Sunday, March 11, 2012

Sunday, March 11, 2012 -ST 4472

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Sunday Times
ST 4472
Date of Publication in The Sunday Times
Sunday, February 12, 2012
Link to Full Review
Times for the Times [ST 4472]
Times for the Times Review Written By
Dave Perry
Date of Publication in the Toronto Star
Saturday, March 3, 2012


I needed fairly extensive support from my electronic assistants to complete this puzzle.

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.

9a   Criticize excellent learner after dance (6)

For the benefit of readers who may be newcomers to the blog, the cryptic crossword convention of L meaning learner or student arises from the L-plate[7], a square plate bearing a sans-serif letter L, for learner, which must be affixed to the front and back of a vehicle in various countries (including the UK) if its driver is a learner under instruction.

10a   Left a Parisian dessert outside to separate (8)

A coupe[5] is (1) a shallow glass or glass dish, typically with a stem, in which desserts or champagne are served • serve the jelly in a coupe with whipped cream; or (2) a dessert served in a coupe [origin: French, 'goblet'].

14a   Pan's enemy shot on the side of leg (4)

Captain James Hook[7] is the main antagonist of Peter Pan; or, the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up, a play by Scottish novelist and playwright J. M. Barrie. A hook[10], in cricket, is a shot in which the ball is hit square on the leg side with the bat held horizontally. The leg side[5] (also called just leg) is the half of the field (as divided lengthways through the pitch) away from which the batsman's feet are pointed when standing to receive the ball.

25a   Gathering going out on a Saturday night? (8)

Club[5], when used in the British expression club together,  means to combine with others so as to collect a sum of money for a particular purpose friends and colleagues clubbed together to buy him a present. It can also mean to go out to nightclubs she enjoys going clubbing in Oxford.

2d   Take a short time to promote last of Waitrose's wine (7)

Moselle[10] is a German white wine from the Moselle valley. Waitrose Limited[7] is an upmarket chain of supermarkets in the United Kingdom. It is the 6th largest grocery retailer in the UK and holds Royal Warrants to supply groceries, wine and spirits to Queen Elizabeth II and  Prince Charles.

6d   Covered tracks to protect a senior civil servant (9)

The principal assistant of a UK government minister or ambassador is known as a secretary[5] [as title] Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

7d   Slob out with top coach jogging (5,6)

I interpreted the surface reading to mean merely "Slob and top coach out jogging together" (and I think that is all that one need read into it). However, Dave Perry's comment "Separation required on 'slob out'" suggested that "slob out" itself must constitute an expression in Britain - which seems to be the case. In Britain (as in North America), slob(as a noun) means a lazy and slovenly person he’s a slob and expects others to clean up after him. However, in Britain, slob is also used as a verb (usually slob about or slob around[2], but also slob out), meaning to behave in a lazy and slovenly manner : (i) he spent his life watching television and generally slobbing around; (ii) .

8d   Swimmer's toupee bobbing round end of pool (7)

The eelpouts[7] are the ray-finned fish family Zoarcidae. As the common name suggests, they are somewhat eel-like in appearance, with elongated bodies and the dorsal and anal fins continuous with the caudal fin. The International Eelpout Festival that takes place in February in Walker, Minnesota, celebrates the burbot, which is actually a cod-like fish misleadingly known locally as the eelpout.

16d   Small boy stands on a border - such might get you madder! (9)

The exclamation mark warns us to look for something a bit out of the ordinary here. To start with we have an uncommon meaning for list[5], a selvedge of a piece of fabric. Then we have madder[5] meaning (1) a Eurasian plant related to the bedstraws, with whorls of four to six leaves [Genera Rubia and Sherardia, family Rubiaceae: in particular R. tinctorum, formerly cultivated for its root which yields a red dye] or (2) a red dye or pigment obtained from the root of the madder, or a synthetic dye resembling it.

21d   Kitsch container on German lace (7)

Tat[5] is an informal British term for tasteless or shoddy clothes, jewellery, or ornaments the place was decorated with all manner of gaudy tat.
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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