Sunday, April 27, 2014

Sunday, April 27, 2014 — ST 4583

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Sunday Times
ST 4583
Date of Publication in The Sunday Times
Sunday, March 30, 2014
Jeff Pearce 
Link to Full Review
Times for the Times [ST 4583]
Times for the Times Review Written By
Dave Perry
Dave Perry's Solving Time
Date of Publication in the Toronto Star
Saturday, April 19, 2014
Date of Publication in The Vancouver Sun
Saturday, April 26, 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 26, 2014 edition of the Ottawa Citizen.
[2] Unverified as a paywall bars access to the The Vancouver Sun website.


Today, Jeff Pearce turns down the difficulty level a notch or two from what we have experienced in the last few weeks.

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.

Primary indications (definitions) are marked with a solid underline in the clue; subsidiary indications (be they wordplay or other) are marked with a dashed underline in all-in-one (& lit.) clues, semi-all-in-one (semi-& lit.) clues and cryptic definitions.


1a   T Blair seen wandering around old part of capital (4,6)

Tony Blair[5] is a former British Labour Prime Minister (1997–2007).

Berlin[5] is the capital of Germany; population 3,404,000 (est. 2006). At the end of the Second World War the city was occupied by the Allies and divided into two parts: West Berlin, comprising the American, British, and French sectors and East Berlin, the sector of the city occupied by the Soviet Union. The two parts were reunited in 1990.

6a   School on river making racket (4)

S.[10] is the abbreviation for school.

The Cam[10] is a river in eastern England, in Cambridgeshire, flowing through Cambridge to the River Ouse. Length: about 64 km (40 miles).

9a   Cut from small musical instrument (5)

10a   One could have made you serve old workers in Fleet Street (5,4)

Fleet Street[5] is a street in central London in which the offices of national newspapers were located until the mid 1980s (often used as a metonym for the British Press) the hottest story in Fleet Street.

12a   Standing up for the losers of this tuneful party game (7,6)

This is a cryptic definition in which the primary indication is provided by the part of the clue with the solid underlining while the portion of the clue with the dashed underlining provides a secondary cryptic indication.

The phrase "standing up for the losers" needs to be interpreted as "for the losers, their fate is to stand up [... while others sit]".

14a   Groom Henry and Pat? They won't be there! (3,5)

While the groom, Henry, and his friend — and, possibly, best man — Pat, will not attend, the bride and her friends certainly will.

A hen party[5] is an informal [almost certainly British] term for a social gathering of women, especially a hen night[5], an informal British term for a celebration held for a woman who is about to get married, attended only by women.

15a   Bumpy ride to be one in charge of 10? (6)

The numeral 10 in the clue is a cross reference indicator directing the solver to insert the solution to clue 10a in its place to complete the clue.

17a   Black sheep's first one making thrust (6)

Jet[5] is (1) a hard black semi-precious variety of lignite, capable of being carved and highly polished jet beads and (2) (also jet black) a glossy black colour her jet-black hair.

A ramjet[5] is a type of jet engine in which the air drawn in for combustion is compressed solely by the forward motion of the aircraft.

19a   You have rotisserie but how to get gratuities? (8)

This clue constitutes an instance of inverse wordplay, specifically an inverse reversal. While many commentators refer to this as reverse wordplay rather than inverse wordplay, I prefer the latter term which is analogous to the concept of inverse functions in mathematics. It also has the added advantage of allowing one to avoid using the awkward phrasing reverse reversal.

In inverse wordplay, the solution to the clue can be interpreted as a bit of wordplay that would produce a result that is found in the clue itself — either directly (direct inverse wordplay) or indirectly (indirect inverse wordplay).

In the current clue, the definition is "rotisserie" for which the solution is TURNSPIT. If one were to split this (4,4), it could be interpreted as a reversal (turn) of SPIT giving the result TIPS (gratuities).

Had the word "tips" appeared in the clue itself, we would have had a direct inverse reversal. However, since "tips" is a synonym for the word "gratuities" which actually appears in the clue, this becomes an indirect inverse reversal.

21a   He might get short colonel car park if ordered (5,8)

I certainly haven't been able to make much sense of the surface reading of this clue. It would appear to state that, if ordered to do so, a soldier might fetch (or, perhaps, purchase) a parking lot for his small-statured superior officer.

I did wonder if "short colonel" might be a British expression akin to the American light colonel (lieutenant colonel), but I found no evidence of this. Had that been the case, the word "get" might have signified "be promoted to". Anyway, it seems to me that one would rarely — if ever — be promoted from lance corporal to any sort of colonel. That explanation would also leave the surface reading for the remainder of the clue inexplicable.

Car park[10] is the British term for a parking lot.

From a cryptic perspective, "short" is indicating that we must perform a truncation (remove the final letter from the fodder). I spent a long time supposing that the fodder must be "colonel" from which one would drop the final L. I eventually realized that the fodder is, in fact, "colonel car park" from which one must drop the final K.

24a   Separated chaps with time to see pad (9)

25a   Relative's corrupt, abandoning one (5)

26a   Beer maker dropping brother's jug (4)

27a   Downtown and a way to describe it! (4,6)


1d   Different golfer on start of eighteenth (4)

"Different golfer" ... yes, for a change, not Tiger Woods!

Ernie Els[7] is a South African professional golfer, who has been one of the top professional players in the world since the mid-1990s.

2d   Flaky guy losing form in heat (7)

3d   The ins and outs of domestic finance (4,9)

A document which captures the inflows and outflows of household capital.

4d   Backing a typical financial district to display greed (8)

The City[5] is short for the City of London. Take note 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 is also a metonym for the financial and commercial institutions located in the City of London ⇒ (i) the Budget got a stony reception from the City; (ii) a City analyst. This is analogous to the use of the terms Wall Street and Bay Street to refer to the financial institutions located in New York and Toronto respectively.

5d   Model fish on a line (.5)

Ide[5] is another name for the orfe[5], a silvery freshwater fish (Leuciscus idus) of the carp family, which is fished commercially in eastern Europe.

7d   Diagram includes one old vehicle (7)

8d   Person in court showing mother point made to judge (10)

Here "made to" is a charade indicator, with "made" meaning created or written and "to" denoting "pressed against" — as in expressions such as "shoulder to the wheel" or "nose to the grindstone".

11d   Send a rude chef away enjoying his misery? (13)

Here, it is the person who is dismissing the chef who is enjoying this poor chap's misery. Schadenfreude[10] is a German word signifying delight in another's misfortune.

13d   Sailors shouldn't be working on this (5,5)

16d   Unconvincing presentation that may have strings attached (8)

Puppetry[10] is an unconvincing or specious presentation.

18d   Command chap to be accompanied by boyfriend (7)

20d   Use rod with whip on beast (7)

Cat[5] is short for cat-o'-nine-tails[5], a rope whip with nine knotted cords, formerly used (especially at sea) to flog offenders.

A polecat[5] is a weasel-like Eurasian mammal with mainly dark brown fur and a darker mask across the eyes, noted for its fetid smell. There are three species, in particular the European polecat (Mustela putorius) which is the probable ancestor of the domestic ferret. In North America [although only in the US, as far as I know], the name is also applied to the skunk.

22d   Old black priest showing signs of doubt (5)

In the Bible, Eli[5] is a priest who acted as a teacher to the prophet Samuel (1 Sam. 1-3).

An obelus (plural obeli) can be either (1) a symbol (†) used as a reference mark in printed matter, or to indicate that a person is deceased or (2) a mark (- or ÷) used in ancient manuscripts to mark a word or passage as spurious, corrupt or doubtful.

23d   Cost includes tenor for gala (4)

A gala[5] is a social occasion with special entertainments or performances a gala performance by the Royal Ballet.

In Britain, a fete[5] is a public function, typically held outdoors and organized to raise funds for a charity, including entertainment and the sale of goods and refreshments a church fete.
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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