Saturday, February 18, 2017

Saturday, February 18, 2017 — People and Places


Today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon did not provide an overwhelming challenge to solve — even those people and places I had never heard of were "gettable" from the wordplay. However, it was a different story when it came to writing the review, which seemed to take forever to complete.

Similar to what Richard has reported in the comments, it was the lower left corner which was the holdout for 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   Grants // interest in sinks (9)

SUBSID(I)ES — I (interest; abbrev.) contained in (in) SUBSIDES (sinks)

6a   Put station next to railroad /for/ Ringo (5)

STA|RR — STA (station; abbrev.) + (put ... next to) RR (railroad; abbrev.)

Railroad[10] is the usual US word for railway.

Ringo Starr[5] is an English rock and pop drummer; born Richard Starkey. He replaced Pete Best in the Beatles in 1962. After the band split up in 1970, he pursued a solo career as a musician, singer, and actor.

9a   Former tennis champion // quit and left after loss (5)

L|END|L — {END (quit) + (and) L (left; abbrev.)} following (after) L (loss; abbrev. seen on the sports page)

Ivan Lendl[5] is a Czech-born US tennis player. He won many singles titles in the 1980s and early 1990s, including the US, Australian, and the French Open championships.

10a   Sort of tea // a mother found in South American land (9)

CH(A|MOM)ILE — {A (†) + MOM (mother)} contained in (found in) CHILE (South American land)

11a   TV actor // endears cast (2,5)

{ED ASNER}* — anagram (cast; shaped by being poured into a mould while molten) of ENDEARS

Ed Asner[7] is an American actor, voice actor and a former president of the Screen Actors Guild. He is primarily known for his role as Lou Grant during the 1970s and early 1980s, on both The Mary Tyler Moore Show and its spin-off series Lou Grant, making him one of the few television actors to portray the same leading character in both a comedy and a drama.

12a   Smarty-pants // said “no wall” (4-3)

{KNOW-ALL}~ — sounds like (said) NO WALL

Know-all[3*,5] is a British and Australian term for a person who annoys others by acting like he or she is smarter than everyone else.

* Farlex Dictionary of Idioms

The North American term for such a person is a know-it-all[3,10,11].

13a   Comic verse—//caustic stuff by Richard (8)

LIME|RICK — LIME (caustic stuff) + (by) RICK ([diminutive of] Richard)

15a   Old anatomist/’s/ new angle (5)

GALEN* — anagram (new) of ANGLE

Galen[5] (129–199) was a Greek physician; full name Claudios Galenos; Latin name Claudius Galenus. He attempted to systematize the whole of medicine, making important discoveries in anatomy and physiology. His works became influential in Europe when retranslated from Arabic in the 12th century.

17a   Green shade worn by Eastern // prophet (5)

MOS(E)S — MOSS (green shade) containing (worn by) E (Eastern; abbrev.)

19a   Breaking ice, Lenny // relaxed judgment (8)

LENIENCY* — anagram (breaking) of ICE LENNY

22a   Adhesive // function, in addition (7)

S(TICK)UM — TICK (function) contained in (in) SUM (addition)

Tick[3] means to function characteristically or well ⇒ (i) machines ticking away; (ii) curious about what makes people tick.

As expected, I found stickum[5] to be an informal North American term. For overseas readers who may not be familiar with the word, it mans a sticky or adhesive substance; gum or paste ⇒ (i) [as modifier] we put stickum paper over the cracks; (ii) [figurative] high-school football games are the stickum that fuses the whole community

24a   Watteau, // in entering one digit (7)

AN|TO(IN)E — IN (†) contained in (entering) {AN (one) + TOE (digit)}

Jean-Antoine Watteau[7] (1684–1721), better known as Antoine Watteau, was a French painter.

Delving Deeper
Quellnymphe (1708)
Watteau's brief career spurred the revival of interest in colour and movement, as seen in the tradition of Correggio and Rubens. He revitalized the waning Baroque style, shifting it to the less severe, more naturalistic, less formally classical Rococo.

Quellnymphe is the German name for a naiad or water nymph.

25a   Guy, one to exclude // from Winnipeg’s province (9)

MAN|I|TO|BAN — MAN (guy) + I ([Roman numeral for] one) + TO (†) + BAN (exclude)

26a   A musical note absorbing a true // master violinmaker (5)

A|M(A|T)I — A (†) + MI (musical note; third note of major scale in sol-fa notation) containing (absorbing) {A (†) + T (true; abbrev.)}

Amati[5] is the name of a family of Italian violin-makers from Cremona. In the 16th and 17th centuries three generations of the Amatis developed the basic proportions of the violin, viola, and cello.

27a   Shout about a red // bear (5)

C(A|R)RY — CRY (shout) containing (about) {A (†) + R (red)}

28a   Dame’s done playing // role in Othello (9)

DESDEMONA* — anagram (playing) of DAMES DONE

Desdemona[7] is a character in William Shakespeare's play Othello (c. 1601–1604).

Delving Deeper
Shakespeare's Desdemona is a Venetian beauty who enrages and disappoints her father, a Venetian senator, when she elopes with Othello, a man several years her senior. When her husband is deployed to Cyprus in the service of the Republic of Venice, Desdemona accompanies him. There, her husband is manipulated by his ensign Iago into believing she is an adulteress, and, in the last act, she is murdered by her estranged spouse.

The role has attracted notable actresses through the centuries and has the distinction of being the role performed in 1660 by Margaret Hughes (1630–1719), the first actress* to appear on an English public stage.

* During the Renaissance women had been almost exclusively banned from appearing as actresses on the stage with female roles being played by male actors. In 1662, King Charles II issued a royal warrant declaring that all female roles should be played only by female actresses.


1d   Chopped liver’s // greyish and glistening (6)

SILVER* — anagram (chopped) of LIVERS

2d   Indonesian tourist spot embracing English // from Kolkata’s region (7)

B(ENG)ALI — BALI (Indonesian tourist spot) containing (embracing) ENG (English; abbrev.)

Kolkata[5] is a port and industrial centre in eastern India, capital of the state of West Bengal and the second largest city in India; population 5,080,500 (est. 2009). It is situated on the Hooghly River near the Bay of Bengal. Its former name (until 2000) was Calcutta.

3d   Hockey team // is admitting malicious talk (9)

I(SLANDER)S — IS (†) containing (admitting) SLANDER (malicious talk)

The New York Islanders[7] are an American professional ice hockey team based in New York City that competes in the National Hockey League (NHL). They are a member of the league's Metropolitan Division in the Eastern Conference. Since the beginning of the 2015-16 NHL season, the team has played  its home games at the Barclays Center, located in the borough of Brooklyn, having moved there after spending the first 42 years of their existence playing at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in the suburban Long Island community of Uniondale, New York.

4d   Bring on // stylish mutt (5)

IN|CUR — IN (stylish) + CUR (mutt)

5d   Ask shrink all about // suit material (9)

SHARKSKIN* — anagram (all about) ASK SHRINK

6d   Smashed looms, // reviewing tool for sport (3-2)

SLO-MO — anagram (smashed) of LOOMS

7d   Girl’s name /is/ a huge pain (7)

A|BIG|AIL — A (†) + BIG (huge) + AIL (pain; as a verb)

8d   White wine // used in Marie’s linguine (8)

_RIES|LING_ — hidden in (used in) MaRIES LINGuine

Riesling[5] is a dry white wine made from the Riesling grape, a variety of wine grape grown in Germany, Austria, and elsewhere.

14d   I tear into a lousy // city in Pakistan (9)

I|SLAM|A|BAD — I (†) + SLAM (tear into; criticize severely) + A (†) + BAD (lousy)

Islamabad[5] is the capital of Pakistan, a modern planned city in the north of the country, which replaced Rawalpindi as capital in 1967; population 673,800 (est. 2009).

15d   Tossing grenade at // dog (5,4)

{GREAT DANE}* — anagram (tossing) of GRENADE AT

16d   Camus may upset // Peruvian singer (3,5)

{YMA SUMAC}* — anagram (upset) of CAMUS MAY

Yma Sumac[7] (1922 or 1923–2008), sometimes spelled Yma Súmac, was the stage name of Peruvian soprano* Zoila Augusta Emperatriz Chávarri del Castillo. She became an international success based on her extreme vocal range, which was said to be "well over five octaves" at the peak of her singing career.

* With her five octave range, she was able to sing notes in the low baritone register as well as notes above the range of an ordinary soprano and notes in the whistle register.

Scratching the Surface
Albert Camus[5] (1913–1960) was a French novelist, playwright, and essayist, closely aligned with existentialism whose notable works include The Outsider (novel, 1942), The Plague (novel, 1947), and The Rebel (essay, 1951). He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957.

18d   Salt and pepper concealed // salad gadget (7)

S|P|INNER — S (salt; abbrev.) + (and) P (pepper; abbrev.) + INNER (concealed)

20d   U.S. city // fashionable in the past (7)

CHIC|AGO — CHIC (fashionable) + AGO (in the past)

21d   Sources of news about northern // Arabian city (6)

MEDI(N)A — MEDIA (sources of news) containing (about) N (northern; abbrev.)

Medina[5] is a city in western Saudi Arabia, around an oasis some 320 km (200 miles) north of Mecca; population 1,010,000 (est. 2007).

23d   Katherine // playing pool? (5)

KITTY — double definition

Kitty[7] is a diminutive for the personal name "Catherine" (or, presumably, its variant "Katherine").

A kitty[5] is a pool of money in some gambling card games.

24d   A nut’s crazy // relatives (5)

AUNTS* — anagram (crazy) of A NUTS


The title of today's review is inspired by too many clues to bother enumerating.
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,

    Another pleasant challenge from C & R today. 16d was new to me. And though I'm sure I have the answer for 23d I can't parse the clues. It's a beautiful day in London -- sunny and 9C and expected to go to 13C. Have a good weekend everyone.


  2. Pretty much a read and write today. 16d and 15a required Internet searches. I have objections to 23a in the use of "playing" when the clue could have omitted the word completely. 24a took forever to fully parse, but the answer was fairly obvious from the definition.

    1. Sorry, that should be 23d - same as Peter's problem.

    2. I think 23d refers to a playing pool, as distinct from a swimming pool.

  3. Hi everyone! Gorgeous weather here in Mississauga today.
    After last week, I'm hesitant to offer any advice as to what the answers might be. Definitely needed help from Google, and it came in handy providing the answers without any hassle.
    For 23d I have a type of pool of money you could get playing a game of cards, for example (a double definition).
    14d is easy if you've been reading the news at all.

  4. Greetings, fellow cryptoverbalists. Another enjoyable puzzle from C & R. The lower left required some head-scratching. Yes, I had to google the singer, as well. And the only 23d I know uses that name instead of her Chinese birth name. So, no help there.

  5. I am running a bit late with the review today so dropped by early to put Peter and Chris out of their misery regarding 23d. However, I see Henry has beat me to it.

    Yes, it is a double definition. Kitty is apparently a diminutive for Katherine (I suppose derived from Kat, another diminutive for Katherine). And a kitty is a "playing pool", that is, a pool encountered when playing a game of cards. The clue has a smooth surface reading despite the rather obtuse second definition.

  6. Lots of names in today's offering I thought, a few required Google help. Wasn't sure about function meaning in 22a.

    Thanks to E&R and to Falcon for his incredible blog.

    1. For 22a, the answer is TICK inside a SUM = addition. Think of something working/functioning (like a clock) or ticking along.

  7. Whizzed through all of it except 23D which I worried at till I gave in just now and looked for the answer. Love this weekly cryptic. Thanks Falcon for posting.

    1. Hi Gillian,

      Welcome to the blog. I hope to see you return on a regular basis.