, pub-2774194725043577, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 L.A.Times Crossword Corner: Saturday May 24, 2008 Josiah Breward


May 24, 2008

Saturday May 24, 2008 Josiah Breward


An epic battle this morning. I could not get a toehold at the grid at all. STEPPE was not an easy word to fish out of my brain so early in the morning. And I did not know the Roman fable writer PHAEDRUS or the Spider woman ARACHNE, nor was I familiar with TREMOLO. I've never seen CONFUTES (Disproves) before. A very tough start.

The lower right corner was hard too. Duse ELEONORA was a complete stranger to me. I know TOTEM, but I had no idea that TOTEMISM is a word. And I simply forgot ENTO is a prefix for inside. I did not know FLUORINE or ORIFICE either. So, a big stumper today. But it's good to see Z & Q in the same grid again. It's my initials.

There are three Russia references in the puzzle: USSR, STEPPE, MIR. And a bit of business undertone too: 24A: Shortfall: DEFICIT, ASE, and (UN) QUOTE.

Look at the below 3-letter fills today, none of them are lazy AAA, EEE or III words:

19A: Qty: AMT

21A: NYSE competition: ASE (American Stock Exchange)

22A: Pre. advisory grp.: NSC (National Security Council), overseen by NSA (National Security Adviser). Bush's NSA is Stephen Hadley, who could not tell the difference between Tibet and Nepal.

26A: Beat it!: GIT

27A: Stevedores' grp: ILA (International Longshoremen's Association). I did not know the meaning of "Stevedores"

52A: D.C. advisory grp.: NSA (National Security Agency). It's featured in Will Smith's Enemy of the State. I like it a lot. All those NSA directors seem to have a military background.

53A: Color of the Italian sky: BLU

48A: Mazel __! TOV. Hmm, Yiddish words every day now.

54A: #: NUM

55A: Orbing part of Russia?: MIR. Wrong clue, MIR was de-orbited in 2001.

4D: Cut of an agt.: PCT

31D: Amusement: FUN. Yes, come to this blog "If You Wanna Have some FUN".

32D: "Le Coq ___, " Rimsky-Korskoff opera: D'OR. Unknown to me. I know nothing about opera. I love coq au vin though (definitely need morel to make it tasty).

40D: Tallahassee sch.: FSU. So what is their mascot now?


1A: Plains of Siberia: STEPPE. This is a STEEPE in Kazakhsan.

8A: Say again: ITERATE

15A: Spider woman of myth: ARACHNE. Dictionary says it's "a Lydian woman who challenged Athena to a weaving contest and was changed into a spider for her presumption." Here is ARACHNE (literally spider).

16A: More constricted: TIGHTER

17A: Having a will: TESTATE

28A: Climbing palms: RATTANS. This reminds me of NIPA (Malay thatch).

30A: Disproves: CONFUTES

32A: Refuse to believe: DENY. We get some attitude here: CONFUTES & DENY.

34A: Inside: pref: ENTO. I always want INTRA (as to EXTRA). EXTRO is outside prefix, so are ECT(O) and EXO.

37A: Duplicate: TWIN. Who is this Twin?

40A: Most reactive nonmetallic element: FLUORINE. Symbol: F. Atomic number: 9. Dictionary says it's "a yellow irritating toxic flammable gas" and "a powerful oxidizing agent".

45A: Dinner finale: DESSERT

50A: Verbatim finale: UNQUOTE

56A: African nation: SOMALIA. Iman is from SOMALIA. There is simply no effective government there, all Sunni Muslims.

58A: Hole in the head: ORIFICE. It's "an opening or aperture, as of a tube or pipe; a mouthlike opening or hole; mouth; vent". ORIFICE came from Latin ōrificium, ōr is mouth, fic is a comb. form of facere to make.

60A: Free verse poet: IMAGIST. Wow, I thought the clue was asking for a particular poet who was famous for his free verse or something.

61A: Changes dimension: RESIZES

63A: Chair part: ARM REST


1D: Devilish: SATANIC. Fiendish.

2D: Vibrating effect: TREMOLO. Here is the definition: "a tremulous or vibrating effect produced on certain instruments and in the human voice, as to express emotion."

3D: Photography pioneer: EASTMAN. The Kodak founder.

5D: Roman writer of fables: PHAEDRUS. Wikipedia says "He is recognized as the first writer to latinize entire books of fables, using the iambic metre Greek prose of the Aesop tales.". There is another dialogue PHAEDRUS written by Plato, see here.

6D: Petitions: ENTREATS

7D: Take care of: SEE AFTER

8D: Cornell University city: ITHACA. Is ITHACA always on your mind? Do you want those fine merchandise? I want those "pleasurable perfumes of all kinds".

9D: Makes a connection: TIES IN

10D: Marsh birds: EGRETS. Her neck is rather long, isn't it?

12D: All fluttery: ATINGLE

13D: Pull against gravity: TENSION

14D: How to stand at attention: ERECTLY

34D: Classic actress Duse: ELEONORA. What is a classic actress? From silent movie era?

34D: One providing sustenance: NURTURER

36D:Shamanistic belief: TOTEMISM

37D: Pass across: TRANSIT

38D: Fetching: WINSOME

39D: Think tank member: IDEA MAN. What about women fellows/scholars?

41D: List: ITEMIZE

42D: Prospective members: NOVICES

43D: Highest peak: EVEREST. "Because it's there".

47D: Deep knee bend: SQUATS

45D: Irish capital: DUBLIN. OK, here is When the Stars Go Blue again, from The Corrs, Live in DUBLIN 2002 (I do love the Live 8 version more). Enjoy!



Katherine said...

Oh boy, color me stupid today. Yikes! I only got a few of the clues, but then I only had about 10 minutes to try to get this one. That is quite a picture of Arachne. And Iman looks beautiful. I wonder how her and David are doing???? I will watch the video's later, I need to get ready for work. I hope everyone has a great weekend. Hopefully we will all have nice weather. Nice hearing from you CC.

Dick said...

Good morning all. This one is the killer I have been expecting for a few weeks now. I needed help from Google to complete this one. cc in your comments before the solution you said a reference to Russia was USSA, don't you mean USSR.

Zhouqin (C.C.) Burnikel said...

Good morning, Katherine
Looks like we all had a tough journey sailing to ITHACA this morning. Are you feeling defrauded?

I've corrected my mistake. Thank you. Which words stumped you today?

Dick said...

cc I am curious as to how much time you spend preparing the initial blogs in the morning. It seems to me that it must be very time consuming with all of the links and references that you provide. You have my admiration. I am leaving for the weekend so you all have a great holiday and hope to see you here Tuesday morning.

Zhouqin (C.C.) Burnikel said...

It all depends on the difficulty of the puzzle and my mood. Links are very easy, I just pick up whatever pleases my mind.

lois said...

Good morning CC et al, All I can say is Thank God for you, CC! Great links as always too. Arachne looks like I feel this AM, but mine's self-induced and is temporary. Hers?
I was amazed at how many words I did get, but 42D was misleading to me as well as 60A (same as you, CC), looking for a name, git?, imagist? on & on. Maybe this puzzle gave me this headache.

Dick: have a good trip.

Dick said...

cc relative to your 6:28 post I must say that today all of the words were difficult LOL. I did not know 60A, 36D, 34D 30A among some others. I thought 54A was not very descriptive and a bad clue. Oh well we all knew this one was coming. I don't think Dennis gets the puzzle on Sat or Sun so maybe he is lucky or on the other hand he probably would do it is sub Dennis time. Bet drday knows 40A as my wife knew it immediately. Having 40A helped with several of the down clues. Have a great weekend and go Pens.

Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. & DFs - had a good invigorating bike ride this morning, then came back and spent a good ten minutes trying to get through this one. Got Phaedrus from the perps, but tried my damndest to stick with 'restate' for 'say again'. Also was trying to force 'vin' for 'le coq', even though there was no 'au'.

C.C., you're right - morels make everything more 'tasty'. And Lois, you must be a bit hungover if you didn't go anywhere with 'erectly' and 'orifice', especially with all the morel talk.

Hope it's an outstanding day for everyone; I plan on vegetating on the lake all day.

Bill said...

Not as bad as it could have been. The SW corner just would not compute and neither did 34a. Could not get ENTO. Had Fluorine (because of FSU) but spelled it wrong and (Flourine) so 35 and 36d made no sense.
Yep, had to call Mr. Google and that wounded my pride as other than today I've haad a WINSOME week.
CYA All Later.

Bill said...

I intentionally left 14d and 58a alone because I didn't want to disturb Lois on such a nice weekend.
And then the top instigator (Dennis) BROUGHT IT up ANYWAY!!!!

Dennis said...

I'm hanging my head in shame...

Bill said...

As well you should, young man! Go directly to the pool and soak your head!

Zhouqin (C.C.) Burnikel said...

Spring is the best time for MOREL hunting. We need to head to the woods and find the magic trees. ARACHNE told the truth, didn't she?

Dennis & Bill,
RE: CONFUTES (30A) & IMAGIST (60A): Are the clues solid to you guys?

Zhouqin (C.C.) Burnikel said...

Can you give me an example of "EXTO" as the outside prefix?

Barry G. said...

Ayup, definitely a challenge today! I'm proud to say I did manage to get it solved all on my own, though. The NW corner actually went pretty smoothly for me (I knew STEPPES and ARACHNE and figured out PHAEDRUS and CONFUTES from the cross-clues). So for a minute there I thought this was going to be a breeze.

The NE corner threw me for a loop, however, until I finally put ERECTLY for 14D as a guess and then the rest fell into place.

The SE corner was nearly a disaster because I put FLOURINE instead of FLUORINE for 40A and kept it that way for the longest time.

The SW corner also caused me some grief after I put ELEGIST instead of IMAGIST for 60A and inexplicably put SPLITS instead of SQUATS for 47D.

Ah well, everything eventually worked itself out in the end, although it took me longer than usual to finish. The nice thing about Saturday mornings is that I have time to keep at a puzzle until it finally cracks...

Barry G. said...

Oh -- and I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who doesn't know how to spell fluorine, Bill! ^_^

Barry G. said...

Can you give me an example of "EXTO" as the outside prefix?

I don't think EXTO is a vaild prefix, C.C. The opposite of ENTO would be ECTO (as in "ectoplasm").

Bill said...

This is Nancy in Bill's name - we all said the puzzles this whole week were pretty easy (especially if I can finish all of them!!!) - I believe we ALL have heard the phrase, "The Calm Before The Storm"? I believe tis is what this past week has been. Now I will go and finish working on my puzzle before I read all of your replies or look at the answers!
Good Morning Mr. Google - Here I come at full speed!
Have a Great Day everyone!

carol said...

Wow, tough start, tougher puzzle!!
I has steppes in mind for 1A but I had put "cut" in for 4D and testate for 17A so the "t" worked for awhile,but the "c" would not fit in 1A...arggg!
I had no idea who Eleonora was (34D.
32D was also an unknown to me but I agree with C.C.: Coq Au Vin is very good(morels included)but if not is it Coq Au Sin??? :)
Lois, I know your head must really be bad for you to miss out on mentioning 14D and 58A. Hope you feel better in a few hours!!

Argyle said...

Can you give me an example of "EXTO" as the outside prefix?

"exo" would work, also, i.e. exoskeleton.

And you see tremolo bars on electric guitars

Argyle said...

Is there anything you can't find on YouTube? Eleonora Duse here

Superfrey said...

The hammer today....a three googler... Did not know Phaedrus, Eleonora,and totemism... OK... let's go back to the easy puzzles :):):) Have a great holiday all.... back on Monday... after golf :-)

lois said...

Dennis: You are so funny and so right! Won't 'deny' it..definately working with a 'deficit' this am...'lol'. I'm touched that you saw those words (erectly, orifice) and thought of me. I would also add 'tighter' 'tension' 'iterate' and 'resize' to the list. Some may even want to add 'tenant', but that's too much of a committment.Also thought the clue 'climbing palms' was great. Thank you for picking up the slack here. I'm going to the beach to get a good soaking as well.... and a lot of 'dessert'..eye candy.

CC: I'm all about hunting 'morel' anytime, anywhere. As far as 'magic trees' goes? I find them everywhere.

Enjoy this gorgeous day!

Anonymous said...

Gee wiz capt. Bob. I flunked out of school again. The SE corner came together nicely but my mistaken 37A answer, "copy", put a cramp in my style to start off the SW quadrant. Heck! I played a bit of guitar in my formative years so knew what tremolo was and Jean Auel used the word steppe way too many times in her Cave Bear epic to have missed that one. As usual, I am beating my head against the door once more. Did someone say there was a holiday? I'm working, UG! Enjoy this nice weather.

Anonymous said...

Hi C.C. and all of you.

Did any of you have a problem with the spelling of 49a? "Ane" just does not compute for "Ann". Or am I wrong?

Anonymous said...

Never mind C.C.
Mr. Google just informed me that there is a "Sue Ane Langdon". Are these two separate people?

Bill said...

imagist I had heard befoes but confutes is new. Thought it should be computes but that certainly didn't match the clue so I got and accepted it from the perps.

Bill said...

Oh Yeah, I dunt spel tu gud sumtimes!!

carol said...

This is going to sound dumb, I know, but since I am fairly new to this blog biz I will accept any teasing I get: What is "perps" that is referred to so often??
Thanks for your help :)

Dennis said...

Hi Carol - I was referring to 'perpendicular cousins' once, and I guess it stuck, albeit shortened to 'perps'.
I'm sure Lois would have other perpendiculars in mind.

carol said...

Hi Dennis, thanks for the perpendicular cousins explanation, I just don't know what they are in this puzzle.(?) Bill what did you mean in your 11:39 comment regarding "perps".
Thanks guys:)

Bill said...

The down clues are perpendicular to the across clues (horizontal); soon to be known as the....Lois, Are you ready ???...

HORS.. Sorry, it just slipped out!!~!

carol said...

Ooooh Mr Bill, now you've done it!!
But when I stopped laughing, I am glad you explained that! I thought that might be it, but was not sure.
Can't wait 'til Lois gets back..she might even find a new orifice for the occasion and be all "atingle".

Crockett1947 said...

Good morning everyone! Feels good to be back. ARACHNE and PHAEDRUS were real bears today. Thought I should know that 15A, but didn't know about the H in the spelling. Finally got it with help from Mr. Google. Wanted to do ORIFACE to tie in with the clue for 58A, but saw the error of my ways. Ithaca in the mid 60s was a fun and interesting place to be! C.C., I also was confounded by 60A for the same reason. Love the clue for 54A. Nancy, nice to have another voice in the discussion.

The TENSION around here might be tough on our NOVICES. Our NURTURER, a WINSOME lass not from DUBLIN might have to SEE AFTER our slightly SATANIC FUN. It would be difficult to ITEMIZE all of our efforts to TIE IN the erotic references, but I’m all ATINGLE because I know we have the ideal leader for our quest. I can’t DENY that my evil TWIN ENLISTed me to do this, LOL!

Have a great weekend, all!!

Anonymous said...

Seven down is "see after," - not plural

lois said...

You guys crack me up! I love it when you talk like that! Bill that's perfect: hors and perps! At least it's not 'hors' & 'pimps'. Even so the Xword Police might still be called. No use calling the 'morel police'...that would be me, and God knows I'm all about this! I'm so 'atingle' right now at the very thought of all the new possibilities of hors and perps that even the 42D (whoa!!) clue (new 'members') has taken on a whole new meaning! I'm going to go have another 'stiff one' (or my idea of a 'perp' Dennis pointed out)just to release the 'tension'. You guys certainly have my #. You make me laugh so hard! What a riot!

Zhouqin (C.C.) Burnikel said...

Barry & Argyle,
RE: ECTO and EXO. Thanks. Barry, it's a great SPLITS. How come you know ARACHNE?

Obviously you are an avid & experience MOREL hunter. I wonder what's the nutritional value of MOREL?

Wow, your second paragraph made me want to sail to ITHACA again. Did this exciting surge of inspiration come from the jury duty?

Barry G. said...

How come you know ARACHNE?

I'm pretty up to date on my Greek mythology. Even if I weren't, though, I know that "arachnid" means spider and probably could have guessed it from that.

Zhouqin (C.C.) Burnikel said...

What did you study in college? Do you speak a bit Chinese as well?

Mr. Corcoran said...

more grist for the you all remember the plushenko skating video that the ladies found so memorable? well, he's done it again as an add-in at the eurovision song festival (you know the european schlager stuff you don't hear in the the us)--we'll have to find the link on utube for this one hahahaha (and no he warnt singin) but he just helped russia take the grand prize.

Zhouqin (C.C.) Burnikel said...

Here is the clip. I thought Dima Bilan lost.

lois said...

Thomas: Yea for Pleshenko! I'm trying to find him on UTube. This might take all night as I keep getting distracted with each of the videos.

Bill: had another thought and found something else to be thankful least the jargon isn't hors and diculars...or hors and dics.

CC: the nutritional value of 'morel' would certainly be high in protein... good for strong, hard muscles.

Mr. Corcoran said...

hey c.c.--they just aired the finale so it hasn't been posted got the semifinal or some earlier rendition.

Barry G. said...

What did you study in college?

My undergraduate major was philosophy and then I went off to law school. I don't currently practice law, however.

Do you speak a bit Chinese as well?

I do! Although, not nearly as much as I should, seeing as how my best friend is from Hong Kong and my wife is from Tianjin (天津). I just have so much trouble distinguishing the various tones...

Crockett1947 said...

C.C., that must be the reason. All that pent-up creative energy had to come out somewhere. BTW, Mazel tov is Hebrew, not Yiddish.

Mr. Corcoran said...

crockett i don't mean to kvetsh but...mazel tov is yiddish while the hebrew transliteration is mazal tov...Versteh?

Barry G. said...

You're both right. It's a Hebrew word ("Mazal Tov" or מזל טוב) that has been incorporated into Yiddish as "Mazel Tov".

Zhouqin (C.C.) Burnikel said...

Thanks for the information. I've been to Tianjin a few times for business trips. What's exactly the difference between Hebrew and Yiddish languages?

What is "diculars?"

So Dima Bilan won. Which channel was it on?

Zhouqin (C.C.) Burnikel said...

Did ARACHNE scare you away?

lois said...

CC: just the end of 'perp..endiculars'. Dennis uses 'perps', thank goodness instead of 'diculars'.

Zhouqin (C.C.) Burnikel said...

I like the way you twist words!

Barry G. said...

What's exactly the difference between Hebrew and Yiddish languages

Hebrew is the national language of Israel and is the traditional written and spoken language of the Jewish people. The ancient scriptures are written in Hebrew.

Yiddish is a derived language spoken by many European Jews that is a conglomeration of Hebrew, German and other languages native to the various countries where the Jewish people have lived over the centuries.

Zhouqin (C.C.) Burnikel said...

Many thanks for the information. I suppose you speak Yiddish also?

Barry G. said...

Not much. My grandmother spoke Yiddish to my mom when I was little, but all I picked up were some rather interesting insults...

Dr. Dad said...

The post site wasn't here on my internet all day yesterday or Saturday for some reason.
No, Arachne didn't bother me as I am not afraid of spiders or beautiful mythical ladies (or real ones for that matter). Like Barry, I kept up pretty well with Greek Mythology. Read Edith Hamilton's book on the subject.
Exo, ecto = outer; endo, ento = inner.
It sounds like a lot of people had trouble. I was like Dennis with restate instead of iterate but once I got that, that corner was easy as was the rest of the puzzle. Only about 15 minutes.

Zhouqin (C.C.) Burnikel said...

Xie Xie.

Who is the most mysterious lady in Greek mythology?

Barry G. said...


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