Saturday, October 1, 2016

Saturday, October 1, 2016 — Lawyers With Rotten Briefs


Today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon was not able to mount much of a struggle. Only a couple of clues in the southwest quadrant put up some token resistance before falling.

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   Sharing // role with similar spirit (9,2)

PART|AKIN|G IN — PART (role) + (with) AKIN (similar) + GIN (spirit)

9a   Be advised // through tough times (5)

_OUGH|T_ — hidden in (through) tOUGH Times

10a   Starting // eating a meal around one (9)

L(A)UNCHING — LUNCHING (eating a meal) containing (around) A (one)

11a   Stretch between // termini changed (7)

INTERIM* — anagram (changed) of TERMINI

12a   Mr. Short captures a // Red Planet alien (7)

MARTI(A)N — MARTIN (Mr. Short; Canadian-born actor and comedian Martin Short[7]) containing A (†)

13a   Partly consumed // chicken, admitting a large achievement (4-5)

H(A|L|F-EAT)EN — HEN (chicken) containing (admitting) {A (†) + L (large; abbrev.) + FEAT (achievement)}

16a   Fencer at first lubricates // swords (5)

F|OILS — F (fencer at first; first letter of Fencer) + OILS (lubricates)

17a   Calls for // sheets (5)

PAGES — double definition

Page[3] means to summon or call (a person) by name. I have marked the clue above on the basis of "calls for" meaning 'summons'. One could equally well consider the definition to be merely "calls" with "for" serving as a link word:
  • 17a   Calls /for/ sheets (5)
18a   Typos // I run in Ms. (9)

M(I|SPRINT)S — {I (†) + SPRINT (run)} contained in (in) MS (†)

Scratching the Surface
Ms.[7] is an American liberal feminist magazine co-founded by second-wave feminists and sociopolitical activists Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Pitman Hughes. Ms. first appeared in 1971 as an insert in New York magazine. The first stand-alone issue appeared in January 1972. From July 1972 to 1987, it appeared on a monthly basis. It is now published quarterly.

During its heyday in the 1970s, it enjoyed great popularity but was not always able to reconcile its ideological concerns with commercial considerations. Since 2001, the magazine has been published by the Feminist Majority Foundation.

20a   Free // rent again (7)

RELEASE — double definition

22a   Covering outside of heel, // fall (7)

CAS(CAD)E — CASE (covering) containing (outside of) CAD (heel)

Cad[3,4,5,10,11] is a dated informal (British*) term for a man who behaves dishonourably, especially towards a woman her adulterous cad of a husband.
* Among my regular stable of American and British dictionaries, only Collins English Dictionary characterizes this term as British.
24a   Grim couple accepting small, // sad state (9)

DI(S)RE|PAIR — {DIRE (grim) + PAIR (couple)} containing (accepting) S (small; abbrev.)

25a   War god acquiring 100 // plots of land (5)

A(C)RES — ARES ([Greek] war god) containing (acquiring) C ([Roman numeral for] 100)

26a   Actor /from/ LA. can be wild when drunk (4,7)

{ALEC BALDWIN}* — anagram (when drunk) of LA CAN BE WILD

Alec Baldwin[7] is an American actor, producer and comedian. A member of the Baldwin family, he is the oldest of the four Baldwin brothers, all actors.

Scratching the Surface
Although certainly no Charlie Sheen, Baldwin has been known to become wild on the rare occasion — although there is virtually nothing to suggest that alcohol was in any way involved in these incidents.

In October 1995, Baldwin allegedly assaulted a photographer for videotaping his wife, Kim Basinger, and their 3-day-old daughter. The couple was returning from the hospital and were confronted by the photographer outside their Los Angeles home.

In December 2011, Baldwin was on an American Airlines flight at Los Angeles International Airport, playing a game on his phone while waiting for takeoff. When instructed to put away the "electronic device" by the flight attendant, he reportedly became belligerent and was eventually removed from the plane.


1d   Ritzy houses or one // rather shabby (7)

PO(OR|I)SH — POSH (ritzy) containing (houses) {OR (†) + I ([Roman numeral for] one)}

2d   Correct // ceremony recited (5)

RIGHT~ — sounds like (recited) RITE (ceremony)

3d   Awfully rotten, say//  lawyers (9)

ATTORNEYS* — anagram (awfully) of ROTTEN SAY

4d   Religion // I severely criticize (5)

I|SLAM — I (†) + SLAM (severely criticize)

5d   Squashes split by fellow // gluttons (9)

GOUR(MAN)DS — GOURDS (squashes) containing (split by) MAN (fellow)

6d   Resort on the Riviera mid-April /is/ more pleasant (5)

NICE|R — NICE (resort on the [French] Riviera) + R (mid-April; middle letter of ApRil)

7d   Dee and I sight // rift (8)

D|I|VISION — D (dee) + (and) I (†) + VISION (sight)

8d   A chap's // representatives (6)

A|GENT|S — A (†) + GENT (chap) + S ('s)

14d   Brief speech /in/ shelter about storms (8)

LE(GALES)E — LEE (shelter) containing (about) GALES (storms)

The "brief speech" refers, perhaps, to a lawyer presenting a legal brief in court.

15d   Peter met a stranger // mild in manner (9)

TEMPERATE* — anagram (stranger) of PETER MET A

16d   Scotch // woods and everything (9)

FOREST|ALL — FOREST (woods) + (and) ALL (everything)

17d   Pole involved in bear // mockery (6)

PA(ROD)Y — ROD (pole) contained in PAY (bear [the cost of])

19d   Relative // spent so carelessly (7)

STEPSON* — anagram (carelessly) of SPENT SO

21d   Convertible near a // sports venue (5)

ARENA* — anagram (convertible) of NEAR A

22d   Baby bed holds a // resident of the Antilles (5)

C(A)RIB — CRIB (baby bed) containing (holds) A (†)

Note to British readers: Crib[5] is the North American term for a cot[5].

23d   A trainer's last fight // pointer (5)

A|R|ROW — A (†) + R (trainer's last; last letter of traineR) + ROW (fight)


The title of today's review is inspired by 3d and 14d.
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. Nice puzzle again this week. Most interesting was 14d. Otherwise, no new words for me like last week's SUNDERANCE.

  2. Hello Falcon and folks!
    Yes, I quite enjoyed today's puzzle. Laughed out loud when I parsed 1a and 24a.
    By the way, parsing is slightly incorrect in your solution to 14d.

    Thank you for posting and have a great weekend!


    1. MG,

      Oops! Two errors in one clue!

      Thank you, as always, for your sharp eyes. Now fixed.

    2. ... the errors, that is, not your eyes!

  3. Hi everyone and Mr Falcon! As you said, it was quite easy. In addition to the parsing noted by MG for 14d, I would suggest that speech is a synonym for the way words are used in the brief, which therefore would be the answer referred to. For example, as in New York speech.

  4. Hello Falcon and all,
    I, too, found it mostly easy, with only the criss-cross of 14d, 17a, and 17d holding me up for a bit. I only got 14d by a combination of pattern recognition and the hint your title provided; otherwise I'm not sure I could have given up on brief=short.