Saturday, November 7, 2020

Saturday, November 7, 2020 — Something's Brewing


There is a lot of alcohol flowing in today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon. It is hardly one for teetotalers. We get to sample brews from across the country — and even a couple from south of the border. The American entries are pretty obscure and I have to wonder if the setters even realized that such beers actually exist. However, since their absence would leave that as the only across clue not mentioning beer, one would have to think that their inclusion was intentional.

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

Symbols and Markup Conventions
  •  "*" - anagram
  • "~" - sounds like
  • "<" - indicates the preceding letters are reversed
  • "( )" - encloses contained letters
  • "_" - replaces letters that have been deleted
  •  "†" - indicates that the word is present in the clue
  • "//" - marks the boundary between wordplay and definition when no link word or link phrase is present
  • "/[link word or phrase]/" - marks the boundary between wordplay and definition when a link word or link phrase is present
  • "solid underline" - precise definition
  • "dotted underline" - cryptic definition
  • "dashed underline" - wordplay
  • "double underline" - both wordplay and definition
Click here for further explanation and usage examples of the symbols and markup conventions used on this blog.


1a   Our Labatt’s changed // counters (10)

TABULATORS* — anagram of (changed) OUR LABATTS

Sad to say, it is no longer really "our Labatt's". The Labatt Brewing Company Limited[7], Canada's largest brewer, was founded by John Labatt in 1847 in London, Ontario. It is now a subsidiary of Belgian brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV which also owns US brewers Anheuser-Busch and Miller. In the United States, Labatt brand beers are sold under license by Labatt USA which is fully independent of the Canadian firm.

6a   Display // Dad swallowing Moosehead? (4)

PO(M)P — POP (dad) containing (swallowing) M (Moosehead; head [initial letter] of Moose)

Moosehead Breweries Limited
[7] is Canada's oldest independent brewery, located in Saint John, New Brunswick. The brewery was founded in 1867 and is still privately owned and operated by the Oland family.

9a   Big Rock: // more vivid on the tongue (7)

BOULDER~ — sounds like (on the tongue) BOLDER (more vivid)

Big Rock Brewery
[7], founded in 1984 or 1985*, is a Canadian brewery with headquarters in Calgary, Alberta. Big Rock distributes a variety of beers and ciders throughout Canada.

* both dates are found in its Wikipedia article

10a   Lumberjacks/’/ brews for the audience (7)

LOGGERS~ — sounds like (for the audience) LAGERS (brews)

12a   Beer container (metal) by a // barroom (7)

CAN|TIN|A — CAN (beer container) + TIN (metal) + (by) A (†)

13a   Source of riches around grand // place that may offer beer (5)

LOD(G)E — LODE (source of riches) containing (around) G (grand; $1000)

15a   Brick product // kid donated to Mary (7)

MA(SON)RY — SON (kid) contained in (donated to) MARY (†)

Waterloo Brewing Company
[7], formerly (until 2019) the Brick Brewing Company, was founded in 1984 and is based in Kitchener, Ontario. It is reportedly the largest Canadian-owned brewer in the province, and it was also Ontario's first modern craft brewery. The company produces beer under the Laker and Waterloo brands as well as a few other brands including Landshark Lager.

17a   Glossy stuff // Sleeman developed (7)

ENAMELS* — anagram (developed) of SLEEMAN

Sleeman Breweries
[7] is a Canadian brewery founded by John W. Sleeman in 1988 in Guelph, Ontario and now owned by Japanese brewer Sapporo. The company is the third-largest brewing company in Canada. Along with its own Sleeman brands, the company produces under licence the Stroh's family of brands, Maclays Ale and Sapporo Premium beers for sale in Canada.

The company is the re-establishment of a line of brewing companies owned by the Sleeman family dating back to the 1830s. The original Sleeman Breweries was established in the 1850s and operated until it lost its licence due to smuggling and tax evasion in 1933.

18a   Corona mixed with a bit of Cameron’s: // what a trapper might get (7)

{RA(C)COON}* or {RAC(C)OON}* — anagram of (mixed) {CORONA + (with) C (a bit [initial letter] of Cameron's*)}

Cameron's Brewing Company
[7], founded in 1997, is located in Oakville, Ontario (just outside Toronto). Its products are sold in Ontario, as well as Ohio, Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania.

* Not to be confused with Camerons Brewery Ltd[7] (without an apostrophe), the largest independent brewer in the North East of England.

21a   Guard at the door // identifying label from the back (7)

GATEMAN< — reversal of (from the back) NAMETAG (label)

Gateman (in the red can) is a dry-hopped lager brewed by the 4 Hands Brewing Company, a craft brewer located in St. Louis, Missouri ; Nametag (in the blue can) is an India pale ale brewed by the Rockwell Beer Company, another craft brewer based in St. Louis. The beers, a collaborative effort of the two companies, although quite  different in style, are brewed from the same malt and hops. I think these beers may have been a special project of the two brewers rather than ongoing product offerings.

As reported in a comment below from Henry, Trader Joe's Brewing Co. in California also produce a Nametag beer.

23a   Giant of opera // trashed dive, taking last of beer (5)

{VE(R)DI}* — anagram of (trashed) DIVE containing (taking) R (last [letter] of beeR)

Giuseppe Verdi[5] (1813 – 1901) was an Italian composer. His many operas, such as La Traviata (1853), Aida (1871), and Otello (1887), emphasize the dramatic element, treating personal stories on a heroic scale and often against backgrounds that reflect his political interests. Verdi is also famous for his Requiem (1874).

24a   McAuslan, de rigueur, includes // some dirt (7)

_SLAN|DE|R_ — hidden in (includes) McAuSLAN DE Rigueur

McAuslan Brewing[7] (La Brasserie McAuslan), which opened in 1989, is located on St-Ambroise Street in the St-Henri borough of Montreal, Quebec. Since 2013, it has been fully owned by Les Brasseurs RJ, another Quebec brewer. In addition to its own brands, McAuslan also brews Moosehead and Carlsberg and distributes Tuborg for the Quebec market.

27a   Stifle // small image of Whistler? (7)

S|MOTHER — S(mall) + MOTHER (image of Whistler)

James McNeill Whistler[5] (1834 – 1903) was an American painter and etcher. Notable works: Arrangement in Grey and Black: The Artist’s Mother (portrait, 1872) [popularly known as Whistler's Mother].

The Whistler Brewing Company is a craft brewer located in Whistler, British Columbia.

28a   Evict // a couple of carousers with dark beer (4,3)

CA|ST OUT — CA (a couple [initial two letters] of CArousers) + (with) STOUT (dark beer)

29a   Good chance to buy // second beer (4)

S|ALE — S(econd) + ALE (beer)

30a   Molson’s big new // colourful opening (10)

BLOSSOMING* — anagram of (new) MOLSONS BIG

The Molson Brewery[7], founded in Montreal, Quebec in 1786, is the oldest brewery in North America and continues to produce beer on the site of the original brewery. In 2005, Molson merged with the Adolph Coors Company of Golden, Colorado to become Molson Coors. In addition to the Molson and Coors brands, through partnerships with other major brewers, the company also offers beer brands such as Miller Genuine Draft, Heineken, Foster's Lager and Tiger. Molson also owns the Creemore micro-brewery in Ontario and Granville Island Brewing in British Columbia.


1d   Large horn // neighbour returned (4)

TUBA< — reversal of (returned) ABUT (neighbour)

2d   Brewery’s head measures // hops (7)

B|OUNCES — B (Brewery's head [initial letter]) + OUNCES (measures)

3d   Left Arabian port // filled with cargo (5)

L|ADEN — L(eft) + ADEN (Arabian port)

4d   Spook, // if dressed in towel material (7)

TERR(IF)Y — IF (†) contained in (dressed in) TERRY (towel material)

5d   Prisoner’s goal: // relative lack of effort (7)

REL|EASE — REL(ative) + EASE (lack of effort)

7d   Audibly go to extremes, // late (7)

OVERDUE~ — sounds like (audibly) OVERDO (go to extremes)

8d   Having // Wild West groups make music (10)

POSSES|SING — POSSES (Wild West groups) + SING (make music)

11d   Brave // soldier after show of nerve (7)

GALL|ANT — ANT (soldier) following (after) GALL (show of nerve)

A soldier[5] is a wingless caste of ant or termite with a large specially modified head and jaws, involved chiefly in defence.

14d   Broken promises about six // vamps (10)

{IMPRO(VI)SES}* — anagram of (broken) PROMISES containing (about) VI ([Roman numeral] six)

In jazz, vamp[4] means to improvise (an accompaniment) to (a tune).

16d   Old tool // the lion disturbed (7)

NEOLITH* — anagram of (disturbed) THE LION

A neolith[10] is a Neolithic stone implement.

19d   British author // heard Yuletide tune (7)

CARROLL~ — sounds like (heard) CAROL (Yuletide tune)

Lewis Carroll[5] (1832 – 1898) was an English writer; pseudonym of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. He wrote the children's classics Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking Glass (1871), which were inspired by Alice Liddell, the young daughter of the dean at the Oxford college where Carroll was a mathematics lecturer.

20d   A little breather // amid soprano’s trills (7)

_NOS|TRIL_ — hidden in (amid) sopraNOS TRILls

21d   Tilt weapons after good // looks (7)

G|LANCES — LANCES (tilt weapons) following (after) G(ood)

22d   March against one // inventive Italian (7)

MAR|CON|I — MAR (March; month) + CON (against) + I ([Roman numeral] one)

Guglielmo Marconi[5] (1874–1937) was an Italian electrical engineer, the founder of radio. In 1912 Marconi produced a continuously oscillating wave, essential for the transmission of sound. He went on to develop short-wave transmission over long distances. Nobel Prize for Physics (1909).

25d   Dance // is held in Washington Circle (5)

D(IS)C|O — IS (†) contained in (held in) DC (Washington) + O ([letter that looks like a] Circle)

Scratching the Surface
Washington Circle[7] is a traffic circle in Washington, D.C.

26d   Two bits of sterling silver // just for men (4)

ST|AG — ST (two bits [initial two letters] of STerling) + AG ([chemical symbol for] silver)


I will attribute any errors that Henry may discover in the blog to all the beer tasted today.

Key to Reference Sources: 

  [1]   - The Chambers Dictionary, 11th Edition
  [2]   - Search Chambers - (Chambers 21st Century Dictionary)
  [3]   - (American Heritage Dictionary)
  [4]   - TheFreeDictionarycom (Collins English Dictionary)
  [5]   - Lexico (formerly Oxford Dictionaries Online) (Oxford Dictionary of English)
  [6]   - Lexico (formerly Oxford Dictionaries Online) (Oxford Advanced 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)
[14]   - (COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary)

Signing off for today — Falcon


  1. Upper half went in quickly, the bottom a bit more slowly.its a beautiful day in Toronto. So I think I'll do my yardwork, change over the tires and then swallow a Moosehead, as the puzzle suggests.

  2. Hello Falcon and fellow puzzlers,

    I actually had the opposite experience to Chris - bottom half went in first. Last one in was 13a. Loved 20d, very "crafty" clue. Another favourite was 10a. Overall, very hoppy with today's puzzle.

    Thank you for posting Falcon. Have a nice weekend all.


  3. That went down very smoothly. Like Chris I'm off to do leaves then maybe another 17a while the weather holds.

  4. Good afternoon everyone! Thanks for the post Falcon.
    Today's offering from C&H was almost a R&W. Finished in the top right corner, 13a was my last as well.
    Really liked 10a, 11d.
    I see C&H are picking up on the US election with 1a. Maybe they're drinking beer, that's why it's taking so long? Maybe Trump can make a case with that?
    MG, you're hoppy with 2d, n'est-ce pas?

  5. Three HEX puzzles this weekend --- an extremely clever one in the WSJ (, an acrostic in the NY Times, and this one. Life is good.

  6. Hi Falcon!
    LOL - so now I have to be up to the challenge?!
    Well, it looks like you've done a bit of sampling to be sure.
    And the first, is the initial entry 1a
    Anagram Indicator
    The second - 21a the picture shows Gateman Beer but the narrative refers to Nametag.
    Nametag is a beer by Trader Joe's Brewing Co in CA. Gateman is produced by 4 Hands Brewing Co Missouri.
    18a is just a little typo to fix the a.

    I'm off to enjoy a Pumpkin beer (left over from Thanksgiving) giving thanks for the US election results.

    1. Oh, and anagram indicator on 16d

    2. Henry,

      As always, thank you for your thorough proof reading efforts.


      The picture shows a can of each beer (the NAMETAG is the blue can). The two beers were produced in a collaboration between the two St. Louis craft brewers (it may have been a one-shot affair rather than an ongoing product offering). I have modified the text in an attempt to make it clearer. I wasn't aware of the beer by the same name produced by Trader Joe's.

      Oh, by the way, I still can't find the typo in 18a.

    3. The Gateman link in the text will take you to an entry dealing with the two beers on the 4 Hands Facebook page.

  7. Ah, my eyes didn't see the lettering clearly on the blue can. It looked like the same lettering as on the red can. You cleared that up well.
    On my screen the solution to 18a appears as
    18 text...
    a text...
    It looks like a keystroke issue.

    1. Okay, I now see what you are getting at.

      The clue number (18a) and clue are contained in different columns of a two-column table. Due to "word wrap", the "a" was appearing on a second line within the cell (just as the clue itself appears on two lines within its cell).

      This was only happening in certain browsers (Chrome and Opera, for example). Firefox (which I use) rendered the text correctly -- which explains why I didn't see it when you initially reported it. I didn't test any other browsers. I have modified the CSS styling of the table and the clue is now rendered properly in all three browsers.

      I would guess that the problem might have been caused by not specifying a fixed size for the cell in which the clue number appears. However, what I don't understand, is why the effect occurred in 18a but not in the following two clues (21a and 23a) in which the clue also extends over two lines.

  8. Hi Falcon,

    Ok, I'll bite. Why isn't there also a photo of Corona beer in 18a por favor?


    1. The theme was shaping up to be Canadian beer, so I thought that Corona -- although a beer -- was not necessarily part of the theme. Of course, that approach broke down when I got to 21a and could find only the US beer.