May 13, 2008

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 Stanley B. Whitten

Theme: TV News Personality

20A: TV news personality: BRIAN WILLIAMS

32A: TV news personality: TIM RUSSERT

41A: TV news personality: LESTER HOLT

52A: TV news personality: CHARLES GIBSON

Where is KATIE COURIC? Or have you given up on her & CBS Evening News? How much did Steve Capus pay you to put 3 of his NBC anchors in your puzzle?

I aced this one today. All those TV news guys are gimmes to me. I often tune into ABC World News for my daily news dosage, and flip the channel to NBC Nightly News just to check what tie BRIAM WILLIAMS is wearing. Watch LESTER HOLT's weekend edition occasionally, and turn into Meet the Press when there are exciting guests.

Great to see AIRS (40A: Haughtiness), BARB (1A: Cutting remark), RECAP (46A: Go over again), ARGUE (61A: Bicker), LIPREAD (41D: Use one's eyes to hear) clued in the same grid.

I like the lower right corner a lot. It summarizes the sad story of "TESS of the d'Urbervilles" in a tiny 4*4 corner. I could see the rake Alec OGLEs and seduces Tess in the field. And I could hear the dairy maid telling Angel Clare: "Nobody could love 'ee more than Tess did! She would have LAID down her life for 'ee. I could do no more!", though Angel later left for Brazil rather than Chile. See 51D: Chilean mountain range: ANDES. The intersection of USAGE with LAID, OGLE and TESS is brilliant.


14A: Arch type: OGEE. Lots of G-string words in today's puzzle: AGORA, GULL, SUGAR, BRAGI, PIG, USAGE, OGLE, ARGUE, EDGE.

17A: Drop down: MOLT. Hmm, I don't know. Does it sound like a good clue to you?

18A: Univalent radical: ALLYL & 8D: Univalent radical: ARYL. Drdad can probably explain these stuff to us. He got a Ph.D. in chemistry. I know neither of them. Pure guess.

25A: One way to be taken: ABACK. Take aback. Good clue.

27A: Prefix with acetylene: OXY (prefix for Oxygen). No idea. I got it from down clues.

39A: Portends: BODES. Without this B, I would not have gotten BRAGI for 39D.

43A: __ judicata: RES. Nailed it today.

58A: Downy duck: EIDER. Nice alliteration.

63A: Layer: TIER. Dislike the clue due to 57A: LAID. Maybe I should not.

64A: Exploits: DEEDS


1D: Lead balloons: BOMBS

4D: __carotene: BETA. Don't drink too much carrot juice, your face will become yellow. I think sweet potato is rich in beta carotene too.

5D: Routes for ships: SEAWAYS. 7D: Deceive: GULL. I like how these 2 words are paralled in the grid.

9D: Dependent: RELIANT. Have to be self-reliant to be free.

10D: Punctuation mark: COMMA. And 49D: Grammar topic: USAGE

11D: Sound peak: CRESCENDO. Hmm, I like the intensity building.

21D: Connection: NEXUS. Without this X, I would not have got 27A.

31D: Rear position: LAST. Very interesting ENTRY.

39D: Norse god of poetry: BRAGI. Unknown to me. But it's inferable. BRAGI is the "god of poetry and eloquence, son of Odin, husband of Idun (Goddess of eternal youth).

42D: Some aliens: ÉMIGRÉS. What' the difference between immigrant, emigrant and ÉMIGRÉS?

48D: Pretentious one: PSEUD. Familiar with "psedo" as a prefix (pseudoscience, pseudonym), but I had no idea that PSEUD alone can be a word too.

50D: Agronomist's study: SOILS

55D: Smudge: BLOT

57D: Luau loop: LEI. Hey, we got lei'd again.



Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. and fellow dysfunctionals - thought this was a good puzzle. I got through it pretty quickly, but had to circle back to the dreaded double 'univalent radical' nexus. I remembered 'gull' as an old term to pull the wool over one's eyes, and finally guessed that 'y' looked right for the radicals' crossing. Post-puzzle google agreed.
Drdad, was that a no-brainer for you?
C.C., I for one did like the 17A clue. I liked your comments on 63A and 57D as well.
Sun's out here, life is good; hope it's a great day for all.

Dick said...

Good morning cc. I have been waiting for you this am. I fell asleep at 8:30 last night so that means getting up at 4:30. Puzzle today was a snap and finished in about 8 to 10 minutes. Only problem was trying to put Charles Kuralt in for 52A in lieu of Charles Gibson. My error was quickly discovered and resolved. I would think drdad would have an easy time with 18A and 8D. If my wife wasn't a chemist I would have faltered here.

Dick said...

cc oxy is short for oxygen as you said but acetylene will not burn without oxygen thus when ever wou are welding or cutting steel you must introduce oxygen and the common term for a welder/cutting torch is oxyacetylene.

Dick said...

cc you should not have brought up lei(d) again now Lois will bolt and soil her reputation. Maybe that should read improve her reputation.

Katherine said...

Good morning CC and gang. I did pretty good today except the top middle square. I had no clue what a univalent radical was.......I did like 17A for a clue, I thought that was a good one. I got 48D but thought it was wrong because I never heard of it. Lois will like 57D, got "lei'd" again! hahahaha......she cracks me up.
Dick, thanks for explaining that. I had no clue.
Have a good day everyone........

Bill said...

LEI and LAID in the same grid ? Bye, Lois. It's been nice knowing you !!
Not too bad except for the univalent radicals. I flunked chemistry badly so I'm lucky to know H2O....! All the rest blended together pretty well tho I almost missed the connection for DEARIE and SUGAR and then remembered that I use those terms regularly when I'm begging !!!
And, no, I did not like 17a clue. I think SHED might have been better but what do I know ?
Back Later...CYA

Katherine said...

Bill, our comment about Dearie and Sugar was funny....

Kim said...

Good morning all! Sorry, been on a short vacation. I too aced this one. I'm with you CC, why the favoritism to NBC? My problems were with the univalent radicals, never heard of them!

Katherine, I like the 17A clue too!

Have a great Tuesday!

Katherine said...

Good morning Kim.....I missed you. I was wondering where you were!

Barry G. said...

Morning, folks!

Well, I would have aced this one as well if not for that stupid "allyl/aryl" pairing. Never heard of them.

Is anybody else bothered by the fact that 8D and 18A had the exact same clue? To me, that smacks of sloppy editing.

Kim said...


I am going away for a month when my daughter gives birth and am wondering how I am to face the day without my puzzle. The one in the Baltimore Sun is not to my liking. When I travel up there (about once every 3 months) my hubby saves my puzzles for me, but for a whole month!!!!

Katherine said...

Kim, I feel your pain, but just think of all the great puzzles you'll have when you get back. I think I would have him mail them to me, or fax them, LOL

Dick said...

Kim, you are going to Baltimore at a nice time of the year. Hope you have time to visit the Inner Harbor and enjoy some fine dinning.

Anonymous said...

Good morning CC et al, You guys crack me up and Katherine is absolutely right! This puzzle went from one extreme to the other for me. Gull? I was 'gulled' all right. Univalent radicals? The only radicals I know are teenagers. And finally 17A...Bill is right "shed" is better. I was ready to 'cede' until 31D came up and piqued my interest. Then I got 'laid', then 'lei'd' again with 'Brian Wms' in the 'sac'. Oh, yeah. It's a very good day!

Dick: Don't worry. My reputation is good...very good at being very, very bad.

Dick said...

Lois for some reason of you reputation fits my impression of the same.

Dr. Dad said...

In chemistry the allyl group/radical is H2C=CH-CH2-. It is made up of a vinyl group CH2=CH- attached to a methylene group CH2. An aryl group/radical is a benzene ring with a hydrogen missing (aka a phenyl radical) formula = -C6H5.
I didn't like the two crossing where they did. Thought it was a "radical" idea to do that using the same clue.
Look at how "ogee" is second down from the upper left and "ogle" is second up from the bottom right.
Katie Couric? Don't like her as anchor.
Dick is correct for oxyacetylene. What area of chemistry for your wife, Dick? Mine is organic chemistry.
Laid and Lei'd! Lois is history again today!!
Another chemistry term is beta-carotene. This compound found in carrots is used to make vitamin A and then on to retinal which is necessary for good vision. That's why rabbits don't wear glasses.
Near as I can tell, Émigré is just the French term.

Another easy puzzle. One of these days, we're going to get slammed big time!

Happy Frog Jumping Day! Mark Twain's "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.

Anonymous said...

Dick: It's all good. Santa still comes in my chimney, so I can't be too bad.

Dr. Dad said...

Dang! C.C. - I forgot to mention nexus as a sci-fi term for you. The Nexus energy ribbon was what allowed Captain James T. Kirk to meet Captain Jean Luc Picard in the movie "Star Trek - Generations."

Dr. Dad said...

Lois, is Santa getting milk and cookies when he comes down your chimney?

Anonymous said...

drdad: I know those guys! The radicals who wear vinyl and the other radicals who are missing some hydrogen...and a few brain cells! They're all in my class! They'll be so proud to know the have a lineage...instead of just to knuckle-draggers.

I love it when you talk like that!

Dick said...

drdad my wife has her Phd in analytical chemistry. She is in complete agreement with your explanation of the radicals. My degree is in engineering and I have no clue to the radicals so I accept the explanation by you and my wife.

Anonymous said...

drdad: milk and cookies? That takes us back to the Great Tetons discussion and to his 'morel' character, but in a word? YES!!! He leaves satisfied.

Dennis said...

Lois, he leaves satisfied?? Oh, that's right, you said he came in your chimney...

Dr. Dad said...

Thanks, Dick. I know I will have to be very careful when I explain chemistry items on this site as you can always check up on me. God forbid if I was ever in error. Around here, you can get pretty well crucified for such (LOL!!). That's what makes this site fun - all the knowledge that floats around. I know I learn alot. Analytical Chemistry was okay for me but Organic Chemistry was my forte. The one I didn't particularly care for was Physical Chemistry. Too much quantum mechanics, mathematical derivations, etc.

Dr. Dad said...

Dennis - I just knew you were going to pick up on Lois' terminology. I almost fell out of my chair!!!!

Dick said...

drdad and Dennis I also had the thought but wasn't sure if it was appropriate. Guess we really are dysfunctional. I wondered about the spelling??

Anonymous said...

Allyl, aryl, this puzzle's been a thryll!!!

We ate our oreos while ogling our ogees this morning.

Once we sued a pseud for putting on airs, but he ate some bad orts and fell into a comma. Case dismissed!!

Kemo from CT (the Constitution State)

Anonymous said...

You guys make me laugh so hard! My 'abs' are sore. I need some more 'oxy'. Off to do more 'deeds'.

Everybody enjoy this gorgeous day!

MH said...

Not so easy. I didn't know allyl or aryl so the top middle required google. Also I'm not a TV news watcher so I didn't know any of the theme names although after I looked them up they were vaguely familiar.

Supposed to be 85 here today. Warmth at last!

nana said...

I am on os 11A IN OUR PAPER, SOUND PEAK AND IS CREDCENDO YOU ARE TELLING ME(forgive my typing,Dennis understands) but20A is Brian Williams, my Gene got that,so how is that a d and not a s .. nana

nana said...

please use nana .is it nana/ maggie? or jist nana I love to come to this site c.c. bless you ,nana

Dennis said...

nana, it's 'crescendo'.

Kim said...


Grew up in Baltimore, was there when the Harbor was suggested as well as finished! Only moved down to the Sunshine State 3 years ago, but wouldn't move back to Baltimore for anything, I love the weather down here! I go back to Bmore a few times a year to see my kids and grandkids!!

jimhllrn said...

I put down CHARLEY GIBSON and thought I was correct because PYEUD looked like a 'probable' word. Wrong again!
When I discovered PSEUD I had to dig deep in Webster's to find that a fake or sham could also be a pseud. I added it to my spell check dictionary.
As for 8D & 18A, the only way I got them was to look at all words beginning with ALL and find a four letter and a five letter that both ended in "L". Is that cheating??

Dennis: You asked how old I was. Did you decipher my age by seeing 4C ?? No? ask a computer programmer. 01001100

Crockett1947 said...

Good morning everyone. Since I don't watch television, this was a puzzle full of unknowns, but I got all of them. C.C., I LOVED the clue for 17A. When that EIDER duck molts, he ceratinly drops down! The crossing of the univalent radicals was good, but I certainly never heard of them before. Drdad, thank you for the chemistry lesson. Learn all sorts of things here, don't we? Also never heard of BRAGI and PSEUD. This usage of GULL was new to me also. Kim and Katherine, saving and e-mailing both work! I've had the experience of both, and must say that saving is more fun. Lots of puzzles to do in a day!

Dennis said...

jimhllrn, yep, you got me beat by 13 years. Started in '66 as a computer operator, then programmer, sytems analyst, manager and finally Director of Information Technology for an oil company here in Phlly, so yes, I knew 4C once I shook the cobwebs off.

Anonymous said...

I loved the "drop down?" = "molt" clue!

Barry, I actually think 8D, 18A is clever. NYTimes puzzles do this quite often. My dream in life is to compose a puzzle that has only one clue for every answer.

I know you all expect me to complain about something, so:
Technically, crescendo means the increase in sound, not the 'sound peak'.

American Heritage Dictionary agrees with me.

Other dictionaries either didn't have that definition at all, or don't have a problem with it.

Anonymous said...


11D should be Crescendo, not credendo.

Anonymous said...

Crockett: NOW I get 17A. That is cute! Thank you. And Charles Gibson is called Charlie, right? I got Charles, but only b/c of the perps that I already had.

Dennis: you are always so perceptive and right on target!

drdad: It just occurred to me. I love chemistry too...but I prefer the 'physical' side of it but I specialize in deviations, not derivations.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Now I am waiting for NEXUS to be clued as "Energy Ribbon". Thank you for letting me know. I think I am going to give up WASABI after today's radical puzzle. Isn't ALLYL that makes WASABI pungent?

I love your "EIDER duck molts, he certainly drops down" comment.

How do you get 76?

Besides the "the intensity building", CRESCENDO can also mean "climax". So technically the clue is correct!

Anonymous said...

cc, No. Technically, the 'crescendo' clue is incorrect.

It is used colloquially as "peak" by people who are not musicians. See the usage note at the American Heritage site.

A small part of the quote from that link: "it is difficult for anyone acquainted with the technical musical sense of crescendo to use it to mean 'a peak.' "

Dr. Dad said...

jimhllrn - I get 76 for 01001100

Anonymous said...

Computers use base 16 arithmetic (also called "hexadecimal", or shortened to "hex").

Each digit is a power of 16, the same way that in base 10 each digit is a power of 10.

The letters A-F are used to represent the numbers from 10 to 15. (A = 10, B = 11, C = 12, etc.)

4C = 16 * 4 + 12 = 64+12 = 76.

In a former life, I was an assembler language programmer, aka a "Hex Maniac". Now I am a "30" year-old C# programmer.

Der Katze said...

Clue/answer combination technically incorrect?
I always thought puzzle constructors, not unlike like poets, had a license to vary from strict rules. Maybe we should ask Mr. Whitten to show us his Crossword Constructor's license.

melissa bee said...

hi c.c. and all -

i had to scratch around a bit for this one. not a tv watcher either, but knew all except lester holt. jim i also wrote charley first, argh.

brilliant c.c., your observation about tess of the d'urbervilles, would never have seen that.

had no idea about the radicals so struggled in that section. love the explanations (not that i'll remember them later).

also liked the 25a clue for aback. did not so much like the molt clue, but got it. penned in 'goose' for downy duck and quickly reailzed my mistake.

59a placed = laid .. why do you dislike that c.c.?

not sure i've seen 'gull' by itself, but it came easily. liked the crossing of it with seaway. also molt and eider, although a duck is not the same as a goose (unless you're gullible .. yuk yuk).

gorgeous day on the left coast .. off to enjoy it.

jimhllrn said...

drdad & johnboy:
good job guys. I used to tell my age in hex and when they looked at me in disbelief I would say, "That's in hex" Usually got blank stares, but after 73 I hadda quit.
JB Used to looove programming in assembly. Use about 1/3 or less of the memory.

Dennis said...

Well damn, I must've done a bad job.

C.C. Burnikel said...

RE: CRESCENDO. Got your point. The clue needs rewording then.

Der Katze,
Don't blame it entirely on the constructor. Remember that the editor has the final say.

RE: TESS. I was worried that our dysfunctional family would get LAID in the wrong way, that's why I quoted the dairy maid's "She would have LAID down her life" line. I had no idea that Dennis, drdad, and others still went down the chimney. The reason why I dislike the 63A clue is because of the LAY root in LAYER/LAID.

What's my age in computer language? I have 2C's.

Dennis said...

What's cup size have to do with age??

Anonymous said...

Dennis: I would think that age has a lot to do w/cup size. With age comes knowledge; with knowledge comes wisdom, and with wisdom comes a broader sense of awareness increasing our ability 2C. Our fearless leader is young but able 2C. On the other hand, my cup runneth over and I am such a wise ass.

C.C. Burnikel said...

I was thinking of calling MOREL police earlier. I am just relieved that Dennis decided not to chase after my 14A Comments today.

C.C. Burnikel said...

I meant MORAL Police. But you know what I meant.

Der Katze said...

Moral not morel,CC? Heck, I thought you were calling the "mushroom marshals".

Dennis said...

C.C., I was gonna pursue 14A, but there was no picture...

jimhllrn said...


Sorry - - my bad. You were the first correct answer.

C.C. Loved the video, but at 4c yrs old, it would be a waste of two people's times for me to join the 'mushroom marshals' BTW you age should be '2c', not 2cs. CC is 204 2c is too young to a 4c.

lois said...

CC: I AM the 'morel' police! If there is ever a 'morel' issue, I'm 'on it' and 'all over it'. Glad to be of service!

Anonymous said...

c.c. I know absolutely nothing about chemistry, so had to cheat and look to you for the answers to allyl/aryl. Otherwise, fairly easy, except I, too, put Charlie rather than Charles (Gibson).

Lois, we naughty girls are indeed thankful for naughty boys - or at least I was when I was young, oh, so long ago.


Mr. Corcoran said...

dah di dah dit, dah dah dit dah! was tough getting through all the comments of the day...enjoy the repartee as usual...c.c.(to echno melissa) your observation re Mr. Hardy's opus were hermeneutically astute. And doctor you must realize Kirk and his crew stole Nexus from that great author of the trilogy Nexus, Plexus and ? (not sure if I should clue you in considering the naughty nature of that one!)

C.C. Burnikel said...

der katze & Lois
I think I like "MOREL MARSHAL", it's even alliterative.

Thanks for the 204.

Thanks for stopping by.

Thank you for noticing Hardy as well. I am eager waiting for Drdad's response.

Norm dePlume said...

Hello: A belated comment to the "Drop Down" clue:

An old riddle asks. "Q: How do you get down off an elephant?
A: You don't get down off an elephant, you get down off a duck."

This led to my invention of the self-answering Question pun, of which there only two in existence:

1. "Howdah you get down from an elephant?"
2. "Juneau the capital of Alaska?"

C.C. Burnikel said...

I've made a copy of your comment and pasted on today's entry (May 15 Thursday), as SHEDS was clued as MOLTS again.

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