Saturday, December 11, 2021

Saturday, December 11, 2021 — Beer Flight


Today's puzzle from Cox & Rathvon presented an opportunity to sample a few brews as one worked through the grid.

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.


7a Tavern gets beer // deal for shoppers (7,4)

BAR|GAIN S|ALE — BAR (tavern) + GAINS (gets) + ALE (beer)

8a Fabulous bird // displayed in brochure (3)

_ROC_ — hidden in (displayed in) bROChure

The roc[5] is a gigantic mythological bird described in the Arabian Nights.

10a Razzle-dazzle greeting // ballpark food? (7)

FAN|FARE — split (3,4) we have FARE (food) consumed by a patron at a ballpark (FAN)

11a One proposing a salute // to garden flower (7)

TO|ASTER — TO (†) + ASTER (garden flower)

12a Decree // cited erroneously (5)

EDICT* — anagram of (erroneously) CITED

13a Note to self about a // leftover (9)

REM(A)INDER — REMINDER (note to self) containing (about) A (†)

14a Pilfered the Spanish beer // carrier (5,6)

HOT|EL| PORTER — HOT (pilfered) + EL (the Spanish; Spanish definite article) + PORTER (beer)

20a Cold, // agitated cat in cart (9)

ANTARCTIC* — anagram of (agitated) CAT IN CART

23a Small German car // from an Arab land (5)

S|AUDI — S(mall) + AUDI (German car)

24a Rib Mama, playing // musical instrument (7)

MARIMBA* — anagram of (playing) RIB MAMA

25a Spirits // completely possessing kind of salmon (7)

AL(COHO)L — ALL (completely) containing (possessing) COHO (kind of salmon)

26a Novel // understood when read aloud (3)

NEW~ — sounds like (when read aloud) KNEW (understood)

27a Blow // cover for a club party with beer (11)

SOCK|DO|LAGER — SOCK (cover for a [golf] club) + DO (party) + LAGER (beer)

Sockdolager[5,12] is obsolete US slang for something final or decisive, as a heavy blow ⇒ His talent was delivering sockdolagers with his rifle butt.


1d Threateningly wave // cereal bowl (8)

BRAN|DISH — BRAN (cereal) + DISH (bowl)

2d Empty // small container into big container (6)

VA(CAN)T — CAN (small container) contained in (into) VAT (big container)

3d Whole // triangle reconfigured (8)

INTEGRAL* — anagram of (reconfigured) TRIANGLE

4d Barnyard bird // outlaw took initially in the morning (6)

BAN|T|AM — BAN (outlaw) + T (Took initially [initial letter]) + AM (in the morning)

5d New York art museum housing surrealist’s // winner (8)

ME(DALI|S)T — MET (New York art museum) containing (housing) {DALI (surrealist) + S ('s)}

The Met[5] is an informal name for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Salvador Dalí[5] (1904–1989) was a Spanish surrealist painter.

6d Was irritating // for all viewers? (6)

G|RATED — split (1-5) we have G-RATED ([suitable] for all viewers)

7d Serve-yourself meal hit repeatedly (6)

BUFFET — double definition

9d Poison // copper, very unusual (6)

CU|RARE — CU ([chemical symbol for] copper) + RARE (very unusual)

15d Dessert: // is it a rum concoction? (8)

TIRAMISU* — anagram of (concoction) IS IT A RUM

Tiramisu[5] is an Italian dessert consisting of layers of sponge cake soaked in coffee and brandy or liqueur with powdered chocolate and mascarpone cheese.

Delving Deeper
Traditional tiramisu[7] contains a short list of ingredients: ladyfingers (savoiardi), egg yolks, sugar, coffee, mascarpone cheese, cocoa powder and sometimes liquor. Marsala wine can be added to the recipe, but other liquors are frequently substituted for it in both the coffee and the cheese mixture, including dark rum, Madeira, port, brandy, Malibu, or Irish cream and especially coffee-flavoured liqueurs such as Tia Maria and Kahlúa. Disaronno is also often used to enhance the taste of tiramisu.

Tiramisu may be a recent invention, with written mention of it first appearing in the later part of the 20th century. However, it has been claimed that tiramisu has aphrodisiac effects and was concocted by a 19th century Treviso brothel madam for her clientele, as the Accademia Del Tiramisù explains, to "solve the problems they may have had with their conjugal duties on their return to their wives".

16d Groves // or greens (8)

OR|CHARDS — OR (†) + CHARDS (greens)

17d Witch wearing cosmetic // fibrous stuff (8)

ROUG(HAG)E — HAG (witch) contained in (wearing) ROUGE (cosmetic)

18d Guys creating spots on the back of 1,000 // loonies (6)

M|ADMEN — ADMEN (guys creating [advertising] spots) following (on the back of) M ([Roman numeral] 1000)

Scratching the Surface
For foreign readers, the surface reading alludes to loonie[5], an informal name for a Canadian one-dollar coin introduced in 1987.

Origin: from the image of a loon on the back of the coin

19d Norm pens sick // column (6)

P(ILL)AR — PAR (norm) containing (pens) ILL (sick)

21d Tossed // monarch’s chair in the sound (6)

THROWN~ — sounds like (in the sound) THRONE (monarch's chair)

22d Spell // “nectar” wrong (6)

TRANCE* — anagram of (wrong) NECTAR

23d Land in the Mediterranean // south, coldly (6)

S|ICILY — S(outh) + ICILY (coldly)


Beer flights are small servings of various beers. Usually, you’ll receive a small 3–5 oz. glass of each beer you’d like to try on a wooden board called a Beer Flight Paddle.

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 from Winnipeg where we are 'warming up' after some minus 20s at the beginning of the week.
    A fun offering from C&R this week which was not too challenging except for 27a - easy enough to come up with three constituent parts which then needed verification before entry into the grid.
    I liked 2d and 5d.
    Thanks to C&R and to Falcon.
    Bombers for the W!

    1. A truly refreshing puzzle! Yes, Senf, I will be flying my Manitoba flag, some 1500 kilometers south of Point Pelee. Go, Bombers!

    2. Well, Senf, they did it -- but you likely chewed your nails to the quick watching.

  2. Greeting all from rainy warm NYC.
    Yes, indeed 27a was last in and, just like Senf, had to be confirmed once parsed. Otherwise not overly hard today.
    Also agree that 2d was quite creative.
    Theme? Got me.
    Thanks for posting Falcon.
    Have a good weekend and coming week all.
    Until we meet again next week,

    1. It's all about the brews Richard: ale, porter and lager.


  3. Good morning,

    Warm and windy here in London. Had the same experience with 27a as the others. Theme? Beer. Have a good weekend!


  4. Hello Falcon and friends,

    Guess it was a hoppy puzzle today. LOI was 2d and had a bit of trouble with 27a. Lots of really cute clues with excellent surface readings.

    Thank you for posting Falcon. Enjoy the reprieve from winter for the next few days.


  5. Time to crack open a cold one at the park. Well, in my case, time to get lunch.
    My first reaction was 'this will be tough' after not getting any answers for the first dozen or so clues I scanned, but a little thought and looking up as noted above, I finished off the last one 14a when I finally figured out what kind of carrier we were looking at.
    Thanks for the post Falcon! And thanks to C&R - it can't be easy coming up with these.

  6. Good afternoon, C&R fans. Hope this finds everyone well. Things are calm and mild here north of the GTA but I understand the wind is to pick up significantly as the day goes on.
    I didn't find the puzzle as easy as you all seem to have. 6d was my last one in. I had the answer for ages but it was like seeing the picture with the young girl and the old hag - I could only see one; of course, it was the irritating part.
    There were lots of enjoyable clues - liked 10a, 2d, the aforementioned 6d after I got it , as well as 14a. I too had to look up 27a to verify my parsing PLUS the pronunciation. In my brain, it was "sock-do-lager." Somewhat funny now that I know what is correct.
    Thanks, Falcon, for a very enjoyable post and Henry, I liked your line about C&R - I will second that.
    Have a great weekend everyone and look forward to joining you again next Saturday.
    Take care. Best always, Heather

  7. Ditto.
    Good to know I'm in good company!
    Trouble parsing 6d, viewers?

    1. Think of movie viewers and movie rating systems...


  8. G-rated films are suitable for all viewers.

  9. Hi Falcon -
    Just a quick note:
    I had to doublecheck 27a too as I didn't think it was a word.
    small typo in clue in 11a

    1. Thanks, Henry

      Typo fixed (When attempting to insert the markup, Blogger has the annoying habit of sometimes overwriting the first character of the following word. Thus "// " inserted before "to" becomes "// o".)

  10. Hi Falcon,

    20a is missing anagram indicator.