Saturday, March 30, 2013

Saturday, March 30, 2013 — Jest Jokin'


Today, the National Post serves up a triple dose of cryptic crosswords — one to solve today, one to occupy our time on Monday, and one to do yesterday. If we don't succumb to the chocolate left by the Easter Bunny, we just may overdose on puzzles. You might say that today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon — that arrives a couple of days early for April Fool's Day — is a barrel of laughs that will have you rolling in the aisles.

Solution to Today's Puzzle

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


1a   THIGH-SLAPPER* — anagram (changed) of LIGHT PERHAPS

10a   H(AN)OVER — HOVER (wait expectantly) containing (around) AN (†)
The House of Hanover[7] succeeded the House of Stuart as monarchs of Great Britain and Ireland in 1714 and held that office until the death of Queen Victoria in 1901. Queen Victoria was the last British monarch of the House of Hanover; her son King Edward VII belonged to the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, the line of his father, Prince Albert.
11a   AD(MI|RE)D — {MI ([a musical] note) + RE ([another musical] note)} contained in (in) ADD (total; as a verb)

12a   WISECRACK* — anagram (tossed) of CREW A SICK

13a   D(ITT)O — DO (hairstyle) containing (worn by) ITT (Addams Family cousin)
The Addams Family[7] is a group of fictional characters created by American cartoonist Charles Addams. The Addamses are a satirical inversion of the ideal American family; an eccentric, wealthy clan who delight in the macabre and are unaware that people find them bizarre or frightening. They originally appeared as an unrelated group of 150 single panel cartoons, about half of which were originally published in The New Yorker [magazine] between 1938 and Addams's 1988 death. They have since been adapted to other media, including television series (both live and animated), films, video games and a musical.

Cousin Itt[7] is a fictional character in the Addams Family series. Unlike the other characters, Cousin Itt was not originally created by cartoonist Charles Addams, but by David Levy [the producer of the television series], though he did appear as an unnamed character in Addams's cartoons.
14a   VI|SAGE — SAGE (pundit) following (after) VI ([Roman numeral for] six)

16a   ON|E-L|IN|ER — ON (about; concerning) + EL (the Spanish; word meaning 'the' in the Spanish language) + IN (†) + ER (E.R.; emergency room)
ER[7] is an American medical drama television series created by novelist Michael Crichton that aired on NBC from 1994 to 2009. ER follows the inner life of the emergency room (ER) of fictional County General Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, and various critical issues faced by the room's physicians and staff. The show ran for 15 seasons with a total of 331 episodes, becoming the longest-running primetime medical drama in American television history.

I can't explain why the setters chose to put periods in "E.R.".
19a   REPARTEE* — anagram (excited) of PEAR TREE

21a   {BONS|A}|I — reversal (returned) of {A (†) + SNOB (superior sort)} + I ([Roman numeral for] one)

24a   BURRO~ — sounds like (heard) BOROUGH (town)

25a   PUN|C(H)LINE — PUN (groaner) + (by) CLINE (Patsy) containing (about) H (hot)

27a   G|AMBLER — G (gravity) + (and) AMBLER (stroller)

28a   PAR(APE)T — PART (†) containing (confining) APE (primate)

29a   SID(E-SP)LITTER — ESP (gift) contained in (found in) SID (Caesar) + (and) LITTER (Cleopatra's conveyance)
I initially thought that a Caesar (salad) was a SIDE (dish), which certainly made it difficult to explain the SP!

Sid Caesar[7] is an Emmy Award-winning American comic actor and writer best known for the 1950s television series Your Show of Shows and Caesar's Hour, and to younger audiences for his role as Coach Calhoun in Grease and Grease 2.


2d   _H|AVOC_ — hidden (inside) eacH AVOCado

3d   GERM|AN — GERM (origin) + (followed by) AN (article)

4d   S|PARKING — S (small) + PARKING (offering from a lot)

5d   A|RM|A|D(ILL)O — ILL (I'll) contained in (put in) {A (†) + RM (room) + (with) A (†) + DO (party)}

6d   PURITAN* — anagram (chopped) of A TURNIP

7d   R(AD)IO — AD (spot) contained in (in) RIO (carnival town; Rio de Janeiro[7], Brazil)

8d   C(HEW) OVER — HEW (cut) contained in (in) COVER (blanket)

9d   ON|USES — ON (borne by) + USES (handles)

15d   G|ARG(O)YLES — O (old) contained in (wearing) {G (green) + ARGYLES (patterned socks)}

17d   R(AIM)ENTS — AIM (goal) contained in (in) RENTS (monthly expenses)
Raiments[5] is not the plural of raiment but, rather, is an alternate spelling. They both mean clothing or garments.
18d   TEMPORAL* — anagram (arranged) of PROM LATE

20d   P|YR|AMID — P (pass; an academic result in a pass/fail system) + YR (year) + AMID (in the centre of)

22d   SK(IMP)Y — IMP (little devil) contained in (in) SKY (heaven)

23d   S(NA)P AT — NA (North American) contained in (in) SPAT (argument)

24d   {B(OG)US}< — reversal (turning around) of {GO (ride) contained in (in) SUB (underwater vessel)}

26d   H(ART)E — HE (the guy) containing (has) ART (skill)
Bret Harte[7] (1836 – 1902) was an American author and poet, best remembered for his accounts of pioneering life in California.
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)
[11] - (Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary)
Signing off for today — Falcon

1 comment:

  1. They probably used periods in E.R. because it's a short form for emergency room. I don't think it specifically refers to the tv show.