Saturday, November 29, 2014

Saturday, November 29, 2014 — Colourfully Tonsured


I found nothing in today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon to cause me any difficulty to speak of. However, it was interesting to see the jellyfish turn up at 10d given the title that I had applied to last week's puzzle.

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   Jump around circle /for/ basket (4)

HO(O)P or H(O)OP — HOP (jump) containing (around) O ([letter that looks like a] circle)

3a   Love light perfume // exhibiting a play of colours (10)

O|PALE|SCENT — O (love; score of nil in tennis) + PALE (light) + SCENT (perfume)

9a   Bum maitre d' // let back in (7)

READMIT* — anagram (bum) of MAITRE D

11a   Backed up, a river once more // falls on the border (7)

{NIAGA|R|A}< — reversal (backed up) of {A (†) + R (river) + AGAIN (once more)}

The Niagara River[5] is a river of North America, flowing northwards for 56 km (35 miles) from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario, and forming part of the border between Canada and the US. Niagara Falls[5] are waterfalls on the Niagara River, consisting of two principal parts separated by Goat Island: the Horseshoe Falls adjoining the west (Canadian) bank, which fall 47 m (158 ft), and the American Falls adjoining the east (American) bank, which fall 50 m (167 ft).

12a   I contended /with/ green climbers (5)

I|VIED — I (†) + VIED (contended)

As a link word, with[11] is used in the sense of characterized by or having ⇒ a person with intelligence and initiative.

13a   Generous // translation of Braille (7)

LIBERAL* — anagram of (translation of) BRAILLE

15a   Forgetting // a name is rude (7)

AMNESIA* — anagram (rude) of A NAME IS

16a   Bet // bunch of cash about Chicago actor (7)

WA(GERE)D — WAD (bunch of cash) containing (about) GERE (Chicago actor)

American actor Richard Gere[7] starred with Catherine Zeta-Jones and Renée Zellweger in Chicago[7], a 2002 American musical comedy film adapted from the satirical stage musical of the same name, exploring the themes of celebrity, scandal, and corruption in Jazz Age Chicago.

18a   Land // slipping into sea (7)

ESTONIA* — anagram (slipping) of INTO SEA

Estonia[5] is a a Baltic country on the south coast of the Gulf of Finland; population 1,299,400 (est. 2009).

21a   Breaking tie, bash // single or double, maybe (4,3)

{BASE HIT}* — anagram (breaking) of TIE BASH

In baseball, a base hit[5] is a fair ball hit such that the batter can advance safely to a base without an error by the team in the field. [Depending on which base the batter is able to reach, such a hit is referred to as a single, double or triple.]

23a   Church official getting a // nuclear device (7)

RE(A)CTOR — RECTOR (church official) containing (getting) A (†)

A rector[3,4,11] is a member of the clergy in the Roman Catholic, Anglican or Protestant Episcopal churches.

25a   Snake /or/ ladder, after the start (5)

_ADDER — [L]ADDER with the initial letter deleted (after the first; i.e., all letters other than the first)

The adder[5] (also called viper) is a small venomous Eurasian snake (Vipera berus) which has a dark zigzag pattern on its back and bears live young. It is the only poisonous snake in Britain. The name is also applied to other snakes that are similar or related to the adder.

27a   Apprentice/'s/ shirt outside shower (7)

T(RAIN)EE — TEE (shirt) containing (outside) RAIN (shower)

28a   Jar // a legislator with wedding dance (7)

A|MP|HORA — A (†) + MP (legislator; Member of Parliament) + (with) HORA (wedding dance)

The hora[7] is a type of circle dance. Although the dance originated in the Balkans, it is probably more often thought of as being a Jewish custom. The Jewish Hora (or horah), which is somewhat different from that of some of the Eastern European countries, is widespread in the Jewish diaspora and played a foundational role in modern Israeli folk dancing. The horah has become a must in group dances throughout Israel, and at weddings and other celebrations by Jews in Israel, the United States and Canada. The dance appeared in North America in the early 20th century, well before modern Israeli independence, brought directly from Eastern Europe by Jewish immigrants.

An amphora[5] is a tall ancient Greek or Roman jar or jug with two handles and a narrow neck.

29a   In anguish, // having a shaved head? (10)

DISTRESSED — double definition; the latter being whimsical

The setters employ a bit of whimsical logic to conclude that if disrobed means having one's robes removed then distressed must mean having one's tresses removed.

30a   Some runners // kiss sloppily (4)

SKIS* — anagram (sloppily) of KISS


1d   Rushes around fire // storms (10)

HURRI(CAN)ES — HURRIES (rushes) containing (around) CAN (fire; dismiss from employment)

2d   Speech /from/ Ontario broadcast (7)

ORATION* — anagram (broadcast) of ONTARIO

4d   Gently stroke Fitzgerald/'s/ kneecap (7)

PET|ELLA — PET (gently stroke) + ELLA (Fitzgerald)

Ella Fitzgerald[5] (1917–1996) was an American jazz singer, known for her distinctive style of scat singing.

5d   Bend forward behind pine // implement for archers (7)

LONG|BOW — BOW (bend forward) following (behind) LONG (pine)

6d   Commotion surrounding a // part of a flight (5)

ST(A)IR — STIR (commotion) containing (surrounding) A (†)

7d   Busted rebel, an // addict's accomplice (7)

ENABLER* — anagram (busted) of REBEL AN

8d   Loathsome sort // to notice (4)

TO|AD — TO (†) + AD (notice)

10d   Drug article describing my group // of jellyfish (7)

MED(US)AN — {MED (drug; short for medication) + AN ([indefinite] article)} containing (describing) US (my group)

The use of the word "describing" 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 MEDAN containing (describing) US with the rationale for the wordplay being that the container (MEDAN) forms an outline around the contained entity (US) in a similar manner to the circumference of a circle forming an outline around the circular area contained within it.

14d   Newspaper pieces // blasted idolatries (10)

EDITORIALS — anagram (blasted) of IDOLATRIES

17d   Victorian fixture // opening with bang inside (3,4)

GA(S LAM)P — GAP (opening) containing (with ... inside) SLAM (bang)

19d   Sailor makes leather // Highland garb (7)

TAR|TANS — TAR (sailor) + TANS (makes leather)

20d   Somewhat heartlessly // crude (7)

_ARTLESS_ — hidden in (somewhat) heARTLESSly

21d   Scrap found in exposed // torrent (7)

BAR(RAG)E — RAG (scrap) contained in (found in) BARE (exposed)

22d   School member // owned pier (7)

HAD|DOCK — HAD (owned) + DOCK (pier)

The haddock[5] is a silvery-grey bottom-dwelling fish (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) of North Atlantic coastal waters, related to the cod. It is popular as a food fish and is of great commercial value.

24d   Baseball's Doubleday // flipped on the subject of the Raptors' org. (5)

{ABN|ER}< — reversal (flipped) of {RE (on the subject of) + NBA (the Raptors' org.)}

The use of the short form "org." is a clue that we need the abbreviation of the organization to which the Toronto Raptors belong.

The Toronto Raptors[7] are a Canadian professional basketball team based in Toronto, Ontario, where their home court is at Air Canada Centre. The Raptors are part of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference in the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Abner Doubleday[5] (1819–1893) was a US army officer. A Union general in the Civil War, he was credited in 1908 with creating the modern game of baseball, although this claim has been discounted.

26d   He-man/'s/ boss (4)

STUD — double definition

A boss[5] is a stud on the centre of a shield.


The theme for today's blog is inspired by 3a and 29a.
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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