Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sunday, December 15, 2013 — ST 4564

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Sunday Times
ST 4564
Date of Publication in The Sunday Times
Sunday, November 17, 2013
Tim Moorey
Link to Full Review
Times for the Times [ST 4564]
Times for the Times Review Written By
Dave Perry
Dave Perry's Solving Time
Date of Publication in the Toronto Star
Saturday, December 7, 2013
Date of Publication in The Vancouver Sun
Saturday, December 14, 2013[Note 2]
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
[1] This puzzle appears on the Sunday puzzles pages in the Saturday, December 14, 2013 edition of The Ottawa Citizen.

[2] Due to the paywall that has been erected on its web site, I am no longer able to verify the puzzle that is published in the Vancouver Sun.


After last week's very strenuous workout from Anax, we are given the chance to catch our breath with this gentler offering from Tim Moorey.

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   Pap in this broadcast makes a most popular show! (5,3)

The setter starts us off with a rather mischievous construction — MASH (pap) contained in (in) SHIT {anagram (broadcast) of THIS}.

6a   English country property (6)

9a   Highest point of great inspiring mass? (4)

In physics, m[5] is the symbol for mass ⇒ E = mc2. Ace[3], as an adjective, means top-notch or first-rate.

10a   A count's seen in places showing heavenly bodies (10)

Tell[5] has an archaic sense meaning to count (the members of a group)the shepherd had told all his sheep.

11a   Theatrical rarities losing it in the end? The opposite (7-7)

As Dave Perry tells us, this is a semi & lit. (semi-all-in-one) clue — a type of clue in which the definition is provided by the entire clue, while a portion of the clue constitutes the wordplay. My interpretation of the definition is that it is referring to a scenario where "theatrical rarities" (perhaps,on the one hand, highly acclaimed performers or, on the other, maybe persons who rarely appear on stage) lose it (become unable to control their temper or emotions) at the end of a performance. However, this is just one example of how a performance may end — and it is the end of the performance, rather than the circumstances surrounding this specific performance, that we need to focus on. The final part of the clue ("The opposite") tells us that it is not the end of the performance that is needed, but the start of the performance.

Curtains[5] is an informal expression denoting a disastrous outcome it looked like curtains for me.

A curtain-raiser[5] is an entertainment or other event happening just before a longer or more important one Bach’s Sinfonia in B flat was an ideal curtain-raiser to Mozart’s last piano concerto.

13a   Accountant spies flowering tree (6)

ACA[7] is the abbreviation for Associate Chartered Accountant, a designation accorded to members of The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW).

CIA[5] is the abbreviation for Central Intelligence Agency[5], a federal agency in the US responsible for coordinating government intelligence activities. Established in 1947 and originally intended to operate only overseas, it has since also operated in the US.

15a   Furniture for theatre assistants (8)

While the distinction does not factor into this clue, a dresser in the UK is quite a different piece of furniture than what we know as a dresser on this side of the Atlantic. In Britain, a dresser[5] is a sideboard with shelves above for storing and displaying plates and kitchen utensils, while in North America it is a chest of drawers.

16a   Politicians are not distracted in empty speeches (8)

19a   Country of war and dancing (6)

21a   Product of Shanghai light industry? (7,7)

23a   In general, heard how golfers may bet (2,3,5)

25a   Century for fellow on quick pitch (4)

The wordplay is FAST (quick) with C (century) replacing (for) F (fellow).

The surface reading is an allusion to cricket. A century[5] is a score of a hundred in a sporting event, especially a batsman’s score of a hundred runs in cricket he scored the only century of the tour.

The abbreviation c[5] (or c.) stands for century or centuries ⇒ a watch case, 19th c.

F[2] is the abbreviation for Fellow (of a society, etc). For instance, it is found in professional designations such as FRAIC (Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada).

26a   Money boxes useless for a relative (6)

The abbreviation U/S[10] stands for useless or unserviceable.

27a   Final courses flipping tense (8)


2d   Obama cautiously partly contributing to region of China (5)

3d   Corps to stop honking tank? One's doubtful (7)

Among other things, the abbreviation C.[10] may stand for Corps.

In British and Australian slang, honk[10] means (as a noun) a bad smell and (as a verb) to have a bad smell. Thus the present participle honking could be used as an adjective meaning stinking.

4d   Whimsical name for ship (3,8)

As Dave Perry points out, this clue is an & lit. — a type of clue in which, according to one interpretation, the entire clue is the definition and, under a second interpretation, the entire clue becomes the wordplay.

The definition is a reference to the fictional ship from H.M.S. Pinafore[7], an 1878 comic opera in two acts, with music by English composer Arthur Sullivan (1842–1900) and a libretto by English writer W. S. Gilbert (1836–1911).

5d   Was coach route accidentally entering borders of Thailand? (7)

6d   Evasive type seen in Chelsea flat regularly (3)

"Regularly" is an indication to select a regular sequence of letters from the fodder. Usually one would take every second letter (either the odd-numbered letters or the even-numbered letters). However, today, it is every third letter that is required.

Chelsea[5] is a residential district of London, on the north bank of the River Thames.

7d   Heads try TS Eliot (7)

A head[5] is a toilet on a ship or boat they were cleaning out the heads.

T. S. Eliot[5] (1888–1965) was an American-born British poet, critic, and dramatist; full name Thomas Stearns Eliot. Associated with the rise of literary modernism, he was established as the voice of a disillusioned generation by The Waste Land (1922). Four Quartets (1943) revealed his increasing involvement with Christianity. Nobel Prize for Literature (1948).

8d   Valued of course in walk (9)

12d   They serve to reduce tension in ships (11)

14d   Increasing noise in rowing clubs censored (9)

I think that the rationale for rowing to be an anagram indicator is that row[10] is being used in the sense of to cause a noisy disturbance.

17d   Touches down in burning sun (7)

18d   Editor's zonked by potentially illegal drug (7)

20d   Reported traffic jam from device in TV studio (7)

Autocue[5] is the British name for a teleprompter[5], a device which projects an enlarged image of a script on to a clear glass screen in front of a person speaking on television or in public, so enabling the speaker to read their speech while appearing to be looking at the viewers or audience.

22d   Set up stunning weapon and did test again (5)

Resit[5] is a British term which, as a verb, means to take (an examination) again after failing it  ⇒ she is resitting her maths GCSE [General Certificate of Secondary Education] and, as a noun, denotes an examination that is resat ⇒ the system allows the office to timetable all resits in a single block.

24d   Eastern currency  succeeded (3)

The won[5] is the basic monetary unit of North and South Korea, equal to 100 jun in North Korea and 100 jeon in South Korea.
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

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