Monday, February 18, 2013

Sunday, February 17, 2013 — ST 4521

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Sunday Times
ST 4521
Date of Publication in The Sunday Times
Sunday, January 20, 2013
Dean Mayer (Anax)
Link to Full Review
Times for the Times [ST 4521]
Times for the Times Review Written By
Dave Perry
Date of Publication in the Toronto Star
Saturday, February 9, 2013
Date of Publication in the Vancouver Sun
Saturday, February 16, 2013
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, February 16, 2013 edition of The Ottawa Citizen.


I found this puzzle to be a challenge and a half. I needed copious amounts of help from my electronic assistants. Even they could not compensate for a careless spelling mistake which kept me from finishing.

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   Reckless driving from 19? (8,7)

Motorway madness would appear to be an alternative term in Britain for road rage. The numeral "19" is cross reference to clue 19d which has as its solution MIRAGE, which breaks down into MI (motorway; M1) and RAGE (madness).

The M1[7] is a north–south motorway (multi-lane controlled access highway) in England connecting London to Leeds.

9a   Battery acid spilt on end of piston (5)

10a   Joke about new tower was intriguing (9)

In Britain, cod[5] is an informal term for a joke or hoax I suppose it could all be a cod. As a verb, it means to play a joke or trick on (someone) he was definitely codding them.

11a   Rowdy house with awful mould (7)

12a   Egg- shaped, as circle not filled with a line (7)

13a   A uniform infused with old solvent (6)

14a   Elbow musician considers covers (5)

Ancon[10] is a former technical name for elbow.

17a   Simple home in which temperature’s dropped (5)

18a   Business area with fine market (6)

A fair[5] may be a periodic gathering for the sale of goods; in particular, an exhibition to promote particular products the European Fine Art Fair. Apparently, the meaning that I am most familiar with is a particularly North American usage; i.e., an annual competitive exhibition of livestock, agricultural products, etc., held by a town, county, or state.

21a   Sting has dance with author (3,4)

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.

22a   Right time to suppress story about slip (7)

I did myself no favours on 19d by misspelling the solution to this clue.

23a   The chap cutting fresh carrots in kitchen setting? (9)

Kitchen[5] is an informal term for the percussion section of an orchestra.

25a   Trash as in rubbish (5)

Trash[5] is an informal, chiefly North American term meaning to criticize severely trade associations trashed the legislation as deficient. Roast[5] is an informal term meaning to criticize or reprimand severely if you waste his time he’ll roast you. The sense of to tease in a good-natured way is apparently a North American usage.

26a   Best remix of this week’s charts (3,4,8)

The cat's whiskers[5] (or chiefly North American the cat's meow or the cat's pyjamas) is an informal expression meaning an excellent person or thing this car is the cat’s whiskers.


1d   Asian companion in NW football team (6)

A Companion of Honour (abbreviation CH) is a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour[7], an order of the Commonwealth realms[7] founded by King George V in June 1917 as a reward for outstanding achievements in the arts, literature, music, science, politics, industry or religion.

Man U is a reference to the Manchester United Football Club[7] (often referred to as simply United), an English professional football [soccer] club, based at Old Trafford [football stadium] in Old Trafford [district of Manchester], Greater Manchester, that plays in the Premier League (the top level in the English football league system).

2d   US city numbers stopped rising (6)

3d   Library, one used to shoot Harry Potter films? (9,6)

The Radcliffe Camera[7] (Camera, meaning "room" in Italian) (colloquially, "Rad Cam"; "Radder" in 1930s slang[1]) is a building in Oxford, England, designed by James Gibbs in the English Palladian style and built in 1737–1749 to house the Radcliffe Science Library.

Daniel Radcliffe[7] is an English actor who rose to prominence playing the title character in the Harry Potter film series.

4d   A meeting with, you might say, board (11)

There is a rule in solving cryptic crossword puzzles that you ignore punctuation — except when it can't be ignored.

I interpreted the wordplay to be {A (from the clue) + DATE (meeting)} containing (with) something that sounds like (you might say) COMMA (,). Dave Perry seems to have trouble accepting "with" as a containment indicator. How about "a woman with child" meaning a pregnant woman?

As it turns out, the setter had a slightly different explanation in mind. Anax drops by Times for the Times to set the record straight. The wordplay treats the entire solution as a phrase, with (in the setter's words) "A COMMA DATE being 'A meeting with ,' (you might say)".

5d   Among them and us? (3)

6d   Foreign staff decline — proclaim cost is ridiculous (10,5)

7d   Mourn over chance to describe unknown wife of Orpheus (8)

In Greek mythology, Eurydice[5] was the wife of Orpheus. After she was killed by a snake Orpheus secured her release from the underworld on the condition that he did not look back at her on their way back to the world of the living. But Orpheus did look back, whereupon Eurydice disappeared.

8d   Preparing to ride, go on to break strap (8)

12d   How you may make the bra with pants? (3,2,6)

15d   Why Kinnock leaves in triumph (8)

Neil Kinnock[7] is a British Labour Party politician who was the Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition from 1983 until 1992, making him the longest-serving Leader of the Opposition in British political history to date, and the longest never to have become Prime Minister.

16d   Top left in boat (8)

A pinnace[5] (chiefly historical) is a small boat, typically with sails and/or several oars, forming part of the equipment of a warship or other large vessel.

19d   I run through sorcerer’s illusion (6)

Misspelling the solution to 22a proved disastrous here.

20d   Place rubbish in dodgy surroundings (6)

Tat[5] is an informal British expression meaning tasteless or shoddy clothes, jewellery, or ornaments the place was decorated with all manner of gaudy tat.

24d   With 5, I appear to pray for McCourt work (3)

The numeral "5" is a cross reference to clue 5d.

'Tis[5] is a memoir by Irish-American writer Frank McCourt. Published in 1999, it begins where McCourt ended Angela's Ashes, his Pulitzer Prize winning memoir of his impoverished childhood in Ireland and his return to America.
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