Priscilla and less frequently Drusilla. It first appeared in the 20th Century.

count2 - noun [from a British perspective] a foreign nobleman whose rank corresponds to that of an earl

l. (lowercase L) - archaic pound(s)

*leg - (also leg side, on or on side) noun 5 the half of the field (as divided lengthways through the pitch ) away from which the batsman's feet are pointed when standing to receive the ball. The opposite of off.

muffin - noun
  1. a small domed spongy cake made with eggs and baking powder: blueberry muffins
  2. (North American English muffin) a flat circular spongy bread roll made from yeast dough and eaten split , toasted, and buttered
P2 - abbreviation (on road signs and street plans) parking

P(2) - abbreviation 8. physics pressure

para1 - noun informal 1 a paratrooper

pompon - alternative spelling of pom-pom

porter1 - noun 2 dark brown bitter beer brewed from malt partly charred or browned by drying at a high temperature [originally made as a drink for porters]

rag2 - [Collins English Dictionary] noun 1. British a boisterous practical joke, esp one on a fellow student

raga - noun
  • (in Indian classical music) each of the six basic musical modes which express different moods in certain characteristic progressions, with more emphasis placed on some notes than others
  • a piece using a particular raga
refresher - noun 2 Law, British an extra fee payable to counsel in a prolonged case

rosella - noun an Australian parakeet with vivid green, red, yellow, or blue plumage. Genus Platycercus, family Psittacidae: several species

*s - abbreviation [3rd entry] shilling(s)

side - noun 5 [2nd entry] British a sports team

wake1 - noun [Collins English Dictionary]
  • 3. the patronal or dedication festival of English parish churches
  • 5. (usually plural) an annual holiday in any of various towns in northern England, when the local factory or factories close, usually for a week or two weeks
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.

11a   Look out for English nurse who's shed a couple of pounds (4)

I must confess to having gotten this one wrong, having put in CARE which I thought could certainly mean "look out for". Even though I have gazed up at Mount Edith Cavell on visits to the Rockies, the name failed to pop into my head. The definition is "look out" with the solution being CAVE - an archaic British schoolboy warning meaning "Look out!", based on the Latin imperative 'cave' (beware). The wordplay is CAVELL (English nurse) with the final two Ls deleted (who's shed a couple of pounds).

2d   Away for time, some soldier potentially dropped (4)

The definition is "soldier potentially dropped" for which the solution is PARA, a British term for a paratrooper (a soldier who could be dropped from a plane). The wordplay is PART (some) with A (away) replacing T (time).

'A' as an abbreviation for "away" may come from the sports pages where one often finds tables showing games as being played at home (H) or away (A).

Another possibility, although probably unlikely, is that it comes from the British designation for highways, where 'A' is "used to indicate a main road other than a motorway" [A(1) symbol 5]. Thus "a way" might become 'A' (requiring one to split "away" into two words).

5d   Financial training for the Bar? (9,6)

This clue is a cryptic definition and is a play on words involving the British term 'refresher' meaning "an extra fee payable to counsel in a prolonged case". Thus, I surmise that the setter is suggesting that a REFRESHER COURSE might be training taken by lawyers on how to collect fees from clients.

Solution to Today's Puzzle

Legend: "*" anagram; "~" sounds like; "<" letters reversed
"( )" letters inserted; "_" letters deleted


1a   SPAR|_E PARTS - SPAR (dispute) + [D]EPARTS {DEPARTS (leaves) with the D deleted (Democrat going)}; "for" is a link word between the wordplay and the definition

8a   TRIO - TRI[P/O] {TRIP (outing) with O (ring) replacing (for) P (parking)}

10a   RAG|A|MUFFIN - {A + MUFFIN (roll)} following (after) RAG (horseplay); "seen on" is a link phrase between the definition and the wordplay

11a   CAVE__ - CAVE[LL] (English nurse [Edith Cavell]) with the final two Ls (pounds) deleted (whose shed a couple of pounds); "for" is a link word between the definition and the wordplay

13a   RO(SELL)A_ - SELL (trade) contained in (in) ROA[D] (street reduced; i.e., with the final letter deleted); "for" is a link word between the wordplay and the definition

15a   C(LOVE)N - LOVE (nothing; a score of zero in tennis) contained in (in) CN (case of confusion; i.e., the exterior letters of C[ONFUSIO]N)

16a   A(LIEN)S - AS (for instance) containing (maintaining) LIEN (right to take property)

17a   UNDER THE COUNT|ER - UNDER THE COUNT (position of foreign nobleman's mistress) + ER (ever disheartened; E[VE]R with the interior letters deleted); "and" is a link word between the wordplay and the definition

18a   SEE|SAW - SAW (maxim) following (seen behind) SEE (spot); "with" is a link word between the wordplay and the definition

20a   BIG TOE - BIG (great) + TOE (digital feature)

21a   LANO*|LIN< - an anagram (written off) of LOAN + a reversal (coming back) of NIL (nothing)

22a   EMIT< - reversal (sent back) of TIME (magazine)

25a   BEER CELLAR - cryptic definition

26a   _AD|_EN - {[M]AD (crazy) + [M]EN (fellows)} with the initial letter of each word deleted (losing their heads); "in" is a link word between the wordplay and the definition

27a   STEPS A|SIDE - STEPS (flight [of stairs]) + A SIDE (first team; as contrasted with the B side, for example)


2d   PARA - PAR[T/A] {PART (some) with A (away) replacing (for) T (time)}

3d   _RA|GA_ - hidden in (flagged by the question mark) IndiRA GAndhi; "'s" (is) is a link word between the wordplay and the definition

4d   POMPON - POMP (splendid display) + ON (in progress); "from" is a link word between the definition and the wordplay

5d   REFRESHER COURSE - a cryptic definition of a training course for British lawyers - one presumably dealing with the collection of fees from clients

6d   S|CILLA - S (bob; shilling) + (seen with) Cilla (a lady); "and" is a link word between the definition and the wordplay

7d   {POWER SURGE}* - anagram (upset) of GROUPS WERE; "by" is a link word between the wordplay and the definition

9d   REA_|L E_|STATE_ - {REA[R] (back) + LE[G] (on) + STATE[D] (said)} with the final (terminal) letter deleted from each (to be lacking terms)

12d   BOWDLERIS*|E_ - anagram (out) of {LIBE[L] (cut libel; i.e., LIBEL with the final letter deleted) + WORDS} + E (upfront in edition; i.e., the first letter of E[DITION]); this is an & lit. (all-in-one) clue in which the entire clue constitutes the definition (although, as Dave Perry points out, one that is "forced")

13d   RE(TRI_)AL - {TRI[P] with the final letter deleted; pressure (P) off} contained in (into) REAL (genuine)

14d   ALBUM|IN - ALBUM (book) + IN (at home); "taken from" is a link phrase between the definition and the wordplay

15d   COUPS D'ETAT - anagram (out) of A DESPOT CUT

19d   WAKE|N|S - WAKE (festival) preceding (before) {N (North) + S (South); game (bridge) partners)}

20d   BIDETS* - anagram (abroad) of BEDSIT; "from" is a link word between the definition and the wordplay

23d   _ILLS - [B]ILLS (invoices) with the initial letter deleted (unopened); "can lead to" is a link phrase between the wordplay and the definition

24d   _ARI|D_ - hidden in (in) KalahARI Desert

Signing off for this week - Falcon

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