Sunday, August 7, 2016

Saturday, August 6, 2016 — Romance and Mystery


As MG has commented, this week's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon "wasn't a complete write-in" which certainly added to the enjoyment of solving it.

I encountered a plethora of difficulties in my attempts to post the puzzle this past weekend. For some reason the signal strength was far below normal at my customary perches. While I did eventually manage to complete about two-thirds of the steps required to post the puzzle, my battery died before I could finish the task.

I hope to have the solution to the July 30 puzzle up before too long. 

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   Chevy containing one // comfy seat (6)

CHA(I)SE — CHASE (Chevy) containing (†) I ([Roman numeral for] one)

Chevy Chase[7] (born Cornelius Crane Chase) is an American actor, comedian, writer and producer. A key cast member in the debut season of the American late-night live television sketch comedy and variety show Saturday Night Live, he is also known for his roles in a number of film comedies, especially for his portrayal of the character Clark Griswold in five National Lampoon's Vacation films.

Chevy Chase[7] is the name of a town in Maryland that is a suburb of Washington, D.C. as well as the name of a neighborhood of Washington, D.C., bordering Chevy Chase, Maryland [could we not just say that the community straddles the border?].

The Ballad of Chevy Chase[7] is a 16th-century ballad from the borderland between England and Scotland; the source of the term. The ballad (of which two versions exist) tells the story of a large hunting party upon a parcel of hunting land (or chase) in the Cheviot Hills, hence the term, Chevy Chase. The hunt is led by Percy, the English Earl of Northumberland. The Scottish Earl of Douglas had forbidden this hunt and interpreted it as an invasion of Scotland. In response he attacked, causing a bloody battle after which only 110 people survived.

4a   In songs, kid // Roman officers (8)

T(RIB)UNES — RIB (kid; tease) contained in (in) TUNES (songs)

A tribune[5] (also military tribune) was a Roman legionary officer [not to be confused with a tribune of the people, an official in ancient Rome chosen by the plebeians to protect their interests].

9a   Asphalt // delivery at Rogers Centre (5)

PITCH — double definition

Rogers Centre[7], originally named SkyDome, is a stadium in downtown Toronto which is home to the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball (MLB).

10a   Farm dweller runs off // wild grazers (9)

ANT|ELOPE — ANT (farm dweller; inhabitant of an ant farm) + ELOPES (runs off)

11a   Make a cut /in/ fabric price (8)

LACE|RATE — LACE (fabric) + RATE (price)

12a   The French deceive // Nielsen in Hollywood (6)

LES|LIE — LES (the French; plural form of the French definite article) + LIE (deceive)

Leslie Nielsen[7] (1926–2010) was a Canadian actor, comedian, and producer who appeared in more than 100 films and 150 television programs, portraying more than 220 characters. Although his notable performances in the films Forbidden Planet and The Poseidon Adventure gave him standing as a serious actor, Nielsen later gained enduring recognition for his deadpan comedy roles in films such as Airplane! and The Naked Gun film series.

14a   Grand // pronoun for a Quaker (4)

THOU — double definition

15a   Threateningly wave // cereal bowl (8)

BRAN|DISH — BRAN (cereal) + DISH (bowl)

19a   Skating figure gaining positive // vision (8)

E(YES)IGHT — EIGHT (skating figure; figure traced by figure skaters) containing (gaining) YES (positive)

20a   Overheard Cy // voice relief (4)

SIGH~ — sounds like (overheard) CY (a man's name)

23a   Connect // run with cheer (6)

R|ELATE — R (run; abbreviation used in baseball and cricket) + (with) ELATE (cheer; as a verb meaning to make someone happy)

25a   Mover’s truck by one storage structure // disappeared (8)

VAN|I|SHED — VAN (mover's truck) + (by) I ([Roman numeral for] one) + SHED (storage structure)

27a   Springtime bloom // might, with failure, let down (9)

MAY|F|LOWER — MAY (might) + (with) F (failure; grade given on a school assignment or test) + LOWER (let down)

Mayflower[2,3,4,10,11] is a name given to any of various plants that bloom in May. In Canada and the US, the name mayflower[10] is most commonly used as another name for trailing arbutus (Epigaea repens), the floral emblem of both Nova Scotia and Massachusetts. However, in Britain, the term mayflower[2,4,10] primarily refers to the blossom of the hawthorn tree although it is also used as another name for cowslip and marsh marigold.

28a   Mister Natural holds // back (5)

_STER|N_ — hidden in (holds) MiSTER Natural

Scratching the Surface
Mr. Natural
Mr. Natural[7] (Fred Natural) is a comic book character created and drawn by 1960s counterculture and underground comix artist Robert Crumb.

29a   Associate in arena // fighting back (8)

R(ALLY)ING — ALLY (associate) contained in (in) RING (arena)

30a   B plus // hound (6)

B|ASSET — B (†) + ASSET (plus)


1d   Juliet’s relatives // shaking castle up (8)

CAPULETS* — anagram (shaking) of CASTLE UP

Juliet Capulet[7] is the female protagonist and one of two title characters in William Shakespeare's romantic love tragedy Romeo and Juliet. Juliet is the only daughter of Capulet, the patriarch of the Capulet family.

2d   “Vegetable // painting?” I gag (9)

ART|I|CHOKE — ART (painting) + I (†) + CHOKE (gag)

3d   Spanish present // ball (6)

SP|HERE — SP (Spanish; abbrev.) + HERE (present; answer to a roll call)

5d   Ceremony proper for the audience (4)

RITE~ — sounds like (to the audience) RIGHT (proper)

6d   Periodical, // scattered blue lint (8)

BULLETIN* — anagram (scattered) of BLUE LINT

7d   Land // plane roughly (5)

NEPAL* — anagram (roughly) of PLANE

8d   Family member caught in mess is terrified (6)

_S|IS|TER_ — hidden in (caught in) mesS IS TERrified

10d   A banned sports drug /for/ an out-of-this-world body (8)

A|STEROID — A (†) + STEROID (banned sports drug)

13d   Antihero cracked up, // live (2,3,3)

{ON THE AIR}* — anagram (cracked up) of ANTIHERO

16d   The sign he mistakenly // raises (9)

HEIGHTENS* — anagram (mistakenly) of THE SIGN HE

17d   Guys score // by using the brain (8)

MEN|TALLY — MEN (guys) + TALLY (score)

18d   Cleverness about peculiar hound in murder mystery (8)

W(HODUN*)IT — WIT (cleverness) containing (about) an anagram (peculiar) of HOUND

21d   Border inside a pop // book for beginners (6)

P(RIM)ER — RIM (border) contained in (inside) PER (a pop; for each)

22d   Seat is adjusted /for/ nap (6)

SIESTA* — anagram (adjusted) of SEAT IS

24d   True // rocky alloy (5)

LOYAL* — anagram (rocky) of ALLOY

26d   Ballplayer in Minnesota // cut short string (4)

TWIN_ — TWIN[E] (string) with the final letter removed (cut short)

The Minnesota Twins[7] are an American professional baseball team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) Central division. The team is named after the Twin Cities area comprising Minneapolis and St. Paul.


The title of today's review is inspired by 1d and 18d.
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. Hi Falcon,
    Thanks so much for posting - for me, better late than never. Enjoyed this puzzle because it wasn't a complete write-in. Really liked 2d and 15a.

    Also missed your solution to last week's puzzle ;) .. but then again, you have been busy! Trust you enjoyed your holiday.


    1. The solution to the July 30 puzzle is now posted.

      Yes, it was a very enjoyable sojourn at the lake. Lots of hot, sunny weather and a refreshing lake in which to cool off.

  2. Happy hot mid-week, y'all! The puzzle this week (and so happy to see Mr Falcon that you're back on-the-air, so to speak) was not so much difficult as it was (as Mr Natural would put it) corny. And it had two wicked hidden clues which were the last in for me.
    Looking forward to seeing y'all soon!