Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011 - ST 4455

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Sunday Times
ST 4455
Date of Publication in The Sunday Times
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Link to Full Review
Times for the Times [ST 4455]
Times for the Times Review Written By
Dave Perry
Date of Publication in the Toronto Star
Saturday, November 12, 2011


Although I completed the puzzle, I got 3d solely from the definition and 26a seemed to be the only conceivable word which matched the checking letters. In both cases, I needed Dave Perry's explanation to understand the wordplay.

Notes 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.

1a   Very high liquid content in this food (4)

The well-hidden wordplay is SO (very) + UP (high).

3a   Poor, but thought to satisfy according to Spooner (6-4)

 The wordplay alludes to a Spoonerism, a verbal error in which a speaker accidentally transposes the initial sounds or letters of two or more words, often to humorous effect, as in the sentence "you have hissed the mystery lectures" [named after the Reverend W. A. Spooner (1844–1930), an English scholar who reputedly made such errors in speaking].

10a   Dance outfit - a party's on (8)

In the surface reading, the 's is a contraction of is. However, in the cryptic analysis, it must be read as a contraction of has and is a charade indicator. Thus the wordplay is RIG (outfit) + A (explicit in the clue) + DO (party) + (has) ON (explicit in the clue).

26a   Great cup of tea's gulped down (10)

Once again, the 's takes on different meanings in the surface and cryptic readings. In the wordplay, we have THING (cup of tea) containing (has gulped) UNDER (down). Dave Perry explains why "cup of tea" becomes THING. I missed the wordplay in this clue myself. The best stab that I could make is the "thundering tea" which is a part of the "three cups of tea" served to guests by the Bai people of China.

3d   My round swallowed by pub's dog (5)

In Britain, coo[5] is an informal exclamation used to express surprise (‘Coo, ain’t it high!’ Mary squeaked) and public house is the formal term for pub.

5d   Went thick as did smoke - extremely dismal in there (7)

The definition is "went thick" with the solution being CURDLED. As I see it, the wordplay is CURED (did smoke) containing (in there) DL (extremely dismal; i.e., the extreme [outer] letters of DismaL) with the word "as" serving as a link word between the definition and wordplay.
[1] - The Chambers Dictionary, 11th Edition
[2] - Search Chambers - (Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)
[3] - (American Heritage Dictionary)
[4] - (Collins English Dictionary)
[5] - Oxford Dictionaries (Oxford Dictionary of English)
[6] - Oxford Dictionaries (Oxford American Dictionary)
[7] - Wikipedia
[8] - Reverso Online Dictionary (Collins French-English Dictionary)
Signing off for this week - Falcon

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