Saturday, October 1, 2022

Saturday, October 1, 2022 — The Roaring Game (NP 221001)


Today's National Post Cryptic Crossword from Cox & Rathvon (NP 221001) features a winter sport that is likely second only to hockey in Canada.

The puzzle will be posted on the blog on Saturday, October 8, 2022.

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 Wave-making device // girl tossed together with unicorn (7,4)

{CURLING IRON}* — anagram of (tossed) {GIRL + (together with) UNICORN}

7a I’m into stick // sport for recreation (7)

PAST(IM)E — IM (I'm) contained in (into) PASTE (stick)

8a On the way back, look for no // US citizens (7)

{YAN|KEES}< — reversal of (on the way back) {SEEK (look for) + (NAY (no)}

10a Dell user upset about one // calculation tool (5,4)

{SL(I)DE RULE}* — anagram of (upset) DELL USER containing (about) I ([Roman numeral] one)

11a Volume inserted in only // crack (5)

SOL(V)E — V (volume; physics symbol) contained in (inserted in) SOLE (only)

12a Dress // prohibition 500 years old? (7)

BAN|D|AGE — BAN (prohibition) + D ([Roman numeral] 500) + AGE (years old)

In the comments, the equivalence of "age" and "years old" is questioned. I think they are equivalent in the following sentences:
  • She is age 100.
  • She is 100 years old.
If I have my grammar correct, in the first example the adverb "100" comes after the adjective "age" (postpositive) while in the second it precedes the adjectival phrase "years old" (prepositive).

13a Puck has busted // chops (5,2)

{HACKS UP}* — anagram of (busted) PUCK HAS

15a Shellac // new counter (7)

TROUNCE* — anagram of (new) COUNTER

18a Old Egyptian keeping yellow California // parrot (7)

COP(Y|CA)T — COPT (old Egyptian) containing (keeping) {Y (yellow) + CA (California; postal abbreviation)}

20a Single American League // star in the NBA once (5)

O'NE|AL — ONE (single) + AL (American League; one of the two leagues forming Major League Baseball)

Shaquille O'Neal[7] is an American former professional basketball player who played for six teams over his 19-year career in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and is a four-time NBA champion.

22a Stitch hoop in sixty minutes before first of kitchen // chores (9)

HOUSEWORK — {SEW (stitch) + O ([letter that looks like a] hoop)} contained in (in) HOUR (sixty minutes) preceding (before) K (first [letter] of Kitchen)

23a Band member // called and is returning (7)

{SI|DEMAN}< — reversal of (is returning) {NAMED (called) + (and) IS (†)}

24a Added remark about enraged // outlaws (7)

P(IRATE)S — PS (added remark; postscript) containing (about) IRATE (enraged)

25a Short distance // to home in quiet street (6,5)

S(TO|NE'S T)H|ROW — {TO (†) + NEST (home)} contained in (in) SH ([admonition to be] quiet) + ROW (street)

Row[10] is a mainly British term for a street, especially a narrow one lined with identical houses.


1d Sea // snake and myself in vessel (7)

C(ASP|I)AN — {ASP (snake) + (and) I (myself)} contained in (in) CAN (vessel)

2d Canaries I disturbed // make a fuss (5,4)

{RAISE CAIN}* — anagram of (disturbed) CANARIES I

3d Rapper // pitches “Crud” beer, ignoring the odds (3,4)

||I||C||E|| C||U||B||E|| — the even letters from (ignoring the odds) pItChEs CrUd BeEr

Ice Cube[7] is the professional name of American rapper O'Shea Jackson Sr.

4d Ultimately, painting by Wyeth acquires new // woman’s name (7)

G|WY(N)ETH — G (ultimately, painting; final letter of paintinG) + WYETH (†) containing (acquires) N (new; abbreviation used in places names on maps)

Scratching the Surface
Andrew Wyeth[7] (1917–2009) was an American visual artist, primarily a realist painter, working predominantly in a regionalist style. He was one of the best-known U.S. artists of the middle 20th century.

5d Player ultimately endorses // skating venues (5)

R|INKS — R (player ultimately; final letter of playeR) + INKS (endorses)

6d Sharp objects // having no point, mostly (7)

NEEDLES_ — NEEDLES[S] (having no point) discarding the final letter (mostly)

7d Switches // spun hot tubs mistakenly (4,7)

{PUSH BUTTONS}* — anagram (mistakenly) SPUN HOT TUBS

9d Soprano cries and wins // contest (11)

S|WEEPS|TAKES — S (soprano) + WEEPS (cries) + (and) TAKES (wins)

14d Wine server // prepared crab puree (9)

CUPBEARER* — anagram of (prepared) CRAB PUREE

16d Iroquois people found among Shoshone, I’d assume (7)

_ONE|ID|AS_ — hidden in (found among) ShoshONE ID ASsume

The Oneida people[7] are a Native American tribe and First Nations band. They are one of the five founding nations of the Iroquois Confederacy in the area of upstate New York, particularly near the Great Lakes. Today the Oneida are found mainly in New York, Wisconsin,  and Ontario.
Scratching the Surface
The Shoshone[7] (or Shoshoni) are a Native American tribe living in the western United States.

17d Better // men chance individually losing face (7)

_EN|_HANCE — discard the initial letters from (individually losing face) [M]EN [C]HANCE

18d Cold booze and favourite // snack with tea (7)

C|RUM|PET — C (cold; symbol on water taps) + RUM (booze) + (and) PET (favourite)

19d Oklahoma tribe // reordered cat chow (7)

CHOCTAW* — anagram of (reordered) CAT CHOW

The Choctaw[7] are a Native American people originally based in the Southeastern Woodlands, in what is now Alabama and Mississippi. Today, the Choctaw are found mainly in Oklahoma, Mississippi, and Louisiana.

21d Purgatory // dance (5)

LIMBO — double definition


The vocabulary of the sport of CURLING [1a] features prominently in today's puzzle including SLIDE [10a], HACK [13a], HOUSE [22a], STONE and THROW [25a], RAISE [2d], ICE [3d], RINK [5d], BUTTON [7d], and SWEEP [9d].


Sources referenced in the blog are identified by the following reference numbers. The reference numbers themselves are hyperlinks to the entry in the source being referenced. Click on the number to view the source.

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 )
[16]    - (Random House Unabridged Dictionary)
[16B]  - (Collins English Dictionary )

Signing off for today — Falcon


  1. Hello all from a rainy NYC where we're getting some of the remains from Ian. Hope you and your family are safe and sound from its effects. I know that many of us in the northeast and Canada have friends and family along its path.
    What is 8a doing on this puzzle? Seems like a definite outlier. C&R are clearly playing Canada's game in this one.
    The longer entries today were gentle enough to give me plenty of footholds. LOI was 1d - didn't grasp where the definition ended for a while. Parsing 18a taught me a new word.
    Love the two word clues. e.g., 21d. Enjoyed figuring out how to parse 20a (which sport? what to use for "single" this time?)
    Have a good weekend, stay dry and see you all next Saturday.
    Thanks for the post, Falcon.

  2. Good morning from an increasingly autumnal Winnipeg.
    It seemed that C&R had at least a couple of attempts at getting a theme going but they came to naught.
    Like Richard, I had (self-inflicted?) problems with 1d trying to make the definition longer than it actually is.
    Smiles for 11a, 1d, and 17d.
    Thanks to C&R and to Falcon.

  3. Good morning,

    I found today's puzzle to be a bit tougher than usual. I thought 16d and 19d were a bit arcane but fair enough. But 20a and 3d were, in my view, offside. I had the same trouble with the excellent 1d as Richard and Senf but got it in the end. For 12a to work I think "years old" has to be equivalent to 'age'. But is it? And in 17d shouldn't 'face' be 'faces'? I quite liked 18a. Pray for the people of Florida. Have a good weekend!


    1. Peter, for 17d, does the use of "individually" take care of the issue, which could be rephrased as "each losing its face"?

  4. Hello Falcon and friends,
    Not sure if curling is our national sport but Canada often does well competing in it. I counted up at least 8 references to the game so I think Richard nailed the theme. 1d was also my LOI - same trouble identifying the definition. Really liked 11a, 6d and 17d. Overall, good fun.

    Thank you for posting Falcon. Enjoy your weekend everyone!


  5. Good morning all from the sunny GTA! No impact yet from the major storms ravaging the east coast.
    I finished the puzzle again in less than 30 minutes, I must be on their wavelength. And I have found a subtle theme that is spelled out by 22a - Iron, Sew, Sweep, Button, Nest. But there are a few other little things going on - Indigenous groups, body parts, Canada's game, so I guess it's take your pick! And Falcon - take a look at last week's comments, you might want to rewrite the epilogue.
    LOI was 1d for me as well, for the same reason as noted. For 17d, I think 'face' is ok because it is "individually." If that wasn't there, then 'faces' would be appropriate.
    p.s. I really love Paltrow, so 4d was especially nice.
    See you all next week!

    1. Henry,
      Regarding last week's epilogue, you might wish to have another look.

  6. Good afternoon to friends of C&R. Love reading your comments almost as much as doing the puzzle. Very enjoyable today, though I certainly did not do it in Henry's thirty minutes. I tripped over 1d, but it was far from my LOI. That honour went to 14d (I know- "groan"). 19d brought back memories of "Ode to Billie Joe" so there was a distracted period when I went off to listen to Bobbie Gentry's song. There was also a bit of a memory trip with 10a - it was my graduation present when I went to university. (I come from very practical stock - I wanted a charm bracelet.) I took delight in clues 12a, 18a, 6d and 21d.

    Please be safe, everyone, and see you next weekend.

    Best always, Heather

    1. Hi Heather,
      We must be of a similar vintage! I got 2 silver charm bracelets for graduation and got a really nice slide rule in grade 10. By the time I was in grade 12, I got my first calculator. I think it was a Casio and I remember it cost well over $100! Thanks for the reminder.


    2. Hi, MG. C&R have taken us on quite the trip this week. With your explanation, for sure we are similar vintage although I may have a few years on you. I was out of university and working for about five years before the smaller electronic calculator showed up - I think my first was an HP - and it was more expensive than $100! They sure dropped quickly in price right after that and I know I wished I had waited. .Sounds as if we took similar paths in school subjects too , but there is a notable difference. You obviously excelled in marketing and communication to receive TWO charm bracelets. Well done, MG! Well done! Thanks for this enjoyable exchange. :-)

  7. Generally ditto the above but what can't I see in 25a? Otherwise quite a moving puzzle! Favourite 3d

    1. Re:25a, got it. Simple mental block.

  8. I haven't been able to download the cryptic for weeks. What am I doing wrong? Thx.

    1. Hello there Anonymous!
      You should be able to download last week's puzzle by clicking on the link in the first paragraph. If you are trying to download the current week's puzzle, you can get a copy using PressReader. Free memberships are generally available through your local library. Look on the right hand side of this page, under the menu called library. There is a link called "PressReader: Access to National Post" for more information.

      Good luck!

  9. The puzzle is posted on the blog a week following its appearance in the National Post. The puzzle reviewed in this post will be posted on Saturday, October 8 in a post titled Hex Cryptic Crossword — NP 221001 (Cox and Rathvon). As MG states, the link in the first paragraph of that post is to a pdf version of the puzzle. Clicking on the image in the post links to a jpg version.


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