Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday, February 26, 2012 - ST 4470

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Sunday Times
ST 4470
Date of Publication in The Sunday Times
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Link to Full Review
Times for the Times [ST 4470]
Times for the Times Review Written By
Dave Perry
Date of Publication in the Toronto Star
Saturday, February 18, 2012


There is some quite tricky wordplay in today's puzzle — which is compounded by a generous helping of new (to me, at least) 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.

6a   Half-heartedly shake inverted sack? (5)

In informal British speech, to give someone the elbow[5] means to reject or dismiss someone • (i) I tried to get her to give him the elbow; (ii) she decided to give tradition the elbow.

9a   Perhaps stroke on back follows argument (5)

In the sport of rowing, the stroke[5] (or stroke oar) is the  the oar or oarsman nearest the stern of a boat, setting the timing for the other rowers. "On" is used in the sense of "on the subject of" (or, equivalently, "re").

11a   Snow leopards vulnerable? £1000 for charity event (9,4)

A sponsored walk[7] is another (seemingly British) name for a walkathon (fundraiser).

14a   Jumbo jet finally loaded, but it can't fly (7)

The sizes of clothing that North Americans would describe as plus-size[7] (or often big and tall in the case of men's clothing) would be called outsize (OS)[5] in Britain.

16a   The pens or anything used primarily as a writer (7)

The wordplay is THE (from the clue) containing (pens) OR (from the clue) + the first letters (primarily) of A(nything) and U(sed) producing THOREAU. The definition is "a writer", while "as" serves as a link word indicating equality between the wordplay and definition.

17a   Rebounding shot see another kind of shot (7)

The wordplay is a reversal (rebounding) of NIP (shot; a small serving of liquor) + SPOT (see) giving TOPSPIN. Topspin[5] is a fast forward spinning motion imparted to a ball when throwing or hitting it, often resulting in a curved path or a strong forward motion on rebounding. Strictly speaking, topspin would seem to be a characteristic of a shot rather than a kind of shot.

24a   He asked questions Samsung moved forward (9)

Magnus Magnusson[7] (1929 – 2007) was a television presenter [host], journalist, translator and writer. He was born in Iceland but lived in Scotland for almost all of his life, although he never took British citizenship. He came to prominence as a BBC television journalist, and was best known as the presenter [host] of the BBC television quiz programme Mastermind[7], which he hosted for 25 years.

26a   Russian tipple, spirit associated with very excessive intake (5)

In ancient Egypt, ka[5] was the supposed spiritual part of an individual human being or god, which survived (with the soul) after death and could reside in a statue of the person.

2d   Welsh city with parking and yellow lines clear (7)

The wordplay is {W (with) + P (parking) + OR (yellow; as a heraldic tincture)} contained in (lines) NET (clear) giving NEWPORT. Newport[7] is a city in South Wales. Standing on the banks of the River Usk, it is located about 12 miles (19 km) east of Cardiff.

4d   I demolished recent walls to put up switch (11)

The wordplay is {I + an anagram (demolished) of RECENT} containing (walls) HANG (to put up) giving INTERCHANGE.

6d   Morse's first name and last always stated (9)

Inspector Morse[7] is a fictional character in the eponymous series of detective novels by British author Colin Dexter, as well as the 33-episode 1987–2000 television adaptation of the same name.

Morse's first name, "Endeavour", comes from the vessel HMS Endeavour, as Morse's mother was a Quaker (Quakers have a tradition of "virtue names") and his father was a fan of Captain James Cook.

The author of the Morse novels, Colin Dexter, is a fan of cryptic crosswords, and Morse is named after champion setter Jeremy Morse, one of Dexter's arch-rivals as a clue-writer in the crossword world.

7d   Second-class wrench that is good for building worker (7)

In Britain, a rick[4] is a wrench or sprain, as of the back. Brickie[5] is an informal British name for a bricklayer.

18d   Cocktail stick's weight and length reduced (4,3)

Pink gin[5] is a British drink consisting of gin flavoured with angostura bitters.

22d   Club's extra security (5)

In Britain, in addition to its more general meaning of shelter or protection sought by people in danger, cover[5] may mean protection by insurance against a liability, loss, or accident your policy provides cover against damage by subsidence.
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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