Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday, March 27, 2011 (ST 4421)

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Sunday Times
ST 4421
Date of Publication in The Sunday Times
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Link to Full Review
Times for the Times [ST 4421]
Times for the Times Review Written By
Dave Perry
Date of Publication in the Toronto Star
Saturday, March 19, 2011


The electronic aids in my Tool Chest saw heavy action today, as I found this puzzle to be quite challenging.

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

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.

Courage - in the U.K., a brand of beer brewed by Courage Brewery.

Sir Jacob Epstein (1880–1959) – American-born British sculptor who helped pioneer modern sculpture.

Das Rheingold (The Rhine Gold) - first of the four operas comprising Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung)

sauce - noun 3 informal, chiefly British impertinence; cheek

tinnie - (alternative spelling of tinny) noun 1 Australian /NZ informal a can of beer

Appearing in Solutions

Dr William Gilbert ("WG") Grace (1848–1915) – English amateur cricketer who is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest players of all time, having especial significance in terms of his importance to the development of the sport

patchouli - noun 1 an aromatic oil obtained from a SE Asian shrub, which is used in perfumery, insecticides, and medicine 2 the strongly scented shrub of the mint family from which patchouli is obtained. Pogostemon cablin, family Labiatae

Pork pie (or Porkie pie, often shortened to porkie) - Cockney rhyming slang term for 'lie'

put up - (put someone up) phrase 2 propose someone for election or adoption: the party had put up a candidate in each constituency

Ottorino Respighi (1879–1936) – Italian composer, musicologist and conductor. He is best known for his orchestral Roman trilogy: Fontane di Roma - "Fountains of Rome"; Pini di Roma - "Pines of Rome"; and Feste Romane - "Roman Festivals".

start - noun 2 a sudden movement of surprise or alarm

HM Prison Wormwood Scrubs (informally "The scrubs") - a Category B men's prison, located in the Wormwood Scrubs area of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, in inner west London, England.

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.

26a   Arrogant type appearing in court and causing a disturbance (7)

I didn't fully get the wordplay in this clue and Dave Perry does not give a detailed explanation. The definition is "arrogant type" for which the solution is UPSTART. The wordplay would seem to be UP (appearing in court; i.e., up on charges) + START (causing a disturbance). On further reflection, I have to conclude that start is used in the sense of 'a sudden movement of surprise or alarm'.

2d   Changed key before end of Rhinegold (7)

Sitting here at my keyboard, I can't believe that I missed the wordplay here - with the solution literally staring me right in the face. The definition is "changed", with the solution being ALTERED. The wordplay is ALT (key on a computer keyboard) + ERE (before) + D {ending letter in (Rhinegol)D}. I presume that "Rhinegold" is an anglicized version of Das Rheingold (an opera by Richard Wagner). However, it might possibly be a reference to the British publisher Rhinegold Publishing.

6d   Angry male present? (3,2)

There were a few negative comments regarding this clue on Times for the Times. Personally, I thought it was fine, although I only managed to decipher the wordplay when I took a second look after completing the puzzle. The definition is "male" with the solution being HET UP. The first step in deciphering the wordplay is to replace "present" with 'put up' - as in to 'put up candidates for election' (a timely example in Canada, with an election having just been called) or, as Dave Perry suggests, to 'to put up a defence'. The wordplay then becomes 'male put up' which can be decoded as HE (male) + TUP {a reversal (up, this being a down clue) of PUT}.

21d   This snack is an East End invention (4,3)

A cockney is a native of East London (i.e., of the East End). Cockney rhyming slang for a 'lie' (invention) is PORK PIE.

24d   Try tinnie at the front - it's Courage (5)

I believe in the surface reading that "tinnie" is Australian/New Zealand slang for a can of beer and "Courage" is a brand of British beer. Although not at all difficult, I admit that I didn't figure out the wordplay until I read Dave Perry's review. It is HEAR (try; as a court case) + T {the front letter of T(innie)} giving HEART (courage).

Signing off for this week - Falcon

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