Saturday, June 11, 2016

Saturday, June 11, 2016 — Momentous Daydreams


Like many of those who commented on today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon, I found it somewhat more challenging than usual.

Writing and posting the review also turned out to be a challenge. I was away from home for the weekend and my laptop took it upon itself to pack it in.

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   Grave significance /of/ holey quality about shelter (14)

POR(TENT)OUSNESS — POROUSNESS (holey quality) containing (about) TENT (shelter)

8a   Check // others holding practice (9)

RES(TRAIN)T — REST (others) containing (holding) TRAIN (practice)

9a   First of rubes taken in by present // swindle (5)

G(R)IFT — R (first [letter] of Rubes) contained in (taken in by) GIFT (present)

11a   Basketball giant // shot alone (5)

ONEAL* — anagram (shot) of ALONE

Shaquille O'Neal[7], nicknamed Shaq, is a retired American professional basketball player who is currently an analyst on the television program Inside the NBA. Listed at 7 ft 1 in (2.16 m) tall and weighing 325 pounds (147 kg), he was one of the heaviest players ever to play in the NBA. O'Neal played for six teams throughout his 19-year NBA career.

12a   Scheme // backing really huge pies? (9)

{STRAT|AGEM}< — reversal (backing) of MEGA (really huge) + TARTS (pies)

13a   Acts like // it’s a mite strange (8)

IMITATES* — anagram (strange) of ITS A MITE

15a   Crown // Democrat after withdrawing help (6)

DIA<|DEM — DEM (Democrat; abbrev.) following (after) a reversal (withdrawing) of AID (help)

18a   Stadium sections occupied by green // team from Detroit (6)

TI(G)ERS —TIERS (stadium sections) containing (occupied by) G (green; abbrev.)

The Detroit Tigers[7] are a professional baseball team based in Detroit, Michigan, United States. The Tigers compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the Central division in the American League (AL). One of the AL's eight charter franchises, the club was founded in Detroit in 1901. They are the oldest continuous one-name, one-city franchise in the AL.

19a   Superlative // goddess sitting in tree (4-4)

FIVE-STAR —VESTA ([Roman] goddess) contained in (sitting in) FIR (tree)

In Roman mythology, Vesta[5] is the goddess of the hearth and household. Her temple in Rome contained no image but a fire which was kept constantly burning and was tended by the Vestal Virgins.

21a   Outspoken curlers’ needs: // carriages (9)

BROUGHAMS~ — sounds like (outspoken) BROOMS (curlers' needs)

A brougham[5] is:
  1. (historically) a horse-drawn carriage with a roof, four wheels, and an open driver’s seat in front; or
  2. a car with an open driver’s seat.
23a   Damage quiet // wetland (5)

MAR|SH —MAR (damage) + SH (quiet; Sh!)

24a   Like brownies, // as evident in self-indulgence (5)

_ELFIN_ — contained in (as evident in) sELF-INdulgence

A brownie[5] is a benevolent elf that supposedly haunts houses and does housework secretly. [Apparently, none inhabit my house!]

25a   Prisoner attempts holding up // nations (9)

CO(U)N|TRIES — {CON (prisoner) + TRIES (attempts)} containing (holding) U (up; abbrev.)

The abbreviation U for upper is found in none of my commonly-consulted dictionaries.

26a   Top scientist/’s/ elite brain sent astray (6,8)

{ALBERT EINSTEIN}* — anagram (astray) of ELITE BRAIN SENT

Albert Einstein[5] (1879–1955) was a German-born American theoretical physicist, founder of the special and general theories of relativity.


1d   Clip to be aired misrepresented // chemist’s chart (8,5)

{PERIODIC TABLE}* — anagram (misrepresented) of CLIP TO BE AIRED

In chemistry, the periodic table[5] is a table of the chemical elements arranged in order of atomic number, usually in rows, so that elements with similar atomic structure (and hence similar chemical properties) appear in vertical columns.

2d   Reportedly going back /and/ planting anew (9)

RESEEDING~ — sounds like (reportedly) RECEDING (going back)

3d   Sign on // S.N.L producer Michaels reading the wrong way (5)

ENROL< — reversal (reading the wrong way) of LORNE (S.N.L. [Saturday Night Live] producer [Lorne] Michaels)

Lorne Michaels[7] (born Lorne Lipowitz) is a Canadian-American television producer, writer, comedian, and actor, best known for creating and producing Saturday Night Live, and producing the Late Night series (since 1993), and The Tonight Show (since 2014).

4d   Playing third set, // had a craving (8)

THIRSTED* — anagram (playing) of THIRD SET

5d   Pronounces // certain clubs unopened (6)

_UTTERS — [P]UTTERS (certain [golf] clubs) with the initial letter removed (unopened)

6d   Late activity // nearby, if let loose (9)

NIGH|TLIFE* — NIGH (nearby) + an anagram (loose) of IF LET

7d   Attempt to hit // small hockey player along the boards (5)

S|WING — S (small; abbrev.) + WING (hockey player [positioned] along the boards)

10d   “Nothing stays the same,” // Catherine’s mom cracked (4,7,2)

{TIME MARCHES ON}* — anagram (cracked) of CATHERINES MOM

14d   Orange car excited // vanity (9)

ARROGANCE* — anagram (excited) of ORANGE CAR

16d   Find /and/ halt explosive (9)

DETER|MINE — DETER (halt) + MINE (explosive)

17d   “Em is spoiled,” I // state (8)

M|IS|SOUR|I — M (em) + IS (†) + SOUR (spoiled) + I (†)

20d   Character on the sidelines // married a Highlander (6)

M|A|SCOT — M (married; abbrev.) + A (†) + SCOT (Highlander)

A Highlander[10] is:
  1. a native of the Highlands of Scotland; or
  2. a member of a Scottish Highland regiment or battalion.
The Highlands[5] are the mountainous part of Scotland, to the north of Glasgow and Stirling, often associated with Gaelic culture (as modifier) a Highland regiment.

22d   Terrible-sounding // butchery byproduct (5)

OFFAL~ — sounds like (-sounding) AWFUL (terrible)

23d   Brings together // South American drinks (5)

MATES — double definition

Maté[5] (also maté tea) is a bitter infusion of the leaves of a South American shrub*, which is high in caffeine ⇒ maté has an agreeable slightly aromatic odor.
* Maté (also yerba maté), the South American shrub (Ilex paraguariensis) of the holly family which produces maté leaves.


The title of today's review is inspired by 1a and 26a
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. Stuck on Q4. I only have 23a.

    I will go and have breakfast.

  2. I struggled more with this one than usual. An despite having the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th and 9th letters of 21a, I have not been able to parse this clue (which is the only one that I am missing now).

  3. Was able to figure out 23a with an electronic aid. I have seen that word before, but for some reason my brain was not making the connection.

  4. Good morning,

    I too found this one more difficult than usual. I did not think that the types of carriages that are the answer to 21a are pronounced 'brooms' (curlers needs). And I wouldn't have thought that the word hidden in self-indulgence (24a) could mean 'like brownies'. And I wouldn't have thought of 'u' as meaning 'up' (25a). I never heard of Mr. Michaels (3d) but his first name was easy enough to figure out. The answer to 5d is quite clear but I can't parse the clue. I have an excellent candidate for the answer to 23d if the definition is 'brings together' I have no idea how the South American drinks fit in.


    1. Well I checked, and the answer to 21a is, indeed, pronounced 'brooms'. And here I thought it's pronounced 'broams'.

    2. What did you check? I cannot find any carriages starting with B.

    3. Hi Carl,

      I checked the pronunciation of the answer. The answer is a type of carriage. It is also a type of car. Cadillac, for example, has one.

    4. @Peter - Thankyou for that. I was looking for carriages with horses. It did not help that I had the wrong synonym for 22d. Everything has fallen into place. 23d hasn't much choice but I can't cipher it.

    5. Peter, the name of the carriage can be pronounced either brooms or broo-ems (neither of which is how I supposed it to be pronounced).

      Carl, it was originally a carriage with horses. The name was later adopted by the automakers.

  5. Good morning Falcon and all,
    Fun puzzle, requiring me to work on just about all of the answers, with perhaps more than the usual going back and forth between clue and entered letters to figure things out. Last in were 19a followed by the crossing 16d, where I'd pegged the wrong end of the clue as the definition. For 12a and 5d I relied totally on pattern recognition before understanding how the clues work.
    @Peter, for 24a I was helped by having had a childhood book, "Adventures of a Brownie," which recounted the exploits of this mischievous creature. Like you, I learned I've been mispronouncing 21a. For 5d, think of golf clubs missing their opening letter.
    @Carl and Peter, for 23d, you might want to check out I thanked Mrs. Olson's 7th grade Geography class for that one :)

    1. Thanks Carola! Never knew about the Brownie or heard of the drink. Learn something new every day. 5d is so obvious now that you point it out.

    2. Carol - Thank you for that link. I would have preferred "brings together frazzled teams" for 23d but it is always nice to pick up a new word.

    3. Hi there everyone! When I looked at how many comments were in for this puzzle (16 at the time) I thought this one must be good - and as noted by many, it was a bit of a struggle, and like you Carola, also stuck on 16d and 19a at the end. Thanks to your comment about looking at the wrong end of the clue, I got 16d, but had trouble coming up with a 4 letter word that would start off 19a, until I thought of a "number" and I went "aha!" Great puzzle, if a little 1a.

  6. Hello Falcon et al,
    I also struggled with many of the clues noted by Peter, except I was very aware of Mr. Michaels, a Canadian on our Walk of Fame no less. Learned about a new drink but not really sure where to find some here in Canada.

    Good fun for a Saturday morning.

  7. West Coast GeordieJune 12, 2016 at 12:48 AM

    I enjoy the National Post crossword every Saturday. Being "older" and British (weirder) can be a help!

    1. Welcome to the blog, West Coast Geordie. Please join us on a regular basis.

  8. This is my first comment. My name is Sydney (female) and I've been at these puzzles for about three years now. I also go into Press Reader and print the ones from The Scotsman, as it seems to be on the same level as the NP, and The Daily Mail, which can be daunting because of the many British terms. But it's good practice.

    1. Welcome to the blog, Sydney. I hope to see you back soon.

  9. Can someone please tell me the answer to 1 across?

    1. Hi Sydney,

      The definition is "grave significance". You get it by putting a word for 'holey quality' around a type of shelter.



  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. To answer:
    .what are 19 across...16 down...6 down...and 17 down?

    19a FI(VESTA)R
    16d DETER+MINE
    6d NIGHTLIFE NIGH + anagram of IFLET
    17d M + IS SOUR+ I

  12. For those anxiously awaiting the solution, it will be forthcoming eventually.

    I was out of town for the weekend and my laptop choose that as an opportune time to give up the ghost. The screen dimmed and froze and when I forced a restart, the computer booted to a black screen (if, in fact, it booted at all). I expect it is toast.

  13. For some unknown reason, many of the oomments were duplicated. I have removed the duplicates.