Feb 24, 2008

Sunday, Feb 24, 2008 Alan P. Olschwang

Theme: Actor's Ego (Will Rogers Quip)

27A: Start of Will Rogers quip: The movies enable an

54A: Part 2 of the quip: Actor not only

69A: Part 3 of the quip: To act but also to sit down

87A: Part 4 of the quip: In the theater

115A: End of quip: And clap for himself

Can anyone please tell me what's the difference between a "quote" and a "quip"? If a "quip" is supposed to be funny and witty, then this one is not, at least, not to me. It's just an ordinary "quote". Or am I the only one who does not get it?

I did not enjoy Mr. Olschwang's last puzzle either. "It's better to have loved and lost than never to have lost at all". It did not make sense to me.

So I started today's puzzle with a very bad attitude. Could not summon up enough enthusiasm for a quip puzzle. But I was able to fill in these foreign words quickly: PERE (father), ETE (summer), ILS (they), MERCI and GRACIAS (Thank you), Coup d'ETAT, AMAH (Indian housemaid), NATALE (Christmas in Roma), LESE-majesty, TSAR (Russian Ruler). FRIA (cold in Chile) was the only one that escaped me.

Although Mr. Olschwang did not bring out more 2-toed, or 3-toed sloths (AIS and UNAU) today, he still managed to frustrate me with a few legitimate fills. I never heard of the Sportscaster Rashad (AHMAD), never heard of Conductor Antal (DORATI), never heard of Greek island (CORFU). And the word TUAREG for (77A: Member of a Saharan nomadic tribe) just looked plain wrong to me. I really like the clue for 110D: Friendly or Savage (FRED). Very cleverly misleading.

Here are the across entries:

1A: Plantation machine: BALER

6A: Makes lace: TATS

10A: Creative Coward: NOEL. English actor. He is in the original The Italian Job. I like the 2003 version with Mark Wahlberg and Donald Sutherland. Charlize Theron is in it too.

14A: Puccini opera: TOSCA. Learned from doing crossword.

19A: Organic compound: AMINE

20A: Taj Mahal site: AGRA. I tend to confuse this one with the Turkish title AGA.

21A: Actor Gross: ARYE. I actually saw Gone in Sixty Second, but I did not remember him.

22A: Ferber and O'Brien: EDNAS

23A: Soho so longs: TATAS

26A: Closes in: NEARS

30A: "__ Gotta Be Me": I'VE. OK, I am not going to make another mistake today. It's Sammy Davis Jr. Song. Buddy Holly's song is "I've got to be me". ' N Sync song: "It's Gonna Be Me."

31A: Demonstrates connections: RELATES

32A: Et __ (and others): ALII. This is the masculine plural, the feminine plural is et aliae, the neuter plural is et alia.

33A: Gin cocktail: GIMLET

35A: Securely closed: SEALED

37A: Tightly packed: DENSE

39A: Hangman's knot: NOOSE. The Golfweek Noose Debacle!

41A: NL Braves: ATL (Atlanta Braves)

42A: Yule mo.: DEC

45A: Moon vehicle, briefly: LEM (Lunar Excursion Module).

46A: Verbalize an ache: MOAN

50A: Hand part: PALM

52A: Scot Roy: ROB. Scottish folk hero.

58A: Eyelid woes: STYES

60A: Mil. unit: REGT (Regiment)

62A: "Twelfth Night" duke: ORSINO. Unknown to me.

63A: Building wing: ELL

64A: Double-breasted jacket: REEFER. It looks like this.

66A: Hot time in Paris: ETE. French winter is d'hiver.

67A: Playground rejoinder to "am not": ARE TOO

75A: Stir to action: INCITE

76A: Upper limit: CAP

77A: Member of a Saharan nomadic tribe: TUAREG. Please google it yourself and see how you like their image.

78A: O. T. Book: MIC (Micah)

79A: Sensual: EROTIC

82A: One of the Simpsons: BART. Homer, Marge, Bart and Lisa.

83A: Religious denominations: SECTS

90A: Sleuth Spade: SAM

92A: Get to one's feet: RISE

93A: Lucy's love: DESI. I Love Lucy.

94A: They: Fr.: ILS

95A: Totality: SUM

97A: Long of "The Broken Hearts Club": NIA. Our editor loves Nia.

99A: Elongated fish: GAR. Another frequent offender.

100A: California/Nevada lake: TAHOE

103A: Group of eight: OCTAD

105A: "Broken Arrow" co-star: ANSARA (Michael). He is another stranger to me.

107A: Give one's consent: ACCEDE

110A: Casa component: SALA (large living room)

112A: Having richer soil: LOAMIER. I think we need loamy soil for our cucumber this year. Ours never tasted as good as the ones sold at the Farmer's Market.

114A: Maglie of baseball: SAL. Nicknamed "Sal the Barber." He is not in HOF, in case you wonder.

120A: Street talk: SLANG

122A: Netherlands city: ROTTERDAM, the second largest city in the Netherlands, after Amsterdam.

123A: Essential perfume: ATTAR

124A: I wasn't there at the time, e. g.: ALIBI

125A: Moonfish: OPAH. It looks pretty.

126A: Tiny amount: IOTA

127A: Volunteer's words: LET ME

128A: Explorer Polo: MARCO

129A: French father: PERE.

130A: Very dry: ARID

131A: Proud mount: STEED. I think this word has appeared at least 3 times since I started my blog.

Down entries:

1D: Fabric stuffing: BATT. Did not know this word.

2D: Indian housemaid: AMAH

3D: Strictly speaking: LITERALLY

4D: Tooth covering: ENAMEL

5D: Mended shoes: RESOLED

6D: Unspoken: TACIT

7D: Came to terms: AGREED

8D: Supporting pieces: TRUSSES. Did not know this constructional term.

9D: Notorious marquis: SADE. Marquis de Sade. He was sick. Why not clue Sade as Singer of "Smooth Operator"? I could not tell you how much I love Sade's " Somebody Already Broken My Heart".

10D: Christmas in Roma: NATALE. Buon Natale.

11D: Pygmy antelope: ORIBI. I did not know any kind of antelope, not to mention pygmy antelope.

12D: Some makeup products: EYE LINERS. Finally a gimme.

13D: __ - majesty: LESE. This is the highest crime you can commit against your country, isn't it?

14D: Ashe Stadium sport: TENNIS

16D: Exemplar of slowness: SNAIL

18D: Advantage: ASSET

19D: Momentarily: In A SEC. I like answer. Very colloquial.

34D: Interoffice communique: MEMO

35D: Digs a trench: SAPS. Did not know that sap can mean "dig trench in the ground."

36D: Coup d'__: ETAT

38D: Clean and tidy: NEAT

40D: Former Atlanta arena: OMNI. I am so proud that I got this one.

43D: Greek island: CORFU. I put Crete first.

45D: Young or Swit: LORETTA. Knew Loretta young, never heard of Loretta Swit. She was in M*A*S*H.

47D: A customer lead-in: ONE TO. I don't understand this one, what is "one to a customer?"

48D: Give permission: ALLOW

49D: Hose material: NYLON

51D: Thanks, Pierre: MERCI

53D: Sugar source: BEET

55D: Dog in Oz: TOTO

56D: Radio studio sign: ON AIR

57D: Rich desserts: TORTES. Speak of desserts, Krispy Kreme just closed their last store here in MN.

59D: Medium-sized sofa: SETTEE

61D: Thanks, Pedro: GRACIAS

65D: Chicago-based film critic: EBERT (Roger)

66D: 6th sense: ESP (Extrasensory Perception)

68D: Lawn tool: EDGER

69D: Shy: TIMID

70D: Cat - ___-tails: O' NINE. See here. It's a whipping device.

71D: Banking holdings: abbr: ACCTS (Accounts)

72D: Milk: pref: LACT

74D: Evil personified: SATAN

80D: Buckeye State: OHIO

81D: Astronomer's instrument: TELESCOPE

82D: Very dry, as champagne: BRUT

84D: Tobacco product: CIGARETTE

85D: Russian ruler: TSAR

86D: Medicinal fluids: SERA (Serum is the single form)

88D: "Women and Love" author: HITE. Her name was in Friday's puzzle, the clue is Sex researcher Hite (SHERE).

89D: Break free: ESCAPE

91D: Home of the Heat: MIAMI. Miami Heat, the NBA team.

96D: Stench: MALODOR

98D: Beasts: ANIMALS

101D: Slowly, in music: ADAGIO. What's the difference between "lento" and "adagio?"

103D: Kansas city: OLATHE. Did not know this city. It's ranked 13th in the CNN 2006 "100 best cities to live in the US."

104D: Conductor Antal: DORATI. I am very weak in conductor/composer names.

105D: Sonnet part: SESTET

107D: Isolated Indian State: ASSAM. Famous for its tea.

108D: Type of lilly: CALLA

109D: Verlaine poem: "__ de lune:": CLAIR. Knew it from doing crossword.

111D: Bridal path end: ALTAR

113D: Sportscaster Rashad: AHMAD. He actually played for the Vikings. Wikipedia did not tell me why he changed his original name Robert to Ah-Mad.

116D: Hit the dirt: DROP

117D: Cold, in Chile: FRIA. It it correct here? I could not find this word in any dictionary. Frio is a word meaning cold.

118D: Kind of duck: LAME

119D: Friendly or Savage: FRED. Never heard of them before. Fred Friendly was the former president of CBS News. He and Ed Murrow created the "See it Now." I like Fred Savage's brother Ben, who was playing Cory in "Boys Meets World."

121D: Peacock network: NBC

OK, here are something unrelated to crosswords: my prediction for Oscar tonight:

Best Actor: Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises)

Best Actress: Julie Christie (Away from Her)

Supporting Actor: Casey Affleck (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford)

Supporting Actress: Cate Blanchett (I Am Not There)

Best director: the Cohen brothers (No Country for Old Men)

Best picture: No Country for Old Men

I will also pick up Sicko for best documentary, Juno for best original screenplay, and Ratatouille as the best animated film.

C. C.


Anonymous said...

Hi, clue was clean and tidy (not dirty)

C.C. Burnikel said...

Thanks for pointing it out. I've changed it.


Anonymous said...

Ahmad Rashad was a wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings. After retiring he became a sportscaster.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Anonymous at 5:07pm,

Thanks for the information.

I did a bit more digging, and found out that Ahmad means "highly praised" in Arabic. I was baffled by why he called himself Ahmad.

C. C.

Anonymous said...

enjoy the site -learning more each day-I am new to this addictive past-time

C.C. Burnikel said...

Anonymous at 7:08pm,

It's a healthy addiction. No side effect.

By the way, many of us are new solvers here.

C. C.

Anonymous said...

Didn't care for the ARYE/ORIBI crossing. Never heard of either one, and no good way to guess that it was an R that was missing, vs. a N or L or just about anything else.

Orange said...

I'd say that a quote theme features an actual quote from a real person or character, while a quip theme has some sort of joke or observation that isn't a quote from anyone in particular.

You will see relatively few quote or quip puzzles in the New York Times. Why? Because most of them have just one little "aha" moment, vs. a regular Sunday theme having six to ten separate "aha" moments when you figure out each theme entry. (And Will Shortz wants his solvers to have fun.) The back-and-forth reliance on the Down answers to piece the quote or quip together feels like drudgery to a lot of us.

C.C. Burnikel said...


As a novice solver, I have not reached the level to structurally analyze a puzzle like you do right now on this crossing of Oribi & Arye.

But I do see your point. Maybe when I am getting better, I will see that too.

C. C.

C.C. Burnikel said...


When I was struggling with the quip yesterday, I thought of what you talked on the radio on Will Shortz' take on the quote. And I thought of that third caller Roger, who mentioned how much he hated Tribune's Sunday quip.

So, in your opinion, is this Will Rogers' saying a quote or a quip?

I've developed a very negative feeling towards Mr. Olschwang. I know I should not, but I really have difficulty understanding his humor behind the quips (3 times in a row I think).

Thank you.

C. C.

Anonymous said...

fria is a head cold.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Thank you very much for the information, Anonymous at 8:47pm. I will share this information with others.

C. C.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me how I can find the actual puzzle. I found the Tribune but could not access Sundays puzzle

C.C. Burnikel said...


The Star Tribune Newspaper here in Minnesota has Monday-Sunday Puzzles

They have a different set of puzzle on their website, the Universal syndicate.

If you live in Chicago, then your paper only get Monday to Saturday puzzles. I have no idea why you do not have Sunday puzzle.

C. C.

Anonymous said...

I am referring to the puzzle that appears in this blog. My friend lives in Ct and her paper is the same puzzle. I was trying to find this puzzle online, so we could try and solve it together. She does not know how to scan and send a copy. Thanks