Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sunday, November 18, 2012 - ST 4508

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Sunday Times
ST 4508
Date of Publication in The Sunday Times
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Jeff Pearce 
Link to Full Review
Times for the Times [ST 4508]
Times for the Times Review Written By
Dave Perry
Date of Publication in the Toronto Star
Saturday, November 10, 2012 [unconfirmed]
Date of Publication in the Vancouver Sun
Saturday, November 17, 2012
Falcon's Experience
- solved without assistance
- incorrect prior to use of puzzle solving tools
- solved with assistance from puzzle solving tools
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by puzzle solving tools
- unsolved or incorrect prior to visiting Times for the Times
This puzzle appears on the Sunday Puzzles pages in the Saturday, November 17, 2012 edition of The Ottawa Citizen.

The Date of Publication in the Toronto Star is unconfirmed as there is no entry for this date on the Saturday Star Cryptic Forum blog.


The Brits would appear to have found this puzzle to be easier than last week's offering. For myself, it was definitely the reverse. Perhaps my mind was overtaxed from having already solved and reviewed last week's puzzle earlier today. I did manage to do quite well in three quadrants, but the southeast was a disaster as I was able to make virtually no inroads there until I ordered my electronic assistants into action.

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   See 24 down

5a   Food with bread, followed by sponge (7)

A rollmop[10] is a herring fillet rolled, usually around onion slices, and pickled in spiced vinegar.

9a   Nasty pirate left in base (9)

10a   German painter reveals one of his articles about old city (5)

Albrecht Dürer[5] (1471–1528) was a German engraver and painter. Der[7] is a form of the German definite article (used in several declensions). Ur[5] was an ancient Sumerian city located on the Euphrates, in southern Iraq.

11a   On bed find a collar (6)

Being chiefly an historical term, a bertha[5] is a deep collar, typically made of lace, attached to the top of a dress that has a low neckline.

12a   In spite of everything, being behind American lines (5,3)

14a   Start to lecture a French rustic without it being rude (10)

Un[8] is the masculine singular form of the French indefinite article.

16a   Small can at back of pantry (4)

18a   Biting  a type of pie (4)

19a   Stupid cop alarmed tall African (10)

Camelopard[5] is an archaic name for a giraffe.

22a   Extremely trendy suit (2,6)

23a   Criticised journo following second drink (6)

Journo[5] is an informal term for a journalist ⇒ the journos were there in force to see them play.

26a   Goes off when retreating — before military’s first assault (5)

27a   Great painter  soon to leave school? (3,6)

This may be more of a cryptic definition than a double definition. For it to be a double definition, one must infer that the second part of the wordplay is "(someone) soon to leave school". In Britain, a male school teacher is called a master[5].

28a   Refused to go topless and was thrown out (7)

29a   Ambassador finally visits poor inmate in the Tower (7)

The surface reading seemingly alludes to Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London[7], is a historic castle (and UNESCO World Heritage Site) on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England. It was founded towards the end of 1066 as part of the Norman Conquest of England.


1d   Copper carries a bone of small animal (7)

Cu[5], is the symbol for the chemical element copper. Note that the setter uses the expression "of small" (short for of) to clue the letter O. We see o'[5] used as a short form for of in expressions such as "a cup o' coffee".

2d   It’s great to drink with the Queen (5)

As a verb, sup[5] is a dated or Northern English dialect term meaning to take (drink or liquid food) by sips or spoonfuls (i) she supped up her soup delightedly; (ii) he was supping straight from the bottle. As a noun, it means (1) a sip of liquid he took another sup of wine or (2) in Northern England or Ireland, an alcoholic drink the latest sup from those blokes at the brewery.

The cipher (monogram) of Queen Elizabeth is comprised of the initials ER[5] — from the Latin version of her name and title, Elizabetha Regina.

3d   Man’s surroundings? (5,3)

The Isle of Man (abbreviation IOM)[5] is an island in the Irish Sea which is a British Crown dependency.

4d   Look happy when dull work is nearly done (4)

5d   Position band may take at the match (4,6)

6d   There’s large snake — run! (6)

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. The term run[5] is characterised by the Oxford Dictionary of English as being chiefly North American – but apparently not too much so for the Brits to be expected to know it.

7d   A girl put on weight but knocked back drink (9)

8d   Discussion about small plant used in cooking (7)

13d   What a car with speedo going crazy may turn into! (6,4)

In this semi & lit. clue, speedo[5] is an informal term for a speedometer — not a man’s brief, tight swimming trunks. In Britain, an escape road[5] is a slip road, especially on a racing circuit, for a vehicle to turn into if the driver is unable to negotiate a bend or slope safely. Slip road[5] is a British term for a road entering or leaving a dual carriageway[5] [a road with a dividing strip between the traffic in opposite directions and usually two or more lanes in each direction] or motorway[5] [a dual-carriageway road designed for fast traffic, with relatively few places for joining or leaving].

15d   Fairies manage tube with mirrors (9)

In Persian mythology, a peri[5] is a mythical superhuman being, originally represented as evil but subsequently as a good or graceful genie or fairy.

17d   Spring in a futon needs altering (8)

18d   English school in dull Italian port (7)

20d   Philosopher’s leader in daily upset editor (7)

Denis Diderot[5] (1713–84) was French philosopher, writer, and critic and a leading figure of the Enlightenment in France.

21d   Rodent’s limb carried by climbing cat (6)

24d/1a   Horrific scene with upright actor (5,7)

Peter Cushing[7] (1913 – 1994) was an English actor, known for his many appearances in films produced by the British studio Hammer Films, in which he played the distinguished-looking but sinister scientist Baron Frankenstein and the vampire hunter Dr. Van Helsing, amongst many other roles, often appearing opposite Christopher Lee, and occasionally Vincent Price.

25d   Invented something to have with crackers (4)

I figured that Edam would go well with crackers but the wordplay eluded me. However, if one were to replace the word "invented" by the equivalent term "made up", the answer would immediately become obvious.
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