Sunday, February 2, 2014

Sunday, February 2, 2014 — ST 4571

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Sunday Times
ST 4571
Date of Publication in The Sunday Times
Sunday, January 5, 2014
Jeff Pearce 
Link to Full Review
Times for the Times [ST 4571]
Times for the Times Review Written By
Dave Perry
Dave Perry's Solving Time
Date of Publication in the Toronto Star
Saturday, January 25, 2014
Date of Publication in The Vancouver Sun
Saturday, February 1, 2014[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, February 1, 2014 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.


In this puzzle, I hit a wall just past the two thirds mark. In hindsight, I should have been able to solve a few more clues without the help of my electronic assistants. Perhaps I would have, if I had set the puzzle aside for a while. However, I was anxious to get on with writing the blog and other tasks that were awaiting my attention.

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   Being against  the bar (7)

5a   When you buy them crabs might be  curried (7)

In the former definition, dress[10] is used in the sense of to prepare (food, esp fowl and fish) for cooking or serving by cleaning, trimming, gutting, etc. In the latter, it means to to convert (tanned hides) into leather.

Curry[10] means to to dress and finish (leather) after it has been tanned to make it strong, flexible, and waterproof.

9a   English politician fixes drains (7)

In many Commonwealth countries (including Britain and Canada), a member of the House of Commons or similar legislative body is known as a Member of Parliament[10] (or MP[5] for short).

10a   Extremely beautiful introduction without question (7)

11a   Cricket captain introduces fast drivers and scorer (7,8)

Michael Vaughan[7] is a retired cricketer who represented Yorkshire and England[Note 1]. Vaughan captained England in 51 Tests[Note 2] between 2003 and 2008, winning 26 (a national record) and losing 11; England won all seven home Tests of the 2004 summer under Vaughan, and the pinnacle of his captaincy career came with a 2–1 victory in the 2005 Ashes[Note 3], eighteen years after England had last won the trophy.
[Note 1] England refers to the England cricket team[7], the team that represents England and Wales (and until 1992 also Scotland) in international cricket.

[Note 2] A Test (short for Test match)[5] is an international cricket or rugby match, typically one of a series, played between teams representing two different countries.

[Note 3] The Ashes[5] is a trophy for the winner of a series of Test matches [which are also commonly referred to as the Ashes] in a cricket season between England and Australia. The name arises from a mock obituary notice published in the Sporting Times (2 September 1882), with reference to the symbolical remains of English cricket being taken to Australia after a sensational victory by the Australians at the Oval [an international cricket ground in Kennington, in the London Borough of Lambeth].
The Williams F1 Team[7] (popularly known simply as Williams) is is a British Formula One motor racing team.

Vaughan Williams[5] (1872–1958) was an English composer. His strongly melodic music frequently reflects his interest in Tudor composers and English folk songs. Notable works: Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis (1910), A London Symphony (1914), and the Mass in G minor (1922).

12a   Kid with crone's odds and sods (6)

14a   Girl put bolt on sty (8)

17a   Faddish diet in Swiss town that causes revolt (8)

Sion[7] is the capital of the Swiss canton of Valais. As of December 2012 it had a population of 31,207.

18a   Starts to struggle with long herringbone? (6)

In this clue, "starts" is an initialism indicator — an indicator that tells us to select the initial letter(s) from a portion of the fodder. Since the indicator is in the plural, it could signify that we need the first letter from each of multiple words in the fodder or that we need multiple letters (usually two, which is the smallest number to satisfy the criterion) from a single word in the fodder. In this case, the correct choice turns out to be the latter.

The wordplay parses as ST (starts to [first letters of] STruggle) + (with) ITCH (long).

Herringbone[5] (also herringbone stitch) is a cross-stitch with a pattern resembling herringbone, used in embroidery or for securing an edge.

21a   Citronella, say, I sell with ten percent off (6,9)

24a   Might bad map readers beat it? (3,4)

Dave Perry characterises this clue as a double definition, and I suppose that he may be correct. Certainly, if the clue were phrased as a statement rather than a question, I would have no hesitation in agreeing. That is, if the clue were:
  • Bad map readers might  beat it (3,4)
then "bad map readers might" could well lead to the result 'get lost'.

However, when posed as a question, the phrase "might bad map readers" does not seem to stand on its own as a definition. Perhaps those who view the clue as a double definition might argue that the inclusion of the question mark excuses the awkwardness in the first definition.

I may be wrong, but I would prefer to characterise the phrase "might bad map readers" as a subsidiary indication.

25a   Denier abandoned Christ after start of ordeal (7)

As an anagram indicator, abandon[5] is used in the sense of complete lack of inhibition or restraint she sings and sways with total abandon or, as The Chambers Dictionary defines abandon[1], careless freedom of action.

26a   Rouse swimmer found in drink (5,2)

As a verb, sup[5] is a dated or Northern English term meaning to take (drink or liquid food) by sips or spoonfuls ⇒ (i) she supped up her soup delightedly; (ii) he was supping straight from the bottle. As a noun, it means (1) a sip of liquid ⇒ he took another sup of wine or (2) in Northern England or Ireland, an alcoholic drink ⇒ the latest sup from those blokes at the brewery.

27a   Cunning actress grabbed by The Saint (7)

Vivien Leigh[5] (1913–1967) was a British actress, born in India; born Vivian Mary Hartley. She won Oscars for her performances in Gone with the Wind (1939) and A Streetcar Named Desire (1951). She was married to Laurence Olivier from 1940 to 1961.

Janet Leigh[5] (1927–2004) was a US actress. Best known for her role in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960), she appeared in more than fifty other films, including Little Women (1949) and The Manchurian Candidate (1962).

Simon Templar[7] is a British fictional character known as The Saint. He featured in a long-running series of books by Singapore-born, British-American author Leslie Charteris (1907–1993) published between 1928 and 1963. After that date, other authors collaborated with Charteris on books until 1983; two additional works produced without Charteris’s participation were published in 1997. The character has also been portrayed in motion pictures, radio dramas, comic strips, comic books and three television series.


1d   Expert carrying a 19 (7)

The number "19" is a cross-reference indicator, signifying that the solution to clue 19d must be inserted here to complete the clue. The solution to 19d is, in fact, the definition in this clue.

2d   Acoustic number promoted by union (9)

I can't explain why I didn't solve this clue without help — especially since I had the first two checking letters.

3d   A joint gets you stoned after a short time (5)

A joint[10] is one of the parts into which a carcass of meat is cut by the butcher, especially for roasting.

4d   Feel bitter about being posted again (6)

5d   Perv died being tortured and stripped (8)

A perv[5] is an informal term for a a sexual pervert.

6d   Lemon tile designed to be soothing (9)

Note that the solution is an adjective, not a noun.

7d   Girl's a saucy dish (5)

8d   Large estate seemed strange round London's East End (7)

A demesne[5] is a piece of land attached to a manor and retained by the owner for their own use because labour was cheap, there were ample advantages in cultivating the demesne.

The East End[5] is the part of London east of the City[Note 1] as far as the River Lea, including the Docklands. Note that the the East End[7] is part of — and not to be confused with — East London[7], which covers a much wider area.
[Note 1] Here, the City[5] is short for the City of London. Note, however, that the City of London[5] is not the same thing as the city of London, but merely the part of London situated within the ancient boundaries and governed by the Lord Mayor and the Corporation[5] [in Britain, a group of people elected to govern a city, town, or borough ⇒ the City of London Corporation].
13d   Design detailed necklace about one plant (9)

"Detailed" is a curtailment indicator, signifying the removal of the final letter of a word (removal of tail, or de-tailing).

15d   Old collection of books – making use of 19 in flight? (2,3,4)

The word "books" (in this case, "collection of books") is often used to clue either the Old Testament (OT) or the New Testament (NT).

Once again, the number "19" is a cross reference indicator [see comment for 1d].

16d   Dogs, say, cross over for chunk of bread (8)

Doorstep[5] is an informal British term for a thick slice of bread doorstep sandwiches.

17d   Sot with gins reordered drinks (7)

Stingo[10] is slang for a strong, sharp alcoholic beverage or old beer. The Chambers Dictionary defines stingo[1] as obsolete slang for strong malt liquor. I found the word in only one other source, Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) which defines stingo as (1)old beer or (2) sharp or strong liquor ⇒ Shall I set a cup of old stingo at your elbow? - Addison [presumably English writer Joseph Addison (1672–1719)].

19d   Weapon buried to cease fighting (7)

20d   Sailing ships capsized by winds (6)

As a definition, winds is a verb.

22d   South left out of extreme Indian rule (5)

A sutra[5] is a rule or aphorism in Sanskrit literature, or a set of these on grammar or Hindu law or philosophy.

23d   Second short coffee (5)
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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