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Puzzle 9/4/22 — Explained
The solution and explanation for this week's puzzle.
Here’s the solution to this week’s “Putting It All Together” puzzle, with the parsing of each clue explained and the completed puzzle below. This puzzle has a James Joyce theme, with references to a number of his publications (Exiles, Ulysses, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Dubliners, and Finnegans Wake), major characters from Ulysses (Leopold Bloom, Stephen Dedalus, and Bella Cohen), and some descriptive words about his later writing — Byzantine and Obscene (but, like, in a good way, you know?).
Definitions are italicized, “clue-type” indicators are shown in parentheses, and anagram indicators are additionally marked with an *. Theme clues are highlighted in yellow in the puzzle image below.
Feel free to comment or reach out if you liked something, didn’t get something, or spotted an error!
1. Bishop hovers imposingly over flowers (6)
A charade of B (Bishop, as in the Chess notation) + LOOMS (hovers imposingly over).
4. Haphazardly build northern city (6)
An anagram (Haphazardly*) of BUILD + N (abbreviation for northern) = [Dubli]n.
8. Coffee is for these 100 failures (7)
A charade of C (Roman numeral signifying 100) + LOSERS (failures). “Coffee’s for closers” is a famous line from Glengarry Glen Ross.
9. Boy caresses rear-facing chicken (7)
A reversal (rear-facing) of PETS (caresses) + HEN (chicken) = [Step]hen.
11. Author's drug-filled jellies delight heads of corporate enterprise (5,5)
An envelope (filled) of JAMS (jellies) with “E” inside + JOY (delight) + the first letters (heads) of Corporate Enterprise.
12. Doubtful I'll fight for you initially (4)
The first letters (initially) of I’ll Fight For You.
13. Ancient stone tablet hidden in toothpaste laboratory (5)
A container clue (hidden) with the words toothpaSTE LAboratory. A stela is an inscribed stone tablet.
14. Fleet commanders laid arms after skirmish (8)
An anagram (after skirmish*) of LAID ARMS.
16. An elegant picture: Fortified wine and limitless spirit! (8)
A charade of PORT (fortified wine) and RAIT, which is wRAITh (spirit) without its first and last letters (limitless).
18. Behold! American with curly tail is appalling. (5)
A charade of LO (Behold) + US (American) + Y, which is the last letter (tail) of curly.
20. Watch ripples in the water come around (4)
A triple definition. “Watch” is a wake in the sense of a funeral vigil. “Ripples in the water” are the wake of a boat. And to “come around” is to wake, or awaken.
21. Troublingly deep in sect of leggy nuisances (10)
An anagram (Troublingly*) of DEEP IN SECT.
23. Drunk old Pole becomes Holy Roman Emperor (7)
An anagram (Drunk*) of OLD POLE. Leopold I was Holy Roman Emperor from July 18, 1658 to May 5, 1705.
24. Someone who took the long way back to Rome? (7)
A cryptic definition. Odysseus famously took the long way back home (literally, an odyssey), but he was known to Latin speakers (“to Rome”) as Ulysses (or Ulixes, but the former is more common).
25. Antelope must turn to stone, says Spooner (6)
A Spoonerism (says Spooner) of BE ROCK (must turn to stone). A reebok is a South African antelope.
26. Former partner is hanging around the French outcasts (6)
An envelope (hanging around) of EX (former partner) and IS (is) with LE (the French — “Le” is French for “The”) inside.
1. Italian beauty is a ringer first (5)
A charade of A (a) with BELL (ringer) at the beginning (first).
2. Old, British, fit, and filthy (7)
A charade of O (an abbreviation for Old used in linguistics) + B (an abbreviation for British) + SCENE (fit, in the sense of throw a fit or make a scene).
3. Dope to tie the knot with Spanish girl, we hear (9)
A homophone clue (we hear) of MARRY JUANA (tie the knot with Spanish girl).
5. Loose relative blows top (5)
A subtraction from AUNTIE (relative) minus its first letter (blows top). “Loose” is being used in its verbal sense.
6. More cheeky than usual by the edge of the dock (7)
A charade of LIP (the edge of) and PIER (the dock).
7. Unexpectedly yelled, "Fun!" in the required manner (9)
An anagram (Unexpectedly*) of YELLED FUN.
10. Unnecessarily complex but handy periodical about pest (9)
A charade of BY (handy, as in “near”) + ZINE (periodical) around (about) ANT (pest).
13. Writer of catchphrases for Wolverine captured by psychic (9)
An envelope of SEER (psychic) with LOGAN (Wolverine) inside (captured by). Logan is the alter-ego of The X-Men’s Wolverine.
15. More than one kiss happening in the big movie theater (9)
A charade of MULTIPLE (More than one) + X (kiss, as one might write it at the end of a letter).
17. Look upwards during match for tropical bird (7)
A reversal (upwards, given that this is a Down clue) of PEER (Look) inside (during) TIE (match, as in draw or equal). A treepie is a magpie-like bird that lives in Southeast Asia.
19. Tool for eating some gluten's illegal! (7)
A container clue (some) with the words glUTEN’S ILlegal.
21. Ma bows on this device roughly 45 inches inside Colorado (5)
A cryptic definition with a charade of ELL (roughly 45 inches — an archaic measurement) inside CO (Colorado, abbreviated). “Ma” here is Yo Yo Ma, the famous cellist. “Bows” is being used in the sense of drawing a bow across an instrument, rather than in the sense of bending down to show respect.
22.Odds these are not timeless episodes? (5)
A subtraction from EVENTS (episodes), removing the T (timeless — T is a common abbreviation for “Time” in physics equations).