Saturday, July 13, 2013

Saturday, July 13, 2013 — Ici on parle français


In today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon, the setters put our French skills to the test. It would seem that they found themselves unable to carry the theme through to completion as there is no reference to Quebec in the clue for 27a. However, a French word is found in the solution to this clue.

Solution to Today's Puzzle

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

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


1a   DAM|ASK — DAM (block) + ASK (request)

4a   R(ETRE)ATS — RATS (rodents) containing (having) ETRE (to be in Quebec; être is French for "to be")

9a   FAN| CLUB — FAN (strike out; in baseball) + (with) CLUB (bat)

11a   RACE CAR — a palindrome

12a   NOT RE|ALLY — NOTRE (our Quebecois; in French, notre means "our") + ALLY (friend)

13a   AN(NO)Y — ANY (some) containing (maintaining) NO (†)

14a   TRES|PAS|SING — TRES (so, Quebecois; "so" is used in the sense of "very" and très is French for "very") + PAS (fathers) + SING (confess)

19a   OR|SON| W|ELLES — OR () + SON (kid) + W (with) + ELLES (those girls from Quebec; in French, elles is a plural, feminine pronoun meaning "they")
Orson Welles[5] (1915 – 1985) was an American film director and actor; full name George Orson Welles. His realistic radio dramatization in 1938 of H. G. Wells’s The War of the Worlds persuaded many listeners that a Martian invasion was really happening. Notable films as director and actor include Citizen Kane (1941) and as actor The Third Man (1949).
22a   _PES|TO_ — hidden in (some) canaPES TOpping

23a   CAB|ALLER|O — CAB (taxi) + ALLER (to go in Quebec; aller is French for "to go")

25a   _RICH|TER_ — hidden in (crossing) ZuRICH TERrain
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.
26a   EMERIT*|I — anagram (out) of TIRE ME + (by) I ([Roman numeral for] one)
Note that in addition to beng an anagram of TIME ME, EMERIT is also a reversal of this phrase — although the setters have elected not to invoke this possibility.
27a   SHOO|TOUT — SHOO (chase away) + TOUT (huckster)

28a   S(HINT)O — HINT (suggestion) contained in (in) SO (true; "Heavens! That can't be so!")


1d   DEFINITE* — anagram (badly) of I FEINTED

2d   MANATEES* — anagram (mad) of AT SEAMEN

3d   SOL(V)E — SOLE (one) containing (divided by) V ([Roman numeral for] five)

5d   EARLY — double definition; "primitive" & "like a peer?"
The second definition is whimsical — as indicated by the question mark.
6d   RECTANGLE* — anagram (roughly) of GET LANCER

7d   A|C|CENT — A () + C (Conservative) + CENT (copper; a low denomination coin)

8d   ST|RAYS — ST (saint) + RAYS (fishes)

10d   B(O|L)USES —  {O (bagel; letter that is shaped like a bagel) + L (left)} contained in (in) BUSES (public transportation)

15d   P(HOT)OST|AT — {POST (†) + AT (upon)} containing (acquiring) HOT (stolen)

16d   IGNOBLE* — anagram (at sea) of I BELONG

17d   ALGER|IAN — ALGER (Horatio; US author Horatio Alger[5] (1832 – 1899)) + IAN (Fleming; English novelist Ian Fleming[5] (1908 – 1964))
Oran[5] is a port on the Mediterranean coast of Algeria.
18d   ESPOSITO* — anagram (confused) of ISOTOPES
Phil Esposito[7] is a former Canadian professional ice hockey centre. A member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, he played 18 seasons in the National Hockey League for the Chicago Black Hawks, Boston Bruins and New York Rangers. He is considered one of the best to have ever played in the NHL, and is the older brother of fellow Hall-of-Famer Tony Esposito, a goaltender.
20d   S(PORT)S — SS (shortstop; a fielding position in baseball) containing (having) PORT (left)

21d   _PSY|CHO_ — hidden in (full of) gyPSY CHOck

23d   CORFU* — anagram (wild) of CUR OF
Corfu[5] is a Greek island, one of the largest of the Ionian Islands, off the west coast of mainland Greece.
24d   LEECH — sounds like (said) LEACH (percolate)
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

Signing off for the moment — Falcon


  1. Great fun this morning, parsing bits of French into the solutions. Struggled with 10d at the last, until a phrase about swallowing something in its entirety came suddenly to mind. Never knew the derivation of the idiom, but the dictionary confirmed my hunch. Don't quite get 20d and looking forward to your thoughts.

    -- megaculpa

  2. Hi megaculpa,

    I hope 20d is now clear.