Saturday, December 6, 2014

Saturday, December 6, 2014 — Comics of a Different Sort


Today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon is a pleasant diversion on a quiet, grey, cold Saturday morning

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   Meet for discussion about one // pine or spruce (7)

CON(I)FER — CONFER (meet for discussion) containing (about) I ([Roman numeral for] one)

5a   Biker’s vehicle, // revved, is in reverse (7)

{SI|DECAR}< — reversal of (in reverse) {RACED (revved) + IS (†)}

9a   Reportedly swell // fabric (5)

SERGE~ — sounds like (reportedly) SURGE (swell)

10a   Common folk consuming hot // game birds (9)

P(H)EASANTS — PEASANTS (common folk) containing (consuming) H (hot)

11a   Coin holding solution /for/ bankrupt (9)

IN(SOL)VENT — INVENT (coin; as in "coin a term") containing (holding) SOL (solution)

Sol[3,4,11] is a term used in chemistry for a colloid that has a continuous liquid phase, especially one in which a solid is suspended in a liquid — or, in other words, a fluid colloidal solution.

12a   Had // crazy new do (5)

OWNED* — anagram (crazy) of NEW DO

13a   Joke about bowler’s target, // wide-open (6)

GA(PIN)G — GAG (joke) containing (about) PIN (bowler's target; the sport is not cricket)

15a   Broken beer mugs /in/ sink (8)

SUBMERGE* — anagram (broken) of BEER MUGS

18a   Weight-watcher taking morning // measurement of girth (8)

DI(AM)ETER — DIETER (weight-watcher) containing (taking) AM (morning; abbreviation of ante meridiem)

19a   Seinfeld’s neighbour/’s/ comment coming back (6)

KRAMER —  reversal (coming back) of REMARK (comment)

Michael Richards as Cosmo Kramer
Cosmo Kramer[7], usually referred to as simply "Kramer", is a fictional character on the American television sitcom Seinfeld (1989–1998). Played by Michael Richards, Kramer is the friend and neighbor of main character Jerry Seinfeld.

22a   Joke with us, flipping // first light (5)

{SU|NUP}< — reversal of (flipping) {PUN (joke) + (with) US (†)}

24a   That guy’s into astrology sign // reference book (9)

THESAURUS — {HE (that guy) + S ('s)} contained in (into) TAURUS (astrology sign)

In astrology, Taurus[5] is the second sign of the zodiac, which the sun enters on about 21 April.

26a   I’m featured in a country // cartoon (9)

A|N(IM)ATION — IM (I'm) contained in (featured in) {A (†) + NATION (country)}

27a   Fossilized resin // found in chambers (5)

_AMBER_ — hidden in (found in) chAMBERs

28a   Bygone // arrangement of CD tune about female (7)

DE(F)UNCT* — anagram of (arrangement of) CD TUNE containing (about) F (female)

29a   Gangster numbskulls hiding // something in a trunk? (7)

_STER|NUM_ — hidden (hiding) in gangSTER NUMbskulls


1d   Job in film // about a con game (7)

C|A|STING — C (about; abbreviation of circa) + A (†) + STING (con game)

2d   Comedian MacDonald’s // standards of conduct (5)

NORM|S — NORM (comedian MacDonald) + S ('s)

Norm Macdonald[7] is a Canadian stand-up comedian, writer, producer and actor. He is best known for his five seasons as a cast member on Saturday Night Live.

3d   Independent // European country importing fish (9)

FR(EEL)ANCE — FRANCE (European country) containing (importing) EEL (fish)

4d   Announced cover /for/ Drake, e.g. (6)

RAPPER~ — sounds like (announced) WRAPPER (cover)

Aubrey Drake Graham, who records under the mononym Drake[7], is a Canadian rapper and songwriter. He first garnered recognition for his role as Jimmy Brooks on the television series Degrassi: The Next Generation.

5d   Range /of/ assorted crumpets (8)

SPECTRUM* — anagram (assorted) of CRUMPETS

A crumpet[5] is a thick, flat, savoury cake with a soft, porous texture, made from a yeast mixture cooked on a griddle and eaten toasted and buttered.

6d   Doc is dancing /in/ nightclub (5)

DISCO* — anagram (dancing) DOC IS

7d   Sister absorbed by fish and booze // riddle (9)

CO(NUN)D|RUM — NUN (sister) contained in (absorbed by) COD (fish) + (and) RUM (booze)

8d   Remainder // live outside of university (7)

RESID(U)E — RESIDE (live) containing (outside of) U (university)

14d   Obvious argument /for/ litigant (9)

PLAIN|TIFF — PLAIN (obvious) + TIFF (argument)

16d   Give a gun to a boy in Maine // preserve (9)

M(ARM|A|LAD)E — {ARM (give a gun to) + A (†) + LAD (boy)} contained in (in) ME ([US Postal Service abbreviation for] Maine)

17d   Confine // wild critters (8)

RESTRICT* — anagram (wild) of CRITTERS

18d   Despicable sort /of/ celebrity embraced by father (7)

DA(STAR)D — STAR (celebrity) contained in (embraced by) DAD (father)

20d   Place from which to speak, // or, conversely, play a guitar (7)

RO<|STRUM — reversal (conversely) of OR + STRUM (play a guitar)

21d   Changed nets in // game for Genie Bouchard (6)

TENNIS* — anagram (changed) of NETS IN

Eugenie "Genie" Bouchard[7] is a Canadian professional tennis player currently ranked world No. 7. At the 2014 Wimbledon Championships, Bouchard became the first Canadian to reach the finals of a Grand Slam in singles, finishing runner-up to Petra Kvitová. She also reached the semifinals of the 2014 Australian Open and 2014 French Open, and won the 2012 Wimbledon girls' title.

23d   Hostage eating piece of raw // shrimp (5)

P(R)AWN — PAWN (hostage) containing (eating) R (piece [first letter of] of Raw)

25d   Director Reiner in // “Batman’s Buddy” (5)

ROB|IN — ROB (director Reiner) + IN (†)

Rob Reiner[7] is an American actor, director, producer, and activist. As an actor, Reiner first came to national prominence with the role of Michael Stivic, son-in-law of Archie and Edith Bunker, on All in the Family. As a director, Reiner was recognized by the Directors Guild of America (DGA) with nominations for the coming of age drama comedy Stand by Me, the romantic comedy film When Harry Met Sally..., and the courtroom drama A Few Good Men. He also directed the psychological horror thriller film Misery, the romantic comedy fantasy adventure film The Princess Bride and the heavy metal comedy-mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap.

Batman and Robin
Robin[7] is the name of several fictional characters appearing in comic books published by DC Comics, originally created as a junior counterpart to DC Comics superhero Batman. The team of Batman and Robin is commonly referred to as the Dynamic Duo or the Caped Crusaders.


The title of today's blog is inspired by 2d and 25d — and, while we're at it, why not throw 19a into the mix.
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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