Saturday, December 29, 2012

Saturday, December 29, 2012 - A Capital Idea


Today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon takes us on a tour of capital cities around the world.

Solution to Today's Puzzle

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

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


1a   ADD|IS| A|BABA — ADD (sum; as a verb) + IS (†) + (next to) A (†) + BABA (cake)
Addis Ababa[7] is the capital city of Ethiopia.
6a   ELBA< — a reversal of (in returning) ABLE (skilled)
Elba[5] is a small island off the west coast of Italy, famous as the place of Napoleon’s first exile (1814–15).
9a   RUM|BA_ — RUM (drink) + (with) BA ([first] half of BA[ND])

10a   NOSE GUARD* — an anagram (awfully) of DANGEROUS
In American and Canadian football, a nose guard[7] (also known as a nose tackle or middle guard) is is a position played by a defensive lineman. In general, the nose guard lines up at the middle of the defensive line across the line of scrimmage from the offense's center before the play begins. In this position, frequently taking on the center and at least one if not both of the offensive guards, the nose guard is considered to be the most physically demanding position in football [thus the surface reading is quite appropriate].
12a   PEN|ELOPE — PEN (writer; either literally a writing instrument or figuratively a scribe) + ELOPE (run off romantically)
In Greek mythology, Penelope[7] was the wife of Odysseus, who was beset by suitors when her husband did not return after the fall of Troy. She put them off by saying that she would marry only when she had finished the piece of weaving on which she was engaged, and every night unravelled the work she had done during the day.
13a   APLOMB* — an anagram (smashed) of LOB PAM
I would say that the surface reading is more than likely an allusion to former American professional tennis player Pam Shriver[7]. During the 1980s and 1990s, she won 133 top-level titles, including 21 women's doubles titles and one mixed doubles title at Grand Slam tournaments. She also won a women's doubles gold medal at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul with Zina Garrison as her partner, although her usual doubles partner was Martina Navratilova. Outside contenders might include Pam Whytcross[7], a former professional tennis player from Australia, or Pam Teeguarden[7], a former American professional tennis player.
15a   YM(C)A — YMA (singer Sumac; Peruvian singer Yma Sumac[7]) containing (keeps) C ([musical] key)
Stories published in the 1950s claimed that Yma Sumac was an Incan princess, directly descended from Atahualpa (the last sovereign emperor of the Inca Empire prior to the Spanish conquest). Her New York Times obituary reported that "the largest and most persistent fabrication about Ms. Sumac was that she was actually a housewife from Brooklyn named Amy Camus, her name spelled backward. The fact is that the government of Peru in 1946 formally supported her claim to be descended from Atahualpa."

Sumac (who was born Zoila Augusta Emperatriz Chávarri del Castillo) adopted the stage name of Imma Sumack (also spelled Ymma Sumack and Ima Sumack) before she left South America to go to the United States. The stage name was based on her mother's name, which was derived from Ima Shumaq, Quechua for "how beautiful!" although in interviews she claimed it meant "beautiful flower" or "beautiful girl".
16a   W|ELLINGTON — W (western) + ELLINGTON (Duke; American composer, pianist and big-band leader Duke Ellington[7])
Wellington[7] is the capital city of New Zealand.
19a   MONTEVIDEO* — anagram (shot) of NOTED MOVIE
Montevideo[7] is the capital city of Uruguay.
20a   SPA|T — SPA (spring) + T (time)

23a   T(AM)EST — TEST (exam) containing (around ) AM (morning)

25a   ST(ONE) AGE — ONE (individual) contained in (in) STAGE (theatre)

27a   BILL|A|BONG — BILL (check) + A (†) + BONG (water pipe)
Billabong[5] is an Australian term for a branch of a river forming a backwater or stagnant pool, made by water flowing from the main stream during a flood.
28a   CHAR|D — CHAR (on a grill, blacken) + D (low-grade; poor academic result)

29a   _E|CHO_ — hidden in (hiding in) thE CHOrus
In Greek mythology, Echo[5] was a nymph deprived of speech by Hera in order to stop her chatter, and left able only to repeat what others had said.
30a   BRAT(IS)LAVA — IS (†) contained in (into) {BRAT (kid) + LAVA (rock)}
Robert James "Bob" Ritchie, known by his stage name Kid Rock[7], is an American musician, rapper and singer-songwriter.

Bratislava[7] is the capital city of Slovakia.


1d   A|TROPHY — A (†) + TROPHY (kind of reward)

2d   DO|MINI|CAN — DO (make) + MINI (little) + CAN (fire; dismiss from employment)

3d   S|TABLE — S (small) + TABLE (furniture)

4d   {BON APPETIT}* — an anagram (playing) of TIBETAN POP

5d   BUS|H — BUS (large vehicle) + H (hit; as a baseball term)
George Herbert Walker Bush[7] served as the 41st President of the United States (1989 – 1993). His son, George Walker Bush[7] was the 43rd President of the United States (2001 – 2009).
7d   {LLA|NO}< — a reversal (seen from the back) of {ON (†) + ALL (everyone)}

8d   AU|DUB|ON — AU (gold; Au[5] being the symbol for the chemical element gold) + DUB (title; as a verb) + ON (lit)
John James Audubon[7] (Jean-Jacques Audubon) (1785 – 1851) was a French-American ornithologist, naturalist, and painter. He was notable for his expansive studies to document all types of American birds and for his detailed illustrations that depicted the birds in their natural habitats. His major work, a color-plate book entitled The Birds of America (1827–1839), is considered one of the finest ornithological works ever completed. Audubon identified 25 new species.
11d   GA(PIN)G — PIN (peg) contained in (caught in) GAG (jest)

14d   {SLEEP TIGHT}* — an anagram (dancing) of THE PIGLETS

17d   TO|P B|A|NANA — TO (†) + PB (lead; Pb[5] being the symbol for the chemical element lead) + A (†) + NANA (grandma)

18d   {RED SEA}* — an anagram (strangely) of ERASED

19d   MU(TAB)LE — TAB (bill) contained in (wearing) MULE (slipper)

21d   {THE IDEA}* — an anagram (breaks) of A DIET HE

22d   K|NICKS — K ($1000) + NICKS (cuts)
The New York Knickerbockers[7], popularly known as the Knicks, are a professional basketball team based in New York City, New York. They are part of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association (NBA).
24d   MU(L)CH — L (left) contained in (in) MUCH (lots)

26d   BOAR — sounds like (one hears) BORE (not very interesting)
The plural form of boar may be either boar or boars.[5] Bore[5] seems to be used in the sense of a tedious or annoying situation or activity ⇒ when one's alone, cooking is a bore which might also be stated as when one's alone, cooking is not very interesting. The "are" from the word "aren't" in the clue serves as a link word between the definition and the wordplay.
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)
Signing off for today — Falcon

Signing off for the moment — Falcon

1 comment:

  1. I've noticed that Cox & Rathvon's names are no longer appearing above the National Post crossword. What's up with that? Is it still by them?