Saturday, July 10, 2021

Saturday, July 10, 2021 — Cattle Call


The performers in today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon include a veritable herd of cattle.

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
  • "wavy underline" - whimsical and inferred definitions
Click here for further explanation and usage examples of the symbols and markup conventions used on this blog.


1a Misinformation // must be revised with hesitation (3,5)

{BUM STE}*|ER — anagram of (revised) MUST BE + ER (hesitation)

5a Imposter trailed by Yankee // detective (6)

SHAM|US — SHAM (imposter) followed by (trailed by) US (Yankee)

9a Camper going around Arab land with old // dynastic name (7)

R(OMAN|O)V — RV (camper) containing (going around) {OMAN (Arab land) + (with) O(ld)}

The Romanov dynasty[5] ruled in Russia from the accession of Michael Romanov (1596–1645) in 1613 until the overthrow of the last tsar, Nicholas II, in 1917.

10a Deviant or pagan // ideal (7)

PARAGON* — anagram of (deviant) OR PAGAN

11a According to hearsay, get thinner // beast from Malaysia (5)

TAPIR~  — sounds like (according to hearsay) TAPER (get thinner)

12a Venerated one // form of cedar found in boat (6,3)

S(ACRED*) COW — anagram of (form of) CEDAR contained in (found in) SCOW (boat)

13a Drain out // lowest point (5)

NADIR* — anagram of (out) DRAIN

15a Rein in // head of church with strange ritual (7)

C|URTAIL* — C (head [initial letter] of Church) + anagram of (strange) RITUAL

17a A way to beat // some bread with some butter (3-1-3)

PIT-A|-PAT — PITA (some bread) + (with) PAT (some butter)

18a Fifty-fifty about monkey // suit jacket feature (5)

L(APE)L — {L + L} (fifty-fifty) containing (about) APE (monkey)

21a Ludicrous thing to say // bee nested in flower pod (5,4)

IRIS|H (B)ULL — B (bee) contained in (nested in) {IRIS (flower) + HULL (pod)}

A hull[5] is the outer covering of a fruit or seed, especially the pod of peas and beans, or the husk of grain.

An Irish bull[5] is a statement which is manifestly self-contradictory or inconsistent, especially to humorous effect, for example[3] With a pistol in each hand and a sword in the other.

23a Extra benefit // riding in public transportation (5)

B(ON)US — ON (riding) contained in (in) BUS (public transportation)

24a Neckwear // left among footwear (4,3)

BO(L)O TIE — L(eft) contained in (among) BOOTIE (footwear)

25a Fabulous bird caught originally in low // African country (7)

MO(ROC|C)O — {ROC (fabulous bird) + C (caught  originally; initial letter of Caught)} contained in (in) MOO (low; sound made by a cow)

26a Diary trashed hot // Mideastern capital (6)

RIYAD*|H — anagram of (trashed) DAIRY + H(ot)

27a Medium can fool ridiculous // dolt (8)

M|OONCALF* — M(edium) + anagram of (ridiculous) CAN FOOL

Mooncalf[5] is an archaic term for a foolish person.


1d The thing about getting into nude // singer (8)

BAR(IT|ON)E — {IT (the thing) + ON (about; concerning)} contained in (getting into) BARE (nude)

2d Clean up after me, and notice // desk accessory (4,3)

ME|MO P|AD — {MOP (clean up) following (after) ME (†)} + (and) AD ([commercial] notice)

3d Bill heard // barbershop member (5)

TENOR~  — sounds like (heard) TENNER ([$10] bill)

4d Pop icon // confined by tunnel vision (5)

_ELVIS_ — hidden in (confined by) tunnEL VISion

6d Marshy growth // agitated the sailor (9)

HORSETAIL* — anagram of (agitated) THE SAILOR

7d Crackpot claim about silver // having special powers (7)

{M(AG)ICAL*} — anagram of (crackpot) CLAIM containing (about) AG ([chemical symbol for] silver)

8d Member of the fam gaining unaccustomed // strength (6)

SI(NEW)S — SIS (member of the fam) containing (gaining) NEW (unaccustomed)

The setters, in shortening family to fam in the clue, indicate that the solver is to follow suit in the solution, shortening sister to sis.

Sinews[5] is used in the sense of the parts of a structure, system, or organization that give it strength or bind it together ⇒ This diversified, far flung structure didn't have the management sinews in place to enable it to run normally.

10d Someone who saves // time with boat cover reversed (4,3)

{PAC|K RA|T}< — reversal of (reversed) {T(ime) + (with) ARK (boat) +CAP (cover)}

14d Moved incrementally, // chattered aimlessly (9)

RATCHETED* — anagram of (aimlessly) CHATTERED

15d Take prisoner, // prone, into preserve (7)

C(APT)URE — APT (prone) contained in (into) CURE (preserve)

16d Rapid ascent // redistributed soft flab (5-3)

{BLAST-OFF}* — anagram of (redistributed) SOFT FLAB

17d Make money acquiring island // bandana design (7)

PA(ISLE)Y — PAY (make money) containing (acquiring) ISLE (island)

19d Criticize expert with a // remedy (7)

PAN|ACE|A — PAN (criticize) + ACE (expert) + (with) A (†)

20d Rome’s river engulfing 1,000 // trees (6)

TI(M)BER — TIBER (Rome's river) containing (engulfing) M (1,000)

22d Chauffeured car carrying bishop // nowhere in particular? (5)

LIM(B)O — LIMO (chauffeured car) containing (carrying) B ([chess notation for] bishop)

23d Shed containing nothing // noble (5)

BAR(O)N — BARN (shed) containing (†) O (nothing; letter that looks like a zero)


A cattle call[5] is an open audition for parts in a play or film ... or crossword puzzle?

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)
[15]   - (Penguin Random House LLC/HarperCollins Publishers Ltd )

Signing off for today — Falcon


  1. Good morning all from summery NYC.
    Whew! That was a workout. Still working on the parsing of 17d. Any help would be appreciated.
    Noticed that two TAILs crossed in the grid at 15a and 6d.
    Then we had a literal ANIMAL FARM at 1a, 11a, 12a, 21a, 27a, 6d, and 10d, coupled with a bit of an African flavor with the 9a clue, and the 25a and 26a entries.
    Early on I thought we were going to have the full range of choir voices but not to be after 1d and 3d. Not familiar with the entries at 21a and 27a but always willing to learn.
    Thanks for posting Falcon.
    Be well everyone.

    1. Hi Richard,

      In case you have not yet had the AHA moment, 17d has a 4 letter word for island in a 3 letter word for what you earn when you work.


  2. Hello Falcon and friends,

    I found today's puzzle to be udderly bovine and rather amoosing. No faves today. Last one in was 8d due to somewhat unusual usage of the word.

    Thank you for posting Falcon. Guess the alarm clock went off today!


    1. I find your summation to be spot on - thanks for the smile.

  3. A very good morning from Winnipeg.
    Well that was a bit of a head scratcher especially in the NE.
    No standout favourites.
    Thanks to C&R and Falcon.

  4. A brilliant Saturday to all my companion crypto-solvers. I also went through the same gyrations of theme seeking as noted above - singers; cows and bulls; arab lands, lows of one kind or another, the patter of little feet. throw in a pop singer.
    LOI was 21a, had never heard of this and derived it from the charade. The whole right side went in quite quickly, the left lower side had me looking up wikipedia.
    12d had me using I as the island, I got it when I remembered the word for various tie designs in the distant past (I don't know anything about bandanas). 10d certainly one of my favourites.
    Thanks Falcon for the post!

  5. A very NEAT puzzle.
    Still not sure about 8d. Can't see the parsing.

    1. Hi Sal -
      I thought 8d was interesting as well. I like your neatfoot ref by the way.
      So 8d; SIS=member of the fam(ily), gaining (surrounding) something unaccustomed = NEW

    2. Thanks Henry. The fam threw me. Otherwise that's pretty straightforward.

  6. Hello, hello everyone. It's the most gorgeous day here. I just got back from downtown Toronto and based on the traffic on the DVP and 400-series highways for those of you that know the area, Ontario is open for business.

    As for the puzzle...I am normally quite methodical about solving the clues in order, but for some reason today, (maybe the euphoria of going out? - I remember being quite despondent when Richard went to a hockey game at MSG and what was that - almost three months ago? sorry, I digress), I hopped everywhere until I realized that the NE corner had gaping holes. As with many of you, 8d was my problem child because I wanted it to be an adjective, like "strengthy", not a noun, and then we would have that well-known family member "siy"... . OK ..I got it now. What fun! Otherwise, no real favourites and I wouldn't even hazard a guess of a theme, though I do admire how many of you are good at that.
    Have a wonderful evening and a great week. So nice to read your views. Thank you to C&R and Falcon for such pure enjoyment. Best, Heather.