Saturday, July 18, 2015

Saturday, July 18, 2015 — European Masters


I thought today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon maintained the slightly higher difficulty level that we have seen in their recent works.

 The puzzle should appeal to anagram lovers as fully 40% of the clues are anagrams or partial anagrams.

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   Mottled // cloth spy destroyed (8)

SPLOTCHY* — anagram (destroyed) of CLOTH SPY

5a   Impales // small arachnids (6)

S|TICKS — S (small [abbrev.]) + TICKS (arachnids)

9a   Some furniture /in/ aunt’s will, revised (4,5)

{WALL UNITS}*_ — anagram (revised) of AUNTS WILL

11a   Open area /of/ Arizona mountain seen from behind (5)

{PLA|ZA}< — reversal (seen from behind) of {AZ (Arizona [abbrev.] + ALP ([European] mountain])}

12a   Entice bum, carrying $1000 // suit accessory (7)

NEC(K)TIE* — anagram (bum) of ENTICE containing (carrying) K ($1000)

13a   In Oxford English Dictionary, “glove” /is/ left out (7)

O(MITT)ED — MITT (glove) contained in (in) OED (Oxford English Dictionary [abbrev.])

14a   Stops taking private role /in/ social affairs (6,7)

D(INNER| PART)IES — DIES (stops) containing (taking) {INNER (private) + PART (role)}

16a   Crackpot in a ceremonial // Internet service (7,6)

{AMERICA ONLINE}* — anagram (crackpot) of IN A CEREMONIAL

AOL Inc.[7] (previously known as America Online) is an American multinational mass media corporation based in New York City which develops, grows, and invests in brands and web sites. The company's business spans digital distribution of content, products, and services, which it offers to consumers, publishers, and advertisers.

On June 23, Verizon Communications completed the acquisition of AOL in a deal valued at $4.4 billion.

20a   Tosses about 50-500 // protective covers (7)

SHIE(LD)S — SHIES (tosses) containing (about) {L ([Roman numeral for] 50) + D ([Roman numeral for] 500)}

21a   Portion /of/ event taking place in silence (7)

S(EVENT)H — EVENT (†) contained in (taking place in) SH ([request for] silence)

23a   A flapper /is/ dazzling (5)

A|WING — A (†) + WING (flapper)

Scratching the Surface
Flapper[5] is an informal 1920s era term for a fashionable young woman intent on enjoying herself and flouting conventional standards of behaviour.

24a   Released a wild // marine mammal (5,4)

{EARED SEAL}* — anagram (wild) of RELEASED A

25a   Vocalize the French // hit (6)

SING|LE — SING (vocalize) + LE (the French; French word meaning 'the')

This is a hit in a baseball game — not a musical number that cracks the Top 40.

26a   Sales agent gets up /and/ repeats (8)

REP|RISES — REP (sales agent) + RISES (gets up)


1d   Farm work // due after start of spring (6)

S|OWING — OWING (due) following (after) S (start of spring; initial letter of Spring)

2d   Flower // I call fresh (5)

LILAC* — anagram (fresh) of I CALL

3d   Rely on // corrosion-filled metal container (5,2)

T(RUST) IN — TIN (metal container) containing (filled [with]) RUST (corrosion)

4d   African emperor, // I see, has allies confused (5,8)

{HAILE SELASSIE}* — anagram (confused) of I SEE HAS ALLIES

Haile Selassie[7] (1892–1975) was emperor of Ethiopia 1930–74; born Tafari Makonnen. In exile in Britain during the Italian occupation of Ethiopia (1936–41), he was restored to the throne by the Allies and ruled until deposed by a military coup. He is revered by the Rastafarian religious sect.

6d   Greek character in row /is/ more drunk (7)

TI(PSI)ER — PSI (Greek character; twenty-third letter of the Greek alphabet) contained in (in) TIER (row)

7d   Canoeist scrambled around lake/’s/ shore (9)

COAST(L)INE* — anagram (scrambled) of CANOEIST containing (around) L (lake [abbrev.])

8d   Carelessly // cut when gripping handheld device (8)

SLA(PDA)SH — SLASH (cut) containing (when gripping) PDA (handheld device; Personal Digital Assistant [abbrev.])

10d   Posher pigpens: weird // indulgence (8,5)

{SHOPPING SPREE}* — anagram (weird) of POSHER PIGPENS

14d   Diana—English painter /and/ nutritionist (9)

DI|E|TITIAN — DI ([diminutive of] Diana) + E (English [abbrev.]) + TITIAN ([Italian] painter)

Titian[5] (circa 1488–1576) was an Italian painter; Italian name Tiziano Vecellio. The most important painter of the Venetian school, he experimented with vivid colours and often broke conventions of composition. He painted many sensual mythological works, including Bacchus and Ariadne (circa 1518–23).

Bacchus and Ariadne (Titian)

15d   Spoils Dutchman who painted // officers (8)

MARS|HALS — MARS (spoils) + HALS (Dutchman who painted)

This Dutchman did indeed paint officers.

Fran Hals (circa 1580–1666), Dutch portrait and genre painter. He endowed his portraits with vitality, departing from conventional portraiture with works such as The Banquet of the Officers of the St George Militia Company (1616) and The Laughing Cavalier (1624).

The Banquet of the Officers of the St George Militia Company in 1616 (Hals)

17d   Criminal // running through Nashville gallery (7)

_ILLE|GAL_ — hidden in (running through) NashvILLE GALlery

18d   Trespasser, // driven off, seizing article (7)

INV(A)DER* — anagram (off) of DRIVEN containing (seizing) A ([indefinite] article)

19d   Complete items // with openings (6)

W|HOLES — W (with [abbrev.]) + HOLES (openings)

22d   Leon’s new // seasonal numbers (5)

NOELS* — anagram (new) of LEONS

Seasonal — just not of the current season.


The title of today's piece is inspired by 14d and 15d.
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!
    Not too hard but had to research a couple of painters ;)

    Enjoy the warm weather,

    1. Having forgotten to take the paper with me, I only got to do the puzzle when I returned from the lake. I found it a bit on the challenging side, although perhaps not as much as some we have seen recently. Of course, being out in the sun all day may have fried my brain.

  2. I found this a pleasant solve, but needed to google "Dutch artists" just to assure the 15d wordplay. Enjoyed 11a and 23a - 1.5/3.0 for me.

    1. I was slow to get 15d, as I tried to use "spoils" as the definition and have the solution start with the Dutch artist.

  3. This one yielded to pressure a little more quickly for me than last week's. I do love anagrams (posher pigpens!), so tore my hair a little over having missed obvious signals for them on first pass through the clues (2d, 18d). As usual, I was initially blind to a "hidden in" clue (17d). 21a was the most difficult for me to parse.

    1. The anagram indicator in 2d certainly did not jump out at me. In fact, I first recognized that the fodder produced the solution and then concluded that the sole remaining word had to be an anagram indicator. However, on reflection, I realize that the word does mean "new or different".