Saturday, April 29, 2017

Saturday, April 29, 2017 — Dazzling Display


Although several commenters report that they found today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon to be a bit more difficult than usual, each seems to have encountered difficulty in a different part of the puzzle. As for myself, the northwest corner was the last to fall. However, I think that this was due more to this being the last piece of the puzzle that I tackled rather than this quadrant being more difficult than any other.

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   The first person the woman had // engaged (6)

ME|SHE|D — ME (the first person; first person objective pronoun) + SHE'D (the woman had)

4a   Spotted // fraction of a bushel aboard glider (8)

S(PECK)LED — PECK (fraction of a bushel) contained in (aboard) SLED (glider)

9a   Announced minimum // put up for rent (6)

LEASED~ — sounds like (announced) LEAST (minimum)

10a   Channel // track star Lewis returning in four-lap race (8)

MIL(LRAC<)E — CARL (track star Lewis; nine-time Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis[7]) reversed (returning) and contained in (in) MILE (four-lap race)

The standard Olympic outdoor track[7] is 400 m or approximately a quarter of a mile. The standard outdoor Imperial track is 440 yards (a quarter of a mile) or 402 metres.

11a   Make something to ruminate on, and hit hard with a // TV presentation (9)

DO|CUD|RAM|A — DO (make) + CUD (something to ruminate on) + (and) RAM (hit hard) + (with) A (†)

13a   Dazzling // a hockey player (5)

A|WING — A (†) + WING (hockey player)

A forward who plays on one of the wings (left or right) or, perhaps, a member of the Detroit Red Wings[7].

14a   Firm’s VIP is sparing /with/ curses (11)

EXEC|RATIONS — EXEC (firm's VIP) + RATIONS (is sparing)

18a   Edward Cohen shot // monarchical VIP (7,4)

{CROWNED HEAD}* — anagram (shot) of EDWARD COHEN

Scratching the Surface
Edward Cohen[7] (1822–1877) was an Australian merchant and a Victorian colonial politician. He served as Mayor of Melbourne from 1862 to 1863.

Okay, highly unlikely to be someone that C&R had in mind when they composed the clue.

21a   Burn // some books in Germany (5)

_S|IN|GE_ — hidden in (some) bookS IN GErmany

22a   One suit I’d mistakenly // reversed somehow (6-3)

{INSIDE-OUT}* — anagram (mistakenly) of ONE SUIT ID

24a   College life // Emily found in Nova Scotia settlement (8)

ACAD(EM)IA — EM ([diminutive for] Emily) contained in (found in) ACADIA (Nova Scotia settlement)

Having grown up in what was once Acadia and attended Acadia University was of great benefit here.

Acadia[7] (French: Acadie) was a colony of New France in northeastern North America that included parts of eastern Quebec, the Maritime provinces, and modern-day Maine to the Kennebec River.

25a   Cheer interrupting brother/’s/ dance (6)

B(OLE)RO — OLE ([Spanish] cheer) contained in (interrupting) BRO (brother)

The bolero[5] is a Spanish dance.

26a   Chatelaine /is/ married, I emphasize (8)

M|I|STRESS — M (married; abbrev.) + I (†) + STRESS (emphasize)

27a   Has views /of/ orchard’s first trees (6)

O|PINES — O (Orchard's first [letter]) + PINES (trees)


1d   Women following dam // disorders (8)

MA|LADIES — LADIES (women) following (†) MA (dam; female parent of an animal)

2d   Hunter /in/ southeast, one with a bow and arrows (8)

SE|ARCHER — SE (southeast) + ARCHER (one with a bow and arrows)

3d   Correct guys involved in education (5)

E(MEN)D — MEN (guys) contained in (involved in) ED (education)

5d   Proper notice on North America’s // opera stars (5,6)

PRIM|A D|ON|NA|S — PRIM (proper) + AD (notice) + ON (†) + NA (North America) + S ('s)

6d   Unstable old places // fell apart (9)

COLLAPSED* — anagram (unstable) of OLD PLACES

7d   Daniel botched // prelude (4-2)

{LEAD-IN}* — anagram (botched) of DANIEL

8d   Bring up // Doctor Brink (6)

DR|EDGE — DR (doctor; abbrev.) + EDGE (brink)

Scratching the Surface
Using a Google search, I was able to bring up lots of doctors with the surname Brink — but none who appear to be of any particular note.

12d   Haiti ouster scattered // top government figures (11)

AUTHORITIES* — anagram (scattered) of HAITI OUSTER

15d   Chair of a sort holding driving aid /for/ test pilot, maybe (9)

ROCKE(TEE)R — ROCKER (chair of a sort) containing (holding) TEE (driving aid [used in golf])

16d   Maine theatre containing large // old organ (8)

ME|L|ODEON — {ME (Maine; abbrev.) + ODEON (theatre)} containing (†) L (large; abbrev.)

Odeon[3,4,11] is another name for odeum[3,4,11]. In contemporary use, an odeon is a theatre or concert hall. In ancient Greece and Rome, an odeon was a small building used for public performances of music and poetry.

17d   On diet, is changing // versions (8)

EDITIONS* — anagram (changing) of ON DIET IS

19d   Crawling // equally close (6)

AS|WARM — AS (equally) + WARM (close)

20d   In hearing, demands // massages (6)

KNEADS~ — sounds like (in hearing) NEEDS (demands)

23d   Bad dog’s head turned /in/ posture showing dejection (5)

{D|ROOP}< — reversal (turned) of {POOR (bad) + D (dog's head; initial letter of Dog)}


The title of today's review was suggested by 13a (which I choose to read as "Dazzling! [What] a hockey player!") and inspired by Jean-Gabriel Pageau, the home-town kid who scored four goals on Saturday to lead the Ottawa Senators to a come-from-behind double-overtime win over the New York Rangers. Pageau's goals included two in the final four minutes of regulation time to tie the game and the game winner in the second overtime period.
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)
[13] - (Macmillan Dictionary)
Signing off for today — Falcon


  1. I'm finding C&R to be particularly nasty today.

  2. Me too, I have 2 in the bottom left hand corner to go (19d and 24a). Have to go for now, but I'll be back later!

    1. I've go those. It's the northeast and 15 d that's got me stumped.

      Nova Scotia settlement is also New Brunswick, Maine, and Gaspè. Emily is as it usually is in a cryptic.

  3. Well, with much cheating, (thesaurus, Anagrammer, pattern lookup) I've done it all except 23d, which looks obvious on the definition, but I can't parse the wordplay. 14a was impossible without pattern matches. But, once I parsed "dam" in 1d, the floodgates opened.

    1. I am still absolutely perplexed by 11 across. I can find no word in any pattern match tool

    2. Hi Robert,
      Here are some hints to 11a. Definition is TV presentation. There are 4 sections to parse the answer. First means "make", second is something that cows ruminate, third part means "hit hard" or batter and final part is an "a".
      Good luck!

    3. Hi Chris,
      For 23d, try reading your answer backwards. ;)

  4. Good day Falcon et al!
    I quite enjoyed today`s puzzle. Seemed to be a few more obscure olde English terms used. Last one in was 19d.
    Thank you for posting!

  5. Ok, I'm back! Found out my 15d was wrong, which is why I couldn't get 24a. Now it's all done. 15d is a test pilot who could be flying in outer space. See everyone next week!

  6. Started this early this morning before going off to volunteer. Was not optimistic because I had only 5 in 15 minutes.

    Gave it another go after I got back. A few more came easily and helped to complete the puzzle. But it certainly a more challenging than normal with lots of different constructions.

  7. Hello Falcon and all, I also found that this one demanded more thinking than usual. For me, it was almost two separate puzzles, the righthand half going fairly quickly and the left side requiring some serious pondering. Last in was 24a, followed by some head shaking, as its where I spent my 30-year career. I thought this was a very enjoyable puzzle.

  8. Happy cold Sunday from the GTA, Falcon! In reviewing your blog each week, I have come to a real appreciation of the effort you have to go through to get it out. To create the parsing accurately is one thing, then the addition of below the surface, background info, what did he say, comments is quite impressive.
    Here's an idea - how about having "guest" blog writers to produce the solution from time to time (a la the Big Dave blog). I am sure any of our regular contributors would be up to the challenge - and then we could critique the guest!
    And as for your comment last week, that you had a 'Waldo' in the blog - are you deliberately leaving little errors for us sharp-eyed types to spot??
    p.s. you have an explicit indicator in 16d where you don't need one, but are missing the same in 5d (after ON). Maybe it migrated as you were posting the blog?

    1. Hi Henry,

      Well spotted, as always. Is the Waldo deliberate? Perhaps or perhaps not. Is it explicitly (consciously) deliberate or implicitly (subconsciously) deliberate? Would I even know?

      As for the "explicit in the clue" indicators. Yes, as you point out, one was missing in 5d. However, the one in 16d is intended to be there as the containment indicator in the clue is indeed the word "containing". If, for example, the containment indicator in the clue had been "including", I would have written "A containing (including) B" but in instances such as 16d, I write "A containing (†) B" to show that the containment indicator is actually the word "containing".

      By the way, I see that I also made a similar omission in 1d where there should have been a dagger in the parentheses in the explanation "LADIES (women) following () MA (dam; ...)". In my explanations, I try to always stick to a standard set of terms (containing, contained in, following, preceding, etc.) with the equivalent words from the clue in parentheses. If one of these words actually occurs in the clue, then I replace it with a dagger.

      I like your idea of guest bloggers. In fact, I will be out of the country for a couple of weeks in June, so it would be an ideal time for someone to take over the blogging chair.

    2. I nominate Henry. :)


    3. Hi Falcon-
      I was wondering if the indicators should be for the exclusive use of letters and syllables in the answer. In the case noted above, having containing (containing) would be redundant, I agree, but did we need to have an explicit indicator for that? just having the word containing once (as it already matches your 'standard' term for inclusion would be enough. That is why I said it was not needed (not wrong, just not needed).
      Another p.s. in your block below the intro that explains the legend, you have an underscore as the deleted sign rather than a dash. Just one of those things...
      I nominate MG.