Saturday, July 26, 2014

Saturday, July 26, 2014 — Ups and Downs


Introduction

Today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon proved to be a bit more of a challenge than usual, but looking back at it I cannot see why. Perhaps I was just not at the top of my game today.

We get raised up near the end of the first half only to be knocked out shortly into the second half.

Solution to Today's Puzzle

Falcon's Experience
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Legend:
- 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.

Across


1a   "Young lady, cut and run" (6)

GAL|LOP — GAL (young lady) + LOP (cut)

5a   Member of the clan in changing of the guard? (8)

DAUGHTER* — anagram of (changing of) THE GUARD

9a   Roll beam around a small house (8)

BUN|G(A)LOW — BUN (roll) + {GLOW (beam) containing (around) A (†)}

10a   Second-rate farm's offshoot (6)

B|RANCH — B (second-rate; a B-movie, for instance) + RANCH (farm)

I'm sure some readers may dispute whether a ranch is a farm.

11a   Some European uttered something salty? (6)

_PEAN|UT_ — hidden in (some) EuroPEAN UTtered

12a   Old British coin nowhere near article (8)

FAR|THING — FAR (nowhere near) + THING (article)

A farthing[5] is a former monetary unit and coin of the UK, withdrawn in 1961, equal to a quarter of an old [pre-decimalisation] penny.

13a   Work with soup, crackers (4)

OPUS* — anagram (crackers) of SOUP

In music, an opus[5] (from Latin, literally 'work') is a separate composition or set of compositions. Its abbreviated form, Op.[5] (also op.), is used before a number given to each work of a particular composer, usually indicating the order of publication. Opus[5] can also be used in a more general sense meaning an artistic work, especially one on a large scale he was writing an opus on Mexico.

15a   Deal makers dive inside taverns (10)

BAR(GAINER)S — GAINER (bar) contained in (inside) BARS (taverns)

A gainer[10] (also called full gainer) is a type of dive in which the diver leaves the board facing forward and completes a full backward somersault to enter the water feet first with his back to the diving board. A half gainer[10] is a type of dive in which the diver completes a half backward somersault to enter the water headfirst facing the diving board.

17a   Southern beauty, if pronounced trend leader (10)

BELL|WETHER — sounds like (pronounced) {BELLE (Southern beauty) + WHETHER (if)}

The Southern belle[7] (derived from the French word belle, 'beautiful') is an archetype for a young woman of the American Deep South's upper class.

A wether[5] is a castrated ram. A bellwether[5] is the leading sheep of a flock, with a bell on its neck. The term bellwether is also used figuratively to mean something that leads or indicates a trend [The UK parliamentary constituency of] Basildon is now the bellwether of Britain’s voting behaviour.

Ironically, the above usage example is rather dated as the UK parliamentary constituency of Basildon[7] ceased to exist in 2010 when it was split into two parts which were each combined with adjoining areas to form two new constituencies. However, during its existence, it "was one of the best known bellwether constituencies in the (sic) Britain, having voted for the winning party in each election since its creation."

19a   Some grain right in front of rocks (4)

R|ICE — R (right) + (in front of) ICE (rocks; ice cubes)

20a   Big performance, and clownish (8)

GIG|ANTIC — GIG (performance) + (and) ANTIC (clownish)

22a   Opens last part of menu printed in red ink (6)

DEB(U)TS — U (last part [letter] of menU) contained in (printed in) DEBTS (red ink)

24a   Silver finish on a slate (6)

AG|END|A — AG ([symbol for the chemical element] silver) + END (finish) + (on) A (†)

25a   Raised field put in a new order (8)

UPLIFTED* — anagram (in a new order) of FIELD PUT

26a   Break down in award pitch (8)

GRA(DIE)NT — DIE (break down) contained in (in) GRANT (award)

27a   Group of six tsetse flies? (6)

SESTET* — anagram (flies) of TSETSE

The tsetse[5] (also called tsetse fly) is an African bloodsucking fly which bites humans and other mammals, transmitting sleeping sickness and nagana.


Down


2d   One attractive and sharp (5)

A|CUTE — A (one) + CUTE (attractive)

3d   Myths, for example, involved in advances (7)

L(EG)ENDS — EG (for example) contained in (involved in) LENDS (advances)

4d   Friend with a piece of furniture that you can stand (9)

PAL|A|TABLE — PAL (friend) + (with) A (†) + TABLE (piece of furniture)

A palatable outcome being one "that you can stand".

5d   Knocked out something fluffy given to Dracula? (4,3,3,5)

DOWN FOR THE COUNT — DOWN (something fluffy) + FOR (given to) + THE COUNT (Dracula)

Count Dracula[7] is the title character and primary antagonist of the 1897 Gothic horror novel Dracula by Irish writer Bram Stoker (1847–1912).

6d   Brownish boards, except for the first (5)

_UMBER — [L]UMBER (boards) with the initial letter removed (except for the first)

Note to British readers: In North America, lumber[5,3,4,11] is timber that has been sawn into rough or finished boards, planks, or other structural members of standard or specified length.

Note to North American readers: In Britain, lumber[5] denotes articles of furniture or other household items that are no longer useful and inconveniently take up storage space ⇒ a lumber room.

7d   Warm chicken for pagan (7)

HEAT|HEN — HEAT (warm) + HEN (chicken)

8d   Odd head of copper penny pocketed by Clapton (9)

E(C|CENT)RIC — {C (head [initial letter] of Copper) + CENT (penny)} contained in (pocketed by) ERIC (Clapton)

Eric Clapton[5] is an English blues and rock guitarist, singer, and composer, known particularly for the song ‘Layla’ (1972) and for his group Cream (1966-8).

Note to British readers: In Canada and the United States, a penny[3] is a coin that is worth one cent. The Canadian penny[7] was withdrawn from use in 2013 although it still remains legal tender.

14d   Chief seizing no-good movie director (9)

PREMI(NG)ER — PREMIER (chief) containing (seizing) NG (no good)

This is a recycling (with minor refurbishment) of a clue that Cox & Rathvon used in their puzzle of March 15, 2014:
  • 7d   Provincial leader embracing no-good movie director (9)
The following is a recycling (with no refurbishment) of comments I made then:

While one could further decompose the wordplay into N (no) and G (good; for instance, a grade received on a school assignment or test), NG[3,4,11] and/or its variants N.G., ng, and n.g. are listed in several dictionaries as abbreviations for no good.

Otto Preminger[5] (1906–1986) was an Austrian-born American film director, noted for films such as The Moon is Blue (1953), The Man with the Golden Arm (1955), and Bonjour Tristesse (1958).

16d   Barkers shown some beer (9)

AIRED|ALES — AIRED (shown) + ALES (some beers; the others being lagers)

An Airedale[5] is a large terrier of a rough-coated black-and-tan breed [from Airedale, a district in Yorkshire, where the dog was bred].

18d   Found out fifty made money (7)

L|EARNED — L ([Roman numeral for] fifty) + EARNED (made money)

19d   Turns away half of real fans (7)

RE|BUFFS — RE ([first] half of REal) + BUFFS (fans)

21d   Follow the start of the running event (5)

T|RACE — T (the start [initial letter] of The) + RACE (running event)

23d   Topic is the ego (5)

THE|ME — THE (†) + ME (ego)
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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