Jul 26, 2008

Saturday July 26, 2008 Matthew Higgins

Theme: None

Total blocks: 27.

If this is the direction to approach the 25 blocks target I mentioned last Saturday, I would prefer to solve a 37 black- squared puzzle.

Too many affixes, esp suffixes. I truly dislike and despise any grid with a heavy reliance on S, ING, ER, EST, which really cheapen the construction in my view. This has become a hallmark of Mr. Matthew Higgins' puzzles. I wonder why he is so stubbornly sticking to this clumsy style.

Had a very tough time battling through this monster, stumped by quite a few obscure names/words. But I should not have looked at the constructor's name first, which put me in a very negative frame of mind immediately.

I do like seeing LION (26A: MGM mascot) and ROAR (60D: Leonine cry) in the same grid. And reeling in URANUS (65A: Seventh planet) brought a smile to my face. Loved Dr. Dad's blue ball.

All in all, it's not an experience that I want to repeat again.


1A: Low bow: SALAAM. Literally "peace". SHALOM in Hebrew. MIR, the old Russian space station, also means peace.

7A: Brake-lining material: ASBESTOS. Ugh, I struggled here. Would have got it if it's clued as litigation related.

15A: High-pitched: TREBLE

16A: Most immediately available: READIEST

19A: Companion of Caspar and Melchior: BALTHASAR. Toughie. Of the three magi, I only know Caspar.

21A: Unit of magnetic flux density: TESLA. Now how can I remember this word? I always lose it at the bottom of the River Lethe.

23A: Sourish: ACIDIC. What's different between "sour" and "sourish"?

28A: Group of nine: ENNEAD. Here is Gustave Moreau "Apollo and the Nine Muses".

33A: Light anchors: KEDGES. KEDGE was clued as "Small anchor" on an earlier puzzle.

41A: Rudder post lever: TILLER. I totally forgot this nautical aspect of TILLER.

45A: South American plain: LLANO

54A: Fly lava: MAGGOT

59A: Movement away: DISPERSAL. Only know "Disperse" & "Dispersion".

56A: Bishop's jurisdiction: SEE. There is actually a slight religious overtone in this puzzle.

61A: Maryland athlete: TERRAPIN. Just saw TERP the other day. I wonder why this album was called the Terrapin Station.

63A: Larry Fine, for one: STOOGE. The other two are Moe & Curly. Saw someone was selling their bobbleheads at the flea market a few weeks ago. Very ugly.

64A: Informative: EDIFYING. Ungainly crossing with EDGINGS (43D: Decorative borders).

66A: Evaluate anew: REASSESS. A savior word for all the crossword constructors I am sure. It's a miracle that we have not seen REASSESSESS.

67A: Diagrams a sentence: PARSES


1D: Stationary sculptures: STABILES. Not an easy word to pull out of my memory. This is Alexander Calder's STABILE "Man".

2D: Man from Tripoli, Greece: ARCADIAN. Had no idea that there was even a city named Tripoli in Greece.

7D: Daughter of King Minos: ARIADNE. Another stumper. I actually knew who she was, just could not remember her name. She gave Theseus, the Minotaur slayer, the clue to the labyrinth built by Daedalus and his son Icarus. And she was later deserted by Theseus.

8D: Pressed together in rows: SERRIED. New word to me.

11D: Web spots: SITES. And 34D: Web makeup: SILK.

12D: Wonderland service: TEA SET

13D: Stableman at an inn: OSTLER. Or HOSTLER. Another new word to me.

27D: Undiluted: NEAT

38D: Coffin carriers, at times: CAISSONS. I've never heard of this word before. Dictionary explains CAISSON as "a horse-drawn vehicle, usually two-wheeled, used to carry artillery ammunition and coffins at military funerals".

40D: Lacking vitality: TONELESS. It's clued as "Lacking shading" in one of Higgins' earlier puzzles.

39D: Allied (with): IN LEAGUE

42D: Intros: LEAD-IN

44D: Decor one throws?: RUGS

46D: Spanker: BEATER. Are you OK with this clue?

48D: Coypu fur: NUTRIA. No, I've never heard of it. I pieced the answer together from the across references. Looks so close to the artificial sugar NUTRA sweet.

50D: Appears without warning: POPS UP

53D: Feudal masses: SERFS

58D: Tampa Bay team: RAYS



Argyle said...

Good morning, c.c.,

This was so bad I gave up Googling and used the online "solve letter" feature untill I had a "d'oh" moment. The Oregon section (NW) gave me the most trouble.

I felt 46D was a personal comment by the constructor and a bad clue.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Hey Argyle,
I was so relieved to find out that you had a hard time too. For a few fleeting seconds I was worried that my preconceived notion on this constructor might have clouded my judgment on his work today. BEATER brought to my mind physical abuses. Were SERRIED, ARIADNE, OSTLER, CAISSONS & DISPERSAL gimmes to you?

Argyle said...

sourish is an adjective only.

I got Oster, Caissons, and Serried with a few perps to point me in the right direction. Up here, when they sell a herd of cows, it is often called a disersal. Ariadne was no gimme.

xchefwalt said...

Good morning c.c. and all: Too brutal a puzzle; my brain shuts off after midnight on Friday. I meshed through 3/5ths before melting down. I thought 46d was ok (maybe because I got it), and Argyle, maybe the constructor has been lurking here and is trying to communicate from beyond….

@cokato- the pleasure is all mine. That was always the best part of the job: watching those who appreciate truly enjoy. You made my day. Happy sailing, and don’t hesitate to ask for any other recipes.

@carl- my oldest son turned 17 on Thursday, and being the good dad I am, I bought him a DVD box set called “George Carlin ‘All my Stuff’”, a 14 disc, 16 hour retrospective of all his HBO specials (starting in 1977) through 2005. He has not slept of stopped laughing since.

Have a great day everyone. I’ve got 4 hockey games today (3 roller, 1 ice), so I’ll be out

Chris in LA said...

Good morning CC etal,
I actually had fun with this one - lots of obscure history (theme?) - to wit:
21A - "Tesla" - Nikola Tesla was a very wierd guy in his time. A great inventor, but also a little nuts, he is credited with inventing/discovering alternating current (AC) which powers the world as we know it now. There was a recent "Modern Marvels" episode on The History Channel which featured him, his partnership with Westinghouse and his competition with Edison - fascinating stuff and the only reason I knew the answer to this one;
8D - "serried" - usually a military term for troop formations - think of how they used to fight during the Revolutionary War with all the soldiers lined up in tight, compact rows kneeling & firing at each other across a field;
38D - "caisson" - see any video of JFK's funeral, Reagan's funeral, etc. for how a caisson is used to transport a coffin. Very elegant & formal.
Re: 46D "spanker"/"beater" - I agree with Argyle. It's political correctness run amok - you're not allowed to spank your kid anymore (there have been reports of kids actually calling 911 & parents being arrested!) - oh the times we live in today. My mom had a favorite wooden spoon, dad had a belt & the teachers had paddles and I think we all turned out ok.

Hope everyone has a great Saturday!

C.C. Burnikel said...

Buckeye & 11:21pm/Friday,
Where did you get the "If you think today is tough, you'll find tomorrow is a ?itch" quote? From which book? Who is Theophiloerectus?

Yes, please do not use B word in the Comment section. Let's have fun with crossword, not crassword. Be imaginative and be subtle in wordplay.

Argyle said...

19A, 28A, 7D were my Googles.
15A, 17A, 4D, 6D were my "D'oh"s.
28A I shoud have remembered and 2D was filled in for me and I haven't even look him up yet.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Good luck with your games today.

Interesting Westinghouse information on TELSA, thank you. I've seen so many times JFK's funeral, just had no idea that it's called CAISSON. Could only remember the riderless horse.

Were you bothered by the exceeding amount of affixes at this grid at all?

NYTAnonimo said...

Arcadian definition argyle.

NYTAnonimo said...

SERRIED. Notice the obsolete on this word?

Argyle said...

I'm easy, if he wants to be lazy and give me exceeding amounts of affixes, I'll take them. Me bad.

Then it's hi! hi! hee!
In the field artillery,
Shout out your numbers loud and strong,
For where e'er you go,
You will always know
That those caissons go rolling along.

The Caisson Song

Chris in LA said...

CC etal,
Forgot "nutria" - scourge of the deep South. Basically big giant rats originally imported for fur production several of which escaped many moons ago. They are very, very prolific (as most rodents are) and tend to burrow after tender grass roots. Unfortunately, this activity tends to undermine the security of the levees that protect cities like New Orleans. There is a bounty paid by the state of (I think) $3 per "tail". In the city, police sharpshooters actually hunt them at night (they are nocturnal) - as a recent article in the Picayune describes:

Ahhh, only in Louisiana - what a country!

C.C. Burnikel said...

I guess the reason why "SERRIED" is not an obscure word to Argyle is because he was a Marine.

Did you also serve in the military before?

Chris in LA said...

No - too young for Vietnam, too old for Desert Storm. I just have an abiding interest in history.

C.C. Burnikel said...

I forgot your interest in civil war. What is your icon picture? I can not see it clearly.

Argyle said...

Serried can be applied to hair do's that are corn-rowed...and also corn fields, for that matter. Thanks, nytanonimo.

Katherine said...

Good morning everyone.
UGH,,,,,the only answers I got were: Asbestos, Steady, lion, see, eases,tea set, sites, kiln, and acidic. That's it! I should have known 65 A from drdad.
A group of nine is ennead????????? Really? Since when?
8D was new to me also. I should have got 44D, I liked that clue, but didn't like the clue for spanker, 46D.
I really bombed on this one today.
Have a good weekend everyone. See you all Monday or Tuesday.

flyingears said...

A totally SENSELESS X/W puzzle!!! Had no idea what Higgins wanted to accomplish EXCEPT getting some new words in... I usually enjoy puzzles, but this one had no purpose at all...

Chris in LA said...

That is a picture of one of my 3 dogs - "Stella in Repose". She's a runt Cocker Spaniel relaxing on her favorite blanket - I've never seen a dog more comfortable with life than her - she normally sleeps on her back with her legs up in the air & loves to wake up to a belly-rub, which is irresistable most times. I want to come back in my next life as one of my dogs.
The other 2 are: an old-ish Border Collie named "Thursday" (inherited from my daughter during a move - her husband was reading Robinson Crusoe when they got her as a pup, on a Thursday), and a beautiful, jet-black lab named "Stoli" (vodka, my drink of choice, normally on the rocks with a twist of lemon, but occasionally "neat", especially when the constructors give me fits).

As an "oh, by the way" for the rest of you - never, ever store your vodka at room temperature. Keep it in the freezer - there is something inherently sensual about that syrupy liquid pouring straight over ice cubes - and it tastes smoother. Try it if you didn't know and you will surely understand.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Watch out, "SENSELESS" will appear in Higgins' next themeless, with all those S'es.

KittyB said...

Good morning, c.c. and all!

I managed to finish the puzzle unaided, but on the first run-through I didn't have an answer until I hit BALTHASAR, and I wanted to spell his name with a Z. It took three trips through the puzzle both across and down before everything fell into place.

C.C. LLANO, ARCADIAN, SERRIED, and ENNEAD were new to me. I've heard, but not known the definition, of the first three, and have never heard anyone use ENNEAD. And I can not for the life of me remember that a Maryland team is the TERRAPINS (or TERPS, for that matter!).

I think that the endings made it possible to finish the puzzle unaided, but you're right, it makes for a less interesting crossword.

I'm off to a late start today. We have visitors coming for the next three days, so I'd better get my act together.

Have a good weekend, DFs!

flyingears said...

C.C., HE, he...

Barry G. said...

Morning, folks!


That was a tough one! I really had to dig deep for a lot of the clues today. Never heard of SERRIED or STABILES, but was eventually able to get them from the perps. Fortunately, I was able to pull BALTHASAR (although I thought it was spelled BALTHAZAR) from the deep recesses of my memory, as well as KEDGE, CAISSONS, OSTLER, ENNEAD and NUTRIA. TERRAPIN used to be unknown to me, but I've seen it enough now that it's a gimme.

The NW corner was the hardest for me as well, and I really thought I had screwed up when I had AA in the middle of 1A. Once I dredged SALAAM up from the depths, however, the rest fell into place.

I actually enjoyed the puzzle quite a bit, since I found it challenging but doable.

Ken said...

This one took me about 45 minutes, but I need help with "ennead". Nice to see terrapin after "terp" the other day. Others came from cross clues. C.C. Nikola Tesla was a brilliant but relatively obscure scientist known for his work in magnetism. He did pioneer work in radio broadcasting, holding the original patents that Marconi is given credit. That he is so little known is a rotten omission by the press and science textbooks. Ken

Anna said...

Ugh - took 30 minutes to plod though this. I got the bottom right away, but struggled with the rest and needed help. Katherine I'm with you. Ennead is a group of 9 - Who knew?
Obviously not me.

Ken said...

oops, I worded that awkwardly. Tesla was well known in his day, but history books have ignored his work. Ken

Crockett1947 said...

Good morning everyone! Lots of new words on the down side: STABILES, ARCADIAN, ARIADNE, SERRIED, OSTLER. Some false starts that needed fixing: had SHRILL for TREBLE, HANDIEST for READIEST, LIFELESS for TONELESS, mis-spelled SALAAM and LLANO, but I REASSESSed my position and finally came home a winner. NUTRIA was a gimme since I once had a copyu as a pet!

The Oregon section? Had me going there for a moment, argyle.

C.C., I think Theophiloerectus is an invented erotic philosopher that Buckeye invented.

Kittyb and Barry, I did the same with the third wise guy, but revised it when I looked at 20D.

flyingears said...

ken, excellent review on Nikola Tesla and you are right. He was placed in the middle of the Physics textbooks and not the important figure that HE REALLY WAS!!! His work is a classic in magnetism and radio... In fact, I believe he had something to contribute to the Robotics sciences...

Barb B said...

What a bear. It was grim for me, but I looked every thing up and filled it out just so I could learn something. I found Tesla particularly irritating. Had it been clued as a person I may have solved it, because I’ve learned Tesla from this site. Online puzzle has it clued “unit of magnetic flux density.” No way I could figure that out except from the crosses.

Enead was a head slapper for me. I knew it from studying enneagrams, just never see it anywhere else.

Llano is also familiar, as my mom was born in Llano Texas in the Hill Country. Genealogy research can be confusing, since there is also the Llano Estacado, which streatches across Texas into Oklahoma, or vise versa, depending where you live.

In future I may just see the name Matthew Higgins on a puzzle and say not only no, but h*** no.Where's the pay off? Even when I figure out the words, I'm not impressed.

Barb B said...

Love the Oregon section. That’s what I’m calling it from now on.

Chris in la,
Nutrias live in Oregon, too, but are not so destructive.

Greek word for nine is ennea.Ennea plus the greek word for figure -gramma - is shortened to Enneagram, describing a nine pointed figure used for the study of personality development.

Sorry if that's too much information.

Clear Ayes said...

So many words; so many to google!
I'm with Anna. When the top left AND right are miserable, I head to the bottom to get started. Sure enough, that was much easier, but it didn't seem to help as I headed upward. (Help, I'm drowning!!) "Balthasar" with an "S", "Serried", "Ennead", and more; all stoppers and google time.

To top it off, we California foothill people are having another forest/grass fire, this time much closer to home and unfortunately, very close to Yosemite National Park. It's been labeled the "Telegraph Fire" and is about 40 miles to the south of our home. From the smoke that is enveloping the whole area, you'd think it was over the next hill. We're in no danger here, but watery eyes and scratchy throats are the day's companions. The house is closed and we'll be holed up with the AC on until further developments.

For those of us who are old enough to remember "where were you when Kennedy was assassinated?", the live TV coverage of the cortege, the riderless mount and the the caisson carrying the coffin are etched in memory.

Carl: loved the Curmudgeon definition you left last night. Is there such a thing as a woman curmudgeon? Unfortunately, I think there is still enough of a double standard that a female gets the "B***h" tag. (Sorry c.c.)

carol said...

C.C. (Argyle too), boy I'm in agreement with you, this bad boy puzzle was too much for me..just left it undone on the "west" side.
What is 4D? and 17A?

Words I didn't know are probably too numerous to mention but here are a few: serried, stabiles,46D (spanker),ennead. you get the idea!


Mr. Ed said...

Good morning C.C. & fellow DFs

This puzzle beat me up pretty thoroughly and took far longer than it should. I just couldn't get my head into the lack of a tangible theme or direction. I finally wondered if it was a military theme with Tripoli, Caisson, and serried(ie Marine Corp Hymn, and the old Field Artillery Song penned by Gruber "and the the Caissons kept rolling along). Anyway, serried seemed to fit that theme somewhat. There are more Tripoli(s) than I knew... Libya, Lebannon, and now Greece. Only been to a couple.

Kedges was a nautical gimme for me.
63A had me scratching my head... wondering who the **** Larry Fine was and then the "duh" light came on. A very fine line distinction with 59A dispersal.

@c.c. There's a subtle difference between sour and sourish... with the latter being the lesser. With acid vs acidic... the latter acidic is the lesser so it does fit.

65A six letters... nope drdad won't fit so it had to be.... all together now... Uranus!

I can't go with 46D at all! Higgins could have gone with numerous other better clues for beater... His clue seems to be his "personal" opinion and I "personally" don't think it is a good one... but then I didn't create the xword today. Mr. Higgins are you taking notes?

There is no doubt that Mr. Higgins is highly intelligent. But, in this puzzle, I think he was playing with our heads. 18A seems verrry apropos for this no-theme test of our patience.


Got the set but was a fan long before that came out. I think Carlin's take on the 10 commandments spelled out exactly who he was... We only need two. And "stuff"??? It's only stuff!

@clear ayes Curmudgeon is a state of mind and has nothing to do with gender... see the absurdity!

@barbb Oregon also has another similar native critter called a "Mountain Beaver"... not to be confused with a "Beaver Beaver" or Nutria. Mountain Beaver is not a true Beaver and has a very stubby tail rather than a broad, flat one. Also, it is not particularly fond of water. It burrows but never heard of one nesting in a levee. They don't really like people... smart little critters & kinda cute. They found one in Fairview recently and I give credit to the kid who found it... he took it up to the Mt. Hood area and let it go. Another gem of meaningless trivia.

Y'all have a great day.


carol said...

Katherine, sounds like you had the same experience that I did on this puzzle. Glad I am not alone today.

kittyb, My hat is off to you! You must belong to Mensa, along with Dennis.

Anna, are you new here? Seems I have seen your name before, but not very often.

Clear Ayes & Carl, I would like to apply for the title of curmudgeon too, my hubby is one, but prefers "cranky old geek"!

Anonymous said...

I had heard of spanker, but only in this way:(as told by Wikepedia)
"1: the fore-and-aft sail on the mast nearest the stern of a square-rigged ship 2: the sail on the mast nearest the stern of a schooner of four or more masts"
so I was trying to fit in sail somehow.
My husband says that 7A is a bad clue because it is now illegal to use asbestos brake linings and no longer done.

Mr. Corcoran said...

good evening...i liked this one although i had to google twice...ostler reminded me of the well known poem by noyes "the highwayman"--one of those old chestnuts that still manage to enthrall an it is if you like to see:

Anonymous said...

mark Buenos Aires

i finished it without help but south west corner was difficult because I wanted Coal hod, Ive never heard of coal bin. Bread bin ok, garbage bin ok, but coal, for me, no.
Spanker/beater is lame.
Also agree re asbestos not being brake lining material, but the answer couldnt be anything else in this puzzle.
many many answers not known but educated guesses proved right.
An ok puzzle, quite achievable because not too many proper names and places.

buen fin de semana to you and yours

Mr. Ed said...


There're two types of asbestos... long fiber and short fiber. Unless the laws have changed recently, only one is illegal but I don't know which one. But, I too thought asbestos wasn't used in brake linings anymore. They've gone to a more durable carbon material.


Cranky old geek just isn't the same although he may be a curmudgeon along with that trait.

btw did I mention that O is the Beaver State????? Awww... you guys already knew that.


Barry G. said...


Try this clickable link.

Clear Ayes said...

I think 7A should have been prefaced with "former", or "previous", or right to the point, "banned".

Still thinking of "curmudgeon". Carl's definition is much kinder (and I think, truer) than most on-line dictionaries,
although "loveable" does pop up as an adjective. The best one site could do for female curmudgeon was Ann Coulter. According to your political leanings that could be accurate. Others might have a much different view. Cartoon Maxine made the cut also, but as far as humans go, Andy Rooney is thought of as quite the adorable curmudgeon, but Roseanne Barr isn't.

C.C. Burnikel said...


C.C. Burnikel said...

I am curious, what did you study at college?

C.C. Burnikel said...

Carl, Barry et al,
What is "Sweetum"? Also, Xchefwalt mentioned "porcelain god" in yesterday's blog comment (12:04pm), what did he refer to?

Clear Ayes, Sallie & Ken,
I've been enjoying your comments lately and I've learned tremendous amount of information (esp word origins) from you three. Thank you for the contribution. Your efforts are very appreciated.

Mr. Ed said...


I knew spanker as in sail but couldn't come up with any other nautical/sail word that started with "b" and had the correct number of letters.

@ clear ayes

Roseanne... definitely NO! Way beyond curmudgeon. She is somewhere close to being deliberately hurtful. Andy Rooney... yes in a "teddy bear" kind of way.

Maxine.... gotta love her!

Barry G. said...

C.C. --

I know "sweetum" as a term of affection, similar to "honey" or "dear".

As for the porcelain god, it usually refers to the toilet, since you kneel in front of it to throw up and it looks like you're praying to it. I love the expression "making oblations to the great white porcelain god" to mean throwing up after a particularly hard night of drinking. Not that I speak from personal experience, of course....

Robin said...

Just when you think it safe to go in the water.....Dis puzzle vas a puzzlement for me. I had to run to our Godmothers blog (Thank you CC)and to get help from the "family". At least my completion time is getting faster, 2 hours and ten min. today. OK stop laughing...and a question if I may, what is a DF?

KittyB said...

@carol, I've never bothered to find out if I qualify for Mensa. There are so many others who are SO much smarter than I am, that it didn't seem worth my time to look into it. I come from a family that is very language and education oriented, and picked up a lot of what I know from them. Mother used to do the NYTimes crossword in ink. I think a lot of today's luck was that there were just enough crosses and perps for things to fall into place.

@mark, I wanted HOD, too, and it took me a while to come up with BIN.

@Clear Ayes, You and I have the same memories. I tried (FOUR TIMES) to post about my memories of JFK's funeral cort├Ęge, with the caisson and caparisoned horse, with no luck. HTML, Blogger, and my own computer all were in cahoots, and finally I took the point. Thanks for getting that comment made. I hope the fires are contained, or better yet, doused.

C.C. Burnikel said...

DF's = Dysfunctionals. But I am not.

Xchef 12:04pm comment: "@melissabee- it’s only a form of worship if you overindulge and pray to the “porcelain god”!". The overindulge here refers to the hard partying, not U2's double entendre "praying", right?

Der Katze said...

From The Independent August 10, 2000:
Metaphysical leanings, scientific breakthroughs and conspiracy theories surround the life of Nikola Tesla, who did some of his most important and astonishing work in Colorado Springs. (About a mile from my house.)

Tesla Files

Barry G. said...


I would say so, yes.

Der Katze said...

If the Tesla Files link doesn't work for you, Google " CSindy August 10 2000 " and look for "Tesla Files" in the list.

C.C. Burnikel said...

Xie Xie. How long have you been doing TMS/NY Times puzzle? Does your wife like crossword also?

Mr. Corcoran said...

barry--did you notice that ostler was omitted in the lyrical version?...and he is an important figure since, as rejected wooer, he has apparently alerted the redcoats so that the highwayman would be ensnared...
cc: began with ancient languages (aramaic etc) but moved on to linguistics...

Barry G. said...


I just recently started doing the NYT puzzle, but I've been doing this one for many, many years (well, I've been doing the Boston Globe puzzle for years -- I have no idea how long it has been the TMS puzzle).

And no, my wife has zero interest.

C.C. Burnikel said...

I googled earlier this morning and and found out there is philosopher named Theophylactus, whom I thought it's guy Buckeye referred to. But I could not find the quote. Now I realized the creativity behind Buckeye's coinage. Thank you for shedding the light.

Maybe you can buy Orange's book for your wife. It's how I got hooked.

Barry G. said...


It's bad enough one of us is hooked... ^_^

carol said...

C.C.Thanks for 4D and 17A-I know now why I should not have even started the puzzle today, some days are like that, you can stare a something for a long time and never see it.

Clear Ayes, hope your area won't be too affected by the fires! I love Maxine too, I get her cards whenever I need to send something sarcastic to someone. :)

"Beater/Spanker" Hmmmmm don't know if I like that, not a all.

Again, I learn from this blog...who knew there was a Tripoli, Greece? It was not mentioned in my crossword dictionary. (I know, I could have checked with Mr.Google, but I was too cranky at that point to bother.)

lexi2 said...

Good day, all - does anyone remember "Salami, Salami, Baloney" from the Three Stooges?
Larry Fine (63D), and salaam (1A).
The original Stooges were Moe Howard, Larry Fine, and Curley Howard, I think.
To chris in la - thanks for the reminder on Tesla (21A) it took me back to HS science class; and caissons (38D) in the JKF funeral.
48D "nutria" this fur can be dyed and substituted for beaver - very politically incorrect these days.

xchefwalt said...

Hi all! Back from a full day of hockey, we went 2-2 without our 3 best players. Not a bad day at all. Getting ready to cook duck breast with fried rice, so I’ll try to be brief.

@chris in la 7:40- I store all my liquor in the freezer- it now hold a bottle of Jack, Jager and Haitian rum. You are correct about the sensation when it’s that cold.

@carl 12:38- it’s funny, after he died I spoke with my mother, and she remembered when “Class Clown” came out. I bought the record, and we were listening to it in my room howling uncontrollably, when she came in wondering what was so funny. Well, we played it for her and we’ve been both been fans since. I saw him live at Farmingdale University on LI in ’82 (baseball/football & stuff were the main themes). I’ll miss him and wonder if anyone can pick up the slack.

@barry 2:35 & 3:11- thank you, sir. You hit it right on the head.

Speaking of that, what’s all this talk about a “beaver state”?? Are you all insane? The three (or four) sisters will have a field day with that.

@c.c. 2:55- denial, denial, denial. The first step towards healing is to admit the problem. Stand and say “I AM dysfunctional”, you’ll feel so much better.
I checked out the “Mysterious Ways” link you provided, and I must respectfully disagree with their O.S. assessment. I don’t even think he’s discussing praying, but worship (“…if you want to kiss the sky better learn how to kneel- on your knees boy”). I’ve never known Bono to be so aggressively sexual in his lyrics, they are almost all either political in nature, or document his struggles between being a rock star and an Irish catholic filled with guilt. It’s very similar to the struggle Roger Waters had: his socialist political views vs. his rock riches and his problem in coming to terms with Sid Barrett’s madness.

embien said...

17:20 today, and mostly a not too enjoyable 17:20 at that. I did learn a few things, but I'm not sure it was worth the pain.

Unknown words:
ARCADIAN (could have been more cleverly clued as "Atari devotee" of some such, though I confess I didn't realize there was a Tripoli in Greece, so this was educational at least)

There were nutria on the second hole of a golf course I used to play at weekly, so that was a gimme. I think there used to be a bounty on nutria in Oregon (as well as Louisiana), but I'm not certain.

19a: Companion of Caspar and Melchior (Balthasar) should probably have been clued as a variant spelling since the main spelling is with a "Z". (I imagine the dual spellings comes from transliteration from the original Hebrew or whatever language was the original.)

@c.c., don't know why the Grateful Dead's album was titled "Terrapin Station", and evidently neither does Wikipedia

Clear Ayes said...

The breeze is clearing smoke out of our area. That might not be good news for southern Mariposa County where the fire is burning in some difficult to access canyons.

I guess there just aren't any female curmudgeons. Roseanne is too strident and Fran Leibowitz is too "New Yorky" to have broad appeal. I can think of quite a few men; W.C. Fields, Walter Matthau (not in person, but in acting), Woody Allen (neurotic, as well as curmudgeonly) and as we said Andy Rooney and at the pinnacle George Carlin.

Now I gotta go get ready for a lovely dinner party. Have a nice evening.

C.C. Burnikel said...

This is not uncommon in American households I believe. Some research needs to be done on the what's behind this strange phenomenon. The only husband/wife crossword solvers I know of are Bill & Nancy (Hey, where have you two been?)

Welcome on board!!

Where did those three best players go? Oregon? What is O.S. assessment? Even if Bono's lyrics are sexual, it would not change my view on him at all. He has done more for Africa than any other person on earth. My brain is totally functional, though my heart might be a tiny little bit DF. But everybody's heart has reasons which reason knows nothing of, at least, during certain periods of their life.

I have no objection over BALTHASAR. It's a widely accepted spelling.

Clear Ayes said...

I started to comment on this earlier and then trashed it. But what the heck ---

RE: xchefwalt's "I don’t even think he’s discussing praying, but worship (“…if you want to kiss the sky better learn how to kneel- on your knees boy”). I’ve never known Bono to be so aggressively sexual in his lyrics, they are almost all either political in nature,"

Mysterious Ways is about women, but I can't help but think those lines are a comment on a different matter. Otherwise, why the command "on your knees, BOY". The huge Church pedophile scandal in Ireland involved representatives of the biggest political influence in the Country and went on for decades. I don't think Bono can help but be political, even when he might not seem so.

But that's just me looking for hidden meanings. Really gotta go now.

Chris in LA said...

Clear Ayes, etal re: U2 "Mysterious Ways":
It's not sexual, it has to do with the moon driving life and how we exist. Those who have seen me on this blog know I'm a big believer in all sorts of alternative beliefs - as the Jesuits taught me in high school and college (to paraphrase so as not to offend): "Jesus is great, and we think he's the real-deal, but cover all your bases, just in case..."
Here's a link to the lyrics - y'all know how to "you tube", so find the song & read the lyrics as it goes along and I think you'll catch my drift.

Have a great evening!

C.C. Burnikel said...

Clear ayes & Chris,
I like this "Mysterious Ways" thread. Thank you for sharing your views.

carol said...

xchefwalt, There are 3 states one should visit before "coming" to the Beaver state: 1st is The Land of Enchantment (N.Mex), then the Show Me state (Missouri), next would be the Natural State (Ark) and yes, finally Oregon! Hoooahh!

lois said...

Chris in la: Stella and I have a lot in common on sleeping positions and in how she likes to be awakened. What a hoot!

Carl: Guess what!!! I own a beaver! It's not a Mtn Beaver b/c its tail is not very stubby. Those Mtn Beavers must be drinkin' too much on the rocks to get their tails in such a shape. Now my beaver is the real beaver. That's why I exercise avoid the broader and flatter tail...which is more evident the older it gets. Burrowing is one of my beaver's best features...near levees or not! You're right, though. It doesn't like people...only one person at a time, and that comment about it being so smart and cute? I have heard that so many times!

"They found one in Fairview"? Just one was visible? I hope they fix that situation.

"I give credit to the kid who found it... he took it up to the Mt. Hood area and let it go". I bet his Dad was outwardly very proud of his son, but inwardly wishing he could keep it next door...a little beaver on the side isn't all that bad!

lois said...

Carol: your last comment is hilarious! Well done! I worked in MO for a year at a Girl's College. I am absolutely sure that it must've been one of the main 'layover spots' for those on their way to Oregon...esp the smart and cute ones.

Mr. Ed said...

C.C.@ 2:27 Sweetum was used as a term of endearment for a new friend. I felt she was hurting and needed a "hug". @barry... thanks for the cover but I would never use "honey or dear" because they have an air of condescension. Sweetum is more innocent.

@walt & anyone who cares... otherwise fast forward past this

Re: Carlin - I don't know if anybody can ever REPLACE him because he was one of a kind. The man thought about how absurd things are in so many ways. Then he gave us a message that very few people fully understood but had to laugh about anyway. He even recognized how ridiculous animals are in a loving way and he was right on.

Direct to the heart of an issue; yes! Sardonic; yes! Abrasive; yes! But never abusive even though he pointed out how stupid we all can be if we take ourselves too seriously. A big point; he was NEVER sarcastic. He held up our human foibles, major and minor, to the light so we could see them more clearly.

Female curmudgeons... I think women are under different societal pressures when it comes to expressing themselves. This is not meant stereotypically but women seem to learn earlier that a smile opens doors. Maxine... although not human obviously, uses sarcasm which is biting and deliberately the opposite of the intended message. Rosanne Barr is extremely sarcastic in a spiteful way. If a woman can come along and point out the irony, stupidity, and how ridiculously funny mankind is, without resorting to sarcasm, she would make the club. I can't think of any good examples off the top of my head. Walter Matthau's character is definitely crotchety but probably not sage enough to be categorized as a curmudgeon. Sardonicism (why not sardony?) takes a different tack to make the same point in a manner that uses irony and humor without biting your hand. EGAD! I haven't been forced to engage in this much deep thought since pondering the meaning of life with drunken classmates years ago.

@walt I knew the sirens couldn't leave the Beaver alone. Thank you Lois for proving me correct. I'm sure your Beaver is very happy and well fed! Is yours near sighted?

Mr. Ed said...


Oops! Mistakenly sent the beaver comment to walt... see how I avoided the obvious word there?

lois said...

Carl: Do YOU ever sleep? You're scary!

Yes, thank you for asking. My beaver is not tame by any means but is fed on a regular basis... practically purrs it's so well taken care of. As far as its vision is concerned? It's almost blind and is constantly running into the most morel characters.

C.C. Burnikel said...

What is the beaver you were talking about? I am so lost.

Sardony: Too close to s?d?my? Good comment @ 2:26am.