Saturday, December 28, 2013

Saturday, December 28, 2013 — Merry Christmas

Introduction

While today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon does have a handful of clues relating to Christmas, the theme is not sustained throughout the puzzle.









Solution to Today's Puzzle

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

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

Across


1a   _A|_R|_G|_Y|_L|_E|_S — last letters (last items) of agendA foR BoxinG DaY wilL bE ChristmaS

5a   K(NOW)ING — KING (monarch) containing (wrapping) NOW (present)

9a   {HIT PARADE}* — anagram (breaking) of APARTHEID

10a   HACKS — double definition; "bad writers" & "coughs"

11a   REST|ORE — REST (balance) + (with) ORE (valuable rock)

12a   DIL_|EMMA — EMMA (Austen novel; novel by English writer Jane Austen) following (sitting behind) DIL (unfinished dill; DILL with the final letter deleted)
Jane Austen[5] (1775–1817) was an English novelist. Her major novels are Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814), Emma (1815), Northanger Abbey (1818), and Persuasion (1818). They are notable for skilful characterization, dry wit, and penetrating social observation.
13a   _DECAF< — reversal (returning) of FACED (confronted)

15a   LAMBASTES* — anagram (with abandon) of MEAT SLABS
As an anagram indicator, abandon[5] is used in the sense of complete lack of inhibition or restraint she sings and sways with total abandon or, as The Chambers Dictionary defines it, careless freedom of action.
17a   B|AND|WAG|ON — B (bishop; chess piece) + AND (†) + WAG (jokester) + ON (riding; "on a horse")

19a   MA(X)IM — X (kiss) contained in (applied to middle of) MAIM (wound)

21a   DELIGHT — double definition, the second whimsical: "please" & "extinguish"
If you start a fire by lighting it, does it not follow that you would extinguish it by delighting it?
23a   APR|I||COT — COT (bed) following (at the end of) APR (April) I (1) [April 1 being All Fool's Day]

25a   CHOIR~ — sounds like (vocalized) QUIRE (25 sheets of paper)

26a   PEIGNOIRS — anagram (changed) of REPOSING I

27a   S|LENDER — S (small) + LENDER (bank at times)

28a   G|ESTATE — G (grand) + ESTATE (piece of property)

Down


1d   AD(HERE)D — ADD (tag on) containing (outside of) HERE (present)

2d   GATES — double definition; "Bill from Microsoft" & "means of access"
Bill Gates[5] is the co-founder of the computer software company Microsoft.
3d   LEADOFF — LEAF (page) containing (includes) {DO (act) + F (four's beginning; first letter (beginning) of Four}
In baseball, leadoff[5] is an adjective denoting the first batter in a line-up or of an inning Washington’s lead-off man.
4d   SHA*|KE (A LE)G — anagram (bum) of HAS + KEG (barrel) containing (†) ALE (some beer)

5d   KNEAD~ — sounds like (in audition) NEED (be desperate for)

6d   OPHE*|LIA< — anagram (lost) of HOPE + (and) a reversal (returned) of AIL (trouble)
Ophelia[7] is a fictional character in the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare.
7d   IN|COME T|AX — IN (popular) + COMET (member of a team that flies; one of Santa's reindeer) + AX (chopper)

8d   G(AS|B)AGS — GAGS (jokes) containing (about) {AS (impersonating) + B (British)}

14d   C(AN)AL ZONE — CALZONE (Italian dish; folded pizza containing a filling) containing (seen around) AN (one)

16d   MAN|DATING — MAN (husband) preceding (prior to) DATING (social activity)

17d   BO_|DICES — BO (boy mostly; BOY with the final letter deleted) + DICES (cuts up)

18d   WA(GERE)D — WAD (bundle) containing (split by) GERE (Chicago actor; Richard Gere)
Chicago[7] is a 2002 musical film adapted from the satirical stage musical of the same name, exploring the themes of celebrity, scandal, and corruption in Jazz Age Chicago. The film stars Renée Zellweger, Richard Gere, and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
19d   MAR|IN|A|S — MAR (damage) + IN (†) + A (area) + S ('s)

20d   MAT(IS|S)E — {IS (†) + S (struggling initially; first [initial] letter of Struggling)} contained in (taken in by) MATE (partner)
Henri Matisse[5] (1869–1954) was a French painter and sculptor. His use of non-naturalistic colour led him to be regarded as a leader of the Fauvists. His later painting and sculpture displays a trend towards formal simplification and abstraction, and includes large figure compositions and abstracts made from cut-out coloured paper.
22d   TAPIR~ — sounds like (pronounced) TAPER (gradual decrease)
The tapir[5] is a nocturnal hoofed mammal with a stout body, sturdy limbs, and a short flexible proboscis, native to the forests of tropical America and Malaysia.
24d   CHIN|A — CHIN (projecting feature [of the face]) + (on) A (article)
Key to Reference Sources: 

[1]   - The Chambers Dictionary, 11th Edition
[2]   - Search Chambers - (Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)
[3]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (American Heritage Dictionary)
[4]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (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] - CollinsDictionary.com (Collins English Dictionary)
[11] - TheFreeDictionary.com (Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary)
Signing off for today — Falcon

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