Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sunday, May 26, 2013 — ST 4535

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Sunday Times
ST 4535
Date of Publication in The Sunday Times
Sunday, April 28, 2013
Jeff Pearce 
Link to Full Review
Times for the Times [ST 4535]
Times for the Times Review Written By
Dave Perry
Dave Perry's Solving Time
Date of Publication in the Toronto Star
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Date of Publication in the Vancouver Sun
Saturday, May 25, 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 25, 2013 edition of The Ottawa Citizen.


There is some tricky wordplay in today's puzzle — including one clue which has left nearly everyone scratching their head.

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   Attendant set out with care (7)

In law, ward[10] may mean guardianship, as of a minor or legally incompetent person.

5a   Red skirts carried by prisoner (7)

9a   Cook laid lemon round piece of meat (9)

10a   Taste tiniest amount of laksa during carnival (5)

Laksa[5] is a Malaysian dish of Chinese origin, consisting of rice noodles served in a curry sauce or hot soup.

I believe that taste[2] may be intended in the sense of  the ability to judge and appreciate what is suitable, fine, elegant or beautiful.

11a   Chap in the toilet (6)

12a   Penny left old vagrant without introduction (8)

In Britain's current decimal currency system, a penny[5] is a bronze coin and monetary unit equal to one hundredth of a pound (and is abbreviated p). In the system formerly used, a penny was equal to one twelfth of a shilling or 240th of a pound (and was abbreviated d, for denarius).

14a   Type of frame seen in collection of art in Public Record Office? (10)

An architrave[5] is the moulded frame around a doorway or window.

16a   Large  order (4)

18a   Blades decapitate pigs (4)

19a   After sweet she’s nothing at all! (5,5)

Fanny Adams[5] (or sweet Fanny Adams) — a euphemism for fuck all (or sweet fuck all) — is British slang meaning nothing at all ⇒ I know sweet Fanny Adams about mining.

22a   Long pompous speech — a bride’s unhappy with it (8)

Although the anagram indicator (unhappy) precedes the charade indicator (with), the two operations must be performed in the reverse order. This is not unlike a martini stirred with ice — one would add the ice cubes before stirring.

23a   One tends to fire  author of scary stories (6)

Bram Stoker[5] (1847 – 1912) was an Irish novelist and theatre manager; full name Abraham Stoker. He was secretary and touring manager to the actor Henry Irving but is chiefly remembered as the author of the vampire story Dracula (1897).

26a   You were somewhere else? What kind of excuse is that! (5)

27a   Instrument Al Gore keeps to compose (9)

As a verb, horn[5] means to butt or gore with the horns the bull horned him out of the way.

28a   Inside fat there’s some cord (7)

29a   Get fuel to distribute round river in China (7)

The Han River[5] may refer to either of two rivers in China:
  • one in eastern China that flows southeast for 952 miles (1,532 km) from southwestern Shaanxi province to the Yangtze River in Hubei province. Chinese name Han Shui.
  • one in south China that rises in southeastern Fujian province and flows south for 210 miles (338 km) to the South China Sea at Shantou in Guangdong province. Chinese name Han Jiang.


1d   Giant rat’s home is a problem before middle of boat- race (7)

The Giant Rat of Sumatra[7] is a fictional giant rat, first mentioned by Scottish writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859 – 1930) in a 1924 Sherlock Holmes story, and later used in works by many other writers.

2d   It grows down as it grows up (5)

3d   Titan carrying collection of books — one is “The Lost Continent” (8)

In Greek mythology, the Titans[5] were the older gods who preceded the Olympians and were the children of Uranus (Heaven) and Gaia (Earth). Led by Cronus, they overthrew Uranus; Cronus' son, Zeus, then rebelled against his father and eventually defeated the Titans. Atlas[5] was one of the Titans, who was punished for his part in their revolt against Zeus by being made to support the heavens.

4d   Sissy has swim round river (4)

Whereas American dictionaries define drip[3,11] as a tiresome or annoying person or a boring or colorless person, Oxford Dictionaries Online characterises such a drip[5] as being weak and ineffectual.

5d   Dispute French version of tale about jet (10)

Conte[8] is a French word meaning tale. Contravene[10] is used in the sense of to dispute or contradict (a statement, proposition, etc)
6d   Completely useless if only half of it is included (2,4)

The definition is "completely" with the solution being IN FULL. That much I understand. The wordplay — which was a mystery to Dave Perry — is explained on Times for the Times as being formed from NULL (useless) and IF (from the the clue) by placing half of the latter word inside the former producing I + N (F)ULL. However, I can see nothing in the clue to explain why the I in IF is to be moved to the front.

7d   Hints of honey and lime in Spanish punch is Hilton’s creation (7- 2)

Shangri-La[7] is a fictional place described in the 1933 novel Lost Horizon by English novelist James Hilton (1900 – 1954).

8d   At end of season Surrey constructed facility for development (7)

Surrey[5] is a county of SE England; county town, Kingston upon Thames.

13d   Being after money directors make cuts here! (5,5)

15d   Mind short people in the pink (9)

17d   General store, say, to which I take bag (8)

Jean Martinet[7] (died 1672) was a French lieutenant-colonel and Inspector General who served during the reign of Louis XIV. He was a severe drillmaster, which made him unpopular among his troops. The English word martinet[5] [a person who demands complete obedience; a strict disciplinarian] derives from the general's last name.

In the clue, bag[5] is used as a verb, meaning to catch.

18d   Curious delivery gets you 20 (7)

The number "20" in the clue is a cross reference to clue 20d. To complete the present clue, one must insert the solution to the cross-referenced clue in place of the cross reference indicator.

Delivery[5] refers to an act of throwing, bowling, or kicking a ball, especially a cricket ball he reached 59 runs off only 42 deliveries. Of course, the term is equally applicable to baseball.

20d   Different way to go over mountains (7)

21d   Three Russian officials keep Israeli PM away from Gorbachev’s policy (6)

A troika[5] is (1) a Russian vehicle pulled by a team of three horses abreast or (2) a team of three horses for a troika. The term has also come to mean a group of three people working together, especially in an administrative or managerial capacity.

In the former Soviet Union, perestroika was the policy or practice of restructuring or reforming the economic and political system. First proposed by Leonid Brezhnev in 1979 and actively promoted by Mikhail Gorbachev, perestroika originally referred to increased automation and labour efficiency, but came to entail greater awareness of economic markets and the ending of central planning. 

Shimon Peres[5] is a Polish-born Israeli statesman who served two terms as Prime Minister (1984-6 and 1995-6) and has been President since 2007. As Foreign Minister under Yitzhak Rabin he played a major role in negotiating the PLO-Israeli peace accord (1993). He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize i 1994, shared with Rabin and Yasser Arafat.

24d   Old sailor in his boat upset losing a bit of hard cash (5)

The wordplay is a reversal (upset) of {NOAH (old sailor) contained in (in) ARK (his boat)} with {A (from the clue) + H (bit of hard; first letter of Hard)} deleted (losing).

The krona[5] is (1) the basic monetary unit of Sweden, equal to 100 öre or (2) the basic monetary unit of Iceland, equal to 100 aurar.

25d   Some porn and marketing primarily? (4)

This is an & lit. (all-in-one) clue. The entire clue, when read one way, is the definition and, when read a second way, constitutes the wordplay.
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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