Mar 18, 2008

Tuesday, March 18, 2008 Robert H. Wolfe

Theme: Animals


62A: Orange, spotted flowers: TIGER LILIES

11D: Wrestling holds: BEAR HUGS

12D: Ballroom dances: FOX TROTS

Fauna aplenty. And they are in all plural forms. I really like this consistency. And a new constructor to boot.

But I took a series of flogging today, starting from the very beginning (naturally): I put in FIBIA (confused with FIBULA) for 1A, then I put in FAJITA for 1D. ANGELO Dundee is a total stranger to me, in fact, the only Dundee I knew is the town in Scotland, where people use dirk, snee, dagger, and all sorts of crossword friendly weapons.

I could not squeeze BENGAY out of my brain either, I vaguely remember Johan Santana or some other Twins pitcher touted about this stuff before, but my mind was preoccupied with Tiger Balm & Icy Hot, thanks to Jerry Rice and Shaq O'Neal's aching Radio/Radio commercials. ATELIER was actually not a new word to me, I just forgot how to spell it correctly.

So, I got myself in a SNAFU there, then I moved to the MOSSIER part. Another hard scramble. Could not remember URIAH Heep, struggled with RETARD. I remember a headline of "Demure Condi Rice Demurs" during the Senate hearing 2 or 3 years ago, but I never knew that DEMURE was affectedly modest. I always associated it with reticent and reserved.

Oh, the scourge of the CBS corner: I actually did not fill in SYS blindly for 67A. I glanced at 56D: Small rodents, plural, OK, so it had to be SYS. When I could not extricate any animal whose name ends with a letter C, I was atingle with annoyance (Thanks, William, for this word.), and I quickly darted away. (Note to Huge B: Did I use "atingle" properly here?)

Total time spent: close to 1 hour (including googling)

Across entries:

1A: Leg bone: TIBIA. Plural form is Tibiae. Inner bone. Fibula is outer bone. Plural form is Fibulae. Femur is the largest & longest bone, its plural is either femurs or femora.

6A: Lookout's warning: ALARM. Does the lookout here mean a person, Dennis? I don't quite understand the clue.

14A: __ we all? AREN'T. Since DON'T does not fit.

17A: Tuxes: MONKEY SUITS. A big stumper. No idea.

19A: Org. for DAs: ABA (American Bar Association). Jack McCoy has become a DA, no place for Arthur in Law & Order!. What an anemic effort by the forever languid Fred Thompson in his presidential campaign. Disappointing.

20A: Dundee of boxing: ANGELO. He is a boxing cornerman who has worked with 15 world boxing champions, including Ali, Sugar Ray, George Foreman, etc. (Wekipedia information)

22A: Alphabet trio: RST. I could not find a better way to clue this RST either.

23A: Intros: LEAD-INS

25A: Heep of fiction: URIAH. Have never read David Copperfield, or any Dickens work.

27A: Ending for green or crock: ERY. Knew Greenery. Not crockery (crocks collectively; earthenware.)

35A: Tease: RAG ON. To irritate or provoke. I was in the direction of "come-on".

39A: Umps's cousins: REFS

39A: Lines: RULED. Tough for me. Somehow I was not in the math track. I always pegged RULES with all kinds of regulatory stipulations.

42A: Form a secret merger?: ELOPE. Good clue.

44A: Actress Suzanne: SOMERS. Finally an actress I know. Just saw American Graffiti a few month ago, both SOMERS and RON (31D: Howard of "Happy Days") were in it.

46A: Informal college dances: MIXERS

48A: Simone or Foch: NINA. Not familiar with either of them. Only knew NINA RICCI the fashion designer or the perfume line. For a brief moment, Simone de Beauvoir popped into my head.

52A: Step: TREAD

54A: More clogged, as a delta: SILTIER. I suppose so. I misread as More clogged, as a data.

62A: Orange, spotted flowers: TIGER LILIES. So pretty.

65A: Madonna role: EVITA

66A: "Dallas" matriarch: ELLIE. Have never watched "Dallas". Somehow I heard of Sue Ellen, so I put in ELLEN first.

67A: Part of CBS?: ESS. You can only fool me once!!

68A: Passe: DATED

69A: Sowing items: SEEDS

Down entries:

1D: Mexican menu item: TAMALE. Have never had this dish before. Well, if you grow up during Chinese Cultural Revolution, you do not want to touch corn again, ever!

2D: One with a pressing engagement: IRONER. What? What is an engagement? Not a pressing instrument?

3D: Soothing product: BENGAY. Found out that BENGAY was developed by a French guy named Jules Bengué, hense the name BENGAY.

4D: Signed: INKED. Misread the clue as Sighed.

5D: Artist's workshop: ATELIER. Fancy word for a studio.

6D: _ gratia artis: ARS. Art for Art's sake.

9D: Slow down: RETARD. I think I like this word now, after the excruciating pain to ferret it out.

10D: More antiquated: MOSSIER. Big trouble for me. Only knew moss the noun.

11D: Wrestling holds: BEAR HUGS. Not a wrestling fan, but this word is easily inferable.

18D: Over thar: YONDER. I hated words like Thar, Owly, Atip. You just cannot find them in the dictionary. Thar she blows!

24D: Skull cavity: SINUS

26D: Build up: AMASS. Feel so sorry for those Bear Stearns employees, all their money are gone! Stupid James Cayne!

29D: Claw: TALON

32D: Two of a penny? ENS. You cannot trap me here.

33D: Regarding: AS PER

36D: "Man on the Moon" group: R. E. M. : Have never heard of this song. Not a fan of the band either. Only knew REM as Rapid Eye Movement.

38D: Ballroom dances: FOX TROTS

40D: Repudiation: DENIAL

43D: Put up: ERECTED

47D: Mouth moisture: SALIVA

49D: Comparative construction: SIMILE

50D: Epic by Virgil: AENEID: Nope. Have never heard of it.

51D: Turning points: CRISES. Why? I don't get it. I only know crisis as in Financial Crisis, did I miss something here?

55D: Veil material: TULLE. Saw this word in the puzzle several weeks ago.

56D: Small rodents: MICE

59D: Rose or Sampras: PETE. I think we have Pete Rose (Charlie Hustle)'s rookie card.

63D: Unit of absorbed energy: RAD (Radiation Absorbed Dose). Pls read drdad's explanation at the Comment section.



Dennis said...

Morning, C.C. - for some reason, this one went quickly for me. Thought "mossier" was really weak for 'more antiquated', and to me, crises aren't necessarily 'turning points'; both of these fell into place from the across clues.
You're right, a lookout would sound an alarm.
Hope it's a great day for everyone.

Dick said...

Good Morning. Todays puzzle was a welcome relief over yesterdays. This one took about 10 minutes but had trouble with 42A ELOPE and 46A MIXERS otherwise not so bad. I fell into the same trap as CC on 67A as I first entered SYS but as soon as I saw 56D as MICE the ESS spelling became apparent. Guess I have been out of college to long as I forgot mixers as college dances.

Dick said...

CC Angelo Dundee was the trainer for one of the great boxers of all time, Mohammad Ali.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Hello Dennis & Dick,

I am curious to know how long you guys have been doing TMS crossword puzzles.

Below is a comment I received from another solver in Canada. I'd like to have your take on it. Have you also felt that the TMS puzzle style is different than before?

"I am sure that the writer of the Star Tribune (our Globe & Mail)crossword puzzle has been changed within the last year and I find it is not as good as the writer you had previously. I can finish this one simply by using Google which means that he relies on too many film/tv/questions. This is not a test of knowledge but just of current events. I never watch tv so that forces me to use Google which is not a test of my knowledge."

Katherine said...

Good morning. This one went pretty good for me. I had trouble with 6A, even though it was an easy clue. I never heard of Aeneid, but I got it by filling in the surrounding words. 10 down I couldn't get either, but all in all it took me about 10-15 minutes.

CC, you should read Charles Dickens. Great books.

Dick said...

CC I see you were up early to have completed the puzzle and posted it by 2:38am. I have been doing TMS for about 5 years. When I moved to my present location the local paper ws carrying TMS and I found it to be interesting. I get a second paper that carries the NYT puzzles and a local puzzle but I do not know where it originates. Between the three it gets the mind operating for the day.

Dennis said...

Hi C.C. - I guess I've been doing the daily crossword for the better part of 4 decades.
I agree, in thinking about it, that there has been a shift towards less 'googleable' (no, it's not) clues. The fact that I'm so damn old probably made the change less obvious for me, since I would remember most of the movie/TV answers.
I, for one, welcome changes periodically.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you guys. This one was so much better than yesterday. 10 minutes. No SNAFU's but I agree with dennis, "mossier" and "crises" were weak. So, Tuesday is looking brighter. Also love that acronym FUBAR comment from yesterday. I learn so much from you all. Never heard of Angelo Dundee either. Have a good day!

Anonymous said...

Hi CC,

I got 51D based on a Chinese saying: "Wei-ji jiu shi zhuan-ji.", roughly translated as "Crises are turning points." I have no idea if there is any expression in English similar to this one in Chinese. This clue actually took me a long time. But after I got the others around 51D, I immediately think of this word. BTW, I'm really glad that I googled and found your blog. I really enjoy it! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Morning everyone,

Dennis: couldn't agree more re: MOSSIER.

Overall, though, this wasn't so bad today. Finished it rather quickly. I was a tad stumped for ANGELO, it fell into place for me as I got the other clues. Was this a first for BENGAY?

Have a great day!

C.C. Burnikel said...


I know I should. But I think I will still pick Three Trillion Dollar War over any Dickens works. I don't know, American/British literature do not excite me as much as American politics.


The first thing I do every morning is to read the Comments from the previous crossword entry and then open a new entry for today, before I even get my paper. Just a habit.

Then I spend about 30 minutes reading and replying emails from friends in the other side of the Ocean, and getting my daily fixes from Huffington Post.

I publish each new blog around 5:30am. Sometimes earlier if the puzzle is easy for me (so rare now)


I like FUBAR too.


Wow, I did not even think of that. Thank you.


I wish TMS has a database on line.

Feste probably will chime in later on BENGAY.

Anonymous said...

6A: Lookout's warning: ALARM. Does the lookout here mean a person, Dennis? I don't quite understand the clue.

Try this If you were inside and I was the lookout if I made a noise to alert you to get out so you won't be caught.

Calling your cell that would be consider an alarm.

back in the day crooks used walkie talkies.

Dr. Dad said...

A lookout (a person on watch duty) sounds the "alarm". Uriah Heep was also a 1969 band from England. Tuxedoes looked like the suits in which organ grinder monkeys were sometimes seen. Another term for "lined paper" is "ruled paper". REM made the song "Man on the Moon" which has several references to Andy Kaufman (Latka on the show "Taxi"). Finally, RAD does not come from RADiation but rather, stands for Radiation Absorbed Dose (the term is somwhat obsolete). Mossier was a bit weak, as was crises.

Dr. Dad said...

The Aeneid tells the story of Aeneas, one of the only survivors of Troy (from the Trojan War). As Virgil tells the story, he is somehow related with the destruction of Carthage and the founding of Rome (at least in mythology).

C.C. Burnikel said...

Thank you Drdad,

I've updated the entry for RAD. Wow, that's a deeply rooted thick misconception for me. I just took it for granted that it was an abbreviated form of Radiation.

Thank you also for the elucidation on
the other entries. I'll try to remember and absorb.

Alex and Kerbey said...

In your editions, is the theme printed at the top, or is that just c.c.'s theme?

Anonymous said...

I always appreciate a sense of humor in crosswords. Shows a bit of class. And there are a couple in this one. By the way, Mr Wolfe is not a new constructor. His last was 20Jan08. And a whole bunch in 07. Also as far back as May 03.

Chuck said...

I'm in Arkansas for 3 months and love having this puzzle available. (I did it in 15 minutes today, compared to 45 minutes yesterday.) I return to the Chicago area in a few weeks and will have to resume solving the far-easier puzzle in our local paper. I'll miss the Star, and I'm so happy Google directed me to C.C.'s blog. I learn so much from her and from all you other contributors. (Chuck)

C.C. Burnikel said...

PGA guy Alex,

I fabricate the theme (Monday-Friday), abetted by Dennis from time to time.

Saturday's puzzle is always themeless.

Sunday's puzzle is always themed and titled in our paper.


I started this blog on Jan 21, 2008, missed Mr. Wolfe by one day.

I did not see any humor/class in this puzzle, did I miss out on any fun?

C.C. Burnikel said...


Chicago Tribune has the same puzzle as we do here.

You can always go to Tribune's website for the daily puzzle (Monday-Saturday)if you are not a subscriber.

MH said...

I liked this puzzle because it was tough but I was able to finish without aid. The upper left and upper middle gave me the most trouble. I had to start at upper right and work around counter clockwise. I had TIBIA and FAJITA for 1A and 1D but nothing else was working. I finally erased those two words and everything started falling into place. I need to get better at discovering and using the themes. In this one I didn't even know the theme until I read this blog. DOH! This one took me about 20 minutes. Regarding humor, how about having "15A Western show" just above "16A West end"? I thought it was a bit clever.

How long? Maybe 10 years or so. I don't like puzzles that use celebrity names since I don't pay attention to such things. I don't feel guilty when I have to Google for these answers.

NYTAnonimo said...

I thought the clues for MOSSIER and MIXER were arcane usages of the words. I did not know ANGELO Dundee either. Apparently he served as consultant to another of our crossword people RON Howard on the movie, Cinderella Man and also had a cameo role. This web site states "A monkey suit is a suit or tuxedo. It is usually used by men who do not like or are not accustomed to wearing fine clothing.
Example: I put on my monkey suit for the interview. It must have worked because I got the job." And ARS gratia artis means "art for art's sake."Thanks for the write up c.c.

C.C. Burnikel said...


How do you put those links on the Comment section? I can never figure out how.

Do you write it somewhere else and then copy & paste?


Anonymous said...

What happened to Tuesday, March 18th's,46 Across? There was a question, but no answer that I found on your list. We decided it was MIXERS. It's great to have your answers to double-check our answers against, though. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I have to ask...I live in the Chicago Suburbs and can't get my paper until 7 a.m. most days. where do you get it?

Also, ESS? ADOS? I'm feeling a little dull since I seem to be the only one that hit a wall there.


Anonymous said...

so great to find this site.. Hello from FLORIDA
just retired from teaching hvacr at voc tec school

Anonymous said...

Seems we "mossier" solvers get the ones like Angelo etc.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Anon at 11:44am,

MIXERS is correct. I've added it to my blog entry.

Karen at 11:53am,

You can go to Chicago Tribune's website for Monday-Saturday puzzle if you want to do it earlier than 7:00am. It's exactly the same as what everyone is doing here.

ESS: There is a letter S in CBS.
Ados: Noise & Excitement & Fuss. Much ado about nothing.

NYTAnonimo said...

I cut and paste from Rex Parker'sFrequently Asked Questions #5. You've had links in previous postings c.c.-how did you do those?

Anonymous said...

The humor I referred to was a bit of low key, and perhaps not shared by others. I consider 67A cute. I was thinking sys. Watching two beefy guys(11d) "bearhugging" brings forth a smile.

C.C. Burnikel said...


Let me see if this works. See my baseballcards

NYTAnonimo said...

I was trying to elaborate on my last post, got interrupted and messed it up-will try again!

Drag the URL icon you want to use and paste it where it says url between the quote marks. Then type/paste the words you want displayed where it says Text to be displayed c.c.

NYTAnonimo said...

Looks like you have it c.c.!

Anonymous said...

Hi 41a ..can't figure out what SDNS for some ids? Must be getting tired! Lynn from prov

C.C. Burnikel said...


Oh it worked on my last comment! Superb! Thank you very much.

A bit complicated for me though. It's so much easier when you try to make a link on the blog entry.

Blogger software needs to add this function on Comment section.

C.C. Burnikel said...


41A: SSNS (Social Security Numbers)



Anonymous said...

what is 11 and 16 A

C.C. Burnikel said...

Anon at 6:36pm,
11A: BOG
16A: ERN (Western).

Jim Liu said...

I don't understand 57D, what does 'ados' have to do with small ruckuses? this assumes:
56A = mar
61A = ido
64A = cot
67A = ess
when i think 'ado', I think about the phrase, much ado about nothing, which I think means fuss about nothing, not small ruckus about nothing.

1soni said...

I too enjoy this blog. My work blocks it, but I check it in the evening after work.

Love reading the comments and reflections.

Thanks to all.

C.C. Burnikel said...


Forget about Much Ado about Nothing.

Right now, there are much ADOS over the comment made by Obama's pastor Wright.

Right now, there are ruckuses over the comment made by Obama's pasta Wright.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Sorry, Obama's pastor, not pasta. Mea Culpa.

Dick said...

CC I have seen cel several times and I think it was in the NY Times but it is not unfamiliar.

Anonymous said... is very pleasant to read. The article is very professionally written. I enjoyed reading keep it that way.