Saturday, July 5, 2014

Saturday, July 5, 2014 — Bikers and Pagans Surround Hotel


Today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon proved to be a gentle and pleasant exercise — all the more so as I solved it while basking in the sunshine on the shore of a beautiful, rustic lake watching a pair of loons swimming and diving in their search for food.

In case you are wondering, the inspiration for the title of today's piece comes from clues 8d through 13d.

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   Trim evergreen tree (6)

SPRUCE — double definition

4a   Abednego's companion converted hard cash (8)

SHADRACH* — anagram (converted) of HARD CASH

In the Bible, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego[7] are men recorded in the book of Daniel Chapters 1–3, known for their exclusive devotion to God. In particular, they are known for being saved by divine intervention from the Babylonian execution of being burned alive in a fiery furnace. They were three young Jews, of royal or noble birth from the Kingdom of Judah, who, along with Daniel, were inducted into Babylon when Jerusalem was occupied by the Babylonians in 606/605 BC, under the campaign of Nebuchadnezzar II, during the first deportation of the Israelites.

9a   Romeo left, done (5)

L|OVER — L (left) + OVER (done)

Romeo[5] is a name applied to an attractive, passionate male seducer or lover I saw her heading out the door with some rug-chested young Romeo [from the name of the hero of Shakespeare's romantic tragedy Romeo and Juliet].

10a   Pants and shirt for an infielder (9)

SHORTS|TOP — SHORTS (pants) + (and) TOP (shirt)

In baseball, a shortstop[5] is a fielder positioned between second and third base I hacked a ball to shortstop.

11a   Beatty, taking pointer, lost some breadth (8)

N(ARROW)ED — NED ([American actor Ned] Beatty) containing (taking) ARROW (pointer)

Ned Beatty[7] is an American actor who has appeared in more than 100 films.

12a   Make black appliance brand power up (6)

CHAR|GE — CHAR (make black) + GE (appliance brand)

General Electric[7], or GE [not to be confused with the former British company General Electric Company[7]], is an American multinational conglomerate corporation that, among other things, manufactures a broad range of household appliances.

14a   Alien in front of North American volcano (4)

ET|NA — ET (alien) + (in front of) NA (North American)

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial[7] (often referred to simply as E.T.) is a 1982 American science fiction film co-produced and directed by Steven Spielberg. It tells the story of a lonely boy who befriends an extraterrestrial, dubbed "E.T.", who is stranded on Earth. He and his siblings help the extraterrestrial return home while attempting to keep it hidden from their mother and the government.

Mount Etna[5] is a volcano in eastern Sicily, rising to 3,323 m (10,902 ft). It is the highest and most active volcano in Europe.

15a   Kitty consumes Swiss city wine (8)

CA(BERNE)T — CAT (kitty) containing (consumes) BERNE (Swiss city)

Berne[5] is the capital of Switzerland since 1848; population 122,658 (2007).

Cabernet[5] is short for Cabernet Franc[5] or Cabernet Sauvignon[5]. Cabernet Franc is a red wine made from the Cabernet Franc grape, a variety of black wine grape grown chiefly in parts of the Loire Valley of France and northeastern Italy. Cabernet Sauvignon is a red wine made from the Cabernet Sauvignon grape, a variety of black wine grape from the Bordeaux area of France, now grown throughout the world.

19a   Have a meal with wines and props (8)

SUP|PORTS — SUP (have a meal) + (with) PORTS (wines)

Port[5] is a strong, sweet dark red (occasionally brown or white) fortified wine, originally from Portugal, typically drunk as a dessert wine.

20a   Grass surrounding large piece of land (4)

P(L)OT — POT (grass; marijuana) containing (surrounding) L (large)

23a   Harmony with a C string (6)

A|C|CORD — A (†) + C (†) + CORD (string)

25a   In the U.S., be next to bring hoe with modifications (8)

NEIGHBOR* — anagram (with modifications) of BRING HOE

Neighbor is the US spelling of neighbour[5].

27a   Writing surfaces in lead row taken by boys (8)

LA(PB|OAR)DS — {PB ([symbol for the chemical element] lead) + OAR (row; as a verb, meaning to propel a boat)} contained in (taken by) LADS (boys)

The symbol for the chemical element lead is Pb[5] (from Latin plumbum).

28a   Item used for hanging ring in nose (5)

N(O)OSE or NO(O)SE — O ([letter having the shape of a] ring) contained in (in) NOSE (†)

29a   Ridicule rehash of lronside (8)

DERISION* — anagram of (rehash of) IRONSIDE

Ironside[7] is an American drama television series that premiered during the 2013–14 television season on NBC. It is a remake of the 1960s television series Ironside[7] which ran from 1967 to 1975. The recent series may have been well-deserving of ridicule. It debuted October 2, 2013, and was canceled October 18 after a mere three episodes had aired.

30a   Redeem Abel's murderer, keeping quiet (4,2)

CA(SH) IN — CAIN (Abel's murderer) containing (keeping) SH ([exhortation to be] quiet)

In the Bible, Cain[5] is the eldest son of Adam and Eve and murderer of his brother Abel.


1d   Novelist realigns novel (8)

SALINGER* — anagram (novel) of REALIGNS

J. D. Salinger[5] (1919–2010) was an American novelist and short-story writer. He is best known for his novel of adolescence The Catcher in the Rye (1951).

2d   Church figures always in tears (9)

R(EVER)ENDS — EVER (always) contained in (in) RENDS (tears; as a verb meaning to pull apart or rip)

3d   Jailbird carries painting box (6)

C(ART)ON — CON (jailbird) containing (carries) ART (painting)

5d   Tough parka feature (4)

HOOD — double definition

6d   Leaving dog's head in need of a scratch (8)

D|ITCHING — D (dog's head; initial letter of the word "Dog") + ITCHING (in need of a scratch)

Leaving as one would a lover of whom one had tired.

7d   Croat turned thespian (5)

ACTOR* — anagram (turned) of CROAT

8d   Easy Rider actor's motorcycle not starting (6)

_HOPPER — [C]HOPPER (motorcycle) with the initial letter removed (not starting)

Dennis Hopper[7] (1936 – 2010) was an American actor and filmmaker who directed and starred in Easy Rider (1969), for which he won an award (Best First Work) at the Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay as co-writer. Journalist Ann Hornaday wrote: "With its portrait of counterculture heroes raising their middle fingers to the uptight middle-class hypocrisies, Easy Rider became the cinematic symbol of the 1960s, a celluloid anthem to freedom, macho bravado and anti-establishment rebellion." Film critic Matthew Hays notes that "no other persona better signifies the lost idealism of the 1960s than that of Dennis Hopper."

10d   Changed North Sea hotel name (8)

SHERATON* — anagram (changed) of NORTH SEA

Read on to discover the reason for the name change.

Sheraton Hotels and Resorts[7] is the largest and third oldest brand of American hotel and leisure company Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide (St. Regis being the oldest and Westin the second oldest).

The origins of the brand date back to 1937 when Ernest Henderson and Robert Moore acquired the Stonehaven Hotel in Springfield, Massachusetts. Having previously acquired another hotel which had a lighted sign on the roof saying "Sheraton Hotel" that was large and heavy and therefore too expensive to change, they decided to call all their hotels by that name.

13d   Pagans warm up chickens (8)

HEAT|HENS — HEAT (warm up) + HENS (chickens)

16d   Saw point about 50-lb. wheel stand on a turnpike (9)

TO(L|LB|O)OTH — TOOTH (saw point) containing (about) {L ([Roman numeral for] 50) + LB ([abbreviation for] pound) + O ([letter having the shape of a] wheel)

Although the term turnpike is very much in current use in the US, it would apparently be viewed as an historical term by readers across the pond. In the UK, between the mid-16th and late 19th centuries, a turnpike[4] was (1) gates or some other barrier set across a road to prevent passage until a toll had been paid or (2) a road on which a turnpike was operated.

17d   Birds practice fighting before fights (8)

SPAR|ROWS — SPAR (practice fighting) + (before) ROWS (fights)

The true sparrow[5,10] of the Old World is any weaverbird [Collins English Dictionary] or, alternatively, small finch-like bird related to the weaver birds [Oxford Dictionaries Online] of the genus Passer and related genera, especially the house sparrow (Passer domesticus), having a brown or grey plumage and feeding on seeds or insects. In the US and Canada, the name sparrow is applied to any of various North American finches, such as the chipping sparrow (Spizella passerina), that have a dullish streaked plumage.

18d   Doctor eating first bit of tuna fish (8)

S(T)URGEON — SURGEON (doctor) containing (eating) T (first bit [letter] of Tuna)

The sturgeon[5] is a very large primitive fish with bony plates on the body. It occurs in temperate seas and rivers of the northern hemisphere, especially central Eurasia, and is of commercial importance for its caviar and flesh.

21d   Jay felt ill, confined (6)

J|AILED — J (jay) + AILED (felt ill)

22d   Silver butt on a slate (6)

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

The symbol for the chemical element silver is Ag[5] from Latin argentum.

24d   Pickled bud prank (5)

CAPER — double definition

A caper[5] (usually capers) is the cooked and pickled flower bud of a bramble-like southern European shrub (Capparis spinosa), used to flavour food.

26d   Woody's kid seen in car lot (4)

_AR|LO_ — hidden in (seen in) cAR LOt

Arlo Guthrie[7] is an American folk singer. Like his late father, Woody Guthrie[7] (1912–1967), Arlo is known for singing songs of protest against social injustice. The younger Guthrie's best-known work is "Alice's Restaurant Massacree", a satirical talking blues song about 18 minutes in length. His song "Massachusetts" was named the official folk song of the state in which he has lived most of his adult life.
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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