Saturday, October 19, 2013

Saturday, October 19, 2013 — King of the Castle


For want of a better title for today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon, I have merely incorporated elements from the first and last across clues. If someone has noticed a theme that I have overlooked, please leave a comment.

Solution to Today's Puzzle

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

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


1a   P(A)LACE — PLACE (locale) containing (surrounding) A (†)

4a   I|NUN|DATE — I (myself) + NUN (sister) + (and) DATE (dinner companion)

9a   _ORNER|Y_ — hidden in (essential part of) cORNER You

10a   SCIMITAR* — anagram (defective) of CIA TRIMS

11a   PROVEN|CAL — PROVEN (demonstrated) + (by) CAL ([nickname for] Calvin)
Provençal[5] is the language of Provence[5], a former province of SE France, on the Mediterranean coast east of the Rhône. Settled by the Greeks in the 6th century BC, the area around Marseilles became, in the 1st century BC, part of the Roman colony of Gaul. It was united with France in 1481 and is now part of the region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur.
13a   {T|ROOP}< — reversal (in retreat) of {POOR (bad) + T (time)}

14a   OVERPRAISED* — anagram (flawed) of VERDI OPERAS
Giuseppe Verdi[5] (1813–1901) was an Italian composer whose many operas, such as La Traviata (1853), Aida (1871), and Otello (1887), emphasize the dramatic element, treating personal stories on a heroic scale and often against backgrounds that reflect his political interests. Verdi is also famous for his Requiem (1874).
18a   {MEDIAN STRIP}* — anagram (screwball) of MISPRINTED A
Median strip[5] is the North American term for what is known in the UK as a central reservation[5].
21a   A|TOLL — A (†) + TOLL (ring)

22a   SPEARMINT* — anagram (busted) of AMP INSERT

24a   PA|THE|TIC — PA (pop) + THE (†) + TIC (jerk)

25a   F(LAMB)E — FE ([chemical symbol for] iron) containing (holding) LAMB (some meat)

26a   INGATHER* — anagram (randomly) of THE GRAIN
Ingather is a formal term meaning to gather (something) in or together it may not be possible to ingather that information within the time.
27a   {XER|XES}< — reversal (recalled) of {SEX (congress) + rex (Latin king)}
Xerxes I[5] (circa 519–465 BC), son of Darius I, was king of Persia 486–465 BC. His invasion of Greece achieved victories in 480 BC at Artemisium and Thermopylae, but defeats at Salamis (480 BC) and Plataea (479 BC) forced him to withdraw.

Rex[5] is the Latin word for king.


1d   {POOH-POOH}< — reversal (backward) of {HOOP (first ring) + HOOP (second ring)}

2d   LON(DON)ER — LONER (recluse) containing (houses) DON (Mafia's chief)

3d   CUR(S)E — S (sorcerer's first [letter]) contained in (in) CURE (medical success)

5d   {NICOL(A)S CAGE}* — anagram (cast) of COALESCING containing (around) A (†)
Nicolas Kim Coppola, known professionally as Nicolas Cage[5], is an American actor, producer and director. Cage is the nephew of director Francis Ford Coppola and actress Talia Shire (who is a sister to Francis Ford Coppola).
6d   NEMATODES* — anagram (crackers) of ON STEAMED

7d   AU|THOR — AU ([chemical symbol for] gold) + THOR (god; Norse god of thunder)

8d   EUROPE~ — sounds like (heard) YOU'RE UP

Fate[5] is used as a verb meaning to be destined to happen, turn out, or act in a particular way the regime was fated to end badly.
15d   _P|IMPLIES|T_ — hidden in (inside) grouP IMPLIES Teenagers
P(IMPLIES)T — IMPLIES contained in (inside) PT (group)

I can't explain why PT is supposed to mean "group". It can be an abbreviation for either physical therapy or physical training, but neither of those seem to fit the bill. Perhaps it is meant to be a shortened form of PTA (Parent Teacher Association). If anyone has a better explanation, I would be pleased to see it.

Many thanks to MG for providing the "better explanation".
16d   TRAIL MIX — spoonerism of MAIL (letters) + TRICKS (pranks)

17d   EPITHETS* — anagram (ruined) of TIP SHEET

19d   {TAI|PEI}~ — sounds like (for auditors) {TIE (draw; competitors scoring equal results) + PAY (salary)}
Taipei[5] is the capital of Taiwan; population 2,629,300 (est. 2007). It developed as an industrial city in the 19th century, and became the capital in 1885.
20d   S(ON)TAG — ON (performing; "you're on next") contained in (amid) STAG (men only)
Susan Sontag[5] (1933–2004) was an American writer and critic. She established her reputation as a radical intellectual with Against Interpretation (essays, 1966). Other notable works: On Photography (1976) and Illness as Metaphor (1979).
23d   RIL(K)E — RILE (upset) containing (about) K (kay)
Rainer Maria Rilke[5] (1875–1926) was an Austrian [not German] poet, born in Bohemia; pseudonym of René Karl Wilhelm Josef Maria Rilke. His conception of art as a quasi-religious vocation culminated in his best-known works, the Duino Elegies and Sonnets to Orpheus (both 1923).
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. Hi Falcon!
    Can't figure the theme for the life of me - unless it has to do with in, in and over??
    With respect to 15d, pt is definitely not a group. The solution is actually hidden or "inside" grouP IMPLIES Teenagers ;)
    What, no vacation??!!

    1. Thanks, MG.

      After missing that hidden word clue, perhaps I need a vacation!