Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sunday, May 22, 2011 (ST 4429)

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Sunday Times
ST 4429
Date of Publication in The Sunday Times
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Link to Full Review
Times for the Times [ST 4429]
Times for the Times Review Written By
Dave Perry
Date of Publication in the Toronto Star
Saturday, May 14, 2011


Today, the setter gives us a bit of potty training. Although I completed the puzzle fairly rapidly, I did have a few points that I needed to check at Times for the Times. From Dave Perry's review, I discovered that I had missed a key element of the wordplay in 1a (the need to split Luther from King) and had a mistake at 10a (having entered SCATTERING instead of SMATTERING - thereby making the wordplay incomprehensible). I must say that I do not see in what sense "races" qualifies as an anagram indicator at 4d. However it may well be valid, as Dave Perry - although mentioning that he initially "failed to see 'races' as an anagrind" - doesn't object to its use.

Today's Glossary

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

[An asterisk beside an entry merely indicates that it has been taken it from a Cumulative Glossary of entries which have previously appeared, 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.

hack (someone) off - phrase informal annoy or infuriate (someone): it really hacks me off when they whine about what a poor job we're doing

hare and hounds - noun a game, especially a paperchase, in which a group of people chase another person or group across the countryside.

Appearing in Solutions

aller - verb French to go

gin2 - noun 3 (also gin trap) a trap for catching birds or small mammals.

paperchase - noun 1 British a cross-country race in which the runners follow a trail marked by torn-up paper. [Note: Oxford and Chambers disagree on the spelling, with Oxford stipulating paperchase while Chambers opts for paper chase.]

*read - verb 5 chiefly British study (an academic subject) at a university: I'm reading English at Cambridge; [no object] he went to Manchester to read for a BA in Economics.

wee2 - informal, chiefly British noun [usually in singular][a] an act of urinating. [b] urine. verb urinate.

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.

12a   One trap in test of derivation (8)

Knowing that a gin is a type of "trap" and that an oral is a kind of "test" allowed me to solve this clue from the wordplay alone. However, I do not understand the definition where "of derivation" would appear to be intended to mean ORIGINAL. To my mind, an original might be a "source of derivation". Perhaps there is something missing in the clue - or in my understanding.

7d   Close finish (9)

Like Dave Perry, my first thought was that the two definitions here are essentially the same. However, perhaps the setter intended "finish" to mean "kill, destroy, or comprehensively defeat" - which might satisfy those who adhere to the seemingly widely-held belief that there is a convention stating that the two definitions in a double definition clue must be different (a proposition which Peter Biddlecombe, puzzles editor for The Sunday Times, questions in a comment on Times for the Times).

Signing off for this week - Falcon

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