Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sunday, May 4, 2014 — ST 4584

Puzzle at a Glance
Puzzle Number in The Sunday Times
ST 4584
Date of Publication in The Sunday Times
Sunday, April 6, 2014
Dean Mayer (Anax)
Link to Full Review
Times for the Times [ST 4584]
Times for the Times Review Written By
Dave Perry
Dave Perry's Solving Time
Not Provided
Date of Publication in the Toronto Star
Saturday, April 26, 2014
Date of Publication in The Vancouver Sun
Saturday, May 3, 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, May 3, 2014 edition of the Ottawa Citizen.
[2] Unverified as a paywall bars access to the The Vancouver Sun website.


Today, you might say that Anax gets "down and dirty" (3d, 6d) or, perhaps, "dirty in the Downs". This is certainly far from being one his most difficult puzzles, but a good challenge, nevertheless. And, as always, a very enjoyable solve.

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   Frozen body? Turn up temperature (5)

4a   Chap is carrying iron to platform (9)

The symbol for the chemical element iron is Fe[5].

9a   Big girl starts to test seesaw (9)

The sizes of clothing that North Americans would describe as plus-size[7] (or often big and tall in the case of men's clothing) would be called outsize (OS[5]) in Britain.

Cilla[7] is an English female given name, originally the diminutive form of Priscilla and less frequently Drusilla. It first appeared in the 20th Century.

"Starts" — being plural — is used to clue the first two letters of TEst.

10a   Crease new sheets (5)

In cricket, a crease is a line — not an area as it is in hockey and lacrosse. In cricket, a crease[10] is any of three lines (bowling crease, popping crease, or return crease) near each wicket marking positions for the bowler or batsman.

11a   Dicky bird's covering for a swallow? (4,2,3,5)

Dicky bird[5] is an informal child’s word for a bird.

Dicky[10] is an informal British term meaning  in bad condition; shaky, unsteady, or unreliableI feel a bit dicky today.

Down in the mouth[10] (or down at the mouth) means in low spirits.

The "bird's covering" is DOWN and one reason [the question mark indicating that this is but an example] for having it IN THE MOUTH would be that one intended to swallow it.

In his review, Dave Perry expresses some misgivings about "dicky" as a definition.

13a   A handle for jug, all in enamel (8)

While I did get the correct solution, I failed to parse the clue.

Nick[5] is an informal British name for a prison he’ll end up in the nick for the rest of his life.

The jug[5] is an informal term for prison ⇒ three months in the jug.

The phrase "all in enamel" is used to clue NAME, all [the letters] in eNAMEl — omitting the letters that comprise the outside edges of the word.

15a   Cooking fuel behind ring (6)

Sterno[5] is a US trademarked name for a flammable hydrocarbon jelly supplied in cans for use as fuel for cooking stoves. The name comes from that of the manufacturer, Sternau and Co.

17a   Fruit in this is completely sliced by mum (6)

The phrase "in this is completely" is used to clue TOTO. The Latin phrase in toto[5] means as a whole or completely.

18a   Mother comes in to sell axe (8)

20a   Made no progress? Perhaps he was forgotten (3,7,4)

23a   In jeopardy, he will hold back a monster (5)

In Greek mythology, the Hydra[5] was a many-headed snake whose heads grew again as they were cut off, eventually killed by Hercules.

24a   Posh boy back in Asian resort in part of Spain (9)

In Britain, U[5] is used informally as an adjective (in respect to language or social behaviour) meaning characteristic of or appropriate to the upper social classes U manners. The term, an abbreviation of  upper class, was coined in 1954 by Alan S. C. Ross, professor of linguistics, and popularized by its use in Nancy Mitford's Noblesse Oblige (1956). In Crosswordland, it is frequently clued by words denoting upper class such as posh or superior.

As an anagram indicator, "resort" is used in the somewhat whimsical sense of 'to sort again'.

Andalusia[5] is the southernmost region of Spain, bordering on the Atlantic and the Mediterranean; capital, Seville. The region was under Moorish rule from 711 to 1492.

25a   One buys tea that officer gulps (9)

Cha[5] (also chai or char) is an informal British name for tea.

26a   Like a drink? Gin perhaps? (5)

Rummy[10] is a US and Canadian slang word for drunkard.

Gin[5] (also gin rummy) is a form of the card game rummy in which a player holding cards totalling ten or less may terminate play.


1d   Mix 'n' match decoration, possibly (10)

2d   Bird's bill penetrating gullet (5)

A macaw[5] is a large long-tailed parrot with brightly coloured plumage, native to Central and South America.

3d   Dirty little hospital nurses recording for broadcast news? No! (4,2,3,2,4)

This was a new expression to me. I tried in vain to justify TELL IT NOT IN OATH.

The expression "tell it not in Gath" means don't spread scandal — keep the story to yourself ⇒ Tell it not in Gath, but their marriage isn’t turning out too well. There’s good reason to believe ….

The source is 2 Samuel 1:20. David said when he heard of the death of Jonathan in the war against the Philistines:
Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.
4d   For now, an expression of self-loathing? (8)

Split (2, 4-2), the solution becomes "Me anti-me" — which could be expressed in a more grammatically correct manner as "I am anti-me".

5d   Missing, as was masseur reportedly (6)

Judging by the comments at Times for the Times, it seems that a lot of solvers got misled by thinking that the wordplay is "as was masseur reportedly". In fact, the wordplay is simply "was masseur reportedly" with the word "as" merely serving as a link between the definition and wordplay. Someone who was (a) masseur could be described as someone who kneaded.

6d   Thought one would snarl about dirty supporter (6,9)

A fellow traveller[2] is someone who sympathizes with a political party, especially the Communist Party, without actually joining it.

7d   Hospitals showing arrogance over adopting a security group (9)

I managed to come up with a spelling, SANITORIA, that turns out to be a hybrid of the British (sanatoria[5]) and US (sanitaria[5]) spellings.

This I parsed — not without some reservations, I may add — as {SNIT (arrogance or, possibly, showing arrogance) + O (over; a division of play in cricket)} containing (adopting) A (from the clue) + RIA (security group).

I assumed the RIA was some hitherto unknown-to-me British counterpart to the CIA. As it turns out, this super-secretive group is unknown to anyone.

Thankfully, Dave Perry provides the correct solution at Times for the Times.

8d   Farmyard sound in so-so nursing home (4)

12d   Consistent supply prepared by Spooner? (4 6)

A spoonerism[5] is a verbal error in which a speaker accidentally transposes the initial sounds or letters of two or more words, often to humorous effect, as in the sentence you have hissed the mystery lectures. It is named after the Revd W. A. Spooner (1844–1930), an English scholar who reputedly made such errors in speaking.

14d   About to meet host, call for video equipment (9)

16d   Bullfighter pulled a pole up (8)

As a synonym for tear, pull[5] may be used in the sense of to damage (a muscle, ligament, etc.) by abnormal strain he pulled a calf muscle in the first half of the game and had to be replaced. It might also be used in a figurative sense ⇒ they are pulled in incompatible directions by external factors and their own beliefs.

A toreador[5] is a bullfighter, especially one on horseback. Initially, only matador[5] (a bullfighter whose task is to kill the bull) and picador[5] (a person on horseback who goads the bull with a lance) came to mind.

19d   Athlete's kit is striking — stores energy (6)

Kit[5] is a British term for the clothing used for an activity such as a sport a football kit. In other words, what would be called a uniform on this side of the pond.

21d   F1 driver turned up for tea (5)

Felipe Massa[7] is a Brazilian Formula One (F1) racing driver.

Assam[10] is a high-quality black tea grown in the Indian state of Assam.

22d   Fluffy dessert with fruit (4)

A whip[5] is a dessert consisting of cream or eggs beaten into a light fluffy mass with fruit, chocolate, or other ingredients.

A hip[5] is the fruit of a rose, especially a wild kind.
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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