Saturday, May 30, 2015

Saturday, May 30, 2015 — Cause of Sleeplessness in Washington City?


As I recall, today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon did not present any special difficulties. My slowness in posting the solution results from being tied up with house guests this weekend.

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. Explicit link words and phrases are enclosed in forward slashes (/link/) and implicit links are shown as double forward slashes (//).


1a   Egg on // expert debater’s face (4)

PRO|D — PRO (expert) + D (Debater's face [initial letter])

3a   Rushes around fire // storms (10)

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

9a   Charges // a levy, reportedly (7)

ATTACKS~ — sounds like (reportedly) {A (†) + TAX (levy)}

11a   Mulch, // except inside cistern (7)

TAN(BAR)K — BAR (except) contained in (inside) TANK (cistern)

Tanbark[3,4,11] is (1) the bark of various trees, especially the the oak and hemlock, used as a source of tannin (a substance used in tanning hides) or (2) shredded bark from which the tannin has been extracted, used to cover circus arenas, racetracks, and other surfaces.

12a   Grades // Groucho orally (5)

MARKS~ — sounds like (orally) MARX (Groucho [one of the Marx Brothers])

The Marx Brothers[5] were a family of American comedians, consisting of the brothers Chico (Leonard, 1887–1961), Harpo (Adolph Arthur, 1888–1964), Groucho (Julius Henry, 1890–1977), and Zeppo (Herbert, 1901–79). Their films, which are characterized by their anarchic humour, include Duck Soup (1933) and A Night at the Opera (1935).

13a   A bishop cut off // some seafood (7)

A|B|ALONE — A (†) + B (bishop; chess piece) + ALONE (cut off)

An abalone[10] is any of various edible marine gastropod molluscs of the genus Haliotis, having an ear-shaped shell that is perforated with a row of respiratory holes. The shells are used for ornament or decoration. Also called: ear shell, haliotis, or ormer.

15a   For vocalizing, pen // musical work for singers (7)

CHORALE~ — sounds like (for vocalizing) CORRAL (pen; a place to confine animals)

16a   Make a home outside a // Washington city (7)

SE(A)TTLE — SETTLE (make a home) containing (outside) A (†)

18a   Dishing all about // affair (7)

SHINDIG* — anagram (all about) of DISHING

21a   Cold-blooded sort put a stop to // paving stuff (7)

ASP|HALT — ASP (cold-blooded sort) + HALT (put a stop to)

23a   Making a mistake about a piece of jewelry (7)

E(A)RRING — ERRING (making a mistake) containing (about) A (†)

25a   True origin of magic // kingdom (5)

REAL|M — REAL (true) + M (origin [initial letter] of Magic)

27a   A barrier in front of insect /is/ firm (7)

A|DAM|ANT — A (†) + DAM (barrier) + (in front of) ANT (insect)

28a   Prominent // foreigner in street (7)

S(ALIEN)T — ALIEN (foreigner) contained in (in) ST ([abbreviation for] street)

29a   Indian river test // of manufacturing (10)

INDUS|TRIAL_ — INDUS (Indian river) + TRIAL (test)

The Indus[5] is a river of southern Asia, about 2,900 km (1,800 miles) in length, flowing from Tibet through Kashmir and Pakistan to the Arabian Sea. Along its valley an early civilization flourished from circa 2600 to 1760 BC.

30a   Employer // going through warehouse receipts (4)

_USE|R_ — hidden in (going through) warehoUSE Receipts


1d   Reportedly, agricultural acres help // drug seller (10)

PHARMACIST~ — sounds like (reportedly) {FARM (agricultural acres) + ASSIST (help)}

2d   Strange root in a // Great Lake (7)

ONTARIO* — anagram (strange) of ROOT IN A

4d   Trendy // new capsule (7)

UPSCALE* — anagram (new) of CAPSULE

5d   Time article in informer’s // palms (7)

RAT(T|AN)S — {T (time) + AN ([indefinite] article)} contained in (in) {RAT (informer) + S ('s)}

Rattan[5] is (1) the thin jointed stems of a palm, used to make furniture ⇒ a rattan armchair; (2) a length of rattan used as a walking stick; or (3) the tropical Old World climbing palm which yields rattan, with long, spiny, jointed stems.

6d   Residential unit // against party (5)

CON|DO — CON (against) + DO (party)

7d   Next // goal involving Mars (7)

NE(ARES)T — NET (goal; as in hockey or soccer) containing (involving) ARES (MARS; god of war)

In Greek mythology, Ares[5] is the war god, son of Zeus and Hera. Roman equivalent Mars. The equivalent god in Roman mythology is Mars.

8d   Japanese fermented beverage // account (4)

SAKE — double definition

10d   Dessert // crust ad revised (7)

CUSTARD* — anagram (revised) of CRUST AD

14d   Something with five feet // meant Peter ill (10)

PENTAMETER* — anagram (ill) of MEANT PETER

17d   A place containing trim // clothing (7)

A|P(PARE)L — A (†) + PL ([abbreviation for] place) containing (†) PARE (trim)

19d   I come down again /in/ part of Europe (7)

I|RELAND — I (†) + RELAND (come down again; on an airstrip)

20d   Trash trailing green, // sparkly bits (7)

G|LITTER — LITTER (trash) following (trailing) G (green)

21d   Gold rush connected with a // town of Maine (7)

AU|GUST|A — AU ([symbol for the chemical element] gold) + GUST (rush; of air) + A (†)

Augusta[7] is the capital of the U.S. state of Maine. The city's population was 19,136 at the 2010 census, making it the third-smallest U.S. state capital (after Montpelier, Vermont and Pierre, South Dakota).

22d   At first, Altman made us // a movie about Mozart (7)

A|MADE|US — A (at first, Altman; initial letter of Altman) + MADE (†) + US (†)

Amadeus[7] is a 1984 American period drama film directed by Miloš Forman, written by Peter Shaffer, and adapted from Shaffer's stage play Amadeus (1979). The story, set in Vienna, Austria, during the latter half of the 18th century, gives a highly fictionalized account of the lives of the composers Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri.

Scratching the Surface
In reality, this film was made by Miloš Forman— not Robert Altman.

Robert Altman[7] (1925–2006) was an American film director, screenwriter, and producer.

Jan Tomáš Forman , known as Miloš Forman[7], is a Czech film director, screenwriter, actor, and professor.

24d   Harvests // rotten pears (5)

REAPS* — anagram (rotten) of PEARS

26d   Painter // laid off (4)

DALI* — anagram (off) of LAID


The title of today's post is inspired by 16a and 18a.
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. Need 5d,17d,25a,28a

  2. Just need 5d now. I think it's RATPAWS but it doesn't fit the first part of the clue.

    1. "Rat paws" for "informer's palms" is certainly an intriguing attempt!