Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sunday, March 17, 2013 — ST 4525

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Sunday Times
ST 4525
Date of Publication in The Sunday Times
Sunday, February 17, 2013
Tim Moorey
Link to Full Review
Times for the Times [ST 4525]
Times for the Times Review Written By
Dave Perry
Date of Publication in the Toronto Star
Saturday, March 9, 2013
Date of Publication in the Vancouver Sun
Saturday, March 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, March 16, 2013 edition of The Ottawa Citizen.


I thought that today's puzzle was a bit less formidable than some recent ones that have come our way. It still provided a satisfying challenge, though.

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   What’s replaced a horse and cart etc around west side of London? (7,7)

This is an & lit. (all-in-one) clue. Chelsea tractor[5] is British slang for a large four-wheel drive vehicle used mainly in urban areas. Chelsea[7] is an affluent area of central London, England.

10a   Put clock back and forward (5)

To address Dave Perry's query, forward[5] is used in a sense meaning to dispatch or send (a document or goods) apply by forwarding a CV.

11a   It’s foremost in Athens, cut off on crumbling soil (9)

Another & lit. clue. The Acropolis[5] is the ancient citadel at Athens, containing the Parthenon and other notable buildings, mostly dating from the 5th century BC.

12a   Gathered hot stuff from Dijon on the radio (8)

Dijon mustard[5] is a medium-hot mustard, typically prepared with white wine and originally made in Dijon, France.

13a   Rock of Gibraltar primarily covered by good course on Spain (6)

The wordplay is G (Gibraltar primarily; first [primary] letter of Gibraltar) contained in (covered by) {G (good) + RUN (course) + E ([International Vehicle Registration code for] Spain)}. Grunge[5] (also grunge rock) a style of rock music characterized by a raucous guitar sound and lazy vocal delivery. The IVR code for Spain[5] comes from the name of the country in Spanish, España.

15a   Passing appeal to head of state (5)

A request to a monarch might begin, "O King, I beseech thee ... "

17a   Ability to inspire people in daily lives by degree? (8)

In Britain, daily[5] (also called daily help) is a dated term for a woman who is employed to clean someone else’s house each day and char[5] is another name for a charwoman[5], a dated term for a woman employed as a cleaner in a house or office. 

19a   Challenge of French partner before marriage (8)

In the French language, de[8] is a preposition meaning 'of'.

20a   Famous result of PM Heath leaving office (5)

Sir Edward "Ted" Heath[7] (1916 – 2005) was a British politician who served as Leader of the Conservative Party from 1965 to 1975 and as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1970 to 1974.

23a   Jolly soiree abroad with victory for Italy (4,2)

In Britain, jolly[5] is used as an adverb to mean very or extremely ⇒ that’s a jolly good idea.

The International Vehicle Registration (IVR) code for Italy is I[5].

25a   Could be a Frenchman’s pain threshold (8)

Obviously, my French is better than my British English. I recognized that "pain" is the French word for bread. However, I needed Dave Perry's explanation that doorstep[5] is British slang for a thick slice of bread [as modifier] doorstep sandwiches.

28a   Top Russian wine for pop (3,2,4)

Pop[5] is British slang meaning to pawn (something) ⇒ I wouldn’t ever sell it—I popped it.

Vladimir Putin[7] is a Russian politician who has been the President of Russia since 7 May 2012. Putin previously served as President from 2000 to 2008, and as Prime Minister of Russia from 1999 to 2000 and again from 2008 to 2012. Putin was also previously the Chairman of United Russia (the largest political party in Russia).

In Britain, hock[5] is a dry white wine from the German Rhineland.

29a   Spread say, with jam all over (5)

If (like myself) you are the type of person to butter — or apply margarine to — your toast before adding the jam, then this also works as a cryptic definition. In fact, I totally missed the wordplay described by Dave Perry. Marge[5] is British slang for margarine.

30a   Reportedly capital behind traditional composition (11,3)

London[5], of course, is the capital of the United Kingdom. Derrière[5] (the French word for "behind") is used euphemistically in English to mean a person’s buttocks.

The Londonderry Air[7] is an air [tune] that originated from County Londonderry in Ireland (now Northern Ireland). It is popular among the Irish diaspora and is very well known throughout the world. The tune is played as the victory anthem of Northern Ireland at the Commonwealth Games. "Danny Boy" is a popular set of lyrics to the tune.

The wordplay is sounds like (reportedly) LONDON DERRIERE (capital behind).


2d   County and Test can be enjoyed here (9)

Hampshire[5] is a county on the coast of southern England. The River Test[7] is a river in Hampshire, England. The river has a total length of 40 miles (64 km). Its upper reaches are known throughout the world for the excellent quality of its fly fishing for trout. I must admit that I missed the fishing angle. Instead, I supposed that the reference was to cricket, where a Test (short for Test match)[5] is an international cricket or rugby match, typically one of a series, played between teams representing two different countries ⇒ the Test match between Pakistan and the West Indies.

3d   Coffee that’s smoother and not French outwardly (5)

4d   An escape in competition is not permanent (10)

5d   Single digit about right for rent (4)

6d   A small character admits one disparaging remark (9)

7d   Unfinished story being broadcast and one’s hooked (5)

8d   Comparatively ill-advised  food cooked in fat? (6)

A rasher[5] is a thin slice of bacon — which is typically fried in (its own) fat.

9d   Motors manufactured in Norwegian city (6)

Tromsø[5] is the principal city of Arctic Norway, situated on an island just west of the mainland; population 53,622 (2007).

14d   Could be carer so weak, one’s sent out? (10)

Yet another & lit. clue.

16d   Slide long said somehow to be engulfing Sweden (9)

Depending on the instrument being used, in some aspects, musical term glissando[10] takes on almost diametrically opposite meanings. On the harp or piano, it is a rapidly executed series of notes, each note of which is discretely audible. On the violin, viola, etc. it is another name for a portamento[10], a smooth slide from one note to another in which intervening notes are not separately discernible.

The International Vehicle Registration (IVR) code for Sweden is S[5]

18d   Yours truly’s so long with strain injury in parts of foot (9)

Ta-ta[5] is a British way to say goodbye well, I’ll say ta-ta, love.

21d   Block knocked up with a spruce (6)

Spruce[3] is used as an adjective meaning neat, trim, and smart in appearance  ⇒ a good-looking man; spruce and dapper, and very tidy (Anthony Trollope).

The wordplay is a reversal (knocked up) of PAD (block) + PER (a; "30 frames a second" = "30 frames per second"). [I would say that "PAR" (rather than PER) in Dave Perry's review is clearly a typo.]

One meaning for block[10] found in Collins English Dictionary (number 26 out of 30, to be precise) is a pad of paper.

In Britain, to knock someone up[5] commonly means to wake or attract the attention of someone by knocking at their door. The meaning, common in North America, to make a woman pregnant apparently also exists in the UK. However, I don't believe either of these meanings is involved in this clue. In the cryptic reading, I think "knocked up" simply means pushed up. As knock up[10] can also mean to assemble quickly or improvise, this may well be the meaning intended in the surface reading.

22d   Email correspondent, important to get one in place (3,3)

A keypal[5] is a person with whom one becomes friendly by exchanging emails; an email penfriend I mainly use the Internet for sending emails to my keypals. Note that in the foregoing citation from Oxford Dictionaries Online, keypal is spelled as a single word. I only found keypal[10] in one other reference source, Collins English Dictionary, where it was likewise spelled as a single word. The enumeration also seems to have been a bone of contention in the UK, as reported by Dave Perry.

24d   Perhaps lunch at home and straight spirit starts to come out (3,2)

26d   It’s miserable when short of clubs in card game (5)

In card games, C[1] is an abbreviation for club or clubs (for instance, in describing bidding sequences in bridge).

27d   School instructed a child leaving (2-2)

In Britain, 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. You can imagine the image created in the mind of a North American should a British student happen to mention that he had gained entry to a co-ed.
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)
Happy St Patrick's Day — Falcon

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