Saturday, March 25, 2017

Saturday, March 25, 2017 — World Tour


I found today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon to be a nice mental workout — definitely not a read and write, but also not overly taxing.

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   Egg on // travel advertisement (4)

GO|AD — GO (travel) + AD (advertisement)

3a   Step into exhibits // where rockets take off (10)

S(PACE)PORTS — PACE (step) contained in (into) SPORTS (exhibits; as a verb)

10a   Bandmaster // then with United States Army (5)

SO|USA — SO (then) + (with) USA (United States Army; acronym)

John Philip Sousa[5] (1854–1932) was an American composer and conductor. His works include more than a hundred marches, for example The Stars and Stripes.

Scratching the Surface
In reality, Sousa's military service[7] did not include a stint in the US Army. He served two periods of service in the United States Marine Corps. The first was from 1868 (age 13) to 1875 (age 20) as a musician. The second was from 1880 to 1892 during which he was the leader of the Marine Band in Washington, D.C. Under his leadership, the Marine Band became the premier military band in the United States resulting in Sousa becoming nationally famous.

In 1917, at the age of 62 and shortly after the United States entered World War I, Sousa was commissioned as a lieutenant in the United States Naval Reserve. During the war, Sousa led the Navy Band at the Great Lakes Naval Station near Chicago, Illinois.

11a   Wandering Roman made // notes (9)

MEMORANDA* — anagram (wandering) of ROMAN MADE

12a   Individuals entering populous land, // nation of islands (9)

IND(ONES)IA — ONES (individuals) contained in (entering) INDIA (populous land)

13a   Jet // away from home east of Spain (5)

SP|OUT — OUT (away from home) following (east of) SP (Spain; abbrev.)

14a   Roughly right // distance around (5)

GIRTH* — anagram (roughly) RIGHT

15a   Aircraft/’s/ journey on course (8)

TRIP|LANE — TRIP (journey) + (on) LANE (course)

The setters contravene the sparingly observed cryptic crossword convention that "on" — used as a charade indicator in an across clue — signifies 'following'  (show explanation )

"A on B" Convention
A sometimes ignored cryptic crossword convention provides that, in an across clue, the construction "A on B" is used to clue B + A.

The rationale for this practice is that in order for A to be placed on B, B must already have been positioned (i.e., already have been written). Since the English language is written from left to right, this means that B must come first and A is then appended to it.

Notwithstanding the above, a solver must always be vigilant for setters who flout this convention.

hide explanation

18a   Reprimand // is received by virgin (8)

CHAST(IS)E — IS (†) contained in (received by) CHASTE (virgin)

20a   Cookie // fight about iron (5)

WA(FE)R — WAR (fight) containing (about) FE ([symbol for the chemical element] iron)

23a   Send // clock back (5)

REMIT< — reversal (back) of TIMER (clock)

25a   Local resident interrupted by arranged // story (9)

N(ARR)ATIVE — NATIVE (local resident) containing (interrupted by) ARR (arranged; abbrev. found on musical scores preceding the name of the arranger)

27a   Run into very hot // Netflix option for viewing (9)

ST(R)EAMING — R (run; abbrev. used in baseball and cricket) contained in (into) STEAMING (very hot)

Netflix, Inc.[7] is an American entertainment company that provides streaming media and video-on-demand online and DVD by mail. In 2013, Netflix expanded into film and television production, as well as online distribution. Netflix started in 1997 as a DVD sales and rental business, adding streaming media in 2007. The company expanded internationally, with streaming made available to Canada in 2010 and continued growing its streaming service from there; by January 2016, Netflix services operated in over 190 countries.

28a   Impress // doctor at the back of the boat (5)

DR|AFT — DR (doctor; abbrev.) + AFT (at the back of the boat)

Impress[5] is used in the historical sense meaning to force (someone) to serve in an army or navy ⇒ a number of Poles, impressed into the German army.

While one might infer from the definition that it is not necessary to force people to serve in the Air Force, the truth is that the Air Force did not exist when this practice was in vogue.

29a   Some Africans // understand about northeastern storms (10)

SE(NE|GALES)E — SEE (understand) containing (about) {NE (northeastern) + GALES (storms)}

30a   Laze, after stirring // fire (4)

ZEAL* — anagram (after stirring) of LAZE


1d   Young waterfowl // pass supportive bands (8)

GO|SLINGS — GO (pass; as years go by) + SLINGS (supportive bands)

2d   In two parts // while hypnotized (7)

AS|UNDER — AS (while) + UNDER (hypnotized)

4d   Dog’s eating first of many // shoes (5)

PU(M)PS — {PUP (dog) + S ('s)} containing (eating) M (first [letter] of Many)

5d   Dinner with one in subterranean room // got animated (4,5)

CA(ME AL|I)VE — {MEAL (dinner) + I ([Roman numeral for] one)} contained in (in) CAVE (subterranean room)

6d   European capital // is behind average (5)

PAR|IS — IS (†) following (behind) PAR (average)

7d   Asian capital // managed by thug (7)

RAN|GOON — RAN (managed) + (by) GOON (thug)

I'm afraid this clue is rather dated. Rangoon[5] is the former capital of Burma (Myanmar), a port in the Irrawaddy delta; population 4,088,000 (est. 2007). For centuries a Buddhist religious centre, it is the site of the Shwe Dagon Pagoda, built over 2,500 years ago. The modern city was established by the British in the mid 19th century and was the capital from 1886 until it was replaced by Naypyidaw in 2005.

8d   Greek city/’s/ health resort filled with creative works (6)

SP(ART)A — SPA (health resort) containing (filled with) ART (creative works)

Sparta[2,5], a city in the southern Peloponnese in Greece, was a powerful city state in the 5th century BC, defeating its rival Athens in the Peloponnesian War to become the leading city of Greece. The city was noted for its austerity and its citizens were characterized by their courage and endurance in battle and by the simplicity and brevity of their speech.

9d   Starts // midday breaks around middle of May (8)

L(A)UNCHES — LUNCHES (midday breaks) containing (around) A (middle [letter] of MAy)

15d   Test about nine bananas // every three years (9)

TRI(ENNI*)AL or TR(IENN*)IAL — TRIAL (test) containing (about) anagram (bananas) of NINE

16d   Bird also found in large and small // areas near sea level (8)

L(OWL|AND)S — {OWL (bird) + AND (also)} contained in {L (large; abbrev.) + (and) S (small; abbrev.)}

17d   Eccentric relation // from the East (8)

ORIENTAL* — anagram (eccentric) of RELATION

19d   Rome in ruins taken in by old nomad // round-tripper (4,3)

H(OME R*)UN — anagram (in ruins) of ROME contained in (taken in by) HUN (old nomad)

In baseball, a home run[5] is a hit that allows the batter to make a complete circuit of the bases and score a run.

21d   Ship/’s/ gear contributed to fortune (7)

F(RIG)ATE — RIG (gear) contained in (contributed to) FATE (fortune)

A frigate[5] is a warship with a mixed armament, generally lighter than a destroyer (in the US navy, heavier) and of a kind originally introduced for convoy escort work.

22d   Holds // pot containing penny (6)

GRAS(P)S — GRASS (pot; marijuana) containing () P (penny; abbrev. for British unit of currency)

24d   Shania missing one good // country singer’s sound (5)

TWAN|G — TWA[I]N (Shania; Canadian singer Shania Twain[7]) with the I deleted (missing [Roman numeral for] one) + G (good; abbrev. used by teachers to grade academic work)

26d   Sitar music /from/ one wearing tattered clothing (5)

RAG(A)S — A (one) contained in (wearing) RAGS (tattered clothing)

The sitar[5] is a large, long-necked Indian lute with movable frets, played with a wire pick.

In Indian classical music, a raga[5] is:
  • each of the six basic musical modes which express different moods in certain characteristic progressions, with more emphasis placed on some notes than others; or
  • a piece using a particular raga.


We start today's puzzle perusing travel advertisements, then tour a space exhibit, meet a wandering Roman, visit a populous island nation in the Far East, jet away to Spain noting that our aircraft is on course, meet a local resident, impress a doctor on a cruise to a stormy West African nation, relax by a campfire, do some bird watching, visit several cities spread across Europe and the Orient, encounter an old nomad, and finish up with a concert in India.
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. Average C&R difficulty I thought. Last two in Netflix clue and 22d. Favourite 13a.

  2. I really enjoyed this week's puzzle , especially 3a, 29a, 16d, 19d and 21d. Although I was able to derive the answer for 26d from the clue, I had to check the resulting word online as I had never encountered that word before.

  3. Good morning,

    I give this one 2* for difficulty and 3* for enjoyment. I thought 26d was easy to parse (a common 4 letter word for tattered clothing around "I") but when I googled the resulting answer I did not get anything that looks like 'sitar music'. 28a is a problem for me too. I have the two letter abbreviation for doctor followed by a 3 letter word meaning 'at the back of the boat'. The result is a common word that does not mean "impress" as far as I know. I must be missing something. But, then, I'm a bit groggy this morning. Have a good day!


  4. There's an Indian restaurant in Vancouver called "The Raga" so I easily convinced myself it was correct. Re 28a Chambers has it meaning a demand (upon resources, credulity, patience).

    1. Thanks Jonathan. My mistake was using "I" for 'one' instead of "a" in 26d. It seems to me that 28a is stretching it. But what do I know...

    2. Peter,

      You have likely heard of "press gangs". What they did was "impress" people into the army and navy.

  5. Hello all,
    Enjoyable little puzzle and did not have to google a thing! Last ones in the same as Jonathan.

    Falcon, thank you for posting and you have a minor typo in the solution to 7d.


    1. Now fixed. Glad to see that my proofreaders are on their toes.

    2. Falcon - the "now fixed" is a bit premature! The correction has to show the word 'thug.' Y're Ob' S't Henry

    3. Thanks, Henry,

      Hopefully, I've got it correct on the second attempt.

  6. Have to do my Saturday C&R. Had to be out the door by 7:30 a.m. so I was up nice and early to download the puzzle from librarypressdisplay.

    I was a third the way through when I realized that I had downloaded Friday's NP puzzle.

    I thought the puzzle was a tad harder than usual but managed to complete it before I left. Am pleased to see that I got them all for a change without any help!

  7. I agree that this was an enjoyable workout. I had to reliy on pattern recognition for 19d and 21d. Coming here, I realized that I'd forgotten to go back and finish 13a, but I'm not sure I'd have been able to: I'd been thinking "Jet away" was the definition, to be derived from S + home.

  8. Good Sunday morning, all. I was downtown all day yesterday, so I finished the puzzle on the subway going home around 10:30 last night just before hitting Islington. The bottom left hand corner held me up (I don't use Netflix and didn't know they used that particular technique, but I got it soon enough.
    Falcon, your blog was great this week, I especially liked the summary of the "world tour." (MG already noted the typo in 7d.)

  9. Falcon, delete juanjuergens comment. It's a common technique to game Google page rank to make it appear that you're linking to the site. Note that the comment is so generic that it can be posted on any blog anywhere.