Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sunday, June 5, 2011 (ST 4431)

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Sunday Times
ST 4431
Date of Publication in The Sunday Times
Sunday, May 1, 2011
Link to Full Review
Times for the Times [ST 4431]
Times for the Times Review Written By
Dave Perry
Date of Publication in the Toronto Star
Saturday, May 28, 2011


It is a fairly typical Sunday Times crossword today, with a liberal sprinkling of Briticisms, several anachronisms, a few obscurities, and an error in one clue. I completed most of it without electronic assistance, but eventually resorted to my Tool Chest with four clues remaining. As it turned out, these were not necessarily the most difficult clues in the puzzle - just clues for which I seemed to have a mental block.

Today's Errata

1a   Ensure article attached to peg is collected by sentry (10)

As usual, an error which apparently appeared in both the printed and online versions of the puzzle in The Sunday Times gets replicated in the syndicated version of the puzzle. According to Dave Perry's review, the error did get fixed in the online version in the U.K. - but obviously not in the version shipped overseas. The clue should read:
  • 1a   Ensured article attached to peg is collected by sentry (10)
with the initial word being "ensured" rather than "ensure".

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.

castle - noun [3rd entry] Chess, informal old-fashioned term for rook.

*Isle of Man - an island in the Irish Sea which is a British Crown dependency having home rule, with its own legislature (the Tynwald) and judicial system; population 82,000 (est. 2009); capital, Douglas. The island was part of the Norse kingdom of the Hebrides in the Middle Ages, passing into Scottish hands in 1266 for a time, until the English gained control in the early 15th century. Its ancient language, Manx, is still occasionally used for ceremonial purposes.

*pound1 - noun 2 (also pound sterling) (plural pounds sterling) the basic monetary unit of the UK, equal to 100 pence.

see2 - noun the place in which a cathedral church stands, identified as the seat of authority of a bishop or archbishop.

Appearing in Solutions

cad - [Collins English Dictionary] noun British informal, old-fashioned a man who does not behave in a gentlemanly manner towards others.

dacoit - noun (in India or Burma (Myanmar) ) a member of a band of armed robbers.

eight - [Collins English Dictionary] noun 6. Rowing a.  a racing shell propelled by eight oarsmen. b.  the crew of such a shell.

(have) one over the eight - phrase British informal have one drink too many. [probably from the assumption that the average person can drink eight pints of beer without getting drunk]

*(Diocese of) Ely - a Church of England diocese in the Province of Canterbury, headed by the Bishop of Ely, who sits at Ely Cathedral in Ely.

fantail - noun 2 (also fantail pigeon) a domestic pigeon of a broad-tailed variety.

*L2 - abbreviation [5th entry] British (on a motor vehicle) learner driver.

*L or l - U.K. money pounds [Latin librae]

line-out - noun 1 Rugby  [a.] a formation of parallel lines of opposing forwards at right angles to the touchline when the ball is thrown in.  [b.] an occasion when the ball is thrown in to a line-out.

petard - noun historical [a.] a small bomb made of a metal or wooden box filled with powder, used to blast down a door or to make a hole in a wall. [b.] a kind of firework that explodes with a sharp report.

R2 - abbreviation [12th entry] rook (in recording moves in chess): 21.Rh4

skat - noun a three-handed trick-taking card game with bidding, originating in Germany.

slip1 - noun 4 Cricket  [a.] a fielding position (often one of two or more in an arc) close behind the batsman on the off side, for catching balls edged by the batsman: he was caught in the slips for 32; King is at first slip  [b.] a fielder at slip.

(Tiny) Tim (full name "Timothy Cratchit") - a fictional character in the classic story A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. In the story, Tiny Tim is known for the statement, "God bless us, every one!" which he offers as a blessing at Christmas dinner. Dickens repeats the phrase at the end of the story.

trouser - verb [with object] British informal receive or take (something, especially money) for oneself; pocket: they claimed that he had trousered a £2 million advance

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.

18a   Mistake having one fielder close to the wicket? (4-2)

The definition is "mistake" with the solution being SLIP-UP. The wordplay seems to be SLIP (one fielder) + UP (close to wicket). Admittedly, this use of the word 'up' is a guess on my part. However, The Chambers Dictionary, 11th Edition gives one definition of up as "towards a centre (such as a capital, great town, or university)". Therefore, it would seem to be not be much of a stretch to suppose that a cricket fielder positioned close to the wicket might be described as playing 'up' - just as a baseball fielder is described as playing either 'in' (positioned closer to home plate) or 'out' (further from home plate). An even better example is [North American] football, where a player might play 'up' (toward the line of scrimmage) or 'back' (away from the the line of scrimmage).

21a   One has no fancy ideas about joining the top celebs (7)

The definition may merely be "one has no fancy ideas" or - should one deem this to be a semi-&lit. clue - it may be the entire clue. The solution, in either case, is REALIST with the wordplay being RE (about) + (joining) A-LIST (the top celebs).

22a   Bank in free fall (4)

The definition is "bank" with the solution REEF being hidden in (in) fREE Fall.

3d   Speed of old car - not the maximum speed (4)

The definition is "speed" (the first instance of the word in the clue) for which the solution is RATE. The wordplay is CRATE (old car) with the C deleted (not the maximum speed). I was trying to relate the C to highway speeds, with C being the Roman numeral for 100. However, the maximum road speed in the United Kingdom is 70 miles per hour (113 kilometres per hour), which hardly works. I learned from Dave Perry's review that a much faster speed is called for - the speed of light.

14d   Neil perhaps in formation on sports field (4-3)

The definition is "formation on sports field" having the solution LINE-OUT (a rugby formation). The wordplay "Neil perhaps" is an instance of reverse wordplay. "Neil" could be (perhaps) an anagram of LINE, which would commonly be clued in a cryptic crossword clue as 'line out' - an anagram (out) of LINE.

Signing off for this week - Falcon

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