Saturday, July 1, 2017

Saturday, July 1, 2017 — From Sea to Sea to Sea



The National Post delivers a fitting nod to Canada Day in today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon.

The picture introducing today's blog shows the Canada 150 tulip[7] which was selectively bred to resemble Canada's maple leaf flag to mark the country's sesquicentennial.

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
This puzzle appears on the first Diversions page in the Saturday, July 1, 2017 edition of the National Post.

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   Artistic movement // integral to Canada Day (4)

_DA|DA_ — hidden in (integral to) CanaDA DAy

3a   Despises // sloppy Manitoba errors (10)

ABOMINAT*|ES — anagram (sloppy) of MANITOBA + ES (errors; abbrev.)

This seems to be very sloppy cluing. E can be the abbreviation for either error or errors. I have sometimes seen the word "errors" used to clue EE but I don't see how it can possibly clue ES. Setters do often use the S following an apostrophe in a solution but that is not the case here.

I would be very interested to hear if someone can find a source to support ES being the abbreviation for errors or suggest a different explanation for the parsing.

10a   Farmer keeps large, // menacing dog (7)

GROW(L)ER — GROWER (farmer) contains (keeps) L (large; abbrev.)

11a   Blow up // island next to Newfoundland in the wee hours (7)

I|NF|LATE — I (island; abbrev.) + (next to) NF ([former postal abbreviation for] Newfoundland) + LATE (in the wee hours)

The postal abbreviation NF has not been used in years having been replaced by NL (Newfoundland and Labrador).

12a   Smooth white stone // sculpted as Alberta (9)

ALABASTER* — anagram (sculpted) of AS ALBERTA

13a   In the morning, I leave // Spanish friend (5)

AM|I|GO — AM (in the morning; ante meridiem) + I (†) + GO (leave)

14a   Speech // upset Ontario (7)

ORATION* — anagram (upset) of ONTARIO

15a   Radical and socialist // run Saskatchewan and Yukon at first (7)

TROT|SK|Y — TROT (run) + SK ([postal abbreviation for] Saskatchewan) + (and) Y (Yukon at first; initial letter of Yukon)

Leon Trotsky[5] (1879–1940) was a Russian revolutionary; born Lev Davidovich Bronshtein. He helped to organize the October Revolution with Lenin, and built up the Red Army. He was expelled from the Communist Party by Stalin in 1927 and exiled in 1929. He settled in Mexico in 1937, where he was later murdered by a Stalinist assassin.

17a   Lynxes /from/ British Columbia aboard vessels (7)

BO(BC)ATS — BC ([postal abbreviation for] British Columbia) contained in (aboard) BOATS (vessels)

The bobcat[4] (also called bay lynx) is a North American feline mammal, Lynx rufus, closely related to but smaller than the lynx, having reddish-brown fur with dark spots or stripes, tufted ears, and a short tail. 

20a   Cut pole in pieces /and/ multiply by eight (7)

OCTUPLE* — anagram (in pieces) of CUT POLE

22a   Nymph/'s/ subtly funny advertisement (5)

DRY|AD — DRY (subtly funny) + AD (advertisement; abbrev.)

24a   Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia keeping touch about // some figures (9)

PE|N(TAG|ON)S — {PE ([postal abbreviation for] Prince Edward Island) + NS ([postal abbreviation for] Nova Scotia)} containing (keeping) {TAG (touch) + ON (about; concerning)}

26a   Composer fellow, 102, found around Nunavut's capital (7)

MAN|CI(N)I — {MAN (fellow) + CII ([Roman numeral for] 102)} containing (found around) N (Nunavut's capital; initial letter of Nunavut)

Henry Mancini[5] (1924–94) was a US composer and conductor. He wrote many movie scores, including those for The Pink Panther (1964) and Victor/Victoria (1982). He also wrote “Moon River” for Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961).

27a   In Quebec, a useful // word of explanation (7)

_BEC|A|USE_ — hidden in (in) QueBEC A USEful

28a   Empty beverage container in Northwest Territories, // deepest down (10)

N(E|THERMOS)T — {E (empty; abbreviation found on a fuel gauge) + THERMOS (container)} contained in (in) NT ([postal abbreviation for] Northwest Territories)

29a   Narrow passage /on/ the borders of New Brunswick (4)

NE|CK — the outer letters of (the borders of) NEw BrunswiCK

It took me a while to realize that the borders today are a bit thicker than I was expecting.


1d   Unquestioned belief /in/ litter-bearer? (5)

DOG|MA — DOG MA (litter-bearer; mother dog)

2d   Play about Jovian moon // museum display (7)

D(IO)RAMA — DRAMA (play) containing (about) IO (Jovian moon)

Io[5] is one of the Galilean moons of Jupiter, the fifth closest satellite to the planet. It is actively volcanic, colored red and yellow with sulfur compounds, and has a diameter of 2,526 miles (3,630 km).

4d   Taking pen. scorch // actress Ellen (7)

BUR(STY)N — BURN (scorch) containing (taking) STY (pen [for pigs])

Ellen Burstyn[7] (born Edna Rae Gillooly) is an award-winning American actress. Her career began in theatre during the late 1950s, and over the next decade included several films and television series. Burstyn is one of the few performers to have won the Triple Crown of Acting (an Oscar, an Emmy, and a Tony).

5d   Fictional inspector /in/ Ragtime novel (7)

MAIGRET* — anagram (novel) of RAGTIME

Jules Maigret[7] (Maigret to most people, including his wife) is a fictional French police detective, actually a commissaire or commissioner of the Paris "Brigade Criminelle" (Direction Régionale de Police Judiciaire de Paris), created by Belgian writer Georges Simenon (1903–1989).

6d   Commerce pact // turned in the direction of supporter (5)

{NAF|TA}< — reversal (turned) of {AT (in the direction of; as in "looked at") + FAN (supporter)}

NAFTA[5] (North American Free Trade Agreement) is one of Donald Trump's favourite targets — together with immigrants, women, Mexicans, Muslims, and the news media.

7d   Flatterers // quit interrupting unending toast (7)

TOA(DIE)S_ — DIE (quit) contained in (interrupting) TOAS[T] (unending toast; toast with the final letter removed)

8d   Shorthand recorder/'s/ plastic toy pen set (9)

STENOTYPE* — anagram (plastic) of TOY PEN SET

A stenotype[5] is a machine resembling a typewriter that is used for recording speech in syllables or phonemes.

9d   Covered by asphalt, a miraculous // site with paleolithic art (8)

_ALT|A|MIRA_ — hidden in (covered by) asphALT A MIRAculous

Altamira[5] is the site of a cave with Paleolithic rock paintings, south of Santander in northern Spain, discovered in 1879.

14d   Government official /has/ 1000 young flowers planted in Arabian country (9)

O(M|BUDS)MAN — {M ([Roman numeral for] 1000) + BUDS (young flowers)} contained in (planted in) OMAN (Arabian country)

Oman[5,7], officially the Sultanate of Oman, is an Arab country at the southeastern corner of the Arabian peninsula; population 3,418,100 (est. 2009); official language, Arabic; capital, Muscat.

16d   Surpass // to a T, much better (8)

OUTMATCH* — anagram (better) of TO A T MUCH

One could almost consider the entire clue to be the definition.

18d   Compartment on alien/'s/ rifle attachment (7)

BAY|ON|ET — BAY (compartment) + ON (†) + ET (alien)

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.

19d   Then Prime Minister swallows the guy's// false argument (7)

SO|P(HIS)M — SO (then) + PM (Prime Minister; abbrev.) containing (swallows) HIS (the guy's)

20d   Reformed mob in Yankee // anthology (7)

OMNIB*|US — anagram (reformed) of MOB IN + US (Yankee)

21d   Fabricate // souped-up car in purple (7)

P(ROD)UCE — ROD (souped-up car) contained in (in) PUCE (purple)

23d   Steer // right into seedy bar (5)

D(R)IVE — R (right; abbrev.) contained in (into) DIVE (seedy bar)

25d   In speech, wager // slab of meat (5)

STEAK~ — sounds like (in speech) STAKE (wager)


The setters have managed to include every province and territory of Canada in this Canada Day puzzle.
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. Nice puzzle today in honour of Canada's birthday. Had a little trouble in the NW quadrant but everything came together. Liked 28a a lot.

    Happy Canada Day to everyone!

    1. Welcome to the blog X. I guess we can respectfully consider your contributions to be "cross words".

  2. Well, a happy Canada to all, and thanks, Falcon for posting! (And thanks also for the nice comment last week, much appreciated.)
    Found the puzzle a bit daunting this week, took too long to find the hidden clue in the Down section (hint to all of you!) Not that happy with some of the parsing (e.g. 11a and 16d) but I think I have it all in.
    So nice to have you all in the group!

    1. I see now that 16d is an anagram, but I'll replace the example with 1d)

    2. Hi Henry,
      I loved 1d! - very whimsical.
      Happy Canada Day to you!

    3. Happy Canada Day to you, too, MG! I saw the meaning of litter-bearer when I came back from a Canada Day Dinner, and looked at the puzzle again. I agree, very whimsical!

  3. Good day Falcon and fine folk!

    Enjoyed the puzzle which was a little trickier than usual. Had to google the inspector. Last one in was 24a. Agree with first poster X that 28a was an interesting word.

    Thank you for posting.

  4. Hello Falcon and all, and Happy Canada Day from south of the border! I quailed a bit when I read Falcon's introduction, fearing that my (shameful) ignorance of my northern neighbor would be my downfall. That turned out not to be the case, but as so often with the "themed" cryptics, I get more distracted than usual by the surface meanings (e.g., "Gosh, can I come up with the capital of Nunavut?"). Anyway - I thought it was a very enjoyable puzzle. 1d made me laugh.