Feb 22, 2008

Friday, Feb 22, 2008 Willy A. Wiseman

Theme: Familiar Phrases starting B_T, the vowels are in A-E-I-O-U order.

17A: Swimsuit models: BATHING BEAUTIES

23A: Intuitive Reading?: BETWEEN THE LINES

40A: Facing misfortune bravely: BITING THE BULLET

53A: Ace place?: BOTTOM OF THE DECK


A few things to say before I start today's puzzle:

1) On Feb 3 Sunday Arlan and Linda Bushman puzzle, the answer for 86D: Brace or Span is TWO. Can anyone please explain to me why? (Update: Thanks to Joey and Dennis, now I know that brace/span means a pair, as in a span of horses, a brace of dogs. I hope Curt of Palm Beach Post is reading this).

2) On yesterday's puzzle, the answer for 44D: Upstate NY School is RPI. I thought you would be interested to know that that young guy Tyler Hinman, who won the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament the last three years, graduated from RPI. I have to thank Orange for providing me with this information.

By the way, tonight, both Orange and Tyler will be on the Nick Digilio Show (Chicago WGN 720AM). There is supposed to be "Listen Now!" button on their website. Go there if you have time, maybe you can glean a few wisdom from these 2 ace solvers.

3) If you have not watched the movie Wordplay, please put it on your Netflix queue. Can you believe that someone can finish one puzzle in a little over 2 minutes? That's insane.

OK, back to today's puzzle. I breezed through the upper left corner and the middle left section, and spotted the B_T pattern fairly quickly, which allowed me to sweep through the gut part and the lower left corner of the puzzle. Bubba Watson (23D: Watson of golf) might stump some of you, but it's a gimme for most of the golf fans (me included). This guy is crazy in his tee shots (longest drive: 398 yards).

But then I was bogged down on the upper right part of the puzzle. It's a nightmare for me. I did not know what to fill for 15A: Judith or Dana (IVEY), all that came to my mind was a picture of Dana Milbank of Washington Post appearing on MSNBC discussing Judith Miller's CIA leak case. I really had no idea who was Mohammed's favorite wife (AYESHA), I did not even know that he was married. This is a bit disturbing, I found out that he married this girl when she was only 6-year-old.

For your information, today's constructor Mr. Wiseman also gave us the golf themed Bogey-Par-Birdie-Eagle puzzle on Jan. 25 Friday and the broken heart puzzle on Sunday Feb 10.

Here are the across entries:

1A: Somewhat wet: DAMP

5A: Poet Teasdale: SARA. Have you read her poem "I shall not care"?

9A: Tibetan capital: LHASA. Also known as the real Forbidden City.

15A: Judith or Dana: IVEY. Both are actresses. Generally I suck at movie stars names, esp if they are old.

16A: 2nd-year coeds: SOPHS (Sophomores)

17A: Swimsuit models: BATHING BEAUTIES. For a moment, I thought all the theme entries will be alliterations.

20A: Math branch: ALG

29A: Ms. Thurman: UMA. Kill Bill.

30A: Take a load of: SIT

31A: Cuckoopint: ARUM. Learned this word a few weeks ago.

32A: Rope fiber: BAST

34A: Part of Can.: NWT (Northwest Territory)

44A: Coeur d'___, ID: ALENE

45A: River in Devon: EXE. Another river in England. I got it from the down clues.

47A: End of demo: CRAT (as in Democrat)

52A: Meas. across: DIA (Diameter)

60A: "__ Gotta Be Me": I'VE. Sammy Davis Jr. Song. Sorry about the mistake earlier. Buddy Holly song is "I've Got to be me". I put "It's" first, thinking of the "It's Gonna be me" by 'N Sync.

68A: Satellite of Jupiter: ELARA. Mr. Wiseman used the exact clue for his last puzzle.

69A: Squat down: DUCK

70A: Philosopher Immanuel: KANT. His idea is too abstract for me. I love the concept of "Dare to Know" though.

71A: Letter flourish: SERIF

72A: Makes up one's mind: OPTS

73A: Word before jerk or water: SODA

Down entries:

1D: Localize the soundtrack: DUB

2D: Candler or Gray: ASA. Candler is the Coca Cola guy (Candler's Park in Atlanta). ASA is often clued as the botanist Gray.

4D: Pish!: PSHAW!

5D: Scorching superficially: SINGEING

6D: Part of GPA: AVG (Average)

6D: Attempt to disprove: REBUT

8D: Mohammed's favorite wife: AYESHA. Wikipedia shows that it can also be spelled as A'isha. Does anyone know how many wives Mohammed had?

9D: Baton Rouge sch.: LSU (Louisiana State University, Shaq O'Neal's alma mater).

11D: Concerning bees: APIAN

12D: Sex researcher Hite: SHERE. Never heard of her. Kinsey is the only name that came to my mind.

13D: Nincompoops: ASSES

18D: French islands: ILES

19D: Computer brand: ACER. I put Dell first. Acer is a huge electronic manufacturer based in Taiwan. In fact, it's the third largest PC producer in the world, after HP and Dell.

23D: Watson of golf: BUBBA. He tied for 5th in last year's US Open I think. I love Tom Watson of the Sr. PGA Tour a lot.

25D: Discernment: TASTE

26D: Contents abbreviation: NT WT (Net Weight)

27D: Maui feast: LUAU

28D: Hint at: IMPLY

33D: Add color to: TINCT

37D: Slip away from: ELUDE

38D: Old treasure: RELIC

41D: Actor Franco: NERO. Italian actor. Never heard of him before. Heard of James Franco though.

43D: Remembers, once: BETHINKS

48D: God of Thebes: AMON. Also spelled as Amen, an Egytian God, represented as a man with a ram's head. Thebes is an ancient city in Egypt.

49D: Ohio city: TOLEDO

51D: Golfer Ballesteros: SEVE. This guy can chip! He is a golf genius.

53D: "___ in Toyland": BABES. A band formed here in Minnesota.

54D: Early-stage seed: OVULE

55D: Crimean man: TATAR

56D: Sick and tired: FED UP

62D: Dent or corn starter: TRI (Trident and Tricorn)

63D: Clumsy fellow: OAF

64D: 10 of calendars: OCT

65D: Thai ethnic group: LAO. I bet this is a gimme for my blog reader Alan in Thailand.

66D: Ky.neighbor: IND

67D: School org: PTA: This has to go to the Repeat Offender list.



Anonymous said...

Thank you again. I appreciate your comments too explaining the origin or background of the word, quote or whatever. I also like how you are soooo honest about not having heard of somebody or something. What is a cuckoopint besides Arum? and who would know this? I think "Bebes" was meant to be "Babes". How long did it take you to do this puzzle?

C.C. Burnikel said...

I spent about 30 minutes struggling with the puzzle, then I ran out my patience and started googling.

I am pretty good at baseball (The Enos Slaughter the other day was an exception)and political clues. A bit of golf and modern day gossip.

I suck at all the other areas.


Anonymous said...

Measure across is actually diameter. :o) I was a math geek.

Also Coeur d'___, ID: ALENE tends to be a repeat offender.

I agree w/anonymous - "Babes" rather than "Bebes".

And a total non sequitar - now, in addition to completing the crossword on a daily, I now read your blog everyday. Thanks!

C.C. Burnikel said...


I've locked Mr. ALENE in the jail. Thanks.

Thank you also for pointing out the DIA mistake. Wow, I wonder if I was alone in thinking it as Diagonal rather than Diameter. If I read the clue carefully, it should point to a noun rather than an adj.

I am sorry about the Babes mistake. I should have corrected it earlier.


Anonymous said...


I was pointed here by Orange's blog. It's nice to get a chance to pick someone's thoughts on the TMS puzzle, since most other blogs cover the NYT or others.

The Minnesota Daily (campus paper for the UofM) also runs this puzzle. Orange mentioned that she's seen different clues than those the STrib publishes. It would be interesting to see if the STrib and Daily clues always match.

Anonymous said...

"I've Gotta Be Me" was written by Walter Marks and sung by Sammy Davis Jr. and in fact is closely associated with him. Far as I know Buddy Holly had nothing to do with it.

Anonymous said...

The Virginian-Pilot also runs this puzzle. It's great to hear other thoughts on the daily puzzles.

Anonymous said...

Using Google book search type in brace or span is two.

46 A from Sunday's puzzle



two girders being employed to support two lines of railway; these girders have a depth equal to one-eighth of the span; and two series of braces, all placed at an angle of 46°, so that tbe span is divided into eight equal bays or sub-spans.

Dennis said...

Hi - a 'brace' or 'span' of horses or oxen is a pair, usually used in reference to yoked animals pulling something.

C.C. Burnikel said...


I really don't understand how come Chicago Tribune can change their clues, since we are of the same TMS syndication.

By the way, everyone, if you see your clues different than mine, please let me known.

Anonymous at 9:45am, thanks for the correction. I confused "I've gotta be me" with "I've got to be me".

Anonymous at 10:00am, thanks for stopping by.

Anonymous at 10:20am,I think Dennis' & Joey'(thanks for the mail Joey)explanations are correct here.
But thanks for introducing the idea of google book search. Never used it before.

Dennis, hope you are the crockett1947.

C. C.

Anonymous said...

The Oregonian also runs this crossword... In Portland, Oregon... I appreciate your assistance. I am less than stellar at these, but then again I am still much younger than all of you...

C.C. Burnikel said...

Anonymous at 5:51pm,

Does the Oregonian run this puzzle from Monday to Sunday or only from Monday to Saturday?

C. C.

Little Lj said...

bad bad day for me.. maybe cos it's the end of the week and i'm tired but i had to give up and come here in the end. I had all the B's at the beginning of the theme answers filled, and had got the last one BUTTONED ONES LIP but was having a lot of trouble making headway anywhere else, so didn't get what the theme was other than they all began with 'B'


Although I would like to say I did a little squeal when I filled in EXE. This was a gimme for me as this river runs through the city of Exeter in Devon, England, which is also where I went to college! Excited to see it in a crossword this side of the pond! Does that make me a loser?! haha!

Douglas said...

I just found out about your blog from orange. I hope you will stop by Crossword Bebop sometime.

I don't know of anyone else blogging about the TMS crosswords, so I believe you are providing a valuable service to solvers of crossword puzzles!

C.C. Burnikel said...

Little lj,

Next time I won't be stumped by this river again. Will always associate it with you. I admire you for tackling American puzzles.


Thank you for stopping by. I did not even know that Star Tribune puzzle is a TMS syndication until I started my blog.

I actually went to your blog a few times via Orange's blog. And I am sure I will visit you more often in the future as I am getting better acquainted with the crossword world .

C. C.

Anonymous said...

Hi all,
Found your site while "googling" an answer. I get this puzzle in the Dayton Daily News in south western Ohio. I am a beginner with terrible spelling, but my mother and husband were great at crosswords. I started doing them because I was having "word finding problems." It has helped a lot. Thanks again to everyone for the assistance.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Thanks for stopping by anonymous at 3:46pm.

Just keep plugging. You will make improvement soon.

C. C.

Anonymous said...

I believe the Oregonian only runs it Monday-Saturday.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Yes. Your Sunday Puzzle is the NY Times' syndication (see crockett1947's comment on Feb 25's puzzle).

I am a bit puzzled by that. I wonder why certain local papers (the Oregonian is not the only one) have 2 syndications on weekdays/Sunday.

C. C.