Monday, October 28, 2013

Sunday, October 27, 2013 — ST 4557

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Sunday Times
ST 4557
Date of Publication in The Sunday Times
Sunday, September 29, 2013
Dean Mayer (Anax)
Link to Full Review
Times for the Times [ST 4557]
Times for the Times Review Written By
Dave Perry
Dave Perry's Solving Time
Date of Publication in the Toronto Star
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Date of Publication in The Vancouver Sun
Saturday, October 26, 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, October 26, 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.


I have not found time to complete the Sunday puzzle for a few weeks, let alone write a blog posting. I certainly chose a daunting puzzle with which to jump back in.

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   17's aspiration (4)

To complete the clue, replace the number "17" (a cross reference indicator) with the solution to clue 17a. Following this substitution, the wordplay becomes GAS (vapour) + P (pressure).

3a   Scientist was correspondent in a matter of law (10)

Archimedes[5] (circa 287–212 BC) was a Greek mathematician and inventor, of Syracuse. He is famous for his discovery of Archimedes‘ principle (legend has it that he made this discovery while taking a bath, and ran through the streets shouting ’Eureka!'); among his mathematical discoveries are the ratio of the radius of a circle to its circumference, and formulas for the surface area and volume of a sphere and of a cylinder.

Res[4,11], a Latin word and a term used in law, means a thing, matter, or object. 

In Britain, chime with[5] can mean to be in agreement with his poem chimes with our modern experience of loss.

The setter uses the phrase "was correspondent" to mean was in agreement with (or corresponded to). I believe that this usage may well be one of his own invention.

Thus the wordplay is CHIMED (was correspondent) contained in (in) {A (from the clue) + RES (matter of law)}.

10a   Lightning all but pierces plain (9)

The wordplay is NIGH (all but) contained in (pierces) OVERT (plain).

11a   Angry one stops receiving sex (5)

I failed to recognize that sex is Latin for six. Therefore, although I had the correct solution (based on the definition and checking letters), I found myself unable to decipher the wordplay.

12a   Partial rebuttal in Guatemalan tongue (6)

The solution is merely hidden — not reversed and hidden as indicated by Dave Perry in his review at Times for the Times. This slip is understandable as I too initially thought that the word "rebuttal" must be indicating a reversal. However, it is actually just part of the fodder, the wordplay being hidden (partial) in rebuttaL IN GUAtamala. By the way, the solution is yet another bit of Latin.

13a   Work in progress nearly put off? Lose it (2,6)

Op is the abbreviation for opus (a term used in music — and the Latin word for work). The wordplay is OP (work) contained in (in) {GO (progress; as a verb) + all but the final letter (nearly) of  STALL (put off)}.

15a   Familiar words associated with market (6,2,6)

Common or garden[5] is an informal British expression meaning of the usual or ordinary type a common or garden family saloon car.

17a   Force State President to catch jet, of course (6,8)

21a   Third attempt to catch irate criminal (8)

22a   A scan that oddly reveals water of life (6)

In Hindu mythology, amrita[10] is the ambrosia of the gods that bestows immortality.

24a   Warm drink for one welcomed by students (5)

Negus[5] is a hot drink of port, sugar, lemon, and spice [named after Colonel Francis Negus (died 1732), who created it].

 In the UK, NUS[5] is the abbreviation for the National Union of Students.

Here "for one" is used in the sense of "as an example" I, for one, found this puzzle to be quite difficult.

The wordplay is EG (for one; for example) contained in (welcomed by) NUS (students).

25a   Attendant nurses are not family (9)

The wordplay is PAGE (attendant) containing (nurses) ARENT (are not; aren't).

26a   She flirts - a naughty family member (4-6)

27a   Place to eat  stew (4)


1d   Sticky stuff left in dip a product of 7? (4,4)

By becoming fixated on the mistaken idea that the number "7" must be a cross reference indicator (as the number "17" is in 1d), I could not fathom the definition. However, I did manage to get the correct solution based on the wordplay.

I learn from Times for the Times that since "7 is supposedly a lucky number" (i.e., it brings or produces good luck), then "a product of 7" would be good luck.

2d   Bone in back? I'm not sure (7)

4d   See red or orange drops on (4)

5d   Show-offs point controllers the wrong way initially (3-7)

The solution is a Spoonerism of DOT (point) HOGGERS (controllers). I don't think you will find the term "dot hogger" in common use — it just seems to be a convenient term invented by the setter.

6d   This may be the norm in a slum·(14)

7d   Fan letter opened by X (7)

8d   Leader of Sioux has to go off land (6)

A saddle[5] is a low part of a ridge between two higher points or peaks follow the road which goes across the saddle between two tors.

9d   Illness possibly comes from poison I consume (14)

Pneumoconiosis[10] (or pneumonoconiosis) is any disease of the lungs or bronchi caused by the inhalation of metallic or mineral particles: characterized by inflammation, cough, and fibrosis.

14d   Belittlement is really blame concealed by desires (4,6)

16d   My drinks will be laced with punch (8)

Bejabers[10] is an Irish expression equivalent to "by Jesus!" [might it be a euphemism?].

18d   A character like Achilles will not start climbing on light material (7)

Aerogel[5] is a solid material of extremely low density, produced by removing the liquid component from a conventional gel.

In Greek mythology, Achilles[5] is a hero of the Trojan War, son of Peleus and Thetis. During his infancy his mother plunged him in the Styx, thus making his body invulnerable except for the heel by which she held him. During the Trojan War Achilles killed Hector but was later wounded in the heel by an arrow shot by Paris and died.

In cricket, the leg side[5] (also called simply the leg) is the half of the field (as divided lengthways through the pitch) away from which the batsman's feet are pointed when standing to receive the ball. The leg side is also known as the on side (or simply the on[5]). Naturally, the other side of the field is known as the off side[5] (also called simply the off).

The wordplay is A (from the clue) + ERO {HERO (character like Achilles) with its first letter removed (will not start)} + a reversal (climbing) of LEG (on).

I must admit that it was Dave Perry's review that put me straight on the cricket reference in the clue. I had been trying to fashion an explanation around gel[10] as a theatrical term referring to a translucent substance used for colour effects in theatrical lighting (which would have accounted for the word "light" in the clue, thereby making the definition simply "material").

19d   Go home, enthralled by university grade (7)

20d   Horrid smell from tail of this fish (6)

The tench[5] is a European freshwater fish (Tinca tinca) of the carp family, popular with anglers and widely introduced elsewhere.

23d   Toll road initially opens with no toll demanded? (4)

The wordplay is FEE (toll) containing (opens) R (Road initially). This is one of those clues where one must mentally insert a comma — or even a semi-colon — to make the meaning clear. Read the wordplay as a series of instructions: "[Step 1: find a synonym for] toll; [Step 2] road initially opens [it (where "it" is the result from Step 1]".
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