Saturday, August 20, 2016

Saturday, August 20, 2016 — Music for Many Tastes


Similar to what has been reported by others, the bottom half of today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon went in well before the top half. The last to go in was 5d.

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   Monotonous song // ruined acorn-gathering (9,5)

{GREGORIAN CHANT}* — anagram (ruined) of ACORN GATHERING

10a   Brownish // cucumber’s inside (5)

_UMBER_ — hidden in (inside) cucUMBER's

The solution is "inside" only if one considers the 's to be part of the fodder rather than part of the indicator.

11a   Mark // changed limos once (9)

SEMICOLON* — anagram (changed) of LIMOS ONCE

12a   With a partner, devises // openings for nickels and dimes? (9)

COIN|VENTS — split (4,5) one has a whimsical description — as evidenced by the question mark — of openings through which nickels and dimes might pass

13a   Pen with the French // flair (5)

STY|LE — STY (pen [for pigs]) + (with) LE (the French; French definite article)

14a   Tenor imitated // on a record (5)

T|APED — T (tenor; abbrev.) + APED (imitated)

16a   Wet-weather garments // Croatians refashioned (9)

RAINCOATS* — anagram (refashioned) of CROATIANS

18a   Actress Page // realigned cast (9)

GERALDINE* — anagram (cast) of REALIGNED

Geraldine Page[7] (1924–1987) was an American film, television and stage actress. An eight-time Academy Award nominee, she failed to win on seven occasions before garnering the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance as Carrie Watts in The Trip to Bountiful (1985).

I did spend some time trying to cast Canadian actress Ellen Page[7] (Juno, 2007) in the role.

19a   A street in New York /is/ mean (5)

N(A|ST)Y — {A (†) + ST (street; abbrev.)} contained in (in) NY (New York; abbrev.)

Scratching the Surface
Mean Streets[7] is a 1973 American crime film directed and co-written by Martin Scorsese (see 28a).

21a   Identifies men as “alien” (5)

NAMES* —anagram (alien) of MEN AS

23a   Told, as a tale // tallied anew (9)

RECOUNTED — double definition

26a   Top-rated songs // blasted apartheid (3,6)

{HIT PARADE}* — anagram (blasted) of APARTHEID

27a   Individual with a large // teammate of Bryant, once (5)

ONE|A|L — ONE (individual) + (with) A (†) + L (large; abbrev.)

They may have been teammates, but they were hardly the best of teammates.

Kobe Bryant[7] is an American retired professional basketball player. He played his entire 20-year career with the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

Shaquille O'Neal[7], nicknamed Shaq, is an American retired professional basketball player who is currently an analyst on the television program Inside the NBA (Turner Network Television). 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 — including the Los Angeles Lakers.

A feud between O'Neal and Bryant[7] led to O'Neal being traded to the Miami Heat.

28a   Movie director // sadly resists romance (6,8)


Martin Scorsese[5] is an American film director. Notable works: Mean Streets (1973), Taxi Driver (1976), and The Last Temptation of Christ (1988).


2d   Teacher/’s/ pet liking carrots, for the most part (5)

RABBI_ — RABBI[T] (pet liking carrots) with the final letter removed (for the most part)

3d   Author/’s/ goal: holding pearl-seeker back (4,5)

GO({RE VID}<)AL — GOAL (†) containing (holding) a reversal (back) of DIVER (pearl-seeker)

Gore Vidal[5] (1925–2012) was an American novelist, playwright, and essayist; born Eugene Luther Vidal. His novels, many of them satirical comedies, include Williwaw (1946) and Myra Breckenridge (1968).

4d   Siren busted // up (5)

RISEN* — anagram (busted) of SIREN

5d   Break in war // room is in a time freeze (9)

ARMISTICE — {RM (room; abbrev.) + IS (†)} contained in (in) {A (†) + T (time; abbrev.) + ICE (freeze)}

6d   Prepares to shoot // some barnyard birds (5)

COCKS — double definition

7d   Mr. Keach and Ms. Fitzgerald brought back // some felines (5,4)

{ALLE|Y CATS}< — a reversal (brought back) of {STACY (Mr. Keach) + (and) ELLA (Ms. Fitzgerald)}

Stacy Keach[7] is an American actor and narrator.

Ella Fitzgerald[5] (1917–1996) was an American jazz singer, known for her distinctive style of scat singing [which I suppose is appropriate to this clue].

8d   Presents // boneless chicken strips (7)

TENDERS — double definition

Chicken tenders is another name for chicken fingers[7]. I must say that it is a new term to me. While I suspect that it may be a regional term, I could find no evidence to confirm this.

9d   Greek character acts strangely /in/ Oman’s capital (6)

MU|SCAT — MU (Greek character; twelfth letter of the Greek alphabet) + SCAT* {anagram (strangely) of ACTS}

Muscat[5] is the capital of Oman, a port on the southeastern coast of the Arabian peninsula; population 620,000 (est. 2007).

15d   Disciple keeping a sheep // constant (9)

P(A|RAM)ETER — PETER (disciple [of Christ]) containing (keeping) {A (†) + RAM (sheep)}

A parameter is certainly not necessarily constant!

16d   Rod’s a liar, shifting // Monopoly game holdings (9)

RAILROADS* —anagram (shifting) of RODS A LIAR

Monopoly being an American game, these holdings are RAILROADS rather than RAILWAYS.

17d   Magicians // fool people in a courtroom (9)

CON|JURORS — CON (fool) + JURORS (people in a courtroom)

18d   Material // among banging hammers (7)

_GING|HAM_ — hidden in (among) banGING HAMmers

Gingham[5] is lightweight plain-woven cotton cloth, typically checked in white and a bold colour.

20d   Doyle’s arranged /for/ long-distance calls (6)

YODELS* — anagram (arranged) of DOYLES

22d   Hindu teacher // did laps in the pool before one (5)

SWAM|I — SWAM (did laps in the pool) + (before) I ([Roman numeral for] one)

24d   Company accepting Communist // statement of beliefs (5)

C(RED)O — CO (company; abbrev.) containing (accepting) RED (Communist)

25d   Levels, /for/ crying out loud (5)

TIERS~ — sounds like (out loud) of TEARS (crying)


The title of today's review is inspired by 1a, 26a 20d — not to mention the midnight serenade from 7d.
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. Enjoyable puzzle today - a little trickier than the past few weeks. Got everything except 14A, where despite having 3 of the 5 letters, I am stuck and can't parse the clue.

    1. I think they are using "like an animal" for imitated.

    2. I see it now. I was not aware of the convention of representing Tenor with a single letter

  2. Well that took twice as long as I expected. South was quick. North was fine until I went with boneless chicken "nuggets" (a bit stretched for "presents" I know) for 8d. Despite this wreaking havoc with 1a (had to be "chain" and 11a (how many words end in "l.g") I had to go and have breakfast and have a second look.

  3. Good day Falcon and all,
    I found the puzzle to be pretty enjoyable also. Instead of chicken nuggets like Carl, I went with chicken "fingers" - which I thought was not too much of a stretch for "presents". I soon saw the error of my ways. My favourite clue was 12a as the setters often use slot for coin openings, so another fake-out.

    Thank you for posting.

  4. Well that took twice as long as I expected. South was quick. North was fine until I went with boneless chicken "nuggets" (a bit stretched for "presents" I know) for 8d. Despite this wreaking havoc with 1a (had to be "chain" and 11a (how many words end in "l.g") I had to go and have breakfast and have a second look.

  5. Fun puzzle from E&H this week. Thought 5d was a bit clunky, enjoyed15d, favoured 12a. Note to all setters - you can now retire 20 d as a clue, it has become like family. 3/3 rated. Thnx to E&H and Falcon for an enjoyable puzzle.

  6. Good day to everyone! I'm checking out the Port Credit BuskerFest this weekend, a lot of activity on Lakeshore last night.
    Hardly had to disturb the little grey cells for this week's offering. As noted above, quite a bit of well used anagrams and other familiar clues. Last one in was 25d when I caught the homonym.

  7. Hello Falcon and all, I found the puzzle a walk in the park except for three spots that tripped me up: 5d, where I wanted a "truce" to be somehow involved; 11a, where I needed every cross to see the answer; and 12a, with its cute word play.