Saturday, March 29, 2014

Saturday, March 29, 2014 — Lighting Up the Edges


Today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon uses an interesting grid. As the white squares in a crossword grid are known as "lights", one might say that the edges of this puzzle are "well-lit".

Solution to Today's Puzzle

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

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

Definitions are underlined in the clue, with subsidiary indications being marked by means of a dashed underline in semi-all-in-one (semi-& lit.) clues and cryptic definitions.


1a   Merchants gaining deck hands' support for ships' drivers (5,10)

S(CREW| PROP)ELLERS — SELLERS (merchants) containing (gaining) {CREW (deck hands) + PROP (support)}

9a   Stand while surrounded by fish (5)

E(AS)EL — AS (while) containing (surrounded by) EEL (fish)

10a   A client is awfully rigid (9)

INELASTIC* — anagram (awfully) of A CLIENT IS

11a   King sloppy on soprano horns (7)

K|LAX|ON|S — K (king) + LAX (sloppy) + ON (†) + S (soprano)

12a   Country road ran all over (7)

ANDORRA* — anagram (all over) of ROAD RAN

13a   Approaches northern canal sites (5)

N|EARS — N (northern) + EARS (canal sites)

14a   A box with bland sweetener (9)

A|SPAR|TAME — A (†) + SPAR (box) + (with) TAME (bland)

17a   Recited story — calm bit at the end (9)

{TAIL|PIECE}~ — sounds like (recited) {TALE (story) + PEACE (calm)}

19a   Toothpaste top (5)

CREST — double definition; "[brand of] toothpaste" & "top"

20a   Odd impetus for busy periods (7)

UPTIMES* — anagram (odd) of IMPETUS

23a   Poor bloke is getting the shaft? (7)

OBELISK* — anagram (poor) of BLOKE IS

24a   Grace embraces first of lads, performing a dance (9)

PO(L|ON|A)ISE — POISE (grace) containing (embraces) {L (first [letter] of Lads) + ON (performing) + A (†)}

25a   Drive around a part of Europe (5)

SP(A)IN — SPIN (drive) containing (around) A (†)

26a   A storm saturates twisted part of a bird's leg (15)



1d   Old amplifier reaching the maximum in "Tramp" (8,7)

S(PEAKING) TRUMPET — PEAKING (reaching the maximum) contained in (in) STRUMPET (tramp)

2d   Jamaican cultist, a saint, way off in Rhode Island (9)

R(A|ST|AFAR)I — {A (†) + ST (saint) + AFAR (way off)} contained in (in) RI (Rhode Island)

Rastafari[5] is a Jamaican cult, not a cultist. A member of the cult is known as a Rastafarian[5], or Rasta[5] for short.

The US Postal Service abbreviation for the state of Rhode Island[7] is RI.

3d   Observed taking survey backing routs (7)

{WA(LLOP)S}< — reversal (backing) of {SAW (observed) containing (taking) POLL (survey)}

4d   London gallery, after control's put back (9)

REINS|TATE — TATE (London gallery) following (after) REINS (control's)

The Tate Gallery[5] (commonly known simply as the Tate) is a national museum of art in London, England founded in 1897 by the sugar manufacturer Sir Henry Tate (1819–1899) to house his collection of modern British paintings, as a nucleus for a permanent national collection of modern art. It was renamed Tate Britain in 2000, when the new Tate Modern gallery opened.

5d   Two Greek characters in religious artwork (5)

PI|ETA — PI ([one] Greek character) + ETA ([another] Greek character)

Pi[5] is the sixteenth letter of the Greek alphabet (Π, π).

Eta[5] is the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet (Η, η).

6d   Bank at times accommodating a legendary swimmer (7)

LE(A)NDER — LENDER (bank at times) containing (accommodating) A (†)

In Greek mythology, Leander[5] was a young man, the lover of the priestess Hero. He was drowned swimming across the Hellespont to visit her.

7d   Log found in green terrain (5)

_EN|TER_ — hidden in (found in) greEN TERrain

8d   Pouches full of noodle soup, smoking, for an NBA team (10,5)

SAC(RAMEN|TO KING)S — SACS (pouches) containing (full of) {RAMEN (noodle soup) + TOKING (smoking)}

The Sacramento Kings[7] are a professional basketball team based in Sacramento, California that plays in the National Basketball Association (NBA).

15d   Carrying chicken sign, Dad marvels (9)

P(HEN|OMEN)A — PA (dad) containing (carrying) {HEN (chicken) + OMEN (sign)}

16d   A guy's acquiring pitcher Gagne for Yankees (9)

A|M(ERIC)ANS — A (†) + {MANS (guy's) containing (acquiring) ERIC (pitcher Gagne)}

Éric Gagné[7] is a Canadian former professional baseball pitcher. His career included stints with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox and Milwaukee Brewers — but, in the real world, he never played for the New York Yankees.

18d   Spotted horse eating Maine pepper (7)

PI(ME)NTO — PINTO (spotted horse) containing (eating) ME (Maine)

The US Postal Service abbreviation for the state of Maine[7] is ME.

19d   London neighbourhood more into tea (7)

CH(ELSE)A — ELSE (more) contained in (into) CHA (tea)

Here "more" is used as it would be in the query "What more can you tell me?"

Cha[5] is an informal British name for tea.

Chelsea[5] is a residential district of London, on the north bank of the River Thames.

21d   Floor layer spilled litre (5)

TILER* — anagram (spilled) of LITRE

22d   Mountain ridge's small tree (5)

S|PINE — S (small) + PINE (tree)
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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