Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sunday, August 5, 2012 - ST 4493

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Sunday Times
ST 4493
Date of Publication in The Sunday Times
Sunday, July 8, 2012
Jeff Pearce
Link to Full Review
Times for the Times [ST 4493]
Times for the Times Review Written By
Dave Perry
Date of Publication in the Toronto Star
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Date of Publication in the Vancouver Sun
Saturday, August 4, 2012
The Ottawa Citizen has mistakenly reprinted ST 4492 which appeared in last weekend's paper. For a link to ST 4493, see my post from earlier today.


Although it employs several less commonly seen clue types and cryptic devices, this puzzle was certainly not overly difficult. I did, however, find it to be highly entertaining.

Readers of the Ottawa Citizen may have experienced a sense of déjà vu when they turned to the Sunday Times cryptic crossword this weekend. The Citizen mistakenly reran last week's puzzle (ST 4492) rather than the puzzle that should have appeared this week (ST 4493). Fortunately, The Vancouver Sun printed the correct puzzle. You will find a link to ST 4493 in my post from earlier today.

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   Dial not affected by pressure? (4-4)

A question mark — or an exclamation point — in a clue is quite often a flag that there is something a bit unusual about the clue. In this clue, the setter gives us the result of some cryptic wordplay and expects us to find the wordplay that would generate it. "Dial" is a reversal of the word 'laid' — or, as a cryptic crossword compiler might phrase it, 'laid back'.

5a   Boat returns understanding there's a terrifying creature in the sea (6)

A kraken[10] is a legendary sea monster of gigantic size believed to dwell off the coast of Norway.

12a   Emperor penguin finally gets rave review (5)

Marcus Cocceius Nerva[10] (?30–98 ad) was Roman emperor from 96–98 ad.

13a   Alice sang new number (9)

Here, "number" is used in the whimsical cryptic crossword sense of something that numbs.

17a   Find a bar to eat food quickly and lock up (4)

My interpretation was the same as that of Dave Perry — that this clue is a triple definition ("a bar" & "to eat food quickly" & "lock up").

19a   Misery guts starts to moan and pester (4)

A new word for me here, as well as a new meaning for an old word. In Britain, if you describe someone as a misery guts[10], you mean they are miserable when they could or should be happy. Mope[10] can be used as a noun (news to me) meaning a gloomy person.

20   Show magazine work to head of Etchings at Royal Academy (5,5)

The Royal Academy (in full, the Royal Academy of the Arts[5]) is an institution established in London in 1768, whose purpose is to cultivate painting, sculpture, and architecture in Britain.

22a   Left info about one chap — that's careless! (9)

In Britain, gen[5] is an informal term for information • you’ve got more gen on him than we have.

27a   Two medics touring Uni with a post-grad to see realistic fiction (9)

In Britain, uni[5] is short for university he planned to go to uni.

28a   Delay sailor owing money? (6)

I warned you earlier about those pesky question marks. Another way of saying "owing money" is 'in the red'. Consequently, the clue is equivalent to saying "delay sailor in the red" with the wordplay being TAR (sailor) contained in (in) RED.

1d   Beneath lake's north shore Scotsmen fabricated me? (4,4,7)

The Loch Ness Monster[7] is a cryptid that is reputed to inhabit Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands. A cryptid[7] is a creature or plant whose existence has been suggested but is unrecognized by scientific consensus and often regarded as highly unlikely.

2d   Private meal lacks starter (5)

In Britain, the first course of a meal is known as a starter[5].

3d   Weaves a raised design that bar codes might go into (8)

Unknown to me — and, seemingly, to Oxford — brocade[10] can be a verb as well as a noun.

4d   About to carry excessive tunic for the priest (5)

A cotta[5] is a short garment resembling a surplice, worn typically by Catholic priests and servers. The wordplay is CA (about) containing (to carry) OTT (excessive). OTT[5] is British slang meaning
over the top presenting him as a goalscoring Superman seems a bit OTT.

7d   Edging along the pavement (9)

In Britain, a pavement[5] is a raised paved[5] (i.e., covered with flat stones or bricks) or asphalted path for pedestrians at the side of a road he fell and hit his head on the pavement [in North American parlance, a sidewalk[5]]. Kerb[5] is the British spelling of curb[5].

8d   How crossword setter might clue old car and sty? A place for pigs! (3,8,4)

Here we get both a question mark and an exclamation point — so we can expect a double dose of cryptic whimsy. The question mark signals that the wordplay is somewhat out of the ordinary, although the setter clearly tells us what he expects — namely, a bit of wordplay that would produce OLD CAR AND STY. These letters are 'an anagram of SCOTLAND YARD' which a crossword setter might clue as 'new Scotland Yard'. The exclamation point warns us that the definition (a place for pigs) is decidedly cryptic. New Scotland Yard[7] (often shortened to Scotland Yard) is is a metonym for the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Service of London, England.
[The name] derives from the location of the original Metropolitan Police headquarters at 4 Whitehall Place, which had a rear entrance on a street called Great Scotland Yard. The Scotland Yard entrance became the public entrance to the police station. Over time, the street and the Metropolitan Police became synonymous. The New York Times wrote in 1964 that, just as Wall Street gave its name to the New York financial world, Scotland Yard did the same for police activity in London. The Metropolitan Police moved away from Scotland Yard in 1890, and the name "New Scotland Yard" was adopted for the new headquarters.
9d   I drive taking a bowler, say, up to see exotic dancer (4,4)

To be precise, Dave Perry should have expressed his hint as "I + RAM about A + HAT all rev" as the {A + HAT} needs to be inserted into {I + RAM} before the whole lot is reversed.

Margaretha Geertruida "Margreet" Zelle (1876 – 1917), better known by the stage name Mata Hari[7] , was a Dutch exotic dancer, courtesan, and accused spy who was executed by firing squad in France under charges of espionage for Germany during World War I.

23d   One worshipped once yet, strangely, outside church (5)

In Greek mythology, Tyche[10] is the goddess of fortune. Her counterpart in Roman mythology is Fortuna.
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