Saturday, March 19, 2016

Saturday, March 19, 2016 — Mythological Battle


As readers have suggested, anagram lovers are in for a treat with today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon.

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   Gulf sets off // big fight (8)

SLUGFEST* — anagram (off) of GULF SETS

5a   Currency // pieces converted (6)

SPECIE* — anagram (converted) of PIECES

Specie[5] is money in the form of coins rather than notes.

9a   Norm cuts // veggies (8)

PAR|SNIPS — PAR (norm) + SNIPS (cuts)

10a   Be defeated in court/’s/ small chamber (6)

C(LOSE)T — LOSE (be defeated) contained in (in) CT (court; abbrev. found in street address)

11a   Teacher/’s/ pet with prominent ears not quite all there (5)

RABBI_ — RABBI[T] (pet with prominent ears) with the final letter removed (not quite all there)

12a   Check // coach, among others (9)

RES(TRAIN)T — TRAIN (coach; teach) contained in (among) REST (others)

14a   Fanciful name for ship? (1,1,1,8)

H.M.S. PINAFORE — anagram (fanciful) of NAME FOR SHIP

H.M.S. Pinafore;[7] (extended name: H.M.S. Pinafore; or, The Lass That Loved a Sailor) is a comic opera with music by Arthur Sullivan and a libretto by W. S. Gilbert.

The opera's humour focuses on love between members of different social classes and lampoons the British class system in general. Pinafore also pokes good-natured fun at patriotism, party politics, the Royal Navy, and the rise of unqualified people to positions of authority. The title of the piece comically applies the name of a garment for girls and women, a pinafore, to the fearsome symbol of a naval warship — thus a fanciful name for a ship.

18a   One smart hat, possibly? (3-1-7)

{TAM-O-SHANTER}* — anagram (possibly) of ONE SMART HAT

21a   Philosopher/’s/ infant left in stand (9)

ARIS(TOT|L)E — {TOT (infant) + L (left; abbrev.)} contained in (in) ARISE (stand)

23a   Significant time for // poet’s Muse (5)

ERA|TO — ERA (significant time) + TO (for; he was heading to London)

24a   Wrong Daniel // got just right (6)

NAILED* — anagram (wrong) of DANIEL

25a   Like many a plain // fish stuck in lock (8)

TR(EEL)ESS — EEL (fish) contained in (caught in) TRESS (lock [of hair])

26a   Crook // tossed old egg (6)

DOGLEG* — anagram (tossed) of OLD EGG

27a   Bizarre Etruscan // mythical creatures (8)

CENTAURS* — anagram (bizarre) of ETRUSCAN


1d   Outstanding // secondstringer catching a pop (6)

SU(PER)B — SUB (secondstringer) containing (catching) PER (a pop; each)

2d   Rub one twisted // strip (6)

UNROBE* — anagram (twisted) of RUB ONE

3d   Semicircular windows // one installed in stairways (9)

F(AN)LIGHTS — AN (one) contained in (installed in) FLIGHTS (stairways)

4d   Tending to block // punts, passer scrambled (11)

SUPPRESSANT* — anagram (scrambled) of PUNTS PASSER

6d   Arctic // raft operator overheard (5)

POLAR~ — sounds like (overheard) POLER (raft operator)

7d   Prisoner keeps moving // metal (4,4)

C(AST IR)ON — CON (prisoner) containing (keeps) ASTIR (moving)

8d   Things /in/ Net site I rearranged (8)

ENTITIES* — anagram (rearranged) of NET SITE I

13d   Segregation disturbed // fabled martyr (5,6)

{SAINT GEORGE}* — anagram (disturbed) of SEGREGATION

15d   Concord // fellows caught in a hail (9)

A|GREE(MEN)T — MEN (fellows) contained in (caught in) {A (†) + GREET (hail)}

16d   Got // through regatta in Edmonton (8)

_ATTA|IN|ED_ — hidden in (through) regATTA IN EDmonton

17d   I’m very popular, holding container for wine // drinking (8)

IM|BI(BIN)G — IM (I'm) + {BIG (very popular) containing (holding) BIN (container for wine)}

Bin[5] is a [seemingly British] term for a partitioned stand for storing bottles of wine.

19d   Place for leaving gold // cake (6)

GATE|AU — GATE (place for leaving) + AU ([symbol for the chemical element] gold)

20d   Lifts // one surrounded by throngs (6)

HO(I)STS — I ([Roman numeral for] one) contained in (surrounded by) HOSTS (throngs)

22d   Topic: // the ego (5)

THE|ME — THE (†) + ME (ego)


The title of today's review is inspired by 1a and 27a.
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. Good morning all,

    I found today's puzzle to be a bit of a mix with some too familiar items (eg. 11a, 12a, 20d, 22d), some items I really didn't like (eg. 14a, 2d, 3d) and some I thought quite good (eg. 18a 7d, 13d). I was held up for a while by 15d because I read 'hall' where it says 'hail'.

    All in all good fun. Thanks to C & R.


  2. Good afternoon, everyone!
    Relatively easy with lots of anagrams (10) and a nice hidden clue. I too had a problem with 15d, and I thought, it would make a lot more sense if the word was "hail", then I looked closely and sure enough.
    I liked particularly 20a, 9a, 14a, 18a.
    Interesting, when reading 17a, I didn't read the last word ( I guess I'm not used to 3 line clues), and the parsing stumped me. It was only after figuring out what the parsing had to be that I noticed the last word, and it all fit together.
    Thanks Falcon, for the posting.

    1. As for misreading "hail", let's make it unanimous.

  3. Yes, it is unanimous. Other than that, many favoured clues, 9a, 11a, and the winner, 18a.
    Thanks to E&H and Falcon for the solve, especially 17d which I had problems parsing. 2.5/4.0 rated (yes, I did enjoy it!)