Saturday, May 21, 2016

Saturday, May 21, 2016 — Getting High


In today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon, the setters take us to the top of the world and beyond. Nevertheless, I would say that it turns out to be a fairly easy journey.

I hope everyone is enjoying what is shaping up to be a gorgeous long weekend.

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   Cut // string behind pair of dice (6)

DI|LUTE — LUTE (string; stringed instrument) following (behind) DI (pair [initial two letters] of DIce)

Cut[3] is used in the sense of to lessen the strength of ⇒ cut whiskey with water.

4a   Improvise a lockup holding one // West Indian (9)

JAM|A(I)CAN — JAM (improvise [musically]) + {A (†) + CAN (lockup; jail)} containing (holding) I ([Roman numeral for] one)

9a   As written about a bronze, // “wicked” (7)

S(A|TAN)IC — SIC (as written) containing (about) {A (†) + TAN (bronze; sunbathe}

11a   Painting me from behind is // Diana, in Greece (7)

ART|EM<|IS — ART (painting) + reversal (from behind) of ME + IS (†)

In Roman mythology, Diana[10] (Greek counterpart Artemis) is the virginal goddess of the hunt and the moon.

In Greek mythology, Artemis[5,10] (also called Cynthia; Roman counterpart Diana) is the virgin goddess of the hunt and the moon, daughter of Zeus and twin sister of Apollo. She was a huntress and is typically depicted with a bow and arrows.

12a   Changing dial, a teen /is/ estranged (9)

ALIENATED* — anagram (changing) of DIAL A TEEN

13a   Fabric // stocked by Professor Longhair (5)

_OR|LON_ — hidden in (stocked by) ProfessOR LONghair

Scratching the Surface
Henry Roeland "Roy" Byrd (1918–1980), better known as Professor Longhair, was a New Orleans blues singer and pianist. He was active in two distinct periods, first in the heyday of early rhythm and blues and later in the resurgence of interest in traditional jazz after the founding of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

The music journalist Tony Russell (in his book The Blues: From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray) wrote that "The vivacious rhumba-rhythmed piano blues and choked singing typical of Fess were too weird to sell millions of records; he had to be content with siring musical offspring who were simple enough to manage that, like Fats Domino or Huey "Piano" Smith. But he is also acknowledged as a father figure by subtler players like Allen Toussaint and Dr. John."

14a   Need for a bartender // running into jerk (5)

T(ON)IC — ON (running; functioning) contained in (into) TIC (jerk)

16a   Give a new shape to // sort of wine vessel (7)

RED|RAFT — RED (sort of wine) + RAFT (vessel)

The item being reshaped might be a literary or theatrical work.

19a   Mountaineering challenge // the day before break in activity (7)

EVE|REST — EVE (the day before) + REST (break in activity)

Mount Everest[5] is a mountain in the Himalayas, on the border between Nepal and Tibet. Rising to 8,848 m (29,028 ft), it is the highest mountain in the world; it was first climbed in 1953 by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay.

20a   Cracked up stony // boxer (5)

TYSON* — anagram (cracked up) of STONY

Mike Tyson[5] is an American boxer. He became undisputed world heavyweight champion in 1987, winning the WBA, WBC, and IBF titles. He was imprisoned in 1992 for rape; after his release in 1995 he reclaimed the WBC and WBA titles in the following year. His 1997 fight with Evander Holyfield ended when Tyson was disqualified for dining on Holyfield's ear.[7]

23a   Aviator // I involved in scheme (5)

P(I)LOT — I () contained in (involved in) PLOT (scheme)

24a   Oddly acne-prone // cook’s helper (3,6)

{CAN OPENER}* — anagram (oddly) of ACNE PRONE

26a   Knock harbour // agreement (7)

RAP|PORT — RAP (knock) + PORT (harbour)

27a   Each grave // in Asia (7)

EA|STERN — EA (each; abbrev.) + STERN (grave)

28a   Hot drink doubtless taking restaurant’s first // prize (8)

T(R)EA|SURE — {TEA (hot drink) + SURE (doubtless)} containing (taking) R (restaurant's first; initial letter of Restaurant)

While prize could be a noun, I believe it works more elegantly as a verb.

29a   Rodent eating bit of sweet // dessert (6)

MOU(S)SE or MOUS(S)E — MOUSE (rodent) containing (eating) S (bit [initial letter] of Sweet)


1d   Aversion // is stated anew (8)

DISTASTE* — anagram (anew) of IS STATED

2d   Valiant stranger // from a Baltic republic (7)

LATVIAN* — anagram (stranger) of VALIANT

3d   X applied to // part of a joint (5)

TEN|ON — TEN (X; X being the Roman numeral for ten) + ON (applied to)

5d   Major conflict in commercial // grant (5)

A(WAR)D — WAR (major conflict) contained in (in) AD (commercial)

6d   Space explorer // atop fourth of floats in a parade (9)

A|STR(ON|A)UT — {ON (atop) + A (fourth [letter] of floAts)} contained in (in) {A (†) + STRUT (parade)}

7d   Musical // pulled in fortune (7)

CAME|LOT — CAME (pulled in; arrivedthe guests just pulled in) + LOT (fortune; fate)

Camelot[7] is a musical by Alan Jay Lerner (book and lyrics) and Frederick Loewe (music). It is based on the King Arthur legend as adapted from the T. H. White novel The Once and Future King.

The original 1960 production starred Richard Burton as King Arthur, Julie Andrews as Queen Guenevere, and Robert Goulet* as Sir Lancelot. Directed by Moss Hart and orchestrated by Robert Russell Bennett and Philip J. Lang, it ran on Broadway for 873 performances, winning four Tony Awards and spawning several revivals, foreign productions, and the 1967 film Camelot. The original cast album was America's top-selling LP for 60 weeks. The musical has become associated with the Kennedy Administration, which is sometimes referred to as the Camelot era.
* contrary to my recollection, Robert Goulet (1933–2007) was not a Canadian although he was of French-Canadian ancestry
8d   Getting snoopy, // confess after denial (6)

NO|SING — SING (confess; like a stool pigeon) following (after) NO ([word of] denial)

10d   Circle // bunk by Great Lake (7)

COT|ERIE — COT (bunk; bed) + ERIE (Great Lake)

15d   Star on ice adapted // original works (9)

CREATIONS* — anagram (adapted) of STAR ON ICE

17d   Inside crude tent, ears // thaw (7)

_DE|TENT|E_ — hidden in (inside) cruDE TENT Ears

18d   Charm // one’s way in? (8)

ENTRANCE — double definition; a verb and a noun

19d   Shape of a track // further around edge (7)

EL(LIP)SE — ELSE (further; additional or moreWould you like anything else?) containing (around) LIP (edge)

21d   Start of show, if not // dark (7)

S|UNLESS — S (start [initial letter] of Show) + UNLESS (if not)

Unless[3] is used as a conjunction meaning except on the condition that or except under the circumstances that ⇒ Exceptional talent does not always win its reward unless favored by exceptional circumstances (Mary Elizabeth Braddon).

22d   Trip is changing // emotional state (6)

SPIRIT* — anagram (changing) of TRIP IS

24d   Trace poor // supply to guests at a party (5)

CATER* — anagram (poor) of TRACE

25d   Salt added to favourite egg // sauce (5)

PE(S)T|O — S (salt; abbrev.) contained in (added to) PET (favourite) + O ([letter shaped like an] egg)


The title of today's review is inspired by 19a and 6d.
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)
Happy Victoria Day — Falcon


  1. Good morning all,

    No real delays for me in today's puzzle. Last in were 1a and 3d. Thanks to C & R. Happy Victoria Day!


  2. Happy beautiful long weekend to all! I was pleasantly surprised by a number of inventive clues (6d, 4a, 24a). I think C&R are steadily making us think more. Well done on the solution, Falcon!

  3. 4A is actually 8 letters not 9. Not a big deal but tripped me up for a second.

    1. Welcome to the blog, Bill

      Very well spotted with respect to the numeration at 4a. That had totally escaped my attention. Hope to see you as a regular in the Comments section.

  4. Pleasantly challenging for me. Last in were 4a (I was flummoxed by the issue Bill pointed out) and 16a, where I wanted some arcane term for a "wine vessel" for way too long. I was unable to parse the clue for 9a; I'll have to try to remember "as written."