Saturday, May 11, 2013

Saturday, May 11, 2013 — Ubiquitous Ma


On the eve of Mother's Day, it would be difficult to ignore mother in today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon — she seems to be everywhere.

Solution to Today's Puzzle

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

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


1a   MA(GIST)RATE — GIST (heart) contained in (captured by) {MA (old lady) + RATE (judge)}

6a   MA|ID — MA (Mother) + (and) ID (I had; I'd)

9a   M(ITCH)UM — MUM (mother) containing ITCH (rash reaction)
Robert Mitchum[7] (1917 – 1997) was an American film actor, author, composer and singer. He is #23 on the American Film Institute's list of the greatest male American screen legends of all time. Mitchum rose to prominence for his starring roles in several major works of the film noir style, and is considered a forerunner of the anti-heroes prevalent in film during the 1950s and 1960s.
10a   G(AS| MA)IN — {AS (like) + MA (Mom)} contained in (getting into) GIN (liquor)

12a   {SI|AM} — reversal (coming from the east) of {MA (Mother) + IS (†)}
Siam[5] was the former name (until 1939) for Thailand.
13a   MA|LE(VOLE)NT — VOLE (rodent) contained in (interrupting) {MA (Mom) + LENT (advanced)}

15a   MA{(RAC|A)<}S — reversal of (backed) {A (†) + CAR (vehicle)} contained in (into) {MA (mother) + S ('s)}

17a   HA|S ON — HA (sarcastic expression) + SON (boy)

19a   HE-(M)AN — MA (mother) contained in (wrapped in) HEN (layer [of eggs])

21a   ENSU(R)ED — R (run; baseball or cricket term) contained in (inside) ENSUED (came after)

24a   MAS|CARP|ONE — {MA (Mom) + S ('s)} + CARP (gripe) + ONE (a single)

26a   M(E)SA* — anagram (crazy) of {MA (†) + S ('s)} containing (about) E (eastern)

28a   MA(E WE)ST — MAST (post) containing (about) EWE (sheepish mother)
Mary Jane West[7] (1893 – 1980), known as Mae West, was an American actress, singer, playwright, screenwriter and sex symbol whose entertainment career spanned seven decades.
29a   READMIT* — anagram (out) of MA TIRED

30a   YARD< — reversal (on the way back) of DRAY (wagon)

31a   MA|RATH(ON)ER — MA (Mom) + RATHER (on the contrary) containing (keeps) ON (running; as in "the fan is on")


1d   MIMOS*|A — anagram (swirling) of MOM IS + A (†)
A mimosa[5] is a North American drink of champagne and orange juice.
2d   {GET WAR}*|M — anagram (shifting) of WET RAG + M (Mom's head; first letter of Mom)

3d   S|OH|O — {OH (I see; exclamation) + O (nothing)} following (behind) S (south)
Soho[7] is an area of the City of Westminster and part of the West End of London. Long established as an entertainment district, for much of the 20th century Soho had a reputation for sex shops as well as night life and film industry. Since the early 1980s, the area has undergone considerable transformation. It now is predominantly a fashionable district of upmarket restaurants and media offices, with only a small remnant of sex industry venues.
4d   RUMBA* — anagram (the wrong way) of RUB MA

5d   T(IG<)RESSES — {reversal (making a comeback) of GI (soldier)} contained in (in) TRESSES (hair)
Hair[7] (in full Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical) is a 1967 rock musical with a book and lyrics by James Rado and Gerome Ragni and music by Galt MacDermot. A product of the hippie counter-culture and sexual revolution of the 1960s, several of its songs became anthems of the anti-Vietnam War peace movement. The musical's profanity, its depiction of the use of illegal drugs, its treatment of sexuality, its irreverence for the American flag, and its nude scene caused much comment and controversy. The musical broke new ground in musical theatre by defining the genre of "rock musical", using a racially integrated cast, and inviting the audience onstage for a "Be-In" finale.

Cats[7] (stylized as CATS) is a 1981 musical composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, based on Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot. The musical tells the story of a tribe of cats called the Jellicles and the night they make what is known as "the Jellicle choice" and decide which cat will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new life. Cats also introduced the song standard "Memory".
7d   {AM|A|DEUS}< — reversal (on the rebound) of {SUED (wooed) + A (†) +MA (mother)}
Amadeus[7] is a 1984 period drama film directed by Miloš Forman and written by Peter Shaffer. Adapted from Shaffer's stage play Amadeus (1979), the story is a variation of Alexander Pushkin's play Mozart i Salieri (Моцарт и Сальери, 1830), in which the composer Antonio Salieri recognizes the genius of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart but thwarts him out of pride and envy. The story is set in Vienna, Austria, during the latter half of the 18th century. The film received eight Academy Awards (including Best Picture).
8d   DO|NA(TIN)G — DO (party) + NAG (worry) containing (about) TIN (cookie container)

11d   S(MOTHER)S — SS (shortstop; a fielding position in baseball or a player at that position) containing (hugging) MOTHER (Mom)
... the definition being "is overprotective".
14d   TRUNCATE~ — sounds like (by the sound of it) {TRUNK (long nose) + ATE (consumed)}

16d   CLEOPATRA* — anagram (tossed) of A PARCEL TO
Cleopatra[5] (69 - 30 BC), queen of Egypt 47-30 BC, the last Ptolemaic ruler. After a brief liaison with Julius Caesar she formed a political and romantic alliance with Mark Antony. Their ambitions ultimately brought them into conflict with Rome, and she and Antony were defeated at the battle of Actium in 31 BC. She is reputed to have committed suicide by allowing herself to be bitten by an asp.
18d   T(HE M)UMMY — TUMMY (belly) containing (straddling) HEM (edge)
The Mummy[7] is a 1932 horror film from Universal Studios directed by Karl Freund and starring Boris Karloff as a revived ancient Egyptian priest. There have been numerous quasi-sequels and pseudo-remakes.
20d   MAS|SEUR<  — {MA (Mom) + S ('s)} + reversal (sent back) of RUES (regrets)

22d   D(REAM) ON — REAM (stack of paper) contained in (picked up by) DON (professor)

23d   M|ASTER — M (Mom's ultimate; last letter of MoM) + ASTER (flower)

25d   NOR|MA — NOR (and not) + (by) MA (Mom)
Norma[7] is a tragedia lirica or opera in two acts by Vincenzo Bellini with libretto by Felice Romani after Norma, ossia L'infanticidio (Norma, or The Infanticide) by Alexandre Soumet. First produced at La Scala on 26 December 1831, it is generally regarded as an example of the supreme height of the bel canto tradition. "Casta diva" was one of the most familiar arias of the nineteenth century.
27d   MAS|H — {MA (Mother) + S ('s)} + H (hot)
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)
Happy Mother's Day — Falcon


  1. Entertaining puzzle, but some of the constructions were a bit tortured. 8d and 17a, for example. Those aren't my favourite kind of clue.

    -- Megaculpa

    1. Others might say that those clues contained well-disguised definitions.

  2. Also enjoyed the puzzle but did not know that "sue" and "woo" were synonyms, as per 7d!


    1. Hi MG,

      Collins English Dictionary says that an archaic meaning of sue is to pay court (to). I presume that is court in the sense of woo.