Apr 5, 2008

Saturday, April 5, 2008 Arlan and Linda Bushman

Theme: NONE

An uphill battle today, brutal! Without a theme guidance, I felt like I was playing golf under foggy (and cold) weather. I could not see the fairways clearly, not to mention the pin positions. I was in the rough on almost every hole.

To make things worse, I kept wanting AVE, HEXAGON and ORT to be merged and form an open parallel to balance 20A and 53A. This needless mental knot caused me quite a few strokes.

My first several tee shots were actually perfect, right down in the middle. But I could not follow through. Had no idea how to chip and where to land the ball on the green.

Take the lower right corner for example: I got SONICS for 49A, then I wrote down OWED (confused it with owned) for 61A: Have, in the past, and I filled in DOES for 64A: Unnamed others, thinking of John/Jane DOE. I had no idea what was Knicks coach Thomas' given name. I did not know the meaning of "thurible", imagining it was a kind of sewing tool like thimble. Have never heard of actress Gershon. So, a bloody mess there. I could not even get AT NIGHT for 41D. Stupid! What can I say?

Except the ugly double appearances of STAIR (20A & 11D) & HAMMER (53A & 54D), this puzzle was very well designed and constructed. Lots of quality fills. I think I would've enjoyed it were I a better solver.

Grid: Total letters filled: 193. Total blank squares: 32


1A: Bungle: FLUB

5A: Gem weight: CARAT

10A: Flat-topped rise: MESA. OK, a non-MESA related question for you: Are you or anyone of your family a MENSA member? Send me a private email if you do not want go public with this information.

14A: Mrs. Chaplin: OONA. O'Neill's daughter. But what an enviable & magical marriage they forged! 35 years. Incredible. By the way, Oona's daughter Geraldine Chaplin played Tonya in Dr. Zhivago.

15A: Florida citrus city: OCALA

16A: Dog-eared: USED

17A: Marketed: SOLD. Really? I thought marketing was different than selling. (Update: drdad says they are the same)

18A: Upstairs storage room: ATTIC

19A: Former "SNL" rival: SCTV (Second City TV). Wikipedia says it's a "Canadian TV sketch comedy show offshoot from Toronto's The Second City troupe thatran between 1976 to 1984". Is it well-known?

20A: Lighthouse feature, often: SPIRAL STAIRCASE

23A: Condition of life: ESTATE. Not aware of this meaning of ESTATE. I might have penned in STATE if the clue was asking for a 5-letter fill.

24A: Outstanding: STELLAR. That's Johanna Santana. So weird to see him in Mets uniform.

25A: Green sauce: PESTO. Wasabi is green too, but I guess you call it condiment. My husband simply can not stand wasabi. He gets all teared up just by looking at it.

28A:Does field work: REAPS

29A: Mason totes: HODS

32A: Occult doctrine: CABALA. Or KABALA. Madonna spent over $12,000/month just for her Cabala water. Crazy! She is one mystifying bird: She does Yoga, she lives on a Microbiotic diet, and she practices CABALA. They are of totally different religious concept.

35A: Skater Babilonia: TAI. Did not know her before.

36A: Old-style greeting: AVE. Only in old Rome I suppose. Latin for "hail". Would be very nice if the A here intersect with the A in SALVO.

37A: Honeycomb shape: HEXAGON. Have never seen a honeycomb in my life. So I have no idea what's the shape.

40A: "I, Robot" author: ASIMOV. Have you seen the movie (Will Smith)?

42A: Shift or sack: DRESS

46A: Low-altitude cloud: STRATUS. Plural is STRATI. I guess it would be STRATA if not for STRATUM.

48A: Military tribute: SALVO

49A: Seattle team, informally: SONICS. SuperSonics. Does Seattle Mariners have a nickname also?

53A: Rodin implements: HAMMER AND CHISEL

56A: X or Y line: AXIS

57A: Sound loudly: BLARE

58A: Actress Gerson: GINA. No idea. She looks pretty.

59A: Numbers game: KENO. Have never played this game.

60A: Birdlike: AVIAN

61A: Have, in the past: HAST. Could be clued in better way. I don't like the HA repetition.

62A: British PM Anthony: EDEN. Much better than Eve's garden clue.

63A: Nick of the screen: NOLTE. Repeat offender! How proper!

Back nine:

1D: "Cabaret" director: FOSSE (Bob). He won Oscar for this movie in 1972. I've never seen the movie. The only Liza Minnelli movie I've seen is New York, New York.

2D: Aerial stunts: LOOPS

4D: Undeserved imputations: BAD RAPS

5D: Comes together: COALESCES. I am so proud that I filled in this word without looking at other across clues after I got letter C from CARAT and O from OCALA.

7D: "Round and Round" band: RATT. No, not familiar with the band or the song.

8D: Miscreant's dodge: ALIAS. Did not know the meaning of "miscreant", but the word itself looks very bad to me, you know, with "mis", so I made an educated guess.

10D: Brawn: MUSCLE

11D: Moving stairway: ESCALATOR

12D: Distinguishes: SETS APART. I start to really like this kind of adverb/preposition embedded answer. Crossword is made more challenging NOT by MOSSY obscure words, but by intelligent cluing, in my view.

13D: Hard times: ADVERSITY

21D: Bolted down: ATE. Did not know that "bolt" can mean "eat' before. I don't think I want to bolt down any food. I am a slow picky eater.

22D: Put on once again: RERAN. I was in the direction of "put on weight" or "put on clothes".

26D: Hack: TAXI

27D: Illinois democrat: OBAMA. democrat, not Democrat? Shouldn't the D be capitalized?

29D: Deal clincher, perhaps: HANDSHAKE

30D: Given too much work: OVERTAXED

31D: Figure out: DETERMINE

33D: Highly worked up: AGOG

34D: Romance movie staple: LOVE SCENE

37D: Undue speed: HASTE

41D: When star comes out: AT NIGHT

43D: Biblical strong man: SAMSON

45D: Japanese stage offering: NOH. From Nogaku. Japanese musical drama (masked). No/Noh means talent, "gaku" means music.

47D: Type of renewal or sprawl: URBAN

50D: Knicks coach Thomas: ISIAH. Wow, looks like he has had a illustrious career. Sorry for my ignorance Sir!

51D: Use a thurible: CENSE. This word "thurible'" just looks so wrong to me. Weird spelling.

52D: Bluish-gray in color: SLATY. Did not know that "SLATY" also mean slate-like color.



drdad said...

Good morning, C.C. Had a bad time for a bit in that lower right corner as well. Knew Gina Gershon and Isiah Thomas but thought it was spelled Isaiah. Slaty finally fit after getting "them." Fosse and Estate in the upper left were the last hurdles mostly because I had "Bad Reps" to start. The rest was pretty easy. Ones I didn't know, e.g., hods, fell into place from other clues.

Marketing and selling are pretty much the same thing. I am involved in sales and marketing a little bit. Market here is a verb.

Had alibi instead of alias for awhile until I finally saw spiral staircase.

My wife knew what a thurible was as she "censes" all the time.

Happy Saturday

drdad said...

Sorry, meant to say "they" not "them" in my comment.

C. C. said...

Good morning drdad,
I've updated my blog regarding the Marketed/SOLD entry. Thank you.

I am curious, how long did you spend on this puzzle?

Also, 27D, the OBAMA clue, shouldn't the "d" be capitalized in democrat?

C. C. said...

Also, drdad, did you have any problem with 19A: SCTV or was it a gimme for you?

I know it can be inferred from down clues. I just want to make sure that it's a solid, legit clue.

drdad said...

According to the Publication Style Guide, it could be either. A member of a party (in this case Democrat) is capitalized but the follower of a philosophy is not capitalized. The clue could refer to Obama as a member (use D) or as a follower of the democratic philosophy (use d).

I had heard of Second City TV.

Took me about 30-40 minutes (one and a half cups of coffee).

drdad said...

C.C - Not that I would discuss the solutions in this blog site but do you do Jumbles also?

Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. - last morning in Florida; back to gray NJ this afternoon.
Maybe it's been the FL. sunshine, but this completed the easiest week I can recall for me. Even the ones I couldn't recall (thurible) fell into place from the others. Watch, next week I'll be a complete idiot again.
Hope it's a great weekend for everyone.

Dennis said...

C.C. - SCTV was extremely popular back in the day; when you can, google it and check out the cast memebers.
drdad - I always do (or try to) the jumble, cryptogram and sudoku each morning - holler anytime you want to compare notes or share frustrations.

C. C. said...


I've never seen a JUMBLE in my life. Is it fun? Is it a syndication also?

I went to the Indeed, small letter "democrat" means an advocate of democracy, and capitalized "Democrat" means a member of the Democratic Party.

I wanted it to be Capitalized. It made much sense to me.


Great to SEE you!

NYTAnonimo said...

Stuck with octagon far too long instead of hexagon for honeycomb shape.

Have to leave church when they use a thurible to cense. Irritates my sinuses and makes me cough. Why do they still use these-weren't they originally used to disperse smells? One of those rites that has outlived its usefulness.

Always wondered how a bricklayer used a hod.This is a good image.

Sawstratus clouds flying home on Thursday.

Did you knowkeno originated in China?

Enjoyed your writeup and the comments as usual c.c.. Thanks!

drdad said...

The Jumble is a scrambled word game that is usually in the same section as the crossword. Consists of 4 scrambled words (more on Sunday) and then you get the circled letters that you unscramble to form a word or words that gives the answer to a cartoon displayed with the puzzle. Usually pretty easy as Dennis can probably attest to.

C. C. said...

What, KENO originated in China? I really had no idea. Early Chinese immigrants brought some good stuff to America, including some strange Chow Suet and Moo Shu Pork. You will NOT find any of them in modern Chinese family.

Our local Star Tribune does not carry the Jumble. We do have sudoku though.

I suppose you can blog about Sudoku, you know. I should have filled in 3 rather than 4... that 7 is misleading. Terrible construction. Unfair rating, etc, etc, etc.

drdad said...

Found out I'm no good at Sudoku.

NYTAnonimo said...

Here's an online jumble c.c..

Anonymous said...

The Tribs web page has both jumbles and sudoko's. Go to the games section on the lower left side and the other puzzles are available. They can be worked interactively or printed, just like the daily crossword. This is really nice when the paper is late.

M.E. said...

Sudoku took hours of my life that I'll never get back, and I'll never forgive it. I loathe the game. :-)

But crosswords and jumbles are another story! My husband got so good at jumbles he could solve them almost instantly. Weird, huh?

Anonymous said...

I assume the poll about solving puzzles is Jumble not Jumbo?
I liked today's puzzle and only got a little stuck on lower left corner, it was not too easy or too hard. I like a little challenge and was disappointed on Monday and Tuesday and had to go buy a USA Today. I don't like working the puzzles online.

MH said...

I pretty much flew through this except for the lower right corner. Didn't know thurible and never heard the word cense. Slaty seems wrong to me - I think it's a made up word. I didn't know Gina Gershon either. So I looked up thurible and was able to solve the rest of the corner after that.

Regarding marketing vs selling, I think they are two different things. Selling is taking money in return for providing goods or services. Marketing is creating demand for goods and services, for example advertising.

Anonymous said...

SCTV gave us Rick Moranis (ghostbusters), and Dave Thomas, the two "hoser" Canadian Moose voices in the Disney "Brother Bear" movies. Also John Candy, and few others.

Going to market, Farmer's Market = marketing or selling goods.

jimhllrn said...

AHH - the southeast corner - It drove me bonkers. Didn't know a single one. I got ATNIGHT and SONICS, but then stayed mired for a bit. I looked up 'thurible 'in Webster's and after that I cruised. Good puzzle, but a little too easy for a
Saturday, don't you think??
Now, I'm going to see what has to offer for Saturday.
Have a great weekend. It Spring!!!

IM3D said...

I'm using your blog to learn about crossword while I'm stuck inside. Slowly getting better.Thanks.
You made a comment on legit clues, Rodin was a modeler not a carver. Hammer and chisel were not his tools. Clay, then poured bronze.

I do the Sudoku first. I like the way it orders my mind.

C. C. said...

Anonymous at 8:20am,
Thanks for the jumble information. I assume you are talking about Chicago Tribune. Is your online jumble and sudoku the same as the newspaper ones? I know your crossword is the same.

See, here in Mpls, our Star Tribune has Universal crossword syndication on line, but we have Tribune Media Service (TMS) crossword on the newspaper.

Anonymous @9:27am,
I made a mistake on the poll question. It should be Jumble. But once the poll started, no change could be made. It pains me to see the mistake there...

According to the poll I conducted last week, only 6 solvers (out of 363 participants) prefer to solve their puzzle on line.

drdad, nytanonimo, m.e.,
Thanks for the jumble information. Maybe I should try one sometime. I have a question for you: Is that jumble puzzle a syndication? Are you guys all doing the same jumble?

I don't do Sudoku. It gives me headache.

I am not comfortable with SLATY either. But it's in the dictionary. So it's legit I suppose.

Did you have problem logging on blogger today?

Nope, it's not an easy Saturday for me!! It's almost 3:00pm now, you should be done with your LA Times. How is it? Are you sufficiently challenged?

I like your reason for solving Sudoku first.

So, you don't think Rodin used any chisel or other tool to forge the clay into bronze/marble?

IM3D said...

C.C. Modelers working clay is mostly hand & finger work with some wooden sticklike tools then sent off to the foundry for casting. His marble works would be sent to a carver to translate from his maquette.
Still he's a genius

C. C. said...

Thank you for the quick response. You are a sculptor, so I fully trust what you say on this subject. Very educating information.

Anonymous said...

19 fomer SNL rival SCTV.


Ever heard of John Candy? He got his start there but SNL was more popular with John Belushi , Dan Ackroyd, Jane Curtain, Gilda Radner, Chevy Chase. In later years Eddie Murphy in the early 80's. SCTV just couldn't compete with SNL or Chicago's Second City which is was a farm team of SNL. That was where who honed your comedy skills if Lorne Michaels liked your talent you got hired for SNL or as it was known the first few seasons, "The Not Ready For Prime Time Players!" Howard Cosell on ABC hosted a sports show called Saturday Night Live.

C. C. said...

anti-war democrat,
No, John Candy is not in my memory bank.

Thanks for providing the additional information. Very interesting!

Dick said...

Hello cc, I am a bit late on the April 5th puzzle but I have been away. Now to the puzzle. I cannot believe I could not figure out 27D Illinois democrat! Dah!! Where have I been for the last 12 months. From there I struggled with the lower left hand corner. I had for 52D steel which led to other problems as I did not know Gina Gershom although I will not forget her now that you published her picture. I had Thee for 64A in lieu of They. If I am correct that would make 52D slate which is better than slaty. Lastly Thurible was used in a crossword recently but I can't remember if it was in the Star or some other one.

C. C. said...

Gina picture :-)

Are you doing NY Times puzzle also? I was told that "Thurible" appeared on their March 7 crossword.