May 8, 2008

Thursday May 8, 2008 Alan P. Olschwang

Theme: QUIP

18A: Start of a quip: THE TEST OF

27A: Part 2 of quip: A PROFESSION IS

40A: Part 3 of quip: A LOVE

48A: Part 4 of quip: OF THE DRUDGERY

63A: End of quip: IT ENTAILS

The original quote is: The test of a vocation is the love of the drudgery it involves (Logan Pearsall Smith). Look at what lies at the HEART of the puzzle! See it?

I had another bumpy ride today, with the PEÑA corner. I totally forgot what RPI stands for. And I wanted RENO for 28D: Clinton cabinet member (PEÑA). But it did not fit, neither did LEON (Panetta). I even had problem with TU FU. I grew up in Northwest China and I was used to the Mandarin spelling of DU FU & Li Bai rather than the Cantonese way of TU FU and Li Po. I guess PEÑA is just too low profile for me. If he were as ubiquitous as David Axelrod, I would've nailed him.

I got BAHT, INVAR, SDI by across clues. I don't think I could ferret them out without any references. Somehow I just could never remember this currency BAHT. I only remember vividly the evening when I bought my black Wacoal Contour with BAHT. It's beautiful!


1A: Hindu social stratum: CASTE. Does this caste system still exist in India today?

6A: Frenchman of the cloth: ABBÉ. French for Abbot.

21A: Bony: OSTEAL. Osseous also means bony.

23A: Cartoon Alley: OOP. Learned it from doing crossword.

25A: More crowded: DENSER

34A: Newhart's co-star Mary: FRANN. No idea. Not familiar with "Newhart".

35A: Concerning: ANENT. I don't think I've ever used this word before.

38A: Part of RPI: INST. RPI is Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

47A: Saturn model: ION. Nice change from the "charged atom" clue.

51A: River in a Strauss waltz: DANUBE. Got it this morning. "The Blue DANUBE Waltz".

55A: Stimulate: AROUSE. Yes, please! Please spend your windfall rebate to buy someone you love an OMEGA watch. That's the purpose of the $150 billion "Stimulus Package"!

65A: Actress Dickinson: ANGIE. I guessed. I don't know her. I only know Janice Dickinson.

68A: Haggard of country: MERLE

70A: Lairs: DENS. OK clue if not for DENSER at 25A.

71A: Spruce up: PREEN. I don't like PREEN crossing 62D: PEEN. But I suppose it's unavoidable sometimes.


7D: Thai currency: BAHT. It equals to 100 satangs. Here is 100 BAHT banknote. The guy on the picture is the current King of Thailand. He enjoys an incredible high approval rating. He was actually born in the US.

8D: "Desperate Housewives" role: BREE. Played by Marcia Gross. Not my cup of tea. Here is a picture of all those "Desperate Housewives".

9D: Mexican state: ESTADO

11D: Revolving spit: ROTISSERIE

19D: Actress Verdugo: ELENA. Got her this morning.

21D: Massenet work: OPERA

26D: Baseball team: NINE. Not interested in NINE holes?

27D: Leaning precariously: ATIP. If you insist...

28D: Clinton cabinet member: PEÑA (Federico). Clinton's Secretary of Transportation. He is Obama's National Campaign Co-chair.

29D: Appellee: RESPONDENT

30D: Maison room: SALLE. French for room.

31D: Hair net: SNOOD. Why do people wear SNOOD?

32D: Nickel/steel alloy: INVAR. I've got no idea. It's a trademark of a brand of iron alloy. "The trademark name was selected by the alloy’s inventor, the Swiss physicist Charles-Édouard Guillaume, to express the invariability of its dimensions when heat is applied."

36D: Queen of Jordan: NOOR. Hard for me to take her "Leap of Faith"! (Update later: NOOR means light in Arab language, and it's NUR in Farsi, thank you BC for the information)

37D: Singer Orlando: TONY. Unknown to me. Inferable though.

39D: Li Po's contemporary: TU FU. Regarded as the Greatest Chinese Poet. He had a very hard life compared to Li Po, who wrote most of his poems when he was drunk. It's no surprise that Li Po's most famous poem is "Drinking Alone by Moonlight".

41D: Harden: ENURE

44D: Standing by the plate: AT BAT. 2 baseball references today. See 26D: NINE.

46D: Reagan program initials: SDI (Strategic Defense Initiative). Technical name of STAR WARS.

49D: Newspaper name: HERALD

50D: "Maverick" star: GARNER (James). I forgot. He just appeared on April 30 puzzle.

56D: Seine tributary: OISE. So, if it's a 4 letter blank, it's OISE; 5-letter blank, then it's ISERE.

57D: __ Ude, Russia: ULAN. Or __Bator, Mongolia. ULAN means "red" in Mongolian, so literally ULAN Bator is "Red Hero".

61D: 5,280 feet: MILE. Or 1.60 kilometer for me.



Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. and gang -
Decent puzzle today, I thought, except that I got slowed down in the NE, where I refused to think 10D was anything but 'museum collection'.
Never heard of 'invar', but the perps took care of that.
Gotta be another hammer in the wings.
Hope it's an outstanding day for everyone.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Are BAHT, PEÑA and BREE gimmes to you?

Dennis said...

Yes, because I am the master of totally useless information.

Katherine said...

Good morning. I had a bit of a hard time with this one. Desperate Housewives is not one of my favorites either CC. Never saw it, never will. I had a hard time spelling Rotisserie, LOL....I never saw a snood before. Thanks for the picture!
Have you ever heard "Tie A Yellow Ribbon"? That was by Tony Orlando.
Have a good day everyone!

Dick said...

Good morning cc, Dennis etal. Not too bad today but I don't know why I could not get Pena. In my mind it just had to be Reno. This caused some problems but 43A saved the day for me. I did not do this one in "Dennis" time but I did manage to get it completed.

Dick said...

I am curious as to what Lois thought of for 4D when she saw the clue "Skin Art".

Bill said...

I'd be more worried about the 55a clue.
Bad day today. wore out the keyboard calling Mr Google.
Have never seen Desperate Housewives so had no clue. Never heard the quip.
As Dennis is a master of totally usless info, I, on the other hand, try to stay CLEAR headed in case something comes up that needs my total...............What was I saying ????? CYA Later

Barry G. said...


Today's puzzle started out so promising! The northeast corner was a complete breeze, as was the southwest corner, but things quickly deteriorated after that point. I put "Ouse" instead of "Oise" for 56 down (right idea, wrong country), and that messed up my ability to solve the end of the quip for quite awhile before I finally realized my mistake. I would have crashed and burned in the upper central section, except that I did actually remember "Baht". I managed to get "Tu Fu" from cross clues (after having "Tutu" there for way too long), although I've never seen or heard the name before.

Regardless, I manged to eventually recover from all my false starts and was cruising to a belated finish when I totally hit a wall in the very center of the puzzle. I had no idea who the "Mary" was that was in "Newhart" (Frank? Franz?) and I've never heard of "Invar". So that left one little unfilled square in the grid that I started at and stared at until I finally gave up and checked out the IMDB to find out who starred in "Newhart".

Just a couple of questions for y'all:

1. Does ANYBODY on this planet actually use "anent" to mean "in regard to" or is it strictly a crossword puzzle word?

2. Is it switcharoo or switcheroo? And why do editors seem to switch between them so randomly?

Anonymous said...

Good morning CC et al, this was 'drudgery'. Not even perps saved me. Wanted to take a 'preen' to this puzzle . But I got over it.Yeah,guys, 'arouse', 'love',
'romp' profession, and 'skin art' were enough to send me into 'pena' envy.

What will tomorrow bring!
Have a good one!

Kim said...

CC & Gang,

I too started out thinking 3 days in a row, woo hoo! That slowly faded away..I had no clue about Thai currency, and was looking for a particular state in Mexico not the translation. Had no clue on the alloy or the snood,and was thinking Reno and not Pena, so all in all today was a bust, but I did know Mary Frann! Ah, the little things!

Bill said...

Hopefully tomorrow will bring some clues and answers that the common man uses and understands. Or, am I keeping my head way too clear (for emergency use)??

Superfrey said...

I echo Bill's comments.... this was drudgery.... I agree with Barry I think it is SwicthAROO.. too. I total strikeout today... three pitches right down the middle... called out on strikes... never even swung. Bahhumbug !!!

Dick said...

Yes Bill I had intended to include 55A but forgot it when I was typing the blog. This puzzle must have driven Lois crazy. Now she will be gone for a week with her video of the ice skater.

C.C. Burnikel said...

I've heard of the song. Did not know that it's from TONY Orlando.

Dick & Kim,
PEÑA is not that well-known, is he?

And yet 8D: BREE was a gimmie for Dennis. I wonder why?

ANENT: I want to know the answer too. I thought it's always SWITCHEROO.

The "Mozart Effect". Which piece stimulates you the most?

Barry G. said...

With regard to switcheroo vs switcharoo, maybe I'm just getting confused with kangaroo... :)

Anonymous said...

Good morning, everyone.

I was stuck solid in the middle of the puzzle. I didn't know Mary FRANN, the French SALLE or the alloy. I doubt many people know proprietary names of metal alloys, so I found that clue quite annoying. ANENT was another one that bothered me-- I have never in my life heard anyone use that word-- but I got it from perps.

Anyway, I had a big ol' blank in the middle today.

BAHT, PENA, and BREE were gimmies today for me, too. I even remembered that PENA was the Secretary of Transportation.

Dick said...

cc Bree was a gimmie for me as I know a cute little bartender by the name of Bree.

Dr. Dad said...

Alley Oop, Oop! Oop, Oop, Oop! (the song). Started great but got hung up in the middle with 30D, 31D, 32D. Had to stop and start again to get the brain cells working.
A few French words for Thomas - Oise, salle, 6D = Frenchman of the cloth, rotisserie, and even Magna "Carta" - not a French word -but one of the reasons King John was "forced" to sign the "Great Charter" was because of some of his dealings with the French King Philip Augustus.
The Blue "Danube" is back as well as more baseball (more than 2 references) - 26D = nine, 69A = ests., 44D = at bat, and even 21A = oSTEAL. You could even reach a bit and look at 28D = Pena and get Tony Pena of baseball's Diamondbacks.
More Thailand/Siam sneaking in here with their currency.
The caste system is still in India with some changes but in some small towns/areas it is still very rigid.
Angie Dickinson - "Police Woman" and in the movie "Dressed to Kill" with Michael Caine.
Tony Orlando and Dawn - sigh.

Enough babbling. Happy No Socks Day.

Dennis said...

C.C., I know someone named Bree and people are always kidding her about the name because of Desperate Housewives. Plus I enjoy looking at Eva Longoria.

Hmmm....I did know 'Pena' too....maybe I'm drawn to dwarves.

Anonymous said...

CC: Mozart? Any piece is stimulating. Take your pick. I love Sonatas and Concertos, but if it's Mozart, it's stimulating!

Dennis: Your comment yesterday on veni, vidi, vici was hilarious. I meant to tell you. And dwarves need loving too! You crack me up!

Crockett: I answered your question on yesterday's blog.

Anonymous said...

Ol' Olschwang had us on the ropes there for a while... Fortunately we had a pet coati named "Invar" - he was very obstinate anent being housebroken so we freed him. Unfortunately, he won't leave.

We're getting tattoos this afternoon - "switch" across one back, and "eroo" across the other!

Mr. Corcoran said...

drudge and Swedish drang (farm laborer) point to the fact that much of the labor of the past for many entailed back breaking and laborious tasks...perhaps we no longer need inure ourselves (never seen the spelling enure!) to our daily arbeit...atip isn't really a word at all--just one of those crossword freak niceties...lots of French as usual...did you know Charles de Gaulle is located in Val d'Oise...funny, remembered snood from Swedish since my little girls were always losing their hårsnod--not the type in c.c.s picture but the ponytail variety...ah well, I see mr olschwang is up to some of his word tricks again...i'm wondering if his name is one of them.

MH said...

Well my mental state must be off a bit because this is the 3rd struggle of the week for me. I had to get help in so many places that it isn't worth listing. My main problem was the very middle of the puzzle where I didn't know Frann, snood, & invar. To make matters worse I had put "ons" for 24D and it took quite a while to realize that it was singular. That mistake messed up profession in the quote. I think it's a great puzzle - it certainly challenged me - but I'm always disappointed when I have to use google or a dictionary to complete a puzzle.

Let's see, CC - why do I do them? I like the activity of solving a puzzle. I guess it's the mental challenge. I think it's a myth that solving crossword puzzles will prevent dementia. It's probably the other way around - those who solve puzzles aren't as susceptible to dementia.

Crockett1947 said...

Good morning everyone. A bumpy ride here as well. Had ABOUT for 35A, so that took a bit of time to fix. TU FU and INVAR were new ones to me. Knew SNOOD but don't know how I knew. Katherine, I was hesitant on the spelling of ROTISSERIE as well. Lois, you're a hoot! I saw your answer yesterday -- Thank you.

Dr. Dad said...

Crossword Puzzle Solving

Anonymous said...

I don't have a problem with changing the wording in this quip, because the puzzle doesn't attribute it to a specific person.

If "high dudgeon" is "ire" (22A), then what would "low dudgeon" be?

Barry: "Anent" is purely a cruciverbonym. "Cruciverbonym" isn't a word (yet), but when it is, it will mean "A word that exists only in crossword puzzles, but is never used in normal prose."

Everybody's assignment for the week: Start using "cruciverbonym" as much as possible, and give me credit for it!

I need a vacation.

Dennis said...

johnboy, low dudgeon would be putting up with all the cruciverbonyms.

Dr. Dad said...

I don't agree with anent being a cruciverbonym because of this link where there is a sentence using it as a preposition that was apparently in the New York Times. Of course we will probably never see it used frequently and thus the uninitiated (like me) can consider it a cruciverbonym.
There - I used the word twice today.

JIMBO said...

In my defense--I did not study French, Latin or Chemistry in school. Seems that most puzzles have some reference to one or all three subjects. needless to say, I need help----But thanks to Google, C.C. and all you other wizards, I Am learning.
I thoroughly enjoy reading your comments and look forward to them every day.

Now---why so much French?

MH said...

Yes, it is a commonly held belief that doing crossword puzzles, playing bridge, etc. will stave off dementia. However, there is a growing body of evidence to the contrary. Check out this article in Wired Magazine. There are 6 myths listed, Doing Crosswords is the second one.

I recently read (and highly recommend) the book "Brain Rules" by John Medina in which he shows that *physical* exercise (Brain Rule #1) is the most important thing we can to do to keep our neurons connecting. Physical exercise gets blood to the brain bringing with it glucose and oxygen. Research has shown that aerobic exercise just twice a week halves your risk of dementia and cuts risk of Alzheimers by 60%.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Thought of Ballpark then decided ESTS was a stretch. Completely missed oSTEAL. Completely forgot about Tony PEÑA. What a weird No Socks Day!!

Have you heard of CROSSWORDESE?

Did Nana (9:55am, Why I love crosswords) refer to you when she said "I even had a kind reply from a great marine."?

Dennis said...

Yes, very nice of her.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Alan P. Olschwang tends to sprinkle quite a few French words in almost everyone of his QUIP puzzle.

As for the recent bursts of French in the Comments section, it's mainly because of the word "PARISITES" which offended one of our fellow solvers in France. And I felt he overreacted with his "amerikanismus" comment.

From now on, all comments will be in English!

I think both are important. Our brain will not function sharply if we are physically lazy.

Boomer said...

I got my usual half. One comment: A kicker's necessity is a foot or leg, not a tee. The tee is optional on kickoffs, Ever heard of a punt? field goal? point after touchdown? kick in the pants? Tee is not necessary. Bye

MH said...

CC, I totally agree with you - your brain and your body both need to be exercised. Doing crossword puzzles alone is not enough.

Mr. Corcoran said...

MH--thanks for the brainy reading suggestions--the combination of exercise and mental agility may even assist in staving off any smog-induced variant of dementia --a definite danger of living in soCal

Anonymous said...

Dennis, that's funny! If low dudgeon is putting up w/cruciverbonym, then with this puzzle, it is only a matter of time before that leads to high dudgeon (a short amt of time for me), which is already filling me with aggressive thoughts and desires. All I can say is I'm sure glad today is No Socks Day. I'm going to join Mother Hubbard now.

Bill said...

C.C., Thank You for moving my post.

MH said...

Thomas, you are welcome and I hope you enjoy the reading. Brain Rules is a very engaging book especially if you are in education. I have one more brainy recommendation: Kluge by Gary Marcus.

Dennis said...

Looks like I get to be the first to congratulate C.C. on reaching the lofty number of 200,000 visitors. C.C., it's a testimony to the outstanding job you've done, and continue to do. I know we all wish you continued success.

Crockett1947 said...

C.C., WOW! 200,000 hits. That means there were over 2800 just today! Way to go. Boomer, I think "Kicker's aid" would have been a better clue for 33A.

lois said...

WOW, CC! Just read Dennis' comment. That's quite an accomplishment! Congratulations on your remarkable success. You deserve every bit of it. You do such an outstanding job. It's almost 5 o'clock, so here's to you and your continued success!

C.C. Burnikel said...

Dennis, Crockett1947 & Lois,
Thank you for the kind words and thank you for helping me reach the 200,000-hit milestone. What an incredible journey! I still remember how shocked I was when I saw 75 hits on Jan 29 (the first day of the SITE METER Counting). And I was just so stunned when the total hit reached 10,000, then 100,000, and now 200,000. Unbelievable! It's sure fun!

Boomer said...

200,000 hits. That's two candy bars! It usually takes 3,000 hits to get to Cooperstown. I think 200,000 gets you into the crossword HOF. Maybe it hasn't been built yet. Most Halls are in small remote towns. Let's see, Baseball - Cooperstown; Football - Canton, OH; Fishing - Hayward, WI, Hockey - Eveleth, MN; Golf - St. Augustine, FL - I think the crossword Hall of Fame should be in Mitchell, SD next to the Corn Palace, where the Church Basement Ladies go on their honeymoon. And where my wife and I stopped on the way to Chamberlain, SD, where the Missouri River is still blue.

Submitted by Boomer, humble member of the Twin Cities Sports Collector's Club Hall of Fame, and listed in the hometown heroes section of the Bowling Hall of Fame in St. Louis, MO, where the Missouri River is no longer blue.

Unknown said...

Hi, Fellow crossword enthusiasts,

Tough puzzle today, even with consultation from my wife I had to resort first to google and, when that wasn't enough, to CC's site before it fell into place. Invar and snood were new to me, and I was thrown off the track by "Clinton cabinet member," which I filled in as "Reno."

It was a fun puzzle, even if I couldn't solve it without a little cheating.

By the way, CC, congratulations on your home runs. I like seeing you succeed. Continued success to you.

As always, thanks for your highly entertaining and informative blog.

Mr. Corcoran said...

200,899 visiteurs! (oops I guess that spelling is verboten here). Congratulations to cc and all the xword regulars--on the successful and always interesting blog.