Saturday, April 23, 2016

Saturday, April 23, 2016 — Going in Circles


I progressed through today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon in an expeditious manner with only a brief pause for thought in the upper right hand corner.

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   Paints // over trains on high tracks (7)

PAST|ELS — PAST (over) + ELS (trains on high tracks)

The El[5] is a US term for:
  1. an elevated railway [US railroad] (especially that in Chicago); or
  2. a train running on an elevated railway [US railroad] ⇒ the El rumbled by.
5a   Game // preserve next to a station (7)

CAN|A|STA — CAN (preserve) + A (†) + STA (station; abbrev.)

9a   Minimal amount // allowed containing arsenic (5)

LE(AS)T — LET (allowed) containing (†) AS ([symbol for the chemical element] arsenic)

10a   Shows // some jeans tucked into shirts (9)

TE(LEVIS)ES — LEVIS (some jeans; a brand of denim clothing produced by American clothing company Levi Strauss & Co.[7]) contained in (tucked into) TEES (shirts)

11a   Flight with many turnings // carries Lisa past bum (6,9)


12a   Old diets altered // muscles (8)

DELTOIDS* — anagram (altered) of OLD DIETS

14a   Small fry // cut the grass around tavern (6)

M(INN)OW — MOW (cut the grass) containing (around) INN (tavern)

17a   Street with widespread // disorder (6)

ST|RIFE — ST (street) + (with) RIFE (widespread)

19a   Deliver // first of diamonds in royal house (4,4)

HAN(D) OVER — D (first [initial letter] of Diamonds) contained in (in) HANOVER (royal house)

The House of Hanover[5] was the British royal house from 1714 to the death of Queen Victoria in 1901.

22a   Doctor plastering a hole /for/ a medical program (7,8)


General Hospital[7] (commonly abbreviated GH) is an American daytime television medical drama that is listed in Guinness World Records as the longest-running American soap opera in production and the third longest-running drama in television in American history after Guiding Light and As the World Turns. Concurrently, it is the world's third longest-running scripted drama series in production after British serials The Archers and Coronation Street, as well as the world's second-longest-running televised soap opera still in production.

24a   At sea, Neil misrepresented // distances (9)

ALIENATES* — anagram (misrepresented) of AT SEA NEIL

25a   Expert wearing an // article donned by blacksmiths (5)

A(PRO)N — PRO (expert) contained in (wearing) AN (†)

26a   Fabled horse // uses gap trickily (7)

PEGASUS* — anagram (trickily) of USES GAP

27a   Orders // also accepted by Democrats (7)

DEM(AND)S — AND (also) contained in (accepted by) DEMS (Democrats; abbrev.)


1d   Castle attendants overheard /in/ fortifications (9)

PALISADES~ — sounds like (overheard) {PALACE (castle) + AIDES (attendants)}

2d   Dog // frolicking in leaps (7)

SPANIEL* — anagram (frolicking) of IN LEAPS

3d   Actor with no lines // in next race (5)

_EXT|RA_ — hidden in (in) nEXT RAce

4d   Separate // tee in beach area (3,5)

SE(T) ASIDE — T (tee) contained in (in) SEASIDE (beach area)

5d   Shout like // former opera great (6)

CALL|AS — CALL (shout) + AS (like)

Maria Callas[5] (1923–1977) wasa an American-born operatic soprano, of Greek parentage; born Maria Cecilia Anna Kalageropoulos. She was a coloratura soprano whose bel canto style of singing was especially suited to 19th-century Italian opera.

6d   Ned keeps rats and such; // pay no attention (5,4)

NE(VER MIN)D — NED (†) containing (keeps) VERMIN (rats and such)

7d   Keep // us in disgrace (7)

S(US)TAIN — US (†) contained in (in) STAIN (disgrace)

8d   Row /for/ a spot in the water (5)

A|ISLE — A (†) + ISLE (spot in the water)

13d   Gifts // of iron hoops (9)

OF|FE|RINGS — OF (†) + FE ([symbol for the chemical element] iron) + RINGS (hoops)

15d   Fighting aircraft // distort routes (9)

WARP|LANES — WARP (distort) + LANES (routes)

16d   Pair of campers got up /and/ partied (8)

CA|ROUSED — CA (pair [initial two letters] of CAmpers) + ROUSED (got up)

18d   Social standing // controlled by monarch (7)

RAN|KING — RAN (controlled) + (by; beside) KING (monarch)

20d   Art even disturbed // old soldier (7)

VETERAN* — anagram (disturbed) of ART EVEN

21d   Staple broken // kitchen items (6)

PLATES* — anagram (broken) of STAPLE

22d   Hold // great snake (5)

GR|ASP — GR (great; abbrev.) + ASP (snake)

According to American dictionaries, gr.[3,11] is the abbreviation for great.

23d   Something to sing // in groups, almost (5)

_PS|ALM_ — hidden in (in) grouPS ALMost


The title of today's review is inspired by 11a and 22a — a genre of entertainment in which story lines are notoriously endlessly recycled.
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 morning everyone,

    As I was doing it I thought today's puzzle was much tougher than usual. But looking back on it now, I don't know why. Very enjoyable. Thanks To C & R.


  2. Good day Falcon et al,
    Pretty easy and entertaining puzzle overall. Last one in was anagram at 11A.


  3. A beautiful, cool Saturday to everyone! Like Falcon, after I filled in the relatively easy clues, I saw that the upper right hand quadrant was almost empty. One problem was trying to find a solution for 5d that started with 'ex.' When I realized my error, the rest I finished off with the help of the checking letters. Last one in was 8d, but I'm not convinced 'row' is a good synonym. See you all next week!

    1. Hi Henry,

      I also laboured for a considerable period of time under the misperception that 5d was likely to start with "ex-". As for your comments on "row", I certainly can't disagree.

  4. Hello, Falcon and all, it's nice to be back after some weeks away from cryptics. Like others, I, too, had trouble with the NE corner.  I finally decided that 5a ended in A, although I wasn't sure which end of the clue was the definition.  But the A allowed me to see 8d, and a wrong guess that 5d's "like" would be "ala" let me hear the opera star and finish things up. Favorite clue was 1d.

    1. Hi Carola,

      Welcome back. It's good to see you commenting again.

  5. Only one small hiccupp in the puzzle - had the plural for 16d, so took some repair to get the last in of 27a. Like Carola, favoured the great homonym at 1d and 15d. 2/3 rated. Thanks to E&H for an enjoyable puzzle and Falcon for the review.