Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sunday, November 10, 2013 — ST 4559

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Sunday Times
ST 4559
Date of Publication in The Sunday Times
Sunday, October 13, 2013
Jeff Pearce 
Link to Full Review
Times for the Times [ST 4559]
Times for the Times Review Written By
Dave Perry
Dave Perry's Solving Time
Date of Publication in the Toronto Star
Saturday, November 2, 2013
Date of Publication in The Vancouver Sun
Saturday, November 9, 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, November 9, 2013 edition of The Ottawa Citizen.

Due to the paywall on its web site, I am no longer able to verify the puzzle that appears in the Vancouver Sun.


Despite not being overly difficult, the puzzle contained a heavy dose of British references. As I was familiar with many of them, them true number really only became apparent when I sat down to compose the blog.

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. The underlined portion of the clue is the definition.


1a   Press feature Royal in her skimpy underwear (6)

R[10] as a symbol for Royal is found in Collins English Dictionary.

5a   Old market is key in Atlantic port (6)

Rialto[5] is an island in Venice, containing the old mercantile quarter of medieval Venice. The Rialto Bridge, completed in 1591, crosses the Grand Canal between Rialto and San Marco islands.

Rio de Janeiro[5] (commonly known as Rio) is a city in eastern Brazil, on the Atlantic coast; population 6,093,472 (2007). The chief port of Brazil, it was the country’s capital from 1763 until 1960, when it was replaced by Brasilia.

9a   How might I describe old railwaymen in sport? (3,6)

This is an inverse wordplay type of clue — specifically an inverse reversal. The solution to the clue consists of a reversal indicator and its fodder, with the result of the reversal being found in the clue itself. The phrase "old railwaymen" refers to the NUR (National Union of Railwaymen), a defunct railway union. The solution is RUN AROUND which, in cryptic crossword terms, could be used as wordplay indicating a reversal (around) of RUN.

The National Union of Railwaymen[7] (NUR) was a trade union of railway workers in the United Kingdom which came into being in 1913 through the merger of three former unions. In 1990 the NUR merged with the National Union of Seamen to form the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) and ceased to exist as a separate union.

Sport is used as a verb meaning to play in a lively, energetic way[5] or frolic[3] the children sported in the water.

10a   Grade and another entertainment mogul (4)

"Grade" can be interpreted in two senses in this clue.

First, grade[5] can mean simply a particular level of rank, quality, proficiency, or value.

Second, as is alluded to by the word "another" in the clue, it is a reference to Lew Grade[5], Baron Grade of Elstree (1906–1998), a British television producer and executive who was born in Russia; born Louis Winogradsky. A pioneer of British commercial television, he served as president of ATV (Associated Television) from 1977 to 1982.

J. Arthur Rank[5], 1st Baron Rank (1888–1972) was an English industrialist and film executive; full name Joseph Arthur Rank. In 1941 he founded the Rank Organization, a film production and distribution company that acquired control of the leading British studios and cinema chains in the 1940s and 1950s.

11a   Remove obstruction in river (6)

Let[5] is a formal term meaning obstruction, the phrase "without let or hindrance" meaning without obstruction or impediment ⇒ rats scurried about the house without let or hindrance.

In racket sports, a let[5] is a circumstance under which a service is nullified and has to be taken again, especially (in tennis) when the ball clips the top of the net and falls within bounds [or, in squash, when one of the players has been obstructed] he was obstructed and asked for a let.

12a   Touring East a fiancée acquires a soothing lotion (4,4)

14a   Old fiddler hid silver in some bread (8)

Nicolò Paganini[5] (1782–1840) was an Italian violinist and composer. His virtuoso violin recitals, including widespread use of pizzicato and harmonics, established him as a major figure of the romantic movement.

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

16a   Drink to politician’s first seat (4)

18a   The talent  present (4)

19a   Fags on offer – extremely dodgy at a low price (3,1,4)

21a   Force into the service  of many Chinese folk? (8)

Shanghai[5] is a city on the east coast of China, a port on the estuary of the Yangtze; population 11,283,700 (est. 2006). Opened for trade with the west in 1842, Shanghai contained until the Second World War areas of British, French, and American settlement. It was the site in 1921 of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party.

In the first definition, shanghai[5] is used as a verb meaning to force (someone) to join a ship lacking a full crew by drugging them or using other underhand means they specialized in drugging and robbing sailors, sometimes arranging for them to be shanghaied aboard tramp boats.

In the second definition, I suspect that the name of the city might be being used as an adjective (as in "Shanghai Metro", the name of the rapid transit system serving the city of Shanghai) with the definition being "of many Chinese folk". However, I could be wrong, and the setter may have intended the phrase "many Chinese folk" to simply be a reference to the city itself.

22a   Countless heads of rebel insurgents are discovered behind well (6)

24a   Beat a Tibetan monk (4)

26a   Stubborn soldier – after power - returned and was in charge (3-6)

27a   Cut off top of noisome flower (6)

The setter uses flower in a whimsical cryptic crossword sense meaning something that flows — in other words, a river.

The Severn[5] is a river of SW Britain. Rising in central Wales, it flows north-east then south in a broad curve for some 290 km (180 miles) to its mouth on the Bristol Channel.

28a   Before opening of theatre you must arrange clean knife (6)


2d   Cook has his order for Root (11)

3d   One cat or 16 for a pound (5)

4d   Plant’s poor drainage (8)

5d   The Sun is said to be  what Man Utd fans buy? (3-3)

I suppose that red is an appropriate colour for this clue. I wrongly guessed that the solution might be RED-HOT, thinking that a red-hot might be some sort of food sold at soccer stadiums.

In Britain, a tabloid newspaper is known as a red top[5] (from the red background on which the titles of certain British newspapers are printed).

Manchester United Football Club[7] (often referred to as Man Utd in newspaper headlines) is an English professional football [soccer] club, based at Old Trafford [football stadium] in Old Trafford [district of Manchester], Greater Manchester, that plays in the Premier League (the top level in the English football league system). The team's home uniform consists of a red top and white shorts [and a large commercial endorsement].

6d   The first animals to be included in the dictionary? (9)

7d   Chap lacking hint of sun won’t! (3)

It is highly unlikely that STAN could TAN in the absence of Sun.

8d   Extremists cut finger and nail off (7,6)

13d   Desperate Cameron goes round with Liberal – Sparks will fly from this! (5,6)

The wordplay is an anagram (desperate) of CAMERON containing (goes around) {AND (with) + L (Liberal)}.

David Cameron[5] is a British Conservative statesman, Prime Minister since 2010 (in coalition with the Liberal Democrats); full name David William Donald Cameron.

The Liberal Party[5] in Britain emerged in the 1860s from the old Whig Party and until the First World War was one of the two major parties in Britain. In 1988 the party regrouped with elements of the Social Democratic Party to form the Social and Liberal Democrats, now known as the Liberal Democrats; a small Liberal Party still exists. Although I believe that Lib.[5] may be the more common abbreviation for the party, Chambers 21st Century Dictionary indicates that L[2] may also be used.

15d   Slender cardinal you texted in a gallery (9)

Here, attenuate[5] is an adjective (a rarely seen usage) meaning reduced in force, effect, or physical thickness the doctrines of Christianity became very attenuate and distorted.

The Tate Gallery[5] (commonly known simply as the Tate) is a national museum of art in London, England founded in 1897 by the sugar manufacturer Sir Henry Tate (1819–1899) to house his collection of modern British paintings, as a nucleus for a permanent national collection of modern art. It was renamed Tate Britain in 2000, when the new Tate Modern gallery opened.

17d   Dandy’s ring absorbs funny maiden (8)

George Bryan Brummell[5] (1778–1840) was an English dandy; known as Beau Brummell. He was the arbiter of British fashion for the first decade and a half of the 19th century, owing his social position to his friendship with the Prince Regent.

In Britain, bell[5] is used as a verb meaning to telephone (someone) no problem, I’ll bell her tomorrow.

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

In cricket, a maiden[5], also known as a maiden over, (abbreviation M)[5] is an over in which no runs are scored. An over[5] is a division of play consisting of a sequence of six balls bowled by a bowler from one end of the pitch, after which another bowler takes over from the other end.

20d   Pianist’s short friend is carrying his work (6)

Frédéric Chopin[5] (1810–49) was a Polish-born French composer and pianist. Writing almost exclusively for the piano, he composed numerous mazurkas and polonaises inspired by Polish folk music, as well as nocturnes, preludes, and two piano concertos (1829; 1830).

In Britain, china[5] is an informal term for a friend (or, as the Brits would say, a mate[5]). This comes from Cockney rhyming slang, where china is the shortened form of china plate which rhymes with 'mate'.

In music, Op. (also op.)[5] is an abbreviation meaning opus (work). It is used before a number given to each work of a particular composer, usually indicating the order of publication.

23d   Cook managed without hazardous substance (5)

The verb to do may well be associated with cooking most frequently when used as a past participle ⇒ a steak that is well done.

25d   Idiot parking in place where ambulances go (3)

A&E[5] (accident and emergency) is the British term for the Emergency Department in a hospital ⇒ an A&E department.

The wordplay is P (parking) contained in (in) {A + (&) E} (place where ambulances go).
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)
[11] - (Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary)
Signing off for this week — Falcon

No comments:

Post a Comment