Jun 26, 2008

Thursday June 26, 2008 Alan P. Olschwang

Theme: Quip (Evan Esar)

17A: Start of a quip: GOSSIP

23A: Part 2 of quip: IS LIKE SPINACH IT

40A: Part 3 of quip: All

53A: Part 4 of quip: BOILS DOWN TO VERY

62A: End of quip: LITTLE

I definitely have a Pavlov's Dog reflex towards Olschwang's Quip themed puzzle, so unoriginal, unimaginative and uninspiring. I started yawning immediately after I spotted his name.

I did not complain about ILL (32D: Sickly) clue yesterday ("Feeling peaked") due to the subtle ILL, AIL, ITIS & REHAB sub-theme. But today I am absolutely a volcano ready to explode. There are so many ways to clue ILL: __ at ease; __ -advised; __-wishers; __ -timed; Or simply "___ be back"; "___ be there"; "____ bite"; "____ treat"; or get romantic with "I'LL Be Missing you".

LET SLIP (49D: Divulge accidentally) is actually a great fill for this theme. I only wish it were constructed to intersect GOSSIP somehow.

Can you hear birds chirping/screaming in today's puzzle?

50A: Type of hawk: RED-TAIL. I am not familiar with this hawk. RED-TAILED hawks showed up when I googled. Isn't it strange that birds have all the freedom they have, yet the majority of them stay monogamous?

66A: Whippoorwill's bill: NEB. Here is a sleepy Whippoorwill, a new bird to me.

26D: Marsh bird: SORA. Her yellow-bill is indeed very short.


1A: Pester: HARASS. This is what MAO (21A: Chairman of China) said about guerrilla war fighting strategies: "The enemy advances, we retreat; The enemy camps, we HARASS; The enemy tires, we attack; The enemy retreats, we pursue.".

11A: Type of Tuna: AHI. Delicious AHI sashimi. AHI is Japanese for "yellowfin tuna".

19A: Word to describe Abner: LI'L. Yawner, yawner! Why not give Rapper "LIL' Kim" a chance to shine? Look at this outrageous outfit she wore during the 1999 MTV award.

22A: "Smooth Operator" singer: SADE. Here is SADE's "Smooth Operator". I am now listening to "Somebody Already Broke My Heart", my favorite from her "Lovers Rock" album.

68A: Turkish inn: IMARET. Absolutely no idea. It originates from the Arabic "imārah" (building).

70A: Probability ration: ODDS. I like "Against All ODDS" (Phil Collins).

71A: Full stop: PERIOD. "During the first PERIOD of a man's life the greatest danger is not to take the risk. When once the risk has really been taken, then the greatest danger is to risk too much." A great quote from Kahlil Gibran for you to twist, Mr. Olschwang.


3D: Notes of scales: RES. Or "thing" in Latin.

4D: Set upon violently: ASSAIL And 43A: Whipped: LASHED

6D: Groups of seven: SEPTETS

7D: Ring king: CHAMP. I don't quite understand this one. Does this refer to boxing?

8D: French channel port: CALAIS. Unfamiliar to me. Wikipedia says "It overlooks the Strait of Dover". Here is a map.

9D: Bing, for one: CROONER. The first thing that came to my mind was "Bing Cherry".

12D: Spyri heroin: HEIDI. I really like Shirley Temple's HEIDI, but I have never paid attention to who the author (Johanna Spyri) was.

24D: Medicinal herb: SENNA. I always confused this SENNA with SIENNA (Reddish-brown) until SIENNA Miller came along.

36D: Reckoning: TALLY. Would not have got it without the across clues. Always associated "Reckoning" with "Day of Reckoning".

41D: Bereft: LORN

51D: Serve a sentence: DO TIME

52D: Small screen idol: TV STAR. FYI, STAR TV, owned by Rupert Murdoch, has a huge presence in Asia.

55D: Metrical feet: IAMBS



Dennis said...

Good morning C.C. and fellow DFs - another very quick one, and as you said, C.C., lots of repeats. You're also right that "champ" refers to boxing.
Aren't we due for a real hammer soon? Seems like it's been forever.
Have an outstanding day.

Katherine said...

Good morning everyone.
I was stuck on the SE corner. Just couldn't get it. I loved all the links today CC, especially the Sade song. Nice.
Have a good day to everyone.

Dennis said...

Oh, and thanks for the Sienna Miller pic - nice way to start the day.

Anonymous said...

Hi folks...morning to u all..its already eveining for me here (india)..todays was a cake the quip pretty soon..but struggled to get full stop (PERIOD)..i love alan olschwang's appears on every wednesday here in india...and i wait for them

cc : champ is actually short for "champion"

just to share Investment Banking (my profession)...seniors usually refer to juniors as champ or chief or tiger ...(just as stock logic here too !!)

Anonymous said...

just wanted to ask the group: in a theme or a clue with long answer ...with only few squares filled in ..isnt it a great feeling when u stare hard at the unfilled ones and the words actually start popping out ..

Dr. Dad said...

A little trouble in the SE corner but eventually got there. A lot of clues/answers that were just recently in past puzzles. Not a good thing. Ready for something different.
That sleepy whipporwill looks like it had one two many cocktails and is suffering from a hangover.
That Li'l Kim outfit outdoes Janet Jackson's costume malfunction.
Sienna Miller's photo is probably getting Dennis' RNA/DNA replication into full swing.
12D - Heidi. Remember the infamous "Heidi Football Game" between the New York Jets and the Oakland Raiders, played on November 17, 1968?

Today is Baseball Day - In observance of Abner Doubleday's birthday (who incidentally, contrary to popular belief, DID NOT invent baseball). This Wikipedia article has a section about the legend/myth of Abner Doubleday.
It is also Rat Catcher's Day because of the Pied Piper getting rid of all the rats in Hamelin, Germany on June 26, 1284.

Have a great Thursday!!!

Kim said...

CC & gang,

I didn't have much trouble with this one. I'm with you CC, the clues are getting old and they need to come up with some new blood. I thought I was actually getting smarter, but now believe they are getting complacent!

I can't wait to get back to the real ones, but I need to get a granddaughter first! Still waiting!

Have a wonderful day everyone!

Dennis said...

Hey drdad, today is also National Forgiveness Day; I've always lived by the creed, "It's better to seek forgiveness than ask permission".

Barry G. said...

Morning, folks!

Overall, another breeze. Except for the fact that I initially put SPARROW instead of REDTAIL for 50A which really messed me up until I finally acknowledged that it just wasn't the right answer. But I really, really wanted it to be...

I had never heard of IMARET and didn't know that AHI was a type of tuna. Fortunately, they were easily gettable via the perps. And I'm proud to say I did know CALAIS and got it right away. The pronunciation of that particular port always makes me want to exclaim, "Oh Frabjous day! Callou! Callay!"

Dr. Dad said...

Dennis, those are good words to live by. Lois is probably in need of a great deal of forgiveness after that trip to OK.

Dennis said...

drdad, Lois doesn't strike me as the "forgive me" type -- more like the "I'm not done with you yet" type...

Dick said...

Good morning Cc and DFs. Not a total breeze today as I struggled with the SE corner.

Cc I liked you links to Sienna Miller Li'l Kim. Like drdad said that put Janet Jackson to shame although I did like Janet's costume after the failure.

There were so many repeats that I thought I was working an old Xword.

flyingears said...

Fairly easy with a few questions: red tail hawk (50A), Evan's quote, Imaret (68A).

drdad, Uracil base in RNA and Thymine base in DNA double-helix. That's my point of yesterday's heredity question. No problems with the protein synthesis, etc. It's just a matter where the genetic info is obtained. I'm not questioning the importance of the RNA as it is necessary for the synthesis. I'm aware of the complexity of the genes and their structure. I studied the subject in Biochem during my school years in Med school and in the late 50s when it was taught in Biology when more of the complex structure was been explained. Now it is almost a science ALL by itself, isn't it? And it's a lot of fun. You must be well verse in that subject as a chemistry PhD. And thanks for the extra info you always provide. I enjoy reading it.

Chris in LA said...

Good morning all,
I, too, struggled in SE corner, otherwise I agree - a pretty mundane puzzle today.
Calais was the place the Germans were convinced the Allies would land in France - so much so that they fortified & guarded it with too much man-power. When the Allies started landing at Normandy, the Germans were slow to react as they initially considered Normandy to be a diversion for the main assault at Calais. By the time they figured it out, it was too late. "Patton" is my favorite movie - there is a great explanation of the whole scheme there.

Bill said...

So, after several false starts it finally came together. Only one cup but it was cold when I finished!!!
The only place I missed was 26d. Have never heard of or seen a SORA. I had an "A" as the first letter which made the last word on that line PINACHIT. Since I couldn't figure out what the h*** that was, I blew it.
Had to come here to get corrected by the master. (C.C.)
Crappy day so far but maybe a little sun later.

Dick said...

I'll bet Lois and Carol will like some of the words in todays Xword. They will "letslip" "gossip" that will "harass" me to the point that I may have to "dotime". And doing time with those two will make you very "antsy" about being "lashed" with "sticks" and ending up with a "redtail".

Anonymous said...

well said dick..i enjoyed that

Anonymous said...

well said dick..i enjoyed that

Dr. Dad said...

Flyingears - thanks for the feedback. I was a bit nervous when I wrote it because I didn't want to offend. The info I give on a lot of stuff is meant in a good natured way and I'm glad most take it like that. Of course, sometimes I'm wrong and I hate when that happens. Molecular biology has indeed come a long way since Watson and Crick (and don't forget Rosalin Franklin for her X-ray photo #51 that confirmed the double helix).

flyingears said...

drdad, Been there done that, too. It's always difficult to share info too simplistic and I tend to do it like that UNTIL someone has the background, but I take things lightly and if they get hot I just drop the issue (unless I'm enjoying it. He, he)

Jeanne said...

Morning all,
Mangesh: I too love it when a quip is easily filled in. Certainly helps with the rest of the puzzle.
I am so impressed with the abundance and variety of intelligence on this blog. Some of which is over my head but I take in what I can. Have a good day all.

Anonymous said...

hi jeanne...good to hear from u ..i saw ur profile says ..retired teacher..well ..i am a freelance teacher ..and am planning to "teach" my students about solving this xword...lets c how it goes..

MH said...

I got it all except the NW corner. For some reason I put SESTETS instead of SEPTETS. You'd think I'd remember from September - sidenote: Julius Caesar inserted July and August (named for himself, of course) in what was then a 10 month calendar but didn't change the previous names for the seventh (SEP), ninth (NOV) and tenth (DEC) months. But I digress. I couldn't get GOSSIP. Oh well. Have a nice day all. BTW, I loved L'il Kim's

Anonymous said...

Dennis - In reference to yesterdays comment, I meant the clue in the paper. The answer was just a bit irritating "IT IS" and "ITIS" are two different things. I get that the same people post on here day after day, but wrong is wrong.

Dr. Dad said...

C.C. - just noticed your comment on Star TV in Asia. I watched a lot of Star TV in India when I was there.

Jeanne said...

Mangesh, I taught at an inner city high school teaching Word, Powerpoint, and Excel along with some accounting. So, you can see why this "science stuff" is a little over my head. My brother was a chemical engineer; I guess he got all the science genes. But I got all the "looks" in the family!

KittyB said...

Good morning CC and DFs. I have to agree with you all about the lack of new words and clues. I'm ready for something fresh.

I wanted the lily to be a "cala," but that just wouldn't fly. I didn't know the whipperwill's beak or the Imaret..both solved through other clues. and flying gears, it's good of you to share what you know, even if we aren't conversant with your field. It has to be difficult to water material down enough so that we can follow. Still, I think we appreciate learning new things.

A good day to you all, and the wish for a more difficult puzzle tomorrow.

Crockett1947 said...

Good morning, everyone! For a quip day, not too bad. I wanted a UNIcycle, but that didn't fit, so the TRIcycle helped everything click. C.C., do you think this puzzle was for the birds? Lil' Kim actually wore that in public??!! Holy $@*%! C.C., 7D would definitely be boxing. Dennis, I always heard it was "easier" to ask for forgiveness. After a cold Spring, we're now expecting a heat wave over the weekend -- 90s (which is HOT for Portland).

Anonymous said...

Crockett1947.........Somehow I get the idea that you are in the Oregon Portland. If so, please keep the heat on that side of the Cascades. And while you are about it, you could also keep the wind at that end of the gorge. Thank you

flyingears said...


Sometimes the X/W puzzle entries give clues that when one knows a subject is good to let them know that they need to improve their clues. The genetic stuff is the on-going legal subject to get some inmates out or to keep 'em incarcerated. This stuff is a lot of fun and I'm glad drdad is around to help me and give us info in scientific subjects as well as other subjects he so graciously share with us.


It may be hot in Portland, but here in Puerto Rico is not only hot BUT also VERY HUMID and uncomfortable (92ºF and 97% humidity)... (It's even hard to watch the Wimbledon Championships). But I can tough it out. It's somewhat better than the after-effects of a good snow. I spent a year in Buffalo (1967-68) and that was bad, really bad!!!!! Have not been back since...

Dick said...

flyingears is PR your permanent home now?

Anonymous said... (new website for Eight O'Clock Coffee) offers a free printable crossword and sudoku every day! Just go to the "unwind" portion of the site.

flyingears said...


For the time being. Mom is 89 and I am doing the do-this-do-that stuff for her. My PERMANENT home is Chesapeake, VA and I own an office there even tho I'm already retired. My wife does my biz there and goes over twice yearly. I make a trip once yearly when my wife can stay here caring for my mom.

carol said...

Morning C.C.and DF's: This one did not flow nicely for me. 28A was a real stickler...I just couldn't think of anything and had difficulty with 23,24 and 25D because of it. I had to give myself the ol' "coulda had a V8" slap to the forehead when I finally figured it out :)
Also trouble with 46D and 68A, I should have had more coffee.

C.C. thanks for the bird links and I have to agree with drdad, that little whipporwhil does look a little hung-over. The guys will like the other links, esp the ill-fitting gown(?).

Kim, when is (was)that baby due??

carol said...

Dick, I wouldn't "lash" you, I would take you to the "acme" and then let you come to a "full stop" before you GOT a red tail. :)

Crockett, can't believe we are really going to go into the 90's this isn't the 5th of July yet:)

Anonymous said...

mark Buenos aires

I thought I had it sorted but somebody said IAMBS so my whippoorwill´s bill is TEB, is that right? Ive never heard of whipperoorwill, any enlightenment would be appreciated.

winter here and 65 degrees, no Antarctic wind - time for lunch and siesta, chau to all.

Dick said...

Carol if you took me to the acme and then let me come to a full stop I would really have a redtail!

Dr. Dad said...

mark buenos aires - iambs is correct but you should have "beans" for 53D. Then you get "neb" for whippoorwill bill.

Chris in LA said...

Mark in Buenos Aires:
53D is beans, not beats, wich gives you neb for whippoorwill's beak. A whippoorwill is a bird that primarily resides in the East/Northeast US who's call sounds just like it's name - google it to get more info.

Der Katze said...

The clue could have been bird's beak, bill, nib, or pecker. Answer NEB.

Lmk said...

You guys are great. I love reading your blog comments. Thanks.

carol said...

Dick, oops, I guess my remark did sound a bit sadistic but I meant that you could complete the "acme" act, then you would be at a "full stop"
(satisfied) i.e. no "red tail".

lois said...

Good afternoon CC & DF's: Another easy one...I've got my blow torch ready for tomorrow's hammer.

Dennis you nailed me! I'm really not into forgiveness...sucking up is a good thing and I get over it, but when I'm at 'odds' w/somebody, a 'red tail' is the least of her problems. She'll be lucky not to have my foot shoved up 'harass' first or worse yet some plastic explosives and then my foot sending her finding a new 'acme'.

Dick: being tongue 'lashed' precedes the 'acme' in my playground.

Dick said...

Lois I enjoyed you 1:58 post. Particularly the "harass" comment. Great use of words.

Dr. Dad said...

Lois for shame on your tongue lashing.

Dennis said...

Lois, you aren't really going to amish world, are you? Jeezus, the humanity -- all those years of teaching the moral high ground, gone in a pile of black clothes...

Dennis said...

LOL, look at us "3 D's" all responding to Lois like Pavlov's dogs - wonder what the trigger is....we'd make an intereting case study, while there was anything left of us.

Argyle said...

Fantastic detail on the whipporwill picture - wish it was as good for Sienna Miller - Li'l Kim.

carol said...

Lois, look what you did the the 3D's! Tell them you will not "ass-ail" the Amish. There are better "odds" in those other PA towns, especially Blue Ball...sounds like those guys could use a little "har-assing" :) :)

lois said...

All you guys are hilarious!
Drdad: thank you for the tongue lashing. Made me LOL.
Dick: you're next on my list for a lashing or a piece of harass-ment.
Dennis: hell yeah, I'm going to PA. With towns named like that I have to lead those people down the primrose path of righteous obliquity. I need to get
'something straight between' those people and me. I feel a calling from a lower power! It's my duty to show them the enlightened way via Needmore, VA and Horneytown, NC. It's a hard job, but somebody's got to do it.

Dennis said...

Lois, be careful -- I understand that it's easy to go from Blue Ball to Intercourse, but that it's difficult to go the other way.

lois said...

Dennis: Yeah, sometimes those long drives are hard, bumpy,and have so many rules on one-way this way, one-way that way,one way north, one way south, one way in, one way out that it makes exiting so difficult it's exhausting. Boston is like that to me. (I'm going back in Aug). Those towns in PA, however, are much smaller so I can just fool 'em probably and travel in reverse once I've exhausted all other options. I'm sure I can work it out, but thanks for the tip.

lois said...

Carol: There may be better 'odds' in those special PA towns, but the guys here are odd enough and so much fun. Besides,I don't think these guys would believe me if I did tell them I wouldn't 'ass'ail the Amish men. As a matter of fact, I don't think I would believe me!

Crockett1947 said...

Anonymous at 10:33 a.m. -- sorry that I don't control the weather. The heat is predicted to be pervasive statewide, but I think the gorge winds will be western. Flyinggears, I know that we don't have the humidity to go with the heat, and that others have it worse than we do here. It's just been such a weird weather pattern this year. I remember that lake effect snow around Buffalo the later part of the 60s. One reason I'm her in the NW -- don't have to shovel it!

Puddleglum said...

I get this puzzle from the CO Springs Gazette; I was ready to write them and complain about some schmuck staff writer. Now I know it's Olschwang. Now I know who my new enemy is.

Seriously, is it too hard to put (2 words) or (3 words) after clues of multiple words? Confuses the hell out of me. And what's with esoteric connections like "lorn" and "neb" or "imaret" or "sora"? I'm an intelligent person, but his puzzles just frustrate me.

Anonymous said...

Да уж. По поводу коментариев - навеяла на меня где-то услышанная фраза:
Минздрав предупреждает: Алкоголь причина многих увлекательных приключений!