Monday, December 10, 2012

More music to solve by (Solution No. 3,264)

I had to travel to New York last night for a conference that started early this morning.  As soon as I put the trip on the calendar, I looked up what was going on culturally, and of course that started by seeing if my friend Priscilla Smith was playing.  We've known Priscilla since she was a child: her father is Kile Smith, my favorite contemporary composer; and her mother, Jackie Smith, has been The Other Doctor Mitchell's voice teacher for many years.  TODM babysat Priscilla and her sisters when they were little, and Priscilla returned the favor for our children.

But now Priscilla is tearing up the Big Apple with her baroque oboe, recorder, and other period instruments.  I got to hear Priscilla and her Julliard friends last night with the New York Baroque, in a concert that was "creative" in more ways than one.  Titled "The Big Bang," it juxtaposed pieces by Telemann, Handel, Carlo Farina, and others to tell a creation story: starting with the elements, progressing through chickens, cats, and dogs, to mankind.

There's no video of last night's concert, but here's Priscilla and the NYBI playing Vivaldi's "La Follia" or click here to hear Priscilla play a Handel sonata while you read the rest of the post.


On the subway down to the concert, I came across this gem in FT 14,176, set by Cincinnus.
3d  Bass-baritone making soprano blue.   PAUL ROBESON.

Solution and annotation to The Nation cryptic crossword No. 3,264

Difficulty (by standards of this weekly puzzle): hard

Hozom's comment: "Clearing the bar," in which Hot and Trazom share some comments they received about last week's bar-style cryptic.  Not surprisingly, some people didn't like the change.  Others did.  Hot and Trazom note that most of the cryptics they've created for the National Puzzlers' League are bar-style, since they open the opportunity for more twists in the grid or the entries.  And "twisted" doesn't begin to describe some of those NPL specials.

Musical content: 13a, 7d

Working blue: 24a—mild by standards of The Onion

Solution and annotation below the fold.


Legend: "*" anagram; "~" sounds like; "<" letters reversed; "( )" letters inserted; "_" or lower case: letters deleted; "†" explicit in the clue, “^” first letter or letters, “{“ relocated letter or letters

Across
1a
*OPERATING COST
*PROGNOSTICATE (anagram of 27a indicated by “ruined”)
This kind of circular cross-reference shows up in British cryptics from time to time.
9a
D | RAKE
RAKE (“libertine”)  following (†) ^D^onald (first letter indicated by “the lead”)
10a
STEPS ON | IT
STEPSON (“relative”) + IT (“information technology”)
11a
AC (<T LIK<)E
ACE (“one”) containing (“holding”) <KILT< (“Scotsman’s garment”, reversal indicated by “back”)
12a
NEEDLES_
NEEDLES_s_ (“unnecessary”, omission of last letter indicated by “unending”)
13a
*ORCHES | TR_AL
TR_i_AL (“experiment”, omission of I indicated by “I quit”) following (“after”) *CHORES (anagram indicated by “difficult”)
15a
~LYNX
~LINKS (homonym indicated by “discussed”)
18a
TAP | _E
TAP (“stealthily listen”, as in a wiretap) + gramophon^E^ (last letter indicated by “end”)
20a
EX-PE_DITION
EX-PE_r_DITION (“hell, formerly”, omission of R [“^R^udimentary”, first letter indicated by “bit of”] indicated by “lacking”)
Good clue: uncommon word, two layers of wordplay
23a
CHAR | ADE
ADE (“drink”) after (indicated by “later”) CHAR (“burn”)
For those of you who haven’t read the instructions to solvers, a charade is a kind of cryptic clue where you piece several components together.  They’re indicated here with the | symbol.
24a
S(PEED) UP
PEED (“went”) contained in (“in”) SUP (“to eat”)
25a
PROSE | CUT | E
PROSE (“writing”) + CUT (“shorten”) + ^E^dit (first letter indicated by “start”)
26a
AL | AMO

27a
*PROGNOSTICATE
*OPERATING COST (anagram of 1a indicated by “inaccurately”)


Down
1d
ODD MAN OUT
Inverted wordplay: *AMOUNT is an anagram (indicated by “ODD” of *MAN OUT
2d
*ELASTIC
*LACIEST (anagram indicated by “shred”)
3d
*ALEWIVES
*SEAL VIEW (anagram indicated by “at sea”)
4d
IS | SUE
IS (“lives”) + SUE (“seek redress”)
5d
G | REENGAGE
^G^rocer (first letter indicated by “beginning”) | RE-ENGAGE (“to deal once again”)
This is the most obscure word I’ve seen Hot and Trazom use in months.  Pretty good to go that long without resorting to something like that.
6d
_OYSTER_
enj_OYS TER_iyaki (hidden word indicated by “containing”)
7d
TON | ALLY
TON (“heavyweight”) + ALLY (“friend”)
8d
~UTES
~YOUTS (imagined Brooklynese for “youths”, homophone indicated by “reportedly”)
14d
*TAX RETURN
*RUNT EXTRA (anagram indicated by “deformed”)
16d
*XENOPHOB | E
*PHONE BOX (anagram indicated by “trashed”) + ^E^ngland (first letter indicated by “capital”)
17d
LIT | ERA | <TI<
LIT (“soused”) + ERA (“period”) + <IT< (reversal indicated by “getting high”)
19d
*PEA SO | UP
*A POSE (anagram indicated by “strike”) + UP “aloft”)
21d
IN | DIANA
IN (“at home”) + DIANA (“goddess”)
22d
CAME (T)O
T (“time”) contained in (“occupying”) CAMEO (“a small role”)
23d
COPS_
COPS_e_ (“forest”, omission of last letter indicated by “cut”)
24d
SPECS
Double definition

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