Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tasting menu (Solution No. 3,271)

After introducing us to letter banks a few weeks ago, Hot and Trazom give us another one, this time with bells on it.  There are several other nice clues here (9a, 10a, 15a to name a few), and it looks like the rest of the puzzle was put together to let those entries shine.  An example of everything, more or less.

Sort of a "sampler," though I wonder now why that word got used to describe a needlework project where all the work is done in cross-stitch.  Shouldn't a sampler include some embroidery and crochet as well?  "Tasting menu" might be more appropriate, sort of like the omakase at Morimoto (right), something that TODM and I have been fortunate enough to have on a few occasions.

puzzle solution and annotation below the fold


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

Across
1a
¶VENISONIVOROUS
Letter bank on SOUVENIR, indicated by “use and reuse pieces”
This is as easy as a letter bank is ever going to be.
9a
*SI(X)TH
*HITS (anagram indicated by “smash”) containing (“getting”) X (“a mark”)
Sixth refers to the sixth letter of the alphabet.  “A mark like F” is prime misdirection.
10a
<INAMORATA<
<AT A ROMAN I< (“near top-grade ego”, reversal indicated by “returning”)
“roman I” parses as “translate ‘I’ into Latin”
11a
TROLL | OPE_
TROLL (“monster”) + OPE_n (“outspoken,” omission of last letter indicated by “largely”)
12a
*CINEMA
*ICEMAN (anagram indicated by “remake”)
14a
HIKER
Pun
15a
LO | AN}S{ | HARK
LO  AN{D} HARK (“look and listen”), exchange (†) of D (“daughter”) for S (“son”)
Lovely combination: lo and hark
17a
MAN | IF | *ESTO
MAN (“guy”) + IF (“with condition”) + *TOES (anagram indicated by “broken”)
19a
E_N | TRY
E_dmonto_N (first and last letters indicated by “borders”) + TRY (“attempt”)
20a
P | AVERS
P (“quiet”) + AVERS (“maintains”)
22a
SUN | BURNS
SUN (“star”) + BURNS (Ken Burns, filmmaker)
25a
GEORGE III
GoEs On ReGrEt It If I (alternate [odd] letters indicated by “unevenly”)
26a
REA(L)M
REAM (“stack of paper”) contains (“covers”) L (“large”)
27a
*AMERICAN GOT | HIC_
*RAIN CAME (anagram indicated by “unexpectedly”) + GOT (caught) + HIC_k_ (“provincial”, omission of last letter indicated by “most of”)

Down
1d
V | IS IT
V (“fifth”) + IS IT (†)
2d
<NEX(T) O< *F KIN
<OXEN< (“farm animals”, reversal indicated by “raised”) containing (“keeping”) profi^T^ (last letter indicated by “last bit”)
3d
S | *CHOLAR
^S^core (first letter indicated by “first bit”) + *CHORAL (anagram indicated by “arrangement”)
4d
NAIL | POLISH
NAIL (“secure”) + POLISH (“from Krakow”)
Krakow is a beautiful city, which was largely spared by the war.  The old castle on the Vistula, St. Mary’s Church, and the Market Square are all worth a visit.  Krakow is also home to the Jagiellonian University, one of the oldest universities in the world.
5d
~VIAL
~VILE (“low,” homonym indicated by sounds)
I was stuck on “vein” here for a while
6d
*ROOMIES
*MOROSE I (anagram indicated by “disturbed”)
7d
USA | GE
USA (“American”) + G.E. (“corporation”)
8d
MAL(ARK)E | Y
MALE (“he”) contains (“clutches”) ARK (“chest”) + Y (“yes”)
13d
LABOR UNION
Pun
14d
HO(ME) P | AGE
HOP (“skip”) + AGE (“many years”) containing (“involving”) ME (“this writer”)
16d
*AF(TERM)ATH
*FATAH (anagram indicated by “reconsidered”) containing (“limiting”) TERM (“tenure”)
18d
FOR(A)GER
FORGER (“someone falsifying documents”) containing (“restricts”) A (†)
19d
E(MBA)RGO
ERGO (“therefore”) with MBA (“manager with a degree”) contained (“goes in”)
21d
V | ROOM
V (“victory”) + ROOM (“space”)
23d
SUM | AC
SUM (“whole”) + AC (“air conditioning”)
“plant” is a very well chosen word
24d
ZIN | C_
ZIN (“wine”: zinfandel) + ^C^heese (first letter indicated by “at first”)

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