Saturday, December 22, 2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012 - Musical Missteps

Introduction

Today's carollers may have imbibed too much holiday cheer — and their performance suffers noticeably as a result.













Solution to Today's Puzzle

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

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

Across

1a   {THE FIRST NOEL}* — an anagram (wrong) of LINE SET FORTH

10a   {KURT WEILL}~ — sounds like (in speech) {CURT (concise) + WHILE (as)}
Kurt Weill[7] (1900 – 1950) was a German composer, active from the 1920s, and in his later years in the United States. He was a leading composer for the stage who was best known for his fruitful collaborations with Bertolt Brecht. With Brecht, he developed productions such as his most well known work The Threepenny Opera, a Marxist critique of capitalism, which included the ballad "Mack the Knife".
11a   _EXT|RA_ — hidden in (comes packed with) nEXT RAV4
The Toyota RAV4[7] is a sport utility vehicle (SUV) produced by the Japanese manufacturer Toyota.
12a   IMP|ALE — IMP (rascal) + (with) ALE (bar drink)

13a   OXYMORON* — an anagram (horsing around) of ON MY OX OR

15a   GEARSHIFT — a Spoonerism of SHEER GIFT
For the benefit of British readers, gearshift is the North American term for a gear lever.
16a   {SUGAR_}< — a reversal (put back) hidden in (portion of) aspaRAGUS

18a   SLEEP< — a reversal (the wrong way) of PEELS (gets undressed)

20a   K(NOW)INGLY — KINGLY (like Henry VIII) containing (wrapping) NOW (present)

23a   A(R)MATURE — R (resistance) contained in (in) {A (†) + MATURE (fully developed)}

25a   SCENTS~ — sounds like (in the audience) SENSE (become aware of)

27a   L_UNCH — L[A]UNCH (take off in a rocket) with the second letter deleted (without A)

28a   ABORIGINE* — an anagram (disrupted) of BOEING AIR
The Boeing Company[7] is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation which is among the largest global aircraft manufacturers, and the third largest aerospace and defense contractor in the world based on defense-related revenue.
29a   {WE THREE KINGS}* — an anagram (drunk) of SKEWERING THE

Down

2d   H G |WELLS — HG (mercury; Hg[5] being the symbol for this chemical element) + WELLS (rises)
Herbert George "H. G." Wells[7] (1866 – 1946) was an English writer, now best known for his work in the science fiction genre. Together with Jules Verne and Hugo Gernsback, Wells has been referred to as "The Father of Science Fiction". His most notable science fiction works include The War of the Worlds, The Time Machine, The Invisible Man and The Island of Doctor Moreau. He did write a book titled The Magic Shop in 1903 but Mercury Rises is a Crosswordland fantasy.[7]

Should the name Mercury Rises seem somewhat familiar, Mercury Rising[7] is a 1998 American action thriller film starring Bruce Willis and Alec Baldwin in which an undercover FBI agent (played by Willis) protects a nine-year-old boy with autism who is targeted by government assassins after he cracks a top secret government code.
3d   FAIR — double definition; "cricket" (as in it's not cricket to cheat at cards[3]) & exhibition

4d   _REL(AX)ATION — RELATION (kin) containing (grabs) AX (†)

5d   THE|R|MOS — THE (†) + R (right) + MOS (months)

6d   _OTTER — [R]OTTER (skunk) with the first letter deleted {cutting off the first R (river)}

7d   L|EARNER — L (pound; British monetary unit) + EARNER (gainer)

8d   S(KI)ING — SING (carol; as a verb) containing (catching) KI ([first] half of KI[DS])

9d   TRIP|LANE — TRIP (journey) + LANE (course)

14d   TICKERTAPE* — an anagram (ground; as a verb) of PICKETER AT

17d   GIG|ANTIC — GIG (musical job) + (with ... aspect) ANTIC (zany)
Aspect[3] can mean a side or surface facing in a particular direction. Thus having a zany aspect indicates having zany attached on one side.
18d   SH(ALL)OW — SHOW (exhibition) containing (keeping) ALL (everything)

19d   PITCHER — double definition; "jug" & "tosser"

21d   I|T(C)HING — {I (†) + THING (object; as a noun)} containing C (Conservative)

22d   YE(S)MEN — YEMEN (Arab land) containing (harbouring) S (small)

24d   _M|ONE|T_ — hidden in (in) SaleM ONE Time
Claude Monet[7] (1840 – 1926) was a founder of French impressionist painting. The term Impressionism is derived from the title of his painting Impression, Sunrise (Impression, soleil levant).

Salem[7] is a city in Massachusetts, in the United States. Much of the city's cultural identity is reflective of its role as the location of the Salem witch trials of 1692: Police cars are adorned with witch logos, a local public school is known as the Witchcraft Heights Elementary School, the Salem High School athletic teams are named the Witches; and Gallows Hill, a site of numerous public hangings, is currently used as a playing field for various sports.

 Salem[7] is also the name of the capital of the U.S. state of Oregon.
26d   GOBI< — a reversal (seen from the rear) of {I (island) + BOG (swamp)}
The Gobi[7] is a large desert region in Asia covering parts of northern China and  southern Mongolia.
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)
Merry Christmas — Falcon

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