Saturday, May 3, 2014

Saturday, May 4, 2014 — Old Glory Blown Away


I found today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon to be a bit less difficult than those from the previous couple of weeks — about on par with their usual offerings.

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   U.S. flag stirred spartan distress (5,3,7)

{STARS AND STRIPES}* — anagram (stirred) of SPARTAN DISTRESS

9a   Alumni read tags scattered around university (9)

GRADUATES* — anagram (scattered) of READ TAGS containing (around) U (university)

10a   Guy’s empty house suitable for a parson (5)

MAN|S|E — MAN (guy) + S ('s) + E (empty)

11a   Small unyielding pottery fragment (5)

S|HARD — S (small) + HARD (unyielding)

12a   The Gibran novel is inspiring (9)

BREATHING* — anagram (novel) of THE GIBRAN

Khalil Gibran[5] (1883–1931) was a Lebanese-born American writer and artist. His writings in both Arabic and English are deeply romantic, displaying his religious and mystical nature.

13a   Period with inevitable wipeout (7)

ERA|SURE — ERA (period) + (with) SURE (inevitable)

14a   Peculiar street cooking fixture (7)

ST|RANGE — ST (street) + RANGE (cooking feature)

16a   Hurry into bar from the rear and get refreshed (5,2)

B(RUSH) UP< — RUSH (hurry) contained in (into) reversal (from the rear) of PUB (bar)

19a   Riddles unravelled in games (7)

ENIGMAS* — anagram (unravelled) of IN GAMES

21a   Gentle arc changed shape (9)

RECTANGLE* — anagram (changed) of GENTLE ARC

23a   Tie sections back (5)

STRAP< — reversal (back) of PARTS (sections)

25a   Model and I pass out the cards (5)

I|DEAL — I (†) + DEAL (pass out the cards)

26a   Getting a mean hail in a storm (9)

AVE|RAGING — AVE (hail; Latin greeting) + RAGING (in a storm; angry)

27a   Scarlett's story: on white night, wed bum (4,4,3,4)


Gone with the Wind[7] is a novel written by Margaret Mitchell, first published in 1936. The story is set in Clayton County, Georgia, and Atlanta during the American Civil War and Reconstruction. It depicts the experiences of Scarlett O'Hara, the spoiled daughter of a well-to-do plantation owner, who must use every means at her disposal to come out of the poverty she finds herself in after Sherman's "March to the Sea". The novel is the basis of the Academy Award-winning 1939 film produced by David O. Selznick and starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh.


1d   Lack tension, compared to adventure stories (5)

SAG|AS — SAG (lack tension) + AS (compared to)

2d   A place for researching a mother's state (7)

A|LAB|A|MA — A (†) + LAB (place for researching) + A (†) + MA (mother)

3d   Awful odour hugs prospector (9)

SOURDOUGH* — anagram (awful) ODOUR HUGS

Sourdough[3] is a name that historically was applied to an early settler or prospector, especially in Alaska and northwest Canada. The name comes from an association with using pieces of sourdough [sour fermented dough] to leaven bread in the winter.

4d   Salient situation in a full restaurant? (7)

NO|TABLE — NO TABLE (situation in a full restaurant)

5d   Family members, I stress, adapted (7)

SISTERS* — anagram (adapted) of I STRESS

6d   Pay track official in return (5)

REMIT< — reversal (in return) of TIMER (track official)

7d   Writers, on collecting one retirement payment (7)

PENS(I)ON — {PENS (writers) + ON (†)} containing (collecting) I ([Roman numeral for] one)

8d   People going around like Santa — real killers, so it's said (9)

SLEIGHERS — sounds like (so it's said) SLAYERS (real killers)

13d   Emily, talking like a sergeant, getting on board (9)

EM|BARKING — EM ([diminutive for] Emily) + BARKING (talking like a sergeant; like a drill sergeant addressing new recruits)

15d   Put back in control, say (9)

REIN|STATE — REIN (control) + STATE (say)

17d   I give up article in need of washing (7)

UNCLE|AN — UNCLE (I give up: say "uncle") + AN ([indefinite] article)

18d   Power broker taking in a show (7)

P|AGE(A)NT — P (power; symbol used in physics) + AGENT (broker) containing (taking in) A (†)

19d   Balance on the back of threshold's highest spot (7)

EVE|REST — REST (balance) following (on the back of) EVE (threshold; "on the eve of a new era")

Mount Everest[5] is a mountain in the Himalayas, on the border between Nepal and Tibet. Rising to 8,848 m (29,028 ft), it is the highest mountain in the world.

20d   Comedian Steve and I drink (7)

MARTIN|I — MARTIN (comedian Steve [Martin]) + (and) I (†)

Steve Martin[7] is an American comedian who came to public notice as a writer for the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, and later became a frequent guest on The Tonight Show.

22d   Let Albert down (5)

AL|LOW — AL ([diminutive for] Albert) + LOW (down; sad — not to mention other senses of the word)

24d   Called for a long time in police department (5)

P(AGE)D — AGE (a long time) contained in (in) PD (police department)
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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