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Puzzle 8/28/22 — Explained
The solution and explanation for this week's puzzle.
Here’s the solution to this week’s “Envelopes, reversals, and charades” puzzle, with the parsing of each clue explained and the completed puzzle below. This week’s puzzle has a theme to fit its clues: Russian Dolls.
Definitions are italicized, “clue-type” indicators are shown in parentheses, and anagram indicators are additionally marked with an *.
Feel free to comment or reach out if you liked something, didn’t get something, or spotted an error!
1. Choosing black or white, as with a chess piece in current situation (6,1,4)
TAKING A SIDE
Charade of AS (as) with A KING (a chess piece) inside (in) TIDE (current situation — a somewhat fanciful description of a tide). T[A-KING-AS]IDE
7. Article written with wax about endless draft for play by 11 (3,7)
Charade of THE (article, as in the definite article) written with SEAL (wax) around (about) GUL (endless draft, as in GULP without the “P”). THE SEA[GUL]L. The Seagull is a play by the Russian (11 Across) playwright Anton Chekhov.
8. I'm not sure what I would keep, initially (3)
I’D (I would) + K (keep, initially) = IDK.
9. Bungled DIY catalogue for poet (7)
IDY (DIY, bungled*) + LIST (catalogue) = IDYLIST.
11, 6. Escaped American is back inside Barbie's nest of painted ladies (7,5)
Charade of RAN (escaped) containing (inside) US (American) + SI (“is” back) + DOLLS (Barbie’s). R[US SI]AN DOLLS.
13. Beginning each new day with an objective (3)
END = the first letters (initially) of Each + New + Day.
16. Girl taking top off to start offloading small, hairless Kewpies as 11, 6 in 11 (10)
Charade of MARY (girl) containing (taking) T (the top off “to”) + OSHKA, (the first letters of (start) Offloading Small Hairless Kewpies As) = MATRYOSHKA. Which is the name for Russian Dolls in Russia (11 across, 6 down in 11 across).
17. Scraps hairdo and severed tress bottoms alongside goals (4,3,4)
ODDS AND ENDS
ODDS (bottoms of hairdO anD severeD tresS) + AND (alongside) + ENDS (goals).
2. Flicked cigarette in a barn (5)
Charade of A + SHED (a barn).
3. Microscopic insect to study you at first (4)
The first letters (at first) of Insect To Study You = ITSY.
4. Odds of girly town with tin inside becoming national landmark? (5,6)
Charade of GRYON — every other letter (odds of) GiRlY tOwN — containing (inside) AND CAN (with tin). GR[AND CAN]YON.
5. Pompously clever round face (6)
Charade of SLY (clever) around (round) MUG (face).
6. See 11 Across
10. A Southern Italian island is just what it seems (2,2,2)
AS IT IS
Charade of A + S (S. is a common abbreviation for Southern) + IT (It. is a common abbreviation for Italian) + IS (Is. is a common abbreviation for Island) = AS IT IS.
12. Botched speech: Droned about missing head. (5)
HUMMED - H (“droned about” missing head) = UMMED.
14. Slithered around topless and exposed (5)
SNAKED - S (“slithered around” topless) = NAKED.
15. Philosophical being in limitless vessel (4)
VESSEL without the first and last letters (limitless) = ESSE, the philosophical term for being.