Saturday, August 13, 2016

Saturday, August 13, 2016 — Dagnabbit Wabbit


I found the top half of today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon to be virtually "read and write" but the bottom half put up a bit more resistance — in particular, 20a.

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   Shout poem recklessly /in/ movie full of gunfights (5-2-2)

{SHOOT_EM_UP}* — anagram (recklessly) of SHOUT POEM

6a   Something positive, // like part of a tennis match (5)

AS|SET — AS (like) + SET (part of a tennis match)

9a   Officer/’s/ germ communicated orally (7)

COLONEL~ — sounds like (communicated orally) KERNEL (germ)

10a   After start of summer, disregard // Italian gentleman (7)

S|IGNORE — IGNORE (disregard) following (after) S (start [initial letter] of Summer)

Signore is an alternative spelling of Signor[5], a title or form of address used of or to an Italian-speaking man, corresponding to Mr or sir ⇒ (i) Signor Ugolotti; (ii) I am a man of honour, Signor.

11a   Actor with a small part // in next race (5)

_EXT|RA_ — hidden in (in) nEXT RAce

12a   Bordello’s broken // buzzers (9)

DOORBELLS* — anagram (broken) of BORDELLOS

13a   Masked man // shot northern eagle (3,4,6)

{THE LONE RANGER}* — anagram (shot) of NORTHERN EAGLE

The Lone Ranger[7] is a fictional masked former Texas Ranger who fought outlaws in the American Old West with his Native American friend, Tonto. He first appeared in 1933 in a radio show. The character was originally believed to be inspired by Texas Ranger Captain John R. Hughes, to whom the book The Lone Star Ranger by Zane Grey was dedicated in 1915. The radio series proved to be a hit and spawned a series of books, an equally popular television show that ran from 1949 to 1957, comic books, and several movies.
Canadian footnote: Tonto was played in the television series by Jay Silverheels (1912–1980), a Mohawk from the Six Nations Indian Reserve in Ontario, Canada.
16a   Shop with impulsive speed, and fault // TV personality (6,7)

MART|HA STE|WART — MART (shop) + (with) HASTE (impulsive speed) + (and) WART (fault)

Martha Stewart[7] is an American businesswoman, writer, and television personality. As founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, she has gained success through a variety of business ventures, encompassing publishing, broadcasting, merchandising, and e-commerce.

20a   Hottest // pens splitting perfectly (9)

TO|A(STIES)T — STIES (pens) contained in (splitting) {TO A T (perfectly)}

I ran into a mental block on this clue. However, I set the puzzle aside and when I came back to it the penny finally dropped.

22a   Boy with the French // serving spoon (5)

LAD|LE — LAD (boy) + (with) LE (the French; French definite article)

24a   Edward provided rocks /for/ building (7)

ED|IF|ICE — ED ([diminutive for] Edward) + IF (provided) + ICE (rocks; ice cubes in a drink or slang for diamonds)

25a   Bugs in cargo // of health food? (7)

ORGANIC* — anagram (bugs) of IN CARGO

26a   Makes smooth // verbal link in two seconds (5)

S(AND)S — AND (verbal link) contained in (in) {S + S (two seconds)}

27a   Finding // 1970s music authentic (9)

DISCO|VERY — DISCO (1970s music) + VERY (authentic; the very thing)


1d   Holy // plot of land in South Dakota (6)

S(ACRE)D — ACRE (plot of land) contained in (in) SD (South Dakota)

2d   Towel off // small bird (5)

OWLET* — anagram (off) of TOWEL

3d   Pitch about old horse/’s/ carrying capacity (7)

TON(NAG)E — TONE (pitch) containing (about) NAG (old horse)

4d   Voice actor Blanc: awful // sweet-sounding (9)

MEL|ODIOUS — MEL (voice actor [Mel] Blanc; the voice of Bugs Bunny and countless other cartoon characters) + ODIOUS (awful)

5d   Someone trying bit of oyster // sauce (5)

PEST|O — PEST (someone trying [your patience]) + O (bit [initial letter] of Oyster)

6d   Badly garble a // math course (7)

ALGEBRA* — anagram (badly) of GARBLE A

7d   Kitchen vessel caught in minor // source of illumination (9)

S(POT)LIGHT — POT (kitchen vessel) contained in (caught in) SLIGHT (minor)

8d   Trimmed tree with a certain // value (8)

TRE_|A|SURE — TRE (trimmed tree; TRE[E] with the final letter removed) + (with) A (†) + SURE (certain)

13d   Sailor next to land, // dagnabbit! (9)

TAR|NATION — TAR (sailor) + (next to) NATION (land)

14d   Changing oxen, tries // labours (9)

EXERTIONS* — anagram (changing) of OXEN TRIES

15d   Small family member’s // gags (8)

S|MOTHER|S — S (small; abbrev.) + MOTHER (family member) + S ('s)

17d   Sharp objects // scattered in paths (7)

HATPINS* — anagram (scattered) of IN PATHS

18d   Musical direction // right in nothing but conceit (7)

ALL|EG(R)O — R (right; abbrev.) contained in (in) {ALL (nothing but) + EGO (conceit)}

The musical direction allegro[5] means at a brisk speed.

19d   Fine // going through slump each year (6)

_P|EACH|Y_ — hidden in (going through) slumP EACH Year

21d   Correct // me in finale (5)

E(ME)ND — ME (†) contained in (in) END (finale)

23d   “Day Before” // poet (5)

D|ANTE — D (day; abbrev.) + ANTE (before)


The title of today's review is inspired by 13d, 4d, and (to some extent) 1a. Mel Blanc was the voice of Bugs Bunny and following the death of voice actor Arthur Q. Bryan also voiced Elmer Fudd who was embarked on a perpetual mission to shoot Bugs.
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. Hello Falcon and fellow puzzlers,
    Enjoyed this nice and light mindgame. Pretty much a write-in. Loved my last one in, 19D.

    Have a good weekend all,

  2. Nice and straightforward except for 16a on which I am stuck!

  3. Hi Carl,
    I can tell you the lady in question is a "home" guru and has done some time...


    1. Also, she has last-namesake Patrick.

    2. Thanks. I was fixated on Murphy whom I thought might be a British personality. I see now how the correct parsing leads to our home guru.

  4. Hi everyone! The heatwave goes on, and on, and...
    I totally agree with Falcon on this one, the answers practically wrote themselves in, Except 20a. I had all the checking letters. My faithful electronic assistants said there is no word that matches those letters. I ran through the alphabet, and finally figured it out. Ironic, isn't it in the middle of this heatwave??
    Happy wabbit hunting to all.

  5. Agree with Falcon... top half across a breeze and then a bit of trouble on the bottom half. Top half of downs the same, but by then had enough letters to finish it off. I had thought of correct answer for 20A straight away but didn't realize it until coming back later... a clever clue.

  6. Hi Falcon,
    Methinks your solution to 4d is incomplete.


    1. Oops! What an "awful" mistake. [Now fixed]

  7. Hello Falcon and all,
    I also breezed through the top half and then got hung up on the bottom. My put-it-down-and-come-back clue was 19d. I thought I'd finished and came here to find out how to parse 23d to get DoNnE. Note to self: if the clue won't make sense, erase and rethink. Falcon, thanks for the note about Jay Silverheels, whom I liked better than 13a.