Saturday, March 1, 2014

Saturday, March 1, 2014 — Wandering As If in a Haze


I found today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon to be a bit more difficult solve than usual. As has been the situation of late, there does not appear to be any particular theme to the puzzle — although the setters do manage to work in references to both Christmas and Easter.

Solution to Today's Puzzle

Legend: "*" anagram; "~" sounds like; "<" letters reversed
"( )" letters inserted; "_" letters deleted; "†" explicit in the clue
Definitions are underlined in the clue, with subsidiary indications being marked by means of a dashed underline in semi-all-in-one (semi-& lit.) clues and cryptic definitions.


1a   Share poem reconfigured in sign language (9)

SEMAPHORE* — anagram (reconfigured) of SHARE POEM

6a   Listen in on the French horn (5)

BUG|LE — BUG (listen in on) + LE (the French; French word meaning 'the')

9a   Scientist gets down to drill in your ear (5,4)

{NEILS BOHR}~ — sounds like (in your ear) {KNEELS (gets down) + BORE (to drill)}

The wordplay could equally well be sounds like (in your ear) {KNEELS (gets down) + (to) BORE (drill)} where the charade indicator "to" would be used in the sense of "pressed against" — as in expressions such as "shoulder to the wheel" or "nose to the grindstone".

Niels Bohr[5] (1885–1962) was a Danish physicist and pioneer in quantum physics.

10a   The first of Hans Arp's instruments (5)

H_|ARPS — H (the first [letter] of Hans) + ARP (†) + S ('s)

Jean Arp[5] (1887–1966) was a French painter, sculptor, and poet; also known as Hans Arp.

11a   British novelist's spoken for Texas locale (6)

AUSTIN — sounds like (is ['s] spoken) AUSTEN

Jane Austen[5] (1775–1817) was an English novelist.

Austin[5] is the state capital of Texas; population 757,688 (est. 2008).

12a   Shea club arranged for priest's garb (8)

CHASUBLE* — anagram (arranged) of SHEA CLUB

The shea[5] (Vitellaria paradoxa or Butyrospermum parkii) is a small tropical African tree which bears oily nuts from which shea butter is obtained.

However, in light of 2d, perhaps a "shea club" is a baseball bat, Shea Stadium[7] being the former home field of the New York Mets.

A chasuble[5] is an ornate sleeveless outer vestment worn by a Catholic or High Anglican priest when celebrating Mass.

14a   Used faulty brainwork, even when in fog (10)

MIS(THOUGH)T — THOUGH (even when) contained in MIST (FOG)

As an instance of though[3] being used in the sense of 'even when', consider He still argues, though he knows he's wrong.

16a   Artist with some "dirt" conveyed in conversation (4)

KLEE~ — sounds like (conveyed in conversation) CLAY (some "dirt")

Paul Klee[5] (1879–1940) was a Swiss painter, resident in Germany 1906–33.

The quotation marks around dirt are undoubtedly intended to make us think of dirt[3] in the sense of malicious or scandalous gossip.

18a   Bite insect back (4)

TANG< — reversal (back) of GNAT (insect)

19a   Margaret going around plus Erin going astray (10)

ME(AND|ERIN)G — MEG ([common nickname for] Margaret) containing (going around) {AND (plus) + ERIN (†)}

21a   Shoulder spots I'd seen in deer (8)

RO(ADS|ID)E — {ADS (spots) + ID (I'd)} contained in (seen in) ROE (deer)

22a   Phony Yankee gumshoe (6)

SHAM|US — SHAM (phony) + US (Yankee)

Shamus[3,4,11] is US slang for a police officer or a private investigator.

26a   Ring in the sea is first-class ring (5)

A|TOLL — A (first-class) + TOLL (ring)

27a   Showing beam of sunlight entering window (9)

PORT(RAY)AL — RAY (beam of sunlight) contained in (entering) PORTAL (window)

28a   Stop Mr. Eliot's losing propositions? (5)

DIE|TS — DIE (stop) + TS (Mr. Eliot)

T. S. Eliot[5] (1888–1965) was an American-born British poet, critic, and dramatist; full name Thomas Stearns Eliot.

29a   Tiredness affected some doctors (9)

RESIDENTS* — anagram (affected) of TIREDNESS


1d   Dancer's driver in peasant attire (5)

_SANT|A_ — hidden in peaSANT Attire

Dancer is a member of the team of reindeer[7] traditionally held to pull the sleigh of Santa Claus.

2d   Encounters error in New York baseball team (5)

M(E)ETS or ME(E)TS —E (error; baseball terminology) contained in (in) METS (New York baseball team)

The New York Mets[7] are a professional baseball team based in the borough of Queens in New York City that play in Major League Baseball's National League East Division.

3d   Jumble of silly chia pets (8)

PASTICHE* — anagram (silly) of CHIA PETS

4d   Reed tramps trimmed at both ends (4)

_OBOE_ — [H]OBOE[S] (tramps) with the initial and final letters deleted (trimmed at both ends)

5d   Share in the oddly reflected light (10)

EARTHSHINE* — anagram (oddly) of SHARE IN THE

In astronomy, earthshine[5] is the glow caused by sunlight reflected by the earth on the darker portion of a crescent moon.

6d   The guy in top command (6)

BE(HE)ST — HE (the guy) contained in (in) BEST (top)

7d   Soldier captures a rakish Italian patriot (9)

G(A|RIBALD)I — GI (soldier) containing (captures) {A (†) + RIBALD (rakish)}

A GI[5] is a private soldier in the US army ⇒ she went off with a GI during the war. Contrary to popular belief, the term apparently is not an abbreviation for general infantryman, but rather of government (or general) issue (originally denoting equipment supplied to US forces).

Giuseppe Garibaldi[5] (1807–1882) was an Italian patriot and military leader of the Risorgimento. With his volunteer force of ‘Red Shirts’ he captured Sicily and southern Italy from the Bourbons in 1860-1, thereby playing a key role in the establishment of a united kingdom of Italy.

8d   Wrongly segregate something hidden (6,3)

{EASTER EGG}* — anagram (wrongly) of SEGREGATE

An Easter egg[10] is an egg made of chocolate that is given as a present at Easter. In some countries, Easter eggs are hidden and children then look for them.

13d   Extraordinary rep pursued bum (5-5)

{SUPER DUPER}* — anagram (bum) of REP PURSUED

14d   Wandering timer dame? (5,4)

{METER MAID}* — anagram (wandering) of TIMER DAME

This is an & lit.[7] (all-in-one) clue, a type of clue in which the entire clue (in accordance with one reading) is the definition, and (under a different reading) is the wordplay.

15d   Carol, opening outside a city in Asia (9)

SING(A)PORE — {SING (carol; as a verb) + PORE (opening)} containing (outside) A (†)

Singapore[5] is a country in southeast Asia consisting of the island of Singapore (linked by a causeway to the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula) and some fifty-four smaller islands; population 4,657,500 (est. 2009); official languages, Malay, Chinese, Tamil, and English; capital, Singapore City.

17d   Tied score in football, having energy at that point (8)

T(E|THERE)D — TD (score in football; touchdown) containing (having) {E (energy) + THERE (at that point)}

In American [or Canadian] football, a touchdown[5] is a six-point score made by carrying or passing the ball into the end zone of the opposing side.

20d   Extra note: what's given to the poor songs (6)

PS|ALMS — PS (extra note; postscript) + ALMS (what's given to the poor)

A psalm[5] is a sacred song or hymn, in particular any of those contained in the biblical Book of Psalms and used in Christian and Jewish worship.

23d   Ancient American springtime article (5)

MAY|AN — MAY (springtime; perhaps intended to be interpreted as 'spring time', or a time in sping) + AN (article)

A Maya[10] (or Mayan) was a member of an American Indian people of Yucatan, Belize, and northern Guatemala, having an ancient culture once characterized by outstanding achievements in architecture, astronomy, chronology, painting, and pottery.

24d   Markdowns for saloon's first brews (5)

S_|ALES — S (Saloon's first [letter]) + ALES (brews)

25d   Greek god's aching back (4)

EROS< — reversal (back) of SORE (aching)
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)
Signing off for today — Falcon

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