Saturday, July 30, 2016

Saturday, July 30, 2016 — Chemistry 101


One might have been well-advised to brush up on the periodic table of the elements before tackling today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon.

Having returned home from the lake for a few days, I am slowly getting caught up on a backlog of reviews. I solved this puzzle in my tent. Not having access to a printer, I hand drew the grid before solving the puzzle.

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   Console debtors, strangely // calm and rational (5,4,5)

{STONE COLD SOBER}* — anagram (strangely) of CONSOLE DEBTORS

10a   Wrong answer I // prepare for questioning (5,2)

{SWEAR IN}* — anagram (wrong) of ANSWER I

11a   Solve the mystery /of/ Shakespearean king aboard vessel (5,2)

C(LEAR) UP — LEAR (Shakespearean king) contained in (aboard) CUP ([drinking] vessel)

12a   Actor with a small part // in next race (5)

_EXT|RA_ — hidden in (in) nEXT RAce

13a   Academy Awards ceremony // chose star incorrectly (3,6)

{THE OSCARS}* — anagram (incorrectly) of CHOSE STAR

14a   Saying // the name of a dog in lead (7)

P(ROVER)B — ROVER (the name of a dog) contained in (in) PB ([symbol for the chemical element] lead)

16a   Made a hit // sound with the voice, and was first (7)

SING|LED — SING (sound with the voice) + (and) LED (was first)

In baseball, to single[5] is to get a hit which allows the batter to proceed safely to first base.

17a   Friendly // Air Force story with a moral (7)

AF|FABLE — AF (Air Force) + FABLE (story with a moral)

19a   Parts of summer // gold rushes (7)

AU|GUSTS — AU ([symbol for the chemical element] gold) + GUSTS (rushes)

22a   Collaring // others in a gang (9)

A|R(REST)ING — REST (others) contained in (in) {A (†) + RING (gang)}

24a   Get to // run for every one (5)

R|EACH — R (run; abbreviation used in baseball and cricket) + EACH (for every one)

26a   Smelliest // tankers drifting (7)

RANKEST* — anagram (drifting) of TANKERS

27a   Shed item worn by revolutionary // instructor (7)

TEACHER — TEAR (shed item; drop of water shed from the eye) containing (worn by) CHE (revolutionary [Che Guevara])

28a   Officer // meets a stranger dancing (6,8)

{MASTER SERGEANT}* — anagram (dancing) of MEETS A STRANGER


2d   Three of the Italians close to // something special (5)

TRE|AT — TRE (three of the Italians; Italian word meaning 'three') + AT (close to)

3d   Nation’s leader arrived and finished off // recount (7)

NARRATE — N (nation's leader; initial letter of Nation) + ARR (arrived; abbreviation seen at an airport or train station) + (and) ATE (finished off [a quantity of food])

4d   Law officer // takes in chart (9)

CONS|TABLE — CONS (takes in; swindles) + TABLE (chart)

5d   Philosopher // enthralled by glockenspiel (5)

_LOCKE_ — hidden in (enthralled by) gLOCKEnspiel

John Locke[5] (1632–1704) was an English philosopher, a founder of empiricism and political liberalism. His Two Treatises of Government (1690) argues that the authority of rulers has a human origin and is limited. In An Essay concerning Human Understanding (1690) he argued that all knowledge is based on experience derived from the senses.

6d   Family member // walks over (7)

STEPS|ON — STEPS (walks) + ON (over)

7d   Strips about salt // sea creatures (9)

BAR(NACL)ES — BARES (strips)containing (about) NACL (salt; symbol for the chemical compound sodium chloride or table salt)

8d   Lay // sponge back in grass (7)

RE(POS<)ED — reversal (back) of SOP (sponge) contained in (in) REED (grass)

9d   Snoozing, // takes off clothing article the wrong way (6)

{A|SLEEP}< — reversal (the wrong way) of {PEELS (takes off clothing) + A ([indefinite] article)}

15d   Gifts // of iron hoops (9)

OF|FE|RINGS — OF (†) + FE ([symbol for the chemical element] iron) + RINGS (hoops)

16d   Small response to slapstick // cream (9)

S|LAUGHTER — S (small; abbrev.) + LAUGHTER (response to slapstick)

17d   Mix up the characters of // a horse and sheep (7)

A|NAG|RAM — A (†) + NAG (horse) + (and) RAM (sheep)

18d   Swarming bees, e. g., I // trap in a way (7)

BESIEGE* — anagram (swarming) of BEES EG I

20d   Junk // clothes get older (7)

GARB|AGE — GARB (clothes) + AGE (get older)

21d   A cheer when returning // a big chunk of Africa (6)

{SA|HAR|A}< — reversal (returning) of {A (†) + RAH (cheer) + AS (when)}

23d   Shreds // first of Irish wild oats (5)

I|OTAS — I (first [letter] of Irish) + anagram (wild) of OATS

25d   White, // like chicken (5)

AS|HEN —AS (like) + HEN (chicken)


The title of today's review is inspired by 14a (Pb), 19a (Au), 7d (NaCl), and 15d (Fe).
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,

    Fairly straightforward this morning I thought. I liked 14a, 5d and 16d. The long anagrams really make these puzzles easier. Finally getting a much needed break from the heat in London. Hope it lasts a while. Have a good long weekend everyone.


  2. Good day fellow cryptic solvers!

    Very enjoyable puzzle today. Laughed out loud at 17d. I await Henry's suggested title ;)

    Many thanks to Falcon for posting.

  3. Good afternoon fellow cryptos! This was a good puzzle, lots of misdirection. If you happened to be 1a, it could drive you to drink!
    Ah yes, the title (suggested, of course) - I was thinking "Officers get their man" from 4d, 28a, 11a and 22a. To be sure, they're friendly officers.

  4. Nice puzzle to be sure.

    Had to laugh when I got 17d as the last answer!

    For some reason, although there is only one possible answer for 27a, I can parse the "instructor" but not "shed item worn by revolutionary".

    1. Hi Carl,
      To parse 27a, think of an item that is "shed" when crying and a famous Cuban revolutionary.


    2. @Anonymous


      I thought of Che while barbecuing supper. Thanks for taking me out of the tool shed. I should have been able to parse that clue. Makes me want to shed a tear!

  5. Hello Falcon and all, I had to take a break and come back for 6d x 16a. In the "me,too" department, In the puzzle margin I starred 14a, 16a, and 27a as clues that were enjoyably vexing to figure out. Agree, too, on the fun of 17d.

  6. Agree with the above - 17D has forever changed how I look at these. Also had a real duh moment with 14A, as I totally fell into the misdirection on the surface read. 2/3 rating. Thanks to E&H and to Falcon.


  7. Hi nice post written by you. It is amazing and wonderful to visit your site. Thanks a ton for such a nice post.
    Goldenslot Casino Online
    Gclub Casino
    Gclub จีคลับ