Dec 24, 2011

Saturday, Dec 24th, 2011 Jack McInturff

Theme: None

Words: 72

Blocks: 33

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to all ~!! This is not Jack FROST nipping at your nose, but Jack McInturff nipping at your noggin - or is that egg-nog doing that???

I just checked to see when we last saw Jack McInturff, and he gave us our Thanksgiving Eve puzzle, too - now he is here with our Christmas Eve puzzle, and I do believe it is his first Saturday puzzle, tho he has given us Sundays before. I have to admit, this was the first time I went to Google to find an answer because I got stuck in the NE corner, and it was due to my mistake of thinking SGTS was the E-7 rank; more at 10D....

Anyway, this one was tough, and I cheated, but what can I say....triple 9's and 8's in a pinwheel fashion, with those frustrating one word clues, and some deception as well. I do like the early morning brain battle.

Onward ~!

Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen ~!

Comet, Cupid, Donder, and Blitzen ~!


1. Totally : STONE COLD

10. Rigs on the road : SEMIs

15. Annual All-American Soap Box Derby site : AKRON, OHIO - I knew this answer, but couldn't recall the city, so I put in OHIO, and waited....

16. Old French capital? : FRANC - how funny is this??? I was stuck on SOU and ECU for so long from doing crosswords, that FRANC totally eluded me until I changed my 10D answer

17. One may be marching : BRASS BAND

18. Keyboardist who founded Return to Forever : COREA - did not know this; I am sure JazzB was "HIP" to him; a little clip for you

19. Rembrandt van __ : RYN - I WAGed at RIN, should have known it was a "Y"; also 32A. Rug with a long pile : RYA - standard in crosswordese

20. Certain protests : SIT-INs - or bed-ins, as done by our last clue/answer

22. "Friends" actress, familiarly : JENnifer Aniston, my personal fave from a show I did NOT watch

23. Spread __ : EAGLE

26. Pmt.-lowering option : RE-FInance

27. Lacking a partner : ODD - as in socks, not people....ah.

28. Blessed event? : SNEEZE - by not reading this as Bless -ED, I was able to nail it

30. Italy's Como, per esempio : LAGO - Italian for Lake

33. Fancy layer : GILT - UGH ~! This one stumped me, and had to go letter cycling before the "G" made sense in both across and down....

35. "__ out!" : YER - not GET, which also has the central "E"

36. Giant in a 2000 merger : AOL - America On Line, did not know this (From C.C.: The AOL./Time Warner merge. Debacle.)

37. 1980s Screen Actors Guild president : ED ASNER - boy this guy gets around in crosswords, doesn't he!?!? Such user/solver-friendly letters, and his 'full' name

40. "The Complaint of Peace" essayist, 1521 : ERASMUS

42. Eastern Med. country : LEBanon

43. Ophelia's niece, in "Uncle Tom's Cabin" : EVA

44. TV Stone Age pet : DINO - the Flintstones "dog", so to speak

45. Court figs. : D.A.s - District Attorneys, part of the LAW side of LAW & ORDER, a favorite TV show of mine

46. Lacking : SANS - French, 'without'

48. Town across the Connecticut River from Springfield, Mass. : AGAWAM - map

52. Ring support : OLE - AH ~!! The cry from the crowd ~!! The ring being the bullfight

53. Baker's meas. : TSPs

55. Puck's eatery : SPAGO - not in my wheelhouse - this place

56. Veep before LBJ : RMN - A WAG, tho I knew he was in politics for a long time, Richard Milhous Nixon

57. Candy heart phrase : BE MINE - I tried being cute with "I LOVE U"

59. Gnarly : RAD - Helps to have a teenager in one's life for this kind of language - in my case it was my generation that typically found "cool" things to be Gnarly, and RAD - but I never said either word unless I was trying to be sarcastic - think Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure

60. Big name in insurance : AETNA

62. One of two in a historic 1869 Utah meeting : IRON HORSE - Dah ~!!! I knew it was the two trains meeting at Promontory Summit, but STEAM TRAIN didn't fit, nor LOCOMOTIVE

65. "Sharky's Machine" author : DIEHL - this guy; WAGed the "H"

66. Classroom concern : TARDINESS

67. Wee hr. : ONE A.M. - I am DONE at UPS as of 9am this morning - spent all week getting up at 12 midnight for a ONE A.M. shift, getting out at 9-10am. How about you Dennis? Are you 0 & 1 w/u now?

68. Deliberate : SLEEP ON IT - De-li-BER-ate, as in a jury, not De-LIB'rate, as in an intentional act


1. Buffalo skaters : SABRES - Hockey Hockey Hockey ~!! My Rangers beat their Winter Classic rivals the Philadelphia Flyers, once again, this time 4-2. The outdoor game is a week from Monday, and New Year's Eve is an alumni (there's some CW for you) game of the retired types - should be a lot of fun, yes eddyB ~?

2. "Tumbleweeds" cartoonist : T.K. RYAN - good way to get a four-consonant word in the grid, with T-K-R-Y - this guy and his strip

3. Fruit in a knock-knock joke : ORANGE - OK, OK, I wanted Banana, and you get 'em both~!

4. Negatives : Nos

5. Cannes duo : ENS - ah, not the French number, but the two "N"s in the word caNNes

6. Picnic trash : COBS - Corn centers, leftover

7. 2011 Canadian Open champ Sean : O'HAIR - golf, this guy

8. Architectural support : LINTEL - A steel L-bar that spans a masonry opening over a window or door, e.g., and carries the weight of the load above; also decorative, as in this instance

9. "Chariots of Fire" executive producer : DODI FAYED - more famous for his romantic link and death with Princess Diana

10. E-7 Army personnel : SFCs - the killer for me, a Sergeant First Class - my friend Jim is in the Army, has about 6 years left, and the last I heard, he was an E-6, and deployed to Afghanistan; I wonder if he got holiday leave....

11. Ranch closing? : ERO - Ranchero

12. Mint family herb : MARJORAM

13. "Help me" : I NEED YOU - too long to fit on a candy heart ???

14. Checkout counter newspaper fodder : SCANDALS - Aww, I wanted UFO IS GOD, or something much more investigative - I was looking for that scene from MiB where they "check the hot sheets", the supermarket tabloids

21. Gulf of Guinea country : NIGERIA

24. Staying power : LEGS - ah, yes to say "it has legs" means it (or they) will last - all I want for Christmas is these two hot legs

25. Web issues : EZINES - hey, I don't mind the E- or A- words, but I am getting tired of all the I- things you can buy these days; I am getting rid of my i P.O.S. for Christmas

29. Raise : ELEVATE

31. Asian swingers : ORANGs - Primates, but I thought they didn't do much in the trees

34. Sends : TRANSMITS

37. Poe poem written at the time of the California Gold Rush : EL DORADO - here

38. Cardplayer's request : DEAL ME IN

39. Type of ballot : ABSENTEE

41. Suds source : SOAP - not FOAM, and not BEER

47. Cochlea shape : SPIRAL

49. Underground home : WARREN

50. Two-time U.S. Open champ : AGASSI - tennis

51. Unassuming : MODEST

54. Nighttime disturbance, at times : SNORE

57. Healer : BALM

58. Cologne conclusion : ENDE - more French, I believe (C.C.: German for "end".)

61. New Deal home loan gp. : NHA - Here's a great site that lists all of them, I think

63. Trendy : HIP

64. "Double Fantasy" artist : ONO - not a fan

Answer grid.

I have one last 2-hour shift at UPS at 7am today, sorting overnight Air packages, and then I am back to my regular schedule on Tuesday

- yea ~~!!!!



Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

This one was... rough. Lots of unknowns today, including T.K. RYAN, OHAIR, DIEHL and SPAGO. I've heard of AGAWAM, being from Massachusetts and all, but couldn't get it from the clue. Similarly, I've heard of DODI FAYED from his connection to Princess DI, but had no idea he was an executive producer of "Chariots of Fire."

Two WAGs got the job done today. The Y in RYN/T.K. RYAN and the H in DIEHL/NHA. Didn't feel too good about those, but I did manage to finish unassisted, so there's that.

Hope everybody celebrating ha a wonderful Christmas Eve! I've got gingerbread men cookies to bake this afternoon with my son and then I have to cook the family feast this evening...

Dennis said...

Good morning, Splynter, C.C. and gang - this one handed me my lunch this morning - needed perping almost from the start.

T,K. Ryan was an unknown, marjoram popped out of the deep recesses, didn't know Dodi Fayed was involved with Chariots of Fire, sure as hell didn't know the town across from Springfield Mass (are you kidding me?), couldn't remember who wrote Sharky's Machine, never heard of Sean O'Hair. Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln....

Actually enjoyed the puzzle because of the challenge, and because the perps got me through it, and of course, as always, loved Splynter's take on it.

Hope it's a stress-free, outstanding day for everyone, especially those of our group going through difficult times. You're in our thoughts.

HeartRx said...

Good morning Splynter, C.C. et al.

I thought I wasn’t going to finish this one, but things started falling into place little by little. I also didn’t know about DODI FAYED’s involvement in Chariots of Fire, but perps demanded his name.

Spiraling triples of 9s and 8s didn’t seem too daunting for a Saturday at first. But I think triple stacks of 15 are actually easier. Once you get an answer, you have a lot more of the puzzle filled in with that arrangement. In this one, each section had to be tackled separately. So, a fine job, Mr. McInturff!

I’m making Beef Wellington for dinner this Christmas Eve, with pecan pie for dessert. So it’s off to the kitchen for me!

thehondohurricane said...

Good day folks,

Other than the NE corner, I had to google something or two in each of the other corners. Marjoram, Iron Horse, Diehl. Rya, Corea, SFS's, & Cochlea shape were all Huh's.

Agawam was a gimmee. it's only a short distance from where we reside.

But Mr G , perps, and a WAG or two were the order of the day. Still, I found this puzzle enjoyable to work through, even though I consider it a DNF .

I'll be posting on an itinerant schedule for a while because of "stuff". We are fine, its just January is building up to be a zoo with things we have to do be fore the 25th. That's when we leave for our Hawaiian cruise.

Seasonal greetings to those who celebrate from a Connecticut Yankee.

Barry, I'll trade you some of my wife's cookies for some gingerbread men.

Yellowrocks said...

Happy Birthday to Fermatprime. Merry Christmas to all who ce