Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday, March 13, 2011 (ST 4419)

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Sunday Times
ST 4419
Date of Publication in The Sunday Times
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Link to Full Review
Times for the Times [ST 4419]
Times for the Times Review Written By
Dave Perry
Date of Publication in the Toronto Star
Saturday, March 5, 2011


I found this to be probably the most difficult puzzle that I have run into in a very long time. I needed copious amounts of aid from my electronic assistants - and still finished without understanding the wordplay in 14a. As it turns out, the clue relies on an apparently common British expression meaning 'extremely drunk' - but one that I am totally unfamiliar with, as I dare say are most North Americans.

In his review, Dave Perry wonders (in regard to 20a) "how well does [the expression "boring old farts"] transfer abroad?". Actually, very well, as this is quite a common expression in North America. However, I can't say the same for several other British expressions, such as bladdered (to which I have alluded above) as well as elevenses, outsize (OS),  charlie (which I did discover should not be confused with charlies), and especially carcase (a spelling that apparently does not exist outside the U.K.).

Today's Errata

One thing that seems to have transferred abroad quite well is the obvious spelling error in 3d:
  • 3d   One Cathoilic in event remains (7)

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

The meanings listed in this section may reflect how the word is used in the surface reading of the clue. Of course, that meaning may be contributing to the misdirection that the setter is attempting to create.

daily - noun informal 2 (also daily help) British dated a woman who is employed to clean someone else's house each day

flipping - adjective [attributive] British informal used for emphasis or to express mild annoyance: are you out of your flipping mind?; [as submodifier] it's flipping cold today

*leg - noun 5 (also leg side, on or on side) Cricket 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.

Mayo1 - a county in the Republic of Ireland, in the north-west in the province of Connacht; county town, Castlebar

Appearing in Solutions

bladdered - adjective British informal extremely drunk

char2 - noun 1 British informal a charwoman

charlie - noun 1 British informal a fool

Chinook - noun 1 a member of an American Indian people originally inhabiting the region around the Columbia River in Oregon

*eleven - cardinal number [6th entry] a sports team of eleven players: at cricket I played in the first eleven

elevenses -plural noun British informal a short break for light refreshments, usually with tea or coffee, taken at about eleven o'clock in the morning

*on - (also on side) noun Cricket the leg side (or, simply, leg) [see the definition for leg in the Appearing in Clues section above]

OS - abbreviation (as a size of clothing) outsize, the British term equivalent to the North American terms plus size (for women's clothing) and big and tall (for men's clothing).

rot - noun 3 informal, chiefly British nonsense; rubbish: don't talk rot; [as exclamation]‘Rot!’ she said with vehemence

Signing off for this week - Falcon

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