Saturday, September 10, 2016

Saturday, September 10, 2016 — The Excitement is Just Too Much


Like most of those who have commented to date, I had little difficulty with today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon. 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   Aces wild, /for/ example (4)

CASE* — anagram (wild) of ACES

3a   Shortages // leave a lasting mark on urban areas (10)

SCAR|CITIES — SCAR (leave a lasting mark on) + CITIES (urban areas)

9a   Highly disciplined // skill in bridge (7)

SP(ART)AN — ART (skill) contained in SPAN (bridge)

11a   Library supports // quiet helpers of Santa (7)

SH|ELVES — SH (quiet) + ELVES (helpers of Santa)

12a   Summer // snake (5)

ADDER — double definition

In electronics, adder[5] is a term for a unit which adds together two input variables.

The adder[5] (also called viper) is a small venomous Eurasian snake (Vipera berus) which has a dark zigzag pattern on its back and bears live young. It is the only poisonous snake in Britain.

13a   Playwright framing a // person with a brush (7)

P(A)INTER — PINTER ([English] playwright [Harold Pinter]) containing (framing) A (†)

Harold Pinter[5] (1930–2008) was an English dramatist, actor, and director. His plays are associated with the Theatre of the Absurd and are typically marked by a sense of menace. Notable plays: The Birthday Party (1958), The Caretaker (1960), and Party Time (1991). Nobel Prize for Literature (2005).

15a   Sticks // little rascal with pub orders (7)

IMP|ALES — IMP (little rascal) + ALES (pub orders)

16a   Measure outside of English // ship (7)

GALL(E)ON — GALLON (measure) containing (outside of) E (English; abbrev.)

18a   Gold rush west of a // city of Maine (7)

AU|GUST|A — {AU ([symbol for the chemical element] gold) + GUST (rush)} preceding (west of) A (†)

Augusta[7] is the capital of the U.S. state of Maine. The city's population was 19,136 at the 2010 census, making it the third-smallest U.S. state capital (after Montpelier, Vermont and Pierre, South Dakota).

21a   Electra stirred // golden syrup (7)

TREACLE* — anagram (stirred) of ELECTRA

Treacle[3,11] is the British name for molasses and golden syrup[7] is the British name for light molasses.

Delving Deeper
Molasses (in the North American sense of the word) is a byproduct of the sugar-making process. Specifically, molasses is the concentrated syrup leftover when sugar crystals are extracted, and comes in three varieties: light, dark and blackstrap.

When sugar cane is being processed into sugar, the juice from crushed or pressed sugar cane is boiled to prompt the crystallization process. The liquid resulting from the first cooking of the sugar cane syrup is known in North America as light molasses (and in the UK as treacle[10] or golden syrup[7]). It has a relative high sugar content and a fairly mild flavor.

The liquid resulting from the second boiling of the sugar cane juice is known in North America as dark molasses (and in the UK as black treacle[7]). It has a distinctively strong, slightly bitter flavour, and a richer colour than light molasses. Black treacle is also called molasses in the UK, although it would seem this term is used primarily when the substance is not intended for human consumption.

Blackstrap molasses is the darkest, thickest and least sweet of the types of molasses and is the result of the third and final boiling of the sugar cane juice.

Scratching the Surface
In Greek mythology, Electra[5] is the daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra. She persuaded her brother Orestes to kill Clytemnestra and Aegisthus (their mother’s lover) in revenge for the murder of Agamemnon.

23a   Sirius // Radio’s foremost after ads got tossed (3,4)

{DOG STA}*|R — R (Radio's foremost; initial letter (foremost) of Radio) following (after) anagram (tossed) of ADS GOT

Sirius[5] is the brightest star in the sky, south of the celestial equator in the constellation Canis Major. It is a binary star with a dim companion, which is a white dwarf. Also called Dog Star.

Scratching the Surface
Sirius Satellite Radio[5] is a satellite radio (SDARS) and online radio service operating in North America, owned by Sirius XM Holdings.

25a   Unlocks // cipher by writers (5)

O|PENS — O (cipher) + (by) PENS (writers; instruments that write or persons who write)

27a   Letters from orphan to mother/’s/ ghost (7)

_PHAN|TO|M_ — hidden in (letters from) orPHAN TO Mother

28a   Forgetting // a name is bad (7)

AMNESIA* — anagram (bad) of A NAME IS

29a   Hotel wants new // display of skill (6,4)

{TALENT SHOW}* — anagram (new) of HOTEL WANTS

30a   Listened to hero // at rest (4)

IDLE — sounds like (listened to) IDOL (hero)


1d   Share top billing with me, and dismiss // Latin American (5,5)

COSTA R|I|CAN — COSTAR (share top billing) + (with) I (me) + (and) CAN (dismiss [from employment])

2d   Nightclub comedian // shaking dustpan (5-2)

STAND-UP — anagram (shaking) of DUSTPAN

4d   Have what it takes to mimic small // party snacks (7)

CAN|APE|S — CAN (have what it takes) + APE (to mimic) + S (small; abbrev.)

5d   Snake in coil // making harsh noises (7)

R(ASP)ING — ASP (snake) contained in (in) RING (coil)

6d   Clumsy // line missing the original point (5)

_INE|PT — INE {[L]INE with the initial letter removed (missing the original)} + PT (point; abbrev.)

7d   Opposite, // poetically? (7)

IN|VERSE — IN VERSE (poetically)

8d   Call for help with Toronto’s last // fair (2-2)

SO-S|O — SOS (call for help) + (with) O (Toronto's last; final letter [last] of TorontO)

10d   Homer, surrounded by containers of cash, /gets/ excited (7)

T(HR)ILLS — HR (homer; home run) contained in (surrounded by) TILLS (containers of cash)

14d   Minimize // student-era misbehaving (10)

UNDERSTATE* — anagram (misbehaving) of STUDENT ERA

17d   Reformed, wild one // hit the hay (3,4)

{LIE DOWN}* — anagram (reformed) of WILD ONE

19d   Travel aimlessly with totally // wild duck (7)

GAD|W|ALL — GAD (travel aimlessly) + W (with; abbrev.) + ALL (totally)

The gadwall[5] is a brownish-grey freshwater duck (Anas strepera) found across Eurasia and North America.

20d   Olympian // ties arm when broken (7)

ARTEMIS* — anagram (when broken) of TIES ARM

In Greek mythology, Artemis[5,10] (also called Cynthia; Roman counterpart Diana) is the virgin goddess of the hunt and the moon, daughter of Zeus and twin sister of Apollo. She was a huntress and is typically depicted with a bow and arrows.

21d   Strong wind // shredded a party (7)

TORN|A|DO — TORN (shredded) + A (†) + DO (party)

22d   See card mistakenly // folded (7)

CREASED* — anagram (mistakenly) of SEE CARD

24d   Somewhat manage to nail // board (3,2)

_GE|T O|N_ — hidden in (somewhat) manaGE TO Nail

26d   Backed-up faucets // sputtered (4)

SPAT< — reversal (backed-up) of TAPS (faucets)


The title of today's review is inspired by 10d and 17d.
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. Thanks for the puzzle.

    I thought that this puzzle was going to be challenging. NW was ok but then I was quite stuck.

    Interesting how getting just one more, 4d, suddenly opened up the rest of the puzzle.

    For some reason I particularly enjoyed this puzzle smiling a lot as the answers appeared. 23a was the last done. Another great set of clues.

  2. Hello Falcon and company,
    Not much head scratching today, also noticed a few repeats from recent puzzles. Fine entertainment for a rainy Saturday. Thank you for posting!

  3. Hi there everyone on this wet and dreary Saturday. Perfect for cozying up to the offering from C&R. I basically breezed through this one, and I thought it was going to be a repeat of last week, but I had to look up names of towns and ducks before I could get the last two in. Couple of nice hidden clues and a lot of anagrams made this one overall very easy. Good puzzling to everyone!

  4. Hello Falcon and all, I found it easy as well, although I had to look up 19d after I was finished to confirm that it was a word. I also needed crosses to see 3a and 9a.