Saturday, October 12, 2013

Saturday, October 12, 2013 — Thanksgiving Mouthful


In today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon, the setters celebrate the Canadian Thanksgiving holiday by heaping our plates with some pretty big words.

Solution to Today's Puzzle

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

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


1a   CHE|F — CHE (revolutionary Cuban; Che Guevara[7]) + F (female)

3a   _SH|OD_ — hidden in marSH ODdly

6a   EC(H)O — H (hit; baseball term) contained in (penned by) ECO (author Umberto; Italian writer Umberto Eco[7])
10a   {AVOGADROS NUMBER}* — an anagram (exploded) of ARMS ABOVEGROUND
In chemistry, Avogadro's number[5] (or Avogadro's constant) is the number of atoms or molecules in one mole of a substance, equal to 6.023 × 1023.
11a   PHIL|AN|T(H)ROPICAL — H (hospital) contained in (in) {PHIL (Donahue) + AN (one) + TROPICAL (near the Equator)}
Phil Donahue[7] is an American media personality, writer, and film producer best known as the creator and host of The Phil Donahue Show. The television program, also known as Donahue, was the first talk show that included audience participation. The show had a 29-year run (from 1967 to 1996) on national television in the US.
12a   MET(HAM|P)HETAMINE* — {HAM (CBer) + P (passing)} contained in (in) an anagram (changing) of THE MEANTIME
Oh! I can hear the teeth gnashing. A CBer is hardly the same thing as a ham. A ham[3,4,11] is a licensed amateur radio operator. A CBer is a user — methinks it would be rather grandiloquent to refer to such a person as an operator — of a citizen's band radio. Citizens band radio[7] (also known as CB radio) is, in many countries, a system of short-distance radio communications between individuals on a selection of 40 channels within the 27-MHz (11 m) band. Citizens band is distinct from the FRS, GMRS, MURS and Amateur Radio Service (ham radio). In many countries, CB operation does not require a licence, and (unlike Amateur Radio) it may be used for business or personal communications.

The abbreviation P[9] for "passing" comes from the field of education, where it is used as a rating of student performance [presumably in a pass/fail grading system].
14a   PIT|HE|CANT(HR)OPUS — HR (homer; home run, a baseball term) contained in (found in) {PIT (quarry) + HE (†) + CANT (†) + OPUS (work; a music term)}
Pithecanthropus[10] is a former genus of primitive apelike man now included in the genus Homo.
19a   IDENTIFICATIONS* — an anagram (destroyed) of INSIDE OF TITANIC

22a   INCONSEQUENTIAL* — an anagram (turning) of ON CNN I SEE A QUILT

23a   BE|V|Y — BE (act; "Which character will you be in the school play?") + (with) V (violet) + (and) Y (yellow)

24a   _OS|LO_ — hidden in (gripped by) LOS LObos
Oslo[5] is the capital and chief port of Norway, on the south coast at the head of Oslofjord; population 839,423 (2007). Founded in the 11th century, it was known as Christiania (or Kristiania) from 1624 until 1924 in honour of Christian IV of Norway and Denmark (1577–1648).

Los Lobos[7] (Spanish for "The Wolves") are a multiple Grammy Award–winning American Chicano rock band from East Los Angeles, California.
25a   AS(K)S — K (king; chess piece or playing card) contained in (interrupting) ASS (pompous fool)
In the cryptic reading, the 's is meant to be interpreted as a contraction for is.


1d   CLA(S)P — CLAP (applaud) containing (embracing) S (soprano)

2d   EG(O)TIST* — an anagram (wrong) of GETS IT containing (about) O (love; tennis score)

4d   HARDTOP* — H (hot) + an anagram (modified) of ROD PAT

5d   DESERVE~ — [supposedly] sounds like (said) DOES IRV

6d   E|QUIP — E (excellent; another school mark, this time one used in a non pass/fail system) + QUIP (one-liner)

7d   HI|BACH|I — HI (greeting) + BACH (composer; German composer Johann Sebastian Bach[7]) + I (†)

8d   CAR|APACE — CAR (vehicle) + APACE (at full speed)
A couple of readers have commented on the similarity of this clue to one appearing last weekend.
9d   T|ROLLERS — T (time) + ROLLERS (waves; on the ocean)
A gadfly[5] is a fly that bites livestock, especially a horsefly, warble fly, or botfly. The term is also applied to a person who annoys or criticizes others in order to provoke them into action always a gadfly, he attacked intellectual orthodoxies.

Troll[5] could be used in a couple of senses with respect to the Internet. It could simply mean to carefully and systematically search an area for something I spent tonight trolling the Internet for expensive lighting gear. I would certainly call a person conducting such a search a troller.

Troll[5] can also mean to submit a deliberately provocative posting to an online message board with the aim of inciting an angry response (i) if people are obviously trolling then I’ll delete your posts and do my best to ban you; (ii) [with object] you folks taking this opportunity to troll me, you really need to reassess your values in your life. Personally, I would refer to such a person as a troll — rather than a troller.
12d   ME|PHITIC* — an anagram (chopped) of PITCH I following (behind) ME (myself)
The surface reading is an allusion to baseball. To chop[3] is to hit or hit at [the ball] with a short swift downward stroke. A foul (or foul ball[11]) is a baseball hit outside the foul lines. A pitch[3] [short for pitched ball] is a ball thrown by the pitcher to the batter. A pitch hit behind the batter would certainly end up in foul territory.

Note that the definition of foul ball [a batted ball that touches the ground outside of fair territory] given by The American Heritage Dictionary is technically incomplete. A foul ball may be caught by a member of the fielding team or it may be hit into the stands. In either case, it does not "touch the ground".
13d   AERATING* — an anagram (convertible) of IN A GREAT

15d   TRE(A|CL)E — {A (†) + CL (class)} contained in (found in) TREE (maple, e.g.)

16d   ALFREDO* — an anagram (bananas) of DEAL FOR

17d   T|ACTUAL — T (true) + ACTUAL (real)

18d   P(E)ONIES — PONIES (horses) containing (eating) E (last [letter] of thE)

20d   TANSY* — an anagram (strangely) of NASTY

21d   SALTS* — an anagam (plastic) of LASTS
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 Thanksgiving — Falcon


  1. Well, that was a bit different! I confess to using some on-line help this week, as there were a couple of answers that were totally new to me. A bit disappointing to see that shell appearing two weeks running.

    - megaculpa

  2. Hi Falcon!
    Thanks for posting while on holiday (again, I might add ;) )
    Tend to agree with megaculpa especially with respect to shell clue.