Jun 23, 2008

Monday June 23, 2008 Norma Steinberg

Theme: Happy OWER

17A: Prenatal party: BABY SHOWER

60A: Big name on D-Day: EISENHOWER

10A: Chicago skyscraper: SEARS TOWER

30D: Alternate energy source: SOLAR POWER


This is definitely a Norma Steinberg puzzle. With a couple of baseball references:


1D: Ty of the Tigers: COBB. The "Georgia Peach". The first crop of HOFers.

I suspect that our editor tinkered with the lower right corner. I don't believe that Ms. Steinberg would have missed the opportunity to clue 55D: HOME (55D: Residence) & AWAY (56D: Not in residence) as baseball related. "White House abbr." would be a perfectly fine clue for PRES (58D: White House res.). What's the obsession with "Res*" clues this morning?

Lots of sports terms in today's grid:

25A: Improbably victories: UPSETS

33A: In direct confrontation: TOE-TO-TOE

43A: Plies a broom: SWEEP. The crossing of SWEEP, EAST (36D: Vane heading) and WITCH (44D: Coven member) reminded me of the "Wicked WITCH of the WEST" and her broom.

54A: Title holder: CHAMP

59A: Be windy: BLOW. "Totally botch"!

62A: Zero in Tennis: LOVE

2D: Track shape: OVAL

8D: Level: EVEN

27D: Olympics sled: LUGE. Since 1964.

38D: Ready for business: OPEN

All in all, a very easy but forgettable puzzle.


5A: Fall flower: ASTER. Beautiful. ASTER comes from the Greek "astron", meaning "star".

10A: Pacifying offers: SOPS. Payoffs.

14A: Egg: OVUM. I dislike OVUM intersecting the Egg-shaped OVAL (2A: Track shape).

15A: What push comes to: SHOVE. Great clue. Idiom: "When push comes to shove".

20A: Sanctified: BLEST

23A: Grown elvers: EELS. Only learned this morning that "elver" is also called "glass eel", "so called because it is nearly transparent at an early stage". I want those two Unagi rolls in the middle.

27A: Unties: LOOSENS

32A: Maintain: UPHOLD

37A: Earth sci.: GEOL (Geology). The Geology term "CONNATE", clued as "Like fluids trapped in rocks", stumped me big on Sunday's puzzle.

40A: Augmented: ENHANCED

46A: Word to describe Snow White: FAIREST. Dislike its crossing with FINEST (46D: Best there is).

47A: One of the Magi.: CASPAR. Or Reagan's Secretary of Defense Weinberger.

52A: Scale drawing: PLAN And 12D: Factory: PLANT. I know they are of different roots, but they just look so uncomfortable with each other in one grid.

63A: French cup: TASSE. Annoying ASS intersection with 50D: Will Roger's prop: LASSO

66A: Didst slap: SMOTE. Good archaic clue.


3D: Service station job?: LUBE. Why question mark? No need for it here!

4D: Heckerling and Irving: AMYS. I was "Clueless" that Heckerling directed "Look Who's Talking".

6D: Shallow waters: SHOALS. Or Schools of fish.

7D: Hamlet's kin: TOWNS. Shouldn't the clue be "Hamlets' kin"?

18D: Pittsburgh product: STEEL. Have you READ (45D: Enjoy a novel) Danielle STEEL's Five Days in Paris?

26D: One way to stand: PAT. Stand PAT.

47D: Knitting stitch: CABLE. I know the pattern, I just had no idea that it's called CABLE-knitting. This reminds me of ARGYLE, the Scots style socks knitting pattern.

49D: Potbelly: STOVE

53D: Neeson of "Nell": LIAM. I've never seen "Nell", often clued as "Jodie Foster movie" by our editor. LIAM Neeson is so good as Oskar in "Schindler's List". I tend to confuse him with his co-star Ralph Fiennes, who played Amon Göth (the Nazi concentration camp commandant) in the movie. Fiennes is just brilliant in "The English Patient". But his wondering EYES (68A: Checks out) obviously soared miles too high.



Anonymous said...

Good morning all:
Very easy today - no googles at all, worked it sraight through. CC: I agree with all your cross references.
I'm pretty sure we've all got Kukla, Fran & Ollie down pat by now - I think this is the third time we've seen that clue in the last week or so - need to give it a rest. Ollie is also a skateboard trick.
Hope all have a great day!

C.C. Burnikel said...

Regarding 7D: TOWNS. What's your take on the clue? Dictionary says that the plural form of "hamlet" can be "hamlet" as well.

Anonymous said...

I think towns is OK - my first thought was that Hamlet's kin was a Shakespeare reference and I didn't get aster until I filled the perps, so I actually thought towns was a little on the clever side.

Dr. Dad said...

Good morning!! Finally, a 5-minute puzzle!!! Yay!!!
Kukla, Fran, and Ollie again! The constructors must get together and decide on a clue/answer to use for the next month.
I've been to the top of the Sears Tower. The view is great.
Nice intersection of ovum and oval. 55D and 56D - Residence and Not in Residence?
Then we had Whoa intersecting Oops and Oh Oh on the other side.
Will Rogers could throw one of the "finest" lassos. He was a real "champ" at that.
Liam Neeson played "Rob Roy" and also Quai Gon Jinn (a Jedi knight) in Star Wars The Phantom Menace. Also played "Darkman," and Oskar Schindler in "Schindler's List."

Alas for George Carlin. The third heart attack did him in. RIP. Anyone remember the "original seven words?"

Today is Typewriter Day - in observance of the typewriter being patented in 1868 by Christopher Sholes.
It's also Let It Go Day -
Free yourself from all negative thoughts and worries. Its time to let them go and allow the positive into your life in order to heal yourself.

Have a good one.

Kim said...

CC & Gang,

Very easy today. Online counter is 9 minutes. Think thats the fastest I've done one.

Drdad, I just heard about George Carlin. I remember the "7 words you can't say on tele"...had the album back in the day! Funny in my youth, but to me he grew into a grumpy hateful old man. Sad to hear though.

No baby here in Maryland yet...we're just waiting.

Have a great day!

Rae said...

I was very surprised to discover this morning that the Chicago Tribune was publishing the answer to today's puzzle upside down in the lower right hand corner of the page where they used to put yesterday's answers. Is this happening to anyone else?

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Fairly easy puzzle for me. A few false starts, as usual, not nothing bad.

I agree that 7D was poorly clued. At first I thought it had to be "towne" (one of my false starts), but that didn't work with 23A.

Anonymous said...

Here's a You Tube link to the "7 words you can't say on TV"

Sad day

C.C. Burnikel said...

Chris & Barry,
TOWNS is easily gettable today due to the crossing references. But it would be a very unfair clue on another day. I would prefer "Hamlet's relativeS".

Dr. Dad,
Hey, you are catching up with Dennis quickly. I dislike the intersection of OVUM and OVAL.

Congratulations on the record.

Yes, it has happened to a few solvers before, me included.

Dick said...

Good morning Cc and DFs. Today was my best all time record and was completed as fast as I could write.

Cc for some reason I had no problem with the 7D clue and was able to insert the answer as soon as I saw the clue although I did think of "TOWNE" at first but 23A quickly set that straight.

Drdad do you really think it a good idea to let Lois know that it's "Let It Go Day" as she probably has nothing left to let go of after last week. Oh well hold on I am sure there is more from her later.

Dr. Dad said...

Kim, I agree with your assessment of George in his later years. He struggled with some inner demons there, I think and it managed to get into his routine.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Where are you?

Bill said...

I'm back. Had a GREAT weekend. The weather man messed up and instead of T-storms we had sun all day Sat and some great music.
Since we see COLA so frequently maybe next time it could be clued as "SS raise" instead of a drink.
Hamlet and towns was a gimme for me. In this area most unincorporated villages are called hamlets. The problem I see with "towns" is that a TOWN is an entity that has within it hamlets, villages, cities, etc. Then a County (in NY) includes all the towns and the state is made up of all the counties.
OK, enough of that.
Barry, I read your Sat comment and was ok with it 'til you said you were going to grill asparagus!
yuuuccchhhkkk. There is no good asparagus just as there is no good okra!!
CYA all later

Dr. Dad said...

C.C. - regarding yesterday's Rio. I just don't know. It fit and I couldn't tell Portuguese, Spanish, or what was actually being clued for "Roberto."

Dr. Dad said...

I love asparagus, especially with hollandaise sauce. Can't stand okra though.

Dick said...

Barry did you try the butter and garlic salt when cooking the asparagus?

Jeanne said...

Morning all, Are we just getting smarter because of C.C. or are the puzzles getting easier? I think it's a little of both.
Rae: My puzzle has the previous day's answers. No upside down current day answers.
Dick: Good Lois is still out west as my brother is heading back to VA today and can get hidden away before Lois returns to VA.

NYTAnonimo said...

song #1 for the day

song #2 for the day

in honor of let it go day drdad!

Bill said...


Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. and gang - did a spontaneous weekend at the shore - absolutely perfect weather, and the beach ornaments weren't bad either. However, like C.C., I did see some 'annoying ass intersections'...

Very fast puzzle this morning - just missed beating my best time; something about 3 hours sleep that slows the mind a bit.

Sorry to hear about George Carlin - did he happen to be in OK?

Today is National Pink Day.....if that's not cause for celebration, I don't know what is.

Hope it's a bearable Monday for everyone.

flyingears said...

Agree with drdad on asparagus. I HATE okra, although it's used fairly common in puzzle clues...

Today's puzzle was just ok, a "made-me-feel-good" puzzle. Took me 15 minutes to solve between watching CNBC and the oil crisis and the puzzle. This oil thing is driving me nuts!!! The shares owners must be having a lot of fun!!!

Residence may not be a "home" as it could be a battle arena with some couples. I prefer to use residence and house or abode. Home, to me, is generally a happy setting environment.

NYTAnonimo said...

and for that one dennis

Dennis said...

nytanonimo - not exactly the 'pink' reference I had in mind, but that'll work.

Katherine said...

Good morning CC and gang. Looks like we all aced this one today.
I think we DO have Kukla, Fran & Ollie down now!
Thanks for the link on the "7 words".
And those blue asters are beautiful CC, thanks for the link. I didn't know there were blue asters.
Have a good day everyone.

Barry G. said...

Actually, the asparagus came out quite nicely. No butter, no garlic salt -- just asparagus grilled over charcoal. Very tasty.

Although I will admit that my pee smelled strange for the next 24 hours....

Barry G. said...

Never had okra, btw, so I can't say if I like it or not. To be honest, I only know it as a frequent crossword vegetable...

Dennis said...

Best recipe for asparagus: Saute lightly, add butter, a little garlic salt. Throw in nearest trash receptacle. On top of any okra.

Dr. Dad said...

Dennis, please tell us how you really feel about asparagus and okra. LOL.

MH said...

An easy one. I zipped right through in about 5 minutes. Also didn't comment last Thursday or Friday but they were easy too, especially Friday. Or maybe I'm just getting smarter ;-)

Too bad about the hippy dippy mailman but like some others have mentioned I didn't like his humor in recent years. I think he died lonely.

I just returned from a 600 mile trip in the yellow car on 3 of the hottest days (98-105) of the year. Lots of SPF45 and bottled water.

KittyB said...

(snickering at dennis and bill and the asparagus) Best recipe: Clean and trim the asparagus, place in plastic bag and add enough olive oil to coat, gently rolling the bag between your hands. Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil, lay the asparagus on the foil, separating so the stems don't touch. Sprinkle with kosher salt and dried onion flakes. Roast 5-15 minutes depending on the thickness of the stalks. I'll have to check on the oven temp. I don't normally care for asparagus, but this is heavenly!

Good morning c.c. and dfs.

drdad, I thought I had done well at nine minutes. I'll have to stretch to reach that bar. *S*

bill, pardon me, but I don't get the clue "SS raise." Could you explain, please?

jeanne, nice tip of the hat to c.c.

Carlin was the voice of my youth, but I agree that he became bitter. I thought he had begun to mellow just a bit this last year or so. Farewell, George.

chris in la, my something new for the day is that an "ollie" is a skateboard trick. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Kitty B:
Your asparagus recipe sounds good - I'll have to try it. Here's mine (kinda like Dennis' without the trash part):
Slice off bottom 1/4" of the bunch and stand in water for an hour (adds moisture - spears will still draw water up the stalk). Bend spears until they break naturally - discard the bottom part. Slice into 1 to 1-1/2 inch pieces, sautee in butter and small amount of onion, garlic, salt & pepper until it turns bright green (only about 5-10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Most people who don't like asparagus have just never had it cooked properly.

You can't make decent gumbo without okra and it is delicious - I'll spare you the recipe because you can't get or make decent gumbo outside of Louisiana (I think it's the water - you can't get decent sourdough outside of San Francisco for the same reason) - you'll just have to come down & try some one day. Otherwise, I agree, okra serves no purpose.

Besides, this is a crossword blog, not a recipe blog - I just couldn't resist.

melissa bee said...


melissa bee said...

good morning c.c. and all,

absolutely delightful weekend, and mercifully simple puzzle for a monday morning. 'happy ower,' c.c. you're adorable. also liked your observation of the wicked witch. i'll take the unagi and some hamachi, too. i could hear your voice in my head when i saw the 3d question mark.

@lois: heard yours on 3d too - it had a different tone. hey .. 3D.

@drdad: let it go day, i think i will.

my favorite george carlin stuff.

Dick said...

Why don't we all go to LA and eat some of Chris' asparagus? He is at no loss for new recipes.

Dick said...

Chris if you would like some different asparagus recipes go to Germany at this time of year and you will have white asparagus in any form you can imagine from BBQed to soup.

Crockett1947 said...

Good morning, everyone! Back from Alaska, and had an easy time this morning. C.C., love the theme! I agree with your 7D clue comment. DDE's last name is spelled EISENHOWER. Rae, my answer is still the previous puzzle (right side up). Bill, TOWNS is the eastern version of TOWNSHIPS, which can definitely include hamlets, villages, cities, wide spots in the road, etc. Nytanomino, thanks for the songs. Kittyb, A COLA (Cost Of Living Adjustment) is applied to SS (Social Security) payments yearly. Melissa bee, thanks for the "Stuff" link.

Dick said...

Crockett hope you liked Alaska as much as I did. Would like to go back some day and stay longer.

Dick said...

Rae my paper published yesterdays answers and no the current solution upside down..

Bill said...

Thanks, Crockett.
I just got back and saw you took care of COLA.
KittyB; You are obviously a youngster or you would have known COLA. (A youngster is anyone of less years than me!!!) Welcome to the group!

Dick said...

Jeanne I sure am happy to learn that your son is safe and in Virginia. There was a lot to worry about with this situation.

Bill said...

BTW Dennis, I guess we're in total agreement about the vegatables in question!!

carol said...

Morning C.C. and all you D.F's: Great puzzle today, especially when I can get it done without any help..not as fast as some of you, but respectable.

Sorry about George Carlin. I was a fan in the early days, but agree with Kim, he did go through a very hateful period later in his career.

mh: Carlin portrayed a "hippy dippy weatherman" not mailman.. it was a funny bit.

Rae: our paper just shows the answers to the previous days puzzle

Welcome home Crockett!

Where is Lois? Maybe she "lassoed" herself "champ", "lubed" him and is going "toe to toe" with him..."oh oh".

C.C. Burnikel said...

HOME: "Residence" is OK to me. But I understand what you meant. I want HOME plate.

Thanks for the Bob Marley link. Wonderful!

I am glad you enjoyed the "Happy OWER".

Welcome back. I wonder how many other mistakes slipped away while you were gone. Thank you for the COLA explanation. Bill had me confused with his "SS Raise" comment.

Anonymous said...

wow im 17 and this took me under 5 mins.....i did need help on one though so thank you C.C.

C.C. Burnikel said...

There's a question to you regarding "Bananagram" on Saturday's Comments. What's your answer?

Very impressive!

Dennis said...

c.c., I didn't see the question, but I do enjoy delivering them.

Could Lois have taken on one lava bomb too many? Could she be locked up for endangering the welfare of a town? We'll stay tuned.

Danielle said...

I agree with cc - this puzzle is easy and forgettable, though I always like puzzles with rhyming answers - they're just satisfying within the puzzle structure or something.

I also agree that it's enough of OLLIE already, though you could clue it "Stan's partner"

I like both okra and asparagus, and grilled veggies are so great for the calorie conscious b/c you don't need anything on them.

I saw GC in concert in Philly a few years ago (well, maybe 10) and he was hilarious. He always had an edge, IMO. He'll be missed - I think he defined comedy for my generation.

By the by, COLA applies to things besides SS, including military and other govt salaries:

Danielle said...

To Thomas: Just read your comment from Friday - I first learned about Noam while writing about language acquisition as a psych undergrad and didn't learn about his political pursuits until much later. I'm so jealous that you saw him in person, that must have been amazing. I went to your blog - is it possible that your first language is French, but you still do English language crosswords? You put the rest of us to shame (usually I can barely manage in my native language!)

To Dennis: Do you live in Philly? (I'm basing the question on your reference to the Rand McNally store at 19th St.)

Dennis said...

Danielle, I'm just across the river in a small town - Medford Lakes NJ; worked in Philly for some 30 years.

carol said...

To the "3 D's" (Dennis, Dick and drdad): what have you boys done with Lois??

Dick said...

Carol the last I saw Lois she was branding some dogies and did not want to be bothered until she was done.

Dennis said...

I have a feeling Lois may have bitten off more than she can chew. So to speak.

embien said...

My favorite Carlin (as hippy-dippy weatherman):
"Forecast for tonight: Dark, and continued dark until morning."

7 minutes for me, but I wasn't trying for speed. I'll have to try speed solving on a Monday in the near future just to see where I stand.

lois said...

Good evening CC & DF's: Busy day w/all those 'annoying ass intersections'...Hilarious! Branding is over! Now it's time to check out the horses!

Drdad: Let it go day? AAALLLLL RRRRIIIIGGGHHHTTT! You have a special way of just setting me free beyond my wildest imagination! You are oh so my hero!!! And the night is sooo young!!! Lot of letting go ahead! Lava bombs? oh no! Lois bombs!!! Found this hot spot out in the spot called Park Tavern... lots of fun! Can even tie your horses up out front...all of them..motorized or not. Another pub called 'chaps my ass' next on the list.

Dick: nothing left? Oh'come now'! Me?...always ready for more! Bring it on, babe! I'm wired like a heat seeking missle, but as long as there are no attachments, I'm not nearly as destructive...explosive maybe, but only in a good way.

Happy Trails Gge Carlin...I liked him. Dennis, I wish he had been in OK. It would've been a great ride!BTW, my bite is perfect...braces 2 yrs..& I have learned to nibble.. very effectively...not like what Bill referred to one time as 'more than a mouthful is a waste'. Oh, no. The more the merrier! I also love ASSparagus...stem and all any way it 'comes'. !

Jeanne: guys can run but they can not hide...for long.

Happy Ower is almost over...gotta fly!

Welcome back travelers. mh, how did 45spf work for you? did you get sunburned at all?

Thank you,CC. Great always.

dsk said...

What does Anonymous say in the Saturday 9:24 entry?

It's really quite pretty to see but please help us to understand cc.

Still wondering if bananagram is akin to mammogram.

KittyB said...

Chris in la...that recipe sounds yummy. We'll try it this week. As soon as I can get away, I'm coming to visit for your gumbo!

crockett1947, I loved Alaska! I hope I get to go again one day. Thanks for the info on COLA.

Bill, I'm not a youngun. I have a few years to go till I qualify for Social Security (as if there will be any left when I get there.) IT sounds as though you ended up with a good weekend for your concert. Where did you play? Thanks for the welcome.

dick, my hubby is looking for that white asparagus soup recipe!

Crockett1947 said...

Lois, don't blame Bill for the mouthful comment -- 'twas I referring to my Dad -- it wasn't something I agreed on, LOL! Thanks for the welcome back. Alaska was great, and the weather behaved itself as well.

Mr. Corcoran said...

oy vey--this one was so forgettable that I'm longing for etui again...have followed today's asparagus/okra argument with one raised eyebrow...was never able to perfect my ollie until i reversed my stance and skated goofy (try that as a clew...)
hey danielle: yes, hearing chomsky opened my mind--he really revolutionized the field of linguistics...oh, and it's easy to be trilingual when your parents are unable to decide where to live :)

lois said...

Crockett: Glad you owned up to the quote...and I'm glad you don't agree w/your dad. A bigger playground is more enjoyable to me too. I'm so glad you had a good time in Alaska. You were missed.

Bill: guess I owe you an apology for putting words in your mouth. At least they were clean. I'm also glad you had good weather and a great time. I love blue grass and banjo music. Playing the banjo is on my bucket list.. better start soon, huh. I am as old as dirt...dick pointed that out a while back. But I'll learn to pluck w/the best of 'em.

Dick said...

Kitty I will be in Germany the first two weeks in August and I will try to remember to get the recipe for you.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Here is a brief translation of the Saturday comment by Anonymous:

"Some additional information: In the olden days, Chinese names consisted of surname + family generation name + given name. The "family generation name" implied the family tree, prestige and hope for the future."

Then he gave an example of the Jia family in a very famous Chinese novel "A Dream of Red Mansions".