Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday, February 12, 2012 - ST 4468

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Sunday Times
ST 4468
Date of Publication in The Sunday Times
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Link to Full Review
Times for the Times [ST 4468]
Times for the Times Review Written By
Dave Perry
Date of Publication in the Toronto Star
Saturday, February 4, 2012


After last week's severe challenge, it is a relief to return to a more normal exercise.

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.

10a   Type of guide for tourists (7)

Like Dave Perry, I failed to see the reference to a computer font and this term for a "guide for tourists" was also new for me (understandably so, as it seems to be chiefly a British expression). In Britain, a courier[5] may be a person employed to guide and assist a group of tourists • he worked as a courier on a package holiday to Majorca.

11a   Spot a reversal in Tory psephology (4)

Although one really doesn't need to know this to solve the clue, psephology[5] is the statistical study of elections and trends in voting.

19a   Wife smothering Jack in sugar leads to jocularity (7)

Again I found myself in the same boat as Dave Perry, never having heard of this type of sugar. Jaggery[5] is a coarse dark brown sugar made in India by evaporation of the sap of palm trees.

20a   Free Y-fronts cut badly showing lots of cheek (10)

The fodder here is "free Y-fronts". "Cut" is an indicator to delete the final letter ("s") and "badly" is an anagram indicator. Y-fronts[2] is a British term for men's or boys' underpants with [an inverted] Y-shaped front seam.
Briefs[7] are a type of short, tight underwear and swimwear, as opposed to styles where the material extends down the legs.

Briefs were first sold on January 19, 1935 by Coopers, Inc., in Chicago, Illinois. They dubbed the new undergarment the "Jockey" because it offered a similar degree of support as the jockstrap. In North America, "Jockey shorts" or "Jockeys" is often used as a generic term for men's briefs.

In the UK, briefs were first sold in 1938. In Britain, the term "jockeys" has not caught on and briefs are often referred to as "Y-fronts". The term derives from the inverted Y-shape formed by the seams at the front of the underpants which purports to allow easy access to the penis for urination. The colloquialism is used even when the fly opening may differ in style, and not actually form the shape of the inverted letter "Y" fly on Cooper Jockey brand briefs.

In Australia, briefs are referred to as "jocks", but should not be confused with jockstraps (more specifically used by athletes) which expose the buttocks. Australians generally use the word briefs to refer to the bikini-style underwear for men, which do not have the Y-front opening.

In the United States, a slang term for briefs is "tighty-whiteys" (with various spellings and inversions: "tidy-whities", "whitie-tighties", etc.). The exact origin of the term is unknown, but it has often been used as an epithet.

In recent years, a hybrid called boxer briefs has become popular. Like boxers, they have short legs, but like briefs, they are made of elastic, snug-fitting material. A shorter version of boxer briefs are called trunks.
25a   Leaders missing, check overdue copy (7)

The wordplay is {[L]IMIT (check) + [L]ATE (overdue)} where "leaders missing" indicates that the first letter of each word is to be deleted.

26a   A spot perhaps close to grass lands (7)

"A spot perhaps" indicates that a spot is an example of the word needed in the solution. A spot[5] (short for spotlight[5]) is a lamp projecting a narrow, intense beam of light directly on to a place or person, especially a performer on stage.

27a   Early star or moon will excite one (10,5)

Astronomer Royal[7] is a senior post in the Royal Household of the Sovereign of the United Kingdom. From 1675 until 1972 the Astronomer Royal was Director of the Royal Observatory Greenwich. After the separation of the two offices the position of Astronomer Royal has been largely honorary, though he remains available to advise the Sovereign on astronomical and related scientific matters, and the office is of great prestige.

3d   Truck turned over in American garden (4)

In Britain, as in North America, a dray[5] may be a a low cart without fixed sides, used for carrying heavy loads. However, in Britain the term can also refer to any other vehicle (in particular, a truck) or sledge used to carry a heavy load.

In Britain, the word garden[5] refers to the piece of ground adjoining a house, typically cultivated to provide a lawn and flowerbeds.
Note: In the U.K., the term garden is applied to what in North America would be called a yard. In North America, the term garden would generally be used in relation to the part of the yard used specifically to grow flowers or vegetables, and would exclude that part of the yard used as a lawn.
5d   Leaves from tea scattered during holidays (7)

In Britain, vac[5] is an informal term for vacation.

6d   Charlie and Heather laughing quietly (9)

Ling[5] is another name for the common heather of Eurasia.

13d   Black whole nuts are in Pavlova? (9)

Pavlova[5] is a dessert consisting of a meringue base or shell filled with whipped cream and fruit, which was named after Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova[5] .

14d   Trick issue for Jersey? (3,6)

The Jersey Royal[7] (presumably referred to colloquially as simply a Jersey) is a cultivar of potato grown only in Jersey[7] (a British Crown Dependency which is the largest of the Channel Islands).

16d   Preposterous hunt relay attacked (9)

"Preposterous" would have served admirably as an anagram indicator, but that is not the role assigned to it today. Instead, it plays the definition. "Attacked", which seems far less suited to the part, must stand in as the anagram indicator today.

23d   Herb, a serially chaotic character (5)

Basil Fawlty is a character played by comedian John Cleese in the British television series Fawlty Towers[7]. For once, we have a British program that will be familiar to many Canadian viewers.
Key to Reference Sources: 

[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)
[10] - (Collins English Dictionary)
Signing off for this week - Falcon

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