Jul 19, 2008

Saturday July 19, 2008 Josiah Breward

Theme: None

Total blocks: 32

I think I am going to count the total blocks for Saturday themeless puzzles from now on. Maybe someday we will get a puzzle with less than 25 blocks. Who knows? Our editor himself is certainly capable of pulling such a feat. There have been some enigmatic ingenuities sparking in his puzzles occasionally. He is just a bad editor.

Anyway, I struggled mightily today, lots of googling. Without the theme as my guiding sherpa, I simply could not climb this Mount Everest, way too many actor/actress/singer names for me to handle (16 out of the 70 answers are names).

I truly dislike the two "Er" clues today:

28D: Bringer of news: HERALD. Bring-er? Is it a word? I stared at the clue for a long time, thinking Bringer might be the name of a news reporter I had never heard of.

5D: Sleeper rousers: WAKENERS. So agonizing to see "ers" both in the clue and the answer. Did it look cute to you?

On the other hand, I really like 23D: Po-land?: ITALY. Very cleverly misleading/tricky clue, esp since PO is not a well-known river.


1A: Raucous parrot: MACAW. A moment of quietness. Glamorous plumages! So intensely & brightly colored.

6A: Easily annoyed: IRRITABLE. I wanted Irascible.

16A: "Love Story" star: RYAN O'NEAL. Saw "Love Story" in Chinese long long time ago. Had no idea that "Love means never having to say you're sorry" came from this movie.

17A: Norman's nickname: SHARK. Greg Norman. Might be difficult to those who don't care about British open or golf at all. I don't think his name will be on the first page of the leaderboard on Sunday morning. Adam Scott's will be!! Padraig Harrington is a sleeper.

18A: Amusing disrespect: SAUCINESS

21A: Pip: LULU. Why? Isn't pip the mark on a die?

22A: Tropical porches: LANAIS

25A: Hearty enjoyment: RELISH. It does not refer to the hot dog RELISH here, does it? If yes, why hearty?

31A: July 26th honoree: ST. ANNE. Absolutely no idea. Is it a gimme to you? If the answer ST. is abbreviated, the clue should be too.

32A: Metric measure: ARE (100 square meters). Learned from doing Xword.

33A: Laughing: RIANT. New word to me. Do you use it in your daily conversation? FYI, "rire" is French for laugh (verb & noun). Je ris, ha ha!

37A: Peter of "Being There": SELLERS. I've never heard of this film.

43A: Country on the Gulf of Aden: YEMEN. Here is the map. See Gulf of Aqaba? It's shouting "Clue me, clue me!"

48A: Separated lineman: SPLIT END. Unknown to me. Not a football fan at all.

50A: Cornell's location: ITHACA. Have to show you this beautiful ITHACA again. I love it so much.

51A: Bochco or Brill: STEVEN. Both are unknown to me.

54A: Cloth stretcher: TENTER. Completely foreign to me. Here is a TENTER frame.

57A: Where brook trout sleep?: RIVERBEDS. Don't all the freshwater fish sleep on the RIVERBEDS?

62A: Actress Rainer: LUISE. Another unknown actress to me. She was O-Lan in "The Good Earth", my favorite Pearl Buck book.

63A: Highest peak in the Western Hemisphere: ACONCAGUA. So beautiful.

65A: Skitch or Florence: HENDERSON. Both are strangers to me.

66A: Apollo's birthplace: DELOS


1D: Supermodel Kate: MOSS. London would not have won for the bid for 2012 Olympics without MOSS's barelegged support. See her STILETTO (29A: Short dagger)?

3D: "Behind Closed Doors" singer: CHARLIE RICH. Here is the song. I've never heard of it before.

7D: Nordic rug: RYA. I simply forgot. It appeared in a March TMS puzzle.

8D: Julia of "One from the Heart". RAUL. His name looks familiar to me. Danielle might have linked his film to the blog before. I've never heard of the film.

11D: Ring-shaped: ANNULAR. Lois will probably connect this word with PECCAVI.

24D: Like a family of girls: SONLESS. Boy, this was not a gimme to me at all.

26D: Not vital: INESSENTIAL

27D: Easily attached accessory: SNAP ON. I penned in "CLIP ON" first, thinking of earrings.

29D: Serengeti trek: SAFARI

30D: Hot-platter platform: TRIVET

39D: Whined: SNIVELED

47D: Asiatic deer: SAMBAR. It looks like this. New to me also. Why the clue is "Asiatic"???

42D: Cul-de-sac: DEAD END. I am still learning the intricacies of crossword cluing. I don't know for sure if two ENDS (48A: SPLIT END) are allowed in a grid. They just don't look appealing to my eyes.

56D: Jed of "The Chris Isaak Show": REES. No, nope. Who is that girl in his arms?

58D: Clinch: ICE. Enjoy Foreigner's "Cold As ICE" on such a hot summer's day!



Dick said...

Good morning Cc. To address some of your comments this AM I will start with relish. It is not the type that goes on a hot dog and is used to describe enjoyment ie relish the thought means to enjoy the thought.

I did not care for 5D but I guess it is an acceptable word.

The answer for Po land jumped out at me as soon as I saw the clue. Just one of those crazy things where your mind sees the answer quickly I guess.

Pip was a character in Dicken's "Great Expectations".

I agree with you on 31A and needed the perps to get the answer.

Sorry Cc was Moss wearing shoes? I never looked that far down.

54A was a gimme as I did a lot of work for the textile people during my working days.

Skitch Henderson had a band and I think he was on one of the old late night shows like "The Jack Paar Show".

I cant tell you who the girl is in Rees arms as the link did not work for me.

I see lots of areas for Lois comments today. Maybe I will work on those later.

Have a great weekend.

Dick said...

I think "The Jack Paar Show" was in reality called the "Tonight Show".

C.C. Burnikel said...

Thank you for the RELISH & LULU. MOSS' STILETTO? Obviously your eyes aimed too high. Why is 47D clue "Asiatic" instead of "Asian"?

Dick said...

Cc for 11D Annular (PECCAVI)I don't think Lois will ever confess to a sin as in her mind there are no sins.

Dick said...

Cc here is something I found that might help to explain your question about "Asiatic" and "Asian".

As with Oriental, the use of Asiatic in referring to the peoples and cultures of Asia sounds conspicuously dated in contemporary American English, tending to evoke the prejudicial and offensive stereotypes of an earlier era. The preferred ethnic term is now clearly Asian. In most other contexts, however, as in Asiatic Russia or the Asiatic elephant, the term remains a neutral geographic descriptor that need not automatically be replaced with Asian.

Dick said...

Cc the entire second paragraph of my 6:24 post should have been in quotes.

C.C. Burnikel said...

So clearly SAMBAR clue should be "Asian Deer". Regarding your comment @ 6:19am, is that a good thing?

C.C. Burnikel said...

Got your point on the quote. Did you read the exchanges between Lois and Carl last night?

Dick said...

Cc no I did not see the exchange between Lois and Carl last night. I will go back and read it. As to your other question "is that a good thing" well I think that is a wonderful thing that she thinks that way.

Dick said...

Cc I read yesterdays comments and it looks like Lois has a good match with Carl. Hope they can get together this weekend with all the "Buck Mooning" going on.

flyingears said...

My first choice for 18A was "sauciness". I chose "sassiness". From there on, I had trouble with the NE, SE, NW SW, N, S, E and W!!!. Tough one today... Lots of unknowns... The few X/W puzzles THIS week took care of the LAST week's easier ones...

The ACONCAGUA peak is in the Andes by Argentina. Beautiful peak!!! Thanks, C.C.

Dennis said...

Good morning, C.C. and fellow DF's - ok, we got a semi-hammer today. Several answers I'd not heard of, including 'sambar' and 'aconcagua', which sounds like something you'd take medicine for. Took a while to figure out 31A was 'St. Anne' and not 'stanne'.

C.C., I agree, 'bringer' and 'wakeners' were both weak. Decent puzzle, though - took a while to get through it.

I've decided I'm taking up track. Hopefully I'll come in second.

Welcome, carl, jd, and xchemwalt - you're in for a fun ride with this group. I've tried to be the voice of reason here, but to no avail...and Lois, Carol and Melissa are starting to corrupt me. So be careful.

Beautiful day for flying here - see y'all when I get back.

flyingears said...

Check this site out. None got seriously hurt. I'm glad it was not a clarinet . The jumper would have had trouble in his rear end...

KittyB said...

Good Morning, c.c. and all,

flyingears, think about the condition of that Sousaphone, and then think about it wrapped around the player's shoulder. He took quite a hit to have dents like that I hope his neck injuries are not permanent. And, the trumpet player isn't going to be playing for some time, with a broken jaw.

As for the puzzle....I wonder if "Easily attached accessory" should have just been "Easily attached" or "tool brand."

And, is "public" necessary in the clue for SPA? What is a private hot spring called?

I wondered who the heck STANNE was. Thanks for the help. *G*

RIANT, ACONCAGUA, RYA and SAMBAR were all new to me. If I had been doing this puzzle on paper there would be no paper left in some spots. This was definitely harder than the rest of the week.

Chris in LA said...

Good morning CC etal,
Rough one today - no joy. Too many names & obscure words/places - lots of googling.
CC: Florence Henderson was the mom on The Brady Bunch - an old sitcom that runs on TV Land from time to time, but was before your time here.
Hope all have a happy Saturday!

Mr. Corcoran said...

good afternoon to all...funny that i've never heard riant used in english i was going for some form of risible...rya is from great grandma's time (few younger people know the word today)...and lois you would get a kick out of the hidden meanings of cul de sac which i won't go into lest i tramp on more toes...

NYTAnonimo said...

Too many DEADENDS and names in this puzzle! I woke up at 4:00AM and decided to work the puzzle before going back to sleep-LOL-didn't know what STANNE was until I read your writeup cc. A
very beautiful church named after her in Quebec. Loved the link to Ithaca by C.P.Cavafy (with Sean Connery & Vangelis)-thanks cc. Had no idea who Greg Norman was. Thought Mr. Williams might even be referring to Norman from TV show Cheers. Wondered if anyone would have ever heard of a TENTER besides the puzzle constructor so was interesting to hear you had dick.

melissa bee said...

good morning c.c. and all,

tough one today. new to me: riant, sambar, st anne, aconcagua, delos, tenter and luise.

also have never heard 'sol' between fa and la before. always 'so' as in 'sew, a needle pulling thread.' here is wikipedia's entry for solf├Ęge.

@kittyb: i agree the 'public' cluing for 40a was poor. what is a private hot spring called, you ask? girls weekend waiting to happen.

@dennis: yes, i have pictures.

melissa bee said...

@c.c., thank you for your comment from yesterday: Your comments have become my daily desserts now.

i've been called that before.

Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Well, today's puzzle started off beautifully. I was oh so proud of myself for digging up obscure crosswordese terms from the deep, dark recesses of my mind such as RYA, LANAIS, RIANT, DELOS and TENTER (from which the phrase "on tenter hooks" derives, in case anyone is curious). And I was even prouder when I was able to figure out answers like SHARK (Norman who?) and ST ANNE (not up on my Catholic saints, sorry). Sure, I mistakenly had SASSINESS instead of SAUCINESS and SERIAL instead of SERIES for awhile, but I quickly overcame those mistakes.

And then, sadly, I hit the bottom section of the grid and imploded. The SAMBOR/ACONCOGUA crossing defeated me utterly, as did the LUISE/REES crossing. I actually guessed correctly on the former, but I don't count guesses. As for the latter, I had LUISA/RAES because I've only ever seen the English name spelled "Louise" and figured maybe it was Spanish, despite the fact that "Rainer" wasn't a Spanish surname.


Argyle said...

Good morning, friends and fiends,

on line had Biko instead of Brill (but I didn't know either).
Others I didn't know:
Erik Satie - Eccentric French composer
Steven Biko - founder and martyr of the Black Consciousness movement
Luise Rainer - Oscar winner two years in a row Dig the crazy baby carriage in this pic:

Jed Rees - actor

Unknown words: lanai, are, rya, sambar, riant, aconcagua, annular

Ah, yes...beautiful Ithaca.
"High above Cayuga's water,
There's an awful smell.
Some say it's Cayuga's water,
But I say Cornell's"

Barry G. said...


Make that ACONGAGU/SAMBAR. I did guess right, but I typed wrong... ^_^

Barry G. said...

Oh -- and to respond to some of C.C.'s comments/questions:

I agree that WAKENER is horrible. I didn't mind "Bringer," however. I've always loved "The Planets" by Gustav Holst, and one of the movements is entitled, "Jupiter: the Bringer of Jollity."

"Pip" has a LOT of different meanings, one of which is something amazing or remarkable (especially when referring to a person -- "She's a real pip, that one!")

With regard to "SPLIT END", I would have thought the clue would have a question mark after it. I honestly don't know if SPLIT END is a term used in football and thought this was merely a play on words. Except there was no question mark...

As for RIVERBEDS, do fish really sleep? And if so, do they do it in beds or just floating in the water? I thought the clue was fine, since a river bed has nothing to do with the type of bed you sleep on.

I always thought that a STILETTO was a very LONG thin dagger, not a short one.

And that's it for me. Gotta go mow the lawn before it gets too hot...

Ken said...

Good morning, CC. Thanks for this insightful group of solvers. (another er word) This was a Googler (chuckle) for me as well. Congrats to those who nailed it. As for the difficulty, you have probably noted that the puzzles increase in difficulty from Monday to Saturday. You never see quips and quotes early in the week. As for 26D, nonessential is more common in spoken and written English. While I got this one from the cross clues, I don't believe I've seen it before. Best, Ken

NYTAnonimo said...

I thought the stiletto was long too barry, especially after looking at these pictures but I guess they are deceptive as Wikipedia defines it as a short dagger too.

Thanks for the solfege link melissa bee-I got sol (think I knew it from playing Scrabble) but was unaware of the additional info.

BTW how many of you are Scrabble players?

carol said...

Good Morning C.C. and all. This one was tough for me!! Lost some hair and turned the air blue, but finally got most of them.
New words: Rya, Riant, Samber and Annular. I have never heard of Aconcegua (where is it?)

Dennis: After yesterday, it is too late for Carl, Lois has done her work well. I just hope he enjoyed his initiation as much as I did reading it!! LOL

Lots of good words to get us going today, but I will have to come back later...

kittyb, would a private hot springs be an orgy?? Just a thought, though I like melissa's response!

flyingears said...

Barry, you're right about the stiletto. I recall it's long and pinpointed.

"ACONCAGUA". I believe you missed the "A", but I know what you meant.
LANAI" was recently used, but I do other X/W puzzles that tend to use the same words once in a while.

"DELOS" has been used in the past, but is one of those rare words, such as "ICHOR", the Greek word for the gods' blood.

Ken said...

For Melissa: From childhood, I recall being taught the notes of the scale as do re mi fa sol la ti do. I don't know the origin of the l from sol, but it is prounounced to rhyme with sole, the bottom of your foot.
For Barry, who may have pictured a man who works on electrical lines to be a lineman, and a separted one to be in pieces (tough clue there), it is a football term. It refers a player who is part of the seven who play "on the line". Often, one of the players on the end is separated or split out a couple of yards or more from the others. He is termed an "end", hence a "split end". I only got it after getting the "end" by cross clues.
The bottom clues were lost on me as well. Ken

flyingears said...

kittyb, What you mentioned about the injuries is more than what Ann Currie NBC Nightly News mentioned. Although those are not the serious injuries one thinks about, they are pretty bad...

Ken said...

I checked and Stiletto is the diminutive of stylo, a dagger. That -etto is often a diminutive in Italian. Don't forget that stiletto also refers to a very high, slender woman's shoe. Perhaps high heel would have been a better clue. Ken

Anonymous said...

This is one of the few puzzles I got through without looking anything up. Aconcagua is on the border of Argentina and Chile, I've flown over it twice. I knew riant (nobody uses that word anymore) and who the Hendersons were, but then I'm old. I was happy to learn about tenter hooks, knew the phrase but not where it came from.

Melissa Bee - it goes: do re mi fa sol la ti do - I think.

lois said...

Good morning CC & DF's: Thank you for the great links, CC, esp Ithaca. Thought this puzzle was just hard enough with some cute clues 13D 38D. Have most of the same unknowns as everyone else. I question 27D. To me that clue doesn't fit but maybe it works with tools...just not my kind of tools. Loved rear and split end together. Wish they touched, well, I guess they do really. I have heard of a split end in football, but prefer the tight end.
It has more action. Loved the irony in the cross of deadend /
recess. I'd be SOL on that playground! And a pip = lulu? Gladys Knight and the Lulus? What's up w/that? Laughed and thought of Carl w/47D. Yeah, Kama Sutra deja vu! That's one horny animal! Gotta get to the 'spa' now. Enjoy this gorgeous day.

flyingears said...

ken, you're right. Stiletto is probably used incorrectly (as I do) thinking on the knives that are shown in movies.

lois said...

Forgot: Barry, thank you for the tenter hooks explanation. Always wondered about that.

NYT: I LOVE scrabble. Play every chance I get.

Dennis: Safe travels today.

melissa bee said...

private hot spring at girls weekend out ------ >

lois said...

Dennis: Incidentally, I took the liberty to forewarn the stewardesses that you were coming! They're ready for you.

Barry G. said...

For Barry, who may have pictured a man who works on electrical lines to be a lineman, and a separated one to be in pieces (tough clue there), it is a football term. It refers a player who is part of the seven who play "on the line". Often, one of the players on the end is separated or split out a couple of yards or more from the others. He is termed an "end", hence a "split end". I only got it after getting the "end" by cross clues.

Actually, I know what ends are in football (especially tight ends). I've just never heard them called "split ends" before. To me, "split ends" refers to hair, so I thought it might be a punny clue and deserve a question mark.

lois said...

Meliss: Dang, that is beautiful! Where is that again? Looks like soo much fun!

melissa bee said...

@lois: that was a few years ago in san luis obispo at sycamore springs resort. you can reserve the clothing-optional private springs for your group.. of course we did.

Barry G. said...

Forgot: Barry, thank you for the tenter hooks explanation. Always wondered about that.

You're very welcome! So many people think it's spelled "tender hooks" that I've got used to explaining the origin of the phrase.

Next up: the difference between "lose" and "loose" and why "nonplussed" doesn't mean what you may [i]think[/i] it means.... ^_^

flyingears said...

C.C., I'm sure Shark and KJ Choi may be well geared to win the Open. My choice: KJ and possibly Jim Furyk. Adam Scott is not doing too well with the windy forecast. Also, I'm sorry to see Rocco falling off the first page...

JD said...

Good morning cc & company,
I had an easier time today since these were easier clues to google.
Pip is a slang expression my dad used alot when he saw a beautiful car, or a woman, so I took it to mean a humdinger. Not trusting myself, I looked it up and the term now also means "picture in picture". In 1976 they used this on TV at the Montreal Olympics; they showed a close up of the flame.

I do not understand 58d-ice..I put ace

Now we have sambar to add to our asse..hmmm

Loved 28d Po-land? ...clever

What is a rya?

JD said...

CC: I forgot to tell you how much I enjoyed the "Behind Closed Doors" link, an old favorite.Charlie's lady must have been a real pip! Also, the picture of Mt Aconcagua was gorgeous, thanks.

A herald is the one who announced the birth of Jesus.

JD said...


JD said...

Sorry, that was a test. I'm having problems leaving comments without starting over each time.

carol said...

I was another one who thought the spelling was "tender" hooks, and always wondered why they would be tender...sore? See what I mean about learning new things here? Love it!

Melissa, love the pic...what are you little kiddies doing way back in that water???

Dennis, are you joining the track meet before or after your plane ride? You have a lot to focus on, huh? "up, up and away"! Enjoy!

Lois, "Gladys Knight and the Lulu's" !!! I laughed my Asse off!

Barb B said...


My xword performance was down the 'toilet' today – too many names, and a couple of oddities, like wakeners, pip and riant. I still enjoyed the puzzle, although I have more fun with Barry Silk’s work, and we get the added bonus of his occasional drop-in visits.

Didn’t understand the po-land clue until I read it here. Thank you, CC, that was bugging me.

I know pip as the little sounds made on a phone (like beeps) but …lulu? Thanks Barry for your explanation. I’m learning so much from all of you. Lois, re Gladys Knight and the lulu’s – rotfl.

NYTAnonimo – I LOVE scrabble!

I was in Newport yesterday attending a conference (oh, that gorgeous beach!) and only read the blog in late evening. You guy’s were fun! I noticed some contributors even newer than I am -welcome xchefwalt and JD – Carl, are you also new? I noticed you’re from Cascade foothills – the Oregonians are gaining. If I’m counting right, there are five of us.

xchefwalt said...

Ok, I'm jumping into this lineman thing.
This is a badly worded clue/answer. "split end" refers usally to tight ends or other eligable recievers off the line of scrimmage while "Lineman" usally refer to the offensive lineman who cannot be eligable recievers(except in very rare cases). They are always bunched together (center, two guards, two tackles), if they "seperate", then it's an illeagle play and a formation penatly will be called.

This may well be too much information on a Saturday, but I had to throw that in.

MH said...

Hmm, somehow my comments didn't get posted so I'll redo in summary:

Lots of googling this morning but I don't consider it cheating since I only looked up actors, composers, saints, and other obscure proper names.

My daughter attends Cornell in Ithaca so that was an easy one. They have t-shirts that say "Ithaca is gorges" since it is beautiful and has several major river gorges running through town.

Mr. Ed said...

Morning c.c & (can I now say?) "fellow" dfers.

After reading all your comments I think I better go back and read what I did last night. Must have been the full moon and "demon" rum. I seem to recall howling... but that may have been wolves or coyotes or maybe even stray dogs. And, who the h*** is Lois! That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!!!

There were very few gimmes in this one but I got through it with a long struggle & tons of Starbucks on a hangover. Charlie Rich, the silver fox... country music legend... 'nough said. For some unknown reason, I thought Macaw was spelled Macau and that screwed me up royally for a while. And sonless???? I thought splitend was a hair problem? Sausiness?? Couldn't get past sassiness for quite a stretch. I think 6A discribed ME fairly well by the time I started to Google.

c.c I'm with you. This one beat me up pretty badly. Maybe I'll have to go back to crossword 101 and regroup before attacking another Saturday morning with a hangover.


Jeanne said...

Afternoon all,

I never did the x/word this a.m. so I just sat down with it now and I'm having a terrible time. Trying not to look at answers just reading the blogs. By the way, I got Sunday's puzzle already--be prepared!

mh: My older son is a 1995 grad of Ithaca College and I always loved it there. Just a beautiful area. Gets cold there in the winter, though.

Mr. Ed said...

Sorry Barb B, didn't mean to be rude... yes I'm a newbie but after last night you may not want to claim me as being from "O".

I knew about Crockett, Carol and you but who's the fifth? Or, if I'm the fifth, who's the fourth?

I need more Starbucks.


carol said...

Carl, yes, you are definitely a d.f.!! (and you DRANK the fifth) :)

barb: who is the fifth?

Nytanonimo, I love scrabble too.

Anonymous said...


played the role of Carol Brady on the Brady Bunch.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I suggest that relish on a hot dog may be called that because you relish (enjoy) the hot dog more when it has relish on it.

embien said...

@carol, well, I might be the fifth (Oregonian blogging here, that is).

I'm not going to say much about the puzzle today. I've already ranted about clueing semi-obscure proper names crossing other semi-obscure proper names. I generally hate puzzles full of stuff like that, which means that I hated this one.

I can't post my time because, although I filled in the grid, I had an error, so didn't complete the puzzle. And I didn't care enough about it to go back and correct my mistake (I'm not sure that's ever happened before).

@c.c.: it's the Gulf of Aqaba and it's a nice crosswordy name that has appeared a few times in the last couple of months or so in the NYT puzzle.

Rooting for Greg Norman (the Great White SHARK, not just "The Shark").

KittyB said...

melissa bee, that resort looks like a corner of heaven! I live in the land of flat, where trees are mostly found along streets and creeks. It must be wonderful to look up from a mineral spa and see the mountainside covered with evergreens.

Thanks for the link to solfege. Ultimately, whether we say "sol" or "so" or "sew," it all amounts to the fifth note of the scale. "The Sound of Music" has fixed that information in our minds.

It's fascinating to watch a choir which has been tutored in the hand signals. They can produce any pitch the director asks for by merely translating a hand sign. I'd be in trouble. I'd never be able to remember which sign stood for which step of the scale.

C.C. Burnikel said...

I agree with you on nonessential.

KittyB & Melissa Bee,
Good point on SPA clue.

What's behind "Nonplussed" then?

"ICE" is a slang for "close the deal", hence "Clinch".

Flyingears & Embien,
I am rooting for K. J. Choi now.

C.C. Burnikel said...

"Voice of Reason"??? Wow, I've never met a man of such sheer audacity and high MOREL.

It's STEVE Biko, not STEVEN, are they the same??

I am very bad Scrabble player.

RYA rug.

Lois & Carl,
Thank you for the entertainment last night. It brightened my morning!

C.C. Burnikel said...

I thought of risible too. Funny!!

I've corrected my Aqaba mistake, thanks.

Hey! Thank you for dropping a line!

C.C. Burnikel said...

Mh, Xchefwalt, Jeanne et al,
Have a great National Moon Day tomorrow!

Mr. Ed said...


nice to meet ya'. And, you are the fourth... I'll definitely forever be the fifth. But, in self defense, I had help....

Egad - now there's a word you don't see very often - I'm amazed that not one of you picked up on Starbucks... as in star "bucks". Moonbucks would probably have been better.

I think I caught a virus from Lois.


Barry G. said...

What's behind "Nonplussed" then?

Nonplussed comes from the Latin non plus which literally means "no more." Nonplussed, therefore, refers to a situation where one is so overwhelmed, surprised, confused, etc., that they can't possibly be any more overwhelmed, surprised, confused, etc.

Unfortunately, more and more people see the "non" part of the word and assume it must mean "not plussed." They don't actually know what "plussed" means, but they guess it must mean shocked or fazed or something and therefore incorrectly use nonplussed to mean unimpressed or unfazed when, in fact, it means the exact opposite.

I have seen it used incorrectly in major newspapers as well as published books and fear it will eventually just take on the wrong meaning due to prolonged incorrect usage. That happens quite a lot in English, I know, but in the past you could blame lack of general education and poor mass communication. Now, however, with mandatory education and lots of mass communication such as television, newspapers and, of course, the Internet, there's really no excuse for words to change their accepted meaning just through sheer ignorance.

Anyone care to discuss why "I could care less" doesn't make any sense whatsoever? ^_^

C.C. Burnikel said...

Looks like you did not have a strong immune system to begin with. Now it's too late. It's HARD to get rid of virus without eliminating the host cell.

I see your point with "nonplussed". Thank you for the explanation. I don't think I will make such a mistake again. As for "I could care less", I've heard many people say that. It seems to be an accepted sentence.

embien said...

@barry: Actually, I could care less about today's puzzle. My feelings were already negative, so caring even less (i.e., more negative) seems plausible to me.

That's really splitting hairs (not SPLIT ENDS).

I'll go back in my shell now. British Open telecast starts at 5AM PDT--I'm not likely to see the first few hours of it, lol. Go SHARK!

C.C. Burnikel said...

Is nonplussing a word? If so, can you give me an example?

C.C. Burnikel said...

Shark's secret? New love, new marriage, new inspiration! The $100 million high price divorce settlement won't look so expensive should he win on Sunday.

embien said...

@c.c.: "Embien found the situation to be very nonplussing. He couldn't decide what to do."

Usage taken from real life (grin). Word found at

Mr. Ed said...


What can I say; I'm only male.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Jd @11:59am,
"Not trusting myself, I looked it up and the term now also means "picture in picture". Where did you look it up? What dictionary?

Carol @ 1:01pm,
"Lois, "Gladys Knight and the Lulu's" !!! I laughed my Asse off!" Why???

C.C. Burnikel said...

Carol @ 2:30pm,
"Carl, yes, you are definitely a d.f.!! (and you DRANK the fifth) What is "Drank the fifth"??

Embien @ 4:06pm,
Is "proper name" a general term for all the personal names? Table, chair are all proper names, aren't they?

JD said...

CC: PiP- I first went to Wikipedia, and then to the Dictionary of American Slang. Thanks for the RYA link. I loved the description of a tapestry: "woven rows of weft" whoo! Try saying that one quickly.

Anonymous said...

If 5D is "wakeners" then 19A would be "seriel" which is misspelled. It's spelled "serial"

Chris in LA said...

Anon @ 8:45 pm,
It's "series"

Argyle said...

I did some googling and got the following results:

stephen biko 276,000
steven biko 278,000
steve biko 243, 000

"stephen biko" 32,500
"steven biko" 31,000
"steve biko" 190,000

I didn't have a problem with Steven Brill; it is quite clear he uses Steven. Probably that is why sombody changed the clue to Brill or Bochco.

A fifth is 1/5 of a gallon. I am trying to find out why booze is sold this way.

Argyle said...

"But all this begs a question: Why the specific "fifth" or 750ml size? Theories abound, but three in particular sound reasonable:

• This is the average capacity of a glass-blower's lungs, and thus the approximate size of a bottle created in one blow."

I got this from this site:

Anonymous said...

Dear Chris in la: Oops. My faux pas. Thanks

Barb B said...


If you were rude, I missed it, and how can I not claim you when I’m as dysfunctional as anyone? You, however, had a much more thorough initiation than I. It’s a great group, yes?

I believe Emblen is fellow Orgonian.

Mr. Ed said...


My "rude" comment was a self inflected slap to the forehead because I failed to respond to your question. It was my faux pas that I slid past my "newbie status" in my first answer.

Anyway.... yes! Seems like the kind of dysfunction I can blend into. Thanks to all for the "welcome".

Mr. Ed said...


I'm not sure I wanted to know that a fifth is 1/5th of a GALLON. Oh well! The economy of Barbados needs MY support. I also do all I can to support Mexico's Tequila export business. They're both poor countries.

I'm not going to dwell too long on the knowledge that a fifth is about the amount of one good "blow"... but thank you for bringing that to my deviant attention.

embien said...

@c.c.: Is "proper name" a general term for all the personal names? Table, chair are all proper names, aren't they?

I apologize. I sometimes get sloppy in my usage. Proper nouns are the names of people, etc. I misspoke when I called them "proper names".

I really meant my objection to crossing obscure names with other obscure names (e.g., LUISE crossing REES). This is a common complaint of solvers--if you don't know at least one of the semi-obscure names, you can only guess at the letter where they cross. Part of the joy of doing crosswords is that even when you don't know all the words you can often deduce the unknowns using logic and the crossing terms.

If you have two unknown terms crossing, well, you're sunk, and that's OK, mostly (you'll learn a new word or two). What people (myself included) complain about is when "normal" people can't be expected to know (or deduce) either of the crossing terms, like when they are people's obscure names.

Too many names and the puzzle becomes unfun. Today's was a good example of that. I literally stopped caring when I found I had a bad letter--I wasn't even motivated to find it since I knew it was a letter common to two names I'd never heard of (and will likely never hear of again).