Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sunday, February 24, 2013 — ST 4522

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Sunday Times
ST 4522
Date of Publication in The Sunday Times
Sunday, January 27, 2013
Tim Moorey
Link to Full Review
Times for the Times [ST 4522]
Times for the Times Review Written By
Dave Perry
Date of Publication in the Toronto Star
Saturday, February 16, 2013
Date of Publication in the Vancouver Sun
Saturday, February 23, 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 23, 2013 edition of The Ottawa Citizen.


I found this puzzle to be very difficult and had not progressed far before calling in the electronic reinforcements who got used both frequently and intensively. On one point, though, I am in clear agreement with Dave Perry — the clue of the day is definitely 8d. It caused me to laugh out loud when I finally twigged to the answer.

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   Race fans get shelter (3,2,5)

The St Leger[7] is an original classic greyhound competition held at Wimbledon Stadium in London, England. It was run at Wembley Stadium from 1928 until 1998, moving to its current home in 1999.

7a   Drink  container (4)

Historically, sack[5] is a dry white wine formerly imported into Britain from Spain and the Canaries.

9a   Currently popular footballer  improvised? (4-2-3-6)

Tottenham Hotspur Football Club[7], commonly referred to as Spurs, is an English football [soccer] club based in Tottenham, London, that plays in the Premier League (the top level league in English football).

10a   First act in work by Frenchman repelled (6)

An opus (abbreviation op.)[10] is a an artistic composition, especially a musical work.

12a   After cutting a slice of lamb, one’s let it cook to make this? (8)

A noisette[5] is a small round piece of meat, especially lamb.

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

13a   Heaters activated in May? (7)

While I managed to correctly decipher the wordplay, I was at a loss to explain the definition — and, so, needed a bit of tutoring by Dave Perry.

The question mark indicates that May is an example. Theresa May[7] is a British Conservative politician who is the current Home Secretary.

15a   Track back after a day in Wilts (6)

The setter falsely capitalises Wilts[5] to make it appear to be an abbreviation for Wiltshire[5], a county of southern England.

17a   Character encountered in fiction? One’s forgotten (6)

I think the setter just wore me down. I did consider LETTER for a while (until 14d disproved that theory). Then I played around with BERTIE (Bertie Wooster[7] being a character in the Jeeves novels of British author P. G. Wodehouse). In the end, I threw in the towel and allowed Dave Perry to fill me in as to the correct solution.

18a   Sign the disheartened Northern inside left (7)

19a   Row on river in French region (8)

The River Cam[7] is a tributary of the River Great Ouse in the east of England. The Camargue[5] is a region of the Rhône delta in SE France, characterized by numerous shallow salt lagoons. The region is known for its white horses and as a nature reserve.

21a   Cook wrongly drove spin, getting a duck (6)

The surface reading relates to cricket. Cook is a batsman who poorly hit (wrongly drove) a ball bowled with a spin on it, thus not scoring any runs (getting a duck). In cricket, a duck[5] is a batsman’s score of nought [zero] ⇒ he was out for a duck. In cryptic crossword puzzles, duck is used to indicate the letter "O" based on the resemblance of the digit "0" to this letter.

22a   Club wisest, I tut, with no men! (6,9)

The Women's Institute (WI)[5] is an organization of women, especially in rural areas, who meet regularly and participate in crafts, cultural activities, and social work. Now worldwide, it was first set up in Ontario, Canada, in 1897, and in Britain in 1915.

24a   Boss seen in den mostly (4)

25a   Chum, maybe in a mess (4,6)

Pedigree Chum[7] [well-known to Dave Perry and unknown to me] is a brand of dog food marketed in the UK by Pedigree Petfoods, a subsidiary of the American group Mars, Incorporated specializing in pet food.

A dog's dinner (or breakfast)[5] is British slang for a poor piece of work or, in other words, a mess we made a real dog’s breakfast of it. I would say that the latter expression is common in North America; the former not so much.


2d   One tucks into sauce with it (3)

Another brand name — although this one being very well-known in North America. HP Sauce[7] is a brown sauce originally produced by HP Foods in the UK, now produced by H.J. Heinz in the Netherlands. It is the best-known brand of brown sauce in the United Kingdom in 2005 with 73.8% of the retail market. HP stands for Houses of Parliament (a picture of the British Houses of Parliament appears on the bottle), so named by its inventor because it was reputedly served at a restaurant located there.

3d   Tough turned on grasping syndicate after a short time (9)

Dave Perry "can't quite see why SENT is 'turned on'". How about this: send[5] being a slang expression meaning to affect with powerful emotion or put into ecstasy it’s the spectacle and music that send us, not the words.

4d   Con in feature film shown up (5)

5d   Bent Copenhagen policeman bypassed the underworld (7)

In Judaism and the New Testament, Gehenna[5] is another name for hell.

6d   Prompt keeps one in balance (9)

7d   A little banking marks the river (5)

Until the introduction of the euro in 2002, the mark[5] (abbreviation M[10]) was the basic monetary unit of Germany, equal to 100 pfennig; a Deutschmark Germany spent billions of marks to save the French franc from speculators.

The Somme[5] is a river of northern France. Rising east of Saint-Quentin, it flows through Amiens to the English Channel north-east of Dieppe. The upper valley of the Somme was the scene of heavy fighting in the First World War.

8d   Unable to go past it when ultimately struggling in school (11)

In Britain, the word co-ed[5], when used as a noun, means a school or college providing coeducation whereas in North America it means a female student in a coeducational college or university. Imagine the image created in the mind of a North American should a British student happen to mention that he had been successful in getting into a co-ed.

11d   Harry’s in the neighbourhood to do odd jobs (6,5)

Whereas North Americans putter about[3,4], the Brits potter about[3,4]. Harry Potter[7] is a series of seven fantasy novels written by the British author J. K. Rowling.

14d   Given drive, aim to protect soldiers before going outside (9)

16d   Finished school for auditors having taken a lot in (9)

Eton College[7], often referred to simply as Eton, is a British independent school for boys aged 13 to 18. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as "The King's College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor". It is located in Eton, near Windsor in England, and is one of the original nine English public schools as defined by the Public Schools Act 1868.

18d   Mark’s part is what’s difficult, involving money from China and Norway (7)

Until the introduction of the euro in 2002, the pfennig[5] was a monetary unit of Germany, equal to one hundredth of a mark. The fen[5] is a monetary unit of China, equal to one hundredth of a yuan. N[5] is the International Vehicle Registration (IVR) code for Norway.

A pig of a (something)[5] is a British expression used to describe something unpleasant or difficult it’s a pig of a job.

20d   12 o’clock?  Correct! (5)

21d   Amerind stretching overdraft is exposed (5)

Amerindian (also Amerind)[5] is another term for American Indian, used chiefly in anthropological and linguistic contexts. Ute[5] is a member of an American Indian people living chiefly in Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico or the Uto-Aztecan language of the Ute, now with few speakers.

23d   Digit not used when counting to ten (3)
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

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