Saturday, June 24, 2017

Saturday, June 24, 2017 — See You in the Funny Papers

Introduction

I am back in the saddle after an extended break. I see that during my absence the blog did serve effectively as the forum for which it was intended. I would especially like to thank Henry who stepped up to the plate to provide solutions during my absence.

Today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon may well have raised a smile or two.

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
┌────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┬────┐
███████████████████████████████████
└────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┴────┘
Legend:
- 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 (//).

Across

1a   Sad Sack/’s/ barrel (4)

CASK* — anagram (sad) of SACK

Backstory
Sad Sack[7] is an American comic strip and comic book character created by Sgt. George Baker (1915–1975) during World War II. Set in the United States Army, Sad Sack depicted an otherwise unnamed, lowly private experiencing some of the absurdities and humiliations of military life. The title was a euphemistic shortening of the military slang "sad sack of shit", common during World War II. The phrase has come to mean "an inept person" or "inept soldier".

The comic strip ran from 1942 to 1957 (during World War II in the US military magazine, Yank, the Army Weekly, and following the war in newspaper syndication) and the comic books were published from 1949 to 1982.

3a   Standing between two streets, Archie /is/ most uptight (10)

ST(ARCHIE)ST — ARCHIE (†) contained in (between) {ST + ST (two streets)}

Backstory
Archie Andrews[7], created in 1941 by publisher John L. Goldwater and artist Bob Montana (1920–1975) in collaboration with writer Vic Bloom, is the main character in an American comic book series published by Archie Comics, as well as a syndicated comic strip, the long-running Archie Andrews radio series and various animated television series.

9a   After a while, Mr. Capp/’s/ sideways (7)

LATER|AL — LATER (after a while) + AL (Mr. Capp; American cartoonist Al Capp, creator of Li'l Abner)

Backstory
Alfred Gerald Caplin (1909–1979), better known as Al Capp[7], was an American cartoonist and humorist best known for the satirical comic strip Li'l Abner (see 19a), which he created in 1934 and continued writing and (with help from assistants) drawing until 1977. He also wrote the comic strips Abbie an' Slats (in the years 1937–45) and Long Sam (1954).

11a   Stormy // night’s beginning penned by Peanuts character (7)

VIOLE(N)T — N (night's beginning; initial letter of Night) contained in (penned by) VIOLET (Peanuts character)

Backstory
Violet Gray[7], is a fictional character featured in the long-running syndicated daily and Sunday comic strip Peanuts, created by Charles M. Schulz (1922–2000). She was initially a major character, until she began to fade into the background.

Violet is best known as a jealous girl who likes bragging and, along with her friends Patty (her best friend) and Lucy (the ringleader of the trio), often teases and torments Charlie Brown.

Peanuts ran from October 2, 1950, to February 13, 2000, continuing in reruns afterward.

12a   Confess about Broom Hilda, for example, // making changes (9)

S(WITCH)ING — SING (confess) containing (about) WITCH (Broom Hilda, for example)

Backstory
Broom-Hilda[7] is an American newspaper comic strip created by cartoonist Russell Myers. Distributed by the Tribune Media Services, it depicts the misadventures of a man-crazy, cigar-smoking, beer-guzzling, 1,500-year-old witch and her motley crew of friends.

The original idea for Broom-Hilda came from Elliott Caplin, brother of Li'l Abner cartoonist Al Capp (see 9a). He described the main character to Myers, who responded with a sketch of the witch and several samples. Caplin, acting as Myers' business manager, submitted these to the Chicago Tribune Syndicate. Introduced in 1970, it became an immediate success.

13a   Small and yellow // dog in a comic (5)

S|AND|Y — S (small; abbrev.) + AND (†) + Y (yellow; abbrev.)

Backstory
Little Orphan Annie[7] was a daily American comic strip created by Harold Gray (1894–1968) and syndicated by the Tribune Media Services. The strip took its name from the 1885 poem "Little Orphant Annie" by James Whitcomb Riley, and made its debut on August 5, 1924, in the New York Daily News. Following Gray's death in 1968, several artists drew the strip and, for a time, "classic" strips were rerun. The strip's popularity declined over the years; it was running in only 20 newspapers when it was cancelled in 2010.

The plot follows the wide-ranging adventures of Annie, her dog Sandy and her benefactor Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks.

Sandy enters the story in a January 1925 strip as a puppy of no particular breed which Annie rescues from a gang of abusive boys. The girl is working as a drudge in Mrs. Bottle's grocery store at the time and manages to keep the puppy briefly concealed. She finally gives him to Paddy Lynch, a gentle man who owns a "steak joint" and can give Sandy a good home. Sandy is a mature dog when he suddenly reappears in a May 1925 strip to rescue Annie from gypsy kidnappers. Annie and Sandy remain together thereafter.

14a   Girl’s name // in great wizard’s place (6)

IN|GR|ID — IN (†) + GR (great; abbrev.) + ID (wizard's place)

Backstory
The Wizard of Id[7] is a daily newspaper comic strip created by American cartoonists Brant Parker (1920–2007) and Johnny Hart (1931–2007). Beginning in 1964, the strip follows the antics of a large cast of characters in a shabby medieval kingdom called "Id". From time to time, the king refers to his subjects as "Idiots". (The title is a play on The Wizard of Oz, combined with the Freudian psychological term Id, which represents the instinctive and primal part of the human psyche.)

The strip, originally drawn by Parker and written by Hart, is currently drawn and written by Hart's grandsons, Mason and Mick Mastroianni.

15a   Ruffled, Dilbert’s // shown anger (8)

BRISTLED* — anagram (ruffled) of DILBERTS

Backstory
Dilbert[7] is an American comic strip written and illustrated by Scott Adams, first published on April 16, 1989. The strip is known for its satirical office humor about a white-collar, micromanaged office featuring engineer Dilbert as the title character.

19a   Comic strip // testing site aboard ship (3,5)

LI(L AB)NER — LAB (testing site) contained in (aboard) LINER (ship)

Backstory

Li'l Abner[7] was a satirical American comic strip that appeared in many newspapers in the United States, Canada and Europe, featuring a fictional clan of hillbillies in the impoverished mountain village of Dogpatch, USA. Written and drawn by Al Capp (1909–1979), the strip ran for 43 years, from 1934 to 1977. It was distributed by United Feature Syndicate.

Comic strips had typically dealt with northern urban experiences before Capp introduced Li'l Abner, the first strip based in the South. Although Capp was from Connecticut, he spent 43 years teaching the world about Dogpatch. According to American writer M. Thomas Inge, an authority on popular culture and comic art history, Capp "had a profound influence on the way the world viewed the American South."

21a   Iraqi ruler once // covered by Charles Addams (6)

_SAD|DAM_ — hidden in (covered by) CharleS ADDAMs

Backstory

Charles Samuel "Chas" Addams[7] (1912–1988) was an American cartoonist known for his darkly humorous and macabre characters, who became known as The Addams Family. His work appeared regularly in The New Yorker and occasionally in other magazines.

24a   Sluggo’s associate // can degenerate in New York (5)

N(ANC*)Y — anagram (degenerate; postpositive adjective) of CAN contained in (in) NY (New York; abbrev.)

Backstory
Nancy[7] is an American daily and Sunday comic strip, originally written and drawn by Ernie Bushmiller (1905–1982) and distributed by United Feature Syndicate. The character of Nancy, a slightly chubby and precocious eight-year-old, first appeared in the strip Fritzi Ritz about the airheaded flapper title character. Larry Whittington began Fritzi Ritz in 1922, and it was taken over by Bushmiller three years later.

Sluggo Smith, introduced in 1938, is Nancy's best friend (sometimes described as Nancy's boyfriend). Sluggo is Nancy's age and is a poor ragamuffin-type from the wrong side of the tracks. He is portrayed as lazy, and his favorite pastime seems to be napping.

26a   A large roll, one in BC, // launched as a projectile? (9)

B(A|L|LIST|I)C — {A (†) + L (large; abbrev.) + LIST (roll) + I ([Roman numeral for] one)} contained in (in) BC (†)

Backstory

B.C.[7] is a daily American comic strip created by cartoonist Johnny Hart (1931–2007). Set in prehistoric times, it features a group of cavemen and anthropomorphic animals from various geologic eras. B.C. made its newspaper debut on February 17, 1958, and was among the longest-running strips still written and drawn by its original creator when Hart died at his drawing board in Nineveh, New York, on April 7, 2007.

The strip is now produced by Hart's grandsons Mason Mastroianni (head writer and cartoonist) and Mick Mastroianni (writer for both B.C. and Hart's other creation, The Wizard of Id), and Hart's daughter Perri (letterer and colorist).

27a   Wager about limp // item cherished by Linus (7)

B(LANK)ET — BET (wager) containing (about) LANK (limp)

Backstory
Linus van Pelt[7] is a character in Charles M. Schulz's comic strip Peanuts. The best friend of Charlie Brown, Linus is also the younger brother of Lucy van Pelt and older brother of Rerun van Pelt. He first appeared in 1952. Linus spoke his first words in 1954, the same year he was shown with his security blanket.

28a   Active buff in Momma/’s/ state (7)

M(ON|TAN)A — {ON (active) + TAN (buff)} contained in MA (Momma)

Backstory
Momma[7] is an American comic strip by Mell Lazarus that debuted in 1970. Initially distributed by the Publishers-Hall Syndicate, it later was handled by Creators Syndicate and published in more than 400 newspapers worldwide.

Creators Syndicate announced Momma 's (and Mell Lazarus') death July 10, 2016 in a comic strip memorial that included other grieving comic strip characters.

29a   Gore // disturbed; so’s Blondie (10)

BLOODINESS* —anagram (disturbed) of SOS BLONDIE

Backstory
Blondie[7] is an American comic strip created by cartoonist Chic Young which features the eponymous blonde and her sandwich-loving husband. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, the strip has been published in newspapers since 1930.

Chic Young drew Blondie until his death in 1973, when creative control passed to his son Dean Young, who continues to write the strip. Over the years, the younger Young has collaborated with a number of artists on Blondie.

Scratching the Surface
The surface reading may possibly be an allusion to American writer Gore Vidal[7] (1925–2012).

30a   Individuals // in Doonesbury (4)

_ONES_ — hidden in (in) DoONESbury

Backstory
The first Doonesbury cartoon, from October 26, 1970

Doonesbury[7] is a comic strip by American cartoonist Garry Trudeau that chronicles the adventures and lives of an array of characters of various ages, professions, and backgrounds, from the President of the United States to the title character, Michael Doonesbury, who has progressed from a college student to a youthful senior citizen over the decades.

Created in "the throes of '60s and '70s counterculture," and frequently political in nature, Doonesbury features characters representing a range of affiliations, but the cartoon is noted for a liberal viewpoint. The name "Doonesbury" is a combination of the word doone (prep school slang for someone who is clueless, inattentive, or careless) and the surname of Charles Pillsbury, Trudeau's roommate at Yale University.

A daily strip through most of its existence, since February 2014 Doonesbury has run repeat strips Monday through Saturday, and new strips on Sunday.

Down

1d   Heavenly // Alice lets loose (9)

CELESTIAL* — anagram (loose) of ALICE LETS

2d   Smart about alien // background (7)

S(ET)TING — STING (smart) containing (about) ET (alien; extraterrestial)

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial[7] (often referred to simply as E.T.) is a 1982 American science fiction film co-produced and directed by Steven Spielberg. It tells the story of a lonely boy who befriends an extraterrestrial, dubbed "E.T.", who is stranded on Earth. He and his siblings help the extraterrestrial return home while attempting to keep it hidden from their mother and the government.

4d   Pair of kids in narrative // movie with sound (6)

TAL(KI)E — KI (pair of kids; first two letters of KIds) contained in (in) TALE (narrative)

5d   People speaking wildly about silver // destroyers (8)

RAV(AG)ERS — RAVERS (people speaking wildly) containing (about) AG ([symbol for the chemical element] silver)

6d   Nothing in beer ingredient // baskets (5)

H(O)OPS or HO(O)PS — O (nothing; letter that looks like a zero) contained in (in) HOPS (beer ingredient)

7d   Elk’s first broken antler, // with no end (7)

E|TERNAL* — E (Elk's first; initial letter of Elk) + anagram (broken) of ANTLER

8d   Shabby-looking // attorney after trial’s beginning (5)

T|ATTY — ATTY (attorney; abbrev.) following (after) T (trial's beginning; initial letter of Trial)

10d   Regarding cedar’s first branch // to shinny up again (7)

RE|C|LIMB — RE (regarding) + C (cedar's first; initial letter of Cedar) + LIMB (branch)

16d   Close in, catching ocean // mammal in cold water (3,4)

SEA L|I(O)N — {SEAL (close) + IN (†)} containing (catching) O (ocean; abbrev.)

O.[11] or O[12] is the abbreviation for ocean.

17d   US party members // scared Tom off (9)

DEMOCRATS* —anagram (off) of SCARED TOM

18d   Bent-over dancing // not allowed (8)

VERBOTEN* — anagram (dancing) of BENT OVER

Scratching the Surface

The surface reading is almost certainly an allusion to twerking[7], a New Orleans style of dance that became a viral sensation when appropriated by Miley Cyrus in a video that was uploaded first to Facebook and then YouTube in March 2013.

20d   Chaney joke on love // in the distant past (4,3)

LON|G AG|O — LON (Chaney; American actor Lon Chaney[7]) + GAG (joke) + (on; in a down clue) + O (love; nil score in tennis)

22d   Leave the coach, /and/ fall behind detective (7)

DET|RAIN — RAIN (fall) following (behind) DET (detective; abbrev.)

23d   Priests straddling fifty // beasts of burden (6)

L(L)AMAS — LAMAS ([Buddhist] priests) containing (straddling) L ([Roman numeral for] fifty)

24d   Catch old British // VIP (5)

NAB|O|B — NAB (catch) + O (old; abbrev.) + B (British; abbrev.)

25d   Fine collected by athletic club Ed // joined (5)

Y(OK)ED — OK (fine) contained in (collected by) {Y (athletic club; YMCA/YWCA} + ED (†)}

Epilogue

"See you in the funny papers" is a humorous farewell that apparently was in widespread use from the 1920s through the 1950s.
Key to Reference Sources: 

[1]   - The Chambers Dictionary, 11th Edition
[2]   - Search Chambers - (Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)
[3]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (American Heritage Dictionary)
[4]   - TheFreeDictionary.com (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] - CollinsDictionary.com (Collins English Dictionary)
[11] - TheFreeDictionary.com (Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary)
[12] - CollinsDictionary.com (Webster’s New World College Dictionary)
[13] - MacmillanDictionary.com (Macmillan Dictionary)
Signing off for today — Falcon

12 comments:

  1. Funny... I found today's puzzle to be rather "comical".... Very fitting for the Saturday morning paper!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Happy beautiful Saturday in between rainy weather here in the GTA. Today's puzzle from C&R (thanks, Falcon!) is a comical breeze as noted above. However, one word I cannot parse is 14a. Simple enough solution, only 2 names fit that I could find, but 'wizard's place?'
    Henry

    ReplyDelete
  3. Henry, your parsing is better than what I came up with. That was the only clue I didn't fully understand.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nice nod to some characters I had forgotten about long ago. These characters reminded me of the Saturday mornings I used to look forward to reading the colour comics.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Good day to Falcon and fellow puzzlers,
    Always enjoyed reading the funnies as a kid. Agree that 14a was not so "gr"eat. Otherwise, very entertaining.

    Thank you for posting and have a great weekend all!
    MG

    ReplyDelete
  6. Good morning,

    I'm having some trouble with 13a and 16d. I think I have the answers but not sure. Re 13a: is 'yellow' supposed to be 'y' with the answer being a name? And re 16d: I think the answer was recently in news grabbing a small child that was feeding it. But what explains the word 'cold' in the clue?

    Peter

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Can degenerate" is an anagram cue. In "NY"

      I think "Mammal in cold water" is the entire definition. But I agonized over that for a while too.

      Delete
    2. Oops wrong clue. Yes the y is for yellow, leading to something beach like. Comic is also a famous children's musical.

      Delete
    3. Thanks Chris.

      Yes, I did spot the anagram in NY for Sluggo's associate.

      I was having trouble with the 'small and yellow dog'.

      I think you're right that the definition for 16d is "mammal in cold water". That would require 'ocean' to stand for 'o'. I wasn't aware of that abbreviation. And I'm quite sure that the mammals in question are equally found in warm water. In fact, I've seen them in the wild in the warms waters off Vancouver.

      Delete
  7. For all the solution lovers out there...
    Across
    1 CASK (anagram)
    3 ST|ARCHIE|ST
    9 LATER|AL
    11 VIOLE(N)T
    12 S|WITCH|ING
    13 S|AND|Y
    14 IN|GR|ID
    15 BRISTLED (anagram)
    19 LI(L AB)NER
    21 SADDAM (hidden)
    24 N(ANC)Y (anagram on CAN)
    26 B(A|L|LIST|I)C
    27 B(LANK)ET
    28 M(ON|TAN)A
    29 BLOODINESS (anagram)
    30 ONES (hidden)

    Down
    1 CELESTIAL (anagram)
    2 S(ET)TING
    4 TAL(KI)E
    5 RAV(AG)ERS
    6 H(O)OPS or HO(O)PS
    7 E|TERNAL (anagram on ANTLER)
    8 T|ATTY
    10 RE|C|LIMB
    16 SEA L|I(O)N
    17 DEMOCRATS (anagram)
    18 VERBOTEN (anagram)
    20 LON|G AG|O
    22 DET|RAIN
    23 L(L)AMAS
    24 NAB|O|B
    25 Y(OK)|ED
    Have a great weekend, everyone!

    ReplyDelete