Mar 19, 2008

Wednesday, March 19, 2008 Philip A. Anderson

Theme: Pulp Fiction

20A: Publishing pulp fiction?: PAGE TURNERS

59A: Real estate pulp fiction?: SPACE OPERAS

11D: Romance pulp fiction?: SOB STORIES

29D: Culinary pulp fiction?: POTBOILERS

I did not know that the plural form of "pulp fiction" is still "pulp fiction", so I was quite bothered in the beginning by the seemingly inconsistent noun forms between the clues and the answers.

I kind of like the topical reference (albeit vaguely) of the theme, given the recent scandal over Penguin's recall of Love & Consequence. There are also 3 Irish related sub-theme in this puzzle, ABIE, LIA Fail (36D: Irish crowning stone) & Stephen REA (an Irish actor). I bemoan the fact that they did not appear on Monday's O themed St. Patrick's Day puzzle. I am happy to find SENATE (24A: Upper house) and CONG (D. C. group) in the same puzzle.

I spent roughly 30 minutes on this puzzle. I was only retarded at the intersection of 34D and 53A (Letter E). I had no knowledge of URIEL, and I simply had no idea who was the former Swedish premier (PALME). I doubt if Annika Sörenstam knows. I would've never put an "E" or any vowel there, as both up & down words seem to be crying for a consonant.

My other SNAFU is the upper right corner. I had no idea who was Irish Rose, I decided that AXIE sounded good for her love. So my 11D became SEX STORIES. Well, romance stories do have lots of sex scenes, don't they? Then I looked at 33A (ATOP). I blushed: what's going on here? But I corrected myself before I became completely flustered.

I am so proud that I filled in OSIER authoritatively. Someone mentioned this word in the Comment section a few weeks ago. I read it and then I absorbed it. Thank you, Oregon!

Across entries:

10A: _ Spumante: ASTI. The sparking wine. Martini & Rossi Asti Spumante. I have no idea why I always associate this wine with Kama Sutra. My mind sometimes works very weirdly.

19A: Irish Rose's love: ABIE. I was actually thinking of Senator Kennedy's mother Rose. She was Irish. Here is more information for Abie's Irish Rose.

20A: Publishing pulp fiction?: PAGE TURNERS. Don't understand the hype and huge followings of Eat, Pray & Love.

35A: Disney frame: CEL

37A: Code of silence: OMERTA. Mafia practice. Don't snitch. I also read Mario Puzo's novel Omerta. It's as bad as The Sicilian. I think I only like the Godfather I.

40A: Roster with assignments: ROTA. No idea. I guessed. Here is the definition: "A round or rotation of duties; a period of work or duty taken in rotation with others". British word.

47A: Beret filler: TETE. French for head. I enjoy watching every mishap made by the current French tete Nicolas Sarkozy.

53A: An archangel: URIEL. It's "one of the archangels named in the Apocrypha and in Hebrew tradition."

58A: "My gal __": SAL. Have never seen it. I don't think I've seen any Rita Hayworth movie.

59A: Real estate pulp fiction: SPACE OPERAS. A subgenre of Science fiction. Not my cup of tea.

66A: Workplace safety grp.: OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration)

71A: Designer Schiaparelli: ELSA. She obviously craves fame, this is her 2rd appearance in the puzzle in a week. And she has been dead for 35 years.

Down entries:

1D: Model's walkway: RAMP. Catwork Ramp.

2D: Zeno's home: ELEA. Learned from crossword. Zeno is the "Greek philosopher who formulated numerous paradoxes that challenged the ideas of pluralism and the existence of motion and change."

6D: Pantomime game: CHARADES. Ben Bradley is good at this game.

7D: Favorite hangout: HAUNT. Mayflower Hotel for Client #9.

11D: Romance pulp fiction?: SOB STORIES. I think the first romance story I've read in English is probably The Bridges of Madison County, and I sobbed a lot. Did not enjoy Clint Eastwood's portrayal of Robert Kincaid though.

12D: Tough fabric: TWILL

13D: Rhone tributary: ISERE. Got it this time.

21D: Mythical beast: UNICORN. Franklin Mint has the best unicorn sculptures.

27D: Zhivago's love: LARA. Let's try Lara Logan of CBS next time. Love her and Nick Robinson. Logan was awarded Glamour Magazine's Women of the Year in 2007.

29D: Culinary pulp fiction?: POTBOILER. "a usually inferior work (as of art or literature) produced chiefly for profit". I would put Denzel Washington's "Déjà Vu" as a potboiler movie. Horrible. What a waste of his talent!

32D: Cyclonic wind: TORNADO

34D: Former Swedish premier: PALME. Olof Palme. Interesting given name. Have to remember it lest the diabolic constructor come up with a Former Swedish Premier Palme ___ clue next time. Strange to see politicians assassinated in Sweden. Their former Foreign Minister Anna Lindh was also stabbed to death in 2003.

36D: __ Fail (Irish crowning stone): LIA. Here is the photo. It's also called Stone of Destiny. It's located in Tara Hill, Ireland.

42D: Plea: ENTREATY. I think I am getting smarter. I filled in this word like it's OREO.

49D: Mount in the Cascades: SHASTA. Unknown to me until today. I get it from down clues. Shasta is an Indian word, meaning what???

53D: Customary practice: USAGE

54D: "Bolero" composer: RAVEL. Nailed it today.

57D: Chutzpah: NERVE. The Audacity. Of hope. "But it is where we start. It is where our union grows stronger. And as so many generations have come to realize over the course of the two-hundred and twenty one years since a band of patriots signed that document in Philadelphia, that is where the perfection begins." Brilliant speech yesterday, Senator Obama!

60D: False front: POSE. What's wrong with NY? The new governor also had an affair? You guys are really good at cultivating a pose as an ordinary family-loving man.

65D: Stephen of "Michael Collins": REA. Have never seen this movie before. Generally I love all IRA related movie. Of course, Stephen REA's The Crying Game is the best.

For keys to today's puzzle, please go to Chicago Tribune's Crossword website.

C. C.


Dennis said...

Another fast one, everything seemed to flow well. I think we're due for a killer.
I have no idea what Shasta means; I think it's also the name of an American Indian tribe.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Good morning Dennis,

Regarding 1D: RAMP. Does the clue "model" refer to the catwalk strutting supermodel?

I don't get it, why the answer is RAMP?

Dick said...

Good morning everyone. Like Dennis I found this one to be fast and flowing. Maybe they are trying to make up for Mondays stinker. I did not know 36D and 71A and needed help to fill these in. Also, I did not know 34D but it worked in from the other clues. Overall not bad. One other problem today is that I always try to spell Stephen Rea's name as Rae. guess I will learn someday.

Dennis said...

Morning, C.C. - yeah, I've seen the catwalk referred to as a ramp. It's not technically correct, as a ramp slants, but there it is.

Dick said...

Yes CC the clue "model" does refer to the strutting supermodel that weigh 80 pounds or less.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Got it Dick and Dennis, thank you.

Female Models:

Minimum height: 5'8"

Minimum weight: 108.

Unless you are Kate Moss.

Katherine said...

Good morning........I got MOST of this one. I had no idea what the Irish Crowning Stone was and when I looked at the picture, it looks like a phallic symbol from Bible times to me. UGH. I did not know Omerta, code of silence, or that an ambler was a stroller. I had to Google the Cascades to get that one.
Till tomorrow..........

Anonymous said...

Katherine, that was my first thought too when I looked at the Irish "crowning stone". What in the world are they thinking? Glad that's not the Blarney Stone. I agree with Dick. Just a few left field ones but otherwise another 10 min gig. It's a good day. Hope all of you enjoy it too.

Katherine said...

Lois, I am so glad you noticed that too. I hesitated to say that, but that is what I thought! It's incredible what they come up with for some of the religious symbols!

Dr. Dad said...

I agree with everyone that this one was not bad. I had trouble with the crowning stone and a bit of trouble in the lower left with Uriel and Ravel but eventually worked through them. Dennis is right - they're lurking with a killer puzzle for release sometime soon.

Anonymous said...

C.C. The link to the Trib doesn't work. The "Crowning Stone"? I need to google the history of that.

Dick said...

CC you asked earlier what Shasta means. I Google d it and here is what I found. The word “Shasta” can refer to a number of things but it can be associated most as the name of a Native American Tribe. The people of this tribe spoke the Shasta language and inhabited the areas of what now is Northern California and parts of Southern Oregon. Don't know if this is adequate but it is the best I could find.

Dennis said...

Lois, you almost made me fall out of my chair with the Blarney Stone remark; great line.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Anon at 6:58am,

I've revised the link. Did not know what went wrong earlier.


Thanks for the Shaska information. I was kind of looking for a hidden meaning behind Shaska.

For example, "Minnesota" originates from Mnisota, which is an Indian word meaning Sky-tinted water.

Regarding RAE & REA:

REA seems to be a common surname for Irish people. Stephen REA is Irish.

Norma RAE (Sally Field film)

RAE Dawn Chong (Tommy Chong's daughter, actress)

Singer Charlotte RAE

I cannot think of any other RAEs.

Dick said...

CC you are a RAY of sunshine. Pun intended.

Dick said...

Dennis I missed Lois's comment until I saw you response and then I went back to read it. Like Master Card Priceless.

Razz said...

C. C. - Did you notice all the repeat offenders in todays puzzle?
RECAP, HAGS, ASTI, OSIER, TETE, TAP, OMENS, AVER, OSHA, GERE, STET, EVITA (yesterday), AGREES, TSAR, LARA, ATOM, TOTE, ASEA, ACHES, AND ANTE. There may be others like OSIER and ENTREATY. I enjoyed the new words but a huge chunk of "53D CUSTOMARY PRACTICE" today.

MH said...

This one was quick except I had trouble with PALME and URIEL - I had them as PALMA and ARIAL but that gave me ASAGE instead of USAGE. Had to peek to get those 3 right.

Anonymous said...

I finished this one, but I guessed and put in an A instead of and E at the intersection of "obscure Swedish politician nobody knows" and "random Archangel nobody knows" :)

There were lots and lots of frequent flyer words today.

C.C. Burnikel said...

I totally missed the Master Card Priceless stuff you guys were talking about.

What's so funny about the Blarney Stone?

For your information: There is a Crowning Stone (Coronation Stone) in Scotland named the Stone of Scone. Another one in Sweden named Stones of Mora.


Good to see you back.

Yeah, I've noticed scads of repeat offenders. But I have let the List laying fallow for the moment. Do not have enough time. I hope TMS someday will let us access their database.

Anonymous said...

Good morning!

I would have to say I do agree with dennis. A storm must be brewing!

Dennis, isn't Shasta a soda as well?

Lots of repeat offenders! Can't wait til the roman numerals rear their ugly heads. :o)

Have a great day everyone!

Anonymous said...

6D: Pantomime game: CHARADES. Ben Bradley is good at this game.

5D: Nag: Pester

Anonymous said...

SEA and ASEA should not be in the same puzzle--especially crossing one another!

Dennis said...

C.C. - tradition says that you kiss the Blarney Stone for luck; I'll let it go at that.
MKat, yes, Shasta is a soda brand that comes in many different flavors. We have it here (Philly area), but I always assumed it was a regional soft drink.

jimhllrn said...

I guess I'm smarter than I thought. The only place I had to go for help was 35 across and 36 down. I have never heard of a crowning stone and have seen the 'Disney frame' several times, but could not remember it.

Razz said...

Don't crosswords send you to some of the best places... I had never read the poetry of Joaquin Miller before researching Mt. Shasta. Very interesting read.


To lord all Godland! lift the brow
Familiar to the moon, to top
The universal world, to prop
The hollow heavens up, to vow
Stern constancy with stars, to keep
Eternal watch while eons sleep;
To tower proudly up and touch
God's purple garment-hems that sweep
The cold blue north! Oh, this were much!

Where storm-born shadows hide and hunt
I knew thee, in thy glorious youth,
And loved thy vast face, white as truth;
I stood where thunderbolts were wont
To smite thy Titan-fashioned front,
And heard dark mountains rock and roll;
I saw the lightning's gleaming rod
Reach forth and write on heaven's scroll
The awful autograph of God!

Miller, Joaquin

Shadows of Shasta

Chicago: Jansen, McClurg & Co., 1881


C.C. Burnikel said...

Anonymous at 10:04am,

That's a very good observation! I totally agree. It cheapens the puzzle.

Anonymous said...

Just found this website and am excited about it!

"My Gal Sal" is an old song -- from the era of "Bicycle Built for Two," etc.

What is meant by "repeat offenders"?

NYTAnonimo said...

Best I could find for the meaning of the word Shasta was here and is as follows:
"Even the origin of the name, "Shasta," is clothed in mystery. The great mystic and founder of the Theosophical Society, Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, who once visited Mount Shasta, said that the Sanskrit word Sishta is the enlightened remnant of a previous age that forms the seed of a coming humanity. Again, a sort of Shambhala.

The Sanskrit word Shasta means one who lives according to divine law. Although, some say that Mount Shasta was actually named by French fur trappers who called it chaste, meaning "pure." Or, it could have received its name from the Tshastel Indians who lived in the area.

Whatever the origins of the name, many have come to the Mountain because of a vision or calling. I have heard many stories over the years of what brought people to the Mountain."

I missed the LIA Stone and OSIER-had an E instead of the I. Thanks for the write up and references c.c.!

Anonymous said...

Good morning everyone! Thank goodness I felt a wee bit more intelligent with this puzzle than Monday's.

"Never heard of" category:

35A. Disney frame - CEL (I still don't understand)

41A. Basketry willow - Osier (I need to look this one up)

36D. XXX Fail (Irish crowning stone) - LIA - cc: thanks for the site.

37A. Code of Silence - OMERTA (never heard of this either)

I took me a long while to figure out 49D. Mount in the Cascades and I live in the NW. Couldn't figure out which mtn. ends in "A", until I was able to get other clues around it.

Dennis, et al....I grew up with Shasta soda once I moved to the NW vs. W. Coast. Don't recall having Shasta in Hawai'i.

Does anyone remember the soda "Simba"? That was my favorite drink! Am I dating myself? Is RC Cola still around?

I agree with y'all with what's coming ahead. It took me almost 45 minutes to do this puzzle this morning and still had to come here to put myself out of misery. I'm 0/3 this week on completing puzzle without any sort of help. Sigh!

Thanks and have a great day!

~AlohaSpirit in Seattle where the sun is trying to peek out!

Dennis said...

Anonymous @12:32 - Yes, RC Cola is alive and well.
Cel is short for "celluloid", the transparent sheets on which animation is drawn. Original cels of Disney classics can be worth a fortune.
Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

Dennis, thank you so much for clearing up the CEL. Does it come up much in puzzles?


C.C. Burnikel said...


This is the first time I met CEL. Dennis may have encountered it before.

On our computer room wall, there is a tin plate of Babe Ruth holding his bat and endorsing some cola. I always thought it was R. C. Cola. Only realized after reading your comments that it was Red Rock Cola.


Wow, Sanskrit Shasta, I was only thinking of Native Indian language. Thanks for digging out that information. I really appreciate it.

Unknown said...

Yes, this was an easy flowing puzzle. I agree with Dick that they were making up for Monday. Being from Oregon, I knew Shasta but had no clue about OMERTA. Thanks everyone!

Dick said...

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

jolienb said...

well, i agree that today's puzzle wasn't all that bad.
in fact, i was able to finish it with just my brain and google.
usually i give up and come here to kick my self in the butt and say "oh, duh!" or "why didn't i think of that?!"
anywho, another plus for me today was that i didn't have to use my handy dandy white out.
i always do my puzzles in ink (but with white out close by) :D
didn't need it today.

Happy Hump Day everyone, from Bakersfield, CA.

Anonymous said...

Just found this site after being hung up on the very last word "sublease a flat" - I have RELI....

Can't believe some people haven't heard of Mt. Shasta - but here I am 'cheating' on this discussion group - but I don't feel so alone now - you people are very bright - I hope it is catching!

Marley - California

Unknown said...

73 Across must be RELET, as lease again (sublet).
I just found this blog last week, and have returned twice since then. And I do not get much time during the day. This is cool.
I felt all smart because I knew Olof Palme immediately, but I still swear I have never heard of Space Operas. I guess I read too many "real" books. :-)

Unknown said...

Hmm. Just realized this is set to put in my husband's name. I am not Brian. He couldn't care less about crossword puzzles. LOL

Unknown said...

Good morning, fellow crossword enthusiasts. Things fell into place fairly well today. This too was my first time filling in Osier right away, instead of on the second time or third time through.

For future reference I would like to submit for your approval a useful word in the wood or fiber category: "Bast," or woody fiber. I don't recall seeing it here, but it's not uncommon in other puzzles and I suspect we will see it here sooner or later.

This was the first time I recall seeing Zeno of Elea; I'll have to file that away for later use.

Getting back to osier, I notice that it's in the repeat offender list. The repeat offender list is one of many nice feature in this highly entertaining and informative site. Good job, c.c.

Little Lj said...

C.C.! So sorry I've been on hiatus for a while! I posted on my blog today which explains it all, so I don't take up space here doing it!

But anyway, thanks for your concern, and yes I am doing crosswords still! So on, with today's thoughts...

Don't be embarrassed, i put SEX STORIES too for 11D haha! And I realized my mistake with ATOP as well!!

Also, I had no idea ROTA was not a universal word... it's fairly common in Britain, so thats interesting. Therefore I got that clue pretty quickly!

That's all for today! I will agree it was on the easy side today, so I think everyone's right, a hard one must be on the way!

C.C. Burnikel said...


I use pen with Liquid Paper. I don't like the smell of Wite-Out.

Marley & Brian's wife,

Thanks for swinging by.


BAST appeared on Feb 22 Friday's puzzle.

I am glad that you like the Repeat Offender List. Too bad that I can not update it every day. Too much work.

Little lj,

I am so happy that you are back. I thought that you decided to go back to Britain after your bad cold :-)