Saturday, December 15, 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012 - Christmas Preparations

Introduction

Christmas Eve comes early in today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon. Perhaps we will get a Christmas Day theme next week.

You may note that your ears get more of a workout than normal today.








Solution to Today's Puzzle

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

"( )" letters inserted; "_" letters deleted; "†" explicit in the clue

Across

1a   CLAUSE~ — sounds like (recited) Santa's surname

4a   WRAPPING~ — sounds like (outspokenly) RAPPING (knocking)

9a   MITRE* — anagram (dubious) of MERIT

10a   MISTLETOE~ — sounds like (heard) {MISSILE (long-distance flyer) + TOW (haul)}

11a   ASCENDANCY* — anagram (arranged) of CANDY CANES

12a   MAS|S — MA (the old lady) + S ('s) + S (second)

14a   GAS|PAR — GAS (fuel) + PAR (average)
The Magi[5] were the ‘wise men’ from the East who brought gifts to the infant Jesus (Matt. 2:1), said in later tradition to be kings named Caspar [alternatively spelled Gaspar[3,4]], Melchior, and Balthasar who brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
16a   W|RITES — W (Winter's first [letter]) + RITES (ceremonies)

19a   _RED FIR_ — hidden in (seen in) sacRED FIRe
The red fir[3] is an evergreen tree (Abies magnifica) of California and Oregon, having reddish wood valued as timber.
20a   LISTEN* — anagram (tossing) of TINSEL

23a   _E|CHO_ — hidden in (tucked among) whitE CHOcolates

24a   CH(ANGEL)ESS — CHESS (board game) containing (includes) ANGEL (tree ornament)

27a   CA|ROLLING — CA (pair [first two letters] of CAnadians) + ROLLING (turning over)

28a   TO|A|ST — TO (†) + A (†) + ST (saint)

29a   SLEIGHED~ — sounds like (reportedly) SLAYED (knocked off)

30a   MYRTLE* — anagram (in a blend) of TRY ELM

Down

1d   CAMPAIGN* — anagram (could make) of A GM PANIC

2d   AN|TIC — AN (†) + TIC (mannerism)

3d   STERN|WARDS — STERN (severe) + WARDS (cellblocks)

5d   {REST CURE}* — anagram (defiled) of TREE CURS

6d   POLE — double definition; "European" & "stick"

7d   {IN TRANSIT}* — anagram (derailed) of TRAIN ISNT

8d   GREASE~ — sounds like (from the sound of it) GREECE (country)

10d   M(E)AD — MAD (crazy) containing (about) E (English)

13d   S(TRIDENT)LY — SLY (irritatingly clever) containing (grabbing) TRIDENT (fork)

15d   SUR(CHAR)GE — SURGE (increase) containing (split by) CHAR (cook at grill)

17d   {HIGH TIDE}~ — sounds like (vocal) {HI (greeting) + TIED (connected with)}

18d   AN(I|SET)TE — {I (†) + SET (put)} contained in (in) ANTE (pot starter)

21d   FENCES — double definition; "fights" & "barriers"

22d   SNUG~ — reversal (the wrong way) of GUNS (items that shoot)

25d   EXALT* — anagram (recycled) of LATEX

26d   SLUG — double definition; "wallop" & "garden pest"
Key to Reference Sources: 

[1]   - The Chambers Dictionary, 11th Edition
[2]   - Search Chambers - (Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)
[3]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (American Heritage Dictionary)
[4]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (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] - CollinsDictionary.com (Collins English Dictionary)
Signing off for today — Falcon

Signing off for the moment — Falcon

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