Saturday, March 26, 2016

Saturday, March 26, 2016 — Sights and Sounds of Spring


Happy Easter, everyone.

In juxtaposition to the tragedy that unfolded in Europe this week, today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon reminds us that new growth will shortly be forthcoming and the spring peepers will soon be heralding the arrival of the new season.

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   Rug // possessed by Oscar Peterson (6)

_CAR|PET_ — hidden in (possessed by) OsCAR PETerson

Oscar Peterson[5] (1925–2007) was a Canadian jazz pianist and composer who became internationally famous in the 1960s, when he often appeared with Ella Fitzgerald.

4a   Youngsters in a pond // wrecked pot deals (8)

TADPOLES* — anagram (wrecked) of POT DEALS

9a   South Caribbean island // diver’s gear (5)

S|CUBA — S (south; abbrev.) + CUBA (Caribbean island)

10a   Complain, and join // construction worker (9)

CARP|ENTER — CARP (complain) + ENTER (join; for instance, enter the priesthood)

11a   500 in 1000 doing nothing // fair (8)

M|I(D)DLING or M|ID(D)LING — D ([Roman numeral for] 500) contained in (in) {M ([Roman numeral for] 1000) + IDLING (doing nothing)}

12a   Climb // a trail (6)

A|SCENT — A (†) + SCENT (trail)

14a   Last of reindeer are // scarce (4)

R|ARE — R (last [letter] of reindeeR) + ARE (†)

15a   Guard // dispatched in overhead train (8)

SENT|IN|EL — SENT (dispatched) + IN (†) + EL (overhead train)

The El[5] is a US term for:
  1. an elevated railroad* (especially that in Chicago); or
  2. a train running on an elevated railroad*the El rumbled by.
* Although this definition comes from a British dictionary, I deemed it apropos to replace the British railway with the US railroad.
The British say "railway"; the Americans say "railroad"; we Canadians say what we damn well please.

19a   Fatherly // friend catching a seabird (8)

P(A|TERN)AL — PAL (friend) containing (catching) {A (†) + TERN (seabird)}

20a   Bagel guys’ // sign (4)

O|MEN — O ([letter than looks like a] bagel) + MEN (guys)

23a   Dream // taking the form of power madness (6)

AS|P|IRE — AS (taking the form of) + P (power; symbol used in physics) + IRE (madness; anger)

25a   Like catchy tunes // Belgians transposed (8)

SINGABLE* — anagram (transposed) of BELGIANS

Not much joy in Belgium this week. Stay strong — our hearts are with you.

27a   Growing // out in April or May (9)

SPR(OUT)ING — OUT (†) contained in (in) SPRING (April or May)

28a   Chic apartment // out of place (5)

IN|APT — IN (chic) + APT (apartment; abbrev.)

29a   Revised test’s aim // put the wrong way (8)

MISSTATE* — anagram (revised) of TESTS AIM

30a   More slender // one having an inclination (6)

LEANER — double definition


1d   Get money for ordinary // sweater material (8)

CASH|MERE — CASH (get money for; for instance, cash a cheque) + MERE (ordinary)

2d   Ordered “drop it,” run // one way and then the other (5,4)

{ROUND TRIP}* — anagram (ordered) of DROP IT RUN

3d   Electronic exchange // Emily does poorly (1-5)

E_M|AILS — EM ([diminutive for] Emily) + AILS (does poorly)

5d   Couples missing the first // broadcasts (4)

_AIRS — [P]AIRS (couples) with the initial letter removed (missing the first)

6d   Nice // meal finally eaten by lowly worker (8)

P(L)EASANT — L (meal finally; final letter of meaL) contained in (eaten by) PEASANT (lowly worker)

7d   Taking time, delayed // coffee order (5)

LA(T)TE or LAT(T)E — LATE (delayed) containing (taking) T (time; abbrev.)

8d   Priest prepared // brownie (6)

SPRITE* — anagram (prepared) of PRIEST

A brownie[5] is a benevolent elf that supposedly haunts houses and does housework secretly.

10d   Australian city // may be one including railroad (8)

CAN|BE(RR)A — CAN (may) + {BE (†) + A (one)} containing (including) RR (railroad; US term for railway)

Canberra[5] is the capital of Australia and seat of the federal government, in Australian Capital Territory, an enclave of New South Wales; population 345,257 (2008).

13d   Errant // fish caught in sneaky trap (8)

ST(RAY)ING — RAY (fish) contained in (caught in) STING (sneaky trap)

16d   Lunkhead // wrecked marine lab (9)

LAMEBRAIN* — anagram (wrecked) of MARINE LAB

17d   Mistakenly trust ad’s // romanticism (8)

STARDUST* — anagram (mistakenly) of TRUST ADS

18d   Some chances to recall // member of the family tree (8)

_ANCES|TO|R_ — hidden in (some) chANCES TO Recall

21d   Managed a bit of endless // money demanded by criminals (6)

RAN|SOM_ — RAN (managed) + SOM[E] (a bit of) with the final letter removed (endless)

22d   Light // part of meeting in back (6)

{_IGNITE_}< — reversed (back) and hidden in (part of) meETING In

24d   European capital // is behind standard for golfers (5)

PAR|IS — IS (†) following (behind) PAR (standard for golfers)

It was not long ago that we were mourning another atrocity in Europe.

26d   Measure // piece of jewelry with teaspoon (4)

PIN|T — PIN (piece of jewelry) + (with) T (teaspoon; abbrev.)

The abbreviation for teaspoon is lower case t[3] while the abbreviation for tablespoon is upper case T[3] (or T.).


The title of today's review is inspired by 4a, 25a, 27a and 24d.
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 everyone,

    And happy Easter to you!!

    I had no trouble with the top half of today's puzzle. It went straight in. Then I got to the bottom half and slowed down considerably. No real standouts for me I'm afraid. Re 26d: I didn't think 't' is the abbreviation for 'teaspoon' but I guess I was wrong. Thanks to C & R.


  2. My experience was not unlike yours. Three clues in the bottom half (22d, 28a and 23a) seemed to take as long to unravel as did the entire remainder of the puzzle.

  3. Happy Easter and happy Dyngus Day!
    I too breezed through most of the puzzle today, getting stuck on the lower left quadrant. Mainly because I had the wrong word in for 27a, but 17d being an anagram, precluded certain solutions. Some anagrams again today and three (technically) hidden clues made it fairly easy. Faves were 17d, 23a.
    I wish you, Falcon and everyone a great long weekend!

    1. ... and Happy Dyngus Day to you too.

      After researching the customs of the day, I'm off to find some pussy willows and then will be seeking out some young ladies.

  4. Happy Easter All!
    Agree with most of the comments - last two in being 23a and 22d. Very enjoyable, nonetheless. Thank you for posting!

    MG (back from my winter sojourn)