Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday, September 16, 2012 - ST 4499

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Sunday Times
ST 4499
Date of Publication in The Sunday Times
Sunday, August 19, 2012
Jeff Pearce 
Link to Full Review
Times for the Times [ST 4499]
Times for the Times Review Written By
Dave Perry
Date of Publication in the Toronto Star
Saturday, September 8, 2012
Date of Publication in the Vancouver Sun
Saturday, September 15, 2012
This puzzle appears on the Sunday Puzzles pages in the Saturday, September 15, 2012 edition of The Ottawa Citizen.


Today's puzzle is definitely less challenging than some of those to which we have recently been subjected.

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   Old table put behind trophy cabinet (8)

Board[5] is an archaic term for a table set for a meal ⇒ he looked at the banquet which was spread upon his board.

5a   Epic novel about a Conservative that could make you puke (6)

The word "about" can play many roles in a cryptic crossword clue. It may be a codeword for C (circa), CA (circa), or RE. It may be an insertion indicator or a reversal indicator. Today, it seems to be a charade indicator — despite the consensus at Times for the Times being that there is an error in the clue. I would submit that "about"[10] should be a perfectly valid charade indicator, used as a preposition meaning near or close to (in space or time).

10a   Male visits sleazy Soho inn at start of evening for dodgy booze (9)

Soho[7] is an area of the City of Westminster and part of the West End of London. Long established as an entertainment district, for much of the 20th century Soho had a reputation for sex shops as well as night life and film industry. Since the early 1980s, the area has undergone considerable transformation. It now is predominantly a fashionable district of upmarket restaurants and media offices, with only a small remnant of sex industry venues.

12a   This object can be reserved if seen before end of sale (5)

The solution is a word meaning to raise objections or show reluctance (clued by "this [verb meaning to] object"). If positioned before (seen before) E (end of salE), it would form an adjective meaning (of a woman or her behaviour) reserved, modest, and shy.

22a   The Chancellor's position relative to Number 10? (9)

10 Downing Street[7], colloquially known in the United Kingdom as "Number 10", is the headquarters of Her Majesty's Government and the official residence and office of the First Lord of the Treasury, an office now invariably held by the Prime Minister. The house next door, 11 Downing Street (commonly known as Number 11), is the official residence of the Second Lord of the Treasury in Britain, who in modern times has always been the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

24a   Person in tent disposes of medium skip (5)

The surface reading does not seem to make much sense. "Skip"[5] may have been used in the British sense of a large transportable open-topped container for building and other refuse [known as a dumpster[5] in North America] I’ve salvaged a carpet from a skip.

26a   Scorer left gear outside when changing (5)

Edward Elgar[7] (1857 – 1934) was an English composer, many of whose works have entered the British and international classical concert repertoire. Among his best-known compositions are orchestral works including the Enigma Variations, the Pomp and Circumstance Marches, concertos for violin and cello, and two symphonies.

29a   Having no idea how this puzzle started! (8)

... but I do know precisely how it started — the setter sat down with an empty grid and no clues.

2d   Expert setter upset after introduction (5)

It is a common cryptic crossword convention for the creator of the puzzle to use terms such as setter, compiler, author, or writer to refer to himself or herself. To solve such a clue, one must usually substitute a first person pronoun (I or me) for whichever of these terms has been used  in the clue. Today, the setter complicates matters a tad by requiring us to insert a reversal of me (which he clues by "setter upset").

3d   Spectator and one of our rivals? (8)

The surface reading is no doubt intended to make us think of The Spectator[7], a conservative-leaning weekly British magazine owned by the same people who own The Daily Telegraph[7]. The Observer[7], the world's oldest Sunday newspaper, is a sister paper to the daily The Guardian[7], and takes a similar liberal or social democratic line on most issues. It is a rival, both commercially and ideologically, to The Sunday Times (the paper which publishes this puzzle).

The Sunday Times[7] is a national Sunday broadsheet newspaper in the United Kingdom which occupies a dominant position in the quality Sunday market. The Sunday Times is published by Times Newspapers Ltd, a subsidiary of News International, which is in turn owned by News Corporation. Times Newspapers also owns The Times, but the two papers do not share editorial staff, were founded independently and have only had common ownership since 1967.

4d   Polish right for small flower (5)

It is a whimsical cryptic crossword convention that "flower" can be used to mean river (something that flows). Here we start with SHINE (a verb meaning "polish"), then replace the initial S (for "small") with R (for "right") to get RHINE (a river).

21d   Accuse cleaner, say, on return (6)

In Britain, char[5] is another name for a charwoman[5], a dated term for a woman employed as a cleaner in a house or office.

23d   Be effective in controlling poise during dance (5)

In physics, poise[5] (abbreviation P[10]) is a unit of dynamic viscosity, such that a tangential force of one dyne per square centimetre causes a velocity change one centimetre per second between two parallel planes separated by one centimetre in a liquid.
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