Saturday, November 14, 2015

Saturday, November 14, 2015 — Shy Intruder


Today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon is a bit of a Goldilocks experience — not as difficult as some that we have seen and not as easy as others. There is just enough of an edge to prompt us to scratch our head on occasion, but not so much as to cause us to pull our hair out.

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   Fish /and/ beef (4)

CARP — double definition; the second being a verb meaning to complain

3a   Sloppy // course the First Lady started (10)

DISH|EVE|LED — DISH (course; in a meal) + EVE (the First Lady; in the Garden of Eden) + LED (started; in a game of cards)

9a   Bumped into something with // small bath and place to sleep (7)

S|TUB|BED —S (small; abbrev.) + TUB (bath) + (and) BED (place to sleep)

11a   Peruse MIT // grant anew (7)

READ|MIT —READ (peruse) + MIT (†)

Scratching the Surface
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology[5] (abbreviation MIT) is a US institute of higher education, famous for scientific and technical research, founded in 1861 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

12a   Get together // in the morning with pompous fool (5)

AM|ASS — AM (in the morning) + (with) ASS (pompous fool)

13a   Part of Rachel’s East // London district (7)

_CHELS|EA_ — hidden in (part of) RaCHELS EAst

Chelsea[5,7], part of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. is an affluent residential district of central London, on the north bank of the River Thames.

15a   Turns down // polishes again? (7)

REBUFFS — double definition

16a   Temporary shelter including free // large fork (7)

T(RID)ENT — TENT (temporary shelter) containing (including) RID (free)

18a   Like everyone in New York, // using the honker a lot? (7)

N(AS|ALL)Y — {AS (like) + ALL (everyone)} contained in (in) NY (New York; abbrev.)

Scratching the Surface
The surface reading relates more to traffic congestion than nasal congestion.

21a   Crackpot reveals // a number (7)

SEVERAL* — anagram (crackpot) of REVEALS

23a   A bug caught by me /and/ Wall Street VIP (7)

M(A|GNAT)E — {A (†) + GNAT (bug)} contained in (caught by) ME (†)

25a   Making // first note of the scale in “G” (5)

DO|IN|G — DO (first note of the scale; in tonic sol-fa) + IN (†) + G (†)

27a   Former Asian capital // operated by thug (7)

RAN|GOON — RAN (operated) + GOON (thug)

Rangoon[5] is the former capital of Burma (Myanmar), a port in the Irrawaddy delta; population 4,088,000 (est. 2007). For centuries a Buddhist religious centre, it is the site of the Shwe Dagon Pagoda, built over 2,500 years ago. The modern city was established by the British in the mid 19th century and was the capital from 1886 until it was replaced by Naypyidaw in 2005.

28a   Renovated interim // last stops (7)

TERMINI* — anagram (renovated) of INTERIM

29a   Foreshadowing // conclusion after ship’s left (10)

PORT|ENDING — ENDING (conclusion) following (after) PORT (ship's left; opposite of starboard)

30a   Fairy tale monster // consequently returned (4)

OGRE< — reversal (returned) of ERGO (consequently)


1d   Arranged in going for // splitting the bill? (10)

COST(ARR)ING — ARR (arranged; abbrev.) contained in (in) COSTING (going for)

2d   Vegetable // counter in front of Rogers Centre (7)

R|HU(BAR)B — BAR (counter; in a pub) contained in (in) {R (front [initial letter] of Rogers) + HUB (centre; deceptively capitalized)}

Scratching the Surface
Rogers Centre[7] (originally named SkyDome) is a multi-purpose stadium in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada situated just southwest of the CN Tower near the northern shore of Lake Ontario. Opened in 1989 on the former Railway Lands, it is home to the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball (MLB) and, for 27 years, has been the home of the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football League (CFL). The Argonauts will move to BMO Field next year.

4d   Island group given 100 // pointers (7)

INDI(C)ES — INDIES (island group; in the Caribbean) containing (given) C ([Roman numeral for] 100)

5d   Ruined her vast // crop (7)

HARVEST* — anagram (ruined) of HER VAST

Harvest and crop are nouns used in the sense of yieldThis year's harvest barely covered my costs.

6d   Albert’s behind six // perfume bottles (5)

VI|ALS — {AL ([diminutive for] Albert) + S ('s)} following (behind) VI ([Roman numeral for] six)

7d   Fictional tale about brew from honey // drink (7)

LI(MEAD)E — LIE (fictional tale) containing (about) MEAD (brew from honey)

8d   Go out with // fruit (4)

DATE — double definition

10d   Retiring // bus, half wrecked (7)

BASHFUL* — anagram (wrecked) of BUS HALF

14d   POW camp item changed // rock formation (10)

STALAG|MITE* — STALAG (POW [prisoner of war] camp) + anagram (changed) of ITEM

A stalag[5] was a Second World War German prison camp, especially for non-commissioned officers and privates. The name comes from German, a contraction of Stammlager, from Stamm 'base, main stock' + Lager 'camp'.

A stalagmite[5] is a mound or tapering column rising from the floor of a cave, formed of calcium salts deposited by dripping water and often uniting with a stalactite.

17d   In Star Wars villain, // hostile alien (7)

IN|VADER — IN (†) + VADER (Star Wars villain)

Darth Vader[7] (born Anakin Skywalker) is a fictional character in the Star Wars universe. Originally a Jedi prophesied to bring balance to the Force, he falls to the dark side of the Force and serves the evil Galactic Empire at the right hand of his Sith master, Palpatine (also known as Darth Sidious). He is also the father of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia Organa.

The American Film Institute listed him as the third greatest movie villain in cinema history on 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains, behind Hannibal Lecter and Norman Bates.

19d   Marines disrupted // class (7)

SEMINAR* — anagram (disrupted) of MARINES

20d   After 365 days, Beatty // had a hankering (7)

YEAR|NED — NED (Beatty) following (after) YEAR (365 days)

Ned Beatty[7] is an American actor who has appeared in more than 100 films.

21d   Enhance // new tees with alterations (7)

SWEETEN* — anagram (with alterations) of NEW TEES

22d   Growing // fruit that’s wrinkled and green (7)

RAISIN|G — RAISIN (fruit that's wrinkled) + (and) G (green; abbrev.)

24d   Gladiators initially adore // article worn by a boxer (5)

G|LOVE — G (gladiators initially; initial letter of Gladiators) + LOVE (adore)

26d   Catch // part of Sinatra performance (4)

_TRA|P_ — hidden in (part of) SinaTRA Performance


The title of today's review is inspired by 10d and 17d.
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 - spent an inordinate amount of time on 1d, trying to misspell "sharing" somehow to fit the checkers - duh! First time in years I've spelt 13a without using "ski" as the ending in reference to their footy team. Favoured 23a - 2/3 rating for me.

    1. I also spent time trying to fit share into 1d -- with no more success than the ugly stepsisters trying to force their feet into Cinderella's slipper.

    2. Smaug - how would you spell 13a with a ski?? I just had to ask!

    3. Pardon me for jumping in.

      Chelsea F.C. is called Chelski in the British media, a reference to Russian owner Roman Abramovich.

  2. Hello All,
    I had the same experience as Smaug with respect to 1D. It was my last one in and it took me a long time to figure out the cryptic solution. Also found 2D to be tricky - "Centre" definitely threw me off. Overall, a lot of hahas.
    Thanks for posting Falcon!

  3. Same for me re 1d. Didn't like 18a. Other than that, agree with Falcon's assessment. Many thanks.

  4. Hi Flacon and everyone -
    Sure 'nuff, I also tried every letter for 1d until I decided that it had to have a double r in the middle, then I finally caught the meaning of the clue. As for 2d, how many vegetables end in b? So I had the answer, but I didn't understand the charade fully until I read the solution.
    Let's get back to possible titles, shall we? Since there are a number of references to food/crops/course/fruit, I thought "Fork over the Produce" might be apt.

  5. Hello, all,
    "Me, too" on agreeing with Falcon's assessment of the puzzle and the trickiness of 1D, 2D, and 4D. My first pass through the Acrosses yielded only 4 answers, so I began in earnest in the lower left where 27A over 29A gave me the crosses I needed to work my way to the top. My, those little prepositions "for" and "in" were certainly mischief makers in 1D and 2D: I initially read "for splitting..." and "in front of" as a unit - I thing I went from head-scratching to hair-tearing to figure those two out.