Feb 27, 2008

Wednesday, Feb 27, 2008 Philip J. Anderson

Theme: PAIRS

17A: Cell mates?: Partners in Crime

35A: Nest mates?: Birds of a Feather

53A: Bench mates?: Second Stringers

Do you guys ever read the Comments part of my blog? At the end of my daily blog entry, you will see the word Comments (see the signs of an envelop and a pen?). Just click on it and comment on. Let us share your miseries/glees!

You will also find the word Labels. Click on the name of the constructor, you will get all his works since I started blogging (Jan 21, 2008). Tribune Media seems to have a very small pool of constructors, don't you think so? Or you never pay attention to who the author is?

It's another bumpy ride for me today. I was jolted by quite a few unknown words/names. Sea cows (5D: MANATEES) was hard, making it difficult for me to to infer 23A: Mikita of Hockey (STAN), whom I never heard of. 37D: Amazon snake (ANACONDA) was also too formidable for me to give a whack. I did get its parallel clue 36D: Poisonous shrub (OLEANDER), though I never heard of the shrub.

Across clues:

1A: Ricochet: CAROM. Often clued as pool shot.

2A: Charity: ALMS

18A: Clothing lines: HEMS

14A: "Butterfield 8" author: O'HARA (John). He wrote honestly and well, indeed.

15A: Minute skin opening: PORE

16A:Latin Lesson word: AMAT (Latin: she/he/it loves). See yesterday's puzzle.

21A: Heaps: A LOT

22A: Petty dictator: SATRAP. I had difficulty understanding the clue. A dictator always has absolute power, petty ones never make it to the dictatorship, no?

According to my dictionary, SATRAP is originally "the governor of a province in ancient Persia". Now it mean a ruler of a dependency, esp a despotic, subordinate official, petty tyrant.

23A: Mikita of hockey: STAN. Maybe he is a gimme for hockey fans. I just found out that Mr. Anderson clued STAN as Comic Laurel in his Feb 13 puzzle.

24A: Adjutant: AIDE

25A: New York island: STATEN. Did not know this. Never been to NY. All my understanding of NY is from either Law and Order, or NYPD Blues.

28A: Flows back: EBBS

29A: Spigot: TAP

32A: Debate: ARGUE

33A: Shrinking Asian sea: ARAL. You want to cement this one in your brain? Then look at this map.

34A: Overfill: SATE

38A: Cockney abodes: 'OMES (Homes). Cockneys live in the East of London. In their accent, letter "h" is dropped.

39A: Tilt, at sea: LIST

40A: Hangman's knot: NOOSE.

41A: Half a fly?: TSE

42A: Richard of "Chicago": GERE

43A: Editorial symbols: CARETS

44A: Scottish hillside: BRAE

45A: Stunning stuff: MACE. I like this clue. I was thinking of those Shock & Awe feat.

46A: Lenin's successor: STALIN

49A: Han or Napoleon: SOLO. Han Solo is from Star War, Napoleon Solo is from The Man from U. N. C. L. E.

50A: Louvre Pyramid architect: PEI ( I. M. Pei). He also designed the JFK Library.

56A: Arduous journey: TREK

57A: Pointless Olympic event?: EPEE. I like the clue, a refreshing change.

58A: ___ macabre: DANSE. Dance of Death. I don't like to be reminded of how fragile life is.

59A: Debate faction: SIDE

60A: Ewes' mates: RAMS

61A: Lessen: ABATE

Down entries:

1D: Manilow's nightclub: COPA. Copa Cabana.

2D: Moby Dick's pursuer: AHAB

4D: Table scrap: ORT

5D: Sea cows: MANTATEES. Here is an image for you to remember. They are huge.

6D: Cook's coverage: APRON. Coverage, not cover? I was initially thinking of the explorer James Cook and his coastal coverage.

7D: Among the missing: LOST

8D: Med. scan: MRI

9D: Level-headed: SENSIBLE

10D: "The Lost Galleon" poet: HARTE (Bret). Got his name from across clues.

11D: Bahrain leader: EMIR. I had a friend (a Brit) who lived in Bahrain for a few years in the early 1990s, then he converted into a Muslim. Unbelievable.

12D: Doll's cry: MAMA

18D: Zeal: ELAN

19A: Scoundrels: CADS

24A: Sternward: ABAFT. I put Aback.

25D: Wooden shoe: SABOT. Wooden clog shoe, French call it SABOT.

26D: removes the excess: TRIMS

27D: Come to terms: AGREE

29D: Western resort lake: TAHOE

30D: Bikini event, in headlines: A TEST. Atomic Test, 1945, Bikini Atoll.

31D: Pops in Paris: PERES

36D: Poisonous shrubs: OLEANDER. It's so pretty.

42D: Wide smile: GRIN. I am going to give Bush a rest today.

43D: Colombian city: CALI. Looks like a good place to go if kidnapping is not a problem.

44D: Chap in Soho: BLOKE

45D: Social customs: MORES

47D: Actress Garr: TERI

50D: Catcher Tony: PENA. Gimme for me. He used to be Kansas Royal's coach.

51D: Once, once: ERST

55D: Chew the fat: GAB

Note to reader rosebud: Any subtle crossings today?

C. C.


Anonymous said...

"Harte" tends to be a repeat offender, but with varying clues. I guessed putting him in there. ;o) There were at least 5 repeat offenders today. I don't know if you have it in your list already, but STORE for the clue "mall unit" has been present before.

Had fun with this one today. And it's nice to see that I'm not the only was as compulsive to do the crossword first thing. :o)

Happy Wednesday!

C.C. Burnikel said...


Thanks for the "harte" tip.

You were so wise warning me about Mr. Amo yesterday. I caught him right on this morning.

Yes, "store" does look suspicious. I've put him on the watch list as well.

C. C.

Anonymous said...

only a few mistakes today for me -enjoyed the puzzle-especially when I start out getting the themes or commom phrases. Enjoy reading the comments.

C.C. Burnikel said...

A short note to Katherine,

Your comments for today's puzzle (Feb 27) appeared on Saturday's puzzle comment.

C. C.

Anonymous said...

St. Petersburg Times. Nice blog, without politics would be better,Sarge

Razz said...

Been reading you BLOG for a few days now, good work. I hadn't previously thought about repeat offenders, nice add-on.

Anonymous said...

Easiest puzzle I ever did! In Florida the manatee is ubiquitous.

I actually only saw one once (in 18 years here) and he/she was so ugly. The face-to-face feeling was mutual for "it" instantly disapeared . On the puzzle, maybe I was lucky; what didn't appear ACROSS, materialized DOWN. Completed in 24 minutes - my world record. tigerlarry47

C.C. Burnikel said...


I am going to tone down the Politics, for you and for the State of Florida!


Pls do let me know if you see any word that occurs way too often in the Tribune puzzle. Sometimes I fail to catch them.


C. C.

C.C. Burnikel said...


Now I am going to associate MANATEE with you. Ha ha. Thanks for the story.

Congratulations on your 24-minutes record. I am curious, do you time yourself on Sunday puzzles as well?

C. C.

Anonymous said...

Just to let you know, Petty can also mean being small or minor and of no importance.

Anonymous said...

No comment on ERST and ORT? Both are from 1000-1400 A.D.

I didn't have 50A PENA or 61A ABATE (I considered ABATE and ABASE for "Lessen"), and I didn't know if the American spelling was DANSE macabre or DANCE macabre, so ERST was really hard.

Also, for 42A Richard of "Chicago", I had DALY. But that's Richard Daley, mayor of Chicago, so I went off the rails there.

Unknown said...

Found your blog while googling answers now I'm a daily visitor.

Have been doing these crosswords for more years than I have 'digits'.

My puzzles are published in The Seattle Times. Today's puzzle was an easy one for me but I do have trouble with 'carom' as it sends me to the dictionary every time.


Jim on the left coast said...

I finally got around to signing up. Newspaper is the Seattle Times. I haven't seen it yet today, so I am not peeking.

April said...

I enjoy these notes again--I do these at work when there's time (car sales, ugh), and this one was pretty easy for me, too (as a rookie puzzler). Who knew it the Star Tribune Crossword syndicated over here in York, PA?! Now I do! Thanks! It's great to check the same day without waiting!

C.C. Burnikel said...

Anonymous at 11:51am,

I see what you mean. I went to the and get the meaning of "petty": "of secondary rank, esp. in relation to others of the same class or kind: petty states; a petty tyrant." That explains.

Huge Brown,

Did you read my blog yesterday? Do you agree with Wilbers' opinion on the quotation mark?

Once again, the quotation mark on "Chicago" should dissuade you from considering Daley/Daly.

ERST and ORT are gimmes for anyone who have worked the Tribune puzzle over a month. I have no sympathy for you there.

cy & jim on the left coast, I've updated the list. Thanks for the information.

C. C.

C.C. Burnikel said...


Thanks for stopping by.

Just for your information, the Star Tribune Puzzle I am working on and the puzzle you are working on is a Tribune Media Service syndication, based in Chicago.


Anonymous said...

The theme was pairs.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Anonymous at 4:36pm,

Thank you for helping me with the theme. I really appreciate it.

What would you say about Monday's "Over and Over, Neck and Neck, Half and Half, Such and Such" theme? I don't like my summary either.


C. C.

Anonymous said...

I breezed through this one, which is something I rarely do. The crosses really worked well. I have collected the puzzles since latter December 07. I count a total of 21 constructors. Then I checked my archives. In 2003 I saved the puzzles from March thru May. My reason. I was collecting the Jumbles and the crosswords happened to be on the page. The 2 most prolific constructors are Anderson and Olschwang.

miltie said...

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette is in Little Rock, Ar(Arkansas), not Ak(Alaska). Thank you.

Little Lj said...

Lots of gimmes for me today, made up for yesterdays idiocy!

STATEN was a gimme as I currently live in New York.. don't worry if you didn't know it, there's not a lot there haha!

MANATEE was another as it is possibly one of my favorite animals ever. I feel I must stick up for the manatee against, what can only be described as, a mild hate campaign from tigerlarry47! - i think manatees are so cuuute!!

and also OMES did, indeed, remind me of OME being a londoner through and through!

oh and I'm still sneezing, but feeling a bit better today... i knew you were wondering haha!

sallyjane said...

I found your blog today from a link in Rex Parker's NY Times blog. So glad someone is doing this locally in the Twin Cities!

I found this puzzle easy for a Wednesday. Went right through it. Didn't have trouble with some of your sticky points because I got even the more obscure ones with crosses. Love it when that happens!

I will check in regularly! Again, thanks for doing this!


C.C. Burnikel said...

Anonymous at 7:20pm,

My blog labels result also shows that Olschwang and Anderson are the most productive ones.

I am very interested in your puzzle collection. How do you file them?


Sorry about the mistake. I've corrected it.


Did you read mkatesq's follow-up question on Tuesday's comments?


Thanks for stopping by. I think I am probably the only one who goes through so much trouble for a Wed puzzle.

C. C.

Unknown said...

Hi guys. Really please to have found this site. I do the crossword every day in the Viet Nam News. Sadly it's quite a while before the daily in your part of the world reaches us. Mine today (21 March) was from 27 Feb. My sanity is saved by referring to you. I'm not American and can be driven crazy by clues easy to American's to pick up on.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Hello Michael,

Thanks for leaving a comment here.

You are not alone, many of us are struggling with the puzzle.

Just keep plugging.