Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sunday, September 18, 2011 - ST 4446

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Sunday Times
ST 4446
Date of Publication in The Sunday Times
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Link to Full Review
Times for the Times [ST 4446]
Times for the Times Review Written By
Dave Perry
Date of Publication in the Toronto Star
Saturday, September 10, 2011


This puzzle is a strange mix of rather easy clues mixed with several very difficult (or obscure) ones. I needed to study up on linguistics to solve 13d and take a refresher course in physics for 19d (after incorrectly guessing LUMIENT - only to discover that this word has yet to be invented). The 14-letter word at 15a was also a revelation to me. I almost got it correct  - interchanging the first "I" and the "E". Perhaps this word is more common in the U.K., given that the usage example in Oxford is "the valetudinarian English". As for 23a, I was even more in the dark than Dave Perry concerning the wordplay, overlooking the fact that the first letter of "university" is the symbol for the element in question (it seems that I should have brushed up on chemistry as well). Finally, having failed to recognize (more correctly, never having heard of) the British composer and conductor in 19d, I may need some music lessons.

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 Solutions

collocation - noun 1 Linguistics [a] the habitual juxtaposition of a particular word with another word or words with a frequency greater than chance: the words have a similar range of collocation [b] a pair or group of words that are habitually juxtaposed: ‘strong tea’ and ‘heavy drinker’ are typical English collocations

dis - noun informal speak disrespectfully to or criticize: [i] I don’t like her dissing my friends; [ii] a campaign of forum postings and emails dissing the company; [iii] maybe you should stop dissing psychics and discover that part of yourself  [Origin: (1980s) abbreviation of  disrespect]

Dis - [Collins English Dictionary] noun 1. (Also called Orcus or Pluto) the Roman god of the underworld.

il - Italian the

lambert - noun a former unit of luminance, equal to the emission or reflection of one lumen per square centimetre.

Constant Lambert - (1905 – 1951), British composer and conductor.

*lo - exclamation archaic used to draw attention to an interesting or amazing event: and lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them

love - noun 4 (in tennis, squash, and some other sports) a score of zero; nil: love fifteen [apparently from the phrase play for love (i.e. the love of the game, not for money); folk etymology has connected the word with French l'oeuf 'egg', from the resemblance in shape between an egg and a zero]

*M2 - [1st entry] abbreviation Cricket (on scorecards) maiden, noun 2 (also maiden over) an over in which no runs are scored.

moot - verb 2 intransitive to dispute or plead, especially as a form of academic exercise.

OT - abbreviation [3rd entry] Old Testament [cryptic crossword convention books]

Educating Rita - a stage comedy by British playwright Willy Russell which premiered in 1980. It is a play for two actors set entirely in the office of an Open University lecturer. The play follows the relationship between a young Liverpudlian working-class hairdresser and a middle-aged university lecturer, during the course of a year. The play was adapted by Russell for a 1983 film with Michael Caine and Julie Walters, directed by Lewis Gilbert.

tent2 - noun a deep red sweet wine chiefly from Spain, used especially as sacramental wine.

U2 - symbol the chemical element uranium.

*(River) Ure - a river in North Yorkshire, England, approximately 119km long from its source to the point where it changes name to the River Ouse

[Walt] Whitman - (1819–92), American poet. In 1855 he published the free verse collection Leaves of Grass, incorporating ‘I Sing the Body Electric’ and ‘Song of Myself’; eight further editions followed in Whitman’s lifetime.

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.

23d   What this person does sometimes in a card game sets a pattern (5)

The definition is "pattern" with the solution being IDEAL. The wordplay is "what this person does sometimes in a card game". Here "this person" is the setter of the puzzle referring to himself (or herself) and needs to be replaced by 'I'. This usage is similar to a journalist referring to himself or herself in a newspaper article as "this writer". Thus, "what I do sometimes in a card game" is "I deal". The word "sets" acts as a link word between the wordplay and the definition. Similarly, when words such as "setter" or "compiler" appear in clues, one must replace them with a first person pronoun such as "I" or "me", depending on the particular situation.

Signing off for this week - Falcon

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