Saturday, December 26, 2015

Saturday, December 26, 2015 — Boxing Day Of Another Kind


Today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon should not have held you up appreciably from getting out to the malls for the Boxing Day specials.

It seems that I neglected to update the title when I posted the review. A tip of the hat to Henry for reminding me.
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   Actors in a play // start fishing (4)

CAST — double definition

3a   Darkest // sweatshirt ruined (10)

SWARTHIEST*_ — anagram (ruined) of SWEATSHIRT

9a   A musical group on // leave (7)

A|BAND|ON — A (†) + BAND (musical group) + ON (†)

11a   Friend taking certain retrospective // examination (7)

P(ERUS<)AL — PAL (friend) containing (taking) reversal (retrospective) of SURE (certain)

12a   French chanteuse eating large // rice dish (5)

PI(L)AF — PIAF (French chanteuse; Edith Piaf[7]) containing (eating) L (large; abbrev.)

13a   Counter terrible // defeat (7)

TROUNCE* — anagram (terrible) of COUNTER

15a   Returned form of ID /for/ sentry (7)

GATEMAN< — reversal (returned) of NAMETAG (form of ID)

16a   Provide money for // husband-to-be around the 3rd of January (7)

FI(N)ANCE — FIANCE (husband-to-be) containing (around) N (the 3rd [letter] of JaNuary)

18a   Stopped keeping company // with disguised characters? (7)

ENCODED — ENDED (stopped) containing (keeping) CO (company; abbrev.)

I have shown the definition as the adjectival phrase "with disguised characters". However, it would be equally valid to consider the definition to be the verbal phrase "disguised characters", in which case the word "with" would function as a link word.

21a   Monkey surrounded by separate // rooftop wall (7)

PAR(APE)T — APE (monkey) contained in (surrounded by) PART (separate; as a verb)

23a   Finish // the boat, and call back (7)

SHE|LLAC< — SHE (the boat; boats are customarily referred to using feminine pronouns) + reversal (back) of CALL

25a   Bowling over // a hockey player (5)

A|WING — A (†) + WING (hockey player; a position on any hockey team or any member of the NHL team from Detroit)

27a   Bringing up // one transgression in tabloid (7)

RA(I|SIN)G — {I ([Roman numeral for] one) + SIN (transgression)} contained in (in) RAG (tabloid)

28a   Practice boxing with bronzed // Greek (7)

SPAR|TAN — SPAR (practice boxing) + (with) TAN (bronzed)

A Spartan[5] was a citizen of Sparta, a city in ancient Greece.

29a   Changed to innocent // claim (10)

CONTENTION* — anagram (changed) of TO INNOCENT

30a   Spoken // for all, essentially (4)

_OR|AL_ — hidden in (essentially; referring to the essence of core of a matter) fOR ALl


1d   Victor, one of the de Milles, // drinks (10)

CHAMP|AGNES — CHAMP (victor) +AGNES (one of the de Milles; American dancer and choreographer Agnes de Mille[7])

2d   Red // group including Jung (7)

S(CARL)LET — SET (group) containing (including) CARL (Jung; Carl Jung[7], Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist who founded analytical psychology)

4d   Churchill // gains a lot of weight (7)

WINS|TON — WINS (gains) + TON (a lot of weight)

Sir Winston Churchill[5] (1874–1965) was a British Conservative statesman, Prime Minister 1940-5 and 1951-5.

5d   Censure // awfully poor ref (7)

REPROOF* — anagram (awfully) of POOR REF

6d   His opposite showing // bird (5)

HER|ON — HER (his opposite) + ON (showing)

7d   Each unyielding // Asian (7)

EA|STERN — EA (each; abbrev.) + STERN (unyielding)

8d   Ring // tax (4)

TOLL — double definition

10d   Bad- mouthed // family in legal document (7)

DE(FAM)ED — FAM (family; abbrev.) contained in (in) DEED (legal document)

14d   Shaking, get on a plan // with five facets (10)

PENTAGONAL* — anagram (shaking) of GET ON A PLAN

17d   In an RV, a peculiar // state of bliss (7)

NIRVANA* — anagram (peculiar) of IN AN RV A

Nirvana[5] is:
  1. (in Buddhism) a transcendent state in which there is neither suffering, desire, nor sense of self, and the subject is released from the effects of karma and the cycle of death and rebirth. It represents the final goal of Buddhism.
  2. (in Hinduism and Jainism) another term for moksha, release from the cycle of rebirth impelled by the law of karma.
19d   Oddball cousin acquiring hot // pad (7)

CUS(H)ION* — anagram (oddball) of COUSIN containing (acquiring) H (hot; abbrev.)

20d   Dee, breaking leg, hit // “Send” (7)

D|ELIGHT* — D (dee) + anagram (breaking) of {LEG + HIT}

21d   Artist/’s/ picture: like so (7)

PIC|AS|SO — PIC (picture; slangy abbreviation) + AS (like) + SO (†)

Pablo Picasso[5] (1881–1973) was a Spanish painter, sculptor, and graphic artist, resident in France from 1904.

22d   British playwright framing article /for/ artist (7)

P(A)INTER — PINTER (British playwright) containing (framing) A ([indefinite] article)

Harold Pinter[5] (1930–2008) was an English dramatist, actor, and director.

24d   Select // “English Literature” by error (5)

E|LIT|E — E (English; abbrev.) + LIT (literature; abbrev.) + E (error; abbreviation used in baseball)

26d   Clapton/’s/ wild rice (4)

ERIC* — anagram (wild) of RICE

Eric Clapton[5] is an English blues and rock guitarist, singer, and composer, known particularly for the song ‘Layla’ (1972) and for his group Cream (1966-8).


The title of today's blog is inspired by 28a and 8d.
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. Merry Christmas everyone!
    I did not think today's offering from C & R was among their best. Some were far too easy (eg. 1a, 8d, 26d). Most were 'read-and-write'. I didn't count them, but it seemed to me that there were a lot of anagrams.

    20d has me beaten so far. The answer is obvious from the clues and the checking letters. But the surface reading is nonsense and I can't see the definition.


    1. Hi Peter (and everyone)

      I also found the puzzle easy, filled in everything but the top left quadrant, and then got that after a bit of thought (when I figured out how to fit "family" into 10d).
      For 20d, the definition, "Send" is interpreted as to transport a person to a higher lever - emotionally. And for those who don't see the answer, it is an anagram on D (dee) and leg hit.

    2. Sorry - just noticed, that should be level, not lever.

    3. Hi Henry and Falcon,

      I suppose I must be thick. I do not see how the verb 'delight' is synonymous with the verb 'send'. I've been trying to think of a sentence in which I could substitute 'send' for 'delight' and I've failed.

  2. Falcon, Have a happy new year's!

    And could you fix the title on this weekend's puzzle? It still shows Preliminary Post.

  3. Replies
    1. That's an excellent example. I thought I'd look up the source of this meaning and I found-

      Slang sense of "to transport with emotion, delight" is recorded from 1932, in American English jazz slang. Online Etymology Dictionary

      To arouse keen admiration, esp as an ecstatic response; excite; TURN someone ON : Bessie Smith really sent him (1932+ Jazz talk)
      The Dictionary of American Slang

      Although I have seen "sent" used a bit more generically, as in any change of emotion - e.g. Talk of religion always sent George mad.