Saturday, October 8, 2022

Saturday, October 8, 2022 — Flavourful (NP 221008)


Today's National Post Cryptic Crossword from Cox & Rathvon (NP 221008) presents us with four of the five recognized fundamental flavours.

The puzzle will be posted on the blog on Saturday, October 15, 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 Big success involving our // whisky (4,4)

S(OUR) MASH — SMASH (big success) containing (involving) OUR (†)

5a Church celebration provided // rocky prominence (6)

MASS|IF — MASS (church celebration) + IF (provided)

9a Chinese book about true // yearning (7)

I(T)CHING — {I CHING (Chinese book)} containing (about) T(rue)

The I Ching[16B] (also called Book of Changes) is an ancient Chinese book of divination and a source of Confucian and Taoist philosophy. Answers to questions and advice may be obtained by referring to the text accompanying one of 64 hexagrams, selected at random.

10a Yonder’s a // name for a woman (7)

THERESA — THERE (yonder) + S ('s) + A (†)

11a Spinning plate, // jumped (5)

LEAPT* — anagram of (spinning) PLATE

12a Taking little time, pursue // flattery (5,4)

S(WEE|T) TALK — STALK (pursue) containing (taking) {WEE (little) + T(ime)}

13a In return, a great many help // girl with a milk pail (9)

{DAIRY M}<|AID — reversal of (in return) MYRIAD (a great many) + AID (help)

15a Like the twilight // of the French firmament (5)

DU|SKY — DU (of the French; French word meaning 'of the') + SKY (firmament)

17a Embrace halfway through Oslo // sci-fi awards (5)

HUG|OS_ — HUG (embrace) + OS (halfway through Oslo; initial half of the word 'Oslo')

The Hugo Award[7] (widely considered the premier award in science fiction) is an annual literary award for the best science fiction or fantasy works and achievements of the previous year, given at the World Science Fiction Convention and chosen by its members.

Origin: named after Hugo Gernsback, the founder of the pioneering science fiction magazine Amazing Stories

19a Get out of bed late, // breaking up love spree (9)

OVERSLEEP* — anagram of (breaking up) LOVE SPREE

21a Brewpub’s offering // bite later, after mixing (6,3)

{BITTER ALE}* — anagram of (after mixing) BITE LATER

24a Caterpillar, e.g., // right inside volcanic rock (5)

LA(R)VA — R(ight) contained in (inside) LAVA (volcanic rock)

25a Fancy car included in whatever // divorce payment (7)

A(LIMO)NY — LIMO (fancy car) contained in (included in) ANY (whatever)

26a Libyan port // said to be very wide? (7)

TRIPOLI~ — sounds like (said to be) TRIPLE E (very wide; EEE, a very wide shoe size)

27a Significant other covers // figures in geometry (6)

SO|LIDS — SO (significant other; in Twitterspeak, perhaps) + LIDS (covers)

In geometry, a solid[16B] is (a) a closed surface in three-dimensional space or (b) such a surface together with the volume enclosed by it.

28a Cocktail // got sadly ruined (5,3)

{SALTY DOG}* — anagram of (ruined) GOT SADLY

A salty dog[16] is a cocktail of gin or vodka and grapefruit juice, traditionally served in a salt-rimmed glass.


1d In debt, a helpless bum // gave up secrets (7,3,5)


2d Continuous // error in opening (9)

UNC(E)ASING — E (error; abbreviation used in baseball) contained in (in) UNCASING (opening; unwrapping)

3d Largely covering one // with a little dampness (7)

MO(I)STLY — MOSTLY (largely) containing (covering) I ([Roman numeral] one)

4d Droop in the middle, like // long yarns (5)

SAG|AS — SAG (droop in the middle) + AS (like)

6d Helped // Ms. Midler in commercial (7)

A(BETTE)D — BETTE (Ms. Midler; American singer Bette Midler[7]) contained in (in) AD (commercial)

7d Tuscan town // processed anise (5)

SIENA* — anagram of (processed) ANISE

8d To be honest, // pilot’s in top form, holding level (7,8)

F(RANK)LY| S|PEAKING — {FLY (pilot; control an aircraft) + S ('s) + PEAKING (in top form)} containing (holding) RANK (level)

10d Engineer altered // foot device (7)

TREADLE* — anagram of (engineer) ALTERED

14d For the audience, an Amelie // oddity (7)

ANOMALY~ — sounds like (for the audience) AN AMELIE

This homophone may work for some but is pretty dubious in my books – but I'll let you be the judge.

16d Curse // blade catching clothes (5,4)

S(WEAR)WORD — SWORD (blade) containing (catching) WEAR (clothes; used as a noun as in 'sportswear')

18d New editors // banned drug for many athletes (7)

STEROID* — anagram of (new) EDITORS

20d Lois grabbed by tosspot // musician in the spotlight (7)

SO(LOIS)T — LOIS (†) contained in (grabbed by) SOT (tosspot)

22d Tailor’s foremost desire: // weave (5)

T|WILL — T (Tailor's foremost [initial letter]) + WILL (desire)

23d Bit player // in Sussex tragedy (5)

_EX|TRA_ — hidden in (in) SussEX TRAgedy


According to Wikipedia "Taste receptors in the mouth sense the five taste modalities: sweetness, sourness, saltiness, bitterness, and savoriness (also known as savory or umami)."


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 from NYC where a perfect day yesterday has been replaced by cooler temps today.
    My taste for cryptics was well satisfied today by this week's offering from C&R. In addition, the long entries on the right and left borders encouraged me to hold nothing back.
    LOI was 2d. I couldn't settle on which end of the clue was the definition.
    13a gave me the biggest "aha" moment. Took a bit to see "a great many."
    Favorite was 26a (really? EEE). How do they think of these things?
    I had to Google-check 3d and 10d after parsing (as per usual for me with C&R).
    Falcon, thanks for your diligence, even while on vacation.
    Have a good weekend and coming week everyone.

  2. Happy Thanksgiving from Winnipeg. I did expect that we would get a mention of our holiday or that of our Southern neighbours celebrating the explorer who didn't find the land mass they live on. But, not to be.
    Quite 'light' from C&R today with smiles for 10a, 13a, and 4d.
    I don't think the 14d homophone quite works for me.
    Thanks to C&R and to Falcon.

  3. Good morning,

    And happy Thanksgiving! I rather enjoyed today’s tasty offering from C & R. I thought 9a to be very funny. And 19a was too, in a bit of a naughty way. On the other hand, I think the answer to 26a, which is quite obvious, is supposed to be a homophone of a word or phrase meaning “very wide” but I have no idea which word or phrase. And I think the answer to 14d is supposed to sound like “an Amelie” but, to me, it does not. The answer to 27a seems quite obvious but I cannot quite parse it. I was reminded of Ben Johnson by 18d (“I didn’t take no stereos!”). Have a good weekend! And enjoy the autumn colours!


    1. and Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends. You guys are so far ahead of us (in so many ways).
      Loved 26a - try saying the size of a very wide shoe (i.e., EEE or triple ...).
      My take on 14d is to pronounce "an Amelie" as "an/ah/meh/lee".
      For 27a, "Significant other" is simply S.O. :(

    2. Thanks Richard. Re 26a: now I get it. For both this one and 14d, if I said they require the speaker to mispronounce the letter "o" would that be an ad homonym attack?

    3. Oh, definitely.

  4. Haven't started the puzzle yet, being concerned by the Note to Readers on page 2, about a change in puzzles "over the next several days". Next Saturday's NP will have "an extra page of brain teasing puzzles". Let's hope the Andrews McMeel Syndicate realise C&R's following If not...........

    1. Yes, the note toeaders concerned me as well. For the Saturday C&R and the weekday cryptic as well.

    2. Say it isn't so :(


    3. If the NP stops publishing the DT and C & R cryptic crosswords I will stop my subscription to the NP.

    4. I do read the Saturday NP but I buy it for C&R.

  5. Hello Falcon and friends,

    Definitely a tasty little treat today. Sounds like a few folks have been mispronouncing Amelie's name! A quick one for me today until I got stuck on 22d and 27a (LOI). Not what I usually think of as figures in geometry but I suppose that is the point.

    Thank you for posting Falcon. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I have my lobster tails ready and waiting.


  6. Hello everyone, and indeed, a happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends; and upcoming to our American cousins.
    I thought at the start today's offering from C&R was going to be a Chinese treat (sweet and sour) but a few more flavours came along. LOI was 2d as well for me - I had a solution in mind, but it didn't parse, until my Aha moment. And I too couldn't see the homonym in 26a until I read the comments above (thanks folks!)
    Did you notice the image of the puzzle made all the i's look like little l's? A few times I was interpreting the words incorrectly because I saw double ll's.
    And I thought we were going to see a pangram, but it just fell short.
    Thanks to the Falcon and C&R for their ever faithful service.

    1. Isn't that homonym in 26a amazing?

    2. I even said it out aloud a number of times, and I still didn't recognize it. I had the em-phasis on the wrong syl-lable.

  7. 26a IS amazing ! My favourite today!

  8. Hello to all the fans of C&R and a very Happy Thanksgiving to those in Canada. The vegetables are roasted and the turkey has been in the oven for a couple hours so, except for the soup and gravy, I am home free!
    Really enjoyed this satisfying treat after the bird was stuffed; took me one coffee and just over an hour to complete the puzzle. Favourites were similar to others cited - 13a, above-mentioned 26a, 4d and 16d - had a mental block with "curse". My LOI was also 2d - I too wasn't sure which end reflected the answer.
    Thanks to Falcon for your educational posts and C&R for adding more flavour to my favourite holiday weekend.
    As for the Note to Readers about the new puzzle offerings, it is not clear to me (though certainly sounding ominous) whether the referenced puzzles are an "addition" or a "replacement" and today, I will hope for the former. . C&R, if you are reading this, you need neither overhauling nor upgrading ; to me, you are perfect just the way you are.
    Have a good week, everyone.
    Best always, Heather

    1. I was hoping to find ‘spicy,’ but it didn’t show up.


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