Saturday, September 5, 2015

Saturday, September 5, 2015 — International Film Shoot


The review is late this week as I spent the weekend camping by a beautiful lake enjoying the exceptional late summer weather with which we have been blessed. The lake was also blessed with lack of Internet service. The best part — four days without listening to a single political ad.

Henry, in his comment below, has suggested that the review of this puzzle from Cox & Rathvon be titled "American Actors in French Cities". Well, two French cities do appear in the solutions; although we also have a Southern US state, a North African country as well as mention of the Atlantic coast in the clues. As for Americans, we find one American actor as well as an American director — but also a Spanish actor, an English actor, and a Canadian comedian. So I thank you Henry for the suggestion and hope you are not offended that I have opted to tweak it a bit.

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   Actor, // colonist on Jovian moon ring, ages (7,8)

ANT|ON|IO| BAND|ERAS — ANT (colonist) + ON (†) + IO (Jovian moon; moon of Jupiter) + BAND (ring) + ERAS (ages)

Antonio Banderas[7] is a Spanish actor, director, and producer.

9a   Officer // in Manila reneged on return? (7)

{_GENER|AL_}< — reversed (on return) and hidden (in) ManiLA RENEGed

10a   Breaking leg, bar a // course at school (7)

ALGEBR*|A — anagram (breaking) of LEG BAR + A (†)

Since the final A is already in the correct position, I do not consider it to be part of the anagram fodder. However, if one were to include the final A in the anagram fodder, the parsing would be:

ALGEBRA* — anagram (breaking) of LEG BAR A

11a   Girl with hoop /and/ lariat (5)

LASS|O — LASS (girl) + (with) O ([letter that looks like a] hoop)

12a   Actor /in/ Nabokov novel hurt family (4,5)

ADA|M AR|KIN — ADA (Nabokov novel) + MAR (hurt) + KIN (family)

Ada (in full Ada, or Ardor: A Family Chronicle) is a novel by Russian-American author Vladimir Nabokov (1899–1977) published in 1969.

The name of the title character "Ada" is a pun, a homophone for "Ardor". Marina, Ada's mother, pronounces her name with "long, deep" Russian "A"s, which is how a speaker of non-rhotic English would say the word "Ardor".

Adam Arkin[7] is an American television, film and stage actor and director. He is the son of Oscar winning actor Alan Arkin.

13a   For sale: damaged // shoes (7)

LOAFERS* — anagram (damaged) of FOR SALE

14a   Crafty person, // in part, is a neophyte (7)

_ART|IS|AN_ — hidden in (in) pART IS A Neophyte

16a   Left out // “glove” in Oxford English-Dictionary (7)

O(MITT)ED — MITT (glove) contained in (in) OED (Oxford English Dictionary)

19a   Teasing // me, Rocky improvised (7)

MOCKERY* — anagram (improvised) of ME ROCKY

21a   Error by a harsher // Atlantic coast resident (9)

E|A|STERNER — E (error; baseball term) + A (†) + STERNER (harsher)

23a   Observes // attack from the rear (5)

{NO|TES}< — reversal (from the rear) of SET ON (attack)

25a   Pan // talent connected with E.T. (7)

SKILL|ET — SKILL (talent) + (connected with) ET (E.T.)

Scratching the Surface
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial[7] (often referred to simply as E.T.) is a 1982 American science fiction film co-produced and directed by Steven Spielberg. It tells the story of a lonely boy who befriends an extraterrestrial, dubbed "E.T.", who is stranded on Earth. He and his siblings help the extraterrestrial return home while attempting to keep it hidden from their mother and the government.

26a   Troublemaker // doctored rice tin (7)

INCITER* — anagram (doctored) of RICE TIN

27a   Movie director // let loose seven pet gerbils (6,9)

{STEVEN SPIELBERG}* — anagram (let loose) of SEVEN PET GERBILS

Steven Spielberg[7] is an American director, producer and screenwriter.


1d   Patron of the arts // appearing in Strangelove (5)

_ANGEL_ — hidden in (appearing in) StrANGELove

Scratching the Surface
Dr. Strangelove[7] (in full Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb) is a 1964 political satire black comedy film that satirizes the Cold War fears of a nuclear conflict between the USSR and the US. The film was directed, produced, and co-written by Stanley Kubrick, stars Peter Sellers and George C. Scott, and features Sterling Hayden, Keenan Wynn, and Slim Pickens. Production took place in the United Kingdom. The film is loosely based on Peter George's thriller novel Red Alert.

2d   African country // is one surrounded by fish (7)

TUN(IS|I)A — {IS (†) + I ([Roman numeral for] one)} contained in (surrounded by) TUNA (fish)

3d   Fit snugly around missile, // with the slightest space on either side (9)

N(ARROW)EST — NEST (fit snugly) containing (around) ARROW (missile)

4d   Alternative tips /for/ a French city (7)

OR|LEANS — OR (alternative) + LEANS (tips; tilts)

Orleans[5] (French Orléans) is the capital city of Centre region in central France, on the Loire; population 116,256 (2006). In 1429 it was the scene of Joan of Arc’s first victory over the English during the Hundred Years War.

5d   A Labrador radio setting linked to a // southern U.S. state (7)

A|LAB|AM|A — A (†) + LAB (Labrador; breed of dog) + AM (radio setting; amplitude modulation) + (linked to) A (†)

6d   Closely follow mother/’s/ doctrine (5)

DOG|MA — DOG (closely follow) + MA (mother)

7d   Scolds // about second-rate stringed instruments (7)

RE|B|UKES — RE (about) + B (second-rate) + UKES (stringed instruments; ukuleles)

8d   Lack of activity // limited to men heading French city of Lorraine (9)

STAG|NANCY — STAG (limited to men) + (heading; coming before) NANCY (French city of Lorraine)

Nancy[5] is a city in northeastern France, chief town of Lorraine; population 107,434 (2006).

13d   Noiseless, moving // pride members (9)

LIONESSES* — anagram (moving) of NOISELESS

15d   Nice latch, oddly // specialized (9)

TECHNICAL* — anagram (oddly) of NICE LATCH

17d   Draw // fashionable steeple (7)

IN|SPIRE — IN (fashionable) + SPIRE (steeple)

Draw ... as in draw a breath.

18d   Gives // the star of Goodbye, Mr. Chips a pair of escorts (7)

DONAT|ES — DONAT (the star of Goodbye, Mr. Chips) + ES (a pair [initial two letters] of EScorts)

Goodbye, Mr. Chips[7] is a 1939 British romantic drama film directed by Sam Wood and starring Robert Donat and Greer Garson. Based on the 1934 novel Goodbye, Mr. Chips by James Hilton, the film is about an aged school teacher and former headmaster of a boarding school who recalls his career and his personal life over the decades. Robert Donat won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his work in this film.

19d   Comedian Short with one // cocktail (7)

MARTIN|I — MARTIN (comedian Short) + I ([Roman numeral for] one)

Martin Short[7] is a Canadian-American actor, comedian, writer, singer and producer. He is best known for his comedy work, particularly on the TV programs SCTV and Saturday Night Live as well as numerous films. He also won a Tony Award for Leading Actor in a Musical for the 1999 Broadway revival of Little Me.

20d   I let ten bats // qualify (7)

ENTITLE* — anagram (bats) of I LET TEN

22d   First name // in jellies (5)

_ELLIE_ — hidden in (in) jELLIEs

24d   Shoot // small stuffed shirt (5)

S|PRIG — S (small; abbrev.) + PRIG (stuffed shirt)


The title of today's review, based on a suggestion from Henry, is inspired by 4d, 8d, 5d, 2d, 21a, 12a, 27a, 1a, 18d, 19d, .
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 Falcon and Everyone -
    I hope, Falcon, you are enjoying your blessedly internet-free sojourn. I know many of us are waiting for you to get back to get our hands on the Sat puzzle.
    Well, I picked up a copy of the FP today, and the first six clues I looked at (in the upper half) went nowhere, and I thought, we're in trouble, Fortunately the entire bottom half was a shoo-in. Ironically, the electronic assistants seemed helpless as what they provided didn't shed light on what I was looking for. I got 1a after looking at the pattern for quite a while, the charade proved elusive (until I got the answer). Same with 12a and 7d. 4 stars for entertainment value.
    May I suggest "American actors in French cities" as a possible title?

    1. Falcon - You are much too kind! I was thinking of a take off on the title "An American in Paris" for the title to this puzzle, but I cannot quibble at all on enlarging the scope to include a full picture shoot - after all, I am also a photographer.

  2. I agree with Henry, although I haven't yet fully parsed the charade in 1A, similar to 12A. Both were great surface readings. Favoured 8d - nice combination answer. 2.5/3 rating for me

  3. I also agree with Henry - fun, with a "just right" amount of resistance and with the bottom half easier.  Finally getting 1A (I saw the first two elements and then the rest came easily) allowed me to quickly mop up the top tier: I needed the first letters to get 3D, 4D, 7D, and 8D.  I liked aptness of the clue for 13D.

  4. Thanks for posting Falcon. I quite enjoyed the puzzle but could not figure out the cryptic clue for 12A as I automatically filled in the name of the actor father and not the actor son. Then I recalled that the son's name had occurred in a prior puzzle - at which point the penny dropped.

    Sounds like you had a very nice long weekend. I got to enjoy the heat and ribs at the Burlington Ribfest!


    1. Sounds delicious. I love Burlington. I used to visit there often.