Saturday, July 11, 2015

Saturday, July 11, 2015 — It's a Family Affair


I did today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon while basking in the sunshine beside a bucolic lake. The solving process was interrupted from time to time for a plunge into the refreshing water to cool off — or to watch a pair of loons on the lake having their morning feed.

As for the crossword, I thought it continued the recent trend of somewhat more difficult puzzles.

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   What a caddie carries along with golfer Ernie/’s/ breakfast items (6)

BAG|ELS — BAG (what a caddie carries) + (along with) ELS (golfer Ernie; South African professional golfer Ernie Els[7])

4a   Songwriter // flapping her wings (8)

GERSHWIN* — anagram (flapping) of HER WINGS

Ira Gershwin[7] (1896–1983) was an American lyricist who collaborated with his younger brother, composer George Gershwin[7] (1898–1937), to create some of the most memorable songs of the 20th century.

9a   Spanish gentleman getting back song // in old Greek dialect (6)

DO(RIA<)N — DON (Spanish gentleman; Spanish title prefixed to a male forename) containing (getting) a reversal (back) of AIR (song)

The Dorians[5] were a Hellenic people speaking the Doric dialect of Greek, thought to have entered Greece from the north circa 1100 BC. They settled in the Peloponnese and later colonized Sicily and southern Italy.

As an adjective, Dorian[10] means of or relating to the Dorians or their dialect of Ancient Greek.

Given that the name of the dialect appears to be Doric[5] (rather than Dorian), the solution to the clue must be an adjective and thus be "in old Greek dialect" ( Dorian verse being verse in old Greek dialect).

10a   Mimics // capture actor Keach the wrong way (8)

COP|YCATS — COP (capture) + reversal (the wrong way) of STACY (actor Keach; American actor Stacy Keach[7] or his father Stacy Keach, Sr.[7])

11a   Hurt furniture /that/ can be illustrated (9)

PAIN|TABLE — PAIN (hurt) + TABLE (furniture)

13a   Love for each one /in/ musical show (5)

O|PER|A — O (love; nil score in tennis) + PER (for each) + A (one)

14a   After a couple of fights, sell // bird of prey (7,4)

SPAR|ROW| HAWK — HAWK (sell) following (after) SPAR (first fight) + ROW (second fight)

18a   Fits // in con’s point, roughly (11)

CONNIPTIONS* — anagram (roughly) of IN CONS POINT

21a   Pass inside with French // farewell (5)

A(DIE)U — DIE (pass [away]) contained in (inside) AU (with French

The French word au[8] can mean 'with' in expressions — seemingly most frequently encountered in cookery — such as Minestrone au jus de tomate (Minestrone with Tomato Juice).

22a   A Republican fellow in a // South American land (9)

A|R|GENT|IN|A — A (†) + R (Republican; member of the US Republican Party) + GENT (fellow) + IN (†) + A (†)

24a   Drinkers raising glasses // to flowers (8)

TO|ASTERS — TO (†) + ASTERS (flowers)

25a   Grand, circular // backdrop (6)

G|ROUND — G (grand; slang for one thousand) + ROUND (circular)

26a   Company men acquiring chemical company/’s/ land (4,4)

CO|ME (DOW)N — CO ([abbreviation for] company) + MEN (†) containing (acquiring) DOW (chemical company; American multinational The Dow Chemical Co.[7])

27a   Affectionate // caregiver (6)

TENDER — double definition


1d   Save about 500 monkeys /in/ European capital (8)

BU(D|APES)T — BUT (save; all, save one, perished) containing (about) {D ([Roman numeral for] five hundred) + APES (monkeys)}

Budapest[7] is the capital and the largest city of Hungary,and one of the largest cities in the European Union.

2d   Awfully mean girl // just getting started (8)

GERMINAL* — anagram (awfully) of MEAN GIRL

3d   Smallest amount // allowed, arsenic included (5)

LE(AS)T — AS ([symbol for the chemical element] arsenic) contained (included) [in] LET (allowed)

5d   Pardoning // Generation X mistakenly (11)

EXONERATING* — anagram (mistakenly) of GENERATION X

6d   Shoot up // filming locale around Kentucky boulder (9)

S(KY|ROCK)ET — SET (filming locale) containing (around) {KY ([abbreviation for] Kentucky) + ROCK (boulder)}

7d   Hesitate about English // figure at a loom (6)

W(E)AVER — WAVER (hesitate) containing (about) E (English)

8d   Bahamas port // involved in foreign assault (6)

_N|ASSAU_ — hidden in (involved in) foreigN ASSAUlt

Nassau[7] is the capital, largest city, and commercial centre of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. Located on New Providence Island, Nassau has an attractive harbour.

12d   Eating fish in a movie, temporarily get // hunting gear (3,3,5)

BO(W AND A)RROW — BORROW (temporarily get) containing (eating) WANDA (fish in a movie)

A Fish Called Wanda[7] is a 1988 heist-comedy film starring Monty Python alumni John Cleese and Michael Palin together with Jamie Lee Curtis and Kevin Kline.

15d   Told /of/ nobleman hiding in grass (9)

RE(COUNT)ED — COUNT (nobleman) contained in (hiding in) REED (grass)

16d   Coming to the end /of/ bone buried in hill (8)

MO(RIB)UND — RIB (bone) contained in (buried in) MOUND (hill)

17d   I badmouth // New York hockey player (8)

I|SLANDER — I (†) + SLANDER (badmouth)

This would have been more of challenge had the clue read "Brooklyn hockey player".

The New York Islanders[7] are a professional ice hockey team based in — beginning in the 2015-16 season — the New York City borough of Brooklyn. They are members of the Metropolitan Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL).

Having played since their inception at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York, approximately 19 miles (31 km) east of New York City on Long Island, the franchise will move to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for the 2015–16 NHL season.

19d   Jerk adopting performance // strategy (6)

T(ACT)IC — TIC (jerk) containing (adopting) ACT (performance)

I am sure their are pedants who will argue that tactics and strategy are quite different matters.

20d   Win over // woman’s heart after silly raids (6)

DISAR*|M — M (woman's heart; middle letter of woMan) following (after) anagram (silly) of RAIDS

23d   Scandinavian // right inside plane’s front (5)

NO(R)SE — R (right) contained in (inside) NOSE (plane's front)


The title of today's piece was inspired by 4a and 10a.
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. Good day Falcon!
    Very enjoyable puzzle today. My favourite clue was 15d.
    Thanks again for posting!

    1. Hi MG,

      With 15d, I mentally ran through every nobleman I could think of and failed to see the correct one. It was only once I had all the checking letters in place that I finally saw the solution.

  2. I agree about the difficulty level; for me, this one had the "just right" degree of resistance. Hardest clue for me to parse: 6D; last one in 3D.