Saturday, April 26, 2014

Saturday, April 26, 2014 — A Bit of the Bard


Today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon would seem to be representative of their usual offerings.

I suppose that the theme might have dealt with a TV actress participating in an event at a Sunday School picnic. However, I chose to look elsewhere.

Solution to Today's Puzzle

Falcon's Experience
- solved without assistance
- incorrect prior to use of puzzle solving tools
- solved with assistance from puzzle solving tools
- solved with aid of checking letters provided by puzzle solving tools
- solved but without fully parsing the clue
- yet to be solved

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

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

Primary indications (definitions) are marked with a solid underline in the clue; subsidiary indications (be they wordplay or other) are marked with a dashed underline in all-in-one (& lit.) clues, semi-all-in-one (semi-& lit.) clues and cryptic definitions.


1a   Diamond magnate horsed around (6)

RHODES* — anagram (around) of HORSED

Cecil Rhodes[5] (1853–1902) was a British-born South African statesman, Prime Minister of Cape Colony 1890-6. He expanded British territory in southern Africa, annexing Bechuanaland (now Botswana) in 1884 and developing Rhodesia from 1889. By 1890 he had acquired 90 per cent of the world’s production of diamonds.

4a   Vocally disapprove of tropical wood shop (8)

{BOU|TIQUE}~ — sounds like (vocally) {BOO (disapprove of) + TEAK (tropical wood)}

9a   That's exactly right: run behind hopper (5)

BIN|GO — GO (run; function or operate) following (behind) BIN (hopper; container)

10a   Some artists mad, in a storm about article (9)

ANIM(A)TORS* — anagram (mad) of IN A STORM containing (about) {A ([indefinite] article)}

11a   Film unit goaded in Balkan area competition (5-6,4)

TH(REE-L|EGGED) RACE — {REEL (film unit) + EGGED (goaded)} contained in THRACE (Balkan area)

Thrace[5] was an ancient country lying west of the Black Sea and north of the Aegean. It is now divided between Turkey, Bulgaria, and Greece.

12a   One short and pale (4)

A|SHY — A (one) + SHY (short; he left school just shy of his fourteenth birthday)

13a   Book-loving debtor's promise accepted by he-men (8)

STUD(IOU)S — IOU (debtor's promise) contained in (accepted by) STUDS (he-men)

18a   Essayist's writing about border flower (8)

P(RIM)ROSE — PROSE (essayist's writing) containing (about) RIM (border)

19a   Shakespearean name written in diagonally (4)

_IAGO_ — hidden in (written in) dIAGOnally

Iago[7] is a fictional character in Othello (c. 1601–04) written by English playwright William Shakespeare (1564–1616). The play's main antagonist, Iago is the husband of Emilia, who is in turn the attendant of Othello's wife Desdemona. Iago hates Othello (who is also known as "The Moor") and devises a plan to destroy him by making him believe that his wife is having an affair with his lieutenant, Michael Cassio.

22a   TV actress warm and secure about her Shakespeare role (7,8)

HEAT(HER) LOCK|LEAR — {HEAT (warm) + (and) LOCK (secure) containing (about) HER (†)} + LEAR (Shakespearean role)

King Lear[7] is a tragedy by English playwright William Shakespeare (1564-1616). The title character descends into madness after disposing of his estate between two of his three daughters based on their flattery, bringing tragic consequences for all.

Heather Locklear[7] is an American actress, known for her television roles as Sammy Jo Carrington on Dynasty, Officer Stacy Sheridan on T.J. Hooker, Amanda Woodward on Melrose Place and Caitlin Moore on Spin City. She had a recurring role on the TV Land sitcom Hot in Cleveland and has a main role on the TNT drama-comedy television series Franklin & Bash as of 2013.

25a   Street cop wrongly under wraps (3-6)

{TOP SECRET}* — anagram (wrongly) of STREET COP

26a   Run around a deck of sorts (5)

T(A)ROT — TROT (run) containing (around) A (†)

27a   Home has sacred exterior—we mean it (8)

HO(NEST)LY — NEST (home) contained in (has ... exterior) HOLY (sacred)

28a   Detective is phony Uncle Sam (6)

SHAM|US — SHAM (phony) + US (Uncle Sam)

Shamus[5] is an informal North American term for a private detective.

Uncle Sam[5] is a personification of the federal government or citizens of the US. It is said (from the time of the first recorded instances) to have arisen as an expansion of the letters US.


1d   Object of a joke in actual part of a debate (8)

RE(BUTT)AL — BUTT (object of a joke) contained in (in) REAL (actual)

2d   Sedative drugs not including the first joint possession (9)

_OWNERS|HIP — OWNERS {[D]OWNERS (sedative drugs) with the initial letter deleted (not including the first [letter])} + HIP (joint)

3d   Circling small spot, Edward behaved theatrically (6)

E(MOTE)D — ED ([diminutive of] Edward) containing (circling) MOTE (small spot)

5d   Bagel and piece of chicken due (5)

O|WING — O ([letter that looks like a] bagel) + (and) WING (piece of chicken)

6d   Cross section seen from behind hidden entrance (8)

{TRAP|DOOR} — reversal (seen from behind) of {ROOD (cross) + PART (section)}

7d   Incompletely estimate a share (5)

QUOT_|A — QUOT {QUOT[A] (estimate)} with the final letter deleted (incompletely)} + A (†)

8d   Holiday diner swallowing piece of spinach (6)

EA(S)TER — EATER (diner) containing (swallowing) S (piece [initial letter] of Spinach)

10d   A gambler's helper (7)

A|BETTOR — A (†) + BETTOR (gambler)

14d   Cry after British princess's serve (4,3)

DI|SH OUT — SHOUT (cry) following (after) DI (British princess; diminutive for Diana)

Diana, Princess of Wales[5] (1961–1997) was the former wife of Prince Charles; title before marriage Lady Diana Frances Spencer. The daughter of the 8th Earl Spencer, she married Prince Charles in 1981; the couple were divorced in 1996. She became a popular figure through her charity work and glamorous media appearances, and her death in a car crash in Paris gave rise to intense national mourning.

15d   Underarms disturbed tattoo maker? (5,4)

{SNARE DRUM}* — anagram (disturbed) of UNDERARMS

A tattoo[5] is an evening drum or bugle signal recalling soldiers to their quarters.

16d   Tenses some very big people recited aloud (8)

TIGHTENS~ — sounds like (recited aloud) TITANS (some very big people)

In Greek mythology, the Titans[7] were a primeval race of powerful deities, descendants of Gaia (Earth) and Uranus (Sky), that ruled during the legendary Golden Age. They were immortal giants of incredible strength and were also the first pantheon of Greek gods and goddesses.

17d   Athenian significant other boxes (8)

SO|CRATES — SO (significant other) + CRATES (boxes)

SO[11] is the abbreviation for significant other[11], specifically in the sense of a spouse or cohabiting lover. While this strikes me as an abbreviation that might be used in texting, I have found no evidence of that being the case.

Socrates[5] (469–399 BC) was a Greek philosopher. As represented in the writings of his disciple Plato, he engaged in dialogue with others in an attempt to define ethical concepts by exposing and dispelling error (the Socratic method). Charged with introducing strange gods and corrupting the young, Socrates was sentenced to death and died by drinking hemlock.

20d   Yonder church's roofing material (6)

THAT|CH — THAT (yonder) + CH (church)

"That one" would denote the yonder one, while "this one" would signify the near one.

21d   Draw sailor's first boat (6)

S|KETCH — S (sailor's first; first letter of Sailor) + KETCH (boat)

23d   A Southern writera Quaker? (5)

A|S|PEN — A (†) + S (Southern) + PEN (writer)

A Quaker[5] is a member of the Religious Society of Friends, a Christian movement founded by George Fox circa 1650 and devoted to peaceful principles. Central to the Quakers’ belief is the doctrine of the ’Inner Light', or sense of Christ’s direct working in the soul. This has led them to reject both formal ministry and all set forms of worship.

The aspen[5] is a poplar tree with small rounded long-stalked leaves that tremble in the breeze. Several species exist, in particular the European Populus tremula and the North American quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides).

24d   Red Russian river in the country (5)

R|URAL — R (red) + URAL (Russian river)

The Ural River[5] is a river, 1,575 miles (2,534 km) long, that rises at the southern end of the Ural Mountains in western Russia and flows through western Kazakhstan to the Caspian Sea at Atyraū.
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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