Saturday, December 3, 2016

Saturday, December 3, 2016 — Working in the Kitchen


As someone has already commented, today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon provides a bit stiffer workout than that to which we have become accustomed.

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   Adds up the number of // noblemen (6)

COUNTS — double definition

4a   Send // Spanish article into trench (8)

DI(SP|A)TCH — {SP (Spanish; abbrev.) + A ([indefinite] article)} contained in (into) DITCH (trench)

9a   Try hard // variety (6)

STRAIN — double definition

10a   Merchandising including piano // lesson for a young student (8)

S(P)ELLING — SELLING (merchandising) containing (including) P (piano; musical direction meaning to play softly)

11a   Get barge moving behind empty // chopper (3,6)

E|GGBEATER* — anagram (moving) of GET BARGE following (behind) E (empty; abbrev. found on a fuel gauge)

Chopper[3,4,11] and eggbeater[4,11] are both informal terms for a helicopter, the latter being a chiefly US and Canadian usage.

13a   Hour in pleasant // alcove (5)

NIC(H)E — H (hour; abbrev.) contained in (in) NICE (pleasant)

14a   The actor in Michael Collins fights // in that neighbourhood (11)

THE|REA|BOUTS — THE (†) + REA (actor in Michael Collins) + BOUTS (fights)

Stephen Rea[7] is an Irish film and stage actor who has appeared in high-profile films such as V for Vendetta, Michael Collins, Interview with the Vampire and Breakfast on Pluto. Rea was nominated for an Academy Award for his lead performance as Fergus in the 1992 film The Crying Game.

18a   Mailmen care erratically /for/ tree (8,3)

{AMERICAN ELM}* — anagram (erratically) of MAILMEN CARE

21a   Big on dancing // game (5)

BINGO* — anagram (dancing) of BIG ON

22a   Play // goalie in Olympian novel (9)

PY(G)MALION — G (goalie; abbrev. found on hockey team rosters) contained in (in) anagram (novel) of OLYMPIAN

Pygmalion[7] is a play by George Bernard Shaw, named after a character from Greek mythology. It was first presented on stage to the public in 1913. The work remains Shaw's most popular play and was the inspiration for the highly romanticized 1956 Lerner and Loewe musical My Fair Lady and the 1964 film of the same title.

24a   Get ready to shoot a very // showy bird (8)

COCK|A|TOO — COCK (get ready to shoot) + A (†) + TOO (very)

25a   Old communist // struggle embraced by drunk (6)

SO(VIE)T — VIE (struggle) contained in (embraced by) SOT (drunk)

26a   U. S. writers in Southeast // drama (8)

S(US|PENS)E — {US (U.S.) + PENS (writers)} contained in (in) SE (Southeast; abbrev.)

27a   Sayings // lose freshness in product pitches (6)

AD(AGE)S — AGE (lose freshness) contained in (in) ADS (product pitches)


1d   Tape // collection kept in Hindu class (8)

CAS(SET)TE — SET (collection) contained in (kept in) CASTE (Hindu class)

2d   Stripped in a way // during, e. g., Lost (8)

UNRIGGED* — anagram (lost) of DURING EG

Scratching the Surface
Lost[7] is an American television drama series that originally aired on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) from 2004 to 2010.

3d   Work with excellent // material (5)

TOIL|E — TOIL (work) + (with) E (excellent; abbrev. used by teachers to grade students' assignments)

Toile[10] is a transparent linen or cotton fabric.

5d   Begging // rascal or adjusting pitch (11)

IMP|OR|TUNING — IMP (rascal) + OR (†) + TUNING (adjusting pitch)

6d   I alone spy shifting // group of islands (9)

POLYNESIA* — anagram (shifting) of I ALONE SPY

7d   Jerk, // leader of Tories, with spellbinding woman? (6)

T|WITCH — T (leader [initial letter] of Tories) + (with) WITCH (spellbinding woman; one who casts spells)

8d   The man inside warmly greets // a famous recluse (6)

HUG(HE)S — HE (the man) contained in (inside) HUGS (warmly greets)

Howard Hughes[7] (1905–1976) was an American entrepreneur, known during his life as one of the most financially successful individuals in the world. First making a name for himself as a film producer, he then became an influential figure in the aviation industry. Later in life, he became known for his eccentric behavior and reclusive lifestyle which was caused in part by a worsening obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) and chronic pain from a plane crash.

12d   Poor Pablo’s stone // utensils (11)

TABLESPOONS* — anagram (poor) of PABLOS STONE

15d   Complex // tale a bore spun (9)

ELABORATE* — anagram (spun) of TALE A BORE

16d   Shy // about getting weary (8)

RE|TIRING — RE (about) + TIRING (getting weary)

17d   Some caveman ate some // stems (8)

_EMAN|ATE|S_ — hidden in (some) cavEMAN ATE Some

19d   Device for calculating // air conditioning in a bus (6)

A|B(AC)US — AC (air conditioning) contained in (in) {A (†) + BUS (†)}

20d   New York basketball team // said no (6)

KNICKS~ — sounds like (said) NIX (no; slang)

The New York Knickerbockers[7], commonly referred to as the Knicks, are an American professional basketball team based in New York City. The Knicks compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member club of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. The team plays its home games at Madison Square Garden, located in the borough of Manhattan.

The Knicks are one of two NBA teams located in New York City; the other being the Brooklyn Nets. The team, established in 1946, was one of the founding members of the Basketball Association of America (BAA), which became the NBA after merging with the rival National Basketball League (NBL) in 1949. Along with the Boston Celtics, the Knicks are one of only two original NBA teams still located in its original city.

23d   Duck // enthusiastic about bagel (5)

AV(O)ID — AVID (enthusiastic) containing (about) O ([letter that looks like a] bagel)


The title of today's review was inspired by 11a and 12d with combined with a bit of work from 9a and 3d.
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. This seemed to be one of the more challenging C+R puzzles that we have seen for a while. I got a little hung up in the NW quadrant, but eventually figured everything out. Really liked 14A and 5D.

  2. Good morning Falcon, Anon, et al,

    I, too, found this more of a challenge. I was held up a bit by 2d, 3d and, especially, 14a. I quite liked 22a for the surface reading. Thanks to Falcon and C & R. Have a good day!


  3. Well, another one bites the dust! Just as noted above (and in Falcon's review), this one worked the little grey cells more than usual. I used my electronic friends to go through the options for 3d, 8a, and 25a (I was trying to use words like Mao for 25a - well, you can imagine how far THAT went). Thanks, Falcon, for the review and posting.

  4. Yes, this one required more thinking than usual. Most of the clues were opaque to me until I had a cross or two. Last in: 9a.