Jun 24, 2008

Tuesday, June 24, 2008 Allan E. Parrish

Theme: It's Just a Fling

17A: Extremely dark: PITCH BLACK

59A: Billy Bob Thornton film: SLING BLADE

10D: Sleep restlessly: TOSS AND TURN

24D: Invite some friends over: THROW A PARTY

And a non-themed vigorous PELT (62A: Animal hide). Look at what centers the grid: PIVOT (38A: Turning point). It conjures up a VIVID (29D: Intense, as color) picture of someone hurling in motion, doesn't it?

I adore this puzzle. I love those scrabbly Z's & X'es. The intersections of PARTY & TRAY (65A: Cafeteria tote), and ADZE & BLADE are just brilliant.

Quite a few new words/names to me today, but I was able to fill in the unknown blanks with the crossing references. Had to google the dog food brand Bil-JAC (4D), as I could not get that expensive letter "J" from the across. MUTANT was clued as "Teenage __ NINJA Turtles" on the May 11 TMS puzzle, and I remember I checked the meaning of NINJA. But I did not fully digest it and assimilate into my brain.

A great Tuesday puzzle.


1A: Japanese warrior: NINJA. All I could think of is "Samurai". NIN is "Endure", JA is "person". NINJA has a Chinese root. In fact, its Japanese Kanji writings (忍者) are identical to Chinese characters. There is a NBA/MLB player has tattooed on his arm. I cannot remember his name though.

14A: Trojan War story: ILIAD. And ILLID setting TROY (24A: Ex-QB Aikman). The clue for TROY is flawed here. QB should not be abbreviated. "Ex Cowboys QB" should be OK, or simply "1993 Super Bowl M.V.P.".

21A: __ May Clampett: ELLY. "The Beverly Hillbillies"

22A: Cash-register key: NO SALE

31A: Trademark DOS: UNIX. Developed by the Bell Labs.

43A: Fan mag.: ZINE

49A: Fastener attacher: STAPLER

53A: Union units: LOCALS. Does this refer to the Labor Union?

64A: Tenor Mario: LANZA. Unknown to me. I got his name from the down clues. He died so young (38 years old).

66A: Thwack: SWAT. Wish I were born earlier so I could see "The Sultan of SWAT" PITCH, TOSS, THROW, SLING, and have FLINGS in/off the ballpark.

67A: Surpass others: EXCEL


3D: Silents star Naldi: NITA. Learned her name from doing Xword. I've never seen any of her movies.

5D: Stick fast: ADHERE

9D: Kentucky loc.: FT. KNOX. I got this one easily due to the intersecting SERF (6A: By gone peasant). I dislike the clue though. Doe "loc." stand for location or what?

11D: WWII sub: U-BOAT

12D: Zora ___ Hurston: NEALE. Not familiar with her name. Have heard of "Their Eyes Were Watching God" though.

13D: Co-star in "Dr. Kildare" movies: AYRES. 60D: First name of 13D: LEW. No idea. Wikipedia said he was married to Ginger Rogers for six years. And Jane Wyman fell in love with him during the filming of "Johnny Belinda" and "left her husband Ronald Reagan for him, albeit unsuccessfully".

18D: Explode: BLOW UP. This brings to my mind the SCORIA (Volcanic rock ejecta) and the "Lava/Lois Bomb".

28D: Arcade game name: SEGA. Not familiar with this Nintendo rival. Would have not got it without the adjacent fills.

32D: "My life in Court" writer: NIZER (Louis). No idea. Easily gettable though. Wikepedia says "After the assassination of John F. Kennedy, he authored the foreword to the Warren Commission report that investigated JFK's murder and the conspiracy theories that still surround it." I've read the Warren Commission report, but I don't remember seeing his foreword.

39D: Sack of leaves: TEA BAG. Sack? Really? That coarse? Let me check.... OK, you are right. TEA BAG is explained as "a small porous sack holding enough tea leaves to make an individual serving of tea" by American Heritage Dictionary.

51D: Amtrak's bullet train: ACELA. Not familiar to me. Pieced it together from the across fills. Interesting "Acceleration" word though. China started running first bullet trains in April 2007. Eurostar seat is a bit tight.

54D: Monster of the Mojave: GILA. I only knew GILA River. Have never heard of this GILA Monster lizard.

55D: Judge's seat: BANC. No idea. Only knew BANC is French for "bench".

56D: Wood-shaping tool: ADZE. Gimme. My favorite Scrabble word. This ADZE needs to be sharpened.



Dick said...

Good morning Cc. Another easy one today. I did not know 32D and 52D and had to Google for them otherwise an ace again. I wonder if your blog has mad Xwords easier because of the discussions and comments and links but whatever it is they seem easier now. Thanks Cc!

Dick said...

Kitty per your post at 9:19 yesterday. I will be in Germany the first two weeks in August and I will try to remember to get the recipe for white asparagus soup for you.

C.C. Burnikel said...

RE: 52D ERNEST. The same clue appeared on last Monday's puzzle by the same constructor. Next time you see a Max clue, it's either ERNEST the surrealist or BAER the boxer. What are your answers to my 9D & 53A questions?

flyingears said...

Thanks for Google and!!! Whenever the author asks for name of authors, movies, etc., I'm in a loss... I remember Mario Lanza and some of his movies. I also have a CD with his singing. The Dr. Kildare movie is the old one (1938).. Never seen it, however, I enjoyed his TV series with Richard Chamberlain and Sam Jaffe(?). I haven't been in a theater since the 80s. I rather tape and watch movies and shows at my own time.

I had trouble with the SE sector (corner). BEMA seat (55D) came to my mind and I just couldn't get it off my thoughts.... But, banc??? Gee Whizz...

Max Ernst comes every so often in X/W puzzles as well as Abba Eban. One of his quotes, "A consensus means that everyone agrees to say collectively what no one believes individually".

Katherine said...

Good morning everyone. I got most of this one today. I didn't know 4D, 12D or 31 A, but I got them from the other clues.
Mario Lanza was my late aunt's favorite singer.
Have a good day everyone.

Bill said...

Good day except for 1d. If I had used NIPS instead of SIPS I probably could have finished w/out Mr. Google.But SIN_A just would not make it. Finally gave up and looked up the dog food, found the error of my ways and VOILA, finished.
Yes, enjoyable today. Just enough for one cup of coffee and not overly taxing on the thought processes.

Bill said...

C.C., Yes, Locals are the individual bargaining units of labor unions. And, to my mind loc can be locale or location.

Superfrey said...

Nice puzzle.... I agree with Bill a one cup of coffee puzzle.
CC I think you meant Ernst instead of Ernest with your 5:51 AM response to Dick.... that's ok... it is early... :-)

Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. and fellow DFs - yes, another smooth-flowing one today. Thought of Lois with the 'vixen' and 'blow up' clues - I still think Carlin might have wandered too close to OK.
And hasn't anyone ever invited some friends over without throwing a party?? Didn't like that one. Also think we've seen enough of 'lego' for a while.

Hope everyone has a great day - spectacular here in the Philly area.

Dr. Dad said...

Good morning fellow DF's.
Elly May Clampett (sigh) - played by Donna Douglas in the series and Erika Eleniak in the movie.

All labor unions have groups that are referred to as "locals."

A cashew in the biological sense is not a nut, it's a legume. In the culinary sense it is referred to as a nut.

The Gila Monster is one of only two poisonous lizards in North America. The other is the Mexican Beaded Lizard.

Today is U.F.O. Day - First documented UFO sighting on this day in 1947 near Washington's Cascade Mountains.

Have a good one.

Bill said...

Dennis, That's strange, because the same thought crossed my mind as I was putting THROWAPARTY. We invite friends and family all the time and it's not necessarily a party although sometimes it happens!!!

Barry G. said...

Morning, folks!

Very easy puzzle for me today -- didn't need to use the eraser once for a change. A few unknown answers (NIZER, Bil-JAC and AYRES), but I was able to get them via the perps with no problem.

C.C. -- do you come up with the theme names yourself, or are they listed on your version of the puzzle? If the former, I'm very impressed since you always seem to come up with just the perfect phrase. Oh -- and 52D is actually ERNST, not ERNEST.

Anonymous said...

Good morning CC et al:
Not bad today - only had to google 52D and 64A. Knew Bil-Jac (I have 3 dogs).
CC: re 9D I think loc. allows abrreviation of Fort. I liked the cross of vixen & dixon - did you?
Great day everyone!

NYTAnonimo said...

Hey cc Acelais the name used by Amtrak for the high-speed tilting train service operating between Washington, D.C. and Boston via Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York along the Northeast Corridor(from Wikipedia).

Dick said...

Yes Cc (loc) is an abbreviation for location. Labor unions are broken up into locals and they are responsible for work in a local area ie Pittsburgh local for electricians etc.

Don't know why I cannot remember ERNST. Maybe next time now.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Thanks for the loc. & LOCALS.

You are right, I made an earnest mistake. It should be ERNST.

I agree with your 24D take. I did not think of it earlier.

Dr. Dad,
Cashews are nuts. Peanuts are legumes.

Yes, I make up those theme titles.

I agree loc. allows for the FT abbreviation. I just dislike the clue. I would rather have a Ky. abbreviated. Why is VIXEN & DIXON intersection appealing to you?

NYTAnonimo said...

Interesting article about Amtrak in the paper this past week. Knew this word from other puzzles I think. GAMBLE reminds me of another news item I saw.

C.C. Burnikel said...

I like your Eban quote. It makes me think. Thank you.

Dr. Dad said...

C.C. - I stand corrected on a cashew being a legume. It is not in a technical sense. However, if you look up cashew in biology sources versus cooking sources you will find that I am correct in the following. In the "biological" sense a cashew is not a true nut but a seed. Only in the culinary/cooking sense is it considered a nut.
The following two references will help:

Anonymous said...

CC: re vixen/dixon - 2 reasons - I knew a pretty girl once who's last name was Dixon, also in the order I solved puzzle I was hoping for a secret tic-tac-toe winner at either donates/onea intersection or vivid/pivot intersection - alas, didn't happen, but thought it was fun and brought back some memories.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Your "biological" sense is way too abstract for me. CASHEWS are too big to be called seeds, which mainly consist of sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds in my mind.

Dick said...

NyT that was a very interesting news article you had titled as GAMBLE. It sure points out "Follow the Money Trail" Us poor taxpayers get screwed no matter who is running the show.

Dick said...

Dennis I just had to add this to the blog as I thought of you when I saw it. I hope it is not too long and out of order to do so.

If you've ever had a colonoscopy, you can't delete this. without reading.

This is a ghastly procedure and then the doctor sends you a BILL for allowing him to do this to you, where is the justice in that?

This is from newshound Dave Barry's colonoscopy journal:

... I called my friend Andy Sable, a gastroenterologist, to make an appointment for a colonoscopy. A few days later, in his office, Andy showed me a color diagram of the colon, a lengthy organ that appears to go all over the place, at one point passing briefly through Minneapolis . Then Andy explained the colonoscopy procedure to me in a thorough, reassuring and patient manner. I nodded thoughtfully, but I didn't really hear anything he said, because my brain was shrieking, quote, 'HE'S GOING TO STICK A TUBE 17,000 FEET UP YOUR BEHIND!'

I left Andy's office with some written instructions, and a prescription for a product called 'MoviPrep,' which comes in a box large enough to hold a microwave oven. I will discuss MoviPrep in detail later; for now suffice it to say that we must never allow it to fall into the hands of America's enemies.

I spent the next several days productively sitting around being nervous. Then, on the day before my colonoscopy, I began my preparation. In accordance with my instructions, I didn't eat any solid food that day; all I had was chicken broth, which is basically water, only with less flavor. Then, in the evening, I took the MoviPrep. You mix two packets of powder together in a one-liter plastic jug, then you fill it with lukewarm water. (For those unfamiliar with the metric system, a liter is about 32 gallons.) Then you have to drink the whole jug. This takes about an hour, because MoviPrep tastes - and here I am being kind - like a mixture of goat spit and urinal cleanser, with just a hint of lemon.

The instructions for MoviPrep, clearly written by somebody with a great sense of humor, state that after you drink it, 'a loose watery bowel movement may result.' This is kind of like saying that after you jump off your roof, you may experience contact with the ground.

MoviPrep is a nuclear laxative. I don't want to be too graphic, here, but: Have you ever seen a space-shuttle launch? This is pretty much the MoviPrep experience, with you as the shuttle. There are times when you wish the commode had a seat belt. You spend several hours pretty much confined to the bathroom, spurting violently. You eliminate everything. And then, when you figure you must be totally empty, you have to drink another liter of MoviPrep, at which point, as far as I can tell, your bowels travel into the future and star t eliminating food that you have not even eaten yet.

After an action-packed evening, I finally got to sleep. The next morning my wife drove me to the clinic. I was very nervous. Not only was I worried about the procedure, but I had been experiencing occasional return bouts of MoviPrep spurtage. I was thinking, 'What if I spurt on Andy?' How do you apologize to a friend for something like that? Flowers would not be enough.

At the clinic I had to sign many forms acknowledging that I understood and totally agreed with whatever the heck the forms said. Then they led me to a room full of other colonoscopy people, where I went inside a little curtained space and took off my clothes and put on one of those hospital garments designed by sadist perverts, the kind that, when you put it on, makes you feel even more naked than when you are actually naked.

Then a nurse named Eddie put a little needle in a vein in my left hand. Ordinarily I would have fainted, but Eddie was very good, and I was already lying down. Eddie also told me that some people put vodka in their MoviPrep. At first I was ticked off that I hadn't thought of this, but then I pondered what would happen if you got yourself too tipsy to make it to the bathroom, so you were staggering around in full Fire Hose Mode. You would have no choice but to burn your house.

W hen everything was ready, Eddie wheeled me into the procedure room, where Andy was waiting with a nurse and an anesthesiologist. I did not see the 17,000-foot tube, but I knew Andy had it hidden around there somewhere. I was seriously nervous at this point. Andy had me roll over on my left side, and the anesthesiologist began hooking something up to the needle in my hand. There was music playing in the room, and I realized that the song was 'Dancing Queen' by ABBA I remarked to Andy that, of all the songs that could be playing during this particular procedure, 'Dancing Queen' has to be the least appropriate.

'You want me to turn it up?' said Andy, from somewhere behind me. 'Ha ha,' I said. And then it was time, the moment I had been dreading for more than a decade. If you are squeamish, prepare yourself, because I am going to tell you, in explicit detail, exactly what it was like.

I have no idea. Really. I slept through it. One moment, ABBA was yelling 'Dancing Queen, Feel the beat of the tambourine,' and the next moment, I was back in the other room, waking up in a very mellow mood. Andy was looking down at me and asking me how I felt. I felt excellent. I felt even more excellent when Andy told me that It was all over, and that my colon had passed with flying colors. I have never been prouder of an internal organ.

ABOUT THE WRITER Dave Barry is a Pulitzer Prize-winning humor columnist for the Miami Herald.

Anonymous said...

That was great - having experienced the "great unpleasantness" I can assure you it is all too true!

Bill said...

Been there, done that!!!

flyingears said...

A colonoscopy is a more "fun" procedure than a cystoscopy, especially in a male candidate. They have a 12 ft. pipe to go through the urethra and check one's bladder... Just kiddin'. It ain't 12 ft but only 8... There is no prep involved so the fun of drinking goat spit and urinal cleanser is bypassed...

Razz said...

Dick - Thanks a lot for bringing up the scope crap again as I am getting ready to go for the "prep" talk today (groan).

Crockett1947 said...

Good morning, everyone! Lots of new clues for me today. Never heard of NITA NALDI, BIL-JAC dog food, ZORA NEALE HUSTON, "My Life in Court" NIZER, Amtrak’s ACELA, and the judge's seat BANC. I enjoyed the clues for 39D, 54D and 57D. Almost missed NINJA because I had SIPS for 1D, but was able to recover after Googling for 4D.

flyingears said...


We share the very same interest!!!

Superfrey said...

Dick, That Dave Barry clip is hysterical :):):) and ALL TRUE. I can remember trying to run from the parking lot into the clinic ... the nurse holding the door and pointing to the Men's Room... over there.... amazingly I made it.... I will remember the vodka idea though.... I think you are better off tipsy with this procedure. Good luck... Dennis

carol said...

Hi gang: I know this will sound like a broken record but after I put in "sips" in 1D things did not improve..never heard of 4D. Finally got it with help from C.C. so that corner was ok, but did not know 32D or 55D (banc??).
Why is 43A "zine"? Are we so lazy now that we accept partial words for the whole thing? Is this from texting? It is annoying and of course that makes me sound as old as I am, but it is not helping younger people learn to spell anything.
Enough ranting.

drdad, thanks for the pictures of the Mexican Beaded Lizard, that is one ugly sucker. Not that the Gila Monster is cute! Glad I live in NW corner of Oregon!!

Dick, thanks for the great Dave Barry quote, I am still smiling, and glad I was not on the receiving "end". Our paper used to carry his column and I miss it.

KittyB said...

dick, bless you for looking for the white asparagus soup recipe for me. Hubby will be delighted.

As for the colonoscopy, it's about time for my second. I don't remember much about the first, but I agree with everyone that the preparation the day before is the pits!

On a sad note, my mother, who lives with us, had a seizure Monday, and I may be hit or miss here for a while. I can tell you that a few moments at the computer reading your comments lifted my spirits, so that I can go and be stronger for mum.

Take care everyone....and be sure to get those tests done!

Dick said...

Kitty, sorry to hear about your mum. Unfortunately that situation is one that a lot of have gone thru and they are always a sad event. My prayers are for your mum and you as well.

carol said...

Kittyb: So sorry to hear of your Mother, as Dick said, many of us are older and have gone through the loss of our parents..myself included and it is never best thoughts are with you. We are glad we could cheer you a little.

Anonymous said...


Bill said...

Sorry to hear about your Mum. Hope all is well. I will pass on one thing I have learned the hard way.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. You are no good to anyone if you are run down and constantly tired!!!

Dick said...

Amen to that Bill

Razz said...

KittyB - Sorry to hear about your mom. We may be disfunctional but our prayers will be with you both.

Flyingears - If there is a better interest out there, I'm not aware of it!

Anonymous said...

I'm also sorry to hear about your mom - my thoughts are with you and yours. Take strength & look at the moon - sounds wierd, but it's a voodoo thing from down here in New Orleans. We're all a bunch of die-hard Catholics, but we also all pray to "Mother Moon" - need to cover all the bases. Can't be too careful, ya' know?
Anyway, you are in my prayers tonight - all of them.
Sorry so late - hope you get this.

KittyB said...

DFs, you are an amazing group of people! Thank you for your very kind words. There was a ray of hope today. Mother had shingles two years ago, and the MRI suggests that she has herpes encephalitis (related to the shingles), which is treatable. She's already coming back, but it will be a slow road, I think.

Bill, I know for a fact that is great advice. I'm Mother's primary care giver, so if and when she is well enough to return home, I know I'll have my work cut out for me. My husband is wonderful, and he will give me a hand to see that she has the care she needs.

A sidebar....Mother is 91. We lost Dad 25 years ago, so I can remember how it felt to loose a parent, and I'm not ready to do it again.

Thank you all, again, for your kind words!

Mr. Corcoran said...

this went quickly and i agree with the comment that c.c. does a great job with synthesizing an apt theme--amazing!
loved pivot--have been making pivot tables a long time yet it took me some moments to fixate on this one...zora n huston is a classic read even today (power and beauty in her words)...sympathies to kitty b--my mother at 88 is fighting cancer third time around--she truly is one of those people whose spirit dominates an emaciated body! off to wellington now for some cooler winds.

lois said...

Hi CC & DF's: Busy and happy here. So is my posse. Got 'em comin' and goin'. It is soooo hilarious my nephews are calling me Aunt Loco instead of Aunt Lolo. I'm teaching them how to misspend (sp?) their youth. Great stuff!

CC: your comment about 18D cracked me up.

Dennis: I'm so touched that the words 'vixen' and 'blow up' made you think of me. Is it b/c I leave carnage and chaos in my wake? Maybe I should stop tossing and turning...Nah! Where's the fun?

kittyb: I am also very sorry about your mom and will keep her, you and your family in my prayers as well. I usually only howl at the moon like my friends in sheep's clothing, but I'll pray to mammy moon (name of a song)just in case it helps, like Chrisinla said.

Anonymous said...

Hi comrades...have been reading this blog since i bumped into it few weeks back..great to meet so many fellow xword solvers...(i am not alone breaking my head ..and heart sometimes )

i am from Mumbai, India and sadly, the TOI grid is almost 3 months behind i kinda am spying on what you wrote on the blog 3 months back :) ...and am always thinking how couldi catch up with you ..and as cc says "add to the chime" :)

nevertheless, am madly in love with this mindsport and having you all in company..makes it all the more better...

By any chance..any one from India here ..or emigrated from India..


C.C. Burnikel said...

Bill said it so well @2:58pm. Take care of yourself!

Travel safely and let us know if you enjoy the local Maori Haka dance.

Good to see you at the Comments section.