Saturday, May 1, 2010

Saturday, May 1, 2010 - Around the World


Introduction

In today's puzzle by Cox and Rathvon, we travel around the world as we work our way toward the centre of the grid, where we come to rest on Canada's east coast.

Commentary on Today's Puzzle

5a Look into jazz band in Asian capital (7)

Our setters might appear to be more than slightly behind the times, as the capital of Sri Lanka was moved from Colombo to Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte in 1982. Colombo remains the largest city in Sri Lanka and is still considered to be the country's commercial capital. Now, wouldn't it be interesting to see a cryptic clue for Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte!

11a Loud noise, in general, in a mess? (6)

In the military, being in a mess might mean that one is DINING in a mess hall. My first thought was that G for "general" might be meant to complement this theme. However, I can find no source to substantiate G being a recognized abbreviation for "general" in a military, nor - for that matter - any other context. The usual abbreviation for the rank of General would seem to be Gen. In psychology, the symbol g is used to represent the general intelligence factor; however, it would seem to be more than a bit of a stretch to think that this idea was in the setters' minds.

Solution to Today's Puzzle

Legend: "CD" Cryptic Definition; "DD" Double Definition

"*" anagram; "~" sounds like; "<" letters reversed

"( )" letters inserted; "_" letters deleted
Across

1a PIT-A|-PAT - PAT (butter bit) following (on back of) PITA (some bread)

5a CO(LO)MBO - LO (look, as in "lo and behold") contained in (into) COMBO (jazz band); Colombo: largest city and commercial capital of Sri Lanka, although no longer the administrative capital; see Commentary on Today's Puzzle

9a LIT|I|GATOR - LIT (turned on) + I (one) + GATOR (Florida athlete); Florida Gators: the intercollegiate sports teams that represent the University of Florida

10a {CAN IT}* - anagram (excited) of I CANT

11a DIN|IN|G - DIN (loud noise) IN G (general) /\ DINING (in a mess; i.e., in a military mess hall); see Commentary on Today's Puzzle

12a CAPSI*|CUM - anagram (prepared) of ASPIC + CUM (with Latin; i.e., Latin word meaning "with")

14a {NOVA SCOTIA}* - anagram (odd) of AVOCATIONS; Nova Scotia: province in eastern Canada

16a STUN< - STUN (dizzy) /and\ reversal (coming back) of NUTS (daffy); Dizzy Dean and Daffy Dean: brothers and American professional baseball players

18a LOCK - double definition; "fix" (i.e., fasten - as in "to lock into place") and "coil of hair" (think of Curly Locks and Goldilocks)

19a STAN(D)S|TILL - D (500; i.e., Roman numeral for 500) contained in (putting ... in) STANS (Laurel's) TILL (cash drawer); Stan Laurel: English-born American comic; [Note: the clue seems to work more effectively if one reads the entire phrase "Laurel's cash drawer" as "Stan's till"]

22a WILD CARD* - anagram (when swimming) of DID CRAWL; a "joker often" is a wild card

23a UNIS(O)N* - anagram (upset) of SUNNI containing (about) O (opposition's primary; i.e., first letter of the word "opposition")

26a A|S|SAM - A S (small) SAM (surface-to-air missile)

27a C(A|T|AM)OUNT - {A (one) + T (time) + AM (in the morning)} contained in (held by) COUNT (noble); catamount: another name for a cougar

28a BASTION* - anagram (radical) of OBTAINS

29a M|A|SONIC - M (married) + A + SONIC (former Seattle player); Masonic: connected with Freemasonry; the Seattle SuperSonics, popularly known as the Sonics, was a professional basketball team in Seattle, Washington which relocated in 2008 and became the Oklahoma City Thunder

Down

1d PA(LAD)IN - LAD (boy) contained in (in) PAIN (distress)

2d T(IT)AN - IT (Italian) contained in (with ... skin) TAN (light brown)

3d {PAG|A|NI|SM}< - reversal of (brought back) {MS (manuscript) + IN + A + GAP (narrow opening)} 4d TUTU~ - sounds like (sounding) TOO-TOO; too-too: excessively and tastelessly affected; Desmond Tutu - South African cleric who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984

5d CAR(NATION)S - NATION (people) contained in (put in) CARS (vehicles)

6d LOCUS|T - LOCUS (place) + T (time)

7d MANIC(OT)TI - {MANIC (crazy) + TI (note; i.e., do, re, mi, ...)} containing (about) OT (Old Testament)

8d OTTOM<|AN - reversal (backed up) of MOTTO (slogan) adjoining (by) AN (article)

13d {COSTA RICAN}* - anagram (deciphered) of AN ACROSTIC

15d VOCALISTS - {O (love) + C (100; i.e., Roman numeral for 100) + ALISTS (elite groups, or A-lists)} following (behind) V (five; i.e., Roman numeral for 5)

17d _TSUN|AMIS_ - hidden in (riding in) daTSUN AMIShman; Datsun: Japanese automobile marque discontinued by Nissan in 1986; Amishman: a member of the Amish sect of the Mennonites

18d LO(W-CA|R)B - LOB (pitch) containing (about) {W (chemical symbol for tungsten; arising from its former name, wolfram) + CA (chemical symbol for calcium, Ca) + R (restricted; a designation used in various motion picture rating systems)}

20d LUNATIC* - anagram (entangled) of IN A CULT

21d SCAM|PI - SCAM (swindle) + (linked to) PI (Greek character; i.e., letter in the Greek alphabet)

24d SP|URN - SP (Spanish) + URN (coffee container)

25d A|TOM - A + TOM (a male turkey)

Signing off for today - Falcon

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