Saturday, July 4, 2015

Saturday, July 4, 2015 — Forever and a Day


Solving the centrepiece of today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon will surely require a very long time.

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 (//).


9a   Outdoor // opera in novel (4-3)

{OPEN-AIR}* — anagram (novel) of OPERA IN

10a   For sale: dancing // shoes (7)

LOAFERS* — anagram (dancing) of FOR SALE

11a   Gardening implement found in wetland // site in Morocco (9)

MAR(RAKE)SH — RAKE (gardening implement) contained in (found in) MARSH (wetland)

12a   Lift // hats off after commencement (5)

_RAISE — [P]RAISE (hats off) with the initial letter removed (after commencement)

13a   Zippo // entangled in thong (7)

NOTHING* — anagram (entangled) of IN THONG

15a   Part /of/ group including FBI agents (7)

SE(GMEN)T — SET (group) containing (including) G MEN (FBI agents; G-men)

16a   Mutating many thousands of // eons (1,5,2,7)

{A MONTH OF SUNDAYS}* — anagram (mutating) of MANY THOUSANDS OF

19a   Stuck // tag on, wrapping present (7)

AD(HERE)D — ADD (tag on) containing (wrapping) HERE (present)

21a   A custodian’s opening lock /for/ thespian (7)

A|C|TRESS — A (†) + C (custodian's opening; initial letter of Custodian) + TRESS (lock [of hair])

24a   Give an address // for a terrorist on the inside (5)

_OR|A|TE_ — hidden in (on the inside) fOR A TErrorist

25a   French general /and/ Ms. Dunaway, in order in a cafe (9)

LA(FAYE)TTE — FAYE (Ms. Dunaway) contained in (in) LATTE (order in a cafe)

27a   Bagel eaten by hot, dry, dizzy // visitor to Oz (7)

D(O)ROTHY*  or DOR(O)THY* — O ([letter that looks like a] bagel) contained in (eaten by) anagram (dizzy) of HOT DRY

Dorothy Gale[7] is a fictional character and protagonist of many of the Oz novels by American author L. Frank Baum (1856–1919). Dorothy first appears in Baum's classic children's novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and reappears in most of its sequels. In addition, she is the main character in various adaptations, notably the classic 1939 movie adaptation of the book, The Wizard of Oz.

28a   Disorderly mess // left in sailing vessel (7)

C(L)UTTER — L (left) contained in (in) CUTTER (sailing vessel)


1d   Bond’s boss taken in by fictional barbarian // swindler (3,3)

CON-(M)AN — M ([James] Bond's boss) contained in (taken in by) CONAN (fictional barbarian)

2d   For listeners, peel // fruit (4)

PEAR~ — sounds like (for listeners) PARE (peel)

3d   Sandwich meat // I’m sadly returning (6)

{SALA|MI}< — reversal (returning) of {IM (I'm) + ALAS (sadly)}

4d   Piano interrupting Georgia, playing // musical riff (8)

AR(P)EGGIO* — P (piano; musical direction) contained in (interrupting) anagram (playing) of GEORGIA

5d   Mountain features // characters in Greek (6)

ALP|HAS — ALP (mountain) + HAS (features)

6d   Seasoning // salt, with piece of cloth atop (8)

TAR|RAG|ON — TAR (salt; sailor) + (with) RAG (piece of cloth) + ON (atop)

7d   Consider // lunch spot, and dress down (10)

DELI|BERATE — DELI (lunch spot) + (and) BERATE (dress down)

8d   Aviator’s first call for help receiving top // fire retardant (9)

A|S(BEST)OS — A (aviator's first; initial letter of Aviator) + SOS (call for help) containing (receiving) BEST (top)

14d   Catching cricket, overmuch your // child’s nighttime visitor (5,5)

TOO|TH (FAIR)Y — {TOO (overmuch) + THY (your)} containing (catching) FAIR (cricket; unfair being "not cricket")

16d   Snake // on Canada Wild (8)

ANACONDA* — anagram (wild) of ON CANADA

17d   Zero room in campers’ shelters // is really annoying (8)

T(O\RM)ENTS — {O ([letter that looks like a] zero) + RM (room)} contained in (in) TENTS (campers' shelters)

18d   Gangster’s nickname /for/ neckwear expert (8)

SCARF|ACE — SCARF (neckwear) + ACE (expert)

Scarface was the nickname of American gangster Al Capone.

20d   Yes, lad shifted // stalls (6)

DELAYS* — anagram (shifted) of YES LAD

22d   Test // fish ingesting mercury, finally (6)

TR(Y)OUT —  TROUT (fish) containing (ingesting) Y (mercury finally; final letter of mercurY)

23d   Department store stocking first of hair // clippers (6)

S(H)EARS — SEARS (department store) containing (stocking) H (first of hair; initial letter of Hair)

26d   Kid with empty // bag (4)

TOT|E — TOT (kid) + (with) E (empty)


The title of today's piece is inspired by 16a.
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. A fun solve - not too taxing, but the normal assortment of clever clues and surface readings - favourite 11a with a close runner - up of 7d, with its two blind alleys from the check letters - hence the rating up from a 1.5 for difficulty. 2/3.5 rating for me

    1. Hi smaug,

      I can't argue with your assessment. I'm not sure I could have spelled the Moroccan city correctly without some direction from the wordplay.

  2. Hi Falcon and everyone!

    Enjoyable puzzle, I got three-quarters quite quickly but was stuck in the upper right hand corner. I was working on 6d starting with the letter C or maybe RAG, of course, that just didn't go anywhere. A little help from our ubiquitous electronic friends got that one resolved. After that the rest basically fell into place. I had to read your explanation to understand what hats off had to do with the wordplay in 12A.
    Well done, Falcon!

    1. Hi Henry,

      Like you, I spent a fair bit of time checking out blind alleys at 6d.

  3. Similar experience to that of @Henry Jablonski. I found 5D, 6D, and 12A impossible to parse until I had the answers filled in (using the "what word could fit here" method). Of all things, I missed the anagram for 10A until the very end: tripped up by the colon in the clue.

    1. Hi Carola,

      I once read that, in solving cryptic crosswords, the rule is to ignore all punctuation. Of course, the corollary to the rule is, ignore the rule when the punctuation is significant!