Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012 - ST 4513

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Sunday Times
ST 4513
Date of Publication in The Sunday Times
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Tim Moorey
Link to Full Review
Times for the Times [ST 4513]
Times for the Times Review Written By
Dave Perry
Date of Publication in the Toronto Star
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Date of Publication in the Vancouver Sun
Saturday, December 22, 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, December 22, 2012 edition of The Ottawa Citizen.


As you can see from the colourful chart above, I needed lots of help from my electronic assistants 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   Courage not on tap, deliveries leaving a lot to be desired (2,5)

In cricket, a no-ball[5] is an unlawfully delivered ball, counting one as an extra to the batting side if not otherwise scored from we also bowled far too many no-balls and wides.

An extra[5] is a run scored other than from a hit with the bat, credited to the batting side rather than to a batsman.  A wide[5], also known as a wide ball, (abbreviation W[10]) is a ball that is judged to be too wide of the stumps for the batsman to play, for which an extra is awarded to the batting side.

5a   F Field and B Silver in run- down hotel (7)

The symbol for the chemical element silver is Ag[5].

9a   One remains to occupy post in water plant (5,4)

In Britain, the post[5] is (1) the official service or system that delivers letters and parcels (i) winners will be notified by post; (ii) the tickets are in the post, (2) letters and parcels delivered she was opening her post, or (3) a single collection or delivery of mail entries must be received no later than first post on 14 June. As a verb, post is a chiefly British term meaning to send (a letter or parcel) via the postal system I’ve just been to post a letter; (ii) post off your order form today. In Canada, the word post may sometimes be used in this sense as a verb — but virtually never as a noun. The word mail is used instead (both as a verb and a noun). However, the word post lives on in the name of the service which delivers the mail — Canada Post. Did you notice the phrase "first post on 14 June" in one of the usage examples above? Apparently, the post is still delivered more often than once per day in Britain!

10a   Just about live in elegance (5)

Collins English Dictionary lists L[10] as an abbreviation for live.

11a   Island  holiday time (6)

Easter Island[5] is an island in the SE Pacific west of Chile; population 3,300 (est. 2009). It has been administered by Chile since 1888. The island, first settled by Polynesians in about ad 400, is famous for its large monolithic statues of human heads, believed to date from the period 1000 to 1600.

12a   Private parking near New Orleans (8)

14a   Fruit celebrity requests one’s overlooked (4,6)

A star apple[5] is an edible purple fruit with a star-shaped cross section produced by the evergreen tropical American tree Chrysophyllum cainito.

16a   Put down mug returned (4)

I got to the answer through a rather indirect route with mug ⇒ face (of a person) ⇒ face (of a clock) ⇒ dial. However, in the UK there would be a much more direct route. In Britain, dial[5] is a slang term for a person’s face he must be one of the new batch—I haven’t seen his dial before.

18a   Newlywed not good in kitchen? (4)

The question mark indicates that this is a definition by example (DBE) with kitchen being one instance of the solution.

19a   Laughing a lot  as one may be on leaving the theatre? (2,8)

A double definition (DD) with the second being cryptic (as flagged by the question mark).

22a   After rough handling, Roget did get worn out (3- 5)

"Roget", of course, refers to Roget's Thesaurus[7], a widely used English language thesaurus, created by Dr. Peter Mark Roget (1779–1869) in 1805 and released to the public in 1852. The original edition had 15,000 words, and each new edition has been larger.

The name "Roget" is trademarked in parts of the world, such as the United Kingdom. By itself, it is not protected in the United States of America, where use of the name "Roget" in the title of a thesaurus does not necessarily indicate any relationship to Dr. Roget; it has come to be seen as a generic thesaurus name, like "Webster" for dictionaries.

23a   William gets love — a lot if like this! (5-1)

Billy-o[5] (in the phrase like billy-o) is British slang meaning very much, hard, or strongly I had to run like billy-o. Note that the definition very carefully sets out that billy-o means "a lot" when used in the phrase 'like billy-o'.

26a   Basket producer there is only backed in part (5)

A willow twig used in basket-making can be found reversed and hidden in "theRE IS Only".

27a   Get garage rebuilt and you may need this (9)

This is a semi & lit. clue, one in which the entire clue serves as the definition and a portion of the clue provides the wordplay.

28a   Bums are on view from behind in say, swimming costumes (7)

I believe that "swimming costumes" is meant to be a definition by example (DBE) which is indicated by the word "say". It had occurred to me that this certainly seemed to be a very specific instance of a very general class of items. However, in addition to its primary definition of clothes running togs, Oxford Dictionaries Online provides a secondary definition of tog[5] as Australian/NZ & Irish a swimming costume.

Toerag[5] is British slang for a contemptible or worthless person.

29a   I defy you to give boozer present (2,5)


1d   Book for anaesthetists? (7)

I got off to a bad start by entering SLEEPER here, a sleeper[5] being a film, book, play, etc. that eventually achieves unexpected success after initially attracting very little attention. Well, it did seem appropriate at the time.

Number is used in the whimsical Crosswordland sense of 'something that numbs'.

2d   Mugs from a county (5)

It certainly didn't help matters that I misread "county" as "country" (although, if I were a Brit, that might have set me on the right track).

Mug is a chiefly British slang term for a victim or dupe[3] or a gullible person, especially one who is swindled easily[4].

Berk[5] is British slang for a stupid person. Its origin is an abbreviation of Berkeley or Berkshire Hunt, rhyming slang for [a vulgar term for a private area of the female anatomy].

Berks. is the abbreviation for Berkshire, a county of southern England, west of London.

3d   City girl hanging around star (3,5)

4d   Mock Bob performing clumsily on stage (4)

In the UK, a shilling (abbreviation s)[2] was a monetary unit and coin, in use prior to the introduction of decimal currency in 1971, worth one twentieth of a pound or 12 old pence (12d). Bob[2] is an informal term for a shilling.

5d   Plates can be represented as the feet around Bow in London (5,5)

The definition is "plates" and the wordplay is an anagram (can be represented) of AS THE FEET containing the first letter (bow; as the front of a ship) of London giving the solution FALSE TEETH.

The surface reading is far more complex — at least to a non-Brit. Plates is Cockney rhyming slang for feet (from 'plates of meat'[5]). I do observe that "plates can be represented as the feet" seemingly reverses the normal order of things (in which the feet are represented as plates).

A cockney[5] is a native of East London [specifically the East End], traditionally one born within hearing of Bow Bells (the bells of St Mary-le-Bow[7] church). Cockney is also the name of the dialect or accent typical of cockneys, which is characterised by dropping the H from the beginning of words and the use of rhyming slang[5].

Bow[7] is part of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in East London. People often believe that to be a true Cockney you need to be born within earshot of the sound of Bow Bells and that these are the bells of Bow Church in the heart of Bow. However, the saying actually refers to St Mary-le-Bow which is approximately 3 miles west on Cheapside, in the City of London.

6d   Short on top, egotistical and mischievous (6)

7d   Condition of lingerie at the laundry? (9)

8d   A fish squeezed gets confused (7)

Squeeze[10] is used in the sense of to exert pressure on (someone) in order to extort (something) to squeeze money out of a victim by blackmail. Bleed[10] means to to obtain relatively large amounts of money, goods, etc, especially by extortion.

13d   Cadge a lot in personal containers (6,4)

Bags[5] (bags of) is a chiefly British informal term meaning plenty of I had bags of energy. In Britain, a sponge bag[5,10] is a small bag made of plastic, etc, that holds toilet articles, used especially when travelling.

15d   Rogue dealing so close to a bank (9)

... although seemingly it could just as well be close to anything else, other than a bank.

17d   Second missile is urgent (8)

The Trident missile[7] is a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) equipped with multiple independently-targetable reentry vehicles (MIRV). The Fleet Ballistic Missile (FBM) is armed with nuclear warheads and is launched from nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs). Trident missiles are carried by fourteen active US Navy Ohio-class submarines, with US warheads, and four Royal Navy Vanguard-class submarines, with British warheads. The original prime contractor and developer of the missile was Lockheed Martin Space Systems.

18d   Endure a southern resort mentioned? Unacceptable (4,3)

Ryde[7] is a British seaside town, and the most populous community on the Isle of Wight, with a population of approximately 30,000. As a resort, the town is noted for its expansive sands that are revealed at low tide.

20d   Language being taken up? Nothing in it (7)

In the field of metaphysics, ens[10] is (1) being or existence in the most general abstract sense or (2) a real thing, especially as opposed to an attribute; entity. Unless I am mistaken, an ens is either an abstract thing or a non-abstract (real) thing — which would appear to encompass just about anything!

21d   This is evidently the first and last in saloon cars (6)

The "first letter and the last [letter] in Saloon carS" is S which is represented in radio communication by the code word sierra[5].

In Britain, a saloon car[5] (or simply saloon) is an automobile having a closed body and a closed boot [trunk] separated from the part in which the driver and passengers sit ⇒ a four-door saloon. In North America, such a vehicle would be called a sedan[10].

The Ford Sierra[7] is a large family car that was built by Ford Europe from 1982 until 1993. It was mainly manufactured in Germany, Belgium, and the United Kingdom, although Sierras were also assembled in Argentina, Venezuela, South Africa and New Zealand. In the USA, the Ford Sierra was offered under the now defunct Merkur brand. The Sierra was imported as a three-door only, and called the XR4Ti. The Sierra name was not used by Ford in the US; the market had already seen the similar-sounding Oldsmobile Ciera, and the Sierra name was used and trademarked by General Motors Corporation from the 1970s as a trim level on its pickup trucks. Moreover, selling the Sierra in North America would have interfered with sales of the similarly-sized, American-made Ford Taurus.

24d   Let pound drop a bit (5)

I did toy for a while with the idea that the solution might be LEAVE (leave/let well enough alone[5]). Of course, the wordplay did not work for that choice.

The pound[5] (also pound sterling) is the basic monetary unit of the UK, equal to 100 pence. While the symbol for pound is £, it is often written as L[10].

Let[5] is a chiefly British term meaning (as a verb) to allow someone to have the use of (a room or property) in return for regular payments (i) she let the flat to a tenant; (ii)they’ve let out their house or (as a noun) either (1) a period during which a room or property is rented I’ve taken a month’s let on the flat [apartment] or (2) a property available for rent an unfurnished let.

25d   Potential birdies, maybe eagles (4)

The surface reading suggests golf, but the clue really concerns ornithology.
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)
Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas — Falcon

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