Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sunday, April 20, 2014 — ST 4582

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Sunday Times
ST 4582
Date of Publication in The Sunday Times
Sunday, March 23, 2014
Tim Moorey
Link to Full Review
Times for the Times [ST 4582]
Times for the Times Review Written By
Dave Perry
Dave Perry's Solving Time
Date of Publication in the Toronto Star
Saturday, April 12, 2014
Date of Publication in The Vancouver Sun
Saturday, April 19, 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
- solved but without fully parsing the clue
- unsolved or incorrect prior to visiting Times for the Times
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by solutions from Times for the Times
- yet to be solved
[1] This puzzle appears on the Sunday puzzles pages in the Saturday, April 19, 2014 edition of the Ottawa Citizen.
[2] Unverified as a paywall bars access to the The Vancouver Sun website.


It took me a long time to get started on this puzzle, and even once I did my progress was painfully slow, In the end, I did fairly well but needed some electronic help to finish — in particular, in the southwestern corner.

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   Shake breakfast food bowl (8)

5a   Outfit absorbs union coercion (6)

10a   Something fishy about former W Indian batsman — suspect trickery (5,1,3)

A smelt[5] is a small silvery fish which lives in both marine and fresh water and is sometimes fished commercially.

Brian Lara[7] is a former West Indian international cricket player. He is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest batsmen of his era and one of the finest ever to have graced the game.

11a   Fast driver in luxury car gets round one (5)

In card games, an ace[2] is the card in each of the four suits with a single symbol on it, having either the highest value or the value one.

The monogram RR appears on the grill of a Rolls-Royce[5] automobile, a luxury car produced by the British Rolls-Royce company.

12a   Rain god rejected by Richard Nixon? Not entirely (5)

Richard Nixon[5] (1913–194) was an American Republican statesman, 37th President of the US 1969–74. His period of office was overshadowed by the Vietnam War. Re-elected in 1972, he became the first President to resign from office, owing to his involvement in the Watergate scandal.

In Hinduism, Indra[5] is the warrior king of the heavens, god of war and storm, to whom many of the prayers in the Rig Veda[5] [the oldest of four collections of Hindu scripture] are addressed.

13a   Brutish type seen in a couple of pubs and in a mess (9)

14a   Erik, say, in profit did harvest (8,2)

Eric the Red[5] (circa 940-circa 1010) was a Norse explorer. He left Iceland in 982 in search of land to the west, exploring Greenland and establishing a Norse settlement there in 986.

Of the several dictionaries that I consulted which had a listing for the explorer, all spelled his name as Eric the Red[3,4,5,10,11]. Wikipedia is the only reference I looked at which spells the name as Erik the Red[7].

17a   What really shouldn't be brought back in Aberdeen academy? (4)

I would say that this is a semi-& lit. (semi-all-in-one) clue in which the entire clue provides the definition and a portion of the clue (the part with the dashed underlining) serves as the wordplay.

Aberdeen[5] is a city and seaport in northeastern Scotland; population 166,900 (est. 2009). It is a centre of the offshore North Sea oil industry.

Caning[7] is a form of corporal punishment consisting of a number of hits (known as "strokes" or "cuts") with a single cane usually made of rattan, generally applied to the offender's bare or clothed buttocks or palms of the hands.

The thin cane generally used for corporal punishment is not to be confused with a walking stick, sometimes also called (especially in American English) a "cane" but which is thicker and much more rigid, and more likely to be made of stronger wood than of cane.

The western educational use of the cane dates principally to the late nineteenth century, gradually replacing birching—effective only if applied to the bare bottom—with a form of punishment more suited to contemporary sensibilities, once it had been discovered that a flexible rattan cane can provide the offender with a substantial degree of pain even when delivered through a layer of clothing.

Caning as a school punishment is strongly associated in the English-speaking world with England, but it was also used in other European countries in earlier times, notably Scandinavia, Germany and the countries of the former Austrian empire.

In some schools corporal punishment was administered solely by the headmaster, while in others the task was delegated to other teachers. In many English and Commonwealth private schools, authority to punish was also traditionally given to certain senior students (often called prefects). In the early 20th century, such permission for prefects to cane other boys was widespread in British public schools. [Note: In the UK, a public school[5] is a private fee-paying secondary school, especially one for boarders — what North Americans would call public schools are referred to in Britain as state (funded) schools].

In many state secondary schools in England and Wales caning was in use, mostly for boys, until 1987, while elsewhere other implements prevailed, such as the Scottish tawse [a strip of leather, with one end split into a number of tails]. The cane was generally administered in a formal ceremony to the seat of the trousers, typically with the student bending over a desk or chair. Usually there was a maximum of six strokes (known as "six of the best").

Schoolgirls were caned much more rarely than boys, and if the punishment was given by a male teacher, nearly always on the palm of the hand. Rarely, girls were caned on the clothed bottom, in which case the punishment would probably be applied by a female teacher.

In the UK, all corporal punishment in private schools was finally banned in 1999 for England and Wales, 2000 in Scotland, and 2003 in Northern Ireland.

19a   Prepare to swallow Tory cut (4)

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.

20a   Duff American meets one of his former presidents — nothing comes out (5,5)

In the surface reading, duff[10] is an informal British term meaning bad or useless, as by not working out or not operating correctly(i) a duff idea; (ii) a duff engine.

In the wordplay, duff[5] is an informal North American term for a person’s buttocks I did not get where I am today by sitting on my duff. Thus the setter uses the phrase "duff American" to denote 'what duff means in America'.

Fanny[5] is another informal North American term for a person’s buttocks. In Britain, fanny[5] is vulgar slang for a woman’s genitals. Now there is an opportunity ripe for misunderstanding!

John Adams[5] (1735–1826) was the 2nd President of the US 1797–1801; father of John Quincy Adams. He helped draft the Declaration of Independence (1776).

John Quincy Adams[5] (1767–1848) was the 6th President of the US 1825-9; eldest son of John Adams. [I wonder if, in his day, he was known as Q — as Bush the younger was known as W.]

Fanny Adams[5] is British slang meaning nothing at all [a euphemism for fuck all and commonly appearing in the phrase sweet Fanny Adams] ⇒ I know sweet Fanny Adams about mining.

23a   Nice fellows in Europe captivated by Argentinian footballer and son (9)

Nice[5] is a resort city on the French Riviera, near the border with Italy; population 348,721 (2007).

Messieurs[8] (plural of monsieur) is a French word meaning gentlemen.

Lionel Messi[7] is an Argentine footballer [soccer player] who plays as a forward for Spanish club FC Barcelona and the Argentina national team. He serves as the captain of his country's national football team.

25a   Handle small piece with only two tenors (5)

A tittle[3] — which turns out not to be a Briticism as I had expected — is the tiniest bit or an iota.

27a   A legal action cut short in open courts (S)

28a   Laver's hit out in play (3,6)

Rod Laver[5] is an Australian former professional tennis player. In 1962 he became the second man (after Don Budge in 1938) to win the four major singles championships (British, American, French, and Australian) in one year; in 1969 he was the first to repeat this.

The Rivals[7] is a comedy of manners play by Irish playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751–1816) in five acts. It was first performed at Covent Garden Theatre on 17 January 1775.

29a   There's dope in the republic (6)

The term turkey[10] is slang (mainly US and Canadian) for a stupid, incompetent, or unappealing person.

Turkey[5] is a country comprising the whole of the Anatolian peninsula in western Asia, with a small enclave in southeastern Europe to the west of Istanbul; population 76,805,500 (est. 2009); official language, Turkish; capital, Ankara.

30a   Former PM's wordplay is not sophisticated (8)

Sir Alec Douglas-Home[5], Baron Home of the Hirsel of Coldstream (1903–1995) was a British Conservative statesman, Prime Minister 1963-4. When Douglas-Home became Prime Minister he relinquished his hereditary peerage.


1d   Could be one with large public transport fleet in street diversion (7)

2d   Advanced study's hard for Rex in front (5)

Read the wordplay as A (advanced) + READ (study) has (the 's is a contraction for has) H (hard) replacing (for) R (Rex).

In the UK (with the exception of Scotland), A level[5] (advanced level) is a qualification in a specific subject typically taken by school students aged 16-18, at a level above GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education).

In Britain, to read[5] means to study (an academic subject) at a university (i) I’m reading English at Cambridge; (ii) he went to Manchester to read for a BA in Economics.

H[5] is the abbreviation for hard, as used in describing grades of pencil lead ⇒ a 2H pencil

Rex[5] (abbreviation R[5]) [Latin for king] denotes the reigning king, used following a name (e.g. Georgius Rex, King George) or in the titles of lawsuits (e.g. Rex v. Jones, the Crown versus Jones — often shortened to R. v. Jones). 

3d   Middle Eastern leaves, seldom made full of beans? (8)

Even having deciphered that this was an anagram and having not only all the letters, but also all the checking letters, I still needed electronic assistance to fill in the blanks.

Dolma[5] (plural dolmas or dolmades) is a dish consisting of ingredients such as meat and spiced rice [but, seemingly, not often beans] wrapped in vine or cabbage leaves, popular in the Balkans, the Caucasus, and the eastern Mediterranean.

4d   Cancel credit in subscription (5)

In Britain, sub[5] is an informal short form for subscriptionthe annual sub for the golf club will be £200.

6d   Republic formerly passed over professional racket (6)

The United Arab Republic[5] (abbreviation UAR) was a former political union established by Egypt and Syria in 1958. It was seen as the first step towards the creation of a pan-Arab union in the Middle East, but only Yemen entered into loose association with it (1958–66) and Syria withdrew in 1961. Egypt retained the name United Arab Republic until 1971.

7d   Mexican dish is a pound in new hacienda (9)

The pound[5] (also pound sterling) is the basic monetary unit of the UK, equal to 100 pence. While the symbol for pound is £, one often finds it written as L[10].

In Spanish-speaking countries or regions, a hacienda[5] is a large estate or plantation with a dwelling house.

An enchilada[5] is a tortilla [Mexican flatbread] served with chilli sauce and a filling of meat or cheese.

8d   A litre having been put away, suppress rum (7)

The comma indicates an inversion in the sentence structure of the wordplay. Thus the wordplay can be interpreted as STRANGLE (suppress) [with] a L (litre) deleted (having been put away).

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

9d   Archer for one has succeeded with novel ratings (4,4)

The surface reading is likely an allusion to Jeffrey Archer[5], Baron Archer of Weston-super-Mare who is a British writer and Conservative politician. He resigned as an MP after being declared bankrupt, and embarked on a career as a bestselling novelist. He was deputy chairman of the Conservative Party 1985-6, but resigned after a libel case; in 2001 he was found to have committed perjury in that case and was jailed for four years.

The Archer[5] is the zodiacal sign or constellation Sagittarius.

The abbreviation s[5] stands for succeeded, in the sense of to have become the new rightful holder of an office, title, or property ⇒ he succeeded to his father’s kingdom. It might be seen, for instance, it charts of royal lineages.

15d   Tycoon's capital behind housing firm: he should look after it (9)

The word "housing" is the containment indicator.

16d   Assess girl with a lute impromptu (8)

18d   Not working a full week, pour out gin put up (4-4)

A gin[5] (or gin trap) is a British term for a leghold (or foothold) trap[7].

19d   What comes initially with CD is a bargain (7)

In this clue, there are two interpretations for the wordplay. The intended one (as stated by Peter Biddlecombe, the puzzles editor at The Sunday Times) is "that in CD = 'compact disc', 'what comes initially' is 'compact'".

The second interpretation, provided by Dave Perry in his review is "'comes initially' is C [i.e., C is the initial letter of Comes], and the C in CD is Compact".

21d   Advances unrelated issue (7)

Issue[5] is a formal or legal term for children of one’s own the earl died without male issue. Is a stepchild considered to be 'issue'? I was unable to find an answer.

22d   Anger on motorway — you can't believe it! (6)

The M1[7] is a north–south motorway [controlled access, multi-lane divided highway] in England connecting London to Leeds.

24d   Who should have notes in the right order? (5)

I solved the clue solely on the basis of the cryptic definition and totally failed to see the anagram.

26d   Walk wearily from vehicle parking (5)

Tram[3] is a chiefly British term for a streetcar.
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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