Monday, May 13, 2013

Sunday, May 12, 2013 — ST 4533

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Sunday Times
ST 4533
Date of Publication in The Sunday Times
Sunday, April 14, 2013
Dean Mayer (Anax)
Link to Full Review
Times for the Times [ST 4533]
Times for the Times Review Written By
Dave Perry
Dave Perry's Solving Time
Date of Publication in the Toronto Star
Saturday, May 4, 2013
Date of Publication in the Vancouver Sun
Saturday, May 11, 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, May 11, 2013 edition of The Ottawa Citizen.


A puzzle by Anax is as entertaining as it is difficult. I got tremendous enjoyment from this offering, but wondered if I would even get started. On my first read through, the only clue that I was able to solve was the final one. From there, I did manage to make some inroads before calling in my electronic reserves.

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   Paper used to cover top surface (5)

The Financial Times (FT)[7] is a British international business newspaper [that is printed on conspicuous salmon pink newsprint].

4a   Uses statute to cut costs (9)

9a   Most of all, a call at 12d in West Indian style (1,2,6)

In this clue, 12d is a cross reference indicator. To complete the present clue, one must substitute the solution to clue 12d in place of the indicator. Since this puzzle contains both across and down clues originating from the square labelled 12, the setter must specifically show which one is intended.

Although I did get the correct solution, I failed to fully decipher the wordplay, not recognizing that A.[10] is being used as the abbreviation for acre.

The French term à la is a contraction of à la manière de meaning "in the style of". While I was not able to find à la créole in any dictionary, Google turned up plenty of recipes containing this phrase (although they all seemed to be written in French). At Times for the Times, Anax mentions that this is not a "dictionary phrase" and relates the discussion that ensued between himself and PB (Peter Biddlecombe, the puzzles editor at The Sunday Times) on this subject.

10a   Crime for which jockey’s not caught (5)

Willie Carson[7] is a retired Scottish jockey in thoroughbred horse racing. He was British Champion Jockey five times (1972, 1973, 1978, 1980 and 1983), won 17 British Classic Races, and passed 100 winners in a season 23 times for a total of 3,828 wins, making him the fourth most successful jockey in Great Britain.

11a   After securing silver, furious chef claims top spot (5,1,7,2)

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

12a   Publican’s supply held by outlaw (6)

In Britain, a publican[5] is a person who owns or manages a pub.

13a   Having seen bust, go for a cold shower? (8)

Zing[5] is used in the sense of to move or vibrate swiftly or with a high-pitched buzzing noise another bullet zinged past him.

16a   Texan beer company will finally supply senator (4,4)

The Lone Star Brewery[7], built in 1884, was the first large, mechanized brewery in Texas. Adolphus Busch, of Anheuser-Busch, founded it along with a group of San Antonio businessmen. Lone Star beer was the company's main brand. It was marketed as "The National Beer of Texas."

In 2000, the brewery was closed and the castle-like building now houses the San Antonio Museum of Art. The Lone Star brand is now owned by the Pabst Brewing Company. Production of Lone Star is currently contracted out to non-Pabst owned breweries (e.g. Miller Brewing Company in Fort Worth).

17a   Absolutely no pressure to return porridge (6)

According to The Chambers Dictionary, 11th Edition, porridge[1] is British slang meaning a jail or a jail sentence, especially in the phrase do porridge meaning to serve a jail sentence. This is the only source in which I have found this word having the former meaning ('jail'). The online editions of Chambers 21st Century Dictionary[2], Collins English Dictionary[4,10] , and the Oxford Dictionary of English[5] all show the word as having only the latter meaning ('jail sentence').

19a   Military top brass brutal about injured sergeant on drip (4- 4,7)

It took a while to realize that I was missing a star.

22a   Costume given to old actress (5)

Greta Garbo[7] (1905 – 1990), born Greta Lovisa Gustafsson, was a Swedish film actress and an international star and icon during Hollywood's silent and classic periods.

23a   Most loathsome taxi drivers will get in the way (9)

24a   Heartless teacher: Spell “acerbic” (9)

25a   That kiss is left a long time (5)

Yonks[5] is British slang meaning a very long time I haven’t seen him for yonks.


1d   Old money split between footballers (5)

The franc[5] is (or was) the basic monetary unit of France, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and several other countries, equal to 100 centimes (replaced in France, Belgium, and Luxembourg by the euro in 2002).

In Britain [and elsewhere], FC[5] is the abbreviation for Football Club Liverpool FC. Football refers to Association football[7] or soccer. This usage is not confined to Britain, as can be seen from the names of many Canadian soccer teams such as Toronto FC[7], Vancouver Whitecaps FC[7], and Ottawa Fury FC[7] (but not the Montreal Impact[7]).

2d   Full references provided in  CV? (7,3,5)

The surface reading of this double definition alludes to a curriculum vitae[5] (abbreviation CV). However, the cryptic analysis leads to the expression chapter and verse[5], meaning an exact reference or authority she can give chapter and verse on current legislation. Of course, c[2] and v[5] are abbreviations for chapter and verse respectively.

One reader of Times for The Times suggests that CV might have been intended to stand for Confraternity Version (a theory that Anax refutes in comments posted on the web site). The Confraternity Bible[5] is a somewhat broad term that refers to any edition of the Catholic Bible translated under the auspices of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine ("CCD") between 1941 and 1969. The Confraternity Bible is known, and appreciated, for the balance it strikes between accessibility and authenticity. That is, many feel that the translation is neither too loose and friendly, nor too stilted and slavish. It was supplanted in 1970 by the New American Bible and is no longer in widespread use.

3d   Mating period’s coming up and he’s out to attract attention (4,5)

4d   Stop claiming nothing’s hard work in the field (6)

H[5] is the abbreviation for hard, as used in describing grades of pencil lead ⇒ a 2H pencil.

5d   Laxative that is swallowed by sick parent (8)

6d   Walk or run into stuff (5)

On cricket scorecards, the abbreviation R[5] indicates run(s).

7d   Rampant ego, concurs Times features editor (8,7)

A doctor who might modify the features of a face, for example.

8d   My  babe in arms? (3,2,1,3)

A double definition, the first being my[5] in the sense of an exclamation of surprise or amazement.

12d   “Sport” needing strong grip after initial exchanges, say (9)

I initially thought that the solution might have been "WRESTLING" — the professional version being more theatre than sport. Although I eventually managed to figure out the correct sport (and understand the meaning of the quotation marks), I failed to see the Spoonerism.  The wordplay is sounds like (say) a Spoonerism (after initial exchanges) of FULL BITE (strong grip).

14d   Hot sandwiches smell after her untipped fag? (6,3)

In Britain, fag[5] is a term for a junior pupil at a public school who does minor chores for a senior pupil a fag at school who has suffered a well-earned beating. In North America, given that fag[5] is derogatory slang for a male homosexual, a statement such as the foregoing usage example would likely cause some considerable consternation. At least the surface reading works on both sides of the Atlantic — despite the fact that British dictionaries do appear to believe that fag[5] is British slang for a cigarette.

15d   One song is about entering mother country (8)

Today being Mother's Day, the mention of mother is timely (although, I am sure, unintentionally so).

18d   Amazed at dresses German possesses (6)

20d   Small bed in lift occupied by one patient (5)

21d   Where American would park American sports car (5)

A North American would park in a parking lot[5] (or simply a lot[5]) while a Brit would park in a car park[5].

Lotus Cars[7] is a British manufacturer of sports and racing cars based at the former site of RAF Hethel, a World War II airfield in Norfolk, England. The company designs and builds race and production automobiles of light weight and fine handling characteristics.
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 Mother's Day — Falcon

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