Mar 29, 2008

Saturday, March 29, 2008 Josiah Breward

Theme: NONE

Definitely a stumper for me today, lots of unknowns. The clues are tough, but not wicked or senseless. I like the Saturday's open grid feel, but I just feel so lost and rootless without the theme guidance.

I had an uncharacteristically great start, devouring the upper left corner like a hungry lion. Even SAMUEL PEPYS jumps into my mind without any extra spur. Wonderful, all I really need to know, I learned from doing crossword!

But all the other spots are like Fallujah, so tough and forbidding. It's simply beyond my strength to tame the whole field. I spent about 35 minutes on the puzzle, then I quit.

Grid: 15*15, total 71 words (maximum is 72 for a Saturday), total blank square: 30.

ACROSS entries:

1A: From one side to the other: ACROSS. Hmm, a bit meta. Can you self-reference clue like this?

7A: Tex-Mex menu items: TOSTADAS. Want some?

15A: Definite rules?: THE LAW. Great clue. I like it when a preposition or definite article is embedded in the answer. Very tricky but it provides me with a precious "Aha" moment.

16A: Tiger in the Hall of Fame: AL KALINE. Mr. Tiger. The first name that popped to my mind was actually Ty Cobb. Cobb was the first ever Hall- of-Famer, wasn't he?

17A: Change a file code: RENAME

18A: Fetal sac: PLACENTA. Plural form can be "Placentae" or "Placentas". Wonder why so many medical terms take their roots in Greek language.

19A: Cunning: ARTFUL

20A: Part of RSVP: S'IL. No more question on my wobbly G8 drunk clip, s'il vous plaît, let's just talk about Carla's nude photos!

24A: Patronage: EGIS. Can also be AEGIS. Aegis is the shield of Zeus. Dictionary says "Athene's aigis was a short goat-skin cloak, covered with scales, set with a gorgon's head, and fringed with snakes". Look at this picture. That's Medusa's head. Her gaze would not turn me into a stone at all. She does look monstrous though.

24A: Old English letter: EDH. No idea. Dictionary says it can also be spelled as ETH.

26A: Chemical suffix: ANE. I am always at a loss when facing chemical suffix clue, too many choices: ASE, ENE or ANE.

30A: Walesa of Solidarity: LECH. Nobel Peace Winner 1983.

32A: Admiral or cabin boy: SAILOR. Why is "cabin boy" a sailor? (Update: Dennis said a "cabin boy" serves the captain and senior officers on a ship, hence sailor.)

34A: "Malcolm X" director: LEE (Spike)

35A: Event before a golf tournament: PRO-AM. Want a chance to win Bay Hill, John Daly? Pay attention to your Pro-Am time next time!

37A: Groom oneself: PRIMP

38A: Port St. __, FL: LUCIE

40A: Sapporo sash: OBI. Why Sapporo all the times? Spice up the clue with some other exotic Japanese city name!

41A: Skater Sonja: HENIE. No idea.

42A: Overthrow: USURP

43A: Itchy problem: TINEA. I was not aware of this skin problem until this morning. Looks awful.

46A: Passes on: RELAYS

48A: Astronaut Aldrin: BUZZ. I like Buzz's take on Lisa Nowak's intrepid restroom-less 900-mile love pursuit. Gutty statement in my view.

55A: Spanish painter Joan: MIRÓ. Max Ernest & Dali are the other 2 Surrealists who have an insatiable appetites for crossword fame.

59A: Peter of "Six Feet Under": KRAUSE. Unknown to me. I wanted O'Toole, but it did not fit.

63A: Bad egg: EVIL DOER

65A: Pastoral poems: IDYLLS

66A: Snake River people: NEZ PERCE. Unknown to me. Here is the definition: "A Native American people formerly inhabiting the lower Snake River and its tributaries in western Idaho, northeast Oregon, and southeast Washington, with present-day populations in western Idaho and northeast Washington."

67A: Verdugo and others: ELENAS. I can not think of any famous Elena either, can you?

68A: Woody?: TREELIKE. Why the question mark?

69A: Shaped like a stringed instrument: LYRATE. Only knew Lyra. Good to learn its adjective form though.

Down clues:

1D: Gillette razor: ATRA

2D: "Silkwood"star: CHER. Have never watched this movie. I see it's written by Nora Ephron. I am going to put it in our Netflix queue. I adore Nora.

3D: Cloth tear: RENT. Ha ha, my effort yesterday is paid off, so quickly!

4D: Some Norwegian kings: OLAFS

5D: Noted diarist: SAMUEL PEPYS. But who wants to read his diary when Anais Nin is calling?

6D: Suffer in the heat: SWELTER

7D: Bugle cal: TAPS

8D: Stan's comic partner: OLLIE. Got it this time.

9D: Viking poets: SKALDS. Also spelled as Scald. "A medieval Scandinavian poet, especially one writing in the Viking age."

10D: Center X: TAC

12D: Airheads: DING A LINGS. Have never heard of this expression before. All my American friends are very nice people, they never speak any slang or negative thing when I am around.

13D: Legal paradoxes: ANTINOMIES. Not familiar with this legal term either. OK, so, anti is anti, nomes is Greek for law, and "antinomy" is "a contradiction between principles or conclusions that seem equally necessary and reasonable". Good.

14D: Cecil of cartoons, e.g.: SEA SERPENT. Here is more information for you. I've never heard of Beany and Cecil cartoon.

23D: Vamoose: SCOOT

25D: At random: HAPHAZARDLY

27D: Power to attract: ALLUREMENT. I use "enticement" occasionally, never "allurement".

28D: Belgian waterway: MEUSE RIVER. Great clue, great answer, so nice to see RIVER is part of the answer. The Meuse originates from France, flowing north to the North Sea through Belgium and the Netherlands.

29D: Make worldly: SECULARIZE. I have an affinity for good verb, this is one of them.

31D: U.S. Middle East peace envoy: HABIB. Philip Habib.

36D: Less: MINUS

44D: Old Testament book: EZEKIEL

47D: Zen enlightenment: SATORI. This is definitely a gimme for Lakers' Phil Jackson, he is a Zen Master.

52D: Sunken ship: WRECK

54D: Stratum: LAYER

56D: Greek wine flask: OLPE. It appeared on Feb 6 puzzle, almost the identical clue. Here is a picture.

58D: Song of the LPGA: AREE. She was one stroke away from beating Grace Park for the 2004 Nabisco (one of LPGA's Majors). She has a Twin sister name Naree, also a LPGA member. South Koreans are so talented in golfing.

61D: Venetian blind part: SLAT. I've never heard of Venetian blind.

64D: 2nd-smallest State: DEL. I love Senator Biden (DE) and his wits. "A noun, a verb and 9/11", the best rip I've ever heard!



Dennis said...

Well, so much for a perfect week. Top right and bottom left both got me. Never heard of the NezPerce. Never heard of antisomies. Had 'preen' instead of 'primp'. Shot down in flames this morning.
C.C., a cabin boy, who serves the captain and senior officers on a ship, is also a sailor.
Not that I should be providing answers to anyone after this morning's debacle.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Good morning Dennis,

Thanks for the "Cabin Boy" information. I've updated the entry. But why does 68A have a question mark? Also, did you get 56D OLPE? How about 59A, did you get it from down clues or you already know the actor's name?

Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. - You're right, 68A didn't need the question mark. OLPE i remembered from previous ones, and KRAUSE fell into place from the downs.
By the way, I'm leaving for Florida in the morning, and hope to contribute a bit from down there.
Hope it's a great weekend for everyone.

Anonymous said...

I usually enjoy Saturday's puzzle, but this one blew me away. I spent about half an hour on it, got about 3/4 of the right side but not much of the left except for the top section.

Have a great day!

Boomer said...

Well, I did get the top right. Got about half done, then quit. I have to get ready for a bowling tournament today. I wanted to put "Cochrane" in the tiger hall of fame clue. I thought Alkaline was a type of battery. I had Idahoans for Snake River people, "scram" instead of "scoot" etc. etc.

Dr. Dad said...

Top right was tough - had to google for Detroit Tiger hall of famers. I had preen as well until I realized dingalings. Fortunately, I remembered Beany and Cecil (the sea sick sea serpent). Had Meuse River but then googled to see that it was a Belgian river.

Chief Joseph of the Nez Percce was running from the cavalry to get to Canada and finally gave up before reaching the border. He said the famous quote - "From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever." Remembered that from high school history class.

Have a nice weekend.

Chuck said...

I, too, struggled mightily today.

BTW - the Nez Perce were helpful to Lewis & Clark in 1805 and became known to the USA population through L&C's journals. Their best known chief was Chief Joseph.

Anonymous said...

Good morning C.C. and everyone. I fell for the same mistakes that every one of you did, but knew enough to enjoy this one. I learn so much from you, like Olpe. Thanks for the pictures. Dennis would you be going to Port St LUCIE? Have a good trip. And good luck to bowling Boomer today. Have a good day everyone.

Anonymous said...

Same story here-- the top right and bottom left got me.

I did have NEZ PERCE, thanks to my mom who teaches history. Until I came here to get EVIL DOER, I was stuck, though. It never occurred to me that 28D would end with RIVER-- I guess I was still thinking foreign language. I had a few things in the top right, but not enough to give me the rest.

At least I'm not the only one in flames this morning.

jimhllrn said...

Didn't get 12D & 13D til I looked at the blog. Probably because I had PREEN for 37A and 21A & 45A mostly blank. I didn't get 12D & 13D til I looked at the blog. Probably because I had Is had PREEN for 37A and 21A & 45A mostly blank. BTW - - you said 45A was TINEA. Its 43A and you had no answer to 45A, which turned out to be GET (??)
For me this was a tough one. I drew a total blank on 2 of em, but I loved it.

jimhllrn said...

OOPS = I forgot. I don't think ALLUREMENT should be considered a word. If you think about it, ALLURE is defined in Webster's as the "Power of attraction." So what are we doing? Changing a noun into a noun?
Inane ! !

C.C. Burnikel said...

Jim, I like your comment on ALLUREMENT. Have corrected my TINEA mistake. Thanks.

Crockett1947 said...

This was a tough one.

jimhllrn: 45A is GEN for Genesis.

c.c. Sonja Henie was a fantastic figure skater -- ten times World Champion and three times Olympic Champion.

10D -- can anyone explain the clue and answer to me? Doesn't make sense.

59A came from the down fill-ins.

C.C. Burnikel said...



jimhllrn said...

crocket - -

Ever play it??

Dennis said...

Hi Lois - no, going to Boca/Lauderdale/South Beach. A little R&R.

Crockett1947 said...

OK. I see it now. Don't play it any more. Too invloved in playing chess on-line.

Anonymous said...

There is a small town in Oregon named for Chief Joseph. Very intereting place. Also the Nez Perce were great horsemen. That is where we got the appaloosa horse.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Ray and Tom Magliozzi, hosts of "Car Talk" on National Public Radio; for years, one or the other would cry "Sonja Henie's tutu!" on hearing something amazing.

sallyjane said...

Didn't find this one as tough as many of you did.

27D. ALLUREMENT - I agree that this is a stretch. I always thought ALLURE was a noun, too.

24A. EDH, 9D.SKALDS, 40A.OBI - Learned all these from crosswords over the years.

13D. ANTINOMIES - Didn't have a clue on this one, but it worked out with crosses. Knew the chemical suffix could be either ASE or ANE, and ANTISOMIES didn't make sense to me.

14D. SEA SERPENT - Conjured up a nice memory of Beany and Cecil!

59A. KRAUSE - Actor Peter of Six Feet Under. Loved that show!

66A. NEZ PERCE - Don't know why but I love this tribe name. We have a neighborhood nearby with streets named for Indian tribes, and Nez Perce is one of them.

Have a wonderful weekend, all. Hope we get a good puzzle to do tomorrow!

Kathy said...

love reading everyone else's comments in the morning when I do my crossword. A lot of times I find helpful hints. felt kinda stupid because I put treelimb for 68A then that threw off the bottom half. The rest of the puzzle was okay.

Boomer said...

Thank you Lois for the good luck wish. I finished lucky 13th in a field of 44 and pocketed a few dollars. Enough to reinvest in a Gopher 5 ticket, On Wednesday Morning I'll be rich.

Anonymous said...

18A. WRONG,WRONG,WRONG. The sac is the amnio(tic), The placenta is the fetal blood supply.

Anonymous said...

Love your blog.

Anonymous said...

LOVED the Beany and Cecil clue! When I saw it I couldn't believe I knew the answer! GREAT cartoons. I'm dating myself, I know. Really jumbled puzzle. I was all over the place. Too many long clues to fill in.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Anonymous at 7:34pm,

I've checked the dictionary, I think you are right.