Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sunday, March 30, 2014 — ST 4579

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Sunday Times
ST 4579
Date of Publication in The Sunday Times
Sunday, March 2, 2014
Tim Moorey
Link to Full Review
Times for the Times [ST 4579]
Times for the Times Review Written By
Dave Perry
Dave Perry's Solving Time
Date of Publication in the Toronto Star
Saturday, March 22, 2014
Date of Publication in The Vancouver Sun
Saturday, March 29, 2014[Note 2]
Falcon's Experience
[1] This puzzle appears on the Sunday puzzles pages in the Saturday, March 29, 2014 edition of the Ottawa Citizen.
[2] Unverified as a paywall bars access to the The Vancouver Sun website.


This puzzle opened on a Canadian note.  While I was able to solve several clues on my first pass through, my progress soon slowed to a crawl as the remainder of the clues proved more of a challenge. I was pleased at having been able to work out several heretofore unheard of words based on the wordplay.

Notes on Today's Puzzle

This commentary is intended to serve as a supplement to the review of this puzzle found at Times for the Times, to which a link is provided in the table above.

Definitions are underlined in the clue, with subsidiary indications being marked by means of a dashed underline in semi-all-in-one (semi-& lit.) clues and cryptic definitions.


1a   On a bay. perhaps in a Canadian constituency (6)

It's always feels good to get the solution to the first clue right off the top. In Canadian politics, riding[7] is a colloquial term for a constituency or electoral district. Officially, "electoral district" is generally used, although government documents sometimes use the colloquial term.

Historically, in England, the word "riding" denoted a third part of something, especially a county. As alluded to by Dave Perry, the three former administrative divisions of the English county of Yorkshire were North Riding, East Riding and West Riding.

5a   Pointed remarks brought about trouble for the island (8)

9a   One lofty newspaper never failing to appear (2,3,5)

The Times[7] is a British daily national newspaper, first published in London in 1785 under the title The Daily Universal Register (it became The Times on 1 January 1788). The Times and its sister paper The Sunday Times (founded in 1821) are published by Times Newspapers, since 1981 a subsidiary of News UK, itself wholly owned by the News Corp group headed by Rupert Murdoch. The Times and The Sunday Times do not share editorial staff, were founded independently and have only had common ownership since 1967.

10a   New eatery with no starter lacking taste (4)

Caff[5] is an informal British name for a cafe.

Naff[5] is an informal British term meaning lacking taste or style he always went for the most obvious melody he could get, no matter how naff it sounded.

11a   Leave leaders in battle ie desert (4)

The Gobi Desert[5] is a barren plateau of southern Mongolia and northern China.

12a   Duke's with another Duke (10)

Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington[5] (1769–1852) was a British soldier and Tory statesman who served as Prime Minister from 1828–30 and again in 1834. Known as the Iron Duke, he served as commander of the British forces in the Peninsular War (1808–14) and in 1815 defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo, so ending the Napoleonic Wars.

Duke Ellington[5] (1899–1974) was an American jazz pianist, composer, and bandleader; born Edward Kennedy Ellington. Coming to fame in the early 1930s, Ellington wrote over 900 compositions and was one of the first popular musicians to write extended pieces. Notable works: Mood Indigo (1930).

14a   AB and C is where I'm said to be at (6)

In the Royal Navy, able seaman[5] (abbreviation AB[5]), is a rank of sailor above ordinary seaman and below leading seaman.

16a   No good a Conservative embracing Unionist of little worth (8)

A Tory[4] is a member or supporter of the Conservative Party in Great Britain or Canada. Historically, a Tory was a member of the English political party that opposed the exclusion of James, Duke of York from the royal succession (1679-80). Tory remained the label for subsequent major conservative interests until they gave birth to the Conservative Party in the 1830s.

Prior to Irish independence in 1920, a Unionist[4] was a supporter of the union of all Ireland and Great Britain. Since 1920, the term signifies a supporter of union between Britain and Northern Ireland.

18a   Get seats prepared as play ready to start (5,3)

If the play is ready to start, then clearly the stage has been set.

20a   Ministers cut about 500 by beginning of September (6)

D[5] is the Roman numeral for 500.

22a   Heather is embraced by William in Essex town (10)

Like Dave Perry, I wanted to incorporate LING in the solution. While I needed to scour the atlas to find the Essex town, not knowing of its existence is likely excusable for someone who grew up some 3000 miles away from it.

Erica[5] is a plant of the genus Erica (family Ericaceae), especially (in gardening) heather.

Billericay[7] is a town and civil parish in Essex, England. It is a commuter town located 28 miles (45 km) east of central London with a population of around 36,338 (2011 census),

24a   Collars seen over in Brisbane (4)

Brisbane[5] is the capital of Queensland, Australia; population 1,945,639 (est. 2008). It was founded in 1824 as a penal colony.

26a   Network provided in organisation for ladies (4)

The Women's Institute (WI)[5] is an organization of women, especially in rural areas, who meet regularly and participate in crafts, cultural activities, and social work. Now worldwide, it was first set up in Ontario, Canada, in 1897, and in Britain in 1915.

27a   Junior male swamped by lowest voice in choral work (1,5,4)

The Mass in B minor[7] (BWV 232) by German composer Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750) is a musical setting of the complete Latin Mass. The work was one of Bach's last compositions, not completed until 1749, the year before his death.

29a   Young woman going around SW1? Actually it's W4 (8)

SW1 and W4 refer to postcodes within the London postal district[7] . Postcode is the British equivalent to postal code (Canada) or ZIP code (US).

The SW1 postcode district[7] includes such prestigious addresses as Buckingham Palace, the House of Commons and the House of Lords, and 10 Downing Street (the residence and office of the British Prime Minister).

The W4 postcode district[7] covers Chiswick[7], a district of west London, England, and part of the London Borough of Hounslow.

30a   Meat Loaf song at first adopted by robust tenor (6)

Michael Lee Aday (born Marvin Lee Aday) is an American musician and actor best known by his stage name Meat Loaf[7].

Haslet[5] is a chiefly British term for a cold meat consisting of chopped or minced pork offal compressed into a loaf before being cooked.


2d   Ravel trio including new opening (5)

The surface reading may be a reference to Maurice Ravel[5] (1875–1937), a French composer whose works are somewhat impressionistic in style, employing colourful orchestration and unresolved dissonances. Notable works: the ballets Daphnis and Chloë (1912) and Boléro (1928) and the orchestral work La Valse (1920).

3d   First wife getting left out of testaments brings animosity (3,4)

4d   Enter into conflict with police officer and head for ... (2,7)

DS[10] is the abbreviation for Detective Sergeant.

5d   ... bad jolt, losing position initially (3)

6d   Sage used in supper is hit (5)

A rishi[5] is a Hindu sage or saint.

7d   One's drunk around noon and in the evening (2,5)

I had to search through three dictionaries, but I was eventually able to find one which listed the abbreviation for noon as n[2].

8d   Drifting naturally around France (3-6)

The International Vehicle Registration (IVR) code for France is F[5].

13d   Type of fringe for the nut (7)

15d   I air things dubiously but not good to be racist (4-5)

17d   Yacht so mighty close to mishap at sea (5,4)

Gipsy Moth IV[7] is a 54 ft (16 m) ketch that Sir Francis Chichester commissioned specifically to sail single-handed around the globe, racing against the times set by the clipper ships of the 19th century. The name, the fourth boat in his series, all named Gipsy Moth, originated from the de Havilland Gipsy Moth aircraft in which Chichester completed pioneering work in aerial navigation techniques.

On 27 August 1966 Chichester[7] sailed his yawl Gipsy Moth IV from Plymouth in the United Kingdom and returned there after 226 days of sailing on 28 May 1967, having circumnavigated the globe, with one stop (in Sydney, Australia). By doing so, he became the first person to achieve a true circumnavigation of the world solo from West to East via the great Capes. The voyage was also a race against the clock, as Chichester wanted to better the typical times achieved by the fastest fully crewed clipper ships during the heyday of commercial sail in the 19th century.

The first recorded solo circumnavigation of the globe was achieved by the Nova Scotian born, naturalised American Joshua Slocum[7], in 1898 but it took him three years with numerous stops – Slocum also took up the harder challenge of sailing east to west, against the prevailing wind.

19d   After a change of direction, young women become hunting types (7)

In Scotland, a gillie[5] is a man or boy who attends someone on a hunting or fishing expedition.

21d   Parties engaging a lot of upright, highly energetic people (7)

23d   Mostly poor performer on the field is a teacher (5)

Rabbit[5] is an informal term for a poor performer in a sport or game, in particular (in cricket) a poor batsman he was a total rabbit with the bat.

A rabbi[5] may be (1) a Jewish scholar or teacher, especially one who studies or teaches Jewish law or (2) a person appointed as a Jewish religious leader.

25d   Beat time in fleet HQ (5)

28d   Bug found in church no end of a shock at first (3)

In Scottish and Northern English dialects, kirk[5] means church.
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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