Saturday, January 18, 2014

Saturday, January 18, 2014 — Surprising Medium


Today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon may be slightly more tricky than usual. A handful of clues caused me to exercise the grey matter to decipher them.

Solution to Today's Puzzle

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

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


1a   FLAB|BERG|A|STING — FLAB (fat) + BERG (chunk of ice) + (with) A (†) + STING (bite)

9a   COP|ACETIC — COP (member of the force) + ACETIC (producing vinegar)

10a   RAVEL — double definition; "confuse" & "French composer"
Maurice Ravel[5] (1875–1937) was a French composer whose works are somewhat impressionistic in style, employing colourful orchestration and unresolved dissonances. Notable works: the ballets Daphnis and Chloë (1912) and Boléro (1928) and the orchestral work La Valse (1920).
11a   D(ARK)EN — DEN (room) containing (†) ARK (old chest)
In the Bible, the Ark of the Covenant[5] was the wooden chest which contained the tablets of the laws of the ancient Israelites. Carried by the Israelites on their wanderings in the wilderness, it was later placed by Solomon in the Temple at Jerusalem.
12a   {ON THE LAM}* — anagram (scrambled) of HOTEL MAN

14a   BATH(SHE)BA — SHE (†) contained in (gets into) {BATH (tub) + (and) BA (bachelor [of Arts])}
In the Bible, Bathsheba[5] is the mother of Solomon. She was originally wife of Uriah the Hittite, and later one of the wives of David.
15a   {S|IG|MA}< — reversal (returned) of {AM (American) + GI (soldier) + S ('s)}
Sigma[5] is the eighteenth letter of the Greek alphabet (Σ, σ).
17a   _ARSON — [P]ARSON (cleric) with the first letter deleted (losing head)

19a   ROCK(ET)ING — ROCKING (staggering) containing (about) ET (alien)
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial[7] (often referred to simply as E.T.) is a 1982 American science fiction film co-produced and directed by Steven Spielberg. It tells the story of a lonely boy who befriends an extraterrestrial, dubbed "E.T.", who is stranded on Earth. He and his siblings help the extraterrestrial return home while attempting to keep it hidden from their mother and the government.
21a   DO|VET|AIL — DO (make) + VET (old soldier) + AIL (feel bad)

23a   _RE|ST UP_ — hidden in (in) theRE STUPid

26a   WITCH~ — sounds like (vocalized) WHICH (that)

27a   DI(ALTO)NES — DINES (has a meal) containing (taking in) ALTO (certain sax)
The alto saxophone[7] is a member of the saxophone family of woodwind instruments invented by Belgian instrument designer Adolphe Sax in 1841. It is smaller than the tenor but larger than the soprano, and is the type most used in classical compositions. The alto and tenor are the most common types of saxophones.
28a   SHORT-WAVE RADIO — anagram (newfangled) of TO HEAR WORDS VIA


1d   FACED< — reversal (on the way back) of DECAF (some coffee)

2d   AS|PIRATES — AS (like) + PIRATES (buccaneers)

3d   BUCKETS* — anagram (sloshing) of BE STUCK

4d   RATE~ — sounds like (auditioned for) RAITT (blueswoman Bonnie)
Bonnie Raitt[7] is an American blues singer-songwriter and slide guitar player who has received ten Grammy Awards. Her hit singles include "Something to Talk About", "Love Sneakin' Up on You", and the ballad "I Can't Make You Love Me" (with Bruce Hornsby on piano).
5d   ASCENDANCY* — anagram (arranged) of CANDY CANES

6d   _T|ORCHES_ — hidden in (carries) losT ORCHEStra

7d   NAVEL~ — sounds like (in the sound) NAVAL (of boats)

8d   S(LAMB)ANG — SANG (performed a tune) containing (about) LAMB (sheep)
In the newspaper, there is a hyphen missing at the end of the first line of the clue.
13d   R(EAR| WIND)OW — {EAR (place for a piercing) + WIND (twist)} contained in (in) ROW (dispute)
Rear Window[7] is a 1954 American suspense thriller film directed by English filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock (1899–1980). The film — considered by many filmgoers, critics and scholars to be one of Hitchcock's best — received four Academy Award nominations.
14d   BEAR D|OWN — BEARD (hair on the face) + (with) OWN (control)

16d   GLISTENED* — anagram (wrongly) of DELETING S

18d   NOT|CHER — NOT (†) + CHER (Sonny's old partner)
Sonny & Cher[7] were an American pop music duo in the 1960s and 1970s made up of husband-and-wife team Sonny and Cher Bono. The pair first achieved fame with two hit songs in 1965, "Baby Don't Go" and "I Got You Babe". In the 1970s, they also positioned themselves as media personalities with two top ten TV shows in the US, The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour and The Sonny & Cher Show. In the decade they spent together, Sonny and Cher sold 40 million records worldwide.

The couple's career as a duo ended in 1975 following their divorce. Performing under her first name, Cher went on to a highly successful career as a solo singer and actress, while Sonny Bono was eventually elected to Congress as a Republican U.S. Representative from California. On January 5, 1998, Bono died of injuries from hitting a tree while skiing.
20d   E|LECTOR — E (excellent; mark on an assignment or test at school) + LECTOR (reader)
A lector[5] is a reader, especially someone who reads lessons in a church service.
22d   _VE|TCH_ — hidden in (carrying) obserVE TCHaikovsky
Vetch[2] is any of various climbing plants of the pea family native to northern temperate regions and S America, with blue or purple flowers the pods of which are often used as fodder.

Pyotr Tchaikovsky[5] (1840–93) was a Russian composer whose notable works include the ballets Swan Lake (1877) and The Nutcracker (1892), the First Piano Concerto (1875), the opera Eugene Onegin (1879), the overture 1812 (1880), and his sixth symphony, the ‘Pathétique’ (1893).
 24d   P_|E_|S_|T_|O_ — the first letters of (bits of) Pepper, Egg, Sausage, Tomato, + (and) Onion

25d   MA|RV — RV (motor home; recreational vehicle) following (after) MA (mother)
Marv is a nickname for Marvin.
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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