Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sunday, October 14, 2012 - ST 4503

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Sunday Times
ST 4503
Date of Publication in The Sunday Times
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Dean Mayer (Anax)
Link to Full Review
Times for the Times [ST 4503]
Times for the Times Review Written By
Dave Perry
Date of Publication in the Toronto Star
Saturday, October 6, 2012
Date of Publication in the Vancouver Sun
Saturday, October 13, 2012
This puzzle appears on the Sunday Puzzles pages in the Saturday, October 13, 2012 edition of The Ottawa Citizen.


As usual, Anax gives us some masterfully clever wordplay. I must admit that even though I completed the puzzle correctly, I needed help from Dave Perry's explanations to fully appreciated the wordplay in a couple of clues.

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.

16a   Sculptor’s endless chipping away ( 5)

Auguste Rodin[5] (1840–1917), was a French sculptor. He was chiefly concerned with the human form. Notable works include The Thinker (1880) and The Kiss (1886).

17a Bone made of iron — strange, on reflection ( 5)

The symbol for the chemical element iron is Fe[5]. Rum[5] is dated British slang meaning odd or peculiar.

26a   How one may see guts of crippled patient? ( 6- 6)

My electronic assistants suggested that softly-softly was about the only possible solution. While Dave Perry says that it took him a while to work out the wordplay, I admit that I never was able to work it out on my own. Softly-softly[5], which means gradual, cautious, and discreet, would appear to be a British expression.

1d   Run into bar for scrap? ( 7)

On cricket scorecards, R[5] appears as an abbreviation for run(s).

4d   Way cats exercise? ( 9)

Cat[10] is a [seemingly British] slang word meaning to vomit. Thus the wordplay is ST (way; street) + RETCHES (cats; vomits).

8d   Country garden in Cornwall? ( 6)

Cornwall[5] is a county occupying the extreme south-western peninsula of England.

13d   Author’s praise, or otherwise, for manager ( 10)

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 I'm (I am) in place of author's (author is).

19d   Boozer’s body found in squat, covered in refuse ( 7)

Again, I needed Dave Perry to explain the wordplay. The definition is "boozer's body" (more on that later) and the wordplay is SIT (squat) contained in (covered in) DENY (refuse; as in to refuse admittance to someone).

"Boozer's body" is to be interpreted as what the word "body" would mean to someone who drinks a lot of alcohol beverages. One meaning of body[10] is the characteristic full quality of certain wines, determined by the density and the content of alcohol or tannin ⇒ a Burgundy has a heavy body. In particular, density could refer to the concentration of alcohol or alcohol by volume[7]. It is this particular characteristic of the wine that is likely of most interest to the "boozer" as opposed to the wine connoisseur, for whom other attributes would be of at least equal significance. As a contributor at Times for the Times points out, using "Boozer's body" in this manner is akin to cluing the word 'un' as "Napoleon's one".
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


  1. Softlu softlt

    what is the wordlplay? guts? crippled?

  2. Perhaps I should have elaborated a bit on the explanation given by Dave Perry in his review.

    The definition is "patient" (as an adjective rather than a noun). The wordplay is guts (middle letters of) criPPled. Since p is the abbreviation for piano, a musical direction meaning softly, PP becomes softly-softly (which is a British term meaning patient).

    The phrase "How one may see" is a bit of a flourish which enhances the surface reading of the clue without really adding anything to the cryptic meaning.