Mar 12, 2008

Wednesday, March 12, 2008 Philip J. Anderson

Theme: Salon Terms (Play on Words)

20A: Salon discounts?: Red Dye Specials (Red Eye Special)

41A: Adversarial salon treatment: Hostile Makeover (Hostile Takeover)

60A: Long-lasting lock at the salon: Permanent Tress (Permanent Press)

Tomorrow I am going to start the puzzle from the upper middle section. I have formed this upper-left-corner phobia. Stumped immediately by TITO. That put me in a very negative frame of mind.

I was also mad at myself for not remembering the Eastern German police STASI. The movie "The Lives of Others"made such a big splash in 2007. (update: It won Oscar for Best Foreign Film last year)and I remember I was so intrigued by those Eastern German spies (STASI) and the stunning amount of files they kept. I remember I looked into the dictionary several times for the meaning of STASI. My memory is failing me, all the time now.

There are quite a few foreign words in this puzzle: Latin, German, French, Greek.

Here are the across entires:

1A: Mambo king Puente: TITO. I am sure he was big, otherwise he wouldn't be called Mambo king. But still, he is unknown to me. The only Titos I knew are Yugoslavia's Tito and the Jackson 5 Tito. I just could not get the tune of Mambo #5 out of my mind now.

5A: Low tract of land: SWALE. It's a "low place in a tract of land, usually moister and often having ranker vegetation than the adjacent higher land."

10A: Swedish car: SAAB. What do you call Volvo? A Swedish car or an American car (as it's now owned by Ford)?

14A: Tan shade: ECRU

16A: Jason's vessel: ARGO. Jason and the Argonauts. Greek mythology. Never read it. Not sure if they found the Golden Fleece in the end. Jason's wife is Medea.

17A: Nair competitor: NEET. Depilatory cream. Another name is Veet.

23A: _ polloi: HOI. The many (Greek). Hoi is "the", interesting to see people still write "the hoi polli", so redundant.

25A: Bowler's button: RESET. Tired of this clue.

26A: Juarez gold: ORO. Spanish for gold.

28A: 2 on the phone: ABC

30A: Vitamin fig.: RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance)

34A: Coach Parseghian: ARA. You've worn out your welcome too.

36A: Another name for ethylene: ETHENE

44A: Oban daggers: SKEANS. Did not know. I only knew "SNEE" and "Dirk". Oban is in Scotland.

46A: Biblical miracle site: CANA. Jesus changed water into wine, his first miracle.

47A: "___ Kapital": DAS. Karl Marx's work. Das means "the" in German. I wonder why the English title for it is "Capital", rather than "the Capital."

52A: East German secret police: STASI. German abbreviation of Staatssicherheit (State Security). Secret police of Eastern German.

68A: Seed cover: ARIL. Another repeat offender.

70A: Auberjonois of "Boston Legal": RENÉ. Got it from down clue. Never heard of him.

71A: Movie critic Pauline: KAEL. Unknown. She was the film critic for The New Yorker from from 1968 to 1991. Our local Star Tribune has a brilliant film critic named Colin Covert.

73A: Belgian river: YSER. It flows into North Sea.

Down entries:

2D: Champagne bucket: ICER. Has anyone read French Women Don't Get Fat? Well, according to the author, you should drink wine or champagne with your meals.

3D: Bird's nest?: TREEHOUSE

4D: Best: OUTDO. Good job, Hillary, when No. 1 guy outdoes you, you offer him the No. 2 spot.

6D: Smart aleck: WISEACRE. I wish Alex Trebeck would shut up more so that all the Jeopardy questions can be answered.

7D: Preferred invitees: A LIST. Not any more, Eliot Spitzer.

8D: Bounder: LEAPER. Technically yes, but I hated it. Oh, by the way, bounder also means "An ill-bred, unscrupulous man".

9D: Medieval serf: ESNE. Learned from doing crossword.

10D: "Gymnopedies" composer: SATIE (Erik). I am so happy that I got him this time.

11D: Tapestry in "Hamlet": ARRAS. Wall hanging. Saw it clued as Gertrude's tapestry before.

13D: Upward push: BOOST. That's what the Bernanke's rescue package did to the stock market yesterday. It just needs to be sustained.

21D: Meas. across: DIA (Diameter). Last time I made a mistake saying it's diagonal, luckily some reader pointed it out. See, I learned.

26D: Phil of folk: OCHS. He was clued as Protest-singer Phil on Sunday's puzzle. Ex-owner of NY Times is named Ochs.

29D: Aromatic fir: BALSA. Is BALSA the same as Balsam?

31D: Fake-out moves: DEKES. Never heard of this word. Only knew decoy. For a moment, I thought maybe decoy's plural form is still decoy, but the letter e from the across APE forced me to dismiss the idea.

35D: Docs' group: AMA. Or HMO sometimes.

37D: Ad _ committee: HOC. I suppose "ad" means "to" in Latin? US Senate seems to have quite a few Ad Hoc committee. I never knew what they are doing.

38D: Dissipates: EVANESCES. Latin origin ( évānéscere), meaning "fade away".

40D: Part of Q. E. D.: ERAT. Another Latin, Quod Erat Demonstrandum, which was to be demonstrated. I gather ERAT is a past tense for "is"?

43D: Natural talent: APTITUDE. That's what Tyler Hinman has for crossword. Incredible.

53D: __ incognita: TERRA. Unknown Land. Latin. Terra Firma, Terra Cotta.

54D: Palmer, casually: ARNIE. He has an "Army". I respect Jack Nicklaus (the Bear), but I love Arnold Palmer. I respect Tiger Woods, but I love Phil Mickelson. Somehow Tiger and Jack have put some distances between themselves and us.

57D: Broadway backer: ANGEL. I did not connect "Angle" with money until Dennis mentioned it in the Comments. Here is more explanation I lifted from an article on Angel Investment: "The term "angel" has a long history, originating in the entertainment industry. An "angel" was the financial backer of a Broadway show. For instance, the owner of the Boston Red Sox who traded Babe Ruth to the Yankees to raise money to back a Broadway show was an angel, although not to generations of Red Sox fans."

59D: Fatigued: WEARY. The Iraq War, the Fatigue Syndrome.

61D: Fragrant ointment: NARD. I put SARD put, I don't know why.

62D: "___ of the d'Urbervilles": TESS. The only Hardy book that I acturally read.

63D: Trig. function: SINE

67D: German article: DER. According to Dennis, this is the masculine form of 'the" in German, "Das" is the neuter form, and "die" is the feminine form.

I hope you guys will read the Comments section (and add your voice too). There are gems of information and pearls of wisdom to be gleaned there.

C. C.


Dennis said...

C.C. - My compliments - for only 7 years in country, your command of the language is very impressive.
Also, I was trying to be very careful in asking the age question, which is why I said "age range" - I know women are usually sensitive to that particular question.
I was fortunate enough to have spent 18 months in the Far East - with the exception of people shooting at me, I absolutely fell in love with the culture. I'd love to visit China/Thailand/Hong Kong someday.

Dennis said...

Couple weird ones today; first time I've seen the word "Skeans" too. Not sure of the origins of "angel" for 'broadway backer', but it's a term that's been used for years to describe the money man behind a play.
Amen on Alex Trebeck; he can be pretty condescending on occasion. Easy to be smug when you have the answers, huh?

C.C. Burnikel said...


Why did people shoot at you? The Korean War?

I noticed that "Skean" can also be spelled as "Skene".

I hate when Trebeck left a whole category fallow, sometimes 2 rows untouched, esp when they are actually my cup of tea.

Dennis said...

Vietnam - '65-'66. Spent 4 1/2 years in the Marines.

Katherine said...

I knew Rene Auberjonois from the Star Trek series! haha How funny. Never heard of "dekes" as a fake out move. Many of them I never heard of. Love your comments!

C.C. Burnikel said...

Sorry Dennis,

I thought of Vietnam War, but then you said "Far East".


How I wished RENE (Descartes) was clued as He said: "Cogito ergo sum", then we would've had a wonderful Latin Fest today.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Oops. My bad. "How I wish...", not "How I wished..."

More for Dennis, I tend to make a distinction between Far East Asia and Southeast Asia.

Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore all belong to Southeast Asia, while Far East countries include China, Japan, Taiwan, and Korea.

Hence my confusion earlier.

Dr. Dad said...

Rene Auberjonois played Odo on Star Trek DS-9 and Father Mulcahy in the MASH movie (not the TV series).

Dennis said...

Just an FYI: In German, 'der' is masculine, 'das' is neuter and 'die' is feminine.

Anonymous said...

Another TV show for RENE Auberjonois (70A) is "Benson".

I, too, never heard of "DEKES" for fake out moves. A few of the answers today have definitely worn out their welcome!

A repeat offender in the reverse, I think, would be "Aromatic fir" (29D). Hasn't CEDAR shown up as a response for that one?

Have a great day!

Dick said...

I found your comments on Arnie interesting. I spent my teen years growing up with Arnie and of course he was my hero. I also met Jack thru Arnie and he is also a fine gentleman and very personal. I would like to meet Tiger sometime as he always impressed me with his ability to stay our of controversy which may be why he appears to stand off.

Anyway 3D gave me fits. I could not get treehouse in my mind. 60A was another one to give me problems. I got permanent ok but wanted to put press at the end. Guess I am getting to old to do crosswords with an open mind.

Dick said...

Was wondering what time of day you get your paper as I have not been able to get to the blog site before you have the solution published.

winfield said...

Permanent Tress sounds like it is a play on Permanent Press

winfield said...

Strange but Rene Auberjonois played a judge on the "Practice" then a lawyer on "Boston Legal" which was a spin off of the "Practice." So was he demoted? He also played a judge on a few episodes of "Judging Amy."

My favorite was his role of Dr Tewksbury on "Frasier." He played a professor who was a mentor to Frasier. If you watched "Frasier" he was the one who seduced Roz(who didn't) and was caught by Frasier wearing her robe; An image Frasier couldn't get out of his mind. I believe he was in 3 or 4 episodes.

C.C. Burnikel said...


I actually filled in CEDAR for 29D Aromatic fir, but had to correct myself after I checked the 2 in our phone button.


I have huge respect for Tiger and the way he handles himself. I just find him to be very intimidating and a bit cold. Phil and Sergio are much more personable.

On weekdays, I get my paper around 3:30am (sometimes a bit earlier) from Monday to Friday. The weekend (Saturday & Sunday) delivery guy is very errant (between 5:30am to 8:00am).


I've floated your idea on Permanent Press, let's see if others agree.

Anonymous said...

Read the Mayor of Castorbridge by Hardy, excellent read. Balsa is the tree, Balsam in the a plant substance.

Dennis said...

Actually, balsam is a tree as well; very popular Christmas tree.

Also, agree with Permanent Press; I took it the same way.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Dennis et al,

Is it Red Eye Special for the Red Dye Special for the first theme entry?

MH said...

I had ethane instead of ethene which inhibited me from getting evanesces and that messed up the entire lower right of the puzzle. Couldn't even get weary without help. Oh well.

Your comment about starting top middle cues me to ask something I've always wondered about: what strategy to others follow when solving? Start at upper right? Do the across first followed by the down? Do all the three and four letter words first and go back for the long words? Follow diagonal patterns from top left to bottom right or vice versa? Or do you change your strategy for each puzzle (that's what I do) depending on the pattern and difficulty? Maybe a poll here.

Dennis said...

C.C., yes to "red eye special".

MH, I always start at the upper left and work to the right, then just sort of drift down from there. No logic, just habit.

Anonymous said...

A deke is an ice hockey technique which a player uses to get past an opponent or "fake out" a goalie. The term is a Canadianism formed by abbreviating decoy.


Dick said...


I usually start upper left but will frequently start lower right. Neither way seems not to afford any advantage.

Anonymous said...

Odd as this may sound, I scan the clues and as soon as I know an answer, I start at that point. And whichever corner it is in, I go section by section. Though there is no rhyme or reason that stays consistent, the strategy is what stays consistent and tends to work for me.

Unknown said...

At the moment I am in Vancouver visiting from Sratford,Ontario. My son-in-law brings me the paper and a coffee every morning. I just enjoy your puzzels so much. Thank you. I did not know the answer to: dissipates.
Keep up the good work. Maria Adams

Anonymous said...

Boston Legal Rene Auberjonois was replaced by John Larroquette who was a gas on Night Court.
I start my puzzle by doing the across then the down and fill in the blanks. This seems to work best for me.

Robbie said...

No wonder I couldn't get 31D...I know absolutely nothing about hockey...asked husband who said ethane was 36A...but I went against his advice and put Uthene for 36A...thinking maybe that might be it. Good old Webster did not have Dekes in it at all so I was really stumped. I also had problems with 52A, not knowing the East German secret police which caused me problems on 53D. Oh well, somedays you win, somedays you lose.

sallyjane said...

Hello, everyone!

Another easy one this week. Cute theme, too. It took me a few minutes to figure out what "Red Dye Specials" was the pun for.

25A. RESET C.C., I'm tired of this one, too.

26A. ORO Old classic crosswordese.

44A. SKEANS No clue. Luckily it worked out on crosses.

70A. RENE Loved him as the shape shifter on Star Trek. Couldn't remember his character's name, though, til I read it here.

72A. YSER Gotta know your rivers if you're going to be a successful crossword solver.

2D. ICER Don't like this one. But am a great fan of wine with meals. :)

4D. OUTDO I agree, C.C., LOL!

7D. ALIST Ditto, C.C., vis a vis Mr. Spitzer.

8D. LEAPER Didn't like this one either. We've had far too many answers lately that have conveniently had that "ER" suffix added.

9D. ESNE Another crossword classic. Haven't seen it in ages, though.

26D. OCHS Tired of Phil lately, too.

40D. ERAT Put this and the Q part of the phrase in your memory bank.

My solving methodology:

I solve all my crossword puzzles the same way. I do the acrosses for the top line of the puzzle and the downs connected to them first. Next I do all the acrosses and followed by all the downs. Then I go back and fill in any that are missing. I've been doing it that way for so long, I don't even remember why! OCD perhaps? :)

C.C., it would be an absolute hoot (and an honor) to have you blog/complain about a puzzle of mine! I may just submit one to Mssr. Williams. I have 3 or 4 completed and have tried them out on friends. I just need to get off my duff and send them in!

See you tomorrow!


Anonymous said...

Agree 100% about Alex T; he seems to get worse with every show.
Check out the 1963 movie "Jason & the Argonauts" for some great special effects by Ray Harryhausen.
Regarding the poll: I start with No. 1 across, then No. 1 down, then all across and all down.

Anonymous said...

great puzzle today I thought note to katherine: I think Rene played father muchaey in the first episode of the series mash he and gary burghoff were the only actors too do the crossover from the movie ( read that somewhere) t/c everyone love the comments

NYTAnonimo said...

Hey C.C. thanks for doing this blog. I've been doing the NYT crossword puzzle for a few months but still do the local paper(DDN) occasionally. Got stuck on 44A-SKEANS and your blog came up when I googled. What a delight! Here are some other blogs you might want to list-they also cover the NYT puzzle but from
different angles-I've learned a lot from reading them.

Also-have you thought about scanning the completed grid and posting it?

Looking forward to visiting your blog again!

Anonymous said...

72A: Belgian river: YSER. It flows into North Sea.
This actually is 73A
72A-metes (out)

C.C. Burnikel said...

Anonymous at 9:20pm,

Thanks for pointing out my mistake. I've corrected it.


Thanks for the list.

I am fairly new to Crossword Blog, and have not reached out to others yet. NY Times is almost untouchable to me after Monday and Tuesday.

I make lots of mistakes in my daily crossword solving and I use lots of Liquid Paper, so my completed puzzle looks very ugly, and I don't want to insult other's eyes.

Will add it in the future.