Saturday, October 18, 2014

Saturday, October 18, 2014 — Two-timing Writer


There should be nothing in today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon to hold you up for long.

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   Brother, regarding a group song, /is/ fiddling (9,6)

MONK|EYING| A|ROUND — MONK (brother) + EYING (regarding) + A (†) + ROUND (group song)

9a   Putting in order, // destroyed dignity (7)

TIDYING* — anagram (destroyed) of DIGNITY

10a   Left Spain and Portugal /for/ African country (7)

L|IBERIA — L (left) + IBERIA (Spain and Portugal)

11a   Sort of column // doctor viewed about restricted iodine (5)

DO(R|I)C — DOC (doctor) containing (viewed about) {R (restricted; film classification) + I ([symbol for the chemical element] iodine}

The Doric order[7] was one of the three orders of ancient Greek or classical architecture[7]; the other two canonical orders were the Ionic and the Corinthian. These orders are distinguished principally by the style of the capital found on the columns. The Doric[5] order of architecture is characterized by a sturdy fluted column and a thick square abacus [see definition below] resting on a rounded moulding.

Orders of Ancient Greek architecture

Left: Architectural elements of the Doric Order showing simple curved echinus of capital

Centre: Capital of the Ionic Order showing volutes and ornamented echinus

Right: Capital of the Corinthian Order showing foliate decoration and vertical volutes.

An abacus[5] is the flat slab on top of a capital, supporting the architrave[5], or main beam resting across the tops of the columns

An echinus[5] is a rounded moulding below an abacus on a Doric or Ionic capital.

12a   Scholarly papers /and/ a Frank McCourt memoir stuck in corners (9)

TRE(A|TIS)ES — {A (†) + TIS (Frank McCourt memoir)} contained in TREES (corners; as a verb)

'Tis[7] is a memoir written by Irish-American author Frank McCourt. Published in 1999, it begins where McCourt ended Angela's Ashes, his Pulitzer Prize winning memoir of his impoverished childhood in Ireland and his return to America.

13a   Pest // sped recklessly into passenger (3,6)

R(ED SP)*IDER — anagram (recklessly) of SPED contained in (into) RIDER (passenger)

16a   Pitch in, awkwardly carrying // some porcelain (5)

_CH|IN|A_ — hidden in (carrying) pitCH IN Awkwardly

The word "some" seems almost superfluous in this clue. At first, I thought that it might be indicating that china is but one example of porcelain. But that does not seem to be the case, as the terms china and porcelain are synonymous. I also considered that the hidden word indicator might be "carrying some", but I dismissed that as being a rather awkward construction.

17a   Trendy high railway // stopover (5)

HOT|EL — HOT (trendy) + EL (high railway)

El[5] is a US term for (1) an elevated railroad (especially that in Chicago) or (2) a train running on an elevated railroad [Although this definition comes from a British dictionary, I thought it would be apropos to replace the British railway with the American railroad].

18a   Incidental information /in/ notice about food store (9)

SI(DELI)GHT — SIGHT (notice) containing (about) DELI (food store)

20a   Holding salt, uncovers // crustaceans (9)

BAR(NACL)ES — BARES (uncovers) containing (holding) NACL ([common] salt)

The scientific name for common salt[5] is sodium chloride, for which the chemical symbol is NaCl.

Here the setters have employed an inverted clue structure for cryptic effect or, as they might have put it "For cryptic effect, the setters have employed an inverted clue structure".

23a   Rasher // English philosopher (5)

BACON — double definition

There are a couple of contenders for the philosopher position

Francis Bacon[5], Baron Verulam and Viscount St Albans (1561–1626) was an English statesman and philosopher. As a scientist he advocated the inductive method; his views were instrumental in the founding of the Royal Society in 1660. Notable works: The Advancement of Learning (1605) and Novum Organum (1620).

Roger Bacon[5] (circa 1214–1294) was an English philosopher, scientist, and Franciscan friar. Most notable for his work in the field of optics, he emphasized the need for an empirical approach to scientific study.

25a   Muscle // tee prices changed (7)

T|RICEPS* — T ([the letter] tee) + an anagram (changed) of PRICES

26a   Loving // a party band (7)

A|DO|RING — A (†) + DO (party) + RING (band)

27a   Novelist // ordered theories rewritten (8,7)

{THEODORE DREISER}* — anagram (rewritten) of ORDERED THEORIES

Theodore Dreiser[5] (1871–1945) was an American novelist. His first novel, Sister Carrie (1900), caused controversy for its frank treatment of the heroine’s sexuality and ambition. Other notable works: America is Worth Saving (1941).


1d   Mom. kid, or // man with a cape (7)

MA|TAD|OR — MA (mom) + TAD (kid) + OR (†)

2d   Plastic drain/'s/ low point (5)

NADIR* — anagram (plastic) of DRAIN

3d   Grand iridescent gem worn by second // of bishops (9)

EPI(S)C|OPAL — {EPIC (grand) + OPAL (iridescent gem)} containing (worn by) S (second)

4d   Valuable bar // I acquired around central Argentina (5)

I(N)GOT — {I (†) + GOT (acquired)} containing (around) N (central [letter of] ArgeNtina)

5d   Adorned log sent back without a // flower (9)

{GOL|DENROD_}< — reversal (sent back) of {[A]DORNED LOG} with A deleted (without A)

6d   Automaton // framed by Sandro Botticelli (5)

_RO|BOT_ — hidden in SandRO BOTicelli

Sandro Botticelli[5] (1445–1510) was an Italian painter; born Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi. He worked in Renaissance Florence under the patronage of the Medicis. Botticelli is best known for his mythological works such as Primavera (circa 1478) and The Birth of Venus (circa 1480).

I am very familiar with the latter work as it appeared in my high school Latin textbook. In later editions, this illustration was replaced by one far less appealing to teenage boys. When textbooks were distributed at the start of the school year, students usually tried to grab a new one. But that was not the case in Latin class. There we scrambled to secure a copy of the older edition.

The Birth of Venus (Botticelli)

7d   Tireless // radical insurgent (9)

UNRESTING* — anagram (radical) of INSURGENT

8d   See a dad swimming /in/ salty lake (4,3)

{DEAD SEA}* — anagram (swimming) of SEE A DAD

The Dead Sea[5] is a salt lake or inland sea in the Jordan valley, on the Israel-Jordan border. Its surface is 400 m (1,300 ft) below sea level.

14d   Find /and/ check big hole in the ground (9)

DETER|MINE — DETER (check; obstruct or impede) + MINE (big hole in the ground)

15d   Person who reveals // one who mislaid a CD? (9)

DISC|LOSER — DISC (a CD) + LOSER (one who mislaid)

The wordplay becomes clear when it and the solution are each read as phrases. Thus "one who mislaid a CD" could be described as a "disc loser".

16d   Last car of the train contains a large // can (9)

C(A|L)ABOOSE — CABOOSE (last car of the train) containing (contains) {A (†) + L (large)}

For the benefit of readers overseas, caboose[5] is a North American term for a railway wagon with accommodation for the train crew, typically attached to the end of the train.

Calaboose[5] is an informal US term for a prison.

17d   Hit slightly at // home (7)

H|A|BIT|AT — H (hit; baseball terminology) + A BIT (slightly) + AT (†)

19d   Light brown, maturer // bird (7)

TAN|AGER — TAN (light brown) + AGER (maturer; a ripening agent, perhaps)

The tanager[5] is a small American songbird of the bunting family, the male of which typically has brightly coloured plumage.

21d   Guys in spot // improve (5)

A(MEN)D — MEN (guys) contained in (in) AD ([commercial] spot)

22d   Small, tough // fragment (5)

S|HARD — S (small) + HARD (tough)

24d   Concentrating primarily on hips, // makes golf shot (5)

C|HIPS — C {initial letter (primarily) of Concentrating) before (on; in a down clue) HIPS (†)


The title of today's post was inspired by 1a and 27a.

After proposing in 1893, Theodore Dreiser[7] married Sara White on December 28, 1898. They ultimately separated in 1909, partly as a result of Dreiser's infatuation with Thelma Cudlipp, the teenage daughter of a work colleague, but were never formally divorced. In 1913, he began a romantic relationship with the actress and painter Kyra Markham (who was much younger than he). In 1919 Dreiser met his cousin Helen Richardson with whom he began an affair and they eventually married on June 13, 1944.

Interestingly, Dreiser was going to return from his first European holiday in the Titanic but was talked out of going by an English publisher who recommended he board a cheaper boat.
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 was not familiar with the solution to 16d but was able to figure it out from the wordplay. My favourite clue today was 15d - definitely chuckled when I solved that one.

    Thanks again for all your efforts with the puzzle(s).

    1. Hi MG,

      Thank you for your comment. Glad to year that you enjoy the blog.

  2. For me there were a few tough nuts to crack. Just couldn't get a handle on 3D, as I thought "second of bishops" meant the letter "i"; and in 5D I thought only "log" was getting "sent back" so that the definition was for "Adorned," until crosses revealed the "flower." I also continue to be blind to anagrams for way too long (9A), and while I had the right answer for 1A, I didn't understand it (for "Brother" I first had "man" as an exclamation, then changed it to the Jamaican "mon" :) ). I really appreciate your posting these puzzles and the solutions.