Saturday, August 2, 2014

Saturday, August 2, 2014 — Restarted Attacks on Hebrew King


In today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon, we do a bit of globe trotting. We spend a good deal of time in western Canada and the US, paying visits to Vancouver and Los Angeles as well as to the least populous US state. We also pop into New York City for a baseball game and make a stopover in the Caribbean on our way to the Middle East.

Did you spot the clues contributing to the title of today's blog? For an explanation, see the Epilogue.

Please leave a comment to let us know how you fared with the puzzle.

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   Insignia of honour for travelling bridge team (5,5)

{MERIT BADGE}* — anagram (travelling) of BRIDGE TEAM

6a   Trim part of microprocessor (4)

_CROP_ — hidden in (part of) miCROProcessor

9a   People in an apartment a decade with bugs (7)

TEN|ANTS — TEN (a decade) + (with) ANTS (bugs)

10a   "Butt call" in storm (7)

RAM|PAGE — RAM (butt) + PAGE (call)

12a   State, "Bugs on my wig" (7)

WYOMING* — anagram (bugs) of ON MY WIG

This is not the first time that Cox & Rathvon have used "bugs" as an anagram indicator. On August 24, 2013 the following clue appeared:

  • 14a Bugs Bunny dialog aplenty (11)
where the solution is an anagram (bugs) of BUNNY DIALOG.

The anagram indicator, bugs[11], appears as though it might be 1920s-era American slang for crazy or insane.

13a   Boy inventor's bird (5)

SWIFT — double definition

Tom Swift[7] (in the 2nd series named Tom Swift, Jr.) is the central character in five series of books, first appearing in 1910, totaling more than 100 volumes, of American juvenile science fiction and adventure novels that emphasize science, invention and technology. Most of the various series focus on Tom's inventions, a number of which anticipated actual inventions, including the taser. "TASER" is an acronym for "Thomas A. Swift's Electric Rifle."

15a   Makes holes in puzzles (7)

RIDDLES — double definition

17a   Guide swallows American clam (7)

STE(AM)ER — STEER (guide) containing (swallows) AM (American)

18a   Holding edge, eats mistakes (4-3)

S(LIP)-UPS — SUPS (eats) containing (holding) LIP (edge)

For effect, the setters have inverted the structure of the wordplay — which I have straightened out in the explanation.

21a   Funny company doctor (7)

CO|MEDIC — CO (company) + MEDIC (doctor)

23a   Comment about large globe (5)

WOR(L)D — WORD (comment) containing (about) L (large)

24a   Los Angeles kids who misbehave with test subjects (3,4)

LA|B RATS — LA (Los Angeles) + BRATS (kids who misbehave)

27a   Strange to me, her proposition (7)

THEOREM* — anagram (strange) of TO ME HER

28a   Evidence of wrong time period, certainly (7)

ERA|SURE — ERA (time period) + SURE (certainly)

29a   Greet some cold, stormy weather (4)

HAIL — double definition

30a   Vine, albeit tangled, that can't be avoided (10)

INEVITABLE* — anagram (tangled) of VINE ALBEIT

The solution is used as a noun with the definition being interpreted as "that [which] can't be avoided".


1d   Check returned for New York baseball team (4)

METS< — reversal (returned) of STEM (check; stopstem the flow of blood)

The New York Mets[7] are a professional baseball team based in the borough of Queens in New York City. They play in Major League Baseball's National League East Division.

2d   Rejuvenated, Descartes got married (7)

RENE|WED — RENE ([French philosopher René] Descartes) + WED (got married)

René Descartes[7] (1596–1650) was a French philosopher, mathematician, and writer who spent most of his adult life in the Dutch Republic. He has been dubbed the 'Father of Modern Philosophy', and much subsequent Western philosophy is a response to his writings, which are studied closely to this day. In particular, his Meditations on First Philosophy continues to be a standard text at most university philosophy departments. Descartes' influence in mathematics is equally apparent; the Cartesian coordinate system — allowing reference to a point in space as a set of numbers, and allowing algebraic equations to be expressed as geometric shapes in a two-dimensional coordinate system (and conversely, shapes to be described as equations) — was named after him. He is credited as the father of analytical geometry, the bridge between algebra and geometry, crucial to the discovery of infinitesimal calculus and analysis. Descartes was also one of the key figures in the Scientific Revolution and has been described as an example of genius.

3d   Kemo Sabe's sidekick in fight on tower (5)

_T|ON|TO_ — hidden in figT ON TOwer

Tonto[7] is a fictional character, the the intrepid and ever-faithful Native American companion of the Lone Ranger, a popular American Western character created by George W. Trendle and Fran Striker. Tonto has appeared in radio and television series and other presentations of the characters' adventures righting wrongs in 19th century western America.

Kemo sabe (also spelled kemosabe) is an alternative spelling of ke-mo sah-bee[7], the term of endearment and catchphrase used by Tonto in the radio and television program.

In Spanish, "tonto" translates as "moron" or "fool". So in the Spanish dubbed version, the character is called "Toro" (bull).

4d   Attacks like ships, metaphorically (7)

AS|SAILS — AS (like) + SAILS (ships, metaphorically)

5d   Georgia throws a temper tantrum in parking places (7)

GA|RAGES — GA ([US Postal Service abbreviation for the state of] Georgia) + RAGES (throws a temper tantrum)

7d   True-to-life depiction is in "Kingdom" (7)

REAL(IS)M — IS (†) contained in (in) REALM (kingdom)

8d   Island new to croupier (6,4)

{PUERTO RICO}* — anagram (new) of TO CROUPIER

Puerto Rico[5] is an island of the Greater Antilles in the Caribbean; population 3,966,200 (est. 2009); official languages, Spanish and English; capital, San Juan. One of the earliest Spanish settlements in the New World, it was ceded to the US in 1898 after the Spanish-American War, and in 1952 it became a commonwealth in voluntary association with the US, with full powers of local government.

11d   Wrongly name Mr. Moto's origin (7)

MISTER|M — MISTER (Mr.) + M (Moto's origin; initial letter (origin) of Moto)

At various times and in various media, Mr. Moto's origins have been portrayed in different ways.

Mr. Moto[7] is a fictional Japanese secret agent created by the American author John P. Marquand. He appeared in six novels by Marquand published between 1935 and 1957. Marquand initially created the character for the Saturday Evening Post, which was seeking stories with an Asian hero after the death of Charlie Chan's creator Earl Derr Biggers.

In various other media, Mr. Moto has been portrayed as an international law enforcement agent. These include eight motion pictures starring Peter Lorre between 1937 and 1939, 23 radio shows starring James Monks broadcast in 1951, a 1965 film starring Henry Silva, and a 2003 comic book produced by Moonstone Books. The graphic novel Welcome Back, Mr. Moto by Rafael Nieves and Tim Hamilton published by Moonstone Books in 2008 (originally published in 2003 as a 3-issue comic book miniseries) portrays Mr. Moto as an American of Japanese descent helping Japanese-American citizens after World War II.

14d   Bizarre witch's wart, something seen on an arm (10)

WRISTWATCH* — anagram (bizarre) of WITCH S WART

16d   French article submerged in wash (7)

LA|UNDER — LA (French article; in French, the feminine singular form of the definite article) + UNDER (submerged)

19d   Middle Easterner playing Salieri (7)

ISRAELI — anagram (playing) of SALIERI

Through a strange coincidence, the solution to this clue also appeared in the forementioned August 24, 2013 puzzle, where the clue was:
  • 13a   Salieri transposed Middle Eastern figure (7)
Antonio Salieri[5] (1750–1825) was an Italian composer. His output includes over forty operas and four oratorios. Salieri lived in Vienna and taught Beethoven, Schubert, and Liszt. He was hostile to Mozart, whom he considered his rival, but a rumour that he poisoned him is now thought to be without foundation.

20d   Biblical judge alone on Monday (7)

SOLO|MON — SOLO (alone) + (on) MON (Monday)

Solomon[5] was the Son of David, king of ancient Israel circa 970-circa 930 BC. In the Bible, Solomon is traditionally associated with the Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, and Proverbs, while his wisdom is illustrated by the Judgement of Solomon. Discontent with his rule, however, led to the secession of the northern tribes in the reign of his son Rehoboam.

In the Bible, the Judgement of Solomon[5] is the arbitration of King Solomon over a baby claimed by two women (1 Kings 3:16-28). He proposed cutting the baby in half, and then gave it to the woman who showed concern for its life.

21d   Taxi allowed Vancouver's foremost entertainment option (5,2)

CAB|LE T|V — CAB (taxi) + LET (allowed) + V (Vancouver's foremost; initial (foremost) letter of Vancouver)

22d   Upset, I'd burst out (7)

DISTURB* — anagram (out) of I D BURST

25d   Alter advertisement on apartment (5)

AD|APT — AD (advertisement) + (on) APT (apartment)

26d   Mr. Wilder through making enemies (4)

_G|ENE_ — hidden in (through) makinG ENEmies

Jerome Silberman, known professionally as Gene Wilder[7], is an American stage and screen comic actor, director, screenwriter, author, and activist.


The title of today's blog can be found in the following clues: 2d, 4d, 19d, and 20d
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


  1. Hi Falcon,
    I would say it was a fairly simple puzzle this week; also noticed that 5d was a repeat from June 14 and July 19.
    Hope you are having a good summer!

    1. Hi MG,

      Good to hear from you. I thought 5d seemed familiar -- but I didn't realize how familiar!

      On June 14 the clue was:

      13a Georgia has a temper tantrum in parking places (7)

      and on July 19:

      23a Georgia gets furious in parking spots (7)

      All I can say is, try to avoid parking near her!