Saturday, September 30, 2017

Saturday, September 30, 2017 — Down Memory Lane


Today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon proved to be a pleasant and not very taxing solve.

I must thank Henry for stepping in and supplying solutions on several occasions over the summer while I basked in the sun — or shivered in my tent — at the lake.

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 semi-all-in-one (semi-&lit.) clues. All-in-one (&lit.) clues and cryptic definitions are marked with a dotted underline. Explicit link words and phrases are enclosed in forward slashes (/link/) and implicit links are shown as double forward slashes (//).


1a   Make me // something round overhead (4)

DO|ME — DO (make) + ME (†)

3a   Blunder in pitch by // rock musician (5,5)

CHUCK| B(ERR)Y — ERR (blunder) contained in (in) {CHUCK (pitch) + BY (†)}

Chuck Berry[5] (1926–2017) was a US rock-and-roll singer, guitarist, and songwriter; born Charles Edward Berry. One of the first great rock-and-roll stars, he is known for songs such as ‘Johnny B Goode’ and ‘Sweet Little Sixteen’ (both 1958).

9a   In tears, turned // meaner (7)

NASTIER* — anagram (turned; went bad, as milk) of IN TEARS

11a   Once again authorize // concrete base (7)

REAL|LOW — REAL (concrete) + LOW (base)

12a   Hardy transformed // monster (5)

HYDRA* — anagram (transformed) of HARDY

13a   Stuff written inside // satisfied (7)

CONTENT —double definition; the first a noun, the second an adjective

15a   Dream up extraterrestrial // chopper (7)

HATCH|ET — HATCH (dream up) + ET (extraterrestrial)

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial[7] (often referred to simply as E.T.) is a 1982 American science fiction film co-produced and directed by Steven Spielberg. It tells the story of a lonely boy who befriends an extraterrestrial, dubbed "E.T.", who is stranded on Earth. He and his siblings help the extraterrestrial return home while attempting to keep it hidden from their mother and the government.

16a   In CIA, praise // name for a girl (7)

C(LAUD)IA — LAUD (praise) contained in (in) CIA (†)

18a   Clothing // intention in Rent (7)

R(AIM)ENT — AIM (intention) contained in (in) RENT (†)

Scratching the Surface
Rent[7] is a rock musical loosely based on Giacomo Puccini's opera La Bohème. It tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists struggling to survive and create a life in New York City's East Village under the shadow of HIV/AIDS.

21a   Summer footwear bearing bit of creek // mud? (7)

S(C)ANDAL — SANDAL (summer footwear) containing (bearing) C (bit [initial letter] of Creek)

23a   Part-time athlete/’s/ broken promise (7)

SEMIPRO* — anagram (broken) of PROMISE

25a   Wrap up // piece of corn found in harvest (5)

RE(C)AP — C (piece [initial letter] of Corn) contained in (found in) REAP (harvest)

27a   Bats in cargo // like some vegetables (7)

ORGANIC* — anagram (bats; mentally deranged) of IN CARGO

28a   Band booster in wacko // satire (7)

L(AMP)OON — AMP (band booster) contained in (in) LOON (wacko)

29a   “Crazy” singer // playing “Taps” nicely (5,5)

{PATSY CLINE}* — anagram (playing) of TAPS NICELY

Patsy Cline[5] (1932–1963) was an American country singer; born Virginia Petterson Hensley. She had hits with songs such as ‘Crazy’ (1961) and ‘Sweet Dreams of You’ (1963) before dying in an air crash.

30a   Sparkling wine encased in plastic (4)

_ASTI_ — hidden in (encased in) plASTIc

Asti[7] (formerly known as Asti Spumante) is a sparkling white Italian wine that is produced throughout southeastern Piedmont but is particularly focused around the towns of Asti and Alba. Since 1993 the wine has been classified as a Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG) and as of 2004 was Italy's largest producing appellation.


1d   Loud noise on land inhabited by hit // singer and TV host (5,5)

DIN|A(H) SHORE — DIN (loud noise) + ASHORE (on land) containing (inhabited by) H (hit; abbreviation used in baseball)

Dinah Shore[6] (1916–1993) was a US singer; born Frances Rose Shore. She was most noted for her years on television, appearing on The Dinah Shore Chevy Show (1956–63), Dinah's Place (1970–74), Dinah! (1974–80), and A Conversation with Dinah (1989–91).

2d   Dim ties upset // vet badly (7)

MISEDIT* — anagram (upset) of DIM TIES

4d   Bean // tossed to chair (7)

HARICOT* — anagram (tossed) of TO CHAIR

5d   Habitual // elegance of style surrounding Ron (7)

CH(RON)IC — CHIC (elegance of style) containing (surrounding) RON (†)

6d   Part of a car // wreck, reportedly (5)

BRAKE~ — sounds like (reportedly) BREAK (wreck)

7d   Ruby embracing tardy // kin (7)

RE(LATE)D — RED (ruby) containing (embracing) LATE (tardy)

As the definition, kin[6] is used as an adjective ⇒ he was kin to the brothers.

8d   By the sound, employ // shrubbery (4)

YEWS~ — sounds like (by the sound) USE (employ)

10d   Scott creation: // one truck garden tool (7)

I|VAN|HOE — I ([Roman numeral for] one) + VAN (truck) + HOE (garden tool)

Ivanhoe[7] is a historical novel by Sir Walter Scott published in 1820 and set in 12th-century England. Wilfred of Ivanhoe, the titular character, is a knight and son of Cedric the Saxon.

14d   Italian film producer // cast in cool part (5,5)

{CARLO PONTI}* — anagram (cast; moulded) of IN COOL PART

Carlo Ponti[7] (1912–2007) was an Italian film producer; full name Carlo Fortunaro Pietro Ponti Sr. He had over 140 production credits and was the husband of Italian movie star Sophia Loren. His more notable films include La Strada (1954), Boccaccio '70 (1962), Marriage Italian Style (1964), Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (1965), Doctor Zhivago (1965), Blowup (1966), Zabriskie Point (1970), and The Passenger (1974).

Somewhere My Love (Lara's Theme)
"Lara's Theme"[7] is the name given to a leitmotif written for the Carlo Ponti-produced film Doctor Zhivago (1965) by composer Maurice Jarre. The instrumental theme became an instant success and gained fame throughout the world.

By special request of Connie Francis, Paul Francis Webster later took the theme and added lyrics to it to create "Somewhere, My Love". Francis, however, withdrew from the project when the lyrics were presented to her because she thought of them as too "corny". A few weeks later, Francis reconsidered her position and recorded the song nonetheless, but by then Ray Conniff had also recorded a version of his own, reaching #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1966. Conniff's version of the song also topped the "Easy listening" chart in the U.S. for four weeks.

Despite Conniff's success, Francis also had her version released as a single, and although it failed to chart in the US, it became one of her biggest successes internationally, becoming one of the "Top 5" in territories such as Scandinavia and Asia. In Italy, her Italian version of the song, "Dove non so", became her last #1 success.

17d   Literally mix up // a broken-down horse and sheep (7)

A|NAG|RAM — A (†) + NAG (broken-down horse) + (and) RAM (sheep)

19d   Understanding // things I changed (7)

INSIGHT* — 17 (changed) of THINGS I

20d   Of current interest // to picture with Pacino (7)

TO|PIC|AL — TO (†) + PIC (picture; abbrev.) + (with) AL (Pacino; American actor Al Pacino[7])

21d   Pastry // tax collected by senator (7)

S(TOLL)EN — TOLL (tax) contained in (collected by) SEN (senator; abbrev.)

Stollen[5] is a rich German fruit and nut loaf.

22d   Tampers with // entryways around court (7)

DO(CT)ORS — DOORS (entryways) containing (around) CT (court; abbrev.)

24d   Lowest bill among my // dollars? (5)

M(ONE)Y — ONE (lowest bill) contained in (among) MY (†)

I was about to somewhat sarcastically point out that the one dollar "bill" was withdrawn from circulation in Canada (nearly 30 years ago) following the introduction of the Loonie. Then I twigged to the fact that the setters had used the US term "bill" rather than the Canadian term "note" (banknote). So the clue does work after all.

26d   Egg in spring // basket (4)

H(O)OP or HO(O)P — O ([letter that looks like an] egg) contained in (in) HOP (spring; jump)

As the definition, basket[3] refers to a goal in basketball.


Today's puzzle brought back a lot of musical memories and put me in a very nostalgic mood.
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)
[12] - (Webster’s New World College Dictionary)
[13] - (Macmillan Dictionary)
Signing off for today — Falcon


  1. Hello Falcon and fellow puzzlers,
    Agree that this was an easy, breezy puzzle - just like the autumn day we are experiencing. Favourite clue was 21a.

    Falcon, your solution to 19d looks odd.
    Thank you for posting.


    1. The solution to 19d is just me having a bit of fun. See the following discussion with Henry for an explanation.

  2. Good cool, autumn, evening everyone! I was downtown TO today, and just got back. I met a couple who happened to be looking at a cryptic crossword and invited them to join our merry group. I hope we see them on the blog! (Welcome if you do get here.)
    Thank you Falcon, for those very kind words. I don't mind at all giving you a hand when you need a break.
    I found the puzzle today to be quite easy as noted above. Didn't need any electronic aids to figure out our celebrities. Last two in were 21d and 28a as I couldn't figure out the parsing right away. Then I remembered my days with a German family and got 21d. Once that was in 28a was derived from the checking letters and the clue. Happy first of October to all with the (new) cool weather!

    1. BTW, as MG noted, a typo crept into 19D and the anagram asterisk needs to be added to 23A. I hope I didn't incorrectly vet the solution!

    2. Now that I think about it, you are cryptically referring to the solution to 17d in the answer to 19d. Good one! Maybe change 17 to 17d so that us slower folk will catch it sooner!

    3. Yes, Henry, you have it. The number "17" is a cross-reference indicator which one must replace with the solution to 17d. I thought about writing 17d as you suggest but the convention is that one does not include the directional indicator when only one clue originates in the grid location.

      This type of cross-reference is frequently seen in clues appearing in British cryptic crosswords. I can't be sure if I have ever seen it used in C&R puzzles.

      However, opportunity was just too tempting given that these were adjacent clues.

  3. Good evening everyone,

    Posting late this weekend. Out and about for these past two days. I agree that this a fairly easy puzzle. It didn't rank high on my enjoyment meter. A bit too much pop culture for me. And I wasn't too keen on 11a and 2d. They seem like very contrived words to me. The blog, on the other hand, was, as always, excellent! Thanks Falcon.



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