Saturday, August 8, 2015

Saturday, August 8, 2015 — Bare It All


With the hot, sunny weather upon us, everyone is throwing off their clothes in today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon. We have soldiers in the buff, a bronzed planner — and even Santa drops his drawers.

By the way, for those who do the weekday puzzles, look for more on this theme on Monday.

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   Hit // small three-wheeler (6)

S|TRIKE — S (small; abbrev.) + TRIKE (three-wheeler; informal term for tricycle)

4a   Initial // paintings involved in con job (8)

ST(ART)ING — ART (paintings) contained in (involved in) STING (con job)

9a   Nary a taxi returned /for/ Roger or Kevin (5)

{BAC|ON}< — reversal (returned) of {NO (nary a) + CAB (taxi)}

Roger Bacon[7] (c. 1214–1292) was an English philosopher and Franciscan friar; Kevin Bacon[7] is an American actor and musician.

10a   Deed here in Quebec held by bronzed // planner (9)

T(ACT|ICI)AN — {ACT (deed) + ICI (here in Quebec; French word meaning 'here')} contained in (held by) TAN (bronzed)

11a   Gambling game // permitted in course (8)

ROU(LET)TE — LET (permitted) contained in (in) ROUTE (course)

12a   Black Sea port // partially passed over, in retrospect (6)

{_O|DESSA_}< — reversed (in retrospect) and hidden (partially) in pASSED Over

14a   Brief message, // hardly by error (4)

NOT|E — NOT (hardly) + E (error; abbreviation used in baseball)

Hardly[3] is used in the sense of 'probably not' or 'surely not' ⇒ (i) He is hardly the kind of guy you would want to date.: (ii) It's hardly a secret that they are engaged..

15a   Dad’s holding English // down? (8)

F(E)ATHER — FATHER (dad) containing (is ['s] holding) E (English; abbrev.)

19a   Painter/’s/ abstract leotards (3,5)

{DEL SARTO}* — anagram (abstract) of LEOTARDS

Andrea del Sarto[5] (1486–1531) was an Italian painter; born Andrea d’Agnolo. An important painter of the High Renaissance, his work includes a cycle of frescoes in the church of Santa Annunziata in Florence (1514–24).

20a   Move slowly // in church (4)

IN|CH — IN (†) + CH (church; abbrev.)

23a   Wildly warned // English prince (6)

ANDREW* — anagram (wildly) of WARNED

Prince Andrew, Duke of York[7] (Andrew Albert Christian Edward) is the second son and third child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. He is currently sixth in the line of succession to succeed his mother.

25a   Breathing loudly, // “This is fun,” with pizazz (8)

WHEE|ZING — WHEE (this is fun) + (with) ZING (pizzazz)

27a   Name for a man, // clever one with no hair (9)

ARCH|I|BALD — ARCH (clever) + I ([Roman numeral for] one) + BALD (with no hair)

Arch[2] is used in the sense of cunning or knowing.

28a   Animal found in China // and in Pennsylvania (5)

P(AND)A — AND (†) contained in (in) PA (Pennsylvania; abbrev.)

29a   Soldiers // in buff make an attempt (8)

IN|FAN|TRY — IN (†) + FAN (buff; enthusiast) + TRY (make an attempt)

30a   Answer about the // European capital (6)

A(THE)NS — ANS (answer; abbrev.) containing (about) THE (†)

Athens[5] is the capital of Greece; population 745,500 (est. 2009).


1d   True Danish explorer /getting/ serious (8)

_SO|BERING — SO (true; That can't be so?) + BERING (Danish explorer)

Vitus Bering[7] (1681–1741) was a Danish explorer and officer in the Russian Navy. He is known for his two explorations of the north-eastern coast of the Asian continent and from there the western coast on the North American continent. The Bering Strait, the Bering Sea, Bering Island, the Bering Glacier and the Bering Land Bridge have since all been (posthumously) named in his honour.

2d   Told of // nobleman getting into grass (9)

RE(COUNT)ED — COUNT (nobleman) contained in (getting into) REED (grass)

Recounted could mean either "told" or "told of". An example of the later is ⇒ His tales told of deeds of great bravery and heroism.

One could also parse the clue as:
  • 2d   Told /of/ nobleman getting into grass (9)
When used as a link word, "of" denotes that the definition is formed from the constituent parts found in the wordplay. The preposition of[5] may be used to indicate the material or substance constituting something ⇒ (i) the house was built of bricks; or (ii) walls of stone.

3d   Nicer // German children (6)

KINDER — double definition

Kinder[8] is the German word for 'children'. The word kindergarten[5] comes to us from German and literally means 'children's garden'.

5d   Check // small arachnid (4)

TICK — double definition

6d   “Santa’s drawers // fall down, honey” overheard (8)

REINDEER~ — sounds like (overheard) {RAIN (fall down) + DEAR (honey)}

The eight (or nine) beasts who draw Santa's sleigh.

7d   “Creepers,” // one contends (5)

I|VIES — I ([Roman numeral for] one) + VIES (contends)

8d   Nice // angel I corrupted (6)

GENIAL* — anagram (corrupted) of ANGEL I

10d   As much as possible, // love those guys in charge of the government? (2,3,3)

T(O| THE M)AX — {O (love; nil score in tennis) + THEM (those guys)} contained in (in) TAX (charge of the government)

13d   Saint had an urge, /and/ did some needlework (8)

ST|ITCHED — ST (saint; abbrev.) + ITCHED (had an urge)

16d   Jail term including one // state of consciousness (9)

SENT(I)ENCE — SENTENCE (jail term) containing (including) I ([Roman numeral for] one)

17d   African moving about in a glare (8)

ALGERIAN* — anagram (moving about) of IN A GLARE

18d   Nannies // liberated hostages (3-5)

{SHE-GOATS}* — anagram (liberated) of HOSTAGES

21d   Adventurous trek /in/ South Africa—distant one (6)

SA|FAR|I — SA (South Africa; abbrev.) + FAR (distant) + I ([Roman numeral for] one)

22d   Tyrant/’s/ second in station (6)

DE(S)POT —  S (second; abbrev.) contained in (in) DEPOT (station)

24d   On the way back, stood in front of // some coffee (5)

DECAF< — reversal (on the way back) of FACED (stood in front of)

26d   In the audience, trim // couple (4)

PAIR~ — sounds like (in the audience) PARE (trim)


The title of today's piece was inspired by the clues for 29a, 10a and 6d — not to mention the gorgeous sunny weather we have been experiencing lately.
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 everyone -

    Really great puzzle this week, some very inventive clues (e.g. 10d, 10a, 25a). Didn't know the answer for 19a but guessed, and it turned out (well, ok, there weren't that many options). For 10d, wouldn't it have been more PC to have said "...those people..."? Maybe Henry put that one in.

    1. Perhaps Donald Trump might like to weigh in on your question regarding 10d!

  2. Agree with Henry - lots of fun. Bottom right slowed progress until 25A fell into place. Favoured 6d - great deflecting surface read. 2..5/3.5

    1. I got a huge chuckle out of 6d.

      I suffered "solver's block" on 1d. I had the review of the Across clues completed and found myself staring at an unfinished grid lacking a solution for that clue. Fortunately the penny dropped just at that moment. I guess that is what is known as "just in time delivery".