Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sunday, April 28, 2013 — ST 4531

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Sunday Times
ST 4531
Date of Publication in The Sunday Times
Sunday, March 31, 2013
Tim Moorey
Link to Full Review
Times for the Times [ST 4531]
Times for the Times Review Written By
Dave Perry
Dave Perry's Solving Time
Date of Publication in the Toronto Star
Saturday, April 20, 2013
Date of Publication in the Vancouver Sun
Saturday, April 27, 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, April 27, 2013 edition of The Ottawa Citizen.


Dave Perry's introduction captures my experience very well. I made rapid progress through most of the puzzle — then slowed to a crawl through the final half dozen clues.

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   Climate’s troublesome for a climber (8)

6a   Advert seen around Spain for refrigerated transport (6)

In the surface reading, advert[5] is an informal British term for an advertisement. However, in the cryptic reading, advert[5] is a verb used in formal speech meaning to refer to in speaking or writing I have already adverted to the solar revolution.

Reefer[5] is slang for a refrigerated lorry [truck], railway wagon [railway car for Canadian readers; railroad car for US readers], or ship.

9a   Privy to nothing in bar (2,2)

10a   Check on military supports (10)

11a   Recently arrived fount of wisdom, bishop in diocese is me (6,5)

Although I didn't know the name, I was able to work it out correctly from the wordplay. Early this year, Justin Welby[7] became the 105th and current Archbishop of Canterbury and senior bishop in the Church of England. As such, he is Primate of All England and the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

A bishop (abbreviation B)[5] is a chess piece. The Diocese of Ely[5] is a Church of England diocese in the Province of Canterbury, headed by the Bishop of Ely, who sits at Ely Cathedral in the city of Ely.

14a   Manic ideas I’d put out randomly and forget? (8)

I would say that there is an implied second "I'd" in the clue, making it read "Manic ideas I'd put out randomly and [I'd] forget?". This allows the definition to be "I'd forget", justifying the solution being a noun (AMNESIAC). Without this interpretation, the definition is a verb (FORGET) and the solution (AMNESIAC) is either a noun or an adjective.

15a   Broad strip of Devon area getting unusual heat (6)

Devon[5] is a county of SW England; county town, Exeter.

16a   A start showing how to make a star! (3- 3)

This is a type of semi & lit. clue that I suppose scchua (a fellow blogger on Big Dave's Crossword Blog) might label DIWW (definition intertwined with wordplay). Although, I don't recall ever seeing him use the term, he often mentions a counterpart type of semi & lit. clue which he calls WIWD (wordplay intertwined with definition).

In a true & lit. clue, the entire clue is the definition (when read one way) and the wordplay (when read a second way). In a semi & lit. clue, the most common case (in my experience) is for the entire clue to be the definition, with only portion of the clue constituting the wordplay. This is what scchua calls a WIWD clue. However, today we have the converse situation where the entire clue forms the wordplay and the definition is only a portion of the clue. Thus by logical extension, it would seem that such a clue might be described as a DIWW clue.

18a   Where you find digital pictures  not for all to see (2,6)

20a   Hanging features in foreign prison camp with no end of cheering etc and it’s awful (11)

The trick here is to avoid falling into the trap of supposing that STALAG (foreign prison camp) is pointing you in the direction of stalagmites[5] (which point up — not down).

22a   Cherry’s no charisma unfortunately (10)

Mistakenly thinking the solution is plural — and, and as a result, misspelling maraschino — caused havoc in the southwest corner.

24a   Stink in US created by cowboy show over wasting energy (4)

Odor being the US spelling of odour.

25a   British actor  vacillates (6)

Nigel Havers[7] is an English actor. He played Lord Andrew Lindsay in the 1981 British film Chariots of Fire and Dr. Tom Latimer in the British TV comedy series Don't Wait Up. He portrayed the role of Lewis Archer in the British television soap opera Coronation Street from 2009 to 2010. He returned to the role in 2012 and departed once again in February 2013.

In British English, haver[5] means to act in a vacillating or indecisive manner ⇒ (as noun havering) she was exasperated by all this havering.

26a   Discard bet on the best team (3,5)

In Britain, side[7] is another term for a sports team. The "best team" is the 'A side'. I could find no evidence that the expression is used in this sense in Britain. The clue may be a cryptic allusion to A-side[5], the side of a pop single regarded as the main one.


2d   Athlete and what covers his or her thighs? (4,6)

In Britain, a jumper[5] is a knitted garment typically with long sleeves, worn over the upper body (in North American terms, a sweater). What we would call a jumper, the Brits would call a pinafore[5] (a collarless sleeveless dress worn over a blouse or [British] jumper [i.e., North American sweater]). Thus if a British lass wore a pinafore over her jumper and a North American girl wore a jumper over her sweater, they would be dressed identically.

3d   The Tories manifest troubles and he resigns? Rarely! (8,2,5)

In this semi & lit. clue, the entire clue would seem to be the definition, with only the portion preceding the the question mark being the wordplay — making it what scchua would call a WIWD (wordplay intertwined with definition) [see comment at 16a].

The wordplay, as I see it, is an anagram (troubles) of T[HE] TORIES MANIFEST with HE deleted (and HE resigns).

4d   Stops in car behind the Northern Queen (7)

Mini[7] is an automobile brand, currently owned by BMW, but originally introduced as a model under the Austin and Morris marques by the British Motor Corporation (BMC).

The pronunciation of "the" in the Geordie dialect of northeast England is t'. Based on this, in this clue, "the Northern" is used to clue the letter T.
Geordie refers to (1) a person from Tyneside or (2) the English dialect or accent typical of people from Tyneside. Tyneside[5] is an extended urban area on the banks of the River Tyne, in NE England, stretching from Newcastle upon Tyne to the coast

The dialect of this area is known as Geordie[7], and contains a large amount of vocabulary and distinctive word pronunciations not used in other parts of the United Kingdom. The Geordie dialect has much of its origins in the language spoken by the Anglo-Saxon populations who migrated to and conquered much of England after the end of Roman Imperial rule. This language was the forerunner of Modern English; but while the dialects of other English regions have been heavily altered by the influences of other foreign languages—particularly Latin and Norman French—the Geordie dialect retains many elements of the old language.
By tradition, the ciphers (monograms) of British monarchs are initials formed from the Latin version of their first name followed by either Rex or Regina (Latin for king or queen, respectively). Thus the cipher of Queen Elizabeth is ER[5] — from the Latin Elizabetha Regina.

5d   One may be seen up in Kashmir seminary (3)

Sri[5] (a variant spelling of Shri) is an Indian title of respect used before the name of a man, a god, or a sacred book Shri Chaudhuri.

6d   Money raisers for famous Singapore hotel (7)

Raffles Hotel[7] is a colonial-style hotel in Singapore. Established in 1887, the the hotel has become one of Singapore's best known icons. It was named after Stamford Raffles, the founder of modern Singapore, whose statue was also unveiled in 1887.

7d   Regular parliamentary business? They are and they aren’t! (5,3,7)

An early day motion[7] (EDM), in the Westminster system of parliamentary government, is a motion, expressed as a single sentence, tabled by Members of Parliament that formally calls for debate "on an early day". In practice, they are rarely debated in the House and their main purpose is to draw attention to particular subjects of interest.

I learn from Dave Perry that there is more to the clue than meets the North American eye. In Britain, motion[10] can mean (1) the evacuation of the bowels [bowel movement] or (2) excrement. An early day bowel movement may — or may not — constitute "regular business" for parliamentarians.

8d   With head of Ford away, not so many in jug (4)

12d   Wife with one young child overlooking a US city (7)

Chit[5] is a derogatory British term for an impudent or arrogant young woman she is a mere chit of a girl.

13d   Bladed weapon seen in small bags on command (10)

A short sword[5] (or shortsword [Wikipedia inconsistently using both spellings within the same article]) is a single-handed sword, typically two to three feet in length.

Bags[5] is a dated British name for loose-fitting trousers a pair of flannel bags. Thus "small bags" would be 'shorts'.

17d   Pope, mostly open and straightforward, starts to change institutional secrecy? (7)

Francis[7] is the 266th and current Pope of the Catholic Church, elected on 13 March 2013. As such, he is Bishop of Rome, the head of the worldwide Catholic Church, and sovereign of the Vatican City State.

19d   Like down clue initially? A bit much, merely leaving learner behind (7)

OTT[5] is British slang for over the top presenting him as a goalscoring Superman seems a bit OTT.

21d   One’s followed tasteless articles for so long (2- 2)

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

23d   Faulty tablet’s lacking power (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

1 comment:

  1. "best team" in 26A: this is just a combination of "best" = A, as in (as it happens) the "A team" being the best team, and SIDE = team.

    7D: the other meaning of "motion" is shared by "business".

    Peter Biddlecombe, Sunday Times Crossword Editor