Saturday, March 7, 2015

Saturday, March 7, 2015 — Quiet Opposition


Today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon should not hold you up long from getting on with the rest of your day.

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   In Spain, two vows to marry // square-dance figures (2-2-3)

DO-S|I|-DOS — DOS (in Spain, two; Spanish word meaning 'two') + {I DOS} (vows to marry)

A do-si-do[3] is a movement in square dancing in which two dancers approach each other and circle back to back, then return to their original positions.

5a   Drink // liquor made from honey in story (7)

LI(MEAD)E — MEAD (liquor made from honey) contained in (in) LIE (story)

9a   Gertrude/’s/ mug (5)

STEIN — double definition

Gertrude Stein[5] (1874–1946) was an American writer. Stein developed an esoteric stream-of-consciousness style, notably in The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas (1933). Her home in Paris became a focus for the avant-garde during the 1920s and 1930s.

10a   Church put money in the pot in conclusion, // spellbound (9)

EN(CH|ANTE)D — {CH (church) + ANTE (put money in the pot)} contained in (in) END (conclusion)

11a   Brainy physicist, // awfully tense nail-biter (6,8)

{ALBERT EINSTEIN}* — anagram (awfully) of TENSE NAIL BITER

Albert Einstein[5] (1879–1955) was a German-born American theoretical physicist, founder of the special and general theories of relativity.

13a   Ties // the rest loosely (7)

TETHERS* — anagram (loosely) of THE REST

15a   How, in France, // to make a remark (7)

COMMENT — double definition

Comment[8] is a French word meaning 'how'.

16a   Freshly decent, I // was attractive (7)

ENTICED* — anagram (freshly) of DECENT I

19a   In carcass, available // source of starch (7)

_CASS|AVA_ — hidden in (in) carCASS AVAilable

21a   Cutting corners crookedly /in/ building again (14)

RECONSTRUCTING* — anagram (crookedly) of CUTTING CORNERS

24a   A stinging quality // was observed about porcupine quills and such (9)

WA(SPINES)S — WAS (†) containing (observed about) SPINES (porcupine quills and such)

25a   Unendingly nag // star in an old western (5)

BADGE_ — BADGE[R] (nag) with the final letter removed (unendingly)

... worn on the sheriff's chest.

26a   Drunk keeps performing // this evening (7)

T(ON)IGHT — TIGHT (drunk) containing (keeps) ON (performing)

27a   Players in pinstripes // look for negative response the wrong way (7)

{YAN|KEES}< — reversal (the wrong way) of {SEEK (look for) + NAY (negative response)}

The New York Yankees[7] are an American professional baseball franchise based in the Bronx borough of New York City that competes in Major League Baseball (MLB)'s American League (AL) East division. One of the many nicknames applied to the Yankees is "the Pinstripes", in reference to the iconic feature on their home uniforms.

Delving Deeper
The "Yankees" name is often shortened to "the Yanks." Their most prominently used nickname is "the Bronx Bombers" or simply "the Bombers", a reference to their home and their prolific hitting. Critics often refer to the team and the organization as "the Evil Empire", a term applied to the Yankees by Boston Red Sox president Larry Lucchino in a 2002 interview with the New York Times. A term from the team's tumultuous late 70s, "the Bronx Zoo", is sometimes used by detractors, as well as the "Damn Yankees", after the musical of the same name. Ironically, even many Yankees supporters refer to their team as the "Evil Empire" as a badge of honor and in fact enjoy having their team play "the villain".


1d   Demand list with changes // broken down (10)

DISMANTLED* — anagram (with changes) of DEMAND LIST

2d   Seasoning in gel // dessert (7)

S(HERB)ET — HERB (seasoning) contained in (in) SET (gel)

American vs British Usage
In North America, sherbet[5] is another name for sorbet or, as the British might call it, water ice.

In Britain, sherbet[5] is a flavoured sweet effervescent powder eaten alone or made into a drink ⇒ disks of fruit-flavoured rice paper filled with sherbet.

In Australia, on the other hand, sherbet[5] is a humorous term for beer ⇒ I went down the local pub for a few sherbets.

3d   Uproar concerning flipped // restaurant (5)

DIN|ER< — DIN (uproar) + reversal (flipped) of RE (concerning)

4d   Planters /of/ evergreens in conversation (7)

SEEDERS~ — sounds like (in conversation) CEDARS (evergreens)

5d   Spanish article shaped like a tepee /and/ not very expansive (7)

LA|CONIC — LA (Spanish [definite] article) + CONIC (shaped like a tepee)

6d   Smile at me goofily // when we eat (9)

MEALTIMES* — anagram (goofily) of SMILE AT ME

7d   Dancer // announced a step (7)

A|STAIRE~ — A (†) + STAIRE {sounds like (announced) STAIR (step)}

Fred Astaire[5] (1899–1987) was an American dancer, singer, and actor; born Frederick Austerlitz. He is famous for starring in a number of film musicals, including Top Hat (1935), in a successful partnership with Ginger Rogers.

Delving Deeper
Adele Astaire[7] (1896–1981) was an American dancer and entertainer; born Adele Marie Austerlitz. She was Fred Astaire's elder sister, and his partner in a 27-year career in vaudeville and theater, beginning when he was five and she was eight.

8d   Whirl // an original Christian Scientist (4)

EDDY — double definition

Mary Baker Eddy[5] (1821–1910) was an American religious leader and founder of the Christian Science movement. Long a victim to various ailments, she believed herself cured by a faith healer, Phineas Quimby, and later evolved her own system of spiritual healing.

12d   Among aliens, 50 // murderers (10)

STRANG(L)ERS — L ([Roman numeral for] 50) contained in (among) STRANGERS (aliens)

14d   Wrapping // long since ruined (9)

ENCLOSING* — anagram (ruined) of LONG SINCE

17d   True motive /for/ crime (7)

T|REASON — T (true) + REASON (motive)

18d   Diana’s transmitted opposition (7)

DI|S|SENT — DI ([diminutive for] Diana) + S ('s) + SENT (transmitted)

19d   Pithy agreement retracted // gesture of respect (7)

CURT|SEY< — CURT (pithy) + reversal (retracted) of YES (agreement)

20d   Lady of Greek myth // read in a novel (7)

ARIADNE* — anagram (novel) of READ IN A

In Greek mythology, Ariadne[5] was the daughter of King Minos of Crete and Pasiphaë. She helped Theseus to escape from the Minotaur’s labyrinth by giving him a ball of thread, which he unravelled as he went in and used to trace his way out again after killing the Minotaur.

22d   Abel’s brother gets second-rate // dwelling (5)

CA(B)IN — CAIN (Abel's brother) containing (gets) B (second-rate)

In the Bible, Cain[5] is the eldest son of Adam and Eve and murderer of his brother Abel.

23d   Met about writer’s first hit (4)

S(W)AT — SAT (met) containing (about) W (Writer's first [letter])


The title of today's blog is inspired by 5d and 18.
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


  1. How does sat = met?

    1. In the sense you would find it in the following sentence: "The Finance Committee sat late into the night dealing with the proposed budget cuts."