Saturday, December 7, 2013

Saturday, December 7, 2013 — Longing for Sunny Skies?


In today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon, are the setters longing for a better meteorological outlook? No need for that in Ottawa today, though, as the sky is blue with nary a cloud in sight.

Solution to Today's Puzzle

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

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


1a   F(AM|I)LY — {AM (†) + I (†)} contained in FLY (pop; baseball term)
Tree[3] is used in the sense of a diagram that has branches in descending lines showing relationships as of hierarchy or lineage: a family tree; a telephone tree.

For overseas readers especially, a note on baseball terminology may be in order.

In baseball, fly[3] is another name for a fly ball[3], a ball that is batted in a high arc, usually to the outfield. A pop fly[11] is a high fly ball hit to the infield or immediately beyond it that can easily be caught before reaching the ground. Also called a pop-up.

In the cryptic reading of the clue,  pop[3] is a verb meaning to hit a short high fly ball, especially one that can be caught by an infielder ⇒ popped out to shortstop. In the solution to the clue, fly is a verb meaning to hit a fly ball.
4a   I(SO|LATE)D — ID (tag) containing (keeping) {SO (true; "I swear it is so") + LATE (delinquent)}

9a   RESORT — double definition; "newly arrange; sort again" & "vacation spot"

10a   SPAN|KING — SPAN (cross) + KING (ruler)

11a   PER(FOR)M|ER — FOR (in favour of) contained in (wearing) {PERM (†) + (on) ER (medical drama)}
ER[7] is an American medical drama television series created by novelist Michael Crichton that aired on NBC from September 1994 to April 2009.
13a   A(NG)LE — ALE (pub selection) containing (contains) {NG (no good)}
The American Heritage Dictionary, Collins English Dictionary, and the Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary all list NG[3,4,11] and/or some of its variants N.G., ng, or n.g. as meaning no good.
14a   {WEATHER FORECAST}~ — sounds like (voiced) {WHETHER (if) + FOR (fore) + CASTE (social group)}

17a   {EAT ONE'S HEART OUT}* — anagram (repaired) of AT A TREE HOUSE NOT

19a   C|ACHE — C (Calgary's foremost [first letter]) + ACHE (pine)

21a   TOSCANINI* — anagram (bad) of INACTIONS
Arturo Toscanini[5] (1867–1957) was an Italian conductor. He was musical director at La Scala in Milan (1898–1903; 1906-8) before becoming a conductor at the Metropolitan Opera, New York (1908–21).
23a   TIRESOME* — anagram (ruined) of ROME SITE

24a   _ITCHES — [W]ITCHES (Halloween figures) with the initial letter deleted (faceless)

25a   DEB||ON|AIR — DEB (young lady coming out; short for debutante) + (and) ON AIR (broadcasting now)

26a   FR(ID)AY — ID (I had; I'd) contained in (engaged in) FRAY (battle)


1d   FOREPAW* — anagram (injured) of FEAR POW

2d   MISCREANT* — anagram (reformed) of NICE SMART

3d   L|ARGO — L (large) + ARGO (Greek boat)
On August 3 of this year, we saw a variation on this clue:
  • 25d   Large mythical ship's slow movement (5)
Largo[5] is a musical direction indicating that a piece is to be played in a slow tempo and dignified in style. As a noun, largo denotes a musical passage, movement, or composition marked to be performed in this way.

In Greek mythology, the Argo[7] was the ship on which Jason and the Argonauts sailed from Iolcos to retrieve the Golden Fleece. It was named after its builder, Argus.
5d   SUPERMODELS* — anagram (liquid) of SLURPED SOME

6d   LEN|D| A|N EAR — LEN (†) + D (Deighton's first [letter]) + A (article) + NEAR (coming soon)
Len Deighton[5] is an English writer whose reputation is based on his spy thrillers, several of which have been adapted as films and for television.
7d   THIN|G — THIN (insubstantial) + G (kind of string)
A G-string[4] is a string tuned to G, such as the lowest string of a violin. [What! you thought otherwise!]
8d   DO|G M|EAT — DO (make) + GM (general manager) + EAT (dine on)

12d   MAR|IS|A| TOME|I — MAR (March) + IS (†) + A (†) + TOME (big book) + I (†)
Marisa Tomei[7] is an American stage, film, and television actress. Her film breakthrough came in 1992 with the comedy My Cousin Vinny, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.
15d   H|ANGER|S-ON — H (head [letter] of Horse) + ANGER (tick off) + SON (boy)

16d   ABOLISHED* — anagram (wrongly) of BOA IS HELD

17d   EX(C)ITED — EXITED (left) containing (gripping) C (cup; unit of measure)

18d   THIR(S)TY — S (first sign [letter] of Spring) contained in (in) THIRTY (April's last date)

20d   CAR(O)B — O ([letter that is shaped like a] bagel) contained in (coated with) CARB (starchy stuff)

22d   A(ST)IR — AIR (song) containing (about) ST (saint)
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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