Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sunday, July 28, 2013 — ST 4544

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Sunday Times
ST 4544
Date of Publication in The Sunday Times
Sunday, June 30, 2013
Jeff Pearce 
Link to Full Review
Times for the Times [ST 4544]
Times for the Times Review Written By
Dave Perry
Dave Perry's Solving Time
Date of Publication in the Toronto Star
Saturday, July 20, 2013
Date of Publication in the Vancouver Sun
Saturday, July 27, 2013[see note]
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
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by solutions from Times for the Times
This puzzle appears on the Sunday puzzles pages in the Saturday, July 27, 2013 edition of The Ottawa Citizen.

Due to a recently implemented paywall on its web site, I am no longer able to personally verify the puzzle appearing in the Vancouver Sun. 


After two weeks of very difficult puzzles from Anax (Dean Mayer) and Tim Moorey, Jeff Pearce delivers one that is more suited to my league.

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   Loose type of article found in mid-Arkansas (10)

6a   Is about to enter America, a huge territory (4)

The wordplay is a reversal (about) of IS contained in (to enter) {A (America) + A (from the clue)}.

9a   A canal with rats ruined the city (5,5)

10a   Finally strummed strange instrument (4)

Rum[5] is dated British slang meaning odd or peculiar ⇒ it’s a rum business, certainly.

12a   Something designed for smoking  jacket (6)

13a   Going fast? It’s the German way (8)

An autobahn[5] is a German, Austrian, or Swiss motorway [multi-lane, controlled-access, divided highway]. German autobahns[7] have no general speed limit, but the advisory speed limit (Richtgeschwindigkeit) is 130 kilometres per hour (81 mph).

In the clue, "way" is used in the sense of road. I must assume that the first part of the clue ("Going fast?") is intended to distinguish an autobahn from any other type of German road.

15a   The son’s rent review results in unfavourable reaction (7,4)

18a   Magician takes short drink right outside court (ll)

Neck[5] is British slang meaning to swallow (something, especially a drink) after necking some beers, we left the bar.

21a   Where batsman is to step up (8)

In cricket, a crease[5] is any of a number of lines marked on the pitch at specified places. The crease refers to the position of a batsman during their innings England were 15 for 3 overnight, with Stewart and Russell at the crease. Note that in cricket the crease is a line — unlike hockey, where it is an area. Thus, it would seem that the batsman would be found "at the crease" (as per the usage example cited) rather than "in [the] crease".

22a   Penny introducing another girl to a course in Granada? (6)

The wordplay is P (penny) + {ELLA (another girl) next to (introducing; meeting) A (from the clue)}. I have to conclude that "introducing" is used in the sense of meeting, rather than inserting (the action which I was mistakenly attempting to accomplish). Having interpreted "introducing" in the correct sense, it would seem that one must then make the further leap of logic to interpret "meet" in the sense of abut. Thus "introducing" ⇒"meeting" ⇒"abutting". The convention that ELLA follows A flows from the logic that for ELLA to be introduced to A, A must already exist (have already been written). Thus ELLA must be written after A.

24a   Leading 11 start to entertain when at home to Millwall (4)

The number "11" is a cross reference to clue 11d. It indicates that the solution to clue 11d must be substituted in its place to complete the clue.

Anthony Eden[5], 1st Earl of Avon (1897 – 1977) was a British Conservative statesman and Prime Minister of the UK from 1955 to 1957. His premiership was dominated by the Suez crisis of 1956; widespread opposition to Britain’s role in this led to his resignation.

Millwall Football Club[5] is an English professional football [soccer] club based in South Bermondsey, south-east London, that plays in the Football League Championship, the second tier of English football. Founded as Millwall Rovers in 1885, the club has retained its Millwall name despite having last played in the Millwall area of the Isle of Dogs in 1910. The nickname of the club is now The Lions — thus it is not surprising that their home ground is known as The Den.

The surface wording of the clue may be intended to refer to at home[5] in the sense of ready to receive and welcome visitors — at-home[5] being a dated term for a period when a person has announced that they will receive visitors in their home.

25a   Pray for one man in plastic (10)

An error at 19d, misdirected me to go with suppliance[10] — which means supplication. Not only does the wordplay not parse, it is a noun rather than a verb. However, it does contain Crosswordland's stereotypical Scotsman.

26a   Send back a weekly magazine (4)

27a   Take a cut or lose one’s job (3,3,4)


1d   Enter - it's a key on a modern keyboard (6)

2d   Embarrassed about eating pub grub (6)

3d   Weapon and new helmet for war (12)

4d   Part of pipeline put back in river (4)

5d   Disorder follows when Uncle Bert is indecent outside university (10)

7d   Runner barely on the pitch? (8)

In Britain, a pitch[5] is an area of ground marked out or used for play in an outdoor team game a football pitch. In cricket, though, rather than the entire playing surface, pitch refers to only a specific area of the playing surface, namely the strip of ground between the two sets of stumps both batsmen were stranded in the middle of the pitch. The pitch is the area on which the batsmen run after hitting the ball — if it were not otherwise occupied by today's daring (or should that be baring) runner.

8d   Crazy inmate hiding Medical Officer's fossil (8)

An ammonite[5] is (1) any extinct marine cephalopod mollusc of the order Ammonoidea, which were common in Mesozoic times and generally had a coiled partitioned shell [their closest modern relative being the pearly nautilus]; or (2) the shell of any of these animals, commonly occurring as a fossil.

11d   Sober yet drunk - not vice versa (12)

14d   Two sorts of brass chicken might come with it (5,5)

Bread sauce[5] is sauce made with milk and breadcrumbs, typically eaten with roast chicken or turkey.

Brass[5] is British slang for money they wanted to spend their newly acquired brass.

Brass[3,4,11] is an informal term [clearly not an exclusively British usage] meaning bold self-confidence, cheek, or nerve ⇒ he had the brass to ask for more time.

Sauce[5] [equivalent to the North American term sass[5]] is an informal and chiefly British expression meaning impertinence or cheek ‘None of your sauce,’ said Aunt Edie.

16d   Being in drink almost books an event (8)

For cryptic effect, the setter has twisted the word order around. If one returns the clue to its natural word order (from a cryptic perspective), it is easily seen that the word "being" serves as a link word between the definition and wordplay. The natural word order would be:
  • An event being in drink almost books.
which is certainly a less elegant surface reading than the phrasing which the setter has chosen to use,

17d   One extremely choice type of sherry is sweet (3,5)

In Britain, sweet[5] is another name for pudding or dessert. While sweet can also mean candy[5], I would say that here it means the former.

19d   Left in holiday location to tan? Just the reverse (6)

My initial attempts were aimed at reversing "left in holiday location"; that is, putting "holiday location in left". I eventually realized that I was on the wrong path, only to fall into another trap — opting for BLANCH rather than BLEACH. Needless to say, that choice was to haunt me at 25a.

20d   Invented cheese? (4,2)

This clue is an example of inverse wordplay. In normal wordplay, the wordplay occurs in the clue and the outcome of the wordplay is found in the solution. In inverse wordplay, the situation is reversed and the wordplay is in the solution and the outcome of the wordplay is contained in the clue itself.

The indication of inverse wordplay is often virtually implicit. In the present clue, the sole indication is the question mark which alerts us to be on the lookout for something a bit out of the ordinary.

To solve the clue, we need to find a synonym of "invented" (the definition) that could be interpreted as wordplay whose outcome means "cheese". The solution that we are looking for is MADE UP which not only means "invented" but, as wordplay, could be used to clue a reversal (up, in a down clue) of MADE with the outcome being EDAM (a type of Dutch cheese).

23d   Endlessly annoy hawk (4)

Hawk[3,4,11] in the sense of clear phlegm from the throat.
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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