May 02, 2009

Sunday, 5/3 NYT second Sunday: Cryptic crossword

NYT cryptic by Cox & Rathvon 11:29

My answer grid after the cut, along with explanations of answers. Don't peek too soon! Keep working at it and don't give up.

Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon's cryptic crossword had a few clues that stymied me for a while, and then there was that one typo of mine that kept another answer from emerging. D'oh! The advantage of the locked Across Lite file is that you can't cheat by asking it to reveal just a square or two for you.

  • 1A. From stem to stern, tossed in the Sound (10)—THROUGHOUT. Sounds like "threw out."
  • 6A. Exchange hands, from right to left (4)—SWAP. It's PAWS backwards.
  • 10A. Dirt from two states in Dixie? (7)—SCANDAL. SC (South Carolina) AND AL (Alabama). This one kept me guessing. I tried putting SLANDER in there, but it didn't work with the Dixie aspect and doesn't quite match up with "dirt" either.
  • 11A. I guess I showed you this other envelope's contents! (2,5)—SO THERE. Contents of "thiS OTHER Envelope."
  • 12A. Brother cooking chicken as we speak (5)—FRIAR. Sounds like "fryer."
  • 13A. In audition, ape irregular soldier (9)—GUERRILLA. Sounds like "gorilla." Don't be misled by the large number of letters shared by irregular and guerrilla.
  • 14A. Correcting and composing essays for The Voice (8)—RIGHTING. Sounds like "writing." Is it just me, or are there a lot of "sounds like" clues today?
  • 16A. "Iceman" playing in picture palace (6)—CINEMA. Anagram of "Iceman."
  • 19A. Sadly, Big Ben is on the decline (6)—EBBING. Anagram of "Big Ben." Not used to seeing "sadly" used as an anagram signal.
  • 21A. Heard on a regular basis, as Galahad (8)—KNIGHTLY. Sounds like "nightly."
  • 24A. Rule the head of the school declared (9)—PRINCIPLE. Sounds like "principal."
  • 25A. Listened to ghastly old tale-teller (5)—GRIMM. Sounds like "grim." I had griot, which means storyteller, in mind here, and that was a compelling wrong answer. Eventually, with **I*M in place, I played the alphabet game for the fourth letter and realized the answer when I made it to M.
  • 26A. Ancient Greek's expertise in bridge (7)—SPARTAN. ART inside SPAN—the only word-inside-another-word answer in the Acrosses.
  • 27A. Narrative article in need of editing (7)—RECITAL. Anagram of "article."
  • 28A. Ransom Eli's car sold off (4)—OLDS. Anagram of "sold."
  • 29A. Paper fixed, according to reporters (10)—STATIONERY. Sounds like "stationary."

  • 1D. People working together in concert ask for Celine (4,5)—TASK FORCE. Letters in "concerT ASK FOR CEline."
  • 2D. Oscar Wilde's gaol interpretation (7)—READING. Double definition: He was in Reading Gaol, interpretation = reading.
  • 3D. One of the French the German hypnotized (5)—UNDER. UN = French "the," DER = German "the."
  • 4D. Elements of light around the head generals (8)—HALOGENS. HALO of light + GENS, short for generals.
  • 5D. Coat with fake luster (6)—ULSTER. Anagram of "luster." An ulster is a kind of overcoat.
  • 7D. What fun to be horizontal in a bike stunt (7)—WHEELIE. "WHEE!" + LIE horizontally.
  • 8D. Holy statue made of pastry, thanks to the British (5)—PIETA. Pastry PIE + TA, an informal British exclamation meaning "thanks," according to my dictionary. Wow, I didn't know about "ta."
  • 9D. Bird's pitch caught by Chuck (8)—STARLING. Pitch = TAR inside SLING = the verb "chuck."
  • 15D. A big town, after decade, shows endurance (8)—TENACITY. TEN + A CITY.
  • 17D. One next to a little gym club is in a bad way (9)—ABYSMALLY. I mistyped CINEMA as CINEME, making the first letter here an E, which kinda got in the way of seeing the answer. "One" = A. "Next to" = BY. "Little" = SMALL. "Gym club" = the Y.
  • 18D. Bug holds musical note without being obvious about it (2,6)—IN SECRET. Note RE inside INSECT.
  • 20D. Robber gang acquires rig (7)—BRIGAND. RIG inside BAND, another word for "gang." Brigand is an old word for a robber who ambushes people in the mountains or forest.
  • 22D. Prickly flower is off the list (7)—THISTLE. Anagram of "the list."
  • 23D. Insert peg into fixed keyboard (6)—SPINET. Peg = PIN inside fixed = SET.
  • 24D. Bother with orange and green sauce (5)—PESTO. PEST + O for orange.
  • 25D. Good new Coke mascot in TV ads (5)—GECKO. This one also took me a while to parse correctly. G = good + ECKO, anagram of "Coke." The Geico gecko is a mascot in TV commercials.