Mar 6, 2008

Thursday, March 6, 2008 Alan P. Olschwang

Theme: Quip

20A: Start of a quip: If you can't face

29A: Part 2 of quip: The music

38A: Part 3 of quip: You'll

45A: Part 4 of quip: Never get

54A: End of quip: To lead the band

The original quote from Edwin H. Stuart is: If you are not afraid to face the music, you may get to lead the band someday.

I also found out another interesting quote from him: Men who do things without being told draw the most wages. It's probably the motto for Ken Lay, Dennis Kozlowski and their ilks.

I've got this Pavlov's dog's conditional reflex towards Mr. Olschwang's quip. My mind instantly freezes up and I cannot think rationally. I never seem to be able to reason out what he tries to convey.

I started like a lion: I devoured the upper left corner in a second. Then my trouble started immediately. I forgot the British medical syst. (NHS), I couldn't remember UNA Merkel, I did not know "Jaws" author (BENCHLEY).

The clue for 22D: Siloed weapons (ABMS) bugged me a lot. There was no suggestion from the clue that the answer would be an abbreviation or an acronym. So I tried to fill in ARMS, thinking missiles belong to ARMS, but then it messed up with my 25A: EBANKS. It also took me forever to get 11D: Argumentation: FORENSICS. I got the last three letter ics, so I thought of Rhetorics, but I knew it was wrong because it would not mesh with 6A: ROIS.

A few other troubles here and there, sporadically. I managed to crack the puzzle with three google visits and a brief look at my dictionary for the meaning of Jack-in-the-pulpit.

Here are some of the across clues:

10A: Some G.I.s: PFCS (Private First Class)

15A: Borden bovine: ELSIE

16A: French kings: ROIS. The evil Roi Louis XIV once said: L'etat, c'est moi. I recently read a very interesting article on the simpleton Roi Louis XVI (Maria Antoinette's husband). It explained how the French haute couture and haute cuisine really started during Louis XVI's reign.

18A: Bite playfully: NIP AT

23A: Youth org.: BSA (Boy Scout of America). Be prepared.

24A: British medical syst.: NHS (National Health Service). It was in the crossword on Jan 25.

25A: On line loan sources: EBANKS

28A: Bando of baseball: SAL. Unfortunately, I did not know him.

34A: Morales of "Bad Boys": ESAI. He was very cool as Tony Rodriguez in NYPD Blues for several episodes. Then he reconnected with his stupid druggie wife and lost his mind.

36A: Steps over a fence: STILE. I forgot this word. I actually put a "s" in the end, misguided by the clue.

37A: Actor O'Shea: MILO. He is a regular at crossword.

40A: Picture on a PC: ICON

41A: January in Oaxaca: ENERO. The word "Oaxaca" was clued Mexican tourist destination on Jan 27.

43A: Division word: INTO

44A: Mountain in Thessaly: OSSA I am proud that I got this one.

49A: Long looker: STARER. Clunky clue. A short looker is a peeker then?

50A: Artist's rep: AGT

58A: Panache: BRIO. Vigor. Italian origin.

60A: Bakery byproduct: AROMA

61A: Like the Kalahari: ARID

62A: Molecule maker: ATOM

63A: Actress Dey: SUSAN. The LA Law girl.

66A: Correct: EMEND. I always put _MEND first, lest it's AMEND.

Down clues:

1D: Off-the-cuff remark: AD LIB. Bill Clinton is not good at ad lib any more. How disappointing!

2D: Toronto team, tersely: LEAFS. The Maple Leafs, the most valuable team in NHL.

3D: Singer Tucker: TANYA. Got her name from across clue.

4D: Two-tone treat: OREO

5D: "Jaws" writer: BENCHLEY (Peter). Completely unknown to me.

6D: Walt Disney's middle name: ELIAS. Somehow Michael Eisner's mug kept popping into my mind.

8D: Decree: FIAT. This word crumbled very easily for me.

9D: Fixed charge: SET FEE

10D: Sensible step: PRECAUTION.

11D: Argumentation: FORENSICS. I only knew "forensic evidence".

12D: AFL-____: CIO. The big labor union.

13D: Draft org.: SSS. OK, here are their classifications: ONE A; Four F(unfit for service); Two S (Student); Two A (employment). I suppose One A stands for Available, Dennis?

21D: Actress Merkel: UNA

22D: Siloed weapons: ABMS (Antiballistic missiles). Hated the clue, hated the answer. Is ABM an acceptable abbreviation/acronym?

27D: Extended arias: SCENA. Here is the definition: "an extended operatic vocal solo, usually including an aria and a recitative.".

28D: Pantries and tool sheds: STORE ROOMS

29D: Ridicule: TAUNT

30D: Sword part: HILT. Sometimes it's HAFT.

32D: Intelligence test pioneer: BINET (Alfred). The IQ test guy I suppose. Never heard of him.

33D: Height: ELEVATION

35D: Peau de ___ (dull satin fabric): SOIE. It means silk in French.

39D: One way to write: LONGHAND

42D: Pitcher Hershiser: OREL. He is another regular at crossword.

46D: Type of monkey?: GREASE. Never heard of the comic book Grease Monkey, nor Greasemonkey Firefox script.

48D: Shoeshone: UTE

50D: Universal soul: ATMAN. Never heard of this word. I know nothing about Hindu religion or their beliefs. Atman is also the clothing line of Russell Simmons.

51D: __ Gras: MARDI. Fat Tuesday.

52D: Leek cousin: ONION. Chive too I suppose?

53D: Peculiarly: ODDLY

55D: Jack-in-the-pulpit: ARUM. I did not know the meaning of the clue. I kept thinking of Jack-in-the-box toy. In fact, right now, on our table, there is an Albert Pujols Jack-in-the-box, very cool.

56D: Apothecary measure: DOSE. Fancy clue.

57D: Trap enticement: BAIT

59D: Suggestion from AAA: RTE (Route)

C. C.


Dennis said...

Tougher than yesterday by a little. First time I've ever seen "scena"; had to get it from the across clues.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Good morning Dennis,

I had a question for you earlier in my blog regarding 13D: does the A in ONE A mean Available?

C. C.

Dennis said...

Morning, C.C. - Yes, the A stands for available. There's also a D for deferment, O for conscientious objector, etc. Back when I went in the Marines, almost everybody was either 1-A or 4-F (unfit for military service).

Katherine said...

Good morning! FYI 22 down is ABMS, there is no O! Never heard of that one. This one was a little harder today.

Anonymous said...

I agree that today's a little tougher. Don't seem to recall 35D (SOIE) before. However, ELSIE (15A), ABET (31A) - was an answer on Tuesday (17A) and KILOS (26D) seemed more than familiar.

And I think this is the first time I saw BRIO as an answer for Panache (58A). Usually I see the answer as ELAN.

Have a great day! :o)

C.C. Burnikel said...


Thanks for getting back to me quickly.


I've corrected the error. Sorry about the mistake. I must be thinking of Atomic Bombs when I keyed in. Awful.


You are right about ELAN for Panache. I think this is also the first time I see BRIO in TMS puzzle since Jan 21.

I'll put the repeat offenders in prison later. My computer just drives me bananas this morning.

C. C.

Anonymous said...

I love this website. I agree the clue for ABMS was not done well. I only got it from the across words.

Anonymous said...

This puzzle killed me! I finished every one this week, and this did in my streak. I got everything around the edges, and then got stuck on all the proper names in the middle.
I put in ICBM originally for the ABMS clue.

Anonymous said...

Anti Ballistic Missle System ABMS

C.C. Burnikel said...

Anonymous at 11:24am,

I disagree with you regarding 22D: siloed weapons. There is no system involved. The S here has to be a plural form.

I did find out, however, ABM is an existing Acronym.

Ellie & Anonymous at 7:34am,

Thanks for leaving a comment.

C. C.

140 & Fit said...

Ran across your blog today - how fun! I am addicted to the puzzle page of my paper (The Oregonian) and try to do all each day. Sudoku, crossword, Jumble and Teleword.

Thanks for helping me today! :D

Anonymous said...

Only two ABM systems have previously been operational against ICBMs, the U.S. Safeguard system, which utilized the LIM-49A Spartan and Sprint missiles, and the Russian A-35 anti-ballistic missile system which used the Galosh interceptor, each with a nuclear warhead themselves. Safeguard was only briefly operational; the Russian system has been improved and is still active, now called A-135 and using two missile types, Gorgon and Gazelle, both with conventional warheads. However the U.S. Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD, previously called NMD) system has recently reached initial operational capability. It does not have an explosive charge, but launches a kinetic projectile

Anonymous said...

this last posting is from jrf at USAF

sallyjane said...

I liked the theme of this puzzle. I like quips because you have a better chance of working them out even if you don't know the whole thing.

Thought this one was as easy as M,Tu,Wed; that is, until I got to the NE corner! 10D. PRECAUTION and 11D. FORENSICS were tough ones for me. And I had tried "If you can't FIND the BATON, you'll never get to lead the band." Well, it sounded good at the time!

I also originally had ICBM at 22D. It's the answer I've seen most often. But, of course, it didn't match the plural.

I thought OSSA was the correct answer for 44A. but didn't put it in until after I googled it.

On to Friday, and hopefully the toughest of the week. I enjoy a good Xword challenge. I don't get hung up on completion time, just like to get it all filled in!

Make it a great day!


Anonymous said...

Crossword constructors have always fascinated me. They must be very smart people. As a curiosity I checked the results of the 2008 ACPT results to see if any of them competed. I only found 2. Doug Peterson and Barry Silk. Peterson came in no 18, which is pretty good. Silk at 425. Nothing to be ashamed of as over 700 played.

C.C. Burnikel said...


What exactly is a jumble? Is it a bigger-sized crossword? I heard quite a few people talking about jumble in the past several weeks. We also have Sudoku on our Paper (the Variety Section), but it does not interest me.


Thank you so much for the information.


I had trouble with FORENSICS too. Generally I suck at quip. I think I like straightforward quote-themed puzzle.

Anonymous at 4:58pm,

#1 Tyler Hinman has several crossword puzzles published by NY Times. He is also a regular Onion Crossword constructor.

#2 Trip Payne has published several books on crosswords.

#7 Frances Heaney is also a constructor I think.

Stella Daily, Peter Gordon (NY Sun Crossword Editor), Rich Norris (LA Times Editor) are some other names I recognized.

C. C.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Anonymous at 4:58pm,

Below is a response I got from Orange regarding the constructors at this year tournament.

"There were a zillion constructors at the tournament. Many of them were serving as judges rather than competitors. Competitors who are constructors included Frank Longo, Peter Gordon (who's also a puzzle editor), Rich Norris (also an editor), Craig Kasper, Dave Sullivan, Patrick Blindauer, Francis Heaney, Stella Daily, Ken Stern, Ben Tausig, Vic Fleming, Mike Nothnagel, Dave Mackey, Bob Mackey, Trip Payne, Tyler Hinman, Karen Tracey, Kevin Der, Bonnie Gentry, Pancho Harrison, Tony Orbach, Jeremy Horwitz, and Jim Jenista. Tyler and Trip were among the top 3 finishers, and they've each won the ACPT multiple times. The New York Times, the New York Sun, and the LA Times are typical places where their work has been published.

About 25 other puzzle constructors served as judges.

Barry Silk and Doug Peterson both make a lot of themeless crosswords, Barry for the NYT and LAT and Doug mainly for Newsday and the LAT.

sallyjane said...


Those of us who receive the Mpls Star Tribune don't get the Jumble. It's a group of 4 or 5 words that you have to unscramble. Then you take the circled letters within each solved word and use them to unscramble the solution. There is a cartoon that will help you with the final jumbled word or phrase, and it's always a play on words. They're fun to do. I used to do them growing up.

But something we do have in the Strib is the Cryptoquip. They're fun, too. It's a sentence or sometimes two sentences where you have to break the code to solve the puzzle. They always give you a clue to get started and then you're on your own. And the solution is always a cute play on words. As a crossword puzzler, you should be good at them because you understand the structure of words. And you are also used to being able to fill in words with only some of their letters showing.

See you tomorrow!


C.C. Burnikel said...

Thanks SJ.