Saturday, December 10, 2016

Saturday, December 10, 2016 — Creating a Craving


Today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon was finished quickly. I won't complain as I have a lot on my plate today.

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   Turnout // at midmorning social event (10)

AT|TEN|DANCE — AT (†) + TEN (midmorning) + DANCE (social event)

8a   Ring for each top-ranked // musical show (5)

O|PER|A — O ([letter than looks like a] ring) + PER (for each) + A (top-ranked)

9a   Tools for snagging // Greek fruit (8)

GR|APPLES — GR (Greek; abbrev.) + APPLES (fruit)

10a   Guess // I’m entering ritzy residence (8)

EST(IM)ATE — IM (I'm) contained in (entering) ESTATE (ritzy residence)

11a   Street with a stop signal // watched steadily (6)

ST|A|RED — ST (street; abbrev.) + (with) A (†) + RED (stop signal)

14a   Wear out // part of a car (4)

TIRE — double definition

15a   In one stint, altered // objectives (10)

INTENTIONS* — anagram (altered) of IN ONE STINT

18a   Officer // changed tune in tale (10)

LIEUTENANT* — anagram (changed) of TUNE IN TALE

19a   Instrument // aboard jumbo Boeing (4)

_O|BOE_ — hidden in (aboard) jumbO BOEing

21a   State // question in culinary phrase (6)

A|L(ASK)A — ASK (question) contained in (in) A LA (culinary phrase)

23a   All alone /in/ the wee hours in one piece of turf (8)

I|SO(LATE)D — LATE (the wee hours) contained in (in) {I ([Roman numeral for] one) + SOD (piece of turf)}

If you consider LATE to be an adjective, then it is clued by "the wee hours" ⇒ it was late when we arrived. However, if you deem LATE to be an adverb, then it is clued by "in the wee hours" ⇒ we arrived late and the clue parses as:
  • All alone // in the wee hours in one piece of turf (8)
I|SO(LATE)D — LATE (in the wee hours) contained in (in) {I ([Roman numeral for] one) + SOD (piece of turf)}

25a   Central American country adopting alternative, // broad view (8)

PAN(OR)AMA — PANAMA (Central American country) containing (adopting) OR (alternative)

26a   Fire applied to // collection of important books (5)

CAN|ON — CAN (fire; dismiss from employment) + ON (applied to; oil on canvas was only one of the many mediums in which Chagall worked)

27a   A reluctant stirring // of octopus arms (10)

TENTACULAR* — anagram (stirring) of A RELUCTANT


1d   Scares // a Liberal with weapons (6)

A|L|ARMS — A (†) + L (Liberal; abbrev.) + (with) ARMS (weapons)

2d   Playing in tenth gig, // getting closer (10)

TIGHTENING* — anagram (playing) of IN TENTH GIG

3d   Tidy // article caught in mesh (4)

NE(A)T — A (article) contained in (caught in) NET (mesh)

4d   Craving // a piece of pie, daintily small (8)

A|P|PETITE — A (†) + P (piece [initial letter] of Pie) + PETITE (daintily small)

5d   Readily understood // cold Shakespearean king (5)

C|LEAR — C (cold; abbrev.) + LEAR (Shakespearean king)

6d   Cinquefoil // plant Eliot cultivated (10)

POTENTILLA* — anagram(cultivated) of PLANT ELIOT

Potentilla reptans
A cinquefoil[10] is any plant of the northern temperate rosaceous genus Potentilla, typically having five-lobed compound leaves.

A potentilla[10] is any rosaceous plant or shrub of the northern temperate genus Potentilla, having five-petalled flowers.

7d   Tree fern moved // with no cost to the tenant (4-4)

{RENT-FREE}* — anagram (moved) of TREE FERN

12d   Diana’s taking care of // swelling (10)

DI|S|TENDING — DI (Diana; diminutive) + S ('s) + TENDING (taking care of)

13d   L. L. Bean isn’t pitching // sports equipment (6,4)

{TENNIS BALL}* — anagram (pitching) of L L BEAN ISNT

Scratching the Surface
L.L.Bean, Inc.[7], branded as L.L.Bean, is an American, privately held e-commerce, mail-order, and retail company founded in 1912 by Leon Leonwood Bean. The company is currently based in Freeport, Maine, United States. It specializes in clothing and outdoor recreation equipment.

16d   Going around // operating room with a sharp edge (8)

OR|BITING — OR (operating room) + BITING (with a sharp edge)

17d   Police watch // second meal to go (8)

S|TAKEOUT — S (second; abbrev.) + TAKEOUT (meal to go)

20d   Wielder of a blade // damaged relics (6)

SLICER* — anagram (damaged) of RELICS

22d   Saw // “Advertising Age” (5)

AD|AGE — AD (advertising; abbrev.) + AGE (†)

Scratching the Surface
Advertising Age - August 13, 2007
Advertising Age (or Ad Age) is a magazine, delivering news, analysis, and data on marketing and media. The magazine was started as a broadsheet newspaper in Chicago in 1930. Today, its content appears in a print weekly distributed around the world and on many electronic platforms.

24d   M. Chagall/’s/ stuff returned (4)

MARC< — reversal (returned) of CRAM (stuff)

"M. Chagall" could stand for either Marc Chagall or Monsieur Chagall [personally I prefer to think of it as the latter].

Marc Chagall, 1912, Calvary (Golgotha), oil on canvas
Marc Chagall[5] (1887–1985) was a Russian-born French painter and graphic artist. His work was characterized by the use of rich emotive colour and dream imagery, and had a significant influence on surrealism.


The title of today's review is inspired by 22d and 4d.
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. One of the easier ones recently - just about read and write, except for 6D, where I was able to guess the correct answer using the cross letters but had to look it up to confirm that the word was correct.

  2. Nice puzzle this week. Thought a bit about the three choices for 16d, the correct one of which was evident after I realized the C&R meaning in this puzzle for fire in 26a.

  3. Easy puzzle this week. Last one in 16D.

  4. Good weekend to all! Ready for Christmas yet? I also hadn't heard of 6d before (heard of cinquefoil though) so had to look it up. I forgot Chagall's first name was Marc, thought it was Maurice, but figured it out soon enough. Did you notice the syllable 'TEN' appears in the puzzle eight times?

    1. Henry, good spot on the TEN. I missed that — otherwise Bo Derek might have figured into the theme!

    2. Hi Henry,
      I count nine occurrences! Overall, pretty much a write-in. Still a nice way to spend some time.

      Cheers to Falcon and fellow puzzlers,

  5. Hello Falcon and all,
    I found it mostly easy, but I had trouble parsing 17d, didn't understand the "alternative" in 25a, and wasn't able to make sense of the consonant soup I had available to me for 6d - had to look that one up.