Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday, June 26, 2011 (ST 4434)

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Sunday Times
ST 4434
Date of Publication in The Sunday Times
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Link to Full Review
Times for the Times [ST 4434]
Times for the Times Review Written By
Dave Perry
Date of Publication in the Toronto Star
Saturday, June 18, 2011


This is certainly among the easiest Sunday Times puzzles I have seen, although there are one or two British expressions that create an added bit of challenge on this side of the Atlantic.

By the way, the acronym DBE - which appears in the review at Times for the Times - means 'definition by example'.

Today's Errata

There does appear to be a fairly obvious typo in 20d (unless it is yet another Briticism!) which may be specific to the syndicated version of the puzzle as it is not mentioned on Times for the Times (or perhaps it is just too trivial to bear mention).
  • 20d   What old shoes may be, we hear - gor rid of in charity shop? (6)
I would presume that the clue should read 'got' in place of "gor".

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.

worker - noun 3 a neuter or undeveloped female bee, wasp, ant, or other social insect, large numbers of which do the basic work of the colony.

Appearing in Solutions

Dololmite Mountains (also the Dolomites) - a range of the Alps in northern Italy, so named because the characteristic rock of the region is dolomitic limestone.

hallo - [seemingly chiefly British] variant spelling of hello

Ir. - abbreviation 1 Ireland. 2 Irish.

keep your hair on! - phrase British informal used to urge someone not to panic or lose their temper.

laird - noun (in Scotland) a person who owns a large estate.

mousetrap - noun [2nd entry] (also mousetrap cheese) British informal cheese of poor quality.

*U3 - adjective British informal (of language or social behaviour) characteristic of or appropriate to the upper social classes: U manners. [consequently superior]

Ur - an ancient Sumerian city formerly on the Euphrates, in southern Iraq. It was one of the oldest cities of Mesopotamia, dating from the 4th millennium bc , and reached its zenith in the late 3rd millennium bc .

vac - noun British 1  informal term for vacation  2  informal term for vacuum cleaner

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.

16d   Shopkeepers smartened up (9)

The definition is "shopkeepers" with the solution being TRADESMEN which is an anagram (up) of SMARTENED. In his review, Dave Perry comments "I'm really not sure about 'up' as an anagrind". I would suggest that it might be used in the following sense:
  • up - adverb 5 [1st entry] into the desired or a proper condition: the government agreed to set up a committee of inquiry
Therefore, I deduced that the phrase "smartened up" would mean 'smartened into the desired or proper condition' - making up not a bad anagrind at all.

However, I note that this is not the explanation given by Peter Biddlecombe (puzzle editor for The Sunday Times) in a comment at Times for the Times.

Signing off for this week - Falcon

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