Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sunday, April 1, 2012 - ST 4475

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Sunday Times
ST 4475
Date of Publication in The Sunday Times
Sunday, March 4, 2012
Jeff Pearce
Link to Full Review
Times for the Times [ST 4475]
Times for the Times Review Written By
Dave Perry
Date of Publication in the Toronto Star
Saturday, March 24, 2012


I completed this puzzle but not without extensive help from the electronic assistants in my Tool Chest.

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   Bearer of gift about to open box (6)

Caspar[7] was one of the three Magi who brought gifts to the infant Jesus. The wordplay is a charade that starts (to open) with CA (about; circa) and finishes with SPAR (box).

5a   Great cricketer becomes more like a judge? (6)

Garfield Sobers[7] is a former Barbadian cricketer who captained West Indies. He is widely regarded as one of cricket's greatest ever all-rounders, having excelled at all the essential skills of batting, bowling and fielding.

9a   Fungus from mouldy old toast brown in the middle (9)

The definition is "fungus" and the wordplay is an anagram (mouldy) of {OLD TOAST + the middle letter of brOwn (brown in the middle)}. It took me a long time to see the wordplay here.

11a   Exam without notes is a trying experience (6)

Without[5] is used in the archaic or literary sense of outside the barbarians without the gates. Notes (in the cryptic reading) are a couple of notes from the musical scale.

12a   The Evening Star discover Nazi outside somewhere in South America (8)

In the surface reading, the Evening Star[7] is a newspaper - which we can suppose to be the one published in Ipswich, England. In the cryptic reading, it is the name given to the planet Venus when it appears in the West (evening sky) after sunset; the ancient Greeks gave it the name Hesperus[7].

16a   One with nothing volunteers very small amount (4)

In the UK, the Territorial Army (TA)[5] is a volunteer force locally organized to provide a reserve of trained and disciplined manpower for use in an emergency.

19a   Following nervously a master pauses (8)

In music, a fermata[5] is a pause of unspecified length on a note or rest.

22a   We hear it's one topping home for a Viscount? (6)

A question mark (or an exclamation mark) in a clue is usually a signal to expect something a bit out of the ordinary. As Dave Perry reports was also the case for him, this was my last one in (LOI). I also interpreted the clue in the same manner as did he. A hanger[5] is someone who hangs something (or, in the mind of the setter, somebody).

The Vickers Viscount[7] was a British medium-range turboprop airliner first flown in 1948, making it the first such aircraft to enter service in the world. It would go on to be one of the most successful of the first generation postwar transports, with 445 being built.

26a   Soldier eats a coarse biscuit (9)

In Britain, a garibaldi[5] is a biscuit containing a layer of compressed currants.

5d   Headline — "What must Tom Daley keep to a minimum in London 2012?" (6)

Tom Daley[7], an English diver who specialises in the 10 metre platform event, is a 2012 Olympic medal prospect whom Brits hope will make more of a splash in the media than in the pool (divers get marks deducted for producing an excessive splash). He started diving at the age of seven and has made an impact in national and international competitions from age 9 becoming the 2009 FINA World Champion in the individual 10 metre platform event at the age of 15. He represented Great Britain at the 2008 Summer Olympics where he was Britain's youngest competitor, the youngest competitor of any nationality outside the sport of swimming, and the youngest to participate in a final. In the first post-Rome 2009 World Championships edition of the FINA World Diving Rankings for the ten-metre platform, Daley reached a new career best ranking of number one.

6d   The whole of Ireland is captivated by graduate dancer (9)

Erin[5] is an archaic or literary name for Ireland.

7d   Book Henry concealed for a spell of arousal (3)

Ruth[5] is a book of the Bible telling the story of Ruth, a Moabite woman, who married her deceased husband’s kinsman Boaz and bore a son who became grandfather to King David. In physics, the henry[5] (abbreviation H) is the SI unit of inductance, equal to an electromotive force of one volt in a closed circuit with a uniform rate of change of current of one ampere per second. Note that the setter capitalizes Henry as a bit of cryptic misdirection as well as to polish the surface reading.

17d   Stop expert going to Italy carrying cause of meningitis (8)

Hib[5] (Haemophilus influenzae type B) is a bacterium that causes infant meningitis.

20d   Hound has rare distinguishing mark on it (6)

The wordplay is R (rare) with BADGE (distinguishing mark) before (on; in a down clue) it. This abbreviation (r. for rare) does not appear in The Chambers Dictionary, 11th Edition, but it is found in Collins English Dictionary[10] — which seems to have become a new favourite of Sunday Times setters and puzzle editor.

23d   New wing of Tate captivates mature artist (5)

The Tate[7] is an institution that houses the United Kingdom's national collection of British Art, and International Modern and Contemporary Art. It is a network of four art museums: Tate Britain, London (previously known as the Tate Gallery, founded 1897), Tate Liverpool (founded 1988), Tate St Ives, Cornwall (founded 1993) and Tate Modern, London (founded 2000), with a complementary website, Tate Online (created 1998). There are plans to open a TATE in Southampton in 2020. The clue refers specifically to the Tate Modern which is adding a new wing, the first phase of which is scheduled to open prior to the start of the London 2012 Summer Olympics.

Emil Nolde (1867 – 1956) was a German painter and printmaker. He was one of the first Expressionists, a member of Die Brücke, and is considered to be one of the great oil painting and watercolour painters of the 20th century.
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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