Saturday, August 9, 2014

Saturday, August 9, 2014 — Dental Appliances Give Rise to Bad Breath


Perhaps I did not find today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon to be quite the write-in as did Braze (see his comment following the review), but I have to admit that it was not very difficult.

I invite you to 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   Meal is about over (6)

RE|PAST — RE (about; on the subject of) + PAST (over; ... and done with)

4a   Tightly holds groups of eggs (8)

CLUTCHES — double definition

9a   Last-round contestants clenched hands, taking in a loss (9)

F(IN|A|L)ISTS — FISTS (clenched hands) containing (taking) {IN (†) + A (†) + L (loss; a column heading one might encounter on the sports page)}

Don't be tricked into thinking that the containment indicator is "taking in"; in this instance, it is merely "taking".

11a   Runner back in preliminaries (5)

{_MILER_}< — reversed (back) and contained in (in) pRELIMinaries

12a   Place to park your butt off course, getting hot (7)

AS(H)TRAY — ASTRAY (off course) containing (getting) H (hot)

13a   Punk alerted kin (7)

RELATED* — anagram (punk) of ALERTED

Kin[5] is used as an adjective meaning relatedhe was kin to the brothers.

As an anagram indicator, punk[11] would seem to be an adjective used in the sense of (1) poor in quality or condition or (2) ill or sick feeling punk.

14a   Never carelessly pluck (5)

NERVE* — anagram (carelessly) of NEVER

16a   Greek shipping magnate atop donkey with equals (7)

ON|ASS|IS — ON (atop) + ASS (donkey) + (with) IS (equals; two times two is four.)

Aristotle Onassis[5] (1906–1975) was a Greek shipping magnate and international businessman; full name Aristotle Socrates Onassis. He owned a substantial shipping empire and founded the Greek national airline, Olympic Airways (1957). In 1968, he married Jacqueline Kennedy, the widow of US president John F. Kennedy who had been assassinated in 1963.

19a   Followed tract read aloud (7)

TRACKED — sounds like (read aloud) TRACT

21a   Mother-and-son builder (5)

MA|SON — MA (mother) + (and) SON (†)

23a   Ben doing less moving? (7)

STILLER — double definition

Ben Stiller[7] is an American actor, comedian, screenwriter, film director, and producer. He is the son of veteran comedians and actors Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara.

25a   Salient situation in a crowded café? (7)

NO|TABLE — Upon entering a crowded café, one might discover that there is (2,5).

27a   He trains no-goodniks (5)

HE|ELS — HE (†) + ELS (trains; elevated railroads)

El[5] is a US term for (1) an elevated railroad (especially that in Chicago) or (2) a train running on an elevated railroad [I thought it would be appropriate to modify the definition by replacing the British railway with the American railroad].

28a   Not so much in Crosby's graces (9)

B(LESS)INGS — LESS (not so much) contained in (in) {BING (Crosby) + S ('s)}

Bing Crosby[5] (1903–1977) was an American singer and actor; born Harry Lillis Crosby. His songs include ‘White Christmas’ (from the film Holiday Inn, 1942). He also starred in a series of films (1940–62) with Bob Hope (1903–2003) and Dorothy Lamour (1914–1996).

29a   Tones are changing sound in a ringing way (8)

RESONATE* — anagram (changing) of TONES ARE

30a   Excuse a snore let loose (6)

REASON* — anagram (let loose) of A SNORE


1d   Holds back choruses (8)

REFRAINS — double definition

2d   Hit Judy's partner (5)

PUNCH — double definition

Punch and Judy[5] is an English puppet show presented on the miniature stage of a tall collapsible booth traditionally covered with striped canvas. The show was probably introduced from the Continent in the 17th century. Punch is on the manipulator’s right hand, remaining on stage all the time, while the left hand provides a series of characters—baby, wife (Judy), priest, doctor, policeman, hangman—for him to nag, beat, and finally kill.

3d   Pair of Spaniards with 50 yen spend freely (7)

SP|L|URGE — SP (pair of Spaniards; first two letters of 'SPaniards') + (with) L ([Roman numeral for] fifty) + URGE (yen)}

5d   Ray. Earl's confused (5)

LASER* — anagram (confused) of {EARL + S ('s)}

6d   Stories about Mom's Mexican dishes (7)

TA(MA)LES — TALES (stories) containing (about) MA (Mom)

A tamale[5] is a Mexican dish of seasoned meat and maize [corn] flour steamed or baked in maize husks.

7d   Bad breath: sadly. Lois has it (9)

HALITOSIS* — anagram (sadly) of LOIS HAS IT

8d   Pace street, then go on board (6)

ST|RIDE — ST (street) + (then) RIDE (go on board)

10d   Loan shark's short curl of hair (7)

SHYLOCK — SHY (short) + LOCK (curl of hair)

Shylock[5] is a Jewish moneylender in Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, who lends money to Antonio but demands in return a pound of Antonio’s own flesh should the debt not be repaid on time. The term Shylock has come to mean a moneylender who charges extremely high rates of interest.

15d   Teri earns outrageous fees (9)

RETAINERS* — anagram (outrageous) of TERI EARNS

17d   Firm engaged by bald entertainer (2.5)

_AL DENTE_ — hidden in (engaged by) bALD ENTErtainer

18d   Nine pros playing live (2.6)

{IN PERSON}* — anagram (playing) of NINE PROS

20d   Everyone is attached to singer Crowe (7)

ALL|IS|ON — ALL (everyone) + IS (†) + ON (attached to)

Not the well-known US singer Sheryl Crow[7], nor the renowned New Zealand actor Russell Crowe[7], but the relatively unknown Canadian singer Allison Crowe.

Allison Crowe[7] is a Canadian singer, songwriter, guitarist and pianist from Nanaimo, British Columbia who lives in Corner Brook, Newfoundland and Labrador, communities spanning the breadth of Canada. Crowe records on her own record label, Rubenesque Records, and releases her original music under Creative Commons licensing to enable non-commercial sharing and creative uses of her songs.

21d   Painter ruined Sam's tie (7)

MATISSE* — anagram (ruined) of SAMS TIE

Henri Matisse[5] (1869–1954) was a French painter and sculptor. His use of non-naturalistic colour led him to be regarded as a leader of the Fauvists. His later painting and sculpture displays a trend towards formal simplification and abstraction, and includes large figure compositions and abstracts made from cut-out coloured paper.

22d   Established her name for a girl (6)

EST|HER — EST ([abbreviation for] established) + HER (†)

24d   Cheer about second-rate android (5)

RO(B)OT — ROOT (cheer) containing (about) B (second-rate)

26d   Hair cut feature makes a hit (5)

BANGS — double definition


The title of the blog is inspired by the solutions to 15d and 7d (the latter situated above the former in the grid).
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. Wow, that was easy. I managed to get all the answers on first look without needing the intersecting letters. Did everyone else find it was that easy?

    1. I don't recall it being quite that much of a write-in. Then again, I have a less-disciplined solving style in which I tend to build around the checking letters provided by previously solved entries, rather than sequentially going through the clues in the order in which they are presented in the puzzle.

  2. Hi Falcon,
    Not too bad overall - I had trouble spotting Al Dente. I kept trying to think of a bald celebrity. And although I got 27a, I thought the solution had to do with "heeling"/training a dog - LOL. Finally, I think your solution to 9a is incomplete in that it does not refer to L for loss.


    1. Hi MG,
      With respect to 9a, you've caught me once again.

      The error has now been corrected. As always, your proof-reading efforts are greatly appreciated.