Saturday, January 4, 2014

Saturday, January 4, 2014 — Happy New Year

Introduction

In today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon, the setters ring in the New Year — albeit in a fairly low-key fashion.












Solution to Today's Puzzle

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

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

Across


1a   ASPERITY* — anagram (new) of YEARS TIP

5a   B|A|L|BOA — B {bitten on the head; first letter (head) of Bitten} + (by) A (†) + L (large) + BOA (snake)
Vasco Núñez de Balboa[5] (1475–1519) was a Spanish explorer. In 1513 he reached the western coast of the isthmus of Darien (Panama), thereby becoming the first European to see the eastern shores of the Pacific Ocean.
9a   CASH|MERE — CASH (means for buying) + MERE (simple)

10a   DEC|A|MP — {A (†) + MP (Member of Parliament)} following (after) DEC (December)

12a   R(ATE)R — ATE (had some chow) contained in (amid) {R + (&) R}

13a   IRONSIDES* — anagram (misspelled) of SENIORS ID
Ironsides[5] was a nickname for Oliver Cromwell[5] (1599–1658), English general and statesman, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth 1653-8. Cromwell was the leader of the victorious Parliamentary forces (or Roundheads) in the English Civil War. As head of state he styled himself Lord Protector, and refused Parliament’s offer of the Crown in 1657. His rule was notable for its puritan reforms in the Church of England. He was briefly succeeded by his son Richard (1626–1712), who was forced into exile in 1659.
14a   {BALANCE SHEET}* — anagram (set straight) of BEATLES HE CAN
The Beatles[5] were a pop and rock group from Liverpool consisting of George Harrison (1943–2001), John Lennon (1940–1980), Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr. Remembered for the quality and stylistic diversity of their songs (mostly written by Lennon and McCartney), they achieved success with their first single ‘Love Me Do’ (1962) and went on to produce albums such as Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967).
18a   {FOUNTAIN PENS}* — anagram (in a twist) of NO FUN PANTIES

21a   RU(DIME)NTS — DIME (little change) contained in (in) {RUNT (little guy) + S ('s)}

23a   L|ARCH — L (length) + (and) ARCH (span)

24a   G|A|SLIT — G (front [letter] of Garage) + (with) A (†) + SLIT (narrow opening)

25a   LEFTOVER* — anagram (nuts) of FOR T[W]ELVE {for twelve after losing W (weight)}

26a   TACKED~ — sounds like (in speech) TACT (diplomacy)

27a   A|T(ON)ALLY — ON (performing) contained in (in) {A (†) + TALLY (score)}

Down


1d   A|C|CORD — A (†) + C (†) + CORD (string)

2d   PE(SET)A — SET (stuck) contained in (inside) PEA (veggie)
Prior to the introduction of the euro in 2002, the peseta[5] was the basic monetary unit of Spain, equal to 100 centimos.
3d   RUM|P RO|A|ST — RUM (drink) + PRO (for) + A(†) + ST (saint)

4d   TERM|I|NATION|S — TERM (something that describes) + I ([Roman numeral for] one) + NATION (country) + S ('s)

6d   ABETS* — anagram (wild) of BEAST

7d   BRAN|DIES — BRAN (high-fiber food) + DIES (stops)
Fiber is the US spelling of fibre.
8d   APPOSITE* — anagram (tossing) of A POT PIES

11d   CON|CUP|I|SCENT — CON (jailbird) + (with) CUP (trophy) + I (†) + SCENT (trail)
Concupiscent[5] is an adjective meaning filled with sexual desire or lustful concupiscent dreams.
15d   SING|LET|ON — SING (to turn informer) + (and) LET ON (reveal a secret)

16d   A|F(FR)IGHT — {A (†) + FIGHT (sharp disagreement)} containing (about) FR (French)

17d   {CUL-DE-SAC}* — anagram (contrived) of CLUE CADS

19d   GRAVE|L — GRAVE (place for a cross) + L ([Roman numeral for] fifty)

20d   SH(ERR)Y — ERR (make a mistake) contained in (in) SHY (lacking)

22d   MA(I)NE — I (identity initially; initial letter of Identity) contained in (when wearing) MANE (long hair)
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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