Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sunday, June 3, 2012 - ST 4484

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Sunday Times
ST 4484
Date of Publication in The Sunday Times
Sunday, May 6, 2012
Jeff Pearce
Link to Full Review
Times for the Times [ST 4484]
Times for the Times Review Written By
Dave Perry
Date of Publication in the Toronto Star
Saturday, May 26, 2012
Date of Publication in the Vancouver Sun
Saturday, June 2, 2012


The setter managed to trip me up twice with the same device – the use of AND which is found in both 10a and 16d.

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   Construction worker moans about a few pounds put on (10)

The wordplay seems to suggest that the elements of this charade should be in the reverse order; i.e., an anagram (about) of MOANS followed by (put on) STONE (a few pounds). However, the clue seems to have been composed by Yoda, so find just the reverse is the case, you will.

A stone[5] is a British unit of weight equal to 14 lb.

10a   Green form of transport is what's used in central Guatemala? (6)

The question mark signals that there is something a bit out of the ordinary about this clue. If you look closely, the "central" part of "GuaTEMala" is T AND EM. A tandem is a bicycle built for two, and any bicycle is considered to be a "green form of transport".

15a   It's not odd to follow the Spanish cardinal (6)

El[8] is a Spanish definite article meaning 'the'.

17a   New cheaper Pilsner could be something struggling writer might resort to (6,9)

"New" is not an anagram indicator here; rather, the abbreviation for "new" forms part of the anagram fodder.

22a   Spot rear of sailor in a French vessel (3)

Un is a French indefinite article meaning 'a'.

Dave Perry comments "'Spot' appears redundant to the wordplay". I would submit that "spot" in the cryptic reading is to be interpreted as meaning 'to position'. Thus the clue is saying, in effect, position rear of sailor in a French [to get] vessel. Therefore, the word does not seem at all redundant.

23a   Industrial action leads to girls on strike losing other work (2-4)

"Leads to" instructs us  to use the leading letters of all the remaining words in the clue.

29a   Some exercise with 14 – this may help you get up (10)

The number "14" is a cross-reference to clue 14a and indicates that the solution to that clue must be inserted into the current clue. After doing so, the full clue is seen to be:
  • Some exercise with run – this may help you get up (10)
The definition is "this may help you get up" and the wordplay is a charade of STEP (some exercise) + (with) LADDER (run) giving STEPLADDER as the solution.

In the UK, a ladder[5] is a vertical strip of unravelled fabric in tights or stockings one of Sally’s stockings developed a ladder.

3d   Swimmer one caught leaving calm creek distressed (8)

On cricket scorecards, the abbreviation c[5] indicates caught (by) ME Waugh c Lara b Walsh 19.

4d   Shake up new lotto arrangement to make it silly (4,2,3,6)

Collins English Dictionary includes feeble-minded among its entries for silly[5].

7d   Haggard's book about old Oxford, perhaps (4)

She[7], subtitled A History of Adventure, is a novel by H. Rider Haggard, first serialized in The Graphic magazine from October 1886 to January 1887. She is one of the classics of imaginative literature, and with over 83 million copies sold in 44 different languages, one of the best-selling books of all time. Extraordinarily popular upon its release, She has never been out of print.

16d   Museum finally expel destructive member of the public (6)

I solved this under the assumption that somewhere there is a Vanda Museum. This was close, but not quite a bull's-eye. The museum is the V AND A (or Victoria and Albert).

London's Victoria and Albert Museum[7] (often abbreviated as the V&A), is the world's largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects. Named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, it was founded in 1852, and has since grown to cover 12.5 acres  and 145 galleries.

13d   Note about substance need used to make cheese (6)

"Note" refers to a banknote – one having a value of ten pounds in the UK, or ten dollars in North America.

18d   Possum put bell on dog (8)

The ringtail[3,4] in question is an Australian possum and not the raccoonlike mammal (Bassariscus astutus) found in the southwest United States.

20d   Request made to umpire after a soft sound of thunder (6)

In cricket, an appeal[5] is a shout of ‘How’s that?’ or a similar call by a bowler or fielder to an umpire to declare a batsman out.

Piano[3,5] (abbreviation p[5]), is a musical direction meaning either soft or quiet (as an adjective) or softly or quietly (as an adverb).

21d   Goodies are touring during dry season initially (6)

Teetotal (abbreviation TT)[5] is an adjective meaning choosing or characterized by abstinence from alcohol a teetotal lifestyle.

24d   Placed saw on radio (5)

"On radio" is a homophone indicator. We need a synonym for "placed" that sounds like a word meaning "saw". Thus the solution is SITED (placed) which sounds like SIGHTED.

26d   Bloomer – perhaps made by large yob (4)

The clue relies on two different British meanings for bloomer. In the surface reading, bloomer[5] is dated slang meaning a serious or stupid mistake he never committed a bloomer. As for the definition, bloomer[5] is a large loaf [of bread] with diagonal slashes on a rounded top.

Yob[5] (back slang for boy), is an informal British term for a rude, noisy, and aggressive youth.
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

No comments:

Post a Comment