Saturday, November 7, 2015

Saturday, November 7, 2015 — Master and Maestro


Today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon — as close to a read and write as one is likely to encounter — is a bit of a respite from the considerably more difficult offering last week. Not only is it an anagram lover's delight — with 11 of them — but it contains a number of "old chestnuts". Great for those who enjoy visits from long-time friends.

Those of you who visited last week's blog early may wish to go back and take another look. The solution that I provided for 16d was originally incorrect and has now been revised. It was not just incorrect, but blatantly so. I would like to thank Henry for bringing the error to my attention. And please, when I do make mistakes (which happens more often than I care to admit), don't hesitate to point them 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   Harvest fruit // show up again (8)

REAP|PEAR — REAP (harvest) + PEAR (fruit)

5a   Visit // troubled points (4,2)

{STOP IN}* — anagram (troubled) of POINTS

9a   Wrongly ruin a cartoonist /and/ a conductor (6,9)

{ARTURO TOSCANINI}* — anagram (wrongly) of RUIN A CARTOONIST

Arturo Toscanini[5] (1867–1957) was an Italian conductor. He was musical director at La Scala in Milan (1898–1903; 1906-8) before becoming a conductor at the Metropolitan Opera, New York (1908–21).

11a   Chant along with percussionist’s first // snare (7)

MANTRA|P — MANTRA (chant) + (along with) P (Percussionist's first [letter])

Literally, a mantrap[5] is a trap for catching people, especially trespassers or poachers. Of course, mantrap[3] is also [seemingly North American] slang for a sexually aggressive woman who has multiple male sexual partners and is considered to be scheming or manipulative.

12a   Sleepwear // near neckwear (7)

NIGH|TIE — NIGH (near) + TIE (neckwear)

13a   Nary a crazy // wanderer (5)

NO|MAD — NO (nary a) + MAD (crazy)

14a   Support // ref, nice or awful (9)

REINFORCE* — anagram (awful) of REF NICE OR

16a   Idle // tweets I am getting revised (5,4)

{WASTE TIME}* — anagram (getting revised) of TWEETS I AM

18a   Giant killers // involved in major case (5)

_OR|CAS_ — hidden in (involved in) majOR CASe

20a   Pronounced name in a will man // means for delivery (7)

{AIR|MAIL}~ — sounds like (pronounced) {HEIR (name in a will) + MALE (man)}

22a   Snarled cattily // without speaking (7)

TACITLY* — anagram (snarled; tangled) CATTILY

24a   Usual lecture—too disorganized /for/ an artist (8-7)

{TOULOUSE-LAUTREC}* — anagram (disorganized) of USUAL LECTURE TOO

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec[5] (1864–1901) was a French painter and lithographer. His reputation is based on his colour lithographs from the 1890s, depicting actors, music-hall singers, prostitutes, and waitresses in Montmartre: particularly well known is the Moulin Rouge series (1894).

25a   Comforting, // for example, about a transgression (6)

E(A|SIN)G — EG (for example) containing (about) {A (†) + SIN (transgression)}

26a   New Year’s hit // craze (8)

HYSTERIA* — anagram (new) of YEARS HIT


1d   Arboreal monkeys circling // sphere (5)

_REAL|M_ — hidden in (circling) arboREAL Monkeys

2d   Opposite // Cleopatra’s lover, leader of mob (7)

ANTONY|M — ANTONY (Cleopatra's lover) + M (leader [initial letter] of Mob)

Mark Antony[5] (circa 83-30 BC) was a Roman general and triumvir; Latin name Marcus Antonius. A supporter of Julius Caesar, he was appointed one of the triumvirate after Caesar’s murder. Following the battle of Philippi he took charge of the Eastern Empire, where he established his association with Cleopatra. Quarrels with Octavian led finally to his defeat at the battle of Actium and to his suicide.

3d   Leave range of hills /for/ bird (9)

PART|RIDGE — PART (leave) + RIDGE (range of hills)

4d   Strangely paternalistic // bits in physics (13)


In physics, an antiparticle[5] is a subatomic particle having the same mass as a given particle but opposite electric or magnetic properties. Every kind of subatomic particle has a corresponding antiparticle, e.g. the positron has the same mass as the electron but an equal and opposite charge.

6d   Leaders of the Wailers are now generating // a guitar sound (5)

T_|W_|A_|N_|G_ — initial letters of (leaders of) The Wailers Are Now Generating

Scratching the Surface
Bob Marley and the Wailers[5] were a Jamaican reggae band and, earlier, a ska vocalist group created by Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer.

7d   Playwright Harold embraces one // artist (7)

P(A)INTER — PINTER (playwright Harold [Pinter]) containing (embraces) A (one)

Harold Pinter[5] (1930–2008) was an English dramatist, actor, and director. His plays are associated with the Theatre of the Absurd and are typically marked by a sense of menace. Notable plays: The Birthday Party (1958), The Caretaker (1960), and Party Time (1991). Nobel Prize for Literature (2005).

Note: A special acknowledgement to Peter for pointing out the error in the original solution

8d   Silent // lionesses on the move (9)

NOISELESS* — anagram (on the move) of LIONESSES

10d   Mawkishly // conveyed by one using the brain (13)

SENT|I|MENTALLY* — SENT (conveyed) + (by) I ([Roman numeral for] one) + MENTALLY (using the brain)

13d   Unusually clean west // English city (9)

NEWCASTLE* — anagram (unusually) of CLEAN WEST

Newcastle[5] is the name of two cities in England:
  1. Newcastle upon Tyne is an industrial city and metropolitan district in northeastern England, a port on the River Tyne; population 170,200 (est. 2009);
  2. Newcastle-under-Lyme is an industrial town in Staffordshire, in England, just south-west of Stoke-on-Trent; population 77,500 (est. 2009).
15d   Base around Washington, next to our // mall attraction (4,5)

FOO(D C|OUR)T —FOOT (base) containing (around) {DC (Washington) + (next to) OUR (†)}

Scratching the Surface
The National Mall[7] is a national park in downtown Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States. The term National Mall commonly includes areas that are officially part of West Potomac Park and Constitution Gardens to the west, and often is taken to refer to the entire area between the Lincoln Memorial and the United States Capitol, with the Washington Monument providing a division slightly west of the center. The National Mall receives approximately 24 million visitors each year.

17d   Small piano crushes // new buds (7)

S|P|ROUTS — S (small; abbrev.) + P (piano; musical direction) + ROUTS (crushes)

19d   Meal server // wrecked terrace (7)

CATERER* — anagram (wrecked) of TERRACE

21d   A jailbird eating last of dinner /is/ some kind of a nut (5)

A|CO(R)N — A (†) + CON (jailbird) containing (eating) R (last [letter] of dinneR)

23d   Said “That tastes gross... uh, // succulent” (5)

{YUCC|A}~ — sounds like (said) {YUCK (that tastes gross) + UH (†)}


The title of today's review was inspired by the two long anagrams, 24a and 9a.
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. No difficulties today. Too many anagrams for my taste. I liked 16a.

  2. Hello Falcon and friends,
    Agree with Peter - did not need any assistants today although I used cross letters to solve some of the lengthier anagrams. Favorite was 21A - it was the only nut that did not come directly to mind.

    Cheers to all,

  3. Agree with prior posters. Very good surface readings this week - the big anagrams made the puzzle easier providing checking letters - liked 15D - nice building block clue. 2/3 rated.

  4. Hi Falcon and everyone -
    For sure, this was a snap. A few took time to get in the checking letters, then the answers were easy (4d for example). Last one in was 1d, I didn't see the hidden clue at all, which is unusual. I also spent a bit of time thinking about what small pianos could be called!

  5. Hi Falcon,

    You might wish to have another look at your hint for 7d.

    1. Oops! That was rather careless, was it not? Now corrected. Thanks for the heads up.

  6. Hi Falcon and all,
    Nice to feel like a cryptic genius once in a while :) I liked the apt anagram for 8D.