Saturday, October 11, 2014

Saturday, October 11, 2014 — Sole on the Menu


In today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon, the entrée is not turkey. Rather we get something a bit tougher to chew on.

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   Hipster with a fizzy drink/,/ in a stupor (9)

CAT|A|TONIC — CAT (hipster) + (with) A (†) + TONIC (fizzy drink; tonic water)

6a   "Phooey," I answer/,/ somewhere in Brazil (5)

BAH|I|A — BAH (phooey) + I (†) + A (answer)

Bahia[5] is a state of eastern Brazil, on the Atlantic coast; capital, Salvador.

9a   Gold fish kept in mother/'s/ shrine of a sort (9)

M(AU|SOLE)UM — {AU (symbol for the chemical element gold) + SOLE (fish)} contained in (kept in) MUM (mother)

10a   Cowpoke’s home // cooking spot (5)

RANGE — double definition

11a   Hit softly // recorded around piano (6)

TAP(P)ED or TAP(P)ED — TAPED (recorded) containing (around) P (piano; musical direction meaning soft or softly)

12a   British poet/'s/ new sonnet about New York (8)

TEN(NY)SON* — anagram (new) of SONNET containing (about) NY (New York)

Alfred Tennyson[5], 1st Baron Tennyson of Aldworth and Freshwater (1809–1892) [commonly known as Alfred, Lord Tennyson] was an English poet, Poet Laureate from 1850. His reputation was established by In Memoriam (1850), a long poem concerned with immortality, change, and evolution. Other notable works: ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’ (1854) and Idylls of the King (1859).

14a   Keeping company, Mom and I take care of // entree (4,6)

MA|I|N (CO)URSE — {MA (mom) + I () + NURSE (take care of)} containing (keeping) CO (company)

16a   Hurt // one in scathing review (4)

PA(I)N — I ([Roman numeral for] one) contained in (in) PAN (scathing review)

18a   Deer eating bit of prairie // grass (4)

DO(P)E — DOE ([female] deer) containing (eating) P (bit [initial letter] of Prairie)

19a   Actor mends beaten-up // shoes (3,7)

{DOC MARTENS}* — anagram (beaten-up) of ACTOR MENDS

Dr Martens[5] (also Doc Martens, Doctor Martens, or DMs) is a trademark for a type of heavy lace-up boot or shoe with an air-cushioned sole.

21a   Improper/,/ drawn out frolicking (8)

UNTOWARD* — anagram (frolicking) of DRAWN OUT

22a   Glide across snow, wearing damp // vest (6)

WE(SKI)T — SKI (glide across snow) contained in (wearing) WET (damp)

Weskit[3,11] appears to be an American variant (phoneticized) spelling of waistcoat.

26a   Hungarian who played the piano // roll for listeners (5)

LISZT~ — sounds like (for listeners) LIST (roll)

Franz Liszt[5] (1811–1886) was a Hungarian composer and pianist. He was a key figure in the romantic movement; many of his piano compositions combine lyricism with great technical complexity, while his twelve symphonic poems (1848–58) created a new musical form.

27a   Holding chicken sign, Dad // marvels (9)

P(HEN|OMEN)A — PA (Dad) containing (holding) {HEN (chicken) + OMEN (sign)}

28a   Slight and delicate/,/ win guessing game for kids (5)

W|I|SPY — W (win) + I SPY (guessing game for kids)

29a   New friend following big truck // originally (9)

SEMI|N|ALLY — {N (new) + ALLY (friend)}following (†) SEMI (big truck)


1d   Pair of cosmonauts encountered // space object (5)

CO|MET — CO (pair [initial  two letters] of COsmonauts) + MET (encountered)

2d   Surpass // beginning of the rear (5)

T|RUMP — T (beginning [initial letter] of The) + RUMP (rear)

3d   OPEC went wild /for/ old British coin (8)

TWOPENCE* — anagram (wild) of OPEC WENT

4d   Carol // Uris returned (4)

NOEL< — reversal (returned) of LEON (Uris)

Leon Uris[5] (1924–2003) was a US writer whose works include Battle Cry (1953), Exodus (1958), QB VII (1970), Trinity (1976), The Haj (1984), and Redemption (1995).

5d   Clumsy // approach involving earth tones (10)

C(UMBERS)OME — COME (approach) containing (involving) UMBERS (earth tones)

6d   Unexciting // work for well-diggers (6)

BORING — double definition

7d   Khan's head moved /in/ greeting (9)

HANDSHAKE* — anagram (moving) of KHANS HEAD

Khan[5] is a title given to rulers and officials in central Asia, Afghanistan, and certain other Muslim countries.

8d   A writer’s describing nine // mountains of Italy (9)

A|PEN(NINE)S — A (†) + PENS (writers) containing (describing) NINE (†)

The use of the word "describe" as a containment indicator is a common cryptic crossword convention. This device relies on describe[3] being used in the sense of to trace the form or outline of ⇒ describe a circle with a compass. Thus, in today's clue, we have PENS (writers) containing (describing) NINE (†) with the rationale for the wordplay being that the container (PENS) forms an outline around the contained entity (NINE) in a similar manner to the circumference of a circle forming an outline around the circular area contained within it.

The Apennines[5] are a mountain range running 1,400 km (880 miles) down the length of Italy, from the north-west to the southern tip of the peninsula.

13d   Signs /of/ a rough past, sadly (10)

AUTOGRAPHS* — anagram (sadly) of A ROUGH PAST

14d   Mime would upset // a certain setting (6,3)

{MEDIUM LOW}* — anagram (upset) of MIME WOULD

15d   Little demon alien consumes // stimulants (9)

IMP|ET|USES — IMP (little demon) + ET (alien) + USES (consumes)

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.

17d   African capital // forewent dancing (8)

FREETOWN* — anagram (dancing) of FOREWENT

Freetown[5] is the capital and chief port of Sierra Leone; population 827,000 (est. 2007).

20d   Mid-century, droll // country singer Conway (6)

T|WITTY — T (mid-century; middle letter of cenTury) + WITTY (droll)

Conway Twitty[7] (1933–1993), born Harold Lloyd Jenkins, was an American country music artist.

23d   Prepare for dubbing // the sound of rocker Young (5)

KNEEL~ — sounds like (the sound of) NEIL (rocker Young)

Neil Young[7] is a Canadian singer-songwriter and musician. In 1966, he co-founded the band Buffalo Springfield along with Stephen Stills and Richie Furay, later joining Crosby, Stills & Nash as a fourth member in 1969. He forged a successful and acclaimed solo career, releasing his first album in 1968; his career has since spanned over 45 years and 35 studio albums. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame website describes Young as "one of rock and roll’s greatest songwriters and performers". He has been inducted into the Hall of Fame twice: first as a solo artist in 1995, and second as a member of Buffalo Springfield in 1997.

24d   Sycophant/’s/ spot taken by Shih Tzu, perhaps (5)

TO(AD)Y — AD ([commercial] spot) contained in (taken by) TOY (Shih Tzu, perhaps; a Shih Tzu being an example of a toy dog)

Toy[5] denotes a diminutive breed or variety of dog ⇒ a toy poodle.

25d   Meal in the afternoon with McDonald's foremost // side (4)

TEA|M — TEA (meal in the afternoon) + (with) M (McDonald's foremost [initial letter])

The McDonald's Corporation[7] i is the world's largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants, serving around 68 million customers daily in 119 countries across 35,000 outlets.


The title of today's blog is inspired by 19a and 14a.
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 everyone -
    Good puzzle today Difficulty - 2, enjoyment 3. I had the most fun with 5d trying to figure out which word(s) were the clues. 26a was cute too. 24d the clues are OTT (see previous puzzle for meaning!)

    1. I got 24d from the definition, but had a devil of a time trying to decipher the wordplay. At first, I thought it might have something to do with a Shih Tzu being a lapdog. However, at long last the penny dropped.

  2. Hi Falcon,
    Definitely found this to be one of the easier puzzles of late.
    Happy Thanksgiving!


  3. Shouldn't the plural of impetus be impeti?

    -- megacula