Jun 28, 2008

Saturday June 28, 2008 John Underwood


Voilà, my first Saturday TMS puzzle sans Googling! I absolutely TORE (54D: Drove like crazy) through it. It's so weird, since AS A RULE (62A: Most of the time), I always have difficulty closing the deal on John Underwood's puzzle. Have to thank those wonderful 4-letter Down fills (total 24), which render the long Across words easily obtainable.

I adore the lower right corner. I was just leafing through "Gertrude and Alice" the other day and marveling at Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas' STAMINA (19A: Endurance) during wars (esp. WWI).

Gertrude Stein and her brother Leo invested in paintings from MATISSE (64A: French artist Henri), Picasso, Gauguin, Cézanne and other ELITE (48A: A-list group) painters very earlier on, and they profited nicely after the wars. The execution of her ESTATE (46D: Landed property), however, was a total disaster. Toklas had to shoulder the majority of the BLAME (51A: Hold responsible) I suppose.

Alright, let's go:


1A: Hold down: OPPRESS

8A: From the top: AFRESH

14A: Trattoria selection: POLENTA. RARELY (10D: Not often) do you find Chinese (esp those who grew up during Chinese Cultural Revolution) enjoy POLENTA or any corn related food.

15A: Like insulated wires: COAXIAL. Do you know that the 1936 Summer Olympics already used COAXIAL cable to transmit TV pictures?

18A: Gangland hitman: TORPEDO. I had no idea that "TORPEDO" is a slang for a hitman. I love TORPEDO sandwiches, don't you?

20A: More strict: STERNER

28A: Dental records: X-RAYS. I like how X-RAYS intersect EXAMINE (22D: Check out).

32A: Larger part of Iberia: SPAIN. "Well, I Never been to SPAIN, but I kinda like the music. Say the ladies are insane there..."

34A: Do the breast stroke: SWIM. Wonderful clue. Here is a great Emerson message for you: "Live in the sunshine, SWIM the sea, drink the wild air."

39A: Be inviting: TEMPT. And 6D: Lure: ENTICE

43A: Hot box: OVEN. And Another hot place is HADES (13D: Netherworld).

47A: Madagascar primate: LEMUR. This LEMUR must be very good at tail-lashing.

53A: Cry like a mourner: ULULATE. Most of the Irish mourning music really have a haunting mystique in them.

56A: Pass to the side: LATERAL. I did not know that "LATERAL" can also be a verb.

61A: Fire opal: GIRASOL. Unknown to me. Got it from the down clues. Italian for "Sunflower". Dictionary says it came from "girare" (to turn), "sol". That's how GIRASOL was morphed into "an opal that reflects light in a bright luminous glow".

63A: Impolite observers: STARERS. And 60D: Lascivious gander: LEER. Both remind me of those OGLING crowd following Natalie Gulbis at US Open. I did not see Ben Roethlisberger (Steelers' QB) though. He used to follow Natalie around.

65A: Paris palace: ÉlYSÉE. I bet Carla Bruni will leave Sarkozy before he leaves Palais de ÉlYSÉE.


2D: Opposite of starboard: PORT (left-handed side of the vessel). Hmm, have some Apple Crisp to go with your PORT wine.

7D: Assassinated Egyptian statesman: SADAT. Who on earth killed SADAT? Only Mubarak knows.

11D: Look on one's face: EXPRESSION

12D: Commune in Tuscany: SIENA. OK, the medicinal herb is SENNA, the reddish-brown is SIENNA, or actress SIENNA Miller (a bit of bikini malfunction there), and Tuscany city is SIENA. So confusing.

30D: "A Bug's Life" cast members: ANTS. Have not seen ANTZ for a while.

49D: Painting on a wall: MURAL. Here is Diego Rivera's infamous "Man at the Crossroads" MURAL.

52D: ___ metabolism: BASAL. One word: EXERCISE, if you want to increase your BASAL Metabolic Rate.



Chris in LA said...

Good morning CC etal,
I had the same experience you did - ripped right through this one. Torpedo didn't make sense to me, either - looked it up afterward - apparently a slang term from the 20's. A lateral pass is a football term for a pass to a player who is located behind the passer.
Have a great Saturday!

C.C. Burnikel said...

RE: Dr. J. I just read your yesterday's comment. NLCS is great. I've never heard of MIKU though. Where did you get the "Summons, var" for CONJURS? Is it a real word?

flyingears said...

Easy EXCEPT the NE sector. Torpedo didn't make sense either, Chris. For 11D I kept thinking of IMPRESSION and couldn't erase it from my mind. Netherworld and Hades have been in previous X/W puzzles. 15A couldn't think of b/o 11D miss.

NYTAnonimo said...

Had to laugh as I googled TORPEDO to make sure it was right and the first thing that popped up was "Gangland hitman: TORPEDO. I had no idea that "TORPEDO" is a slang for a hitman. I love TORPEDO sandwiches, don't you?" I also flew through the puzzle except for the NE corner. And I do SWIM-try to do a mile 5-6 times a week. Thanks for another nice writeup cc. Have a great weekend.

C.C. Burnikel said...

I have difficulty understanding your comment @ 2:14pm Thursday (June 26) regarding Lois' 1:59pm HARASS remark. Can you write me an email to explain? My English is not good enough to understand the rapid fires between you guys.

Dick said...

Good morning all. This was really easy compared to the hammer yesterday. I raced through this one and completed it in very good time. Had to struggle with the NE corner a bit as TORPEDO did not make sense to me and I had to get it from the downs. I also think 15A clue is weak for coaxial.

Cc the term lateral can be a verb when used as a pass in football.

You have given Lois some fodder with your description of the Lemur's tail. I can't imagine where that will go with her.

Superfrey said...

This was an easy one.... some of the clues were goofy though. I put in Lugs to get the perps of Ululate and Girasol... but I have never heard those words used before. I did not like the Starers and Sterner clues... either... at least it was easy...and oh yes, torpedo... that is an oldie to use. Have a great Saturday.

Dick said...

Cc for some reason I cannot seem to find your email address. Help me out and I will explain the Lois remark.

Chris in LA said...

Here's a link for miku
I explained conjurs in email response.
Another hot & sticky day down here in "the deep".

C.C. Burnikel said...

Thank you for the MIKU link. I think we should have a MIKU contest!


Dick said...

Cc I have sent you an email regarding your earlier question.

Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. and cast - another fast-as-I-can-write one; was kinda hoping for back-to-back hammers, just for a change of pace.

Dick, I'm with you re 15A - very weak. And I didn't like "torpedo" either, what with Monday coming up...

I think Lois will be off the deep end today, given that lemur's tail, "hot box", "ream" and "stamina".

C.C., I continue to marvel at the work you do for this blog - your research each day is simply amazing; I've probably learned more on here in the past several months than anywhere else. You have my undying admiration.

Hope it's an outstanding weekend for everyone; you know how mine will be. See y'all Monday afternoon.

Bill said...

Wow, what a change from yesterday!! Half a cup day. (and it was still hot).
Like most of you I breezed but also did not like 15a.
Insulated wires are not necessarly "Coaxial". They can be any wire with an insular coating.
A general clue for a specific answer.
Muggy here today and lots to do to get ready for another festival performance tomorrow. Hope it pays well 'cause it's 150 miles up the road!!!!

Bill said...

BTW, Dennis, Hope everything comes out OK next week.

Or should I say "goes in OK" ??

Best of luck.

Dick said...

Dennis I really enjoyed your torpedo remark LOL!!

Dick said...

Fellow DFS I am on my way to my camp for a week and I do not have internet access so I will need to wait a week to see all of your comments. Hope you all have a great week and Dennis on a serious note I wish you well.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

After yesterday's puzzle from hell, today's effort seemed almost surrealistically easy. I just breezed right through it. The only word I didn't know was GIRASOL, but that came easily from the perps. TORPEDO took a little while, but I have actually heard the term used for a hitman before.

I guess I like a balance. I don't like puzzles full of obscure words and proper names, but at the same time it's nice when the clues make you think a bit instead of just giving the answer away.

melissa bee said...

good morning c.c. and all,

what a breeze this morning, i was expecting a bit more of a challange for a saturday.

themeless but all the same with 'tempt' anchoring in the center, i noted leer and stag .. vocabulary and expression are always worthy temptations .. at least for smart chics. and then there's stamina.

c.c. congratulations on your google-less saturday. enjoyed your gertrude and alice observation.

@katherine: wasn't it you who saw chick corea? how was he? was this the return to forever tour?

kim@babywatch: any news?

@kittby: mother is improving?

@dennis: cruel to see ream, examine, xray and torpedo today, huh? aw.

Razz said...

Good Morning CC & DFs,

Wasn't this a great big yawn after yesterday's poser.

CC thanks for the TDN song link, one of my favorite groups from my youth. I'm afraid we will lose Lois to the ocean when she checks out your swim link.

I echo Dennis' note...thanks for what you do in leading the DFs on this site.

carol said...

Hi C.C. and all, good, easy puzzle, especially for a Sat. I was surprised. I too had trouble with torpedo, ululate and girasol but that was it. Guess we are ready for a toughie again.

Dick, what camp are you going to? If it is a nudist camp, don't tell Lois.

Dennis, all teasing aside, best of luck on Monday....don't think of tornado :)

Lois can "leer" at all the "stags", "tempt" and "entice" them until they're "ripe" for the "acts" and hope they have enough "stamina" to last!!

carol said...

Dennis - I meant to say torpedo

Dennis said...

Carol, there better not be any damn tornado up there Monday; the torpedo's enough, thank you. And thanks for the words.

melissa bee, good to see you back on the blog; yeah, I missed the 'ream' connection. Just made my sphincter slam.

MH said...

Fast and easy for me today. Just the tiniest bit of trouble in the SW since I didn't know ululate or girasol but got them from the perps. I had ALSO for 55D until I saw that it was actually the answer for 59D. Once that little gaff was fixed I was set to finish in about 6 minutes.

Crockett1947 said...

Good morning, everyone! After yesterday, this was a breeze! Had to change 37D from TONS, but it was an easy adjustment. C.C., congratulations on your Google-less solution! I think that this is the first time I've seen GIRASOL in a puzzlle -- I think it's usually a clue for OPAL. Have a great weekend!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Mark, Buenos Aires

Similar thoughts as already stated. I dont know schleps, but lugs filled in- lugs are ears? or not?

In Spanish, Girasol is sunflower, roughly translated as turn to the sun, as the flower does.

Re Lois and harass, is this a pun on "her ass" or in Brit language "her arse"?

Foggy morning that has turned into a beautiful day, 65 fahreheit expected, and this one week into winter - have a good weekend everybody - best wishes to Dennis, dont worry, the prep is the worst part and, if here, they will give you some great pictures afterwards.

Terri said...

Well, I did not tear through this one, but almost! I did not get the upper right corner: one end of a table=foot, I did not get, nor coaxial, but if I had got expression instead of impression I would have been better off. But I didn' it goes. I think what really frustrated me the most was that I just bought a new crossword dictionary this week and none of these clues were in it. Humph. Better luck next time...

Anonymous said...

When a family has guests over for a dinner the host sits at the "head" of the table. The opposite end of the table is the "foot.

Dennis said...

anonymous, you have no idea what you've just done to Lois...

Der Katze said...

15A Didn't like the clue/answer at first, but then realized that the insulation of any wire (not just coaxial cable) shares a common axis with the wire.

Anonymous said...

A trattoria is a small Italian restraint or bistro.

KittyB said...

Good evening, CC and all. was a breeze today, shockingly easy after yesterday. Girasol was the only word I didn't get through the clue.

Melissa bee, bless you for asking about Mother. She is coming back, VERY slowly. I can see the woman in there that we know, but she is husbanding her energy and getting a lot of rest to prepare for a lot of physical therapy.

dick, have fun at camp. I'll miss your comments. of luck with your test. I'm going to take the high road and refrain from tacky jokes! *G*

kim...I hope the baby has arrived.

c.c. Thanks for the links and information. You're amazing! Apple crisp is one of my favorite desserts.

bill, do you play banjo?

It's sunny, stormy, hailing, gorgeous here....typical Chicago weather. I hope you all have a good weekend.

Anonymous said...

I just discovered this Blog yesterday, after suffering through Friday's puzzle. Not only did I get the answers I needed, but I also found out that I wasn't the only poor sap who had struggled for longer than I want to admit. Interesting comments all the way around. I'll be back again. By the way, Saturday's puzzle was much kinder. Girasol was my only sticking place, but I got it with the crossing Downs. I'd like to be able to check in with some help some time, but I live in the Northern California countryside and our home newspaper delivery doesn't usually get here before 9 AM. I think all of you are totally finished before I even get the paper.

lois said...

Good morning CC & DF's...Sunday morning, that is: Razz was right. I was lost at Sea again w/Serge. My Goodness...and we all know that Goodness has nothing to do with it! Thank you CC. Great links!

I see we're back to lashing again w/that lemur...what a fine tail!!
Like I haven't heard that one before! p'lease'!!Gimme 'afresh' expression'! Had to submarine some stags tonight w/a lateral step and then torpedo'd the lugs. They were 'treated' and re'lease'd, but not before I 'tore' 'em a new one. (oops, sorry, Dennis...sore subject today) (too 'tempt'ing). I'm going for a swim. Maybe the pool will help the heat from the hot box ebb. I just blame Dick.

Carol: very funny! well done! They had zero stamina...the pantywastes!

Dick: Camp? For a week? Can I come? We'll miss you.

AnonMark: a pun on her ass? Yes, it was and it's riding in good company w/a lot of cowboys.

Melissabee: was wondering about you. Glad to see you back here.

Bill: Happy pluckin'!

Kittyb: so glad your mom is improving. You stay in my prayers.

Anon 10:06: Sometimes people work or party late and join in afterwards. Welcome to the fray! CC is utterly remarkable!

Where is Argyle?