Saturday, March 18, 2017

Saturday, March 18, 2017 — Musical Superstars


Today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon proved to be a fairly gentle affair.

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   Play the part of gold // lover (4)

BE|AU — BE (play the part of) + AU ([symbol for the chemical element] gold)

3a   Ancient as a wandering // Semitic tribe of old (10)

CANAANITES* — anagram (wandering) of ANCIENT AS A

9a   Desires // the first of your wages (9)

Y|EARNINGS — Y (first [letter] of Your) + EARNINGS (wages)

11a   Refusal Theodore // celebrated (5)

NO|TED — NO (refusal) + TED (Theodore; diminutive)

12a   Group of nine /or/ ten, on retreating (5)

{NO|NET}< — reversal (retreating) of TEN ON

13a   Link // South American with employment (7)

SA|USAGE — S (south; abbrev.) + A (American; abbrev.) + (with) USAGE (employment)

15a   Ruling family /that’s/ dry, heartless, and mean (7)

DY|NASTY — DY (dry heartless; D[r]Y with the middle letter [heart] deleted) + (and) NASTY (mean)

17a   Stuck around, // even catching a train (7)

T(A|RR)IED — TIED (even) containing (catching) {A (†) + RR (train; abbrev. for railroad, the US term for railway}

19a   Em and I admit // itinerant worker (7)

M|I|GRANT — M (em) + I (†) + GRANT (admit)

Scratching the Surface
Might "Em and I" be Henry referring to his fellow blogger and himself?

21a   Sick about portion of a flight with a // criminal (7)

IL(LEG|A)L — ILL (sick) containing (about) {LEG (portion of flight) + (with) A (†)}

22a   Container filled with rare new // ground (7)

T(ERRA*)IN — TIN (container) containing (filled with) anagram (new) of RARE

24a   Range // found in Arabian Desert (5)

AN|DES — hidden in (found in) ArabiAN DESert

27a   Inquire rudely about each // polar explorer (5)

P(EA)RY — PRY (inquire rudely) containing (about) EA (each)

28a   Doubt, // as a result, about model article (9)

HE(SIT|A)NCE — HENCE (as a result) containing (about) {SIT (model) + A ([indefinite] article)}

29a   Pop star/’s/ indolence I blasted (6,4)

{CELINE DION}* — anagram (blasted) of INDOLENCE I

30a   Guitar bar // stew (4)

FRET — double definition


1d   Army band’s playing, including a // singer (5,5)

{BRYAN ADAMS}* — anagram (playing) of ARMY BANDS containing (including) A (†)

2d   A profit // once more (5)

A|GAIN — A (†) + GAIN (profit)

4d   General pardon // set many free (7)

AMNESTY* — anagram (free) of SET MANY

5d   Attack // a sailor verbally (7)

ASSAULT~ — sounds like (verbally) A (†) SALT (sailor)

6d   Assassin // of some men in Japan (5)

_N|IN|JA_ — hidden in (of some) meN IN JApan

7d   Fastening // both ends of tie by the loop (9)

TETHERING — TE (both ends of T[i]E) + THE (†) + RING (loop)

8d   Returning troubles /for/ pop (4)

SODA< — reversal (returning) of ADOS (troubles)

10d   DC ballplayer attached to hardwood with a // Russian name (7)

NAT|ASH|A — NAT (DC ballplayer; Washington Nationals) + (attached to) ASH (hardwood) + A (†)

14d   Youth/’s/ hand out in upward movement (10)

A(DOLE)SCENT — DOLE (hand out) contained in (in) ASCENT (upward movement)

16d   Dusk/’s/ strange half-glint (9)

NIGHTFALL* — anagram (strange) of HALF GLINT

18d   Tirade about Samuel’s teacher // counting (7)

R(ELI)ANT — RANT (tirade) containing (about) ELI (Samuel's teacher)

20d   Vandalized // storage building with abstract art on the front (7)

TRA*|SHED — SHED (storage building) preceded by (with ... on the front) anagram (abstract) of ART

21d   Playwright // is maintaining a single company (7)

I(ONE)S|CO —  IS (†) containing (maintaining) ONE (a single) + CO (company; abbrev.)

23d   Something shining on // material (5)

RAY|ON — RAY (something shining) + ON (†)

25d   Crime boss or // benefactor (5)

DON|OR — DON (crime boss) + OR (†)

26d   DeMille’s last movie // (really big show) (4)

E|PIC — E (DeMille's last; last letter of DeMillE) + PIC (movie; [motion] picture)


The title of today's review is inspired by 29a and 1d.
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)
[12] - (Webster’s New World College Dictionary)
Signing off for today — Falcon


  1. A delightful and fairly quick to solve puzzle for a snowy day in southern Ontario. Lots of fun wordplay in this one.

  2. Good morning,

    Yes, very pleasant offering from C & R today. Favourite was 24a. We are getting snow that looks like a mist in London. Have a good weekend everyone.


  3. Late start today as the kids' swim lessons are on break. I usual sit on the bench outside the pool and do my puzzle. A very obscure playwright with some none obvious wordplay made 21d a Google clue. 27a also required confirmation. 7d last in, 22a the biggest "Aha!" moment, once I recognized the container.

    1. That should read "non-obvious". I left out the hyphen, and autocorrect knows best!

    2. I liked "none obvious," it seemed earthier and more emotive!

  4. After I read the opening comment by anonymous, I thought, well, this should be easy. It wasn't a R&W. I had to look up Sam's teacher, and needed to work out the parsing for 17a and 14d. But true, it wasn't too taxing. 13a was my favourite.

    1. And - for 10d, be careful, I put an "I" in it, until I reviewed the wordplay and found the right type of wood.

  5. Started this early and just finished after getting back.

    Nice puzzle with good wordplay and a couple of well known artists.

    For some reason 1a eludes me. Contains B and A. There are lots of options, but none seems to make sense.

    1. LOL OK, that makes sense. Hard to understand how I can get all the rest and miss that!

  6. Good day fellow puzzlers!


    1. ...oooops! Actually a good little challenging puzzle. Could pretty much work out the answers from the cryptic definitions although I did need to verify Samuel's teacher. Like Henry, my favourite was 13a.


  7. I had to work at this one - which I like (as long as I can finish, of course :) ). 1d was new to me.

  8. Falcon - I can see all this travelling has made you a bit tired. Some things noted here you might want to fix in the blog-
    3a anagram indicator
    22a anagram indicator for ERRA
    28a SIT is not directly from the clue
    14d the clue has "hand out"
    21d (a single) is ONE
    Respectfully, your obedient servant,

    1. Henry,
      Thanks for the excellent proofreading job. Yes, a bit of travel fatique, combined with the distraction of two grandchildren, while trying to work on a laptop with an overly sensitive trackpad.