Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011 - ST 4459

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Sunday Times
ST 4459
Date of Publication in The Sunday Times
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Link to Full Review
Times for the Times [ST 4459]
Times for the Times Review Written By
Dave Perry
Date of Publication in the Toronto Star
Saturday, December 10, 2011*
* As no solution is posted at the Saturday Star Cryptic Forum site (as of the time of writing), I can only assume that this puzzle appeared in the Saturday Star in accordance with the normal publication schedule.


The difficulty level was fairly typical of a Sunday Times puzzle, heightened somewhat by a few new (to me) British expressions.

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   Employees in one section "The Week" magazine? (3,7)

THE WEEK[7] is a British weekly news magazine, first published in 1995, which also has American and Australian editions. It is also the name of a defunct Canadian publication which was in existence from 1883-1896. The Chambers Dictionary, 11th Edition defines Man Friday (plural Man Fridays), which it spells with the first word in upper case, as a factotum or servile attendant while the Chambers 21st Century Dictionary, which spells the term as man Friday (plural man Fridays) with the first word in lower case, has it as either (1) a faithful or devoted manservant or male assistant or (2) a junior male worker given various duties, especially in an office. The American Heritage Dictionary also spells it as man Friday, but with the plural being either men Friday or men Fridays.

7a   Extra score (4)

Score is used in the sense of to cut. Gash[3] is (seemingly British) slang for surplus to requirements; unnecessary, extra, or spare.

11a   Pressure one found in Diplomacy recalled another game (6)

Diplomacy[7] is a strategic board game. Tipcat[9] is "another game" - apparently one played in days gone by - in which a short piece of wood, tapered at both ends, is struck lightly at one end with a bat, causing the wood to spring into the air so that it can be batted for a distance.

17a   RPO is involved with theatrics from here? (9,3)

RPO[5] is the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

20a   Book on English party: discuss at length (8)

According to Chambers, the abbreviation for "book" is b[1].

22a   Second plate is fashionable (6)

Mo[5] is an informal, chiefly British term meaning a short period of timehang on a mo!

4d   Hopeless writer's shown up in appeal (5)

Appeal here denoting sex appeal or 'it' (pronoun, sense 8)[5].

7d   End with mean scoring ratio (4,7)

Goal average[5] is a soccer term denoting the ratio of the numbers of goals scored for and against a team in a series of matches, sometimes used in deciding the team’s position in a table (table is a British term which appears to be equivalent to standings)the first club to win the league on goal average.

8d   No lager's served up in such clothing (4-2)

Pils[5] is a type of lager beer similar to Pilsner. The wordplay is a reversal (is served up [it being a down clue]) of {NO (from the clue) + PILS (lager)}. Note that the S in the solution comes from Pils and not the 's on the end of lager (which is a contraction for is in the cryptic reading as well as the surface reading).

12d   A firm tummy (11)

I likely only got this as I recalled having seen it before or, as Dave Perry suggests, it is "an old chestnut". Corporation[5] is a dated, humorous term for a paunch.

18d   Printing mistake is dumb, keeping a bishop up (7)

If you solved the Daily Telegraph cryptic crossword which was published in the National Post on Friday, it should be fresh in your mind that Right Reverend (abbreviation RR)[5] is a title given to a bishop, especially in the Anglican Church.

24d   Scottish resort? Yes, right (3)

Ayr[7] is a town and port situated on the Firth of Clyde in south-west Scotland. During the 19th and 20th centuries Ayr became a popular holiday resort. This was due to its fine sandy beach and its popularity was increased by the building of a rail link to Glasgow in 1840.
[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)
[9] - Infoplease (Random House Unabridged Dictionary)
Signing off for this week - Falcon

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