Saturday, June 22, 2013

Saturday, June 22, 2013 — Seeing Stars


In today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon, the setters take us on a tour of the night sky.

Blog postings have been a bit erratic during June as I have been travelling almost continuously throughout the month. I hope things will settle back to a more normal situation for the next couple of months.

Solution to Today's Puzzle

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

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


1a   DENEBOLA* — anagram (sadly) of BED ALONE
Denebola[5] is the second-brightest star in the constellation Leo. The name comes from Arabic dhanab al(-asad) '(lion's) tail'.
5a   ALTAIR* — anagram (twirling) of LARIAT
Altair[5] is the brightest star in the constellation Aquila. The name comes from Arabic, literally 'flying eagle'.
9a   VI(T)AL — T (piece [first letter] of Text) contained in VIAL (small bottle)

10a   BE(LL)ATRIX — LL (Mr. Bean; Leon Leonwood Bean[7], founder of American retailer L.L.Bean[7]) contained in (embraced by) BEATRIX (Potter; Beatrix Potter[7], English author of children's books such as The Tale of Peter Rabbit)
Bellatrix[7] is the third brightest star in the constellation Orion. The name is Latin for "female warrior".
12a   S(HOOF)LY — HOOF (step; as a verb) contained in (in) SLY (tricky)
The American dessert shoofly pie[3] is a pie with a filling of molasses [treacle to British readers] and brown sugar. [So called because one will supposedly have to shoo away the flies attracted to the sweet filling.] This delicacy is similar to a traditional English dessert known as treacle tart[4].
13a   AMHERST* — anagram (running around) of HAMSTER
Amherst College[7] is a private liberal arts college located in Amherst, Massachusetts, United States.
14a   P(O|L)ARIS — {O (nothing) + L (left)} contained in (in) PARIS (French capital)
Polaris[5], also known as the Pole Star or North Star, is a fairly bright star located within one degree of the celestial north pole, in the constellation Ursa Minor. The name comes from medieval Latin polaris 'heavenly', from Latin polus 'end of an axis'.
16a   SHAMU_ — SHAMU[S] ([private] detective) with the last letter deleted (cut short)
Shamu[7] was the star of a very popular killer whale show at SeaWorld San Diego in the mid - late 1960s. After her death in 1971, the name Shamu continued to be used in SeaWorld "Shamu" orca shows for different killer whales in different SeaWorld parks.
18a   ABE|AM — ABE (Lincoln; Abraham Lincoln[5] (1809 – 1865), 16th President of the United States) + AM (in the morning)

20a   CAN|OPUS — CAN (dismiss) + OPUS (musical work)
Canopus[5] is the second-brightest star in the sky, and the brightest in the constellation Carina. It is visible only to observers in the southern hemisphere.
23a   S(WEAR) AT — SAT (wasn't used) containing (around) WEAR (sport)

24a   M(A|R)INER — MINER (worker underground) containing (holds) {A (†) + R (piece [first letter] of Rock)}

26a   AL(DEBAR)AN — DEBAR (shut out) contained in (taken in by) ALAN (Rickman; English actor Alan Rickman[7])
Aldebaran[5] is the brightest star in the constellation Taurus. The name comes from Arabic, meaning 'the follower (of the Pleiades)'.
27a   P(AG)AN — PAN (god with legs of a goat; in Greek mythology, Pan[5] was a god of flocks and herds, typically represented with the horns, ears, and legs of a goat on a man’s body) containing (given) AG ([symbol for the chemical element] silver)

28a   SIRIUS~ — sounds like (sounding) SERIOUS (sober)
Sirius[5], also known as the Dog Star, is the brightest star in the sky, south of the celestial equator in the constellation Canis Major. The name is Latin from from Greek seirios astēr 'scorching star'.
29a   AR(C)TUR|US — C (cup) contained in (accepted by) ARTUR (Rubenstein; Polish-American classical pianist Arthur* Rubenstein[7] (1887 – 1982)) + (and) US (U.S.)
Arcturus[5] is the fourth-brightest star in the sky, and the brightest in the constellation Boötes. The name comes from Greek arktos 'bear' + ouros 'guardian' (because of its position in line with the tail of Ursa Major).

*Rubinstein's birth name was Artur, although in English-speaking countries, he preferred to be known as Arthur Rubinstein. However, his United States impresario Sol Hurok insisted he be billed as Artur, and records were released in the West under both versions of his name.


1d   DI|VEST — DI ([Roman numeral for] 501) + VEST (sleeveless garment)
Is the number "501" a reference to Levi's 501 jeans — or just a convenient way to clue DI?
2d   {NIT|RO}< — reversal (turned back) of {OR (†) + TIN (metal)}

3d   BALEFUL* — anagram (shuffled) of BLUE ALF

4d   LOB|BY — LOB (toss) + BY (past)

6d   L(OATH)ES — OATH (promise) contained in (kept by) LES (Lester)

7d   AGRARIANS* — anagram (developed) of GRAIN SARA

8d   RE(X) ST|OUT — {REST (others) + OUT (asleep)} containing (around) X ([Roman numeral for] ten)
Rex Stout[7] (1886 – 1975) was an American writer noted for his detective fiction. Stout is best known as the creator of the larger-than-life fictional detective Nero Wolfe.
11d   LI(A|IS)ON — {A (article) + IS (†)} contained in (eaten by) LION (large feline)

14d   PRETENDE*|R — anagram (tricky) of REPENTED + R (caper, ultimately; ultimate [last] letter of capeR)

15d   RICH(T)ER — RICHER (with more money) containing (gaining) T (time)
Charles Richter[7] (1900 – 1985) was an American seismologist and physicist who is most famous as the creator of the Richter magnitude scale which, until the development of the moment magnitude scale in 1979, was used to quantify the size of earthquakes.
17d   MARS|HALS — MARS (planet) + HALS (Dutch painter;likely Frans Hals the Elder[7] (c. 1582 – 1666) although five of his sons as well as his brother were also painters)

19d   _M|ARAB|OU_ — hidden in (seen in) griM ARAB OUtpost

21d   PAR|A|PET — {PAR (normal) + PET (domestic animal)} containing (going around) A (†)

22d   BRONCS~ — sounds like (heard) BRONX (New York borough)

24d   MA(NO)R — NO (†) contained in (inside) MAR (damage)

25d   NIGER* — anagram (over) of REIGN
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

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