Saturday, January 12, 2013

Saturday, January 12, 2013 - Many Happy Returns


I thought that today's puzzle from Cox and Rathvon had a very British air about it. In fact, this idea struck me only two clues into the puzzle when I encountered the British museum. Then I noticed that the puzzle is not attributed to Cox & Rathvon. I completed the puzzle believing that the National Post must have mistakenly printed a puzzle from The Daily Telegraph (it would certainly not be the first time this has happened). However, when a search at Big Dave's blog did not turn up the puzzle, I took another look at it and realized that the theme clues at 10a, 13a, 18a, and 24a are a clear indication of its authorship.

Solution to Today's Puzzle

Legend: "*" anagram; "~" sounds like; "<" letters reversed
"( )" letters inserted; "_" letters deleted; "†" explicit in the clue


1a   ME(MO P)AD — MEAD (†) containing MOP (clean; as a verb)
Mead[7] is likely intended to be a surname. Wikipedia has a long list of people with this name, the best known being American cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead[7] (1901 – 1978).
5a   MU(TATE)D — TATE (art gallery) contained in (with ... outside) MUD (wet plaster)
The Tate Gallery[5] (or simply the Tate) is a national museum of art in London, England founded in 1897 by the sugar manufacturer Sir Henry Tate (1819 – 1899) to house his collection of modern British paintings, as a nucleus for a permanent national collection of modern art. It was renamed Tate Britain in 2000, when the new Tate Modern gallery opened.
9a   HARE|M — HARE (bounder) + M (married)

10a   _MA|CART|HUR_ — hidden in (in) trauMA CART HURt
General of the Army Douglas MacArthur[7] (1880 – 1964) was an American general and field marshal of the Philippine Army who was Chief of Staff of the United States Army during the 1930s and played a prominent role in the Pacific theater during World War II.

In 1930, he became Chief of Staff of the United States Army. He retired from the U.S. Army in 1937 to become Military Advisor to the Commonwealth Government of the Philippines. MacArthur was recalled to active duty in 1941 as commander of U.S. Army Forces Far East. A series of disasters followed, starting with the destruction of his air force on 8 December 1941, and the invasion of the Philippines by the Japanese. MacArthur's forces were soon compelled to withdraw to Bataan, where they held out until May 1942. In March 1942, MacArthur, his family and his staff left nearby Corregidor Island in PT boats and escaped to Australia, where MacArthur became Supreme Commander, Southwest Pacific Area. For his defense of the Philippines, MacArthur was awarded the Medal of Honor. After more than two years of fighting in the Pacific, he fulfilled a promise to return to the Philippines. He officially accepted Japan's surrender on 2 September 1945, and oversaw the occupation of Japan from 1945 to 1951. As the effective ruler of Japan, he oversaw sweeping economic, political and social changes.
11a   MO_|TO|RED — MO (MO[M] with its final letter deleted (most of the way) + TO (†) + RED (flushing)
The setters throw a bit of misdirection our way by capitalizing "Flushing", making it appear to be a reference to a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens, in the United States. Flushing[7] is the site of Flushing Meadows–Corona Park which hosted two World's Fairs, the first in 1939–1940 and the second in 1964–1965. Also located here is Citi Field, home of the New York Mets of Major League Baseball and the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center which is the home of the US Tennis Open — held in Arthur Ashe Stadium, the world's largest tennis-specific stadium.
12a   IN|TENTS — double definition, the second cryptic; "aims" & "where campers sleep (2,5)"

13a   (HOMING PIGEON)* — anagram (foolishly) of HOPING IM GONE

18a   H(ALLEY'S| COME)T — {ALLEYS (pathways) + COME (appear)} contained in (interrupting) HT (halftime)
Halley's Comet is the best-known of the short-period comets and is visible from Earth every 75–76 years. Halley is the only short-period comet that is clearly visible to the naked eye from Earth, and thus the only naked-eye comet that might appear twice in a human lifetime. Other naked-eye comets may be brighter and more spectacular, but will appear only once in thousands of years.

Although the abbreviation HT[3] meaning halftime does not appear in my favourite British dictionaries, it is the first entry in The American Heritage Dictionary. Halftime[3] is the intermission between halves in games of certain sports, such as basketball and [North American] football.
21a   RELAPS*|_E — anagram (cast) of PEARLS + final letter (ultimately) of swinE
"Cast pearls before swine" is an allusion to a passage from the Sermon on the Mount, "Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces." (Matthew 7:6).
23a   S(WELL) UP — SUP (dine) containing (eating) WELL (grandly)

24a   BOO|MERANG — BOO (jeer) + (at; adjacent to) MERANG {sounds like (in audition) MERINGUE (whites [of eggs] after beating)}

This silly little song certainly stirred up a great deal of controversy when in was released in 1961. This video from Australia contains the original version which was banned by the BBC until it was rerecorded with the phrase "black in the face" replaced by "blue in the face". A shortened version was released in North America that also featured the line "blue in the face" and omitted the entire final bit about "The Flying Doctor" — based on the assumption that American audiences would be unfamiliar with this service. Australians, apparently, had no issue with the original version. You can read the full story here[7].
25a   T(OX)IN — TIN (box) containing (†) OX (bovine)

26a   LA(YET)TE — YET (still) contained in (in) LATE (recent)

27a   TRA(N|S)IT — {N (north) + (and) S (south)} contained in (in) TRAIT (characteristic)


1d   {MAH|I MAH|I}< — reversal (sent back) of {I ([Roman numeral for] one) + HAM (sort of meat)} repeated (twice)

2d   MAR|I|TIME — MAR (spoil) + I (island) + TIME (interval)

3d   POMERANIA* — anagram (wafting about) of PINE AROMA
Pomerania[10] is a region of north central Europe, extending along the south coast of the Baltic Sea from Stralsund to the Vistula River: now chiefly in Poland, with a small area in northeast Germany.
4d   DO|ME|D_ — DO (make) + ME () + D {first letter (initially) of Dizzy}

5d   MOC|KINGLY — MOC (soft shoe; moccasin) + KINGLY (fit for a monarch)

6d   {TAR|OT}< — reversal (turned) of {TO (†) + RAT (informant)}

7d   T(A)HIN|I — {THIN (weaken) + I (myself)} containing (swallowing) A (†)
Tahini[4] is a paste made from sesame seeds originating in the Middle East, often used as an ingredient of hummus and other dips.
8d   D(U)RESS — U (Canucks' centre; middle (centre) letter of CanUcks) contained in (into) DRESS (woman's garment)
The Vancouver Canucks[7] are a professional ice hockey team based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada that play in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). A centre is a member of the forward line of a hockey team.
14d   PIL(FE|RAG)E — {FE ([symbol for the chemical element] iron) + RAG (scrap)} contained in (in) PILE (heap)

15d   ORCHESTRA* — anagram (wrong) of RECTOR HAS

16d   SMIL(AX)ES — SMILES (grins) containing (about) AX (lumberjack's tool)
Smilax[3] may be either (1) any of several woody, usually prickly dioecious vines of the genus Smilax, having greenish unisexual flowers, heart-shaped leaves, and usually bluish to black berries. Also called catbrier or greenbrier; or (2) a slender vine (Asparagus asparagoides) that has glossy foliage and is popular as a floral decoration.
17d   {STEP ON IT}* — anagram (playing) of SET POINT

19d   TRI(B)AL — B (bishop; chess piece) contained in (involved in) TRIAL (ordeal)

20d   B(LO)ODY — LO (look) contained in (inside) BODY (carcass)
Lo[5] is an archaic exclamation used to draw attention to an interesting or amazing event and lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them.
22d   P(L)EAT — L (left) contained in (in) PEAT (fertilizer)

23d   SIGHT~ — sounds like (in speech) CITE (mention)
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


  1. plus the solutions match last Saturday's puzzle!

  2. That they do ... and I did note that. However, I wouldn't consider that on its own to be persuasive evidence. I seem to recall that even on occasions where the National Post has rearranged the order of puzzles, it has still managed to print the correct solution to the previous day's (or previous week's) puzzle.