Sunday, June 10, 2012

Sunday, June 10, 2012 - ST 4485

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Sunday Times
ST 4485
Date of Publication in The Sunday Times
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Dean Mayer (Anax)
Link to Full Review
Times for the Times [ST 4485]
Times for the Times Review Written By
Dave Perry
Date of Publication in the Toronto Star
Saturday, June 2, 2012
Date of Publication in the Vancouver Sun
Saturday, June 9, 2012


Today Anax has served up the usual enjoyable fare, although this is perhaps a bit less challenging than he can sometimes be.

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   Piece of film about a hard Islamic leader (6)

H[5] is the abbreviation for hard, as used in describing grades of pencil lead a 2H pencil.

9a   An attempt by rodent to bite something like feline pet (6,3)

"Something like" is used in the sense of approximately • the year of his birth was something like 1913.

12a   Second to last in slower car (5)

In the UK, mo[5] is an informal term for a short period of time (hang on a mo!) [abbreviation of moment]. Motor[5] is an informal British term for a car we drove out in my motor.

13a   Disreputable pub owner has been in flat (9)

Especially in Ireland, Scotland and South Africa, a shebeen[5] is an unlicensed establishment or private house selling alcohol and typically regarded as slightly disreputable. A shebeener is a proprietor of such an establishment.

14a   Volunteers panic about it. I panic? Yes, briefly (11,4)

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.

15a   Those emptied into 10 processed crude (15)

The  "10" in the clue is a cross reference to clue 10d (which, being the only entry originating from square 10 in the grid, needs no further elaboration). Plugging in the solution to 10d, we get:
  • Those emptied into CUSTODIANSHIP processed crude (15)
The definition is "crude" and the wordplay is TE (those emptied; i.e., what remains of "T(hos)E" after the inner letters are deleted) contained in (into) an anagram (processed) of CUSTODIANSHIP to produce UNSOPHISTICATED..

Like Dave Perry, I also found the solution to this clue first (from the definition and checking letters) and used the result in solving 10d.

19a   Man chasing author had artistic style (5)

It is a common cryptic crossword device for the creator of the puzzle to use terms such as setter, compiler, author, writer, this person, or (as today) author to refer to himself or herself. To solve the clue, one must substitute a first person pronoun (I or me) for whichever of these terms is found in the clue. Today, we must actually replace the phrase "author had" by "I'd".

The Isle of Man (abbreviation IOM)[5] is an island in the Irish Sea which is a British Crown dependency having home rule, with its own legislature (the Tynwald) and judicial system. The island was part of the Norse kingdom of the Hebrides in the Middle Ages, passing into Scottish hands in 1266 for a time, until the English gained control in the early 15th century. Its ancient language, Manx, is still occasionally used for ceremonial purposes.

19a   With failing power, destroyed here! (5)

I got the correct solution without understanding why – at least until I had read Dave Perry's explanation.

One of the problems with solving a puzzle over several sessions is that the solutions to other clues in the puzzle are not necessarily fresh in one's mind. Thus, I failed to recognize that DESTROYED is the solution to clue 8d (or, simply, clue 8 seeing that there is only one entry originating from square 8).

The latter part of the clue "destroyed here!" indicates that the solution to the present clue is the location where the word "destroyed" is to be found in the grid.

22a   She denies unseemly caution (9)

Like Dave Perry, I thought that heediness[1] sounded like a made-up word. However, it is to be found in my copy of The Chambers Dictionary, 11th Edition - if nowhere else.

23a   Writing about soldier taking blame for snapping hazards? (8)

A mantrap[5] is a trap for catching people, especially trespassers or poachers. I was only familiar with mantrap[3] as a slang term meaning a woman considered dangerously seductive and scheming.

24a   Party girl meets boring snooker player (6)

A hen party is a party at which only women are present. Stephen Hendry[7] is a retired Scottish professional snooker player. In 1990, he was the youngest-ever snooker World Champion, at the age of 21. He won the World Championship a record seven times.

1d   One yawns in church in part of Mass (5)

I had no difficulty accepting "in part of" as a slightly slangy way of saying "playing the part of" or "(appearing) as".

7d   It turns priest into evil-doer (7)

The Chambers Dictionary, 11th Edition does list P[1] as the abbreviation for priest.

10d   Keeping studio busy, plugging headphones in. (13)

Cans[4] is a slang term (apparently British) for headphones.

The definition is "keeping" and the wordplay is an anagram (busy) of STUDIO contained in (plugging) {CANS (headphones) + HIP (in)} to give CUSTODIANSHIP (plug[5] meaning to insert something into an opening so as to fill it).

14d   Side containing right subs excited a supporter (5,4)

I did not find truss beam in the dictionary. However, a truss[2] is a framework, e.g. of wooden or metal beams, that supports a roof, bridge, etc. Therefore, a truss beam would seem to be a component of a supporter, rather than a supporter in and of itself. I did find the expression trussed beam that is defined as a beam which is stiffened by a system of braces constituting a truss of which the beam is a chord.

17d   Last batsmen manage to stay out of trouble (4,3)

In cricket, the end of the batting order (with the weakest batsmen) is called the tail end[5] or the tail[5]McDermott worked his way through the tail, finishing with ten wickets.

The definition is "last batsmen" and the wordplay is TEND (manage) containing (to stay out of) AIL (trouble) to give TAIL END.
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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