Mar 4, 2008

Tuesday, March 4, 2008 Stanley B. Whitten

Theme: Choices

20A: Howie Mandel's choice?: DEAL OR NO DEAL

37A: Doris Day's choice?: LOVE ME OR LEAVE ME

49A: Halloweener's choice?: TRICK OR TREAT

Or ELSE (52D).... ALAS (53D)...Very desperate.

I like this puzzle. The theme is easy for me to understand and there is no obscure/made-up words to stump me.

I had trouble with ARTU_O (46A) and O_RERY (44D). I knew neither of them, so I hazarded a guess with letter T instead of R.

I also self-inflicted myself with some minor wounds. I put in ERAS for 5A: Periods, then A DUO for 7D: Small combo. I mis-read 9A: Garlic-basil sauce as Garlic-based sauce. I put in AIOLI, which has plenty of garlic as main ingredient. I managed to correct myself eventually, but looking back, those were stupid mistakes.

It seems that we encounter a few French words almost every day. Today it's ADIEU, Raison d'ETRE, ENVOI, Are they fully assimilated into English language? Oh, George Sand is a French writer also.

Here are across entries:

1A: Pluck: GRIT. Yep, her name is not Diablo Cody for nothing! Don't pimp her feet with your stupid diamond shoes.

5A: Periods: DOTS

9A: Garlic-basil sauce: PESTO. Do you really put garlic in pesto sauce? To me, a pesto consists of basil, pine nuts and olive oil, maybe some parmesan cheese. Look at this classic pesto recipe from Epicurious.

14A: Gernreich of fashion: RUDI. Never heard of him.

15A: Book before Nehemiah: EZRA. Could also be clued as Poet Pound. If you are a political junkie, you are probably familiar with Erza Klein.

16A: Effective use: AVAIL

18A:To __ a phrase: COIN

19A: Yearned: PINED

20A: Fencing sword: EPEE

24A: Some antibodies: LYSINS. Not a familiar word to me. It's an "antibody that is capable of causing the destruction or dissolution of red blood cells, bacteria, or other cellular elements."

28A: Nice guy, he is not: BADDIE

34A: Nice goodbye: ADIEU

35A: Signaled: CUED

36A: Raison d'__: ETRE. Has NeoCon lost its raison d'etre?

40A: Engendered: BRED

41A: Final Four org.: NCAA. It was clued as March madness org. yesterday.

42A: Of punishment: PENAL

43A: "___ the ramparts...": O'ER. Embarrassing, but I really had no idea that it's part of the American anthem.

44A: Track shape: OVAL

45A: Almost not: HARDLY

46A: Conductor Toscanini: ARTURO. According to wikipedia, he was one of the greatest conductor of all times, renowned for "his brilliant intensity, his restless perfectionism, his phenomenal ear for orchestral detail and sonority..." Sounds like a genius, but I've never heard of him. The only conductor that came to my mind is Previn (Andre), Mia Farrow's ex.

48A: 1976-80 Wimbledon Champion: BORG (Bjorn). Can you believe he won 61 Singles Career Titles between the age of 17 and 26? Roger Federer, by comparison, only won 45.

50A: Sticking stuff: PASTE

58A: Sibilant sound: HISS

60A: Higher one of two: UPPER

61A: Cosmetics ingredient: ALOE. In Japan, they put aloe vera in yogurt.

63A: Inclined to weep: TEARY

Down clues:

1D: Alum: GRAD. Same clue, same spot, Feb 28 puzzle.

2D: Local yokel: RUBE. Never heard anyone spews this word.

4D: Real estate paper: TITLE DEED

5D: Court judgment: DECREE

6D: Allotrope of oxygen: OZONE. Did not know this before.

7D: Novelist George: SAND. Famous for her 10-year romance with Chopin. Chopin died 2 years after they broke up. A very prolific writer, extremely disciplined.

9D: Juicy tropical fruit: PAPAYA. Never tasted it before. So I could not say whether it's juicy or not.

10D: Bad deeds: EVILS

13D: On its last legs: OLD

21D: Poppy product: OPIUM. Occasionally I use Opium. Was crazy about Tendre Poison (the green bottle) in late 1990s.

22D: Slur over: ELIDE

25D: Mean: INTEND. I was toying with the word "unkind" for a few seconds.

26D: Typical: NORMAL

27D: Hard like metal: STEELY

28D: Cash of Panama: BALBOA. Unknown to me.

29D: Worshiper: ADORER. Never used this word before. I just adore. J'adore!

30D: Shunt: DIVERT

31D: Of the ear: AURAL

32D: Actress Ward: SELA. Love her in Once and Again.

35D: Zany Imogene: COCA Vaguely remember her.

36D: Undying: EVERGREEN

38D: Closing stanza: var. ENVOI. Or Envoy.

39D: Separate: APART

44D: Solar-system mobile: ORRERY. Here is the explanation: "an apparatus for representing the positions, motions, and phases of the planets, satellites, etc., in the solar system." It's named after a British guy named Charles Boyle, Earl of Orrery.

45D: Hold your ___!: HORSES. Whoa!

47D: Pronounce: UTTER

48D: Human chest: BOSOM

50D: Confab: CHAT. I got it from across clues. I did not know the meaning of confab.

51D: Metric weight, briefly: KILO (Kilometer, Kilogram)

52D: If all __ fails...: ELSE

53D: Lamenter's comment: ALAS

54D: Like a drumhead: TAUT. That's how Teri Hatcher's face looks like all the time. I buy the Botox rumor.

I am so pumped up today. I predict Ohio, Rhode Island go to Clinton, and Texas and Vermont go to Obama.

C. C.


Dennis said...

C.C. - "O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming" is from the Star-Spangled Banner.

Anonymous said...

Ok, so everything I was going to say, has already been said . . .

Picked up on NCAA, and then dennis was ahead of me for the Star-Bangled Banner lyrics.

Raison d'ETRE (36A) is definitely a repeat offender as is EPEE (23A).

Have a great Tuesday!

C.C. Burnikel said...

Now I want to bury my head in the sand!

Mksq, I've locked up Etre. He was slippery.

C. C.

Anonymous said...

Wonder why you didn't know the words to our National Anthem?

lynng ri said...

Did not remember Love me or Leave me but did remember Imogene! Funny woman!

C.C. Burnikel said...

Anonymous at 12:30pm,

I arrived in the US in 2001, never really learned the National Anthem.

But it's pathetic & lame excuse. I've heard it millions of times, in the ball park, on various occasions.

I just never paid attention to the words except "O! Can you see.."

C. C.

MH said...

yes, epee is definitely a repeat offender - see it all the time. The puzzle designers just love those words with lots of vowels.

Rube - I think this comes from an old expression for country folk: "Just rode in on a load of rhubarb" meaning first time in the big city. Or it could be a reference to Rube Goldberg who designed whimsical complicated devices to do simple tasks (google it).

Easy puzzle for me today - easier than yesterday. I didn't vote but I think the difficulty of these puzzles is fairly random. Except Saturday is always long words with easy definitions.

feste said...

Irma's "Joy of Cooking" has garlic in her pesto sauce recipe.
I worked in a restaurant for 7 years and made pesto sauce daily, and until now I never heard of it without garlic.

Anonymous said...

14A Rudi gernreich is most famous for his "invention" of the topless swimsuit

C.C. Burnikel said...


Thanks for the Rube Goldberg tip. I agree with you. I think TMS puzzles are all randomly put. Saturday is always themeless, which makes the puzzle a bit more difficult I suppose.


I think you are right. Nearly all the pesto recipe calls for a bit of garlic. I guess I cook differently.

Anonymous at 10:23pm,

I googled his swimsuit after I read your comment. Very outre.

C. C.