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May 11, 2008

Sunday May 11, 2008 Annabel Michaels

Theme: HEADY DOINGS

28A: Passing gossip: CHIN WAGGING

66A: M-m-m-good: MOUTH WATERING

103A: Awesome: JAW DROPPING

3D: Psychiatrist's treatment?: HEAD SHRINKING

15D: Nuzzie greeting: NOSE RUBBING

40D: Eerie: HAIR RAISING

56D: Verbal chastisement: TONGUE LASHING

66D: Maximally boring: MIND NUMBING

Here are more:

EAR SPLITTING, EYE OPENING, TEETH CLENCHING, BRAINWASHING or BRAINTEASING, LIP SYNCING, BROW LIFTING, What else?

I am of two minds on today's puzzles. I do like the "HEADY DOINGS" theme idea, but I get dizzy just looking at this inordinate amount of ING's (8, including 29D: GOING OUT). What's your opinion?

It's a bit disappointing, thought hardly surprising given this editor's poor track record in timing his puzzles, that a "Mothers' Day" theme or even a "Related to the mother's side" (ENATE) clue is no where to be seen today. You would think he could work out a TV MOMS themed puzzle to balance his TV DADS puzzle (Tuesday May 6, 2008).

And 48D: Wake of a scythe (SWATHE), no VAR mark with the clue? Did you expect me to know that SWATHE could be spelled as SWATH when it means "the scythe path"? Obviously you MISOVERESTIMATED me, the way this country MISUNDERESTIMATED President Bush's resolve to get things done.

I laughed when I first saw 73A: I came: Lat. VENI. Then I filled in ALLUDE for 79A: Refer indirectly and LAY for 93A: Non-clerical. Then I found myself writing CAME for 94A: Showed up. I was stunned. CAME twice in less than 2 minute? You are amazing! Very ÉTÉ (98A: Nice hot time?) indeed.

But nothing is funny about 90A: Win a chase (OUT RUN). 93D: Ran out (LAPSED). You've gonna be kidding me. Just when I thought he could not sink any lower, along come this ghastly cluing! This editor definitely has no intention to improve the quality of his puzzles. His stubbornness is only paled by his arrogance.

Quite a few obscure city names in today's puzzle: NIAMEY, NEVERS, ALEPPO. The only place I know is 70D: Strasbourg's region (ALSACE). QUAGGAS, TOCSIN, MIOSIS, BOCCI were completely unknown to me. I've never heard of Nicolas ROEG either. But thanks to this editor's painful "Medical pref:" clue in April, I was able to get 54A: Healer: pref (IATRO) without any problem, otherwise, I would have big trouble with RICTUS (50D: Fixed, gaping grin). And without the generous help from those ING's, I think I would have completely tanked this puzzle.

ACROSS:

4A: Bring upon oneself: BUCK FOR. I am only familiar with BUCK UP, not BUCK FOR.

11A: Michael of Monty Python: PALIN. Nailed him today.

16A: Letters in math proofs: QED (Quod Erat Démōnstrandum). Latin. I am so proud I got this one.

20A: Shakespearean tragedy: OTHELLO

21A: Dispatch boat: AVISO. I completely forgot this word. But was able to string it together by the down clues. Always want a verb for the fill.

24A: Widespread slaughter: CARNAGE

30A: Fraction of a joule: ERG. 1 joule = 107 erg.

35A: Mount Hood's state: OREGON. Hi there!

39A: NATO word: ATL (Atlantic). Do you know that NATO also stands for "North African Theater of Operations"? IKE served both NATO's.

41A: "Teenage __ Ninja Turtles:": MUTANT. Not familiar with this comic book at all.

42A: Singer Carter: DEANA. "Everything's Gonna Be Alright". Here is my favorite "Everything's Gonna Be Alright" (Bob Marley).

48A: Squelch: STIFLE

53A: Ascended: WENT UP

55A: Like plays and movies: SCRIPTED

65A: PA nuclear accident site: TMI (Three Miles Island). To me, TMI is simply "Too Much Information".

70A: Painter Matisse: HENRI. This Luxe, Calme, et Volupté is the only Matisse I've seen in person, and I don't think I like it.

72A: Raw fish dish: SUSHI. Technically, it's SASHIMI. SUSHI toppings are always cooked. I like how SUSHI parallels MOUTHWATERING. M-m-m good!

74A: Greek contest: AGON. I simply forgot. It's "a contest in which prizes were awarded in any of a number of events, as athletics, drama, music, poetry, and painting" in ancient Greece.

75A: Tense state: EDGINESS

82A: "M*A*S*H" co-star: STIERS (David Ogen). No idea. I've never watched "M*A*S*H".

83A: Strolls easily: MOSEYS

89A: Silver or Gold: METAL. I put MEDAL first, then my fill for 80D: Husband of Salt? became LOD, which confused me for a long time.

92A: Big bell sound: BONG

97A: Most favorable conditions: OPTIMA. Singular form is OPTIMUM.

99A: Pig's sire: BOAR

101A: Norse pantheon: AESIR. Ugh, I forgot. This word is hard to remember.

106A: 90 deg. from vert. HOR (Horizontal)

107A: Scatter: DISSIPATE

110A: Type of general: ONE STAR

111A: O.T. book: ISA (Isaiah)

114A: Make a widow: BEREAVE. It bothers me a bit to see BEREAVE crossing 89D: Connubial: MARITAL.

117A: Pituitary or pineal: GLAND. I did not know the meaning of "Pituitary" and I have never heard of "pineal gland" before. Had to consult my dictionary.

118A: Washington Post honcho: BRADLEE (Ben). I did not realize that he is still with the Washington Post (vice president). Thought he left long time ago. I like his "A Good Life".

DOWN:

4D: Italian lawn bowling: BOCCI. Completely unknown to me. It's "an Italian variety of lawn bowling played on a dirt court that is shorter and narrower than the rink of a bowling green."

6D: Legendary Giant Mathewson: CHRISTY. Gimme for me. One of the first crop of Baseball HOFers 1936. The other 4 are Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner and Walter Johnson.

7D: Condominium for canines: KENNEL

8D: Blemishes: FLAWS

10D: "Performance" director Nicolas: ROEG. No, I've never heard of him.

11D: Neighbor of Iran: PAKISTAN

13D: Lisa of "The View": LING. She is not with "The View" any more.

16D: Extinct kin of zebra: QUAGGAS. No idea. Gettable though. Here is a picture.

18D: John's last name?: DOE. I like the "?" in the clue.

29D: Becoming extinguished: GOING OUT. Two OUT in the fills today, see 90A: OUT RUN.

32D: Crevices: CLEFTS

35D: Syndicated astrologer Sydney: OMARR. Unknown to me.

39D: Syrian city: ALEPPO. No, no, have never heard of it.

46D: Alarm bell: TOCSIN. No idea. Dictionary says this word derives from French "tocasenh", "tocar" means to strike, "senh" comes from the Latin signal, so it's bell.

48D: Wake of a scythe: SWATHE. A "VAR" mark is essential for this clue in my opinion.

49D: Designated: TERMED. Why? Can you explain it to me?

50D: Fixed, gaping grin: RICTUS. Completely unknown to me. It's from the past participle of Latin word ringī (to gape).

57D: Incarnate: EMBODY

58D: Keaton and Ladd: DIANES. Know Keaton, not Ladd.

61D: Down Under one?: AUSSIE. Good one.

63D: City on the Loire: NEVERS. Capital city of Nièvre (central France), on the Loire River. I've never heard of it.

67D: Bleached: WHITENED

68D: Capital of Niger: NIAMEY. I did not know. Got it from across clues. Interesting, they grow millet there. Have you had millet couscous before? The capital of Nigeria is Abuja, pretty cool name, isn't it?

74D: Strasbourg's region: ALSACE. In eastern France. The food there is mostly German style, lots of rye bread.

80D: Husband of salt?: LOT. Great clue. What is exactly the name of LOT's wife anyway? A Pillar of Salt? She shouldn't have looked back obviously, the same with Orpheus. He would have brought his wife out of Hades if he did not glance back. But it's just so hard to resist the temptation in life.

82D: Make a strong metal connection: SPOT WELD. No idea.

84D: Moo __ gai pan: GOO. "Moo GOO" means "mushroom" in Chinese. Gai is chicken. Pan means slice. Americanized Chinese dish. You won't find it in a real Chinese dining table.

89D: Connubial: MARITAL. It bothers me to see MARITAL crossing BEREAVE.

92D: Defeated: BEATEN

95D: Contraction of the pupil: MIOSIS. No, nope, total stranger to me. It's "excessive constriction of the pupil of the eye, as a result of drugs, disease, or the like". I do like how this author structured MIOSIS and 2D: Membrane of the eye: CORNEA in the same grid in such a balanced fashion. Very nice. And one more, 51A: Eyes, in poems (ORBS)

96D: Listing of text mistakes: ERRATA

99D: Goofy error: BONER

104D: Pitcher Nen: ROBB. Wow, I've never heard of his name before. Not a Giants fan.

108D: Tape-counter abbr.: IPS (Inches Per Second)

C.C.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

IPS (108D): Inches per second.

lois said...

Good morning CC: I enjoyed this puzzle (by a neighbor even). It made me LOL along w/your dissection around 73A. Ete is right! 47A reminded me of the Maypole laughs. Maybe I should take off my May Pole's handcuffs now. 66A with Moo Goo and Morel? Great! I loved 41A TMNT. Thanks to them I raised a TKD state champ. Besides the names and places you mentioned, "termed" being one of those, the only other misclue for me was 69A Shaq's 'playgrnd'. I got it, but 'org' would've been better.
You're right. Temptations in life are hard to resist. Actually, they're the only things in life I can't resist.

Enjoy this gorgeous day!

Dick said...

Hello cc, Lois and Anonymous. Good puzzle today. It took about an hour and a half with breakfast, a few other interruptions, and a couple of trips to the dictionary. I did not like the clue for 114A Bereave although it is technically correct I thought it was a poor clue. Lois I hope you read cc's dissertation for 80A this may help you a bit. LOL I did not know 74D but it worked in from the cross clues. Also, I did not know 82A Stiers and I was a huge fan of MASH. The other problem I created for myself was that I inserted rampage in lieu of carnage for 24A. This stumped me for awhile. Hope youi all have a great day and I will see you Monday.

drdad said...

Good morning C.C. and all. I saw most of the same things that C.C. already pointed out. A serious error on the part of the editor/author. A swath is the wake of a scythe. Swathe, on the other hand is to wrap in bandages. No amount of var. (variation) will correct this mistake. TSK, TSK, For Shame on their part!
The quagga is an extinct subspecies related to the zebra. It has been extinct for some time. Back Breeding is taking place and some animals have been produced that resemble the quagga in looks but whether or not that is sufficient to say that is no longer extinct is an ambiguous area of debate. Most scientists think similarity in appearance is not enough. More work is ongoing.
The anniversary of the Kent State shootings just occurred on May 4th. What a tragedy!
I liked David Ogden Stiers/Charles Emerson Winchester III much more than Larry Linville/Frank Burns.
Not a bad puzzle. No googling, unknowns came from cross clues/answers. About two cups of coffee and an hour or so.
As I stated late yesterday - to all the moms out there - Happy Mother's Day!!!!

C. C. said...

Anon @ 7:19am,
Thank you. I've updated the blog.

Lois,
"I enjoyed this puzzle (by a neighbor even)". What does that mean? Don't you get your own newspaper? Unlike Morsel, most of the Chinese Moo Goo are round and compact. Have you tried them before? But most of the mushrooms taste good if you cook them with the right amount of oil and sauce.
Ditto your point on 69A. Besides, Shaq who?? The Suns are gone!

Dick,
I agree with you on 114A. Very poor wording. There is an undertone of darkness in today's puzzle: BEREAVE, DEATH & CARNAGE.

Drdad,
SWATHE: Technically the editor is not wrong. SWATHE is a Var of SWATH in my Webster's Dictionary. No googling? You are 103A.

Anonymous said...

Finished with relative speed once I mastered the "doings." "bucking for a raise" popped into my head, but seemed a bit of a stretch for the clue. Stiers, one of my favorite MASH actors. He continues instage roles. Saw him in White Christmas at the Ordway in 2006.

C. C. said...

Dennis,
Why are we forgotten?

lois said...

CC: Yes,I get my own paper, but this puzzle was by a lady who lives in Wmsbg, just up the road from me...where Sorenstam is winning the Michelob Ultra Open at Kingsmill right now...by 3 strokes as of last night.

As for the mushroom? 'Morsel' might be a 'small' mushroom, a 'morel' is what dreams are made of! I am a fan of all of them.

One of the guys would be better at answering about Shaq O'Neil, but I just know he's a "BIG" basketball player.

Anonymous said...

anonymous csw
82D Welding is heating two metals and then adding a mixture that when cooled will form a strong bond. I've seen it done with a blow torch on a small area/spot. Best explanation I can give - I got the weld easily and the across clues helped with spot.
If the answers hadn't been all -ing words, I think eye candy would be a good one.

Anonymous said...

anonymous csw

To clarify - eye candy - meant today's theme not answers. My focus is on the golf tournament. Sure hope Tiger makes the Memorial - saw him there once and would like to go again this year if he is going to enter.

C. C. said...

Anon at 11:57am,
Thanks for leaving comment.

Lois,
I made a mistake at my 11:44am response. What I meant was "Unlike Morel", not Morsel. Hard to spell this damned mushroom, so close to Moral. You mean you know Annabel Michaels?

CSW,
Thanks for the welding explanation. Why "Eye Candy" for the theme? I don't get it. I hope Tiger will make the Memorial too, but with the knee rehab, who knows?

johnboy said...

Everything I've seen lists "bocce" as the usual spelling (4D). Should "bocci" be identified as a variation? I had bocce until I saw (Joe) Pesci (31A).

"Wields, as a broom" seems like a lot of extra words for "sweeps" (1D). I know I can sweep a broom over the floor, or sweep a paint brush over the wall. It's not wrong, it's just a case of trying to be clever where simplicity is better.

One of my biggest pet peeves with TMS puzzles: ATL is NOT a word (39A). You can say "part of NATO", or something similar, but ATL is not a 'word'.

Finally, one of my favorite Mondegreens can be found in 41A: "Teenage Mute and Injured Turtles."

C. C. said...

Johnboy,
Great point on 39A: ALT. It's NOT a word! You are right on BOCCI Var too.

johnboy said...

Just a quick explanation about the "Shaq" clue. His full name is Shaquille O'Neal. Since the clue says "Shaq", this sort of indicates that the answer is an abbrevation of some sort. There are probably a million better clues for "NBA".

Dick said...

cc I agree with Johnboy's explanation of Shaq. As soon as I saw Shaq I looked for an abbreviation and there it was.

C. C. said...

Johnboy & Dick,
I don't understand why the NBA clue is always Shaq related. He has long passed his prime and his Suns were eliminated in the first round, once again. That's my point of Shaq Who?? at 11:44am to Lois.

Isn't Garnette a "Big Ticket"? How about "The Answer"? So many cute nicknames in NBA to play around. Johnboy, you were absolutely right earlier in saying that "It's just a case of trying to be clever where simplicity is better.". But here, the author/editor failed to stretch their imagination when it's needed.

Anonymous said...

the T in your answer for ALT 3A
will not be in the correct location for your answer CHRISTY 6D

C. C. said...

Anon @4:54,
My bad. I've corrected the mistake. Thank you.

Lois,
Mushrooms are not only delicious but nutritious too. They build up your immune system. So, eat more MOREL, ENOKI, Moo Goo, magic mushroom, whatever!

lois said...

Johnboy: How funny! I love the TMNT Mondegreen. Little 4-5 yr olds are notorious for those. I guess these are samples: Lord's prayer: 'Howard'(hallowed) be thy name; and in Mary had a little lamb, her 'fleas' (fleece) were white as snow. Those are a couple my kids said. Do they fit the concept? Thank you for this and the link too. Very cute.

I bet I know where dennis and bill are. They're back there with Helena.

lois said...

CC: No, I don't know
Annabel Michaels. Guess everybody's got to be somewhere. It just surprised me that she's so close by.

Dick said...

cc I don't disagree with you wondering why not use Garnette but I bet more people recognize Shaq's name than any other. Kevin is a great player but he does not have the recognition of Shaq. Enough said on this subject.

johnboy said...

Lois, They certainly fit. My favorite is "Gladly, the cross-eyed bear."

I think the reason Shaq is so popular in clues is because everybody has heard of him. He's been in a lot of commercials, and he's been in the league a long time.

He also has a cool name that happens to be great for crosswords. It's short, and completely unequivocal. When you hear 'Shaq', there's only one possibility.

Anonymous said...

crosswordcorner.blogspot.com; You saved my day again.