Saturday, April 5, 2014

Saturday, April 5, 2014 — Meet With Approval


I could discern no specific theme in today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon. Thus, in need of a title, I took the opportunity to conjure up a bit of wordplay involving one of the clues. You will find a hint at the end of the post.

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   Carrying suitcase also land in the West Indies (6)

TO(BAG)O — TOO (also) containing (carrying) BAG (suitcase)

When it comes to punctuation, one must often read into the clue something that isn't there — or ignore something that is present. Here one must read the clue as if it were written "Carrying suitcase, also ...".

4a   Studies entomology subject pierced by head of pin (8)

INS(P)ECTS — INSECTS (entomology subject) containing (pierced by) P (head [initial letter] of Pin)

9a   Make bagel with Pop's gadget (6)

DO|O|DAD — DO (make) + O ([letter that looks like a] bagel) + DAD (Pop)

10a   Black bird looking intently around back of stall (8)

STAR(L)ING — STARING (looking intently) containing (around) L (back [final letter] of stalL)

11a   Drill concrete surrounding hard spikes (9)

RE(H|EARS)AL — REAL (concrete) containing (surrounding) {H (hard; grade of pencil lead) + EARS (spikes; of corn, for instance}

13a   Sound, including volume, split evenly (5)

HAL(V)E — HALE (sound) containing (including) V (volume)

14a   Bridge-building machines left in dappled waterways (4,7)

PI(L)E D|RIVERS — L (left) contained in (in) {PIED (dappled) + RIVERS (waterways)}

18a   Meet a piano expert and babble about interest (11)

A|P|PRO|PR(I)ATE — A (†) + P (piano; musical direction) + PRO (expert) + (and) PRATE (babble) containing (about) I (interest)

Piano[3,5] (abbreviation p[5]), is a musical direction meaning either (as an adjective) soft or quiet or (as an adverb) softly or quietly.

Meet[5] takes the archaic meaning of suitable or proper it was not meet for us to see the king’s dishonour.

21a   Before noon, everyone sent back for Andean bearer (5)

{LLA|MA}< — reversal (sent back) of {AM (before noon) + ALL (everyone)}

22a   Dry places confused an old timer? (9)

CLEPSYDRA* — anagram (confused) of DRY PLACES

A clepsydra[5] is an ancient time-measuring device worked by a flow of water.

24a   Dancing riles pet snakes and lizards (8)

REPTILES* — anagram (dancing) of RILES PET

25a   Suddenly drop penny and part of a pound (6)

P|OUNCE — P (penny) + (and) OUNCE (part of a pound)

In Britain's current decimal currency system, a penny[5] (abbreviation p) is a coin and monetary unit equal to one hundredth of a pound.

26a   Opposite talk (8)

CONVERSE — double definition

27a   Buzzer outside remains sparkling (6)

FL(ASH)Y — FLY (buzzer) containing (outside) ASH (remains)


1d   Turbulent waters I had encountered originally in voyages (8)

T(ID|E)RIPS — {ID ([contraction for] I had; I'd) + E (encountered originally; initial letter of Encountered)} contained in (in) TRIPS (voyages)

Tiderip[3] is another name for rip current or rip tide.

2d   Presidential assassin with bad burial site (4,4)

BOOT H|ILL — BOOTH (presidential assassin) + (with) ILL (bad)

John Wilkes Booth[5] (1838–1865) was a US actor who is better known as the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theater in Washington, DC.

Boot Hill[7], or Boothill, is the name for any number of cemeteries, chiefly in the American West. During the 19th century it was a common name for the burial grounds of gunfighters, or those who "died with their boots on" (i.e., violently).

3d   Land in Afghan airfield (5)

_GHAN|A_ — hidden in (in) AfGHAN Airfield

5d   Singer from South African region I school in French (7,4)

NATAL|I|E COLE — NATAL (South African region) + I (†) + ECOLE (school in French)

Natal[5] is a former province of South Africa, situated on the east coast. Having been a Boer republic and then a British colony, Natal acquired internal self-government in 1893 and became a province of the Union of South Africa in 1910. It was renamed KwaZulu-Natal in 1994. The name comes from Latin Terra Natalis 'land of the day of birth', a name given by Vasco da Gama in 1497, because he sighted the entrance to what is now Durban harbour on Christmas Day.

The French word école[8] means school.

Natalie Cole[7] is an American singer, songwriter and performer who is the daughter of legendary American singer and musician Nat King Cole (1919–1965).

6d   Buyer's sign of delight about hunt (9)

PUR(CHASE)R — PURR (sign of delight) containing (about) CHASE (hunt)

7d   Cold or hot food for the audience (6)

CHILLY~ — sounds like (for the audience) CHILI (hot food)

8d   Vocally, team expressed relief (6)

SIGHED~ — sounds like (vocally) SIDE (team)

12d   Lanky actor is disgusting, going around like a dishrag (4,7)

S(LIM P)ICKENS — SICKENS (is disgusting) containing (going around) LIMP (like a dishrag)

Louis Burton Lindley, Jr. (1919–1983), known by the stage name Slim Pickens[7], was an American rodeo performer and film and television actor who epitomized the profane, tough, sardonic cowboy, but who is best remembered for his comic roles, notably in Dr. Strangelove and Blazing Saddles.

15d   Play where you might find gold Gravol by another name (9)

DRAMA|MINE — DRAMA (play) + MINE (where you might find gold)

Gravol and Dramamine are brand names for dimenhydrinate[7], an over-the-counter drug used to prevent nausea and motion sickness.

16d   Dude's face covered by crazy cowboy's neckwear (8)

BAN(D)ANAS — D (dude's face; initial letter of Dude) contained in (covered by) BANANAS (crazy)

17d   Playing Steely Dan endlessly and calmly (8)

SEDATELY* — anagram (playing) of {STEELY (†) + DA (Da[N] endlessly)}

19d   Church official's new circle (6)

CLERIC* — anagram (new) of CIRCLE

20d   Muffle amplifier in small room (6)

D(AMP)EN — AMP (amplifier) contained in (in) DEN (small room)

23d   Pronounced deep emotion in an Asian capital (5)

SEOUL~ — sounds like (pronounced) SOUL (deep emotion)

Seoul[5] is the capital of South Korea, situated in the north-west of the country on the Han River; population 10,456,000 (est. 2008). It was the capital of the Korean Yi dynasty from the late 14th century until 1910, when Korea was annexed by the Japanese. Extensively developed under Japanese rule, it became the capital of South Korea after the partition of 1945.
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)
Footnote: In the title of this post, the phrase "with approval" might be interpreted as "deemed appropriate".

Signing off for today — Falcon


  1. Hi Falcon!
    You usually provide a PDF file of the puzzle which I greatly appreciate. Alas, not this week... :(

  2. Hi MG,

    Sorry about that. I messed up setting the sharing properties on the file. The link should work now.